Your Wireless Questions Answered
03/14/2012 12 Comments
Everyone is loving our new Wireless MiFi Cards! Dial-up users are freed from the shackles of low-speed connections, snowbirds that move with the seasons no longer have to constantly cancel and sign up with Internet providers, workers are now able to connect to their company networks on the road…portable high-speed Internet has a million benefits
As with any new product, there are some questions that frequently come up. I can appreciate someone wanting to be well informed about a product, so here’s a run-down of the most common questions people ask me about wireless:
Q: I live in a rural area. Can I get wireless Internet?
A: Maybe. As a rule of thumb, if you can use a cell phone with no problems, you can typically get wireless Internet. TOAST.net is able to check actual coverage at your location at the time of sign-up.
Q: Your wireless plans allow for 1000MB, 2000MB, and 4000MB of data usage per month. What does that mean?
A: Data is measured in megabytes. For example, a CD can hold 640 megabytes of data and a DVD can hold around 4000 megabytes of data. Every time you browse to a webpage on the Internet, you’re downloading data, and wireless access is charged by the amount of data you transfer per month. A typical person switching from dial-up to WiFi uses 1000-2000MB per month. If you’re a heavy user that likes to watch YouTube or play games, a 4000MB plan might be more appropriate.
Q: Since I have to pay for data usage, how large is a web page?
A: This question doesn’t really have a specific answer. It’s like asking “How many pages are in a book?” It depends on what’s in the book! The same concept applies to websites: the more photos and videos on a website, the larger it will be. TOAST.net is unique in that we offer a Web Accelerator that compresses normal web traffic, meaning if a website is 5MB, the Accelerator may squeeze it down to 3MB and therefore giving you more “bang for the buck”. As a rough estimate, 1000MB of data translates into around 40 hours of web browsing per month.
Q: What happens if I go over my data plan allowance?
A: We try to be as fair as possible about overage charges. If you go over your allotted data usage for the month, you are only charged 4 cents for every MB you go over. This means if you are 100MB over, the extra cost is only $4. If you happen to go way over, you can move to the next highest data plan at any time to avoid any extra fees.
Q: My computer doesn’t have wireless capability, but your MiFi card requires my computer to have wireless to work. How can I add wireless to my computer?
A: Most desktop computers and some older laptops do not have wireless built in. You can easily add wireless capability with a small adapter available from TOAST.net. The adapter runs $29.95 and simply plugs into an available USB port on your computer.
Q: What kind of devices can connect to your MiFi card?
A: Any device with wireless capability can use our MiFi card to get Internet access. The card itself will support up to 5 simultaneous connections. For example, you would be able to connect two laptops, a desktop computer, a tablet, and a wireless printer at the same time. Do keep in mind that the more devices you connect, the more data usage you will incur.
Q: Can I connect my XBox or Netflix device to the MiFi card?
A: In theory, yes…but it would not be cost-effective. Game systems and streaming video services such as Netflix or Amazon Video use large amounts of data. For example, one or two movies on Netflix could use up your entire data plan for the month! TOAST.net recommends a dedicated high-speed connection such as DSL for these types of applications.
That covers the main questions I’ve heard over the last few weeks. I’m really excited about this product because it’s one of those things that everyone can use. I took a day trip this week and happened to bring a MiFi card with me. The hotel I stayed at wanted $25/day to use their wireless Internet…which I was able to avoid. The card paid for itself in one day!
If you have any additional questions, I’ll be happy to answer them for you. In the meantime, if you’re stuck on dial-up or tend to travel a lot, I HIGHLY recommend checking out our high-speed wireless. You’ll be impressed!