Meet the team: Paul Routledge

paulThe first in our new blog series, we introduce you to the UK and Ireland Country Manager – Paul Routledge. He gives us an all access pass into his favourite past-times, work and family life.

Be sure to stay posted as we get to know the rest of the links that make up D-Link!

Tell us a little bit about your role at D-Link and what your day to day responsibilities look like?

I have been at D-Link for nearly seven years now, which is longer than some governments hang on to power!. My main responsibility is leading a team of professionals to develop the business in the UK and Ireland. This covers both consumer and business channels so, as you can imagine, this role comes with a wide range of responsibilities. On the consumer side we work with customers like Amazon and Ebuyer to supply consumer technology including smart home solutions. On the business side, we work with established System Integrators who integrate our enterprise solutions including Wave 2 WiFi, Fully Managed 52 port switches with Power over Ethernet and IP Surveillance Surveillance range.

Aside from customer facing activities I am privileged to lead the UKI team and focus on developing this talented team of individuals to create a sustainable and profitable business.

 

What is your proudest – none work/academic related- achievement?

Without a doubt the proudest moment of my life is that Jenny, my wife, actually agreed to marry me and have kids with me. I’m still amazed now. It amazes me every day.

 

If you were a chocolate bar which one would you be and why?

A bounty. For a few reasons, firstly, like myself, it’s no nonsense. It’s exactly as you’d expect when you see the wrapper. It’s not too sweet but is full of energy. Finally, it comes as two separate bars so you can have some now and some later when you need it. I identify with that as it’s very practical!

 

If you could create a new technological device that could do anything what would it be and why?

A teleportation device so I could wake up at home, have breakfast with the family and then beam to work and back again. I commute from Yorkshire to London so it would save me a lot of time and frustrations stuck on the M1 or on delayed trains.

 

What would be the soundtrack to your life?

I think it’s hard to pin point one soundtrack as I think it changes as you go through life. At the moment, for example, Dominic the Donkey, mixed with the Minecraft theme tune and the sound of my youngest asking me what my favourite super hero is comes to mind. A sort of remix if you like. In all seriousness, when I need to get my head in the game I usually listen to an album called Nightbook by Ludovico Einaudi, so if I had to pick it would be that.

 

If you had to trade places/ positions with someone in the office for a day who would it be and why? 

It would be our Technical Sales specialist, Sam who we are training to be a technical Account Manager. Part of his time is spent selling but he is also very hands of with the technology. He is also at a point in his career where everything is new and exciting.

 

Where is your favourite place in the world to visit?

In general, I just like being outside, from being in the mountains to being on the moors near home or even on the islands in Scotland. Anywhere that has a lot of space really.

 

Do you have any hobbies?

I like to keep fit, running, walking, cycling. I’m not passionate about any particular sport but like I said I just enjoy being outside and to keep myself fit so I can spend as much time with my family as possible.

 

If you could go back and give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?

Chill out, enjoy life, it will be right! Mainly, it will be right. That has been a phrase I’ve held on to throughout my life. Even when the kids arrived as these little ‘things’ that we were so scared of, it was always the voice in the back of my mind that kept me going. And I was true – it is right and they are brilliant.

D-Link – pre-Christmas story on the limits of ISP bundled routers

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Treat the family to a superfast new router for a better connected Christmas

With Christmas fast-approaching and the prospect of the entire family at home for the holidays, it’s time to plan ahead to make sure everybody’s shiny new digital toys, tablets and streaming services work without a glitch: fast, secure and reliable Wi-Fi.

After all, a spare bag-full of AA batteries is no longer necessary to ensure everybody’s Christmas fun and entertainment lasts until the shops open again, although it’s still worth making sure those essentials are on your ‘list’, just in case!

Nowadays, it’s far more important to have a steady and dependable high speed internet connection, what with the kids, Granny and extended family all demanding your Wi-Fi password to enjoy their extended Yuletide break.

Thankfully, there are a few useful tips and tricks to ensure you get the best out of your home Wi-Fi connection. By far the most important is to invest in a router that is capable of supporting your household’s festive needs.

Why you should really invest in a quality router

Christmas 2016 is sure to put more data demand on the networks than ever before, as many of us eagerly hook up our new tablets, games consoles and smartphones and start to download loads of news games, apps and stream more TV, movies and music than at any other point in the year.

To cope with this, you can, of course, always upgrade your broadband package with your internet service provider (ISP) to buy more bandwidth. However, if you are still using that router you got bundled with your service provider a few years back, you may be disappointed. Your family is likely to have been out growing the router as you have added devices and services. Each device the router connects to shares its resources, so just buying more bandwidth from the ISP is not going to help eliminate Christmas day Wi-Fi bottlenecks as much as investing in a router upgrade will.

Also, remember that with the latest dual-, and even tri-band, routers there is a real difference in speeds between the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wireless bands. Many older and lower-end devices will only use the slower 2.4Ghz band, while most new laptops, smartphones and tablets will link to the 5Ghz band (wherever available) as it is far less congested and can transmit much greater volumes of data.

Temperamental Christmas lights were once a well-known Christmas pain, long lasting LED lights have made that better but if your family and guests are stuck on the 2.4Ghz band, lights can offer their own problems. However, they are not going to bother anyone wanting to maximise their holiday season entertainment if your router supports the latest Wireless AC technology, delivering them fast and speedy Wi-Fi on the 5GHz spectrum.

Why? Fairy lights actually generate an electromagnetic field that can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal, particularly when they are flashing, strangely enough! With the right lights, the effect of this might well be negligible, but it’s still definitely worth keeping your router away from traditional Christmas lights, LED fairy lights, microwaves and cordless phones, just to get the best performance.

Finally, in terms of achieving the best ‘Wi-Fi Feng-Shui’ and positioning your router in the optimal location within your home, you need to make sure your signal reaches as far as possible, by using common sense, such as placing your router in the most open area available space in the living space . After all, closed doors (really!) and thick brick walls are not going to help with your home wireless network.

Feeding Data-hungry Christmas Connections

All of which is yet another good reason to invest in a decent home Wi-Fi router. The more data-hungry devices you connect to your router, the more work that router has to do to distribute data speedily and efficiently to each and every one of your family and Christmas guests around the house.

The fact of the matter is that you probably have enough bandwidth from your ISP to serve your family and Christmas guests, but you may not have a powerful and efficient enough router to make sure they all get the data they want. It’s kind of like having a big enough turkey to feed everybody, but nobody to serve it!

Additionally, the networks are all sure to experience a surge in demand for capacity again this year. ISPs have been annually reporting that the evening of Christmas Day is the time of peak demand. So doing all you can within the home to boost your Wi-Fi network speed, reach and efficiency is extra important at this time of year if you don’t want your Internet to slow or drop out!

Finally, once you’ve decided to invest in a decent router, there are a few extra tips that we would give you to help you choose the right Wi-Fi router that can cope with the extra demand from your family and friends…

Best Wi-Fi router buying tips

  1. If you are looking for something that can provide extra punch, look out for a router that support SmartBeam technology where the Wi-Fi signal is automatically focused at connected devices to give better reception and performance
  2. To get the most out of dual-band connectivity, pick a router that can automatically connect devices that support the 5GHz band to the 5 GHz Wi-Fi. You then don’t have to worry about which band to connect to on individual devices
  3. Look out for routers that can provide guest Wi-Fi access, so that guests can connect to the Internet without having access to your personal network and files
  4. Make sure your router is kept up-to-date with the latest firmware, as this may offer performance tweaks as well as new functions
  5. Ensure the router is positioned to most effectively distribute your Wi-Fi signal around the house, i.e. as centrally as possible within your home, away from thick walls and metal objects such as TVs and definitely not on the floor.

Gadgets, gadgets everywhere

There seems to be no end to the list of new devices being released at the moment. Apple’s latest iPhone has just hit the stores and promises to be the company’s best-selling handset yet. This also follows hot on the heels of the launch of the Amazon Kindle HD earlier in the month and the Google’s Nexus 7 tablet before that. However, one thing that doesn’t get a lot of attention but might ruin your enjoyment of these must-have gadgets is if your Wi-Fi coverage at home isn’t strong enough for you to properly enjoy their multimedia capabilities.

As these gadgets don’t come equipped with Ethernet ports (which you have to admit would look quite ugly), you can’t just plug in a cable if your Wi-Fi isn’t up to scratch. So if you are going to invest in the latest devices it is also worth considering investing in the latest home networking equipment, particularly with the growth of HD video. Routers which utilise the latest beam-forming technology are ideally suited for those homes with a number of wirelessly-enabled devices as it can significantly improve wireless range and performance.

Now more than ever wireless internet access is becoming integral to people’s lives both at work and at home. As more and more of these new gadgets dominate our lives it is essential that home networks deliver a great user experience, otherwise the next-generation of tablet devices risk being glorified coffee trays.