Arizona: Who has the best WiFi, and who has the worst?
Chris Tingom, I run things at Arizona Coffee.
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Best – Lola, Solo, Liberty
Good – Lux
Decent – Press (codes are annoying, sometime slow), Lucy’s Market
Bad – Cartel (when their router was stolen, it’s better now, but can be slow when a lot of laptops are in the space)
Best – Solo, Three Roots, Gold Bar
OK – Cartel (I’ve had it go down once)
Worst – Xtreme Bean takes me back to my dial-up days, Lola since its totally down 50% of my visits.
Wait, Liberty has Wifi? Awesome!
Best – Liberty, Unlimited
Worst – Lola, Xtreme Bean
Establishments that use codes don’t even count.
Um, we used to have lousy internet (DSL+wireless surveillence+credit card modem=crap). But I can’t say enough about how great Cox Business Services has been!
Yeah, that’s us at Copper Star.
At Copper Star, I used to use a WiFi gateway someone left up on a Mac in a nearby building instead. I couldn’t for the life of me stay connected to their thing.
A lot of these home network WiFi routers are garbage. Too many connections for too long and they need a reboot or they just get really slow. Anyway, that’s off topic. Ahh, hell, I refuse to get back on topic. Every place has either Cox or Qwest. Considering we’re talking about little local coffee shops, it would be nice to see them use the little, local ISPs, such as FastQ. It’s possible to get DSL, pay Qwest for the line, but get your ‘net through another company and pay them for that. Just because Qwest sucks doesn’t mean that DSL sucks. (Well, it kind of does, but in different ways.)
Fun story for ya’ll. Back before anyone had heard of WiFi, Bandersnatch Brewpub had 10mbit switches stuck up in the rafters here and there. You could stand on your seat and plug an Ethernet cable in and get online. Now it’s a parking lot, just like most of my other favorite businesses out here. Hurray Tempe urban renewal!
I’ve had good and bad Internet days at almost every coffee shop I’ve been to, but Lux’s WiFi router sucks far less than most and I’ve never had a good Internet day at Cartel. Am I confused — they seem to be on Sprint. Is this cell based Internet access? Or DSL? The metal tables create a lot of multipathing, I have no idea where the router is, and the backbone their ISP uses is chronically dying under the load.
Oh, here’s another story… Jamaican Blue, back when they were around in downtown Scottsdale, had Cox. In one corner in the main seating area was a TV set with cable TV and on top of it was the WiFi router, with all of the cords and everything just sitting there. They’d make you a mocha and use cheap chocolate milk to do it.
Anyway, I’m following this topic closely. I have on occasion ridden around trying to find a coffee shop on a different backbone than one that’s suffering massive packet loss and lag. Getting traffic north of Chicago has been a serious problem for me lately.
If you yourself are bored and want to see where your packets are falling off the ‘net, go find a nice traceroute utility for your OS.
One more rant: during the early days of WiFi in businesses, they’d hire specialists to come in and do “site surveys”. People with antennas would map out how best to divide the space up so that one or more APs with the correct antennas (sometimes the APs had multiple radios and multiple antennas, and I’m not talking about signal diversity like in the Linksys home jobbies) aimed the right way so that the network was robust, had good coverage, etc. Now people buy a $40 device, throw them into a random closet, and call it good. Funny how times change.
Scott….interesting points, and I’d take coax over DSL any day…especially if the dslam your connected to is miles away OR its over subcribed (typical of qwest) usually 7-1 …..but, hey I’m an old telcom sales rep, so i enjoyed hearing your lingo….come by Press, we do use codes but the access is running at about 768d and 450up…
Good: Grinders, Gold Bar, Lux
Meh: Cartel, Xtreme Bean
I’m glad to see Copper Star’s WiFi has changed; I had a few really frustrating experiences with the WiFi there and stopped going there to get work done. I’ll give it another go.