702.346.5211

What is my devices max wi-fi speed?

It doesn’t get much more frustrating than upgrading to a high-speed internet package and then experiencing sluggish performance when you connect your smartphone. It doesn’t mean the speed isn’t there and available for you. It may be your devices are not capable of supporting the speed you subscribed to and they are only giving you the best they can. If you run a speed test on each device, you might notice each device’s “best” might vary.

Wi-Fi

Think about Wi-Fi as speaking a language. Your router speaks this language to your connected devices. There are five different Wi-Fi languages with a sixth on the way. Wi-Fi 1-3 are the slowest of the Wi-Fi languages and are only found in older devices. Wi-Fi 4 and 5 are capable of much faster speeds and are found in new devices.

Whatever device you have connected, your Reliance Connects provided router is backwards compatible —basically meaning it can speak any Wi-Fi language. The problem comes when only one device can speak at a time.

Imagine a circle. At the center of that circle is your router. Surrounding it are all your connected devices. Just like most people, the router can’t understand all the devices at one. So, a talking stick is used. Each device can only communicate with the router when it holds the talking stick. Each device can only hold the talking stick for a specific amount of time before it has to pass it on and each device has to have a turn as long as it sits in the circle.

When all the connected devices are speaking the same language, it works great! Especially if that language is Wi-Fi 5. All of this is happening in milliseconds and when devices are speaking Wi-Fi 5, that talking stick gets passed around so fast, you don’t notice any lags. However, things begin to slow down when you have one or more devices in the circle that speak a different language than the rest. Because the router communicates with only one device at a time, it now has to take the time to switch the language it’s speaking to communicate with that device and then take time to switch back. This alone can eat up to 30% of your subscribed speed. This is because the talking stick is moving so fast around the circle, the router is constantly having to take a moment to switch languages.

Connected Devices

A connected device’s age, type, and software it’s running all factor into what speeds it can support. The chart below will give you a general idea of what speed each device is capable of, based on the type of device and language it speaks.

 

How Does Wi-Fi Work?

We use it every day. We get frustrated when it lags or doesn’t work. Wi-Fi has become an integral part of the way we live. But do you really know how it works? There is actually a lot going on in the airspace around our home that we can’t see or hear. Understanding how it works will help you get the most out of your internet package.

The Router

To connect your wireless devices to Wi-Fi, you need a router setup in your home. Modern day routers have come a long way and now actually often encompass several devices into one device. An ethernet cable is plugged into your router that brings the internet to your home.

Routers are often updated and improved to handle faster speeds and communicate between devices more efficiently. Recently, new routers can communicate to multiple devices at a time as well as on different frequencies. This helps eliminate over-crowding and brings optimal speeds to all capable devices.

Wireless Connection

Once the router is setup and you begin connecting wireless devices to it, you can now access the internet! The router communicates with your devices through radio wave frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 2.4 GHz can provide coverage for a wider area but is often slow. 5 GHz provides coverage for a smaller area but can bring you faster speeds. Newer routers and devices are dual-band which means they can work on either frequency. This is especially helpful because the 2.4 GHz airspace is often over-crowded. Other devices such as baby monitors, microwaves and garage door openers also communicate using the same frequencies and can disrupt or slow down your internet speed. 5 GHz offers more private space dedicated to you and your devices. The only problem is it has a harder time travelling through solid objects like walls or bookshelves.

Speaking Different Languages

All connected devices speak a certain language. Languages range from Wi-Fi 1 (the oldest and slowest language) to Wi-Fi 5 (the newest and fastest language.) Older devices tend to speak slower languages while newer devices tend to speak faster languages. Your Reliance Connects provided router can understand each of these languages. If you have too many connected devices all trying to communicate with your router at the same time, you will begin running into speed issues. Especially if you have connected devices speaking different languages. Although your router can communicate with each one, the router still needs to take some time to switch the language it’s speaking to understand the device that is trying to communicate with it.

You can use the analogy of the talking stick. All connected devices get a turn with the talking stick, even if it’s just to pass it on. They can only communicate when they are in possession of the talking stick. On top of that, each device is only allotted a certain amount of time with the talking stick before having to pass it along. If it does not finish what its communicating, it needs to wait until it gets the talking stick back before continuing.

Reliance Connects is now offering a high-powered dual band AC Wi-Fi router for a low monthly charge. This means worry free replacement and gives our support team more tools to assist you if you do have troubles. What’s even better is your Reliance Connects provided routers are configured to automagically switch devices to less crowded frequencies as needed. This means each device has more opportunity to communicate. Coming soon, we’ll have an app so that you have more control over your home. Set parental controls, do speed tests, change your Wi-Fi password and more!

If you have any issues with your router, please contact our Help Desk. The Reliance Connects Help Desk is available Monday-Friday from 7am-9pm and Saturday-Sunday from 8am-5pm. If there are any problems that come up with a rented router, please don’t hesitate to call us.

In Estacada & Corbett 503.630.8909

In Mesquite 702.346.0040

In Elkton, Haines and Antelope Toll free 1-866-894-4657

 

Smartphone Hidden Tips

Smart phones are constantly being updated with new features. Many of these features go unnoticed. Try these tips to use your smart phone to its fullest potential. Today’s smartphones are powerful and feature-packed, we are sharing just a few of the more practical hidden features found in iPhones and Androids.

iPhone

Silence Unknown Callers: Have you ever been plagued with random phone calls from numbers around the world, robo calls, or telemarketers looking to save you money on your insurance? iPhone has the exact feature you need to end it! The Silence Unknown Callers function sends calls from unknown numbers directly to voicemail and displayed on your Recent list. Numbers that are in your contacts, recently called and Siri suggestions will continue to ring when they call you. To turn this feature on:

  1. . Open Settings
  2. . Tap on “Phone”
  3. . Toggle the Silence Unknown Callers button to on

Group FaceTime Call: Don’t worry about downloading and setting up accounts with Zoom or Skype to have group video conference calls! With this iPhone feature, you can add up to 31 people to the same FaceTime call. Here’s how to do it:

  1. . Open the FaceTime app on your iPhone
  2. . Tap the + button on the top right of your screen
  3. . Enter the name or number of the person you want to call first
  4. . Enter up to 30 additional contacts
  5. . Tap Video or Audio to place your FaceTime call

Customize Text Messages When Screening A Call: We all get busy and sometimes must ignore a phone call. It doesn’t mean you have you leave your friends or family hanging though. Your iPhone has three pre-written text options you can send instantly. These messages can be customized to suit your style/circumstances. Here’s how to edit them:

  1. . Open your Settings app
  2. . Tap on “Phone”
  3. . Tap on “Respond with Text”
  4. . Tap which field you want to edit
  5. . Enter new text (these automatically save when you exit)

Android

Smart Lock: Smart lock is a great feature that give you more control over your lock screen. It sets up geofencing so when you enter certain trusted locations, your phone’s lock screen is disabled. You can setup an unlimited amount of locations such as home, work, school, church, etc.  So, when your phone is lying next to you in the office, you needn’t unlock it numerous times throughout the day. To setup Smart Lock:

  1. . Open your Settings
  2. . Tap on “General”
  3. . Tap on “Lock Screen & Security” or “Security & Privacy”
  4. . Tap on “Trust Agents”
  5. . Toggle the Smart Lock button on and enter your pin
  6. . In the same area, setup your trusted locations

One-Handed Mode in Gboard: If you’re one that prefers texting one handed, this feature was made specifically for you. When activated, the keyboard shifts over to either the left or the right (depending on your dominant hand) to easier reach all the keys using only one hand. To activate:

  1. . With the keyboard open long-press on the comma
  2. . Slide over to the icon that looks like a hand holding a box
  3. . Designate which hand you use

Split-Screen Mode: Do you ever jump back and forth between two apps? This cool feature splits your screen and allows you access to both at once. You can use this in either portrait mode (in which the apps are stacked one on top of the other) or in landscape mode (in which the apps appear side by side). To activate:

  1. . Make sure both apps you want to use are open
  2. . With one of them open on screen, long-press on the Recent Apps button (this is the square icon to the right of the home button)
  3. . A list of available open apps comes up. Select the second app you would like to use.

These are only a few of the long list of less well-known features available in iPhones or Androids. Updating your operating systems regularly will help ensure your phone functions properly and makes the latest features available. Take a little time and do some exploring and see what other fun/useful features you can find!

There’s An App For That: 10 Apps Everyone Should Have

 

So long are the days of boring single ability phones! From rotary dial phones to phones that can take care of pretty much everything. What do you think Alexander Graham Bell would think of the modern-day smart phone? What’s more, our phones actually CONTINUE to become more and more useful (a lot of that use being meaningless) through the development of apps.

There are currently over two million apps available right now with thousands more being released daily. Have you ever needed to run to the bathroom in the middle of a movie, but didn’t want to miss anything good? Well, there’s an app for that! RunPee is an app that tells you the optimal time during any movie to run to the bathroom. Just type the movie title in and you’re set to schedule the perfect break. Ever want to be a ghost hunter? Don’t worry, there’s an app for that! Ghost EMF Meter is an app when open will take the reading of any room and alert you of any paranormal activity.

All fun aside, there really are some spectacular apps out there that can make everyone’s life a little bit easier. Here is the countdown of our top 10 most practical apps everyone should have.

Venmo

Venmo is a mobile peer-to-peer payment service app. You are able to send and request money from anyone with a Venmo account. It takes the chore away from reimbursing friends or family members for dinner or other outings. Instead of handling cash or handing over a credit card, Venmo keeps the transaction clean and secure. Debuting in 2009, Venmo is so popular now that many vendors or merchandisers now accept payment through the app.

Life360

Life 360 is a family location and alert app. The app allows you to setup locations and alerts to track when family members arrive at home, work, school or other locations you setup. It has the capability of sharing driving speed, travel time and even has crash detection that will alert other family members and emergency response units immediately.

Uber

Uber is a ride-hailing app that allows you to submit a trip request that is automatically sent to Uber drivers nearest you. Once the request is accepted, the driver makes their way to your location and you are alerted of wait time and what vehicle to keep an eye out for. Don’t worry about having cash on hand or pulling out your wallet either. The app calculates the distance and fare and handles the transaction through the app with your selected payment method.

GroupMe

GroupMe is group messaging app that helps you stay coordinated with coworkers, family or any group of people you want to stay connected with. You can create as many groups as you’d like at no cost. It’s a simple way to stay in touch by sending texts, GIFs, images and videos. It is also parent friendly by allowing parents to use third-party apps, like Bark, to monitor potential cyberbullying, sexting, or drug content.

CamScanner

CamScanner is a handy mobile app that turns your phone into a document scanner. Using the camera on your phone, it quickly turns the image into a pdf that can then be shared via email. It offers smart cropping and auto enhancing to create clear and sharp looking documents. The batch feature allows you to scan multiple pages and then bundle them into one clean pdf file. You can add notes, tags, merge with other documents, password protect and more.

PostMates

Although not available in all cities yet, PostMates is a food delivery service app. You can place an order from any number of available restaurants through the app and the food is delivered to your designated location. All charges are taken care of through the app. And don’t worry, the list of restaurants is ever growing. You are sure to find some of your favorite lunch-time eateries on the list!

Shazam

Have you ever been out and heard a song playing that you really liked and wish you knew the name so you could download it later? Shazam is the app you need! Open the app and with just one press of a button, Shazam will “listen” to the music and tell you the name and artist within seconds. It will even store the information for you so you can look it up later.

Audible

Audible unquestionably has the biggest collection of available audiobook titles at nearly half a million. There are many unique features included in each subscription to enhance your experience. Some of these include bookmarking, recording snippets, play speed control and personal tracking. All audiobooks purchased are stored in your account library. They can be downloaded to your device or kept stored in the cloud. Cancelling your subscription does not mean losing any of your purchased books. Listen to a book and hate it? Don’t worry, Audible allows you to trade those titles in for a new book at no extra charge.

Amazon

Amazon is one of the biggest names in business. Through their app, you can find just about anything you could ever want/need and have it delivered to your front door. With a growing number of warehouses, many items can be delivered to you within a day or two. Beyond shopping, Amazon also has Amazon Music and Prime Video that all link to the same account. Amazon Music membership offers you access to over forty million songs. Prime Video gives you access to over 4,000 movies and tv shows similar and has a dashboard similar to Netflix or Hulu.

Airbnb

If you tend to travel or have extra lodging available, Airbnb is a must. This app connects people looking to rent out their homes with travelers looking for accommodations. It is an easy way for participants looking to host to make some money. If you have a listing, it is completely free to list on the app with photos and written descriptions. For travelers, you can perform a detailed search of the type of accommodations you are looking for. You can find anything from a single room or apartment to yachts or even a castle! Of course this varies by location. Airbnb is established in a little less than 200 countries around the world!

Covid-19 Update April 3, 2020

Dear Customers,

We are reaching out to remind you Reliance Connects is here to serve you during these unprecedented times. Our offices are staffed to assist you but remain closed to the public for the well-being and safety of you and our employees.

If you need to make a payment, we want to remind you of your options:

For the first 2 options you will need your account number, please check your statement or call or email us for assistance.

  • Login to Smart Hub via our website under Billing
  • Download our Smart Hub app
  • Call to sign up for ACH/Auto pay with your checking account

If you are experiencing a financial hardship due to the impact of COVID-19, we are adjusting to allow extra time for you to pay. Please call or email us to communicate your needs or to set up payment arrangements.

If you have any questions or need help accessing your account online, or need to discuss your account- please contact us at info@rconnects.com or call your local office.

  • Estacada Office: 503.630.4213
  • Corbett Office: 503.695.2202
  • Elkton Office: 541.584.2224
  • Haines Office: 541.856.3661
  • Mesquite/Arizona Office: 702.346.5211
  • Antelope 541.489.3402

In the days ahead, we will continue to monitor federal and state mandates and the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on our industry. We thank you for being a valued customer and we are proud to serve you.

Your Reliance Connects Service Team

Covid-19 Update March 20, 2020

Dear Customers,

What a week it has been! The health and welfare of you our customers and our employees continue to be of the utmost importance to us. We remain open and will continue to provide service to you throughout this event.

We are still asking our customers to please refrain visiting the offices in person, if possible. There are many ways to communicate with us outside of a personal visit:

Email us at info@rconnects.com or Call your local office at the numbers listed below:

  • Estacada Office: 503.630.4213
  • Corbett Office: 503.695.2202
  • Elkton Office: 541.584.2224
  • Haines Office: 541.856.3661
  • Mesquite/Arizona Office: 702.346.5211
  • Antelope 489.3402

Call tech support:

  • Estacada/Corbett: 503.630.8909
  • Mesquite/Arizona: 702.346.0040
  • All other areas: 1.866.894.4657

Call in to make payments with your bank card or checking account. We will continue to be sensitive to customer needs. If you need more time to pay or need new service at your home, please call us.

We want to remind you to support local, order takeout, buy gift cards, order online from your local vendors when possible. Your local Chamber is a good resource to get information of open restaurants.

We live in an amazing community and we are confident we will get through this together. We appreciate your understanding and support while we continue to navigate this new uncharted territory.

Thank you for being a valued customer of Reliance Connects

Covid-19 Update March 17, 2020

Dear Customers,

Over the past few days, we have all seen an impact within our communities due to the effects of the potential presence of COVID-19. As this situation evolves, all of us are assessing how to best keep ourselves and those around us healthy and safe.

Our staff has already taken steps to ensure that all our customers continue to receive reliable and dependable service during this time. It is important to let you know that we have put into place proactive and measured steps to maintain our goal of providing reliable service.

We are asking our customers to please refrain visiting the offices in person, if possible. There are many ways to communicate with us outside of a personal visit: 

Email us at info@rconnects.com or call your local office directly.

  • Estacada Office: 503.630.4213
  • Corbett Office: 503.695.2202
  • Elkton Office: 541.584.2224
  • Haines Office: 541.856.3661
  • Mesquite/Arizona Office: 702.346.5211

Call tech support.

  • Estacada/Corbett: 503.630.8909
  • Elkton/Haines: 1.866.894.4657
  • Mesquite/Arizona: 702.346.0040

Payments can be made by:

  • Downloading and setting up your Smart Hub account here
  • Calling our office with your bank card or checking account information.
  • Dropping them into the external box at any time.
  • Sending them through the US Mail.

We also ask that if you have a pending installation or other in-home appointment and have a household member not feeling well or suspect that you or anyone in your home may have been exposed to the virus, please contact our office to reschedule our technician to install the service in your home for a later date.

For now, we will continue to practice social distancing. Our office and staff stand ready to serve you. Our goal is to keep our staff healthy so that they may continue to provide you with Internet, Video and Voice services for all your entertainment and connection needs throughout this time. The best way for us to do that is through the outlined safeguards above.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation while we all navigate this challenging time.

Thank you for being a valued customer.

Sincerely,
Reliance Connects

EZVideo Comes with Tons of Features!

EZVideo brings cable television to the 21st century. No more equipment rentals, long installation times or fighting over the family television to watch your favorite shows! EZVideo is exactly how it sounds—EASY! It is the solution to HD content fees, DVR fees and multiple box setup fees. EZVideo comes jam-packed with all the additional features you would normally pay extra for, at no extra charge. Check out what some of the features are below:

EZVideo Anywhere

Have you ever had to fight parents or siblings for the remote or have a hard time agreeing on shows to watch? EZVideo doesn’t tether you to one room, one TV. It can be accessed from almost any smart device at any time. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection.

Don’t worry about having to watch your shows at their scheduled time either. EZVideo comes with Restart TV (for certain network transmissions) and a minimum of 25 DVR hours. With the five personal accounts that can be created, each family member can personalize their settings and EZVideo will record shows specific to your interest. If 25 hours doesn’t suit you, there are plenty of upgrade options for the DVR divas— just ask a member of our service team! Don’t want to mess with the DVR? Check out Replay TV- lots of content at your fingertips anytime!

Personalized Viewing Experience Without Paying an Arm and a Leg

You read correctly! There are no additional fees for HD Content or installation. We are so confident in this service we won’t even have you sign a contract. If for some reason you aren’t happy and want to cancel the service, just give our office a call. But really, who can’t get behind pausing and rewinding live TV? With the option to bundle and save even more, this is service is flexible, convenient and easy to use.

Email us at info@rconnects.com or In Estacada call 503.630.4213 In Corbett 503.695.2202 to get setup or learn more about this awesome service!

What do I do if I am not getting the speed I subscribed for?

You just finished upgrading from a 12Mbps package to a 50Mbps package, but how do you really know you’re getting what you’re paying for? Most people turn to taking a speed test through a third party. An internet speed test will give you an idea of how fast your connection is in the moment you take it. We will cover the factors that go into receiving an accurate speed test result and what you should do if your results are lower than the range you should be receiving.

The Speed Test

Before answering the title question, lets begin by talking about how a speed test works. The third party will first determine the closest test server they have to your location. Once that has been determined, the test will send a “ping”, which is a small packet of data, to the selected server. The test server then sends the ping immediately back. The test is measuring how long it takes for the ping to be sent and get back and how quickly it can upload/download the data in the packet.

There are several services out there that can perform this test. One of the more reliable reported by CNET (2019) is Ookla’s speed test, which gives you the option to change the test server being used. This is important because the test will send the ping to that server. If the server is on the other side of the country, you can expect the test to report a slower result. This is why you will often get varying results from different third parties because they use different servers.

The Factors

To get the most accurate results, you want to take the test on a completely clear network. Taking the test while you are streaming video, downloading anything or have a lot of other connected devices using up some of the bandwidth will result in a lower result. Remember, the test will be testing the available resources. Less is available when you have other devices or activities happening on your network.

The way your device is connected is also a factor. Hard-wired connections to your router will automatically boost the amount of speed you have available. Wireless connections lose some of this when the Wi-Fi signal needs to travel from the router to your device. Especially if it has to travel through a lot of material or a long distance. If you do test on a wireless device, choose a location with the least amount of interference. This usually means being right next to your router.

Your equipment plays a large factor as well. Older devices or devices that do not have the latest software updates will not run as efficiently. Learn what speeds some devices are capable of here. For higher speed packages, such as gig speed service, you will need an upgraded router capable of handling those speeds. Old routers can often limit your speed availability dramatically. Reliance Connects offers compatible routers that can be rented for a small additional monthly cost.

Contact us

If you have taken all these recommended measures to get an accurate speed test and still are receiving a speed lower than you feel you should have, please do not hesitate to call our help desk. We can troubleshoot the issue with you. If you are using our latest router, we have insights into your service that will help us correct issues. When contacted, we will start a ticket and get someone out to your location if that is what is needed to correct the problem. Fiber is a stable connection and customers should expect to get up to the speed they are subscribed to. The Reliance Connects Help Desk is available Monday-Friday from 7am-9pm and Saturday-Sunday from 8am-5pm.

In Estacada & Corbett 503.630.8909

In Mesquite 702.346.0040

In Elkton, Haines and Antelope Toll free 1-866-894-4657