Skip to main content
All Posts By

Martha Huizenga

How Does Uploading Affect My Downloading?

By Internet

Most people know that bandwidth is the maximum speed for your connection. But many have only a vague idea of how it works. Your Internet connection, your router speed, and the computer’s network card speed are the three things that determine your bandwidth. If you use the internet regularly, odds are, at times, you are both uploading and downloading files, with the bulk of files being downloaded. Think of when you read an email or view a Web page, a photo, or a video online. Each time you do so, it’s a download. You upload when you log in to a site, send information, send files to the cloud or add images to social media sites. Uploading and downloading both use protocols that indicate how to handle the data being transferred. When you’re uploading anything, your download speed will be affected if you are maxing out your upload bandwidth.

While uploading and downloading use similar technologies, you’ll notice the difference when it comes to speed. Upload speed is the amount of data you can send in a given second. Download speed is the amount of data you can receive in one second. Uploading is usually slower than downloading. If you use the internet at home, odds are you don’t need to worry about a fast upload speed. But if you run a small business, it can be important. If you’re frequently uploading (sending photos, sending data to the cloud, running full backups, just to name a few), it can slow your overall bandwidth and connection. If you’re using Wi-Fi and your connection is slow, you may want to switch to a wired connection. Most routers and modems support standard Ethernet cables to connect your devices. Relying on Wi-Fi connections can be slower due to possible interference with Wi-Fi from other devices in your home or even next door neighbors. Interference can be a real problem in densely populated areas, like DC.

How much bandwidth does your household use? Email and music streaming requires at least 1 to 2 Mbps, while web browsing requires a range of 3 to 5 Mbps, and social media requires 3 to 10 Mbps. Video streaming and online gaming eat up the most bandwidth, ranging from 5 to 25 Mbps. All of our plans are great even with multiple people on your network. However, if you have several people streaming at the same time, we recommend one of our plans above our basic plan.

If you have questions about your usage and how much speed you actually need, feel free to Message us or call DC Access at (202) 546-5898.

WISPA Conference

By Uncategorized

At DC Access, we believe in the power of community both in our neighborhood and within industry.  With more than twenty years in business, we are proud to be a respected member and leader in WISPA (Wireless Internet Service Providers Association).

Co-founder Martha Huizenga recently connected with WISPA members at their October conference in Las Vegas.  She moderated a panel discussing the marketing and public relations needs for wireless internet service providers.  She is also attending several panels regarding tech, business, regulatory, and human resources.  DC Access is keeping a particular pulse on new regulatory reporting requirements from the FCC.

And perhaps the most fulfilling piece of the conference was Martha’s participation on the panel for Women of WISPA entitled “Encourage, Inspire, Connect.”  Women of WISPA is an open forum for members of WISPA who seek the advancement of women in the telecommunications industry.  

Martha recounted attending her first WISPA conference several years ago with just four women in attendance.  This year, we sat surrounded by dozens of women, each pillars of our community in their own right.  The roo

m was packed for the WoW panel.  Martha said, “We’ve come a long way and we need to keep encouraging others.”

We couldn’t agree more. WISPA has come a long way in recent years, but there is still much work to be done. We look forward to continuing to encourage others to join the association and get involved in the community. Only by working together can we hope to achieve our goals.

DC Access is internet simplified and that comes with keeping a pulse within our service area and our industry.  What a way to do it by connecting with others at WISPA 2022. Thank you for having us, we love being a part of this community!

Ransomware

By Internet, Security

RANSOMWAREIn 2021, several cases of Ransomware attacks on large companies, organizations, and government agencies have occurred. Ransomware has become a significant issue in technology, resulting in billions of dollars lost in the past couple of years.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device. It uses encryption, which generates a pair of unique keys created by the attacker to encrypt or decrypt files. Typically, the software is dispersed through spam emails, advertising, or targeted attacks.

A ransom is demanded to be paid in order for files to be decrypted and become accessible. Attackers using Ransomware threaten to publish individuals’ personal data or block access to the use of files, databases, and/or applications until the ransom is paid. Ransomware largely affects businesses, limiting access to data needed for daily operation. It is created to spread across an entire network/database to incapacitate the entire business.

How can you prevent Ransomware incidents?

  1. Only open emails and websites from trusted people and organizations.
  2. Do not click on any embedded links in emails and do not give out usernames and passwords to any one. One of the most common ways hackers gain access to private networks is through a process called Phishing. Phishing is the act of someone who pretends to work for the company calls/emails/texts asking can you provide them with your login credentials.
  3. Be sure to maintain current offline, encrypted backups of your data.
  4. Regularly test your backups.
  5. Use and maintain security software on your devices, including antivirus and anti-spam software.
  6. Only use secure wireless networks. If you do use a public wifi network, make sure you are also using a VPN on top of that connection.
  7. Create and maintain a cyber incident response plan, including notification procedures for a ransomware incident.

With the increase in Ransomware attacks, it is important, especially for businesses, to stay informed and take precautions to prevent incidents.

DC Access Participates in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

By Press Releases
Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

On May 15th, the Federal Communications Commission launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program) in an attempt to help households in need afford internet service. The EBB Program provides broadband and device benefits for low-income customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband services for eligible customers and up to $75 per month towards eligible households on Tribal lands. Customers will also be able to receive a one-time discount of up to $100 towards equipment purchased from providers including laptops, desktops, or tablets, if they contribute between $10-$50 towards the purchase.

Who is Eligible?

A household is eligible if one of the following criteria are meet by a member living in the household:

  •  Qualifies for FCC’s Lifeline program
  • Approved for free or reduced price school breakfast/lunch program
  • Experienced substantial documented loss of income since February 29, 2020 – total household income in 2020 below $99,000 (single filers) and $198,000 (joint filers)
  • Received a federal Pell grant in current reward year or qualifies for low-income or Covid-19 program by FCC approval

* Existing Lifeline subscribers do not need to fill out an application for the EBB Program*

We are happy to announce that DC Access is an FCC Provider and participates in the Emergency Broadband Benefit. We are committed to helping households stay connected, despite financial hardships. Existing and new customers can opt for our service, choose from our plans, and receive up to $50 per month towards their DC Access service.

If you meet the criteria and would like to receive DC Access service, first apply online at http://getemergencybroadband.org/ and then contact us at 202-546-5898 or support@dcaccess.net.

For Additional information, please visit https://www.dcaccess.net/emergency-broadband-benefit/.

AMAZON SIDEWALK

By Internet

AMAZON SIDEWALKSince the beginning of the pandemic, more people are working from home and using their home internet more frequently. This makes internet security more important than ever. Here at DC Access, we want to keep you alert and help you prioritize your internet security at home. 

On June 8TH, Amazon is launching Amazon Sidewalk, a service providing a shared network that claims to help smart devices work better. Sidewalk will form a shared wireless network capped at 500MB per month by taking a small portion of your internet bandwidth to pool together to provide services to you and your neighbors. Essentially this can take away from the speed of your internet for other devices, such as computer use, streaming, and gaming devices. For more details, see this related article.

Devices included in Sidewalk are Amazon Echo devices, Ring Security, outdoor lights, motion sensors, Tile trackers, pet locators, and smart locks. Sidewalk aims to help the user’s devices when they are out of range of their home Wi-Fi by keeping them online. Amazon believes the network will allow users to locate lost keys or missing pets and set up and fix devices remotely. It also benefits ALL Sidewalk-enable devices in your community, not just yours.

Sidewalk will be a default setting for all Amazon smart home devices, automatically enrolling each device to participate in network sharing. Owners of those devices have the option to disable Sidewalk at any time. You can update your Amazon Sidewalk preferences in two ways, from the Control Center on the Ring App and Settings on the Alexa App. 

Using the Ring App

  1. Open the Ring App on your device
  2. Tap the 3-lined icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen
  3. Go to the Control Center
  4. Turn Sidewalk on or off

Using the Alexa App

  1. Open the Alexa App on your device
  2. Select the more icon at the lower right-hand corner of the screen
  3. Select Settings 
  4. Select Account Settings
  5. Select Amazon Sidewalk
  6. Use the toggle to enable or disable Sidewalk

If you have linked your Ring and Amazon accounts, your Sidewalk preferences on either Alexa or Ring App will apply to all of your eligible Echo and Ring devices. Therefore, if you decide to opt out of Amazon Sidewalk on the Ring App, it will apply to your Echo devices as well.

While there are benefits to this experimental project, DC Access believes that the potential security risks out-way the positives. For now, we would recommend opting out of Amazon Sidewalk.

Hardwire Your Devices

By Internet

We all enjoy the portability of our electronic devices. But having your devices hardwired can have its advantages. Hardwiring your device consist of an Ethernet cable connecting to the PC directly to a port on the router or access point. Although wiring your devices may prevent mobility, you will be grateful for a faster, more reliable, network and internet connection. View the following steps on how to on hardwire your device.

Hardwire A Windows Laptop

  1. Plug-in one end of the Ethernet cable to the RJ45 port on your laptop.
  2. Plug-in the opposite end of the Ethernet cable to an available port on the router.
  3. Wait while the device and the router establish a network connection.
  4. View the taskbar at the bottom right of your Windows desktop to verify a network icon confirming the connection.

Still having trouble? Visit the laptop’s brand website for further instructions.

Hardwire a Apple Mac Laptop

  1. Plug-in a Ethernet cable to connect your computer’s Ethernet port to a router.
  2. If your computer doesn’t have an Ethernet port, try using a USB to Ethernet adapter, or a Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet adapter.
  3. To verify a connection, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Network.

Still having trouble? Visit Apple’s User Guide for more help.

Hardwire a Smart-TV

  1. Locate the Ethernet port on the back of your TV
  2. Plug-in an Ethernet cable from your router to the port on your TV
  3. Select Menu on your TV’s remote and then go to Network settings.
  4. Select the option to enable wired internet
  5. Verify the connection.

Still having trouble? Visit the TV’s brand website for further instructions.