PROTECT YOUR FAMILY BY SECURING YOUR HOME WIFI NETWORK.

A WIRELESS ROUTER IS AN OPEN DOOR TO YOUR HOME. PROTECT YOUR FAMILY BY SECURING YOUR HOME WIFI. 

Most people use a wireless router so they can use their handheld devices.  Wireless routers are great, but there are some very important reasons they need to be locked down with strong passwords:

  • An open WiFi router or sharing your router password allows others to do illegal things that will be traced with you. Direct Communications cooperates with law enforcement authorities to track down internet sexual predators and other criminals.  If the predator is parked near your house using your WiFi signal from their car, it appears to us to be coming from inside your home.  What will happen is that the authorities may kick down your front door and arrest somebody in your family for illegal activity like child pornography. (This has really happened to otherwise innocent people who let strangers use their WiFi.)
  • Outsiders can use your WiFi to attack others or to hack into other’s computers and accounts. With a strong antenna they can be a half mile away and still use your WiFi.  Again, the activity will register as happening inside your home.
  • A sophisticated hacker can take over your computers in your home and make them repositories and servers for child porn, stolen credit card numbers or any of a plethora of illegal information. You would not even know it was happening in many cases.
  • An open router allows outsiders to actually see what web pages and other content that you are looking at.
  • Allowing a friend or neighbor to use your WiFi connection and your internet account is a crime called “Theft of Service”. You are collaborating in this theft and jeopardizing your own service as well.

We can help you protect and secure your home network.  Call Direct Communications at 801 789 4999 and ask for tech support.  Our technicians can help you to lock down your WiFi router with a strong password so that you are safe

How do I get the full speed I’m paying for?

Only Directcom, because our network is 100% Fiber Optic Cable, with no wireless links between you and the cloud, can deliver the entire bandwidth to which you subscribe to the fiber network terminal or router in your home. If you are subscribing to 250 Mbps download, we  deliver a full 250 Mbps to your home. If you are on fiber and aren’t seeing the full advertised speed when you do a speed test on your PC or other device, 99% of the time the bottleneck will be in consumer-grade WiFi equipment inside your home network (like your wireless router) or limitations in the WiFi radio capabilities in your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or TV. (Most consumer-grade g/n wireless routers will only practically deliver around 30Mbps to a smart device via wireless even in the best of conditions.) Thus, a properly -wired home network is essential to maximize all of the advantages of our unique, better and special, state-of-the-art fiber to the home service. (Scroll down for MINIMUM IP NETWORK CABLING REQUIREMENTS.)

#1 Tip: Hard wire everything with Ethernet cable.
#2 Tip: Upgrade your router.

Most g/n wireless routers will only practically deliver around 30mbs to a smart device via wireless. In order to hit your full available new speed, you might need a new a/c router, and definitely hard wire (with Ethernet cable) from your router to your PC, Smart TV, or Media Player to take full advantage of your speeds. The airwaves are very congested in all modern homes, especially in young, vibrant, tech-savvy communities like Eagle Mountain, where everyone has a router broadcasting to multiple devices, and WiFi is simply not going to deliver the full 150 Mbps you are paying for. Hard wire. Hard wire. Hard wire. Call us if you need help hard-wiring.

As all communication moves to IP technology, it’s more important than ever
to make sure the wiring and connections in modern homes are capable of
delivering enough bandwidth to support future internet applications, including
communications, entertainment, and smart-home security, automation, and
control services.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that homes are going wireless. Even the best wireless
systems simply don’t have the bandwidth or reach of a “hard” wire—wireless has
bandwidth limits even in a perfect situation, and traveling through walls drastically
reduces any wireless capabilities. Wireless signals also suffer from interference from
other wireless networks, phones, appliances, radios and electronic devices. A wired
connection is always more reliable and consistent. Cat5e cable can handle up to
1 Gigabit per second speeds, and Cat6 will feed up to 10 Gigabits per second. Our
customers already know that any devices that stream HD video need to be hard
wired to their home router to work properly. HD video is just the start of cloud-based entertainment—within a just couple of
years the data requirements of video will quadruple, once Ultra HD, which has four times the resolution of 1080p HD, becomes the new common video standard.

A properly -wired home network is essential to maximize all of the advantages of our unique, better and special, state-of-the-art
fiber to the home service here in Eagle Mountain. Fiber to the home will increase the value of any home by as much as $5,000, according to the Fiber-to-the-Home Council.* Our investment in constructing fiber to the homes in Eagle Mountain means more money in your pocket. More importantly, fiber to a home means a higher quality of life for homeowners in this digital information age, where so much of what we do to enrich our lives has moved online. More internet speed simply means more fun.

MINIMUM IP NETWORK CABLING REQUIREMENTS
Following are the minimum Ethernet cable installation requirements we recommend for new homes:
1. All communications cabling must be home run to a central hub/network distribution point in the basement
mechanical/utility room. (Usually the room where the furnace and water heater are located.)
2. A ¾” flexible plastic conduit/duct should be installed from an outside termination (demarcation) point, usually
near the outdoor power meter, to the central distribution point inside the basement. Do not use any elbow bends. Direct
Communications will feed fiber optic cable through this conduit from the street to the distribution point inside the home.
This conduit could be useful to the homeowner for various future networking needs, including satellite TV cable. The outside demarcation point, or conduit stub-out, should be 2’ from the power meter, and between 32” to 36” above ground.
3. Telecommunications cables need to be a minimum specification of Cat5e, which will support 1 Gig Ethernet speeds,
but preferably Cat6 should be used, which will support the future multi-Gigabit speeds homeowners will require.
4. A label should be included on each Cat5 Ethernet cable identifying the location at which the wire is terminated.
5. A 24”x24” plywood panel should be secured to the wall in the furnace room at the network distribution point. It is the
builder’s responsibility to supply the wood panel. Direct Communications techs will mount the fiber electronics and power
transformer/battery backup to this board. Direct Communications will supply to each customer an:
a. indoor fiber optical network terminal, (ONT) with
b. 4 x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports
c. Built in wireless router
d. A 12-port patch panel to distribute voice and Ethernet throughout the home over the wired network. This will allow for
very simple patching to/from routers, switches, multimedia ports, and easy replacement if any develop a fault.
6. The 24” wood panel should be located in the mechanical or utility room, at about chest level, should be easily
accessible, preferably on an open wall, with at least 3’ clearance for our techs to work in, and with a 120V power outlet situated
within a 2’ distance to power the indoor ONT battery backup and router.
7. Two Cat5e cables must be fed from the distribution point, through the wall to the External Termination/Demarcation
Point, (which will be about a 6”x6” fiber junction box) leaving at least 2’ of cable slack at the ETP and at least 3’ of slack at the
inside network distribution point. This is simply to prepare for any future externalities or homeowner networking needs.
8. Two Cat5e cables should be fed from the home distribution hub to each low-voltage outlet position at which
communication services are required.
9. Be sure to wire Ethernet to each future possible TV position, to accommodate Smart TVs and future IPTV needs.
10. Leave at least 8” of cable slack at each outlet.
11. All voice or data jacks should be RJ45 type.
12. When considering where to install outlets or RJ45 data jacks, be sure to consider the following:
a. At least two RJ45 type jacks (one for phone, one for internet) on the same faceplate in each bedroom and normally
occupied room.
b. Two or more such outlets are recommended in the great room and study.
c. Minimum of one outlet per level, including the basement.
13. Wire should be routed through 1/2” drilled holes in wall and ceiling headers or through conduit.
14. Ethernet wiring should not be placed in the same conduit with wires that conduct electricity.
15. RJ45 Jack Placement: Think about where furniture will go in each room, and where a media station (such as an Xbox),
computer, phone, TV, or future smart appliance might be placed when thinking about installing jacks. It’s easier to plan ahead
than for the homeowner to install more Ethernet ports after construction.
16. Wire should not be stapled, kinked or smashed—avoid abrading or puncturing the insulating jacket.
17. Avoid excessively hot locations—heating ducts, hot water pipes, etc.
18. Premium homebuilders might consider also installing indoor fiber optic cable to communication points along with
Cat6 as part of the home wiring package, which will be the best way to future-proof any home network.

2013 home wiring brochure-tabloid

My Kingdom for a Wire

(How my internet speeds dropped from 100Mb when wired to 18Mb on wireless, and how I fixed this.)

A few months ago, I was very excited to report that I had defied all expectations, (take that Mrs Gordon in 5th grade) and reached almost the pinnacle of human achievement by obtaining 100 Mbps internet speeds at home. I am subscribing to 100Mb fiber optic service from my ISP, Direct Communications.

See https://blog.directcom.com/2012/12/05/life-at-100-mb-how-i-broke-into-the-1/

Recently however, that dream came crashing down when we needed to rearrange the living room to fit in a new second-hand couch. The main computer desk had to be moved to the other side of the room, where of course, the only place it could possibly go was also the one corner in the house that was not pre-wired with a ready Cat-5 cable (RJ45) jack, since that corner was supposed to be a future fireplace.  In my shortsightedness, when planning the construction I had thought, “Who would ever want an Ethernet enabled fireplace?” Silly me. Now of course, a few years later I can think of a hundred different reasons to have an Ethernet-enabled fireplace.

18Mb speed test result while using wireless-N

18Mb speed test result while using wireless-N

So, now I had my main desktop computer, which is a new Dell XPS, sitting in a location where there was no wire. I didn’t think it would be a big deal since I knew my computer had a built-in wireless N card, but to my horror, when I ran a speed test after setting everything back up, while I used to consistently clock 100Mbps speed tests when directly wired to the basement router, the fastest speed I could now get over wireless was only about 18Mbps.

The computer’s internal wireless-N card was a DW1501 Wireless-N WLAN card, which, according to Dell’s product  user guide, is supposed to have a network data rate of up to 270 Mbps for a 40 MHz bandwidth channel and 130 Mbps for a 20 MHz bandwidth channel. Most reasonable people would agree that 18Mbps was not close to either of those numbers.

My wireless router is a new Cisco E2000, with Gig Ethernet ports, which had no problem supplying 100Mb internet speeds to the same computer when it was wired to the router, but now I was left with a fraction of those heady speeds. Of course, even at 18Mb I could still stream HD just fine to that computer, but what’s the use of paying for 100Mb speeds if you can’t see those on a speed test? It’s a matter of principle!

Just to be sure there wasn’t just something weird with my desktop going on, I did a speed test on my Dell Studio XPS laptop to see if I could get any higher speeds with that radio, but sadly, 25Mb was the fastest internet speed I could get on my laptop.

Wireless connection properties

Wireless connection properties

Now, this frustrating situation lends itself to the age-old question, if a computer is not showing the full advertised internet speed I am paying for, am I actually getting that speed? This is a question, or more often, complaint, sometimes leveled at ISPs by customers, who run speed tests from their PCs or phones or tablets and then conclude that they are being cheated if the results do not match what the ISP says it is providing . On the one hand, all the other wired devices in my home, the Xbox, the other older desktops, were still getting the same speeds as before. My tablets and phones on Wi-Fi were also still behaving just the same as before, indicating that they were still sharing the same 100Mb fiber optic speeds from Direct Communications that my router was handing out before. And yet, there it was, staring me in the face, that horrible speed test result which could not be denied or ignored, gnawing at me day and night.

What was to be done? I I could not bang a new hole in the wall to feed a new cat5 cable down to my distribution center in the basement, especially since I had already finished the part of the basement underneath the new computer desk location. I clearly could not survive on a wireless connection to my PC. That’s when one of the techs suggested a life-saving device- a simple wired switch that I could use to extend my existing wired network after construction. I searched on Amazon for the most popular home Ethernet switch that had Gigabit ports (because, as I discovered with my previous old router, unless your equipment has gigabit ports, it will never deliver 100Mb speeds. Any router or switch with only 100Mb ports, even wired, will not deliver more than about half that speed.) The most popular switch was the NETGEAR GS105 ProSafe 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet Desktop Switch, for $39.99, which arrived in 2 days and was very simple to install.

Netgear 5-port Gigabit desktop Switch

Netgear 5-port Gigabit desktop Switch

I simply unplugged the Ethernet cable to my Xbox, plugged that cable into the new switch, and plugged in new Ethernet cables from the switch to my PC and Xbox, and now even have a couple of ports left over for any new devices I may want to direct wire to the router.

I immediately ran a speed test on my PC, which now had a wired internet connection again, and was very pleased to see that needle go straight up to 95Mb.

Wired to the router speed test result

Wired to the router speed test result

I am not a network tech, but here is what I as a fan of fast speeds learned from this:

Lesson1) If you are serious about speeds, wire all your devices directly to the router. Wireless is the enemy of speed, no matter what the wireless card specs claim.

Lesson 2) A simple network switch can very easily and cheaply extend your internal wired network without sacrificing performance.

Lesson 3)Even though I was not seeing 100Mb to my computer, I was still getting 100Mb to my home from my ISP. All I needed was better network equipment to see those speeds again. The bottleneck was the wireless limitations inside my own equipment.

Lesson 4) If you are building a home, wire everything and every corner. Don’t believe your builder if he says everything will be wireless someday inside the home. You never know when you might want more speed, and what the bandwidth demands of our future appliances will be.

Wired Connection properties

Wired Connection properties

August 2012 Eagle Mountain Customer Newsletter

The Directcom Connection- Customer Newsletter

The Directcom Connection- Customer Newsletter August 2012

Network maintenance

Network maintenance has been scheduled for early Thursday morning, Aug 16, from 12:00 am– 4:00 am.

Service may be interrupted or unavailable during this time. We will be replacing some of our servers with newer models to prepare for a major capacity upgrade. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you if you are working after midnight on Thursday. We are constantly working to improve our network.

New Outages Mailing List

We also have a new Eagle Mountain Outages Mailing List, where we can make you aware of any upcoming maintenance outages via email. To subscribe to this list, please visit http://support.directcom.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1

If you previously subscribed to this list last year, please do so again, as this application has been recently modified and you will need to re-register your email to get onto the new list.

Refer-a-friend and get $100

Also, with back-to-school coming up, people will be thinking seriously about their internet service reliability, and now may be a good opportunity for you to tell your friends about the superior quality of Direct Communications High-Speed Internet, and give them your referral card.

If they sign up for Directcom Broadband, you will receive a $100 credit, and your friend will get a month of service FREE. Refer as many friends as you like—you may never have to pay for internet service again. Download a refer-a-friend card here.

Backbone capacity upgrade coming soon

Look out for a very exciting announcement regarding some new redundant fiber routes that we are busy completing to link Eagle Mountain to the national Internet hub in Salt Lake City, and also a major backbone capacity upgrade, all of which will mean even better service for you. Details on that will be announced in the coming weeks.

Join us on Facebook.

Direct Communications has a Facebook page exclusively for our Eagle Mountain customers, and we want you to join our group. Facebook is a great way for you to stay in touch with us for upcoming changes, immediate notifications, instant updates, specials and free stuff, and helps us keep in touch with what our customers need. A lot of improvements that we have made over the past couple of years have come from customer suggestions on facebook, which we welcome.

Like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/directcom.eaglemtn

Direct Communications city-wide Wi-Fi Coverage update

You have probably heard by now that Direct Communications is working to blanket Eagle Mountain with Wi-Fi coverage. This will be a mobile service available to our DSL or Fiber broadband customers as a value-added feature. Even if you only subscribe to our starting internet package at your home, you will be issued a password to connect a mobile device to the new wifi network for free, so you won’t have to use your cell phone data plan while you are working, walking, running, or playing around Eagle Mountain. The higher the speed package you subscribe to at home, the more devices you will be able to authenticate for free. This story was covered by The Salt Lake Tribune, Provo Daily Herald, and Crossroads Journal. This will put Eagle Mountain on the map, as nothing has been attempted on a scale such as this anywhere in Utah. Read more at https://blog.directcom.com/2012/06/19/direct-communications-to-blanket-eagle-mountain-with-wi-fi-coverage/