Category

WiFi

Meet Casey!

By DC Access | Internet, WiFi

casey-resizedMeet Casey Fitzgerald, our Intern and Project Coordinator! Casey spends most of his days working on various tasks around the office and helping Martha and Matt with different projects throughout the company, updating systems and customer information. He’s excited to start spending more time doing customer service oriented tasks such as answering the phones and scheduling customer appointments.  

Casey is a 24 year-old DC metro native who grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland. Casey is glad to be spending his days in the city! He recently graduated from Stevenson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  Stevenson was the perfect school for Casey – just like at his high school, Casey liked that everyone in his graduating class was really tight knit and knew each other pretty well.  He also admired how his professors go the extra mile for the students to aid in their success. Casey now uses those lessons to work hard for DC Access customers, to make sure they have everything they need to have strong and reliable internet service.

Casey enjoys exercising, watching sports, reading and spending time with friends and family.

If you’re on the Hill, you might find Casey at the Star and Shamrock Tavern and Deli.  Order the Pulled Brisket sandwich – you won’t be sorry!

You can reach Casey at casey@dcaccess.net or (202) 546-5898. Drop him a line to say hi and welcome him to the DC Access team!

The Need for Speed

By DC Access | Internet, WiFi

Customers frequently ask us which service plan they should choose, based on their data needs.  It can be difficult to sort through conflicting information from the larger providers and the media about which data speeds are really necessary to get reliable wifi.  Do you run a home-office? Do you stream a lot of video content? Let us help you figure out the best data speeds for your needs.

The FCC publishes a Household Broadband Guide, which is a great starting point for customers deciding which data speeds they need. Depending on the number of wifi users or devices in your household, the FCC recommends different minimum speeds.  For example, if members of your household use two smart phones and streaming content to your tablet and smart TV, the FCC recommends a minimum of 6 – more than 15 Mbps.

You might notice, those recommended speeds are much lower than you’ll find the big internet providers and big box stores claim you need to run your devices.  In fact there is increasing evidence that “bigger isn’t always better” and higher speeds don’t necessarily mean better service.  Just take a look at the exorbitant cost absorbed in Alabama to produce high speeds – customers are not lining up for that service.

Our Customer Service team is always happy to help customers figure out the ideal speeds for their households.  Unlike when you work with the big internet providers, DC Access knows you and your neighborhood.  If you need help, a real person will pick up the phone or answer your emails with easy to follow, concrete tips for improving your connectivity and internet speed.

Meet James Dalpee!  

By DC Access | Internet, WiFi

jamesMeet James Dalpee, the new DC Access Customer Service Specialist!

James is excited to join the DC Access team, assisting customers with any questions or concerns they may have. If it’s a technical question, James gets customers the assistance they need, either on the phone or often in person with one of our talented technical staff. James can also assist potential customers on the Hill and Adams Morgan get set up with DC Access service.  James prides himself on providing friendly, convenient customer service, and enjoys helping customers make the switch to DC Access.

James grew up on Capitol Hill and is happy to be part of the community again. James recently returned to town from Portland, Oregon where he has lived off and on for several years, pursuing his Master’s degree.  Now that he’s back in town, James is looking forward to becoming a DC Access customer himself, and  helping his new housemate cut the cord.

James has a passion for interior design, which he enjoys doing on the side, occasionally. He also loves to watch and play tennis, but he hasn’t had a chance to hit the courts in quite some time.

You might find James at Las Placitas, a Salvadoran seafood and papusa restaurant.  He started going there with his parents as a kid and stills enjoy it to this day. Or, you might see James looking up and admiring the beautiful architecture and design all around the Hill.

You can reach James at james@dcaccess.net or (202) 546-5898. Drop him a line or give him a call to get your new service installed, to help with paint color choices or just to say hi.

Getting Ready for Football Season – How to Stream Games

By DC Access | Internet, WiFi

nfl kickoffOne of the truest signs of fall is the kickoff to the football season.  The National Football League is set to open on Thursday September 8 when the defending Super Bowl Champs Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers. Lucky for cord cutters, it’s now easier than ever to catch every moment of the season without a cable contract. So break out your lucky jersey and best tailgate recipes, and get ready for some football!

Many NFL games are broadcast on Over-The-Air channels, so it’s easy for cord cutters to catch the local game for free on NBC, CBS, or Fox.  But if you’re looking for another game on any given Sunday, there are still lots of viewing options.

Monday Night Football on ESPN – In order to catch every Monday Night Football game on ESPN, you’ll need a subscription to either SlingTV’s Orange Package or PlayStation Vue to watch the games on your TV through a streaming device like Apple TV or Roku (DC Access recommends using a wired streaming device that plugs into an ethernet port, rather than a stick).

Twitter – New this year, fans will be able to watch 10 Thursday night NFL games live on Twitter.  It’s not yet clear how exactly this partnership will work, but be sure to follow @NFL on Twitter to get the latest details!

NFL Game Pass – You can also go right to the source and buy a subscription to NFL GamePass, which gives fans access to every game ever played from 2009 to the present.  The only downside is that you can’t stream live games; replays are available immediately after the live broadcast is over. So if you want the freedom to watch your games at a time most convenient for you, NFL GamePass is a good choice.

Grab a seat on the couch, grab a beer, and settle in for the season!

Protecting Your Privacy on Public WiFi Networks - DC Access

Smart Surfing: Protecting Your Privacy on Public WiFi Networks

By Martha Huizenga | Internet, WiFi

Protecting Your Privacy on Public WiFi Networks - DC Access

When DC Access started offering Wireless Internet (WiFi) back in 2003, public WiFi hotspots were few and far between. Today, there are hotspots around every corner – at coffee shops and restaurants, airports and hotels, schools and libraries, parks and museums.

Smartphones take advantage of the proliferation of public WiFi networks by allowing you to connect to the Internet using WiFi rather than your provider’s 3G or 4G network – which can be a great way to avoid overages on your data plan. But it also means that many more people are connecting to public WiFi networks on a daily basis, often without thinking about privacy and security.

If you have WiFi at home or at work, it’s easy to fall into the habit of hopping on WiFi in other locations and not adjusting your settings or behavior.

DC Access recommends following these steps to keep your data secure:

  • In order to keep your data secure when using public wifi, only send information to sites that are encrypted. Encryption scrambles the message you send over the internet so it cannot be read and understood by prying eyes. You can determine if a website is encrypted if the URL starts with “https” – the “s” stands for secure.
  • What about apps? Unfortunately many mobile apps do not adequately encrypt data. We recommend using a secure wireless network if you are transmitting personal data to and from an app.
  • Most mobile hotspots are not secure – do not assume that public wifi is secure.
  • Always log-off of an account when you are finished working; leaving accounts open on public wifi leaves your data more susceptible to theft.
  • Consider using a VPN (virtual private network) if you often rely on public wifi. VPNs encrypt the information transmitted between your computer and the internet.
  • Change the settings on your devices – including smartphones – so that they don’t automatically connect to public WiFi networks. Connect to public networks manually, or set your devices to request approval before connecting. That way you can select known, trusted networks and avoid the possibility of inadvertently connecting to “honeypots” – malicious Wifi networks set up by hackers who are counting on users to let their guard down.
  • You also want to turn off file sharing, which makes you vulnerable to hackers and snoopers when you connect to a public network.

Follow these tips to help keep your data secure over public WiFi.
Additional information can be found at www.onguardonline.gov

Thanks to blog contributor Amy Southerland

Want to stream the political conventions? Here’s How!

By Matt Wade | Internet, WiFi

 

It’s political crunch time as the party faithful head to their conventions to nominate 2016 Presidential candidates.  The Republicans head to Cleveland July 18-21 presumptively to nominate Donald Trump, while the Democrats gather in Philadelphia July 25-28 to likely nominate Hillary Clinton.  Much has been made of this presidential cycle – Will we see our first woman presidential nominee?  Will Trump’s nomination be contested in a divided Republican party?  Who will be named Vice Presidential candidates?  Not all of us were lucky enough to garner invites to the conventions.  Luckily, the conventions will be live-streamed, and apps and subscription services can help give us a firsthand view of the proceedings.  There’s no longer any need to rely on expensive long-term cable contracts to watch the convention speeches.  Everything will be available to you online.

Want to feel like you’re on the convention floor?  There’s an app for that! The Republican National Convention app, called RNC 2016 and available for iOS and Android, will livestream the convention and have 360 degree video. The app also has a map of the convention and event schedule.  You’ll be able to watch all of the speeches straight from your smartphone or tablet.  We expect the Democratic National Committee to announce their app shortly.

Also new this year, for the first time Twitter and CBS News are partnering to stream CBS News’ live coverage on Twitter.  This partnership will give consumers the unique and interactive opportunity to share their thoughts about the convention on Twitter while watching the CBS News journalists report on the proceedings, all in real-time.

But maybe you want to keep your commentary in the room with your viewing companions – there are plenty of options for cord cutters to watch the convention on your home TV.  Subscription streaming services like SlingTV and Playstation Vue will provide livestreams of the conventions.  With SlingTV you can watch on CNN (with a basic package) and HLN (as an add-on channel).  Playstation Vue owners can watch the convention from whichever politically leaning channel you prefer – CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC.
No matter your side of the aisle, you’ll be able to rest in your most comfy chair at home and watch the presidential nominations live.