Wireless FAQ

How does it work?

Broadband, or wireless, are the latest buzz words in the Internet field. This technology uses radios to send packetized data between the distribution point and a client system. The frequency range has been reserved by the FCC for fixed wireless broadband service. A few years ago, Apple and several other large corporations requested that the FCC allow the development of wireless networks within this frequency range. What we have today is a protocol and system that allows for unlicensed use of radios within a prescribed power level.

The client radio is connected to a standard Ethernet card installed in the client computer. This allows a standard existing Ethernet system to to interface with wireless without special modifications.

You connect your computer to the radio unit using a standard Ethernet cable that runs between the radio and the Ethernet card of your computer. This cable can be up to several hundred feet long, allowing the radio and antenna to be in one place and the computer to be where you want it.

The radio unit is about 12 inches long by about 3 inches wide by about an inch thick. Sometimes a focusing dish resembling a DirecTV unit can be used to get a better signal.

The radio is programmed by the ISP and is not programmable by the end user without the proprietary configuration cable. This helps to ensure the security of the Wireless network. When the equipment is installed and configured, your computer is connected to the Internet immediately upon start up. Since there is no need to "dial in," you eliminate the inconvenience of tying up your telephone line or purchasing a second line specifically for Internet connection. You can, however, keep your dial-up configuration to use in the rare event that your wireless connection does not function.

The main limitation is that the client antenna must be within "line of sight" to the serving tower. However, with 6 towers already in place and 8-10 being added to the network in the near future, wireless Internet access is widely available to Kane County and surrounding areas. Be sure to fill out our form to schedule a free site survey to determine whether you can receive wireless service.

What type of equipment do I need?
You must have a network capable computer with a free ISA, PCI expansion slot or a Network Interface Card.

How close must I be to the tower?
Proximity to the towers is not measured by distance, but rather by "line of sight." Unfortunately, there will be places that will be impossible to service with wireless. Being in a low spot will not help, unless of course you're right next to the hill where a broadcast point is. We have made a commitment to take the wireless service wherever there is enough demand to justify the expense of creating a relay point.

Is it secure?
This is Proprietary Motorola Wireless Technology. Since this is a proprietary product, the signal cannot be accessed directly in transmission through the air. Additionally, we can provide a firewall router for your business computers to protect your network from intrusion.

Is it reliable?
This equipment is very reliable. Your connection won't be affected by broken poles, car crashes, floods, or utility workers. This wireless networking equipment was developed and used as a low power, high security, ultra high frequency military communications system, that has been commercialized and legalized by Silicon Valley companies.

How does it compare to DSL and cable?
Wireless is faster than cable access, capable of full T1 speeds in both directions. It is easier to upgrade and has far fewer potential points of failure. It is also available in many places where digital cable hasn't been installed. DSL is limited to the copper plant in use by the telephone company and is not currently available in most of rural North Carolina. Even when DSL does arrive, it will only extend 18,000 feet from the telephone central office.

Will this work with Palm units?
Yes, if you have an internal wireless network set up.

Can I see a demo before I sign up?
Absolutely! We have set up a computer in our front office specifically for the purpose of demonstrating wireless access for potential customers. We encourage you to call to make an appointment to stop by our offices at 1444 N. Farnsworth Ave, Ste 304 in Aurora IL between the hours of 9 and 5.