Frequently Asked Questions
1) How does it work?
Clearwave broadcasts its internet service wirelessly, by means of microwave radio systems from various transmission points around Edmonton and surrounding areas. Like a radio station or cellular phone service, you require a receiver at your home or business that picks up the radio signal and brings it to your computer(s). Once inside, the service can be run directly to a single computer or by means of a router, be shared with multiple computers.
2) How much bandwidth do I need to stream TV?
A standard definition show/movie can get away with a 6 Mbps connection and only use 3.0 Mbps of bandwidth (Netflix adjusts video quality to your internet connection speed where AppleTV is fixed to a setting you configure in the AppleTV device) where a HD show/movie can consume 6 Mbps alone just for the video stream. Bandwidth usage can be 1.5 GB for a standard movie, 4.5 GB for a HD movie.
2) How fast is it?
Internet access speeds have to be considered as download (IN to you) and upload (OUT from you) components. There are two types of internet access, symmetric (the same speed in both directions) and asymmetric (faster one way than the other). For comparison, think of dial up service as a two track dirt road IN and OUT (symmetric). Think of Shaw or Telus high speed internet as a paved highway IN but a gravel road OUT (asymmetric). Now get ready for Clearwave, a paved road IN and OUT, true symmetric high speed internet.
What does symmetric mean to an average user? Probably not much because you can travel pretty fast on a gravel road. But ask the same question to someone who sends a lot of emails with attachments or they work from home, someone who plays a lot of online games, or someone who shares / downloads movies or music, and it makes a world of difference.
Clearwave strives to deliver consistent service over best effort service, so that when you need to get on you can and the service is what you expect. Residential services offered are as follows:
Residential Standard Service - Starting at 3.0 Mbps burstable symmetric at $ 51.95 per month, with 50 GB of monthly data transfer up to a maximum of ......
Residential Premium Service - 24.0 Mbps burstable symmetric at $ 91.95 per month, with 400 GB of monthly data transfer or we also have unlimited bandwidth usage plans
3) Does snow or heavy rain interfere with the signal?
Normally no, the radio signals are immune to weather related interference issues, unlike satellite signals but issues can arise twice a year if a heavy wet snow accumulates on the wireless modem surface (located on your roof area) or on the tower antennas but normally will melt off within a few hours. Also, heavy winds can cause the wireless modem on your roof to become misaligned. and a service call will need to be booked to correct that.
4) How many computers can I connect and will my service get slower?
With a standard wired router, 4 computers can be connected and share the service, with a wired/wireless router 4 wired computers and up to 250 wireless devices can be connected. but all of the devices in your house/business have to share the internet data connection and all usage from these devices will accumulate towards your monthly data transfer allotment.
Technically, yes, your service will get slower if multiple computers use it but IF AND ONLY IF all computers are all online downloading / uploading at the same time, which turns out to be rather rare. 95 % of users will not notice the difference.
5) What about Security?
Clearwave fully firewalls our service to help protect you against internet threats. Our radio network in a commercial grade proprietary non 802.11 a/b/g system that is not vulnerable to "listening in" or eavesdropping .
6) How far does it travel?
Depending upon the frequency of the transmitter and the height of the transmission point, coverage can easily range 25 km in rural locations, depending upon obstructions such as terrain and foliage.
7) How do I know if I can get service?
Check our coverage area map, if your area falls within our coverage pattern, you may be able to get service form us depnding upon the obstructions between you and our transmitting locations. Trees, buildings, hills, etc will obstruct the radio signals. Usually, in cases where it is not clear if you can get service from us an on-site evaluation is performed to determine the viability of a reliable signal. This evaluation is a free service from us. Ideally, we want to have a clear un-obstructed path (LOS - line of sight) but that is not always possible. We do have some technologies at our disposal that have some NLOS (non line of sight) abilities, but each location is dealt with on an individual basis.
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