It’s been almost ten years since I had the opportunity to first learn about Metageek. During their presentation at Wireless Field Day 1, they talked about how they built tools to detect wireless network issues and allow wireless professionals to fix those problems. I was blown away by the work that Ryan Woodings had put into the product.
Metageek gave me a Chanalyzer, and I immediately ran home to use it. I figured I could take it to work and get some professional use out of it. Imagine my surprise when I fired it up to show my wife how it worked and found out that my neighbors were running a super wideband home router and taking up 2/3rds of the spectrum! Metageek showed me that my home wireless environment was hostile, and I needed to do some work to get things performing the way I wanted. I was able to move clients to a less congested spectrum and make my users happy.
Flash forward to 2020. We now find ourselves working from home to help slow the spread of a global pandemic. For office workers, this has been a huge shift in the way we get things done. However, for teachers, it’s tough. They have to be on video calls for the long haul every day. If you factor in the kids in their house also on video calls for learning, it gets even crazier in IT terms. I was thrilled that I had put in the work to make my wireless setup rock solid when I had four different Zoom calls all going at once in the spring. That was easy for me to accomplish because I’m an IT nerd. Teachers may not have the same luxury to understand what’s wrong and how to fix it.
Ramping Up To Help
Teachers aren’t as IT savvy as IT pros. They need tools that can quickly help them understand what’s wrong and fix it with minimal effort. At the very least, the tool should be able to show them what needs to be looked at so they can call their IT people to get the right resources working on the job. Wireless tools aren’t cheap, though. A good wireless professional has invested hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in their equipment. Trying to do the same on a teacher’s salary is all but impossible.
The lack of funds and expertise doesn’t eliminate the need for wireless that works. It means that someone needs to step up to the plate to help those who need it the most and do it in a way that gives them support and education to get better. Oh, and if it didn’t break the bank for a teacher, that would be excellent too.
Ryan and his team at Metageek heard the call, and they’re doing what needs to be done to help teachers and other education professionals with wireless issues. Last month they announced Rampart for Education, a program designed to get teachers the tools they need to troubleshoot their home wireless connections. Before the pandemic, wireless at home just had to support Netflix or gaming after hours. The downstream speed mattered most of all, and any hiccups or glitches were just shrugged off. With the need for good connectivity in the upstream direction and low latency, the time to solve your wireless issues is here.
Rampart is a tool that I got a great look at last year during Mobility Field Day 4. I was pleased to see how they were simplifying the troubleshooting and reporting on wireless networks. That same tool is the one that Metageek is giving away for free for 90 days to education users right now. Rampart can easily help you figure out what your Wi-Fi performance looks like and anything wrong that needs to be fixed. It can also give you daily updates on what is happening so that any new issues are immediately detected and can be resolved before they impact the learning of remote students.
Offering this tool to the group of people who need the most help to figure out their home Wi-Fi gap is a great move by Metageek. Teachers should be jumping on this opportunity to help diagnose the issues they see. School districts should also be racing to get the tool into their users’ hands to help make everything smoother as we look at what the first months of 2021 are going to bring. A 90-day trial is great to get things working now, but we all know that the changing landscape of wireless spectrum means things won’t look the same in April as they do now. Buying Rampart means you can see what’s in store for your network and adjust on the fly instead of hoping the changes you made two months ago are still keeping up with your users’ needs.
Bringing It All Together
Wireless isn’t easy. The people that use it wish it was. The user base for wireless is the kinds of people that want things to work. Since we can’t station a wireless engineer in every house in the country with a teacher trying to keep order in the classroom or teach our youth math and science and history, we need to do the next best thing. Thanks to Metageek, you can get the expertise of a wireless engineer for free for 90 days to help you figure out what you need to do to get right with your audience. It’s a great move at a time when it’s needed the most. I hope those people in education that take advantage of this offer see the value of Rampart and choose to continue to use it after the trial period. That’s how to keep people running and learning.