What is affecting your Wi-Fi speeds and what can you do about it?

You recently got installed with the latest in Internet technology, and you are officially “Gigafied”, but what gives? Why are your speed tests not showing 1,000Mbps? If your home Wi-Fi doesn’t seem to be functioning as well as you think it should be, there are some factors which could be affecting your connection. Before you call Race or a professional, lets talk about some of the things you can try to optimize your Wi-Fi connection:

  1. Your equipment – Saving power can be a good thing, but when your computer is running on battery or “power saving” mode, it can affect your bandwidth. Check your computer’s settings and make sure your device is not in power saving mode, and try to stay plugged in as much as possible. Also be aware that your computer or device may not be capable of gigabit speeds. A lot of laptops have a cap of 100Mbps due to their chip set.
  2. Distance – while thick walls and obstructions can also be an issue, the distance from your router can be just as much of a problem. If you are trying to connect a large home, it might be a good idea to invest in a signal booster or secondary router. Here’s a rule of thumb: Just by doubling the distance between router and client you can expect throughput to shrink to one-third of its original value. A wireless repeater, which will set you back $20-$100, should boost your signal noticeably.
  3. Obstructions – Thick walls, large bookshelves and stairs can also affect your speed. Try to place your router in a central, yet unobstructed location for optimal results.
  4. Other networks close by – An area with a large amount of different Wi-Fi networks may suffer from poor signal strength because of all the conflicting transmissions. This may be the case in office buildings or apartment complexes. Try switching to a different transmission such as the 5.0 network that Race offers.
  5. Appliance interference – Did you know your microwave could be making your internet slow? That sounds strange, but it can be the case sometimes that household appliances operating on the same frequency as your router could slow down your Wi-Fi. Check to see whether your connection is stronger when appliances such as cordless phones, microwaves, and security camera are off.
  6. Who is the bandwidth hog? – Many people share their Wi-Fi with family members, roommates, or colleagues, but keep in mind that their internet activities could be affecting your speed too. If someone on your Wi-Fi network is hogging bandwidth by constantly downloading or streaming, this could be a reason why your connection has slowed
  7. Firmware or driver issues – An often forgotten problem (that is easy to remedy) is outdated firmware. Make sure your router’s firmware is up-to-date.  Expect bandwidth, feature set and resiliency to signals to increase with the first few firmware updates.

Keep in mind that Wi-Fi speeds won’t ever hit 1,000Mbps as most computers on the market are unable to handle the speed, but you should be able to consistently see speeds of 200-600Mbps depending on your gear and number of users in your home.

California Senate passes SB822 defending net neutrality!

Today, the California Senate voted to approve SB822, a bill that would reinstate the net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last December. The bill acts as a gold standard for states looking to protect net neutrality. Race Communications believes in SB822 and is in full support of the bill and net neutrality.

The Senate passed the bill that would institute rules like those implemented by the FCC in 2015. The bill will forbid the practice of zero-rating services to give them advantages over competitors. It will bar ISPs from blocking, throttling or engaging in paid prioritization.

S.B. 822 would ban these actions and prevent ISPs that don’t abide by these prohibitions from contracting with California state and local governments. That means ISPs who aren’t net neutral can’t get government contracts from the state of California.

Other states that have passed or have their own net neutrality bills in progress include Washington, Montana and Rhode Island. Also, a New York state senator has introduced a bill similar to California’s in New York.

The bill still has to clear the state Assembly before it can be signed into law.

Thank You For Choosing Race! How should you prepare for installation?

Thank you for choosing Race Communications for your Internet, Phone, and TV Services. We know this is an exciting time for you! Below is some important and helpful information you can use to prepare for your upcoming installation.

PREPARING FOR INSTALLATION:
Our installation technician will arrive within the designated installation window. In case of any delays, our scheduling department will reach out and notify you.

  • The account holder or an authorized decision-maker, age 18 or older, must be present for the duration of the installation.
  • Installation times may vary depending on your home and the services being installed. Installations typically run between 2 – 4 hours from the time the installer arrives.
  • The technician may need access to both the inside and outside of your home. Please make sure all gates and fences are unlocked. If necessary, please arrange with your HOA or management company to allow the technician access to the buildings telecom utility rooms or closets.
  • Please clear your personal items from the installation technician’s path and potential work area in such a way that there is no obstructions for the technician.
  • Please keep dogs and/or other animals in a safe location away from the installation technician’s potential work area.
  • Do not cancel your pre-existing services until your installation is complete and your new Race services have successfully been turned on.
  • You may have a specific location in mind for where you would like the equipment installed, but please keep an open mind to suggestions from our installation technician. Your preferred location may not provide the best Wi-Fi coverage.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING INSTALLATION?

  • The technician will run and secure a small thin fiber cable from the clamshell on the outside of your home leading to the room where the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) will be installed. We sometimes refer to this as “wrapping the home”. All homes are different and the technician will choose the best route to secure and protect the fiber cable.
  • The technician will penetrate the outside wall by drilling a small hole, approximately ¼ inch in diameter, through the outer wall leading into the room where the ONT will be installed. Please let the technician know if you are aware of any utilities or power cables hidden within the wall that he/she will be drilling through.
  • Once the fiber cable is ran from the clamshell to the inside room, the technician will install the ONT (Optical Network Terminal).
  • The technician will verify that all services are working upon completion of the visit.

INTERNET SPECIFIC

  • If you subscribed to just our Internet Service, you will be assigned an Ethernet Port off the ONT where you can connect your home router.
  • If you are leasing a wireless router, our technician will either install an ONT that has a built-in wireless router or some installations will require that we install separate devices, an ONT and a seperate wireless router.
  • Our technician will provide you with the wireless SSID name(s) and password, so you can connect your wireless devices.
  • If you are subscribed to our Gigabit Internet Service, please make sure that your router, switch(es), computer(s), or streaming device(s) meet the minimum service requirements to take advantage of the Gigabit Internet Service.
  • If you experience issues with any of your devices connecting to the Internet, our technician is not responsible for troubleshooting your internal network devices (personal routers, switches, etc.), computer(s) or wireless device(s) (smartphone, tablet, streaming device, etc.). If you experience an issue with any of your personal devices, we recommend contacting the manufacturers support options or consult an IT professional to help you with your personal equipment.

PHONE SPECIFIC

  • If you are subscribed to our Home Phone Service, a backup battery (UPS) will be installed in addition to the ONT. The backup battery will keep the phone service active for a period of time in case of a power outage. The backup battery will not keep power active to any phone device that requires to be plugged into power.
  • Our technician will either connect 1 standard phone set directly to the ONT Phone Port or he/she will extend the phone line up to 6 feet from the ONT.
  • If you need other jacks in your home activate, please consult a low voltage contractor to make those necessary connections.

TV SPECIFIC

  • In most cases, our technician will be able to use your existing cable outlets to extend the TV signal to each set-top box being installed.
  • Please make sure all existing cable outlets and splitter locations are accessible. In most cases, our technician will replace an old cable splitter for one that is compatible with our system.
  • Our technician will make every effort to use your existing cable outlets, but in some cases, existing cable outlets in your home may be unusable due to type of cable, age or damage. Our technician is not responsible for troubleshooting, repairing or replacing your homes existing cabling issues.
  • If you have issues with any of your cable outlets, please consult a low-voltage contractor to troubleshoot and repair any outlets that might have issues.
  • The connection between our set-top box and the TV is HDMI.

Important Notes: Due to liability issues, the technician is not allowed to access your homes crawl spaces or attics. The technician is also not allowed to move furniture. If you prefer to take on the task to run wires within the crawl spaces or attics of your home, please inform one of our customer service representatives prior to scheduling the installation and we can arrange for a technician to drop off the amount of fiber cable needed for the installation.

 

 

ALERT: Router Malware with destructive capabilities – check to see if you’re at risk!

A new threat which targets a range of routers and network-attached storage (NAS) devices is capable of knocking out infected devices by rendering them unusable. Customers who have a Race router can rest easy – their devices are not affected by this threat.  However, if you do not own a Race provided router, you may want to take a look at the list below to see if you may be at risk.

To date, VPNFilter is known to be capable of infecting enterprise and small office/home office routers from Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, and TP-Link, as well as QNAP network-attached storage (NAS) devices. These include:

  • Linksys E1200
  • Linksys E2500
  • Linksys WRVS4400N
  • Mikrotik RouterOS for Cloud Core Routers: Versions 1016, 1036, and 1072
  • Netgear DGN2200
  • Netgear R6400
  • Netgear R7000
  • Netgear R8000
  • Netgear WNR1000
  • Netgear WNR2000
  • QNAP TS251
  • QNAP TS439 Pro
  • Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
  • TP-Link R600VPN

What should you do if you own an infected device?

The FBI recommends that users of affected devices  reboot them immediately. If the device is infected with VPNFilter, rebooting will remove Stage 2 and any Stage 3 elements present on the device. This will temporarily remove the destructive component of VPNFilter. However, if infected, the continuing presence of Stage 1 means that Stages 2 and 3 can be reinstalled by the attackers.

You should then apply the latest available patches to affected devices and ensure that none use default credentials.

Getting Gigafied in Phelan, CA!

As of Monday, May 21st, Race Communications has installed the first group of customers in the “Gigafy Phelan” Project! Race Communications has been working tirelessly to bring Fiber Internet to the Phelan, Pinon Hills, and Oak Hills area since the project was first approved in July 2017.

150 homes made up the initial soft release group, and residents are already sharing their speed tests on social media. Some homeowners have clocked in with speeds over 900 Mbps down and up! In addition, the Race team made sure to attend today’s Farmer’s Market to provide answers, take orders and give away Race swag!

Race Communications looks forward to continuing to “Gigafy Phelan” and highly encourages everyone to submit an inquiry, and check availability through the company website and the service coverage map.