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KRACK Attack – What You Need to Know

By Security, WiFi

That loud sound you heard last week might have been the crack from the feared KRACK attack hitting the internet. KRACK can invade all wifi connected, wireless devices (laptops, tablets, phones, etc.) and allow hackers to spy on your personal data and interactions online.  The good news is that the vendors we use to power the DC Access network equipment have already created patches and we have already patched our core network equipment.  Other tech companies and manufacturers are responding quickly to this security hole and are rapidly working on patches to protect our online security and safety.

In the meantime, DC Access wants to share with you some useful tips to keep your systems safe.

Windows

If you use Windows enabled devices, they are unlikely to be impacted by this vulnerability.  However, Microsoft already prepared a patch for Windows 10. If you have auto-updates turned on, the patch has already been installed on your device.

Apple

Apple is working on a KRACK protection update for all of its products. These updates should be available in the next few days. Keep an eye out for it – the patch will be available for download and auto-updates.

Google

Google is working on updates for Android phones. Updates should be out in a few weeks.  The wildcard with Android phones, however, is that each cellular provider will control when (or if) phones get updated.  Pay attention to notices from your cellular provider for information about software updates.

Please remember, though, to be careful with other wireless devices that use wifi, including wireless cameras and baby monitors, among other devices. There may never be a hardware update available for these devices. And even if an update does become available, most do not have an auto update feature, so it is more difficult to disseminate the fix. The updates need to be installed manually. In order to best protect your data, when possible, use hard-wired versions of these devices.

DC Access is staying well-informed on this potential security breach and working hard to ensure your protection.  If you have any questions, please contact us at support@dcaccess.net.

Try DC Access Risk Free! Already a Customer? Tell a Friend, Get a Month Free!

By Internet

DC Access is always happy to serve new customers, particularly as we expand into new neighborhoods.  As we grow, we are sometimes asked by new customers how we are able to offer such reliable internet connectivity and better customer service than the national players.  Admittedly, sometimes those thinking about DC Access are concerned that DC Access will not be able to meet their needs.

Simply put, DC Access delivers. If you’re already a customer, you know that we’re the essence of hassle free. No strings, no hidden fees, no contracts. If you’re not, we encourage you to check out our reviews — our customers say it best!

DC Access is 100% risk free. 
DC Access offers a 100% money back guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied with your DC Access service or experience within the first 30 days, we’ll refund 100% of your money, including the installation fee and any monthly service fees.

How can we be so sure you’ll be happy?
Before we install our service at a new location, DC Access technicians always do a site survey to make sure that your home or business is a good candidate for our service.  If we are not a good fit for your needs, we won’t sign you up.  That’s been our policy since we started connecting customers to our network.

Refer a friend, get a free month!
We love our customers. And any friend of yours is a friend of ours. So tell your friends and neighbors about our 100% money back guarantee. There’s no cost for a site survey! And just a reminder, if your referral signs up with DC Access, you will get a free month of internet service.

Don’t Miss a Second of Election Night Coverage!

By Internet, WiFi
i-voted-2Election Day is finally here!  Like most DC residents, we will be glued to our devices to make sure we don’t miss a moment of the exciting Election Night results.  Not sure where to turn for the most up-to-date news? Let DC Access help!
Broadcast channels and Cable News channels will provide some of your best election night streaming coverage.  The big three (CBS, NBC, and ABC) will offer live results and frequently updated news feeds.  You can also catch live-streams on CNN,MSNBC, and FoxNews (depending on your political leaning).
Twitter is also getting into the Election Night live-streaming fray.  Twitter recently announced a partnership with Buzzfeed to stream the night’s news.  Buzzfeed’s news reporters will be reporting live from New York.
The Washington Post is introducing a new Election Night streaming experience with live programming, a viewing party, and real-time updates.  We think viewing election results straight from the floor of the Washington Post is pretty cool!
Or maybe you have Election Fatigue?  Turn your ringer off and plug into a Netflix marathon!

Customer Spotlight – Meet Bookstore Movers!

By Internet

bookstore-movers3-1Meet Bookstore Movers!

Bookstore Movers is based out of DC Access customer Matt Wixon’s living room and they rely on DC Access service to run this large organization!  Bookstore Mover’s previous service provider could not keep up with their needs – and with a fleet of 15 trucks and 80 employees, they require reliable, consistent, fast internet service.  The work day starts around 4am and it sometimes does not end until 8pm.  The company needs to be connected throughout that time and DC Access has been able to provide reliable service the whole time.  Matt was pleased with the easy set-up and responsive customer service.

Bookstore Movers is a big fan of the Hill Center.  It’s got so many edifying and entertaining classes and events which many people in the neighborhood seem to be unaware of.   Plus, the grounds and building are magnificent!  They also love Bayou Bakery, right next door.  It’s like a little utopian island right in the middle of the Hill.

If you need a reliable mover to help you around the corner or across the river, visit the Bookstore website to get started!

The Need for Speed

By 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.

Customer Spotlight – Meet Amy Rogers Nazarov

By Internet

img_5702-2Amy Rogers Nazarov, a local freelance writer and social media manager, has been a DC Access customer for 7 years.  Amy works from home and needs reliable internet connectivity.  Amy was drawn to DC Access because they are a local company that supports the neighborhood.  She also loves that on the rare occasion that there is a service issue, Matt, Martha, and their team respond promptly and effectively.  Amy is also a big fan of The Pretzel Bakery‘s new, bigger location – all the better to wash down a Pretzel Bomb with a big glass of Basil Lemonade!

Protecting Your Privacy on Public WiFi Networks - DC Access

Smart Surfing: Protecting Your Privacy on Public WiFi Networks

By 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

Cutting the Cord – How do I live stream sports?

By Internet

(Playstation Vue has officially been discontinued. For live TV alternatives, please visit here.)

 

You’ve decided to cut the cord and sever ties with your expensive cable contract.  You know DC Access provides the reliable and fast Internet service you need to watch your favorite TV shows and movies at home through a digital media device and online streaming services.  But now it’s time to set up your NCAA brackets and watch the Big Dance to the Final Four – how are you supposed to watch those early games without cable?

Live sports viewing is one of the more difficult parts of cutting the cord.  But there’s good news!  Lately, more and more cable sports networks are offering their broadcasts to all live events online without a cable contract.  Not sure where to start?  Here’s a quick run-down of the best options for all sports lovers.

Streaming Services – Streaming services are a good fit for many sports fans because they are available on any devices – TV, tablet, or phone.  For the die-hard sports fan, Sling TV and PlayStation Vue (available in select markets) are good choices for streaming live sporting events.  Both offer live streaming of the ESPN suite of channels plus TNT, TBS, and TruTV.  

League Streaming Subscriptions – All four major sports leagues in the US now offer subscriptions to their full lineups via their own apps.  NBA League Pass, MLB.TV, NFL Mobile App, and NHL GameCenter Live can guarantee you never miss a Hail Mary pass or walk-off home run!  College hoops fan? CBS All Access College Sports Live gives you access to all of the excitement and drama during the season.

Local HDTV – Go the new-old-fashioned route!  Many local games are still broadcast on network channels which can be accessed with an HDTV antenna. We can help you get wired up..  You can find the NBA on ABC, NFL on FOX, CBS and NBC, MLB on FOX, and NHL on NBC.

Are you set for the NCAA Tournament? There’s still time to get DC Access installed before the Big Dance is complete and this year’s Cinderella story emerges.  Get off the bubble and contact us to get dancing today!