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- What is Wink?
- Where is Wink available?
- When will Wink be available in my area?
- How do I get Wink?
- How soon after I place an order will my Wink service be available?
- What equipment do I need to connect to the wireless network?
- What is a wireless modem?
- Can I purchase a wireless modem from Firstlight?
- How is it "wireless" if I have to plug into the wireless modem with a wire?
- Does my Wink service include an email account?
- I currently have VoIP ("Voice over Internet") phone service. Will my VOIP account work with your wireless service?
- Do you also provide phone service?
Using Wink To Go
- How do I connect to my Wink To Go service?
- How do I find my list of available networks?
- Can I use Wink To Go if I'm inside?
- I live in an apartment building. How many stories up will your signal reach?
- I have poor cell phone reception in my home, how will that affect my ability to receive Wink To Go service?
- I can see Wink Internet in my list of available networks on my laptop or wireless device and have a good signal but I'm unable to log in or it's taking very long for pages to load.
- How many WiFi devices can I connect to the wireless network?
- Is Wink To Go secure?
- Why do I get automatically redirected to the Wink sign-on page?
- How is my account billed?
- How do I cancel Premium Internet service?
- If I cancel my Premium Wireless Service, will my wireless modem still work?
- Do you charge customers for the wireless modem if it incurs greater than normal wear and tear?
What is Wink?
Wink High Speed Wireless Internet from Tech Valley Communications is a fast, reliable, and affordable alternative to big-box cable and DSL Internet services. Wink provides wireless Internet connections at speeds up to 3Mbps to your home, business or while you're on the go for prices as low as $19.99/month. Click here to learn more about Wink service options.
Where is Wink available?
Wink service is generally available where there is wireless network coverage. You can find the most up-to-date coverage map here.
When will Wink be available in my area?
Tech Valley Communications is actively working to build out our wireless network to more locations in the City of Albany. You can find the most up-to-date coverage map here.
How do I get Wink?
- 1.Click here to order online now
- 2.Call 518-694-WINK (9465) during normal business hours to place your order over the phone.
- If you opt to pick up your wireless modem at our downtown Albany office, your <wireless modem will be available immediately
- If you opt to have your wireless modem mailed, it will generally be delivered within 3 business days
What equipment do I need to connect to the wireless network?
For Wink To Go (roaming) accounts:
- 1. You will need a computer (PC, Mac, etc.), smart phone or PDA that has WiFi capability. Most laptops manufactured today, and some smart phones and PDAs, have WiFi capability built in. Refer to the owner�s manual to confirm if your device is WiFi-enabled. If your computer does not have a built-in wireless networking card, you can most likely purchase a wireless card (or adapter) from major electronics retailers or direct from the manufacturer of your device. 99% of the wireless modems and devices meeting the official 802.11b/g WiFi certification should work with our wireless network. To learn more about WiFi 802/11b/g, visit www.weca.net
- 2. Microsoft Windows 98 (or later) or Mac OS 9.0 (or later)
- 3. A standard Internet browser like Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Netscape Navigator, etc.
If you know that service is available in your area or it appears that service is available on our coverage map, but you're not able to see or properly use the network inside your home or business, you may also need a wireless modem.
What is a wireless modem?
A wireless modem is a small device that enables faster, more reliable and secure connections from indoors to our wireless network outside. A wireless modem is typically many times stronger than the radio in your computer, smart phone, etc. The modem also provides enhanced security.
Can I purchase a wireless modem from Tech Valley Communications?
No, Tech Valley Communications does not sell wireless modems. A wireless modem is included with Wink At Home and Wink For Business service. The modem must be returned if you decide to cancel your service.
How is it "wireless" if I have to plug into the wireless modem with a wire?
The network that is providing your Internet connection is wireless. The wireless modem connects with the network over a wireless connection, but the wireless modem does not repeat that wireless signal in your home or business.
You can connect your computer directly to the wireless modem provided by Tech Valley Communications using an Ethernet cable or you can connect a wireless router. The wireless router will allow you to set up a private wireless network and create your own local WiFi "hot spot" in your home or business. A wireless router can be purchased from a local or online computer/electronic store.
Tech Valley Communications does not provide technical support for setting up or maintaining private wireless networks.
Does my Wink service include an email account?
No, but Wink subscribers can add email accounts for an additional charge. Contact Tech Valley Communications directly to request an email account.
I currently have VoIP ("Voice over Internet") phone service. Will my VOIP account work with your wireless service?
The short answer is yes. Wink At Home and Wink For Business service should be comparable to your current connection. If your VoIP provider suggests you implement QoS, there are many home networking, QoS-capable routers that can be purchased at your local computer/electronic store.
Some local Internet service providers bundle VoIP phone and Internet service. If you currently have one of these bundles, please check with your service provider to ensure you can keep your VoIP phone service if you do not use that provider�s Internet service.
Do you also provide phone service?
Tech Valley Communications does provide phone service. To learn more or order service, contact us locally at 518-598-0940, or toll free at 1-877-598-0940.
How do I connect to my Wink To Go service?
- 1. You must be within one of our coverage zones
- 2. Select "Wink Internet" from your list of available wireless networks and press "connect."
- 3. Launch your internet browser and begin to surf.
- 4. The Wink landing page will automatically load to your browser.
- 5. Enter the user name and password you entered when you created your account. Your user name is the email address associated with your account. If you forgot your password, click here.
- 6. Click "Submit" - you are now connected!
How do I find my list of available networks?
Wireless card configurations vary depending on what wireless equipment your devices is equipped with. We have included some general information below on connecting to wireless networks, but suggest you consult your owner's manual or contact their technical support line if you have trouble with your particular device.
For Macs with OSX
- 1. On the Apple Menu, go to "System Preferences"
- 2. Click "Network"
- 3. Select "AirPort" and Click on "Connect"
- 4.Click on the Network drop-down list that appears and select "Wink Internet"
For PCs with XP
- 1. Right-click the wireless network icon in the lower right corner of your screen and select "View Available Wireless Networks"
- 2. Select "Wink Internet" from the Available Wireless Networks list and click "Connect."
- 1. Click "Start" at the lower left of your desktop, then "Control Panel"
- 2. Select "Network and Internet Connections."
- 3. Right-click the wireless network icon and select "View Available Wireless Networks"
- 4.Select "Wink Internet" and click "Connect."
For PCs with Vista
- 1. Click "Start" at the lower left of your desktop, then "Connect To"
- 2. Select "Wink Internet" and click "Connect."
- 3. Click "Connect Anyway" if you receive a security prompt.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Once you select "Wink Internet" in your list of available wireless networks, you must open your web browser in order to access the Wink login page, which will automatically load when you begin to surf.
Can I use Wink To Go if I'm inside?
This depends on several things, including how close to one of our wireless radios your building is, whether the room you are trying to connect from is on the side of the building that faces one of our access radios; how many stories up you are, and what material the building is constructed from. In many cases, interference caused by walls, overhangs and other obstructions, as well as distance from the access point can inhibit your ability to connect.
Wink To Go Roaming service is not recommended for use at your home or business, since indoor use may require a wireless modem. The modem provides more robust connections from indoors to our wireless network outside and enhanced security.
I live in an apartment building. How many stories up will your signal reach?
If your apartment unit is on the side of your building that faces one of our access radios, you should be able to receive a signal up to the 10th floor. However, this may require a wireless modem that provides a much greater sensitivity to help "boost" the signal strength.
I have poor cell phone reception in my home, how will that affect my ability to receive Wink To Go service?
While poor cell phone reception may be an indicator of a potential environmental or structural interference issue, it may not preclude you from receiving our signal. To help mitigate interference issues, you may need a wireless modem that has a greater sensitivity than standard WiFi devices normally supplied with laptops or available over the counter. If structural variable such as a stucco exterior of your home prove to be a significant barrier to our signal, placing a wireless modem in or adjacent to an exterior window has shown to be a viable solution.
I can see Wink Internet in my list of available networks on my laptop or wireless device and have a good signal but I’m unable to log in or it’s taking very long for pages to load.
Most wireless devices, including laptops, have a wireless radio inside that is designed to access local wireless internet networks (i.e. offices, coffee shops, etc...). They are not designed to communicate with a network radio that is outside and down the street.
Tech Valley Communications' radios that are out on the street poles are very powerful, and have the ability to transmit through most building walls. What this means is that your wireless device will usually be able to "hear" the signal coming from outside from our radios. The issue is the laptop card cannot communicate data back to the radios, as it is simply not strong enough.
An example would be Person A (our radios) a block away yelling very loudly at Person B down the street (your laptop). Person B (your laptop) is able to hear what the louder Person A is saying, but Person B has a sore throat and does not have the ability to yell back at a volume that Person A (our radios) can hear, so there is no ability for communication.
Your wireless device can hear our "loud" radios outside, and your signal meter on your wireless device will show this (i.e. multiple bars, etc...). The wireless radio in your device simply cannot (and was not designed to) be "loud" enough to communicate back. It is intended to access a wireless signal through maybe a wall or across the room. This inability to communicate will results in dropped connections and poor speeds and performance.
Because of this, Wink To Go Roaming service is not recommended for use at your home or business, since indoor use may require a wireless modem. The modem provides more robust connections from indoors to our wireless network outside and enhanced security.
NOTE: If you are using a device with a built-in wireless radio, you may want to consult the manufacture to confirm that the wireless "driver" (drivers are programs that control a particular type of device attached to your computer) is properly configured. This can affect the performance of the wireless radio.
How many WiFi devices can I connect to the wireless network?
The number of devices that you can connect depends on your subscription level. Standard Wink To Go accounts include one user login. Additional logins are available for an additional per-login charge.
Is Wink To Go secure?
In order to provide users with easy access, the connection between your device and our WiFi access radio is not encrypted. As such, we recommend that you use a firewall, turn off any file-sharing and only conduct internet transactions on secure websites using an encrypted SSL server (a lock should appear on your browser if this is the case).
Why do I get automatically redirected to the Wink sign-on page?
Your WiFi-enabled device is automatically connecting to our wireless signal due to its high signal quality at your location. If you do not wish to use our service, see your wireless card's documentation on how to manually choose which wireless network your computer should connect to.
Using Wink To Go
How is my account billed?
Service will be billed in full in advance at the beginning of each billing period. An invoice will be sent to the email address on file unless paper billing is requested. Additional charges for paper billing may apply. For all Wink accounts, payment for the first month of service is due at signing. For Wink At Home accounts, an additional deposit in the amount of the last full month of service is also due at signing.
How do I cancel Premium Internet service?
Your service can be changed or cancelled by contacting Customer Service at 1.877.598.0940. Customer Service is available between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday. You must speak with a live representative to begin the cancellation process. Written confirmation of your request may be required to finalize any changes made to your account. Early cancellation charges may apply; please consult the service agreement.
If I cancel my Premium Wireless Service, will my wireless modem still work?
No, the wireless modem is preconfigured to talk to the Tech Valley Communications wireless network only and will be deactivated remotely.
Do you charge customers for the wireless modem if it incurs greater than normal wear and tear?
Yes, customers will be charged the full retail price for wireless modems that look to be damaged beyond normal wear and tear. This includes damage by liquids (water, soda, etc.), a cracked casing, missing or broken parts, etc.
How does the wireless network work?
The wireless network utilizes special outdoor access radios or 'access points' that broadcast high frequency IEEE 802.11a/b/g "WiFi" radio signals. WiFi is the dominant global standard for WLANs (Wireless Local Area Networks). Tech Valley Communications uses industry leading wireless radio technology and connects more of our access point radios directly to fiber optic cable to ensure high speed connections for many users. To learn more about WiFi 802/11b/g, visit www.weca.net
What is the range of each access radio?
Approximately 500 ft. in an average metropolitan area. Large buildings will block signal as well as heavy tree coverage. More open areas with less tree coverage can reach up to 1000 ft.