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How Home WiFi Works

How Home WiFi Works

Home WiFi is an essential component of our daily lives. But what is WiFI? How does it work? Is there a way to make it work better? Let’s take a deeper dive into the basics of WiFi, how it works and how you can strengthen your home WiFi signal.

What is WiFi?

Majority of people assume WiFi is internet, however, they are not the same thing. The internet is one huge global network that links computers all over the world. WiFi is a term used for wireless networks that connect devices to each other without using any cables. Most routers have a wireless access built-in, which makes it easy and convenient to connect devices in your home.

​Even if your internet connection goes down, your WiFi is still connected, but not to the internet. In addition, if your WiFi signal drops when you’re far away or there is interference, you will likely have full internet speeds coming in, and your ISP may say “it’s all working fine”. It’s only the WiFi signal that’s too weak to get you connected within your home.

WiFi = Radio

WiFi works the same way as other wireless devices. It uses radio frequencies to deliver signals between devices. Inside every phone, laptop and tablet is a tiny radio transmitter and receiver. Similar to a car’s radio, the strength of the signal depends on how near or far you are from the radio station. Trees, buildings, power lines, and other radio stations can affect the radio signal as well. When you have a poor radio signal, the station sounds choppy or weak. Similar with WiFi; floors, doors and walls can weaken your WiFi signal. When you have a poor signal, everything slows down.

WiFi can only penetrate through walls in short distances. The best WiFi signal is always line of sight. However, other signals can become a problem. If you are living in a dense neighborhood or apartment building, there are dozens of WiFi signals competing with yours for airtime. In addition, 2.4G WiFi overlaps with cordless phones, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices and even microwaves!

How to Strengthen Your Signal

If the problem is a weak signal, what can we do about it? Let’s go through a few options for you to try strengthening your WiFi signal at home!

Option 1: Plug It In Directly

Anything that’s connected directly with a wire will work better. Wired connections use ethernet cables, which come in lengths of up to 300 feet. Usually, you can plug your PC and smart TV straight into the back of your router. Even if those devices have WiFi capabilities, taking it off of the network will improve the signal for everything else in your home.

Option 2: Wireless Access Points

Wireless access points are used to expand the WiFi network by adding additional locations throughout the home to broadcast the signal. They avoid the interference problem completely!

They usually look like a small smoke alarm, and they are directly wired into your router. They work very well, however, installing them on your own can be difficult. We advise contacting your internet service provider to install these points for you. If you are a Broadlinc customer and interested in adding access points, please contact us and we can have these installed for you in no time!

Option 3: Mesh WiFi

Mesh WiFi or Whole Home WiFi systems consists of a main mesh router or “node” that connects directly to your modem, and there are a series of nodes placed around your house for full WiFi coverage. They are similar to wireless access points, however, they are not directly wired into your main router.

Instead, the nodes communicate with each other to broadcast the WiFi signal and send information over the WiFi network. They have built-in frequency sensing to avoid interference with each other, and they can hand off devices seamlessly. All you have to do is plug in the main mesh router to your modem, and it does the rest for you! Broadlinc offers mesh routers called Whole Home WIFi, also known as Super Pods. If you would like to learn more about our mesh routers, please contact us for a breakdown of the system.

​Home WiFi plays an important role in our daily lives. We need it for almost everything we do on a daily basis, which is why having a strong signal is key. Following these quick and easy tips can strengthen your signal and provide an overall better home WiFi experience.

Written By Chris Saenz, IT & Business Support

Employee Spotlight: Michaela Amburgey

Employee Spotlight: Michaela Amburgey

Michaela Amburgey is the Customer Service Manager at Broadlinc working out of the Owenton office. She is responsible for providing superb customer service by leading and motivating the customer service team, developing loyalty programs, and creating customer satisfaction goals.

Michaela is known to jump in to help any chance she’s offered and she enjoys every second of it!

Q & A with Michaela

How long have you been with Broadlinc?
I’ve been with the company for almost 4.5 years. I joined on May 22, 2017.

What brought you to the company?

I heard about the company through a friend and it sounded like a great place to work, so I applied for the Customer Service Representative position.

What do you like most about being a CSR Manager?
I enjoy working with my customers and I have great team members.

How would you describe the culture at Broadlinc?
The culture is very friendly, fast-paced and energetic!

What do you like most about working at Broadlinc?
I love the opportunity of working for a company that cares about their customers. It’s a friendly atmosphere with great people.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy traveling, shopping, spending time with loved ones and my 2 dogs.

How would your family or friends describe you in three words?
Funny, kind and positive.

​Tell us something most people would be surprised to learn about you.

I’m secretly scared of crows.

If can have an unlimited supply of one thing, what would it be and why?
If I can have an unlimited supply of one thing, that would be time with my loved ones. You never know how much time you have with each other.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My dad always said, “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”

Written By Brittany Bowlin, Director of Marketing

Broadlinc Tips: Cyber Safety

Broadlinc Tips: Cyber Safety

It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month! What does that mean for you?

It’s a great reminder to protect your personal data and mobile devices from serious threats online. Serious cyber threats to personal data are on the rise across the nation. According to data gathered by Anomali and The Harris Poll, 1 in 5 Americans fall victim to ransomeware attacks.

Practicing cyber safety is key, which is why we came up with 5 tips for you to start protecting yourself today!

1. Check the Strength of Your Passwords

When creating new passwords for your accounts, be aware of the strength of your passwords.  The stronger the password, the harder it is to hack your personal information. You can make your password much harder to guess by doing the following:

  • Try to aim for more than 8 characters.
  • Use a mixture of numbers and characters ($,@).
  • Mix it up with upper and lower case letters.
  • Avoid using common words, phrases, and personal information.
  • Change your passwords often.

2. Practice Safe Internet Browsing

A single careless click can expose your sensitive information within seconds, which is why it’s important to think before you click. Hackers are constantly coming up with new scams to steal your information such as pop-ups, phishing emails, and look-a-like links. You can avoid their traps with these key practices:

  • Be aware of suspicious emails and avoid clicking on links. Verify their authenticity by researching the company or visiting their website directly.
  • Be aware of opening email attachments from unknown sources.
  • Avoid visiting unfamiliar websites or clicking on look-a-like links. These are infected links and will have a similar spelling or use .net versus .com.
  • Turn on your pop-up blocker to avoid being bombarded with scammy pop-ups. If you still receive pop-ups, do not click on them.
  • Ask about how our Whole Home Wifi can keep you safe!

3. Be Careful of What You Download

A goal of hackers is tricking you into downloading programs and apps that carry malware. Some malware can be disguised as a popular game or an app that checks the local traffic. You can protect your devices and personal information by doing the following:

  • Avoid downloading apps and programs from suspicious websites.
  • Avoid opening and downloading email attachments from unknown sources.
  • Make sure you’re visiting the correct website when downloading and updating softwares.

4. Pay Attention to Software Updates

Hackers love one thing and that’s security flaws. They are weaknesses found in the software program or operating system that hackers easily take advantage of by targeting it. However, software updates are the key to patching up these flaws, removing computer bugs, and protecting your personal information. If you’re unsure about your devices being up to date, try the following:

  • Go to your general settings and check your software
  • If there is an available software update, download it.
  • You can easily setup automatic updates on all of your devices, so you never have to miss an update.

5. Backup Your Personal Data

Simply backing up your personal data on all of your devices gives you the advantage over any cyber threats that result in data loss. However, data loss isn’t always the result of cyber threats. It can also be the result of your devices wearing out overtime. Therefore, regularly backing up your personal data will prevent you from losing potentially years worth of information, photos, etc. Here are some ways you can start backing up your data today:

  • Use an external hard drive.
  • Copy everything to a USB drive.
  • Use cloud storage such as iCloud or Google Drive.
  • Subscribe to a backup service such as Acronis or Backblaze.
  • You can print out physical copies and file them at home.

Practicing cyber safety habits are essential to protecting you and your personal information. Start off by evaluating your current habits, and then make the necessary changes. Applying any of the 5 tips today will help protect you from bigger cyber threats in the future.

Written By Brittany Bowlin, Director of Marketing

Whole Home WiFi is here!

Whole Home WiFi is here!

Many people don’t know how gadgets and gizmos get connected to the internet, they just want them to work.

If this sound’s familiar to you, we’ve got you covered!

With our new Whole Home WiFi service powered by Plume SuperPods, we’ll manage your in-home network so you don’t have to!

Call today to order, (855) 552-2253. You’ll never use WiFi the same again.

Watch the video below for a great explanation on what Plume is.

We get knocked down, but we get up again!

We get knocked down, but we get up again!

While we like to keep things quiet on the outage front, but we also know mother nature sometimes could use some therapy and will cause outages. 

This week was full of these events.

Tuesday August 10, a storm came through and we took a direct lightning strike at our Fairview “Farm” tower site.  Our team at Broadlinc were immediately on site to begin replacing three backhauls to restore service to Fairview, Henry County and Gratz. Service to most customers was restored by midnight.

Then Thursday night August 12, another storm produced strong winds that toppled our tower on Jonesville Road in Long Ridge.   This tower was a “hub” site which provided backhaul connections to 6 other towers.  First thing Friday morning our team was cutting away the damaged tower, and by 10pm Friday evening a new stronger, larger structure was standing in its place.  By 2PM Saturday, service has been restored to all customers.

The damages caused by mother were no match for the quick work and thinking by our network technicians, contractors and support team.  Their dedication to our customers satisfaction is what makes Broadlinc special!

Written By Chris Saenz, IT & Business Support

Idaho, Toilet paper, and us…

Idaho, Toilet paper, and us…

A couple years ago, we merged Inside Connect Cable with Broadlinc Wireless, and picked a new name: White Cloud. It wasn’t a great choice, we learned: there are two other companies with the same name! Everyone confused us with another internet provider in Idaho, or a toilet paper manufacturer… yes, we’ve heard the joke.

We went through a LONG process with a marketing firm to identify a new name that fits, when it hit us:   Why don’t we just stick with Broadlinc?

 

  • It’s a familiar name to many of our customers. It fits us better too!
  • It’s not a change of hands or a merger – just a new name.
  • It’s the same network, same great service and the same folks pick up the phone.

Starting soon, we’ll be changing the logos on our trucks and our techs will get new shirts. We hope you like the new logo and name as much as we do. If you wish we would just make up our minds…. we have, really!

Thank you for your business, it is our pleasure to serve your communications needs. If you have questions about this change, you can call us at 855-552-2253 or 866-4-BROADLINC (866-427-5462).

Sincerely,

White Cloud Communications
NOW – BROADLINC
Customer Care Team and Management

Please read if you have Alexa or Ring devices on your White Cloud service.

Please read if you have Alexa or Ring devices on your White Cloud service.

Amazon is enabling many of their devices such as the Echo’s and Ring devices, to share the internet service you’re paying for with anyone who wants to use it using a feature they call “Sidewalk”.  There are many reasons this is a bad idea, especially from a security perspective. 

  • First and foremost, it’s security.  Sidewalk enables access to your network inside your firewall, bypassing its security features. With this feature enabled, ANYONE can get on your WiFi connection and potentially obtain access to your shared files, devices, cameras or anything else inside your network in your home.  Your firewall protection that comes as a default with your router, whether purchased/rented from us or not, protects you from outside threats connecting to your network devices.  Once someone has access to the network INSIDE this router’s network, you’re no longer protected from whatever they do.
  • Second, you lose control over your internet experience.  When someone outside your home is using your internet connection, that means the signal is is being used outside your home, which can slow down your connection due to the signal strength of those devices connect.   Also, if these users are using bandwidth, that means they are using bandwidth your devices need to stream, work, learn, and so on.
  • Third, it’s against our terms of service.  As a White Cloud customer, you’ are not allowed to share your internet connection beyond the address where it is installed.  This is to prevent “theft of service” where someone who should be paying for their own asks a neighbor for a “favor’ by asking for their wifi passwords so they can use their internet.  This may seem like no big deal, but this stuff we sell doesn’t come to us for free.  We want to be able to keep our service affordable and reliable.  If a neighbor uses your internet, they aren’t paying us for it, and the average usage per customer goes up – which means our rates will have to go up faster than we anticipate.  No one likes that!

As you can see, the Sidewalk service allows Amazon to steal internet from you and ultimately from us, and give it to someone who isn’t paying for it, leaving you open to security issues.

To turn off the sidewalk services here’s what you can do:

Instructions for Alexa app:

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Open More and select Settings.
  3. Select Account Settings.
  4. Select Amazon Sidewalk.
  5. Turn Amazon Sidewalk Off for your account.

Instructions for Alexa app:

  1. Open the Alexa app.
  2. Go to Control Center by tapping the three-lined icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Select Sidewalk and use the toggle icon to opt out
  4. It will ask you to confirm you opt-out.

If you have any issues or questions please email our support team at support@wcloudus.com or give us a call and we will be happy to assist.

White Cloud Communications Joins the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to Support rural Kentuckians affected by the pandemic with Internet.

White Cloud Communications Joins the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to Support rural Kentuckians affected by the pandemic with Internet.

Owenton, KY. May 13, 2021 — White Cloud Communications, a broadband services provider serving rural counties in Kentucky, today announced the company’s participation in the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB) the FCC’s initiative to help households across the country struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic. The program will allow eligible households to remain connected to services and resources they need for critical access to their jobs, healthcare information and remote education.

A lack of broadband access has become evident during recent events, and the COVID-19 crisis has left many families without reliable access to the internet, including students who are unable to actively participate in vital remote learning. It’s estimated that over 32,000 students in Kentucky lack the internet connectivity needed to be able complete their coursework at home. To help those whose roadblock to internet access during the pandemic is financial, White Cloud has joined forces with nearly 900 other internet providers across the country large and small to support the FCC program.

“The Pandemic has hit customers in our communities hard,” said  TJ Scott, VP of Operations at White Cloud. “While we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic, the economic impact is just now being realized by many. This relief couldn’t come at a better time!”

Eligible families may enroll in the FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit program today to receive a $50 per month discount, not to exceed their total monthly bill, toward their monthly broadband services and modem rental fees, excluding taxes and other fees.

More information about how residents can enroll in the EBB program, can be found at www.wcloudus.com/ebb.

About White Cloud Communications

White Cloud Communications US is an up and coming broadband provider in Kentucky, with a network that is comprised of Cable, Fiber and Fixed Wireless to provide and all-of-the-above method of reaching rural communities.  White Cloud Serves 7 counties in Kentucky: Bullitt, Carroll, Gallatin, Henry, Owen, Muhlenberg, and McLean counties. With services the provide adequate bandwidth to serve the needs of any household, and a “White Glove” customer care treatment, White Cloud stands above the rest with customer satisfaction. Visit www.wcloudus.com for more information about White Cloud Communications

White Cloud will Participate in Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

White Cloud will Participate in Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Today White Cloud Communications filed our application to participate in the FCC’s $3.2Billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program.  This will allow us to offer relief to low-income broadband customers with options for discounted services.We want to thank the Commission as well as the USAC administration for their efforts to bring such needed program to our communities and we look forward to signing customers up on the official launch date when it is announced.

Stay tuned for more information soon to be announced that will detail who is eligible, and how customers can take advantage of these savings.

New Channels Available in Western KY!

New Channels Available in Western KY!

Through our negotiations with the local broadcasters, we have added more channels to our Basic lineup:

  • LAFF from WEHT, Channel 40
  • COZI from WEHT, Channel 41
  • Bounce from WTVD, Channel 45
  • Court TV Mystery from WTVW, Channel 46
  • WTVW HD, Channel 906

Our website and printed lineups should be updated in a couple of weeks to reflect these changes.  If you have any issues receiving these channels please Contact us!

White Cloud Communications statement on the Nashville Christmas Day Bombing

White Cloud Communications statement on the Nashville Christmas Day Bombing

As many know, an individual in a senseless act, detonated an explosive device in downtown Nashville. This explosion went off directly next to a key AT&T interconnection hub for communications services throughout the region. Our hearts go out to all the affected people and businesses who suffered so much from the tragic event. Our appreciation goes out to the many federal, state and local personnel who are conducting the investigation.

We at White Cloud Communications, a Kentucky broadband provider, also were affected by the explosion. White Cloud purchases transport and internet bandwidth from AT&T. By Christmas Day afternoon, the data links to two of our headend locations from AT&T were offline. Fortunately, we have made network resiliency a priority in recent years by investing in redundant circuits from multiple carriers. Our customers, regardless of whether they are business or residential, expect that quality of service. During this incident, however, our redundant circuits from other providers were quickly overwhelmed due to the internet traffic being rerouted. To reduce the impact on our customers, we procured emergency bandwidth capacity from those other carriers , and by later on the 26th, traffic was flowing a a normal rate from our customers to the Internet, and voice calls were being completed, except where other providers still had issues. Of course, the key to network resiliency is having sufficient redundant links on diversified paths from different providers. Because of these network investments, along with the dedication of our personnel, we were able to minimize the harm from this extraordinary event and provide the quality of service our customers expect. And, because communications networks and operations are always evolving, we are already evaluating this Christmas Day event to determine how we can further enhance our network reliability and performance.

White Cloud Communications is not alone in its dedication to providing robust, reliable, resilience service. We are part of America’s Communications Association, whose members, smaller broadband providers, have invested and continue to invest billions of dollar annually in their communications infrastructure. Over the past year during the COVID emergency, the networks of these smaller providers like White Cloud Communications reliably offered the high performance broadband services that their customers required to engage in telework, online learning, and telehealth and so many other critical activities. And, they also invested to make their networks resilient to lessen the harms from extraordinary events, whether they are weather disasters or other unusual events.

It will take time to analyze all the fallout from the Nashville bombing on our communications infrastructure. Even while we were prepared and are proud we got back to normal operations so quickly, we along with all providers should use this opportunity to reexamine our infrastructure and address shortcomings. We are particularly concerned about the reliability of our nations 911 infrastructure, which too often relies on a limited number of paths from the same provider. Government agencies should focus their attention on addressing these 911 issues promptly with long term fixes. In the end, White Cloud Communications and the other members of America’s Communications Association understand their customers rely upon them for essential communications connectivity, and all of us will continue to strive to provide the communications services our customers need – no matter what events come our way.