Despite the easing of restrictions, think many of us will still be attending Zoom or Teams meetings over the next few months. So to get you in a summer mood here are ten amazing summer Zoom and Teams backgrounds to brighten your meetings.
The first time I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow. I took a fair few photographs and have posted them to my other blog.
Some of my photographs I thought might make excellent Teams and Zoom backgrounds, so I posted them to the blog and they have proved quite popular.
So here are some more.
Right click the images to download the images for your personal use only.
I think, though I love the speed, one of the key advantages of my new FTTP connection is reliability. I don’t think I’ve noticed if it has gone down or not.
On my old FTTC connection, it was fall over at least once a day or even more. I would usually notice as my Alexa Spot device would show my hub login screen when the connection failed.
Not seen that since we upgraded.
The other key is how much better the BT Hub is over my older (2017) Plusnet Hub was. The strength and spread of the WiFi is much better and combined with the faster speed means that a stable and reliable connection even at extreme distances from the hub in the house. Pleased with that, I was thinking about buying WiFi Extenders, but don’t think I need to do that now.
BT came round yesterday and fitted FTTP or full fibre as BT likes to call it. It was quite a painless process, so much so that I didn’t actually notice that the FTTC connection had been turned off and the FTTP turned on, well I was in the midst of writing an e-mail at the time.
They had to upgrade the terminal outside, drill a hole through the wall and mount the modem and the Smart Hub near some power sockets.
Now we have a 1Gb connection, though the reality with WiFI is that the most I can get is about 500Mb/s, but that is still 25 times faster than what I had before!
The speed and quality of the WiFi signal is much better and is working well It will take a little time to settle in over the next few weeks so the speed will fluctuate up and down. Though for my first Teams call after installation it was working a treat.
Accessing streaming video and downloading files is so much faster, but the other main benefit is better quality WiFi across the house. Though the signal degrades as you move away from the Hub, 20% of 400Mb/s is much better than 20% of 30Mb/s for doing stuff.
I had to go around and reconnect everything to the new wireless network, the Apple devices were the easiest as I could share the password across my devices just by bringing them close to each other.
Where I could use WPS that meant I could connect the printer and some Windows machines. The hardest devices to connect to the new wireless network was the Amazon Alexa devices, but got those done in the end.
Having placed an order for full fibre from BT I was expecting to have to go through the process of cancelling my plusnet account.
However this was all automated as BT made a request to them, as I was changing provider.
They did make repeated requests to me to change my mind, but the problem was not that I wasn’t happy with them or their service, just that they didn’t provide the FTTP service I wanted. If they did I would have stayed with them.
Alas there wasn’t an easy way to provide them with this feedback, the e-mail I replied to bounced!
I have placed an order for fibre to the premises FTTP with estimated speeds of 900Mb/s down and 110Mb/s up. Should be up and running in the next couple of weeks.
A few months back our local area was awash with BT Openreach vans.
So we have FIVE BT openreach vans within 20 metres of our house and loads of BT workers as well. No idea what they are up to, I would go and ask, however a) social distancing and all that and b) they may, if I went up to them, think I was of those 5G conspiracy nutters!
I did wonder if they were installing full fibre connections, or fibre to the premises FTTP. I remember at the time doing a search, but no news on any kind of upgrade to either cabinet 25 or the Worle Exchange.
Bizarrely enough it was an advert on Instagram that caught my attention back on the 1st October. Almost for a joke I decided to see if I could get faster fibre, I wasn’t expecting to, but was quite surprised to see that I could in fact have FTTP!
Having suffered poor ADSL speeds for many years, I was really pleased, in September 2017 when BT Openreach finally finished the upgrade to cabinet 25 and we could have FTTC fibre.
With roughly 30Mb/s download and 9Mb/s upload speed I felt I was back, in terms of internet speeds, where I was in 2012 at our old house before we moved. Eight years ago I blogged about how I lost my FTTC connection having moved house (literally just moved down the same road).
It took over five years for BT Openreach to upgrade Cabinet 25 so we could have FTTC.
One of the reasons I didn’t place an order straight away was that, if I ordered BT Full Fibre I would have to close my current internet account with my ISP. Now I have been with my ISP since 1998, they were my first ISP, well the first I paid for after a free trial with AOL. I had seen an advert in a computing magazine, they were called Force9 and were based in Sheffield.
I had a dial-up internet account with them initially where I paid a monthly fee for internet access as well as any telephone charges.
Stayed with them when I moved house. In June 2000, the Force9 brand was changed to Plusnet. This coincided with the introduction of the Surftime dialup internet products, the first real 24/7 unmetered dial-up service in the UK. This worked really well with the Airport Extreme base station I had with integrated modem. I could use my Mac to enable the connection and then use the wifi across the home to use the internet wherever I was in the house.
When ADSL was enabled in February 2003, I upgraded to this new faster internet. The always on nature of ADSL changed how I used the internet, and in some ways how the internet used me.
Plusnet was sold to BT in 2007 and I think it lost a little of its soul that day, but I stuck with them.
On this day in 2010 I upgraded to FTTC and this was a real revelation. With 40Mb down and 10Mb up this is significantly faster than the 1.3 down and 0.6 up I had before.
I was so disappointed when we moved house two years later and lost it and went back to the slow speeds of ADSL.
Five years later, cabinet 25 was upgraded and we had fibre back.
All that time I was with Force9 or Plusnet as they like to be called.
When I found out I could have FTTP from BT, I did think I should be able to get FTTP from Plusnet as I recalled they were doing FTTP trials a few years back. Alas it was apparent that they don’t do FTTP products. So it was with a little sadness (don’t know why) that I ordered the BT Full Fibre product and this automatically activated the cancellation of my account with Plusnet.
I couldn’t raise a new fault, as the old one hadn’t been closed. So I went through a long online chat to get the fault resolved and an engineer visit booked.
However in the end it was apparent that this wasn’t a BT fault, it was a problem with one of our sockets (I think more the filter) that meant that our landline was working, so I cancelled the BT engineer visit.