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TROUBLE WITH YOUR INTERNET OR WI-FI?

Eric, Data Network Tech, shares a few things to try at home before you call RTC.

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How to Connect Your Devices to Wi-Fi

It’s easy to do if you simply follow these steps

Did you just get a new tablet or other device and can’t figure out how to connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi network? Or are you wondering how to use the Wi-Fi network in a public place or the home of a friend or family member? You’re not alone.

RTC receives many calls from our customers with questions related to connecting devices to Wi-Fi. So we’re sharing these step-by-step instructions to help you understand the process. You may want to keep this article handy for future reference.

  1. Make sure the Wi-Fi connection for your device is on.

Regardless of the device — laptop, tablet, or smartphone —  it’s possible to turn off Wi-Fi. Some devices have a physical switch that turns Wi-Fi on or off, while others provide the ability to toggle Wi-Fi on the software settings. Make sure your device does not have the Wi-Fi capability turned off before proceeding.

  1. Access your device’s settings.

Navigate to your device’s “Settings” and open them. Then navigate to “Network Settings,” followed by “Wi-Fi.” You can also click on the Wi-Fi icon on a computer’s toolbar to open up a dropdown menu, which will list the names of the Wi-Fi networks in the area.

  1. Find the name of the Wi-Fi network you want.

When you see the names of the Wi-Fi networks in the area, find your home network’s name and select it.it. If you’re somewhere other than home, look for the name of the network at that location, such as “Susie’s Coffee Shop Wi-Fi” and select it.

Here’s a tip: If your home network’s name is not easy to remember, perhaps because it contains random letters and numbers, make sure you have the name (and password) written down somewhere. That way, when guests at your home ask about Wi-Fi access, you’ll be ready!

  1. Enter the password for the Wi-Fi network.

For security reasons, many private and public Wi-Fi networks require passwords to gain access. If the network you’re trying to connect to has a password, you’ll be prompted to enter that password before you can access the internet. When at a hotel, restaurant, or other public location, you may need to ask an employee for the current password. In some cases, the password will be displayed on a counter or other prominent spot for the convenience of guests.

  1. Test out your internet connection.

Once you think you’ve connected your device to the Wi-Fi network, open up a page in your web browser to make sure it loads. If it does, you’re ready to go. If it doesn’t, proceed to the next step.

  1. Troubleshoot if your device won’t connect to the Wi-Fi network.

There are a variety of reasons why a device may not be able to connect to a particular Wi-Fi network. Here are a few of the most common problems and their solutions:

  • Some older computers are unable to connect to the internet wirelessly. You may need an Ethernet cable to get online.
  • If the internet is slow or won’t connect, you may be out of range of the wireless router. Try moving closer to the source.
  • You may have entered the password incorrectly. Double check that you were given the correct password and try entering it again.

As a cooperative, one of RTC’s values is “Focus on the Customer.” We’re always happy to help you use and enjoy the communications technology available today. Please stop by your local RTC office or call us at 1.888.862.3115 if you need assistance.

Common Reasons for a Weak Wi-Fi Signal

Given how much use your home’s Wi-Fi network gets, the last thing you want is a weak Wi-Fi signal that can reduce your available bandwidth and internet speed. Here are some issues that often cause Wi-Fi problems:

Distance

The farther away you are from wireless routers and access points, the weaker your Wi-Fi signal will be.

Construction

If your Wi-Fi signal mysteriously drops off in certain rooms, it may be due to your home’s construction. Especially thick walls can muffle Wi-Fi signals, as can certain types of construction materials such as metallic mesh inside plaster and lath walls.

Device Interference

You may find intermittent signal problems caused by interference from other devices. Wi-Fi operates in the 2.4-gigahertz band, as do cordless phones and some remote alarm products. Additionally, microwaves can produce substantial interference in the frequency range used by wireless devices and can completely disrupt a Wi-Fi connection.

Want help managing your home’s Wi-Fi network? RTC offers Whole Home Wi-Fi, a monthly service that provides guaranteed Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home and includes an RTC assessment, installation, setup of your network, connection of devices, and Tech Home Protect Plus. To learn more, visit www.rtc.coop/wifi.

Since your power was off for an extended period of time, you may need to reboot your router.  Here is some info on how to do that:

Do NOT press the reset button.

  • If your router is equipped with an on/off button on the lower left side, press that button to power off. Wait 20-30 seconds and press again to reapply power to the router.
  • If your router does not have an on/off button, remove the power cable from the lower left side by squeezing in the sides of the cable and pulling out. Wait 20-30 seconds and then reattach the power cable to apply power to the router.
  • The router will take roughly 3-5 minutes to fully boot back up.

If you are still experiencing issues, please contact us at 862-3115.

Question: Why is my Wi-Fi slow in certain places?

Answer: There could be a few reasons why your Wi-Fi is slow or non-existent in certain areas.

  1. The distance between your Wi-Fi router/modem and your device is too far.
  2. There could be things blocking or interrupting your Wi-Fi Signal. The more walls the Wi-Fi signal has to travel through, the weaker your signal will become.
  3. Numerous Devices: Cell phones, smart TVs, tablets, appliances, baby monitors, wireless security cameras and wireless speakers all operate on the same frequencies and can lower your Wi-Fi speeds.

Contact us to learn more about Guaranteed Whole Home Wi-Fi.

Question: Facebook told me my data wasn’t shared with Cambridge Analytica, which is a relief. But now I’m spooked. What’s to keep other bad actors from collecting it, and how do I prevent that from happening?

Answer: As has always been the case with keeping your data private on Facebook, the key lies in the application’s settings. If you choose to continue using Facebook, take the following precautions to keep your data safe.

  1. On your Facebook home page, click the down-arrow in the upper-right corner of the screen. From the list, select Settings.
  2. In the left column, click Apps and Websites.
  3. Review the apps and websites Facebook has access to, and follow the instructions to remove those you no longer use or don’t trust.
  4. Now, back in the left column, select Ads.
  5. Follow the instructions to adjust how Facebook targets ads to you.
  6. While you’re at it, go through the other areas in the left column, including Security and Login, Privacy, and Timeline and Tagging, to make sure these settings are as you want them.
  7. Now might also be a good time to go through your friend list and remove those people you don’t really know or communicate with.
  8. Finally, be choosy about what you click on within Facebook. Cambridge Analytica was able to gather data from users who clicked on an innocent-seeming personality quiz.

Remember, though, the best way to protect your data is to limit how much you provide in the first place. Sharing many details of your life may be fun, but no privacy setting on a social media platform is completely foolproof.

If you’re having issues with any of your RTC services, please call our office immediately at 888.862.3115. Many times, customers will tell us they’ve been experiencing troubles for days, weeks, or even months. By waiting to call us, they experience a longer period of technical difficulties than is necessary. Remember, RTC typically does not know you’re having an issue until you informs us.

RTC’s business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. RTC does have an after-hours answering service that can troubleshoot email and Internet troubles over the phone. We also have technicians on call for emergency situations. If it’s not an emergency, we can try to fix the service issue over the phone. If the problem cannot be resolved over the phone, we’ll send out a technician the next business day.

When you call to report a technical issue after hours, please provide the following information so we can help you in a timely manner:

  • Name
  • Home telephone number
  • Cell phone number
  • Account number

If you’re not available when we return your call, we’ll leave you a message if possible. (Sometimes when we call cell phone numbers, the mail box is full or not set up, and we can’t leave a message.)

You’ve probably heard many times that switching to SmartHub is good for the environment by reducing paper use and saving trees. What you might not realize is just how beneficial SmartHub is in other ways.

SmartHub is a convenient way to access your RTC account and lets you manage all aspects of your account online or on your mobile device.

With SmartHub, you can pay your RTC bills online and receive your monthly statements from us by email, and pay them online with your financial institution in a safe and secure environment.

Not only can you use SmartHub to pay your RTC bills, you can use it to set bill reminders, and contact customer service with any services issues.

Creating a SmartHub account takes less than three minutes. Gain access to your SmartHub account online or on your mobile device with apps available for download for iOS and Android.

For more information on how to set up your free SmartHub account, follow the instructions below or call us at 888.862.3115.

How to Pay Your Bills Using SmartHub

  • To access SmartHub, go to RTC.coop and click on “Pay Bill” in the “My RTC” drop down menu at the top of the page.
  • If you were previously signed up for RTC E-Bill, just log-in using your E-Bill username and password.
  • If you were not signed up for E-Bill, click on the “New User” link at the bottom of the page and follow the instructions to sign up.

There is also a SmartHub app available for your smart phone and table computers. Once you are logged in to the SmartHub website click on links at the left to download the app for your particular device.

Broadband Internet Service Disclosure

Consistent with FCC regulations,  Reservation Telephone Cooperative (“RTC”) provides information about our broadband Internet access services.

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