This week we’re improving our work-from-home setups with help from Gizmodo’s own tech whiz Alex Cranz and Earther’s managing editor Brian Kahn. Listen to hear their tips on how to improve your internet connection (beyond just power-cycling it), what to use to make your space greener and more comfortable, and how to actually drown out all that dang neighborhood noise.
Alex and Brian are also hosts of Gizmodo’s new podcast, System Reboot, which dives into the systems that are failing us—from the food supply chain to our crappy internet—and explores realistic opportunities to create something better.
Listen to The Upgrade above or find us in all the usual places podcasts are served, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and NPR One.
Highlights from this week’s episode
From Alex Cranz:
On what to do before calling to complain to your ISP:
[O]ne of the best things that I learned to do was get familiar with what good Internet looks like in my home. So, like on your cable, a lot of people have cable modems and you can actually plug into your cable modem and see what your signal levels are. So whenever I have really bad Internet, I can go on there, look at my my my signal levels. And then when I call Charter to yell at them [since] I have more information.
On why it’s important to invest in a good-quality router:
I think the technology is changing so, so rapidly and improving exponentially that it just makes sense to kind of keep up to date with that stuff and invest wisely when you do get a new router. Read Gizmodo dot com. We have some great reviews. [I]nvest in it the same way you would a fridge. This is something that you’re using constantly. Don’t cheap out on it and buy the hundred-dollar one to like power the internet for your 1000 square foot home or whatever.
From Brian Kahn:
On the benefits of greening-up your space:
[S]cience indicates that plants do not necessarily clean up the indoor air quality that much, but, you know, greenery, open spaces, being outside. I mean, these are things that have been shown have clinical like have actual mental health benefits. And so being outside, especially during the workday, not to say it’s super easy, but if you bring a little bit the outside in, perhaps getting some plants…that is actually really good for your mental health.
To hear more of Alex and Brian’s home office upgrades, we recommend checking out the full episode. We also recommend checking out their new podcast, System Reboot!
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