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How fixed wireless works

Information regarding the service we offer and how it compares to others.

Fixed Wireless Internet generally offers faster speeds and much lower latency than satellite. Older fixed wireless systems could only deliver 3-5 Mbps but rapidly advancing technology has allowed fixed wireless operators to deliver speeds of 25 or 50 Mbps on average. SWIFTech can deliver fixed wireless at up to 1,000 Mbps in some areas making it comparable to fiber internet!

Due to the short distance from the "Point of Presence", latency and jitter of fixed wireless remains close to that of direct fiber. Because of the distance to an internet satellite (roughly 22,000 miles to the satellite and another 22,000 back to the ground before connecting to the public internet), games, streaming, and VoIP can be next to impossible to use regardless of the "speed" of the connection.

Many years ago it was realized that internet speeds were growing at a much faster rate in cities than in rural communities. As streaming TV, remote medical monitoring, and cloud computing began to grow, many companies launched wireless networks to serve those areas being overlooked by cable and direct fiber customers. These first generation providers delivered services to a central location in a small town and broadcast wifi from a central location, usually a tower, to deliver up to 5M of internet to residential customers who previously could only receive dial-up.

As investment in these networks grew, significant advances were made in wireless equipment. The FCC saw this and opened up additional channels available for such deployments while equipment manufactures rapidly produced equipment that could take advantage of these channels. Additionally, the concept of broadcasting high-power signals from a single point changed to multiple broadcast sites at lower power to decrease the number of users on a site and increase bandwidth further.

At SWIFTech, we saw the advances coming down the road and decided to begin with this new model of delivery. This means that fewer people connect to the same site and with additional channels allows us to deliver speeds similar to cable but without the cost of stringing cable miles to a small town and then over telephone poles on every street to deliver service. This results in much higher speeds at a cost similar to cable, and less than it would cost to bring cable to that community.

We are currently able to deliver up to 500M to customers although doing so could create bottlenecks if provided to every customer just as the current offerings of cable companies has increased package speeds and created bottlenecks in such a way that most users are unable to receive the speeds sold to them except in the most ideal conditions. This problem has left most cable companies high on various "America's most disliked companies" lists. We do not want to be on that list so instead of selling packages that people can't actually receive except in the most ideal situations, we sell packages that we can deliver the stated rates 95% of the time.

A "bit" is a single unit of information expressed as a 1 or 0 in binary. A "byte" is a group of 8 bits operated as a unit. Data storage and computer memory are usually measured in MB (megabyte), GB (gigabyte), and even TB (terabyte). Transmision of data on a network is generally measured as Mbps (megabits per second).

There are many theories as to why bits are used in data transmission and bytes (8 bits = 1 byte) are used in storage. Most likely it's because in the early days of computing it simply made more sense to express data transission as bits because data transmission over a network has always been considerably less than computer storage. In the early days we had 1.54MB floppy disk storage at a time when internet was connected via dial-up modems with speeds measured in "baud" (bits per second) which was handled through the transmission of "tones per second" in touch-tone dialing.

Whatever the reason, the important thing to remember is that data communication over a network is generally measured in bits while storage is measured in bytes. Since a byte is 8 bits, it takes 8 seconds to transmit 1MB over a 1Mb connection (1 megabyte = 8 megabits). So when you have a 100MB file to upload on the internet and you have a 50Mb x 5Mb connection (5M being the upload speed), the time it takes to upload is not 20 seconds (100/5). It is 160 seconds (100/5 *8). This is assuming a perfect dedicated internet connection.

When on a shared network such as cable modem, redisential fiber, wireless, etc, these speeds can fluctuate during peak usage. This can impact the total time to upload or download data by as much as 20%. So on a shared network, be sure to keep this in mind.

Your router is an important factor when it comes to the ability to utilize internet in your home. How important, and how much of an impact it has depends on how you plan to utilize your services and how much area in your home needs to be covered by wireless.

With so many options available at so many price points it can be difficult and confusing to choose the correct router. For most homes however, as long as it’s new and from a regular retail store like Walmart or Best Buy, you shouldn’t have an issue. Any modern router should serve the average home user. Just try to avoid clearance, remanufactured and odd brands. Common brands are Netgear, TP-Link, D-Link, Belkin, ASUS, and LinkSys in no particular order.

Here are a couple guides to buying a router.

ttps://www.digitalcitizen.life/things-consider-when-buying-wireless-router https://bestreviews.com/best-wireless-routers

For most homes you can expect to spend between $45 and $65. Larger homes, homes with 2 or more floors to cover, and/or homes with specific needs such as VPNs to other networks, shared data storage, remote access, and gaming will require a little bit of investigation. Some can use a more powerful router with more memory and faster processing while others may be better served with "repeaters" which extend the range of the existing router.

If you are uncertain, feel free to contact us for additional guidance. Or choose our managed router service where we can dig in to your specific needs and provide management and monitoring of your router as well as provide a custom solution for your specific needs.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

This is a term you may have heard but there are no fixed terms or clear definitions. In short, it's about the various devices other thna computers that can be connected to your home via private networks and the public internet. Amazon Alexa, Roku and other TV streaming devices, Nest thermostats, door lock, lighting controls, outlest, and much more can be integrated into a home in such a way that you can control various devices in many ways.

For example, in my home, I have multiple light switches, a disco ball, outlets, front door lock, Alexa, and Roku integrated a number of ways that can allow control of many devices both in the home and from anywhere on the internet. Here are a few examples of what I can do in my home using Alexa, although it can be done with fire-sticks, Google home, and a few other options available as well.

  • I can ask Alexa to make my basement light any color and any brightness by simply saying "Alexa, basement light blue, 50%" and it changes the color to blue and dims it to 50%.
  • I can say "Alexa, turn the thermostat up to 74 degrees for 4 hours" and my Nest thermostat will make the adjustment.
  • I can even say, "Alexa, turn on TV1 and play 13 Reasons Why on Netflix" and it will turn the TV on, launch Netflix, and start the program where I left off. I can also have her adjust the volume, pause, play, and fast forward without using the remote.
  • I can even say "Alexa, start security monitor" and leave the home while Alexa listens for sounds, and if sounds in the home are heard, Alexa will send me a text message letting me know.
  • I can ask Alexa to connect to bluetooth on my phone and play music from my phone to Alexa, and I can also simultaneously ask Alexa to connect to my bluetooth on my home sound system and play music from my phone to the sound system without ever tapping anything on my phone screen or grabbing the remote to turn bluetooth on my sound system.
  • I can even make calls with Alexa since I integrated my cell phone. A simple "Alexa, call Dennis" does the trick.

Additionally, some actions can be combined. "Alexa, start "movie time" and play Iron Man 2 from Plex" will dim the lights, turn on TV1, turn on surround sound, launch the plex app, and start Iron Man 2. All without touching a remote control. Or say "Alexa, play disco night" and she will dim the lights, turn on the disco ball, and begin playing a playlist of disco music. (Not that I'm into disco - it was just a fun experiment.)

In addition, I can add calendar events to my calendar, set reminders, cooking times, and much more.

The efficiency and managability is amazing. No need to hunt down and pick up multiple remotes. But getting it setup can be difficult and you have to remeber the programmed phrases needed to do these things. Fortunately we can help. If interested, please contact us for a custom quote. Provide as much detail as you can regarding what you want to accomplish. We will contact you with any detailed questions and provide a quote for you.

We do much more than provide internet service.

We can provide managed routers that we can remotely monitor and make changes in remotely.

We can provide you with VPN access into your network from the outside or securing your connection and providing privacy.

We can provide offsite backup of your machines and keep backups of your router configurations.

We can provide offsite cloud data centers.

We can provide automated failover internet to 4G if our primary connection is cut somehow.

We can provide Voice Lines over IP, allowing a land-line at a much lower cost than a traditional phone line.

We can provide managed firewalls of various kinds depending on your needs to provide network protection from viruses and trojans.

We can provide content control to block access to websites in certain categories of information such as adult, gambling, social media, etc.

We can provide assistance in setting up Iot/Smarthome devices.

We can service and repair computer equipment.

And much more! If there is anything you need to enhance your services, please contact us!

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