Common Questions

Will I have to learn anything new to use CloudBurst™?

If you already know how to use a web browser, you will find our system totally transparent. You are always online. You simply start your web browser software (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc.), and you are online with no delay—no waiting for a free line or a connection. To receive and send your e-mail, you may access your account via the Web (through the browser), or use a mail client (Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, etc.).

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What are some benefits to having fast Internet access?

With slow internet connections, you might find yourself sitting at your computer, waiting up to 5 minutes just for one home page to load. Most web pages contain a lot more information in the form of text, pictures, video, sound, or other files (such as software) than in the dial-up era. It can take an excruciatingly long time for a slow modem connection to handle so much information. With CloudBurst™ fixed wireless broadband, there is no need to wait! You can stream videos in real-time, make Internet phone calls, play your favorite music in real time, send instant messages, send and receive all types of files at downpour speeds.

Best of all, general browsing and use of the internet is finally enjoyable. You can do research on anything imaginable. You can pay your bills or trade stocks online. And, of course, shopping online is what it was meant to be: easy and fun! It’s easier for you to start your own business, working from home or a rural office. You could sell things on Ebay, for example, or hire yourself out freelance.

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Is this like cable modem or DSL?

CloudBurst™ fixed-wireless data transmission rates are comparable to those of cable modem or DSL. These services are typically not available in much of our service area. Cable modem service and DSL are dependent on physical wires and out-of-state corporations. With CloudBurst™ there are no wires, and you deal directly with a local company.

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Is this the same as “satellite” Internet?

No. CloudBurst™ fixed-wireless broadband doesn’t use satellite signals. The major disadvantages of satellite Internet are slow upload speeds and the high latency (delay time) due to use of satellites in geosynchronous orbit 22,240 miles away. Satellite Internet latency times preclude the use of Voice over Internet Protocol telephone service. See our satellite Internet comparison pages for more.

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Do I pay by the hour? Will I ever get booted off?

With our wireless Internet access, your computer is always connected. There are no time limits or restrictions of how long you can use it. You will not get disconnected because of any “idle time” or “timeout” restrictions. You pay a flat monthly rate.

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Can I run servers on this connection?

Normally, no, you may not run servers through an access connection. If you need to run servers, contact us to inquire about pricing and setup.

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Will I still need my old dial-up modem?

No, CloudBurst™ fixed-wireless broadband doesn’t require a dial-up modem. You may choose to keep your modem in your computer, to you use it for electronic fax services, or dialing in from locations away from home, and in case of outages. We provide a back-up dial-up account for outages and for travel.

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Do I need a phone line?

No, a phone isn’t needed, but we offer free dial-up capability as a back-up in case of outages and for traveling.

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How long will it take to install?

Once your location has been surveyed and approved for CloudBurst™ access, a date will be set for installing your unit. Installation of the equipment could take from an hour and a half to several hours. We typically allot three hours. Each location is different. We apologize that we cannot give you a more precise timeframe, but it all depends on the necessary location of your antenna. We know you will be extremely pleased with the service, once it’s up and running!

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Can I get busy signals?

No. You have an Internet connection 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our wireless connections require no phone lines, making it impossible to get a busy signal.

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Is CloudBurst™ fixed-wireless available in my area?

Cloud Alliance is continuing to add repeating stations to expand access. If you are registered, as soon as we determine that your location can receive service, we will arrange a site inspection to confirm a wireless connection. If you know where our access points (base station and repeating stations) are—and you can see one—then you should be able to get a working signal. Even if you cannot see an access point, wireless links are possible over several miles and through forests. A site survey must be done prior to installing any wireless hardware.

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Are there any disadvantages to fixed-wireless?

Fixed-wireless generally delivers a stronger signal to than mobile-wireless. It can be positively amazing how fixed-wireless broadband connections can be made from deep in the woods. Cloud Alliance CloudBurst™ does require direct radio line-of-sight, uninterrupted by rocks and dirt. Generally, if you can’t get a direct radio line-of-sight from your location to one of our stations, Cloud Alliance will be unable to provide you with service until a line-of-sight connection is established with a new repeating station. Though most standard installations suffice, installation costs can vary (depending on location). Getting the service may be a challenge; enjoying it is assured!

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What kind of computer do I need? How new?

It depends on what kind of experience you want to have online, and what kind of work you plan to do with your computer. Newer, more powerful computers are able to really take advantage of high-speed Internet connections for areas such as music, video, photography, shopping, stock trading, and online games. For personal computers running Microsoft Windows, Cloud Alliance recommends at least a Pentium II processor, 128 MB of RAM, 20 GB hard drive, and monitor resolution of 800 x 600. For computers running Mac OS, you’re going to want a G3 processor, or greater. Of course, newer, more powerful computers will yield greater productivity and enjoyment.

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Do I need to update Microsoft Windows?

You don’t need to update Windows specifically for CloudBurst™ fixed-wireless broadband, but it is always a good idea to keep your software fully patched and up to date. You need to make sure that Windows remains safe when you are on the wireless network (or any internet connected networks). Microsoft recommends that you install all the “service packs.” To find out more, visit www.windowsupdate.microsoft.com. Make sure that you have anti-virus software and that personal firewall software is running on your machine.

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Do I need my AOL/MSN/Earthlink/SoverNet account?

No, Cloud Alliance is your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and replaces your ISP such as AOL, MSN, Earthlink, or SoverNet. If you keep any of these other services, you will be paying for services you don’t use and which might create technical problems with your system. AOL customers can retain their email accounts, free of charge, if they change to “bring my own access.” We provide free dial-up services as a back-up for the rare outages and for travel.

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Do cordless phones interfere with my connection?

Not with our new WiMAX™ service, but cordless phones can interfere with our older equipment. This is quite rare, but we recommend that 900 Mhz cordless phones be separated from a CloudBurst™ 900 MHz radio by at least one room or 10 feet, and that 2.4 GHz cordless phones be separated from a CloudBurst™ 2.4 GHz radio by the same distance. Typically this will not even cause a problem, if you fail to do this.

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Does the weather affect my reception?

No, unlike satellite signals or wireless “hotspot” signals, CloudBurst fixed-wireless broadband is not typically affected by weather.

Do I have to pay the full rate, if I am away?

If you’re a seasonal resident, a snowbird, or an extensive traveler, this is for you: We realize you have expenses wherever you go and would like to avoid the full cost of CloudBurst™ fixed wireless broadband, when you’re away for long periods of time. The seasonal Equipment Retention Plan is the solution. Click here to read all about it.

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