Wireless Internet FAQs

1. What is Wireless Internet?

The Wireless Internet we offer at Hamilton County Communications, Inc. consists of the placement of a radio antenna on the outside of your home pointed back to a tower with an internet connection delivered across a localized wireless signal. We run an Ethernet cable from your outside antenna into your home that plugs into a POE (power over Ethernet box). The POE plugs into your computer or wireless router. No telephone line is required for this internet connection and this signal is from technology on a nearby tower, not from a satellite.

2. How do I configure the settings for Wireless internet onto my new computer?

  1. Click Start, then click Control Panel, then click Network or Network Connections, then click Local Area Connection, then click Properties (For Windows 2000/XP, click Start, then click Settings, then click Network & Dial-Up Connections, then click Local Area Connection, then click Properties.)
  2. Double-click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).
  3. Click Obtain an IP Address Automatically.
  4. Click Obtain a DNS Server Address Automatically.
  5. Click OK.

*NOTE: If this is a different computer, you will need to notify our office of the assigned MAC address (to identify your MAC address, see #12, second bullet point). We use this MAC address to assign the public IP to. Therefore, if you replace or add a computer or router, you will not be able to access the internet until we have this information in our system.

3. What do I do when my internet browser says "Page Cannot be Displayed"?

First, try clicking on the refresh icon on your computer screen. This is typically located to the right of your web address browser bar.

If your web page still does not display, try properly rebooting your entire system (see #5).

4. What do I do if I cannot connect to my Wireless Internet Connection?

First, reboot your system properly (see #5).

Second, call our 24/7 toll-free technical support hotline at 1-877-465-1721.

Third, call our office to report the outage.

We can send a technician to check our equipment. Charges may apply if the connection failure is due to something beyond equipment failure.

5. How do I reboot my Wireless system properly?

  1. Shut down your computer(s) by clicking on Start and Shutdown (for Windows-based computers).
  2. Turn the power off to your wireless router (if applicable) or you can unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet.
  3. Locate your POE (Power Over Ethernet) box and unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet.
    Wait 30 seconds before moving on to the next step.
  4. Plug in the power cord that connects to the POE.
    Wait 30 seconds before moving on to the next step.
  5. Restore power to the wireless router (if applicable) or plug in the power cord to the router.
    Wait 30 seconds before moving on to the next step.
  6. Restart the computer(s).

6. What does Kbps and Mbps mean?

Kbps and Mbps are measures of speed and measure how fast data is sent to or received from the Internet.

  • Kbps: Kilobits per second (1,000 bits per second)
  • Mbps: Megabits per second (1,000,000 bits per second)

Any data that is sent or received in a digital format, such as email or web pages, has a specific size measured in bits. The larger the piece of data, the more bits it comprises. Every connection to the Internet is capable of moving a specified amount of data in a specified time frame. For example, a 768 Kbps DSL connection is capable of transmitting 768,000 bits per second.

7. What is my bandwidth or download speed?

Bandwidth is the rate of data transfer measured in bits per second (bps). To test your download speed, visit www.speedtest.net.

8. What is the connection speed that appears on my taskbar?

You may see a speed of 100 Mbps show up on your task bar (lower left corner of your computer screen). Typically 1000 Mbps is what you will see, but this speed can vary from 10 Mbps to 1000 Mbps, depending on your computer and the equipment it is connected to.

Do not confuse this speed with your Internet Providers speed. This speed only signifies the capability of your Network Interface Card (NIC/Ethernet Card) in your machine and the next piece of equipment it is connected to, such as the DSL modem or wireless router.

9. What factors attribute to my overall download speed?

Internet Traffic can be a factor in the speed of your download. Internet traffic is the amount of people currently surfing the internet and when the traffic high.

Types of downloads can also be a factor. Peer to peer sharing and update programs are some of the bandwidth hogs that can be running in the background unaware to us as we browse, such as downloading from I-Tunes and YouTube.

Website graphics and specifications can also determine how fast you can download that particular site. Also popular sites with heavy traffic can also determine slower download speeds for that particular site.

10. Do I need a Firewall / Anti-Virus program?

Yes. With all the access on the internet today, we highly recommend you have a good, quality firewall/virus program installed on each of your computers. There are many good programs out there that offer different levels of protection based on your needs. We offer SecureIT Plus for $5.95/month per computer. For more information, call our office at 618-736-2242.

11. How do I setup my wireless router for Wireless Internet?

With a wireless router network, your information is traveling through the airwaves, not physical wires, so anyone within range can “listen in” on your network. There are three essential security measures you should take to secure your wireless network.

  • Change the factory-set default password. You will be asked for a password when you want to change their settings. (The Linksys by Cisco default password is admin). Hackers know these defaults and will try them to access your wireless device and change your network settings. To thwart any unauthorized changes, change the password so it will be hard to guess.
  • Change the factory-set default SSID (Service Set Identifier or the name of your wireless network). Linksys by Cisco default SSID is linksys. Change your network’s SSID to something unique, and make sure it doesn’t refer to the networking products you use. As an added precaution, be sure to change the SSID on a regular basis, so any hacker who may have figured out your network’s SSID in the past will have to figure out the SSID again and again. This will deter future intrusion attempts.
  • Enable WPA Encryption which allows protection for data that is transmitted over a wireless network. Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Areas (WPA) offer different levels of security for wireless communication. WPA is considered to be more secure than WEP, because it uses dynamic key encryption. To protect the information as it passes over the airwaves, you should enable the highest level of encryption that is supported by your network equipment.

12. What do I do if I want to replace or add a wireless router or computer?

Call our office to let us know. We will need the MAC address from your computer or router. The MAC address is the six byte long hardware address that uniquely identifies a node in the network.

You can find your MAC address by doing the following:

  1. Click the Windows Start button.
  2. Click Run
  3. Type “cmd” (without quotes) and press Enter.
  4. At the command prompt, type “ipconfig/all” without quotes.

Alternatively, if using Windows XP, you can use the command “getmac“.

Your MAC address is listed under “Physical Address” as a series of six groups of two digits, letters and numbers, separated by dashes. Make sure you get the physical address of the correct network adapter–as there are usually several listed.