Wireless Broadband Customer FAQ
- What is wireless internet service?
- Is this wireless connection different from my cell phone or the wireless modem in my laptop?
- What's the difference between a wireless connection, and a DSL or ISDN connection?
- What is throughput and how is it different from bandwidth?
- How do I know if I'm located within your service area?
- Why should I use your wireless service and not someone else's?
- How much will the service cost?
- Can wireless Internet service be installed on my laptop?
- If I currently have an Internet service provider should I cancel my account once wireless Internet service is installed?
- Can I still keep my current e-mail address?
- Can I still use my dialup modem to dialup AOL, even though I have a wireless NIC card on my PC?
- Can I still get to AOL and use their chat rooms, instant messenger, and travel services?
- Do I get anything besides email with my wireless connection?
- Do I still need to tie up a phone line?
- Can I connect more than one computer to the service?
- How many computers can use the system at the same location?
- What kind of equipment comes with the service?
- What kind of equipment do I need on my computer?
- What kind of equipment do I need besides my computer?
- How much does the equipment cost?
- Can I move it myself if I need to rearrange my office, or if I need to move my office to a new building?
- Do I need a firewall?
- Do I need anti-virus software?
- How long will it take to install the service?
- Can I install the service myself?
- Will installation include configuring the wireless device? My computer? My LAN?
- What if there's a problem with the service after it's been installed?
- Lightning and power outages during thunderstorms are common where I live. How will this affect the service?
- What kinds of things might interfere with my wireless service?
- Do I need to tell my landlord that I'm getting this service?
- How much electrical power do I need?
- Is fixed base wireless secure?
1. What is wireless internet service?
When you send or receive information (data) online, it's transmitted digitally from your computer's Ethernet network interface card (NIC) to the wireless transceiver connected to your computer or LAN. The signals travel through the radio to the antenna we install at your home or office. Our antenna towers, located throughout our service area, instantly and directly transmit the data to the Internet and back to your computer again.
2. Is this wireless connection different from my cell phone or the wireless modem in my laptop?
- 2.4-2.483GHz ISM (industrial, science, medical) WLAN band
Frequency hopping (vs. direct sequence DHSS)
- Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum transmission (DSSS)
- Unlicensed radio frequency band
- Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
- Speeds 512k to 2.53 Mbps MIR
- Full duplex
- Conforms to IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standard
- CSMA/CA protocol (carrier sense multiple access/collision avoidance)
- Speeds 384Kbps
- Speeds 9 - 14k
- Wireless laptop Speeds 128 - 350k
- 2.8GHz ISM band, 700 mhz, 900 mhz, and others
- 2.4Ghz band
- Wireless LAN 2.4Ghz band
3. What's the difference between a wireless connection, and a DSL or ISDN connection?
The most important difference is that we offer and guarantee your high-speed Internet access all the time at a price that is affordable. Most other services do not. In fact, it's right there in our contract agreement. While DSL (digital subscriber lines) and ISDN (integrated services digital network) connections transmit information over telephone lines at rates ranging from 32 Kbps, 128 Kbps, and much faster, these speeds are not provided to customers 24 hours a day. There are many issues that arise when using old network infrastructure that was not designed to offer high speed data communication or bandwidth. The DSL or ISDN connections can be more costly as well. With zNET, you get exactly what you pay for each and every month. DSL and ISDN installations can take 4-6 weeks or longer. zNET wireless service on average can be turned up in as little as 48 hours. zNET wireless is scalable. Additionally, you no longer are at the mercy of the local telephone company, PacBell. You can start out with 256k, 512k, and pay only for that much bandwidth. When your needs grow, you can increase your bandwidth upon request, immediately, up to 2.5 3Mbps! Wireless installs quickly, upgrades quickly, gives you a CIR and MIR, at a very competitive price.
4. What is throughput and how is it different from bandwidth?
Throughput and bandwidth are interchangeable terms. The internet community has embraced the term bandwidth to denote throughput. Depending on the service you request, zNET can deliver 512k to 2.5 Mbps of throughput/bandwidth.
5. How do I know if I'm located within your service area?
Send us your address and we will respond within 48 hours.
6. Why should I use your wireless service and not someone else's?
The zNET-SkyRiver Team has been formed to deliver reliable and competitively priced broadband access to its customers. With over 50 years of combined wireless and internet broadband service, the zNET-SkyRiver team is well positioned to offer the highest degree of service at a competitive price.
7. How much will the service cost?
zNET fixed base wireless service is extremely competitively priced against DSL and hardwired T-1 connections. Click here for pricing.
8. Can wireless Internet service be installed on my laptop?
Yes. but only as long as the laptop is used in one place. This is a dedicated, point-to-point connection. It's not like Ricochet, which was a mobile wireless connection. In today's fast-moving world your work has to be able to travel with you. As long as you are within our service area, we can set up our high-speed wireless Internet service on laptops.
9. If I currently have an Internet service provider should I cancel my account once wireless Internet service is installed?
Yes. We provide our customers with access to the Internet as well as e-mail and web services. But if you'd like to maintain a separate Internet service provider account -- with AOL for example -- you can still do this as well.
10. Can I still keep my current e-mail address?
11. Can I still use my dialup modem to dialup AOL, even though I have a wireless NIC card on my PC?
12. Can I still get to AOL and use their chat rooms, instant messenger, and travel services?
With zNET you can get into everything on AOL except their premier services which they charge extra for. Those services require AOL membership, and include·... You will still be able to use AIM, ICQ, IM, chat rooms, and more as a zNET customer.
13. Do I get anything besides email with my wireless connection?
Yes. 10 POP mail accounts, 1 Domain Name (not including Network Solutions registration fee), 8 IP addresses (5 usable) or NAT, access to 30,000+ fast, stable newsgroups, priority tech support, guaranteed bandwidth and uptime.
14. Do I still need to tie up a phone line?
No. With zNET wireless, the radio transceiver and the antenna will replace the need for an additional dedicated phone line.
15. Can I connect more than one computer to the service?
You can connect more than one computer to your zNET wireless connection by connecting the wireless transceiver to your LAN through your Ehernet network. Your zNET Wireless service incluves IP addressing via NAT, which allows you to create private IP addresses for the computers on your network. If you will have 5 or fewer workstations on your network, then zNET will assign 8 public IP addresses (5 usable) and you can choose not to use NAT .
16. How many computers can use the system at the same location?
One of the biggest advantages with zNET wireless is that everybody in your office can have continuous, simultaneous access to the Internet and their e-mail accounts. The only limits on the number of computers that can use your zNET wireless connection is the number of IP addresses you have and how much throughput you purchase. If your business is doing email only (no large file transfers, no web browsing), you could probably comfortably have about 1,000 people using your 1 Mbps connection. If you're doing large file transfers or streaming video, then you might comfortably have 20 users on your 1 Mbps connection. You also need to have enough IP addresses to support the devices on your network.
17. What kind of equipment comes with the service?
Depending on your distance from the Access Point, you will either have a small window-mounted transceiver, or a rooftop transceiver.
18. What kind of equipment do I need on my computer?
You'll need to have an available slot for an Ethernet card (NIC) on your desktop computer (if you're only using the one computer on your zNET Wireless connection), or an available port on your Ethernet hub (or switch or router) on your LAN if you're putting your network on the zNET Wireless connection. Generally if your computer supports an Ethernet card, it will also support the wireless internet access. Very old computers might not be able to take advantage of the high throughput, because of their processor speeds, etc. Operating systems that we support include Windows 95/98/ME/NT 4.0/2000, and Mac OS 7.6 or higher.
19. What kind of equipment do I need besides my computer?
If you are on a LAN, you need an empty port on an Ethernet Hub on your LAN (with an available RJ45 Ethernet jack on the wall near the zNET Wireless transceiver) or an available port on your router, bridge or switch if you have one. You need an Ethernet cross-over cable to connect your computer to the zNET Wireless transceiver (if you are only connecting the one computer). If you are connecting the transceiver to your LAN, please see your Network Administrator to find out what type of cabling you will need to connect to your bridge, router, switch or hub. You do not need a csu/dsu specifically for the zNET wireless transceiver.
20. How much does the equipment cost?
The wireless transceiver/antenna is included free with the zNET Wireless service (with a $100 CPE deposit) through 12/31/01. You may need to buy cables or NAT hardware: check with your Network Administrator in your office.
21. Can I move it myself if I need to rearrange my office, or if I need to move my office to a new building?
No. Please contact zNET to move it. The transceivers operate on a line of sight basis, and our installers have special equipment to get the transceiver lined up correctly. Call zNET and we will reposition it for you..
22. Do I need a firewall?
It's up to you. You will be on your own private network, and don't technically need a firewall. You may want one. zNET recommends a firewall for any computer that is on the public Internet.
23. Do I need anti-virus software?
It's up to you.
24. How long will it take to install the service?
We make the installation easy, and we provide the wireless transceiver (radio/router) and antenna. The installation is complete within a matter of hours. No digging, no bulky equipment, no waiting for the phone company to install another line. Connect your PC or LAN to the transceiver. Turn on your computer, launch your Web browser, and you're connected! Installation is typically completed within 2 days (48 hours!) of your address being pre-qualified. Address pre-qualification can take up to 48 hours from receipt of your request.
25. Can I install the service myself?
Not at this time. We are working on a self install solution.
The window-mounted and roof-mounted transceivers must be precisely positioned to make a line of sight connection. Our professionally trained installation team will find the best location for your antenna connection.
26. Will installation include configuring the wireless device? My computer? My LAN?
Installation includes configuring the wireless transceiver. zNET will provide you with the DNS, IP address, server information, along with configuration instructions, for your desktop computer(s). In most cases, customers configure those devices themselves. If your situation is a special case, we have network consultants to whom we can refer you.
27. What if there's a problem with the service after it's been installed?
We stand behind our equipment and services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If within 30 days there's an equipment or installation-related problem, we'll disconnect the service at your request and return your installation fee and your CPE deposit (upon return of the wireless transceiver/antenna in good condition).
28. Lightning and power outages during thunderstorms are common where I live. How will this affect the service?
It won't. Our main antenna sites are protected from power outages by an uninterruptable power supply (UPS). We also pay special attention to proper grounding and lightning protection for all outside antenna installations. Inside antenna installations are shielded from lightning by the surrounding building.
29. What kinds of things might interfere with my wireless service?
Weather and fog will not interfere. Other wireless devices may interfere. If you are on a LAN, and have wireless phones or a wireless LAN and those devices are Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (rather than Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum), they may interfere. However, in most cases, selecting a different DSSS frequency will cure the problem.
30. Do I need to tell my landlord that I'm getting this service?
Review your lease agreement to understand your specific responsibilities at your property. As a general rule, if it's a roof-mounted transceiver, you need to tell your landlord. For the window-mounted antenna, as a general rule you do not, unless your lease specifically directs you to. Review your lease language to be sure.
31. How much electrical power do I need?
You need a 110v wall outlet to plug into.