The following are a number of questions which our support and sales staff are frequently asked by our current and potential customers. We hope that the answers help you to resolve your problem or make up your mind about the i-SURF services.
How do I know if I can get i-SURF'S broadband service where I live?
Unless you do not have line of sight to the satellite it is more than likely that you will be able to get i-SURF broadband services. To make sure use our Dishpointer Tool to check if your address has direct line of sight or not.
Can I install i-SURF services myself?
No, we don’t recommend it!
Although installation is possible if you have a good degree of DIY skills, the dish alignment is critical, and needs to be more precise than a TV aerial or DStv dish. As such a misalignment of the antenna can affect the throughput speeds. We always recommend installation is carried out by one of our fully trained installers because of this.
How fast is i-SURF'S Satellite Broadband?
Currently we provide a maximum download rate of 10Mb and a maximum upload rate of 2.5Mb although we can provide higher speeds for bespoke applications. The speed of the service ultimately depends on other factors such as how many users are on the network. This means you may not see the full headline speed during peak times.
Are there requirements for the installation of i-SURF satellite broadband?
The satellite dish needs a clear line of sight to the northern facing sky. The modem requires a power supply.`
Do I need a telephone line?
Our services do not require a phone line to operate so you don’t have any additional costs.
Can I use WiFi at home with i-SURF?
If you have an existing WiFi router you can connect this to our Satellite Modem via a crossover cable and then connect your devices via WiFi. Alternatively i-SURF does provide an optional Home WiFi Access point which is specially designed to work with the satellite modem and offers greater speeds and coverage over standard WiFi routers.
Can I use BBC iPlayer services with i-SURF Satellite Broadband?
i-SURF Satellite Broadband services supplied by us do support BBC iPlayer services, since we use UK IP Addresses to deliver the service.
Is Satellite Broadband suitable for online gaming?
Not for “real-time” games.
Turn based games may work. To answer this question, it depends on what game you are playing. Games such as chess or other turn-based games where a reaction time is not essential will work. For action games where reaction time is critical then satellite broadband service is not suitable due to the higher latency times of approximately 600ms.
Do you offer email services?
No, we don’t offer our own email service at this time.
Experience has shown most customers already have their own email address which they would like to keep. Our service supports all web based mail services such as Hotmail, and Gmail, etc.
Do you offer an outgoing mail server?
In some instances, if you have an alternative email address, we have found some hosting companies or email providers will not allow you to send email through their network if you are using a satellite based service unless you use authentication. If you set SMTP server requires Authentication on Port 587 that usually does the trick.
Can I use VoIP with Satellite Broadband?
VoIP services such as Skype already work with our Satellite Broadband. We will also soon be introducing a dedicated VoIP service which will allow our customers to use the internet connection to make regular telephone calls.
How do I know if Satellite Broadband is for me?
If you live in a “Not Spot” or “Slow Spot” area and your only means of accessing the internet is dial-up, or you have a poor ADSL connection or your mobile coverage is not good, then satellite broadband is the ideal solution. As the service does not depend on telephone lines and is not geographically dependent, it offers a high speed always-on connection where ever you are.
Are there any limits on how much data I can download?
Yes and No.
Our i-SURF Home packages come with a Peak Time Data allowance which is tied to your service level, however, our policy is never to turn your connection off, but just slow you down if you reach this threshold. All of this is explained in our Fair Use Policy (FUP) and all of our services are governed by this.
What is a Fair Use Policy?
The idea of the Fair Use Policy is to maintain quality of service for all customers on the network. Each service package is given a data allowance for a time period. If you exceed this threshold then you will see a reduction in speed across your connection. At this point you can either consider an upgrade of service or the purchase of a ‘volume booster’. A call to the office always helps as we can discuss usage level in more detail, and help you decide on the best way forward.
Can I check my own data usage?
Once you become a customer, you will be given your own dedicated customer portal with a username and password. In this portal you can access your own data charts which will show you how much data you have used within your data cycle as well as raise fault calls and view bills online.
Why does a ping give a slow response over Satellite?
The satellite is based in a geostationary orbit approximately 36,000Km above the Equator. A command of this type does have a distance to cover and as such, you will normally see a ping time of around 600ms. Secondly, a ping command is also considered low priority by networks. All other applications will be processed first. As there is no acceleration applied to the ping command, this can sometimes cause increased ping times or even a time out. Ping is therefore not a reliable test for connectivity or speed.
How big is the dish?
All of i-SURF’s Satellite services can be accessed using a small 74cm dish. In some exceptional circumstances we may recommend a larger 96cm dish to ensure service levels can be met.
How stable is Satellite Broadband in bad weather?
Satellite services as with all types of RF transmission can be affected by weather conditions. The aim here is to ensure that you, the customer, do not notice the effect of the weather on the signal. The 4oceans system uses a technology called Adaptive Coding & Modulation (ACM) which enables the system to automatically react to the effects of rain fade. This gives the Satellite network higher reliability and allows us to provide on average 99.7% uptime.
Can I run a VPN connection over the Satellite?
We already support a number of VPN applications on our system, however, there are lots of VPN services and applications available on the market, and as yet we have not been able to test every application. If you are looking to run VPN applications we suggest you call one of our dedicated support team for more information.
Any other questions?
How many times have we read an FAQ section and found answers to every conceivable question or issue, all except the one question we want to ask? Well with all best endeavours we are sure this FAQ section is no different. If you have question not covered here please feel free to contact us where one of our dedicated support staff will be more than happy to help.