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Internet Reliability - New Router


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If anyone was ever to use a cloud based software offering, you generally get redundant hardware in the network which helps uptime.  However, with cloud offerings, you are hosed if your internet is not reliable.  Also, most of us only have a single wire entering our buildings that provides the internet connection.  If it was severed, there is no backup.   I've found a router that can help keep your business online if your main service goes down.   It is called CradlePoint and the model that most businesses would want is the smaller AER1600.    What's unique about it is that it allows you to install a wireless SIM card in the router.   The router will automatically track the connectivity of your main internet connection and when it finds that the internet is down, it will automatically switch over connectivity to the wireless network.  Then, when the outage is over, it will return you to the main connection.  You would only pay for wireless data during an outage or however your wireless SIM card contract reads.    I believe this router is approximately

There are downsides to using this in failover mode.   If you are reliant on a static IP address for certain services, then those services would go down.   Your main internet provider is providing the static IP address, so if your main connection is down, so is your static IP address.  This might impact things like remote access, remote security camera viewing and a few other services.   Another downside to this is that your external IP address would be different at failover, so if you have any services tied to the external IP address, then these will not work.  For instance, my state inspection machines are tied to the external IP address.  They would not operate online until the main internet is resumed. 

While I'm on the topic of connectivity, shop wireless connectivity can sometimes be dicey.  I've found a good wireless access point that is used in schools, office buildings and outdoor venues.  It's scaleable to 100's of devices and has a directional signal (vs omni-directional) that puts more power towards the device communicating.   Small businesses, typically need 1-3 units.   It is called Ruckus Wireless AP Zoneflex R310.  It's about $350.   It has support for both public and private WiFi networks.

I hope this is in the right forum.  Internet connectivity and software go together in my mind.    I've not used either of these devices, but will be purchasing both.   I've done exhaustive research on them and believe that they are both worthy of consideration.   I'm in no way connected to either business.   I'd be happy to answer any questions on this subject if desired.

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we have been using cradlepoint for several years, in fact, just got our second one. We have a collision center that is cloud based on most of what they do and i guess the service side for repair information etc as well.  I got it because we switched from t 1 lines to cable, with the unreliability of cable i had to have a back up.  It has saved us many times, the longest was about 4 days without cable, ouch, but people never noticed any speed difference as its 4g and its really fast.

With the t-1's and other newer technology the down time is slight, in fact most phone companies have a 99 percent up time but its nice to have a backup to not slow you down etc.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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