News from the Northwoods

Read the latest news and events from Norvado.


4 Things to Know When You’re Buying Internet

Buying Internet for your home can be difficult. There are a lot of factors, and let’s be honest, a lot of technical jargon. What exactly does megabits per second or download speed even mean? And what is the difference between copper and fiber?

We won’t get into all the details here, but we will walk you through the really important stuff.

Discover what options are available at your address. You’ll likely have a choice from DSL (internet through a telephone line), internet through your cable provider, internet from a satellite provider, or fiber-optic internet.

What speed do you need? Working out what speed you and your family need when buying internet is the most important step to take. You need to know what bandwidth is and how much you need to make sure your internet can keep up. This  bandwidth calculator provides a custom speed recommendation based on your WIFI usage.

Compare providers. Find out what internet providers offer services in your area. What bundles or options does each provider offer? Are there any promotions that offer better internet service for less money for a certain amount of time? What is the customer service like with each provider?

Are there any hidden costs? There may be hidden costs to take into account when buying internet services. You might have to buy or rent a router or modem from the provider. There might be data caps that slow your internet down once you’ve used your monthly quota. Will your monthly bill double or triple after your introductory offer ends?

Pro Tip: With Norvado you won’t see any hidden fees or data caps, what you see is what you get. Learn more at www.norvado.com/internet.

There you have it, the most important things to consider when signing up for internet service. For more information on all things internet and WIFI, visit www.norvadosupport.com.

 

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Tips and Tricks for the Best Internet Experience!

At Norvado, we are connecting rural communities to our fiber-based broadband network, but there are so many things that contribute to an amazing internet experience. Here are six things you need to do to ensure you have the absolute best connection:

  1. Make sure you have the latest router. Most routers are at their best for 2-3 years. At that point, their technology becomes dated, and they start to slow down. While you may be attached to your piece of retro technology, it is important to keep your router up to date for the fastest speeds and best experience. Check out the latest WIFI 6 routers for blazingly fast speeds.
  2. Use the latest devices. Still using that iPhone 6? The way devices process WIFI continues to evolve and improve. The age of your device will determine the speed of your WIFI experience, so take a look at your smartphones, tablets, and other devices to make sure they’re based on later generations of technology.
  3. Distance matters. Sounds obvious, but the further you are away from your router, the slower the connection speed. So, stay close, especially when using high-bandwidth applications like video.
  4. Environment plays a role. Do you have a stone fireplace or a log cabin? Remember that WIFI can’t move through dense materials and maintain its speed. You may lose signal, or your experience will slow down near solid structures. Try and maintain a clear line of sight to your router.
  5. Are you protected? Protecting your computer from a virus is key to making sure you are your devices are running efficiently. Some viruses, once on your devices, run in the background and can take away from the speed or bandwidth.
  6. What are you waiting for? The best solution to a great online experience is the combination of Norvado fiber and Apex Managed WIFI!

Get Norvado fiber now: www.norvado.com/internet-2

Get Apex Managed WIFI now: www.norvado.com/apex

 

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Why Fiber is Best for Rural Wisconsin

At Norvado, we are proud to be connecting rural communities in Wisconsin with our fiber-based broadband network. But you might be wondering why we chose to use fiber instead of other technologies that are available today. Here are six reasons why fiber is best:

  1. Fiber is the fastest. The Norvado fiber-based broadband packages increase speeds from a maximum of 50 Mbps on the old copper network to a maximum of 2 Gbps on the fiber-based network. That’s 40 times more bandwidth than was previously available. Think of what you can do with that much more bandwidth (and in case you need ideas, see #3 below).
  2. Fiber beats the competition. The Norvado fiber-based network is capable of speeds up to a blazingly fast 40 Gbps. Compared to 5G with speeds up to 1 Gbps, satellite with speeds up to 400 Mbps, and DSL with speeds up to 100 Mbps, fiber is hands-down the clear winner.
  3. Fiber is symmetrical. Unlike other technologies, the Norvado fiber-based network allows you to upload and download data at the same speed. This is called “symmetrical” service, and it’s perfect for students and professionals working from home, content creators sharing their work, gamers using Twitch, and the healthcare sector and their patient’s using telemedicine, to give just a few examples.
  4. Fiber is reliable. The Norvado fiber-based broadband network is extremely durable and will deliver incredible reliability with a downtime of less than 6 minutes per year.
  5. Fiber is future-proofed. Using next-generation technologies, the Norvado fiber-based broadband network is not only able to move data at extremely high speeds over long distances, even better, we will not have to replace it for a very long time.
  6. Norvado’s fiber-based broadband is a great value. With packages starting at $79.99 for 300/300 Mbps Internet, you could soon be enjoying lightning-fast internet, HD digital TV service and crystal-clear phone reception.

What are you waiting for?

Get Norvado fiber now: www.norvado.com/internet-2

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WIFI 6: The Ultimate In-Home WIFI Experience

You’re probably hearing a lot of talk about WIFI 6.

Why should you care? Here are six reasons why you need a WIFI 6 router!

  1. WIFI 6 is the latest generation of the WIFI standard. It is built around advanced technology that makes your Internet connection faster and more efficient. Who doesn’t want the latest and greatest tech?
  2. WIFI 6 is faster. WIFI 6 technology allows routers to communicate with multiple devices at the same time, rather than broadcasting to one device, and then the next, and the next, etc. A WIFI 6 router can communicate with up to eight devices simultaneously vs. four devices with older WIFI technology. So now everyone in your family (including your dog and cat, if they have devices) can enjoy an amazing WIFI experience, whether you’re doing a Zoom call, streaming the hottest show, taking an online cooking lesson, or crushing opponents in Fortnite.
  3. WIFI 6 is more secure. WIFI 6-certified routers are equipped with the WPA3 security protocol, which makes it harder for hackers to crack passwords by constantly guessing them, and it makes some data less useful even if hackers manage to obtain it. Just one more way we’re improving your online experience.
  4. WIFI 6 can support up to 9.8 Gbps. WIFI 6 isn’t about top speeds. Instead of boosting the speed for individual devices, WIFI 6 is all about improving the network when a bunch of devices are connected (see #2 above). But 9.8 Gbps is blazingly fast!
  5. WIFI 6 is perfect for HD streaming. In households with multiple users, streaming high-definition video puts an even greater load on the network. The combination of ultra-fast processors, increased memory, and the increased number of radio streams, means WIFI 6 routers are up to the task of streaming multiple high-definition video sessions without stuttering, buffering, or other annoying hiccups.
  6. Norvado’s Managed WIFI is a great value. The Norvado Apex Managed WIFI solution will ensure you’re always up-to-date with the latest technology and the fastest speeds, all for a low fee of $9.99/month.

How can you tell if you have WIFI 6? In addition to ensuring you have a WIFI 6 router, you’ll want to check your devices (cellphones, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, etc.) to see if they are WIFI 6 capable. If your devices are older than two to three years old, you’ll likely need to upgrade them to take advantage of all that WIFI 6 can offer.

Get Apex Managed WIFI with WIFI 6 now: www.norvado.com/apex

 

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WIFI is the Internet…right?!

IS IT MY WIFI OR THE INTERNET AND WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE ANYWAY?

Over the years, WIFI has become a generic term for Internet access. This often leads people to believe that their Internet connection is slow or not working when in fact the connection to the house is working just fine. I can hear you already…

“OK…You wait just a darn minute! If my laptop or tablet cannot connect to the internet then there is obviously something wrong with the Internet and I am calling my ISP and letting them know that there is something wrong with their service!”

Well…though this statement may sound reasonable it is not really taking all the facts into consideration. It is possible that you could have an actual problem with your connection to your ISP or that your ISP is having a widespread issue but normally, the problem is much closer to home. The biggest take away of this month’s article is this –

YOUR WIFI (WIRELESS SIGNAL) AND YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION ARE NOT THE SAME THING.

For the sake of this article, think of your ISP as a very large well that provides your home and all of your neighbor’s homes with water, or in this case, Internet access. Like a well, your ISP provides a “pipe” directly to the internet, this can be done over copper or fiber or some other means but it is a pipe nonetheless. Once the connections are made to the house, water travels through a water pump and Internet goes through a router. Both feed the home with a necessary service and both the water pump and the router are usually owned by the homeowner.

Most days, you turn on the faucet and water comes out, but one day… nothing. What do you do? Is your first assumption that the well has run dry? Not usually. The first thing I would check is to see whether my pump was working, perhaps a blown breaker or some other mechanical failure.

The water pump allows water to flow when you turn on the faucet. In the case of internet access, the router allows the internet to flow when you turn on your various devices. If there is no connection or the connection is slow, the first thing to check is going to be your router.

As with many electronic devices, a simple reboot is often enough to get it working again but sometimes a simple reboot doesn’t work. In that case you may need to look at getting a replacement. Fortunately, replacing a router is much easier than replacing a water pump and it definitely requires fewer tools! A consumer grade router can usually be purchased from your ISP or from a local retail store and in most cases, this is more than sufficient for home use.

SO, WHY DOES A ROUTER FAIL?

There are many different reasons but usually, they just wear out. The wireless signal that a router broadcasts is like a radio signal (actually it is a radio signal but I digress…). To broadcast the wireless signal requires a transmitter and a transmitter emits non-harmful radiation in the form of heat. This radiation over time, and depending on signal strength and proximity, causes damage to other components inside of the router and ultimately causes the router to wear out and eventually fail. Usually a wireless router will last between two and four years but it can be longer or shorter depending on the location of the router, the signal strength of the transmitter and other environmental considerations.

When a device cannot connect to WIFI, check your router first. The router is responsible for transmitting the Wi-Fi signal. Without that signal, your devices cannot connect to your big internet pipe that your ISP provides.

So, before you call your internet provider with a big old “what for” because your internet is not working, it is always a good rule of thumb to restart both your computer, and your router. If after that, you still cannot establish an internet connection, by all means give them a call. They will be more than happy to help get you connected once again.

Submitted by Dr. Leo Carlson, Business & Technology Director at Norvado

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