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I have Verizon / Sprint / Etc. for my cell service, should I buy a cell signal booster?"No. Do not waste your time (and money) with any signal booster. The reason being is that the Verizon signals are reflected off the sides of the valley to/from the antennas near Costco. By not having a clear line of sight the radio signals come and go based on temperature, moisture, amount of needles on the trees, etc. They will drop so low that even a signal booster won't be able to find the signal to boost. I don't have one customer that has kept any of those systems lower in the valley. What do they do instead? 1) If you have smart phones that are current technology, you can enable the wifi calling feature and the phones will place calls over the internet. Click here to learn how to set up WiFi calling on Android and iPhone 2) If you don't have phones that can do this, then you would want one of these: https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/network-extender-faqs (it places your Verizon calls over the internet. (not to be confused with a simple radio signal booster/amplifier).
How do I setup WiFi Calling on my smartphone?Follow the link to learn how to enable WiFi calling on Android and iPhone. Click here
Walker WiFi vs. HughesNet (and Viasat)Thanks for contacting and considering Walker WiFi. HughesNet does do a good job marketing their service. I think you will be glad you dug a little deeper asking and comparing what Walker WiFi has to offer. Walker WiFi was founded in 2011 to service the Walker, AZ area with high-speed internet service. It has grown to 350 customers of with many of them had a chance to compare Walker WiFi side by side with their existing Hughes, ViaSat or cellular service. We offer a 60-day unconditional money back guarantee so there was no financial incentive on our side to favor us. Walker WiFi chooses to charge up front for the receiver equipment and labor, so we do not have to lock you into a multi-year contract with cancellation penalties to cover the cost. We offer flexible 6-month*, 8-month* and 12-month plans. While Hughes Net and ViaSat tout the best things they are good at, they do not mention the things that they are not particularly good at. Both Hughes and ViaSat do a great job promoting their data rate (up to 25Mbps+). There are a few additional things one should keep in mind when deciding which service to use. 1. All internet services including Walker WiFi offer “up to” data rates. This includes Cox Cable and Century Link in Phoenix. The data rate is not guaranteed as it is highly dependent on overall network usage at a particular point in time. Walker Wifi is based on a fiber optic connection to the internet, and offers unlimited data service, but the data rates are much more consistent to allow smooth video streaming and Zoom type teleconferencing. What really matters to the overall internet user experience is what is called the transaction time, or “Ping” time. Satellite services are all based on geosynchronous satellites that are 22,000 miles out in space. They are out that far so they can stay in one place all the time hence the term geosynchronous. Radio waves travel at the speed of light. Each time you send and receive a packet of information to/from a server on the internet through a satellite-based system it takes a minimum 4 trips (up and down for the request, up and down for the reply) or 88,000 miles. The absolute best “Ping” time by physics would be ½ second but is typically ¾ to 1 second based on user experience. You can Google this topic and read forum posts of actual users’ experiences. This is from dslreports.com: Walker WiFi has a fiber optic connection in Prescott that routes to Phoenix. The picture below is a screen shot of a ping test: With repeater delays, our users experience ping times to be 30-50 milliseconds. So, this is around 20+ times faster than satellite on an average basis. Now that the technical aspect of “Ping” time has been explained, one asks, “what does this really mean?” If you take an example web page such as cnn.com or usatoday.com. To load that page takes many internet transactions. The actual amount of data in each of those transactions is small, so the ping time is way more important than maximum download speed. Your typical internet page with small snippets of information will load 25 times faster on a terrestrial based internet service than a satellite-based system. This is the #1 reason why people use Walker WiFi. Here are a couple of items on the web that also discuss this topic: http://compnetworking.about.com/od/speedtests/a/network_latency.htmhttp://blogs.watoday.com.au/digital-life/askchris/2009/05/05/satelliteands.html 2. Voice and video has all moved to the internet through video streaming services (Hulu, Netflix, etc.), wifi-calling, and teleconferencing services such as Zoom. Video and voice communications do not work well with the delay that is inherent in satellite service causing pauses, echoes and break-up. Again, Walker Wifi being built with a fiber optic backbone to the internet does not suffer from these delays. 3. Waller Wifi does not have any data limits. Satellite based internet services have a combination of daily and/or monthly data limits. The more you pay, the more data you can get, but once you hit your limit, you are throttled down to a slow unusable speed. They do typically have early morning hours that are exempt from data limits which they offer as a compromise. 4. Walker Wifi has a 60-day complete money back guarantee, so it is an extremely easy decision to give it a try. Ongoing, there are no service contract so you can pause or cancel the service any time you want without penalty. HughesNet is famous for their "free hardware" upgrade to enable faster service which they use to entice you lock in a 2-year contact that has stiff cancellation fees. 5. Walker WiFi technology isn’t affected by snow or heavy rain, satellite is. 6. Walker WiFi customer service is local and responsive. 7. Walker WiFi is a community-based business that gives back to Walker in many ways. We sponsor the community Wifi hotspot, weather station and "snow cams" at the Walker Fire station. We sponsor and run the drink booth at Walker Days plus we help support the Walker semi-annual newsletter.
Is StarLink an option in Walker?StarLink is currently in Beta testing and reviewers are reporting varied download speeds from 15-50mbps and often greater with upload speeds around 10mbps. The main drawback is the open-sky requirement that is difficult if not impossible to attain in Walker. If you are in or near the trees or in a gully, StarLink probably isn't an option for you. One internet reviewer wrote: "We placed the dish in an open area but found the dish aiming at a northern portion of the sky so not surprisingly, we received an "Obstructions are blocking your internet connection around 9 hours each day" message. It was accompanied by a graphic showing the direction of the obstructions. The culprit: trees that are hundreds of feet away but manage to occlude the view."
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