Frequently asked questions: (FAQs)
How can I check my usage? Easiest way, you simply click at Speedtest on the bottom of the website
What are the options available when I exceed my monthly allowance?
Two options are available
- 1) Volume Boosters
- 2) Upgrading to a higher package.
Volume boosters can be purchased from the reseller or customer portal and the extra data allowance will be available shortly after purchase. Volume boosters may be used when the user’s system is being throttled under a Fair Access Policy (FAP). Every 15 minutes a system check calculates whether the system usage has exceeded any FAP limits, if it has, usage of the volume booster will continue. If the system is taken out of FAP the volume booster will be placed on hold and the normal data allowance will be consumed.
If you purchase a ‘bulk’ Volume Booster of 10, 50 or 100 GB, it has to be used within the period of your data month (i.e. before you next monthly data allowance is credited) or it will expire and any unused data will be relinquished.
Does Quicksat have access to usage graphs?
QuickSat.NET has access to limited data usage information, however we are unable to see specific data the user has accessed as this would be a privacy infringement. QuickSat.NET customers can view their data usage graphs and information through the Customer Portal.
When can I upgrade to a higher private package?
A User can upgrade any time during the course of the month. The upgrade takes place at midnight on the day the request is made.
Once I have upgraded: Does the data allowance get reset?
The data allowance is reset to the difference between the allowance on the upgraded package and the amount of data already used that month. For example: If a user has used all of the data from a QuickSat.NET M (10GB data allowance) and upgrades to a QuickSat.NET L (20GB data allowance) the extra 10GB will be added to the remaining data allowance on the account.
What are the costs involved in upgrading to a higher package?
The cost is the pro-rata price for the remainder of the billing month on the new package less the pro-rata cost of the balance of the old package. For example if the customer’s activation date is the 10th of the month and they upgrade on the 30th of the month, they are credited for 10 days of the old package and invoiced for 10 days of the new package.
When can I downgrade to a lower package?
Users can only downgrade at the end of a billing month (starts on the same date as the activation date) and a penalty equal to the monthly airtime of the higher package is applied. For example downgrading from QuickSat.NET Max on Contract Rental incurs a £79.95 (Yes, British Pounds!) penalty. The new package applies from the beginning of the next billing cycle.
Can I up/downgrade from a Home to a Pro Package & vice versa?
Up/downgrades from Home to Pro packages and vice versa are possible and are processed in the same way as for a standard upgrade or downgrade with the exception that a new connection fee will be charged for the service.
Can the hardware be moved to another location within the KA footprint?
Relocation can be done immediately we are notified of the move. However, if the service is relocated to a different beam, a relocation charge equal to the package connection charge is incurred. This may be an issue with QuickSat.NET as there are 84 beams and the beam width is fairly narrow.
Do I have a UK IP address on the Ka Sat Service?
Yes, every Quicksat customer has a UK IP address.
Why does my service not constantly reach the “up to” speeds published?
There are various factors that can have an effect on speeds:
Weather can play a factor. Very heavy rain or snow attenuates the signal and, at a certain level, the modulation on the signal is changed to optimise signal integrity. This slows the speed down.
The overall performance “speed” of the satellite connection will vary depending on the time of day, the overall network loading and the busyness of the public internet itself. The actual protocol the customer or end user is using may also prioritised differently depending on how busy the network is. Peak busy times are between 4.00 pm and 11.00 Pm UK time.
Like fixed line broadband, satellite broadband is a contended service. The Fair Access Policy is designed to give everybody fair access to the system, and give non-abusive users a good service which regularly operates on or near advertised speeds outside very busy hours. If a customer is deemed to be a “very heavy user” they may be subject to reduced speed (throttling). This is the satellite owners policy and is not clearly defined. SES have released their algorithm but QuickSat.NET do not publicise this information.
Do we supply an Authenticated SMTP server for customer’s email?
We do not offer an SMTP mail server as a service. However there is a solution if the user needs a SMTP server for their email. We recommend they go to www.authsmtp.com.
We do however provide an email service. You will be able to create your own email account through the customer portal once your system was installed.
Is VoIP possible over the satellite systems?
VoIP will become available shortly. More information will be released closer to release date. Free internet programs like Skype are already supported by the QuickSat.NET and SES platforms and it is possible to make internet calls.
Can the user Fax over the service?
You can use email based Fax services like EFax, they work very well. The client will not be able to connect a Fax Machine to the System.
How much data is used when streaming video; Vimeo, YouTube etc?
It all depends on the quality of the video that is streamed, but an hour long video can use up as little as 700 MB for a standard video, more for HD. The data consumption for streaming versus downloading and then watching is similar.
Is the data allowance only used for downloads or uploads as well?
No, the data allowance is a combination of Downloads and Uploads.
For Example: If a user has downloaded a total of 4GB for the month and uploaded 2GB, the total data used will be 6GB.
Does Skype use a lot of data?
Skype does use a lot of data if used for prolonged periods. If you have normal voice conversation is should take around 125Kbps* of Uploading and Download. But if you are doing Video Calling, it can use a lot more data as you are effectively streaming Video.
*Results can vary depending on situation/circumstance
Can I get a Static IP address?
For QuickSat.NET you will only be able to get static IP addresses on the Pro services.
How can we use the static IP address?
The static IP’s work in the following way: The modem is only a gateway to the network. The device connected on the back of the modem would receive the Public IP address.
How does the TV module work?
The module is a separate LNB on the QuickSat.NET Dish and points to a different satellite. The TV modules do not use any of your allocated data on the QuickSat.NET service. The TV module would be connected directly on your Freesat / Sky TV Box, and will not pass over the QuickSat.NET network which means it will not use any Data allocated by Europasat.
Can a user use a VPN connection on a satellite system?
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) VPNs like secure online ordering and online banking work fine on satellite broadband, IPSec or Triple DES VPNs are more complex.
In order for a two-way satellite service to perform properly in conjunction with traditional terrestrial networks, satellite networks employ special software to deal with latency without which the TCP protocol severely limits link performance.
The Internet relies on the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) to ensure packet delivery without errors. TCP works by sending a certain amount of data, then waits for the receiver to send an acknowledgment of receipt. With TCP, the sender cannot transmit more data until it has received an acknowledgment. If an acknowledgment does not arrive in a timely manner, TCP assumes the packet was lost (discarded due to a congested network) and resends it. When packets go unacknowledged, TCP also slows the send rate to reduce the perceived congestion and to minimize the need for retransmissions.
TCP/IP sessions start out sending data slowly. Speed builds as the rate of the acknowledgments verifies the network’s capacity to carry more traffic. This is known as slow-start, followed by a ramp-up in speed. The speed of the connection builds until the sender detects packet loss from a lack of an acknowledgment.
Ground networks typically have round-trip latencies in the range of 35 to 100 ms. Satellite networks, due to the distance of geo-synchronous satellites above the equator, require 550 ms or more. Some satellite connections have much higher RTT. The TCP protocol interprets the additional satellite RTT as network congestion. If uncorrected, this effect causes the network to send all additional packets at the slow-start rate.
Current two-way satellite networks employ a technique referred to as TCP spoofing to compensate for the extra time required to pass through the space segment. Special software on the satellite modem appears to terminate the TCP session, so it appears to the sender as the remote location. In reality the satellite modem is acting as a forwarder between the originating PC or host and the remote site. When the modem receives Internet traffic destined for a location, it immediately acknowledges receipt of the packet to the sender so more data packets will follow quickly. This way the sender never experiences the actual higher satellite latency to the remote site because acknowledgments return to the sender at LAN speed. As a result, TCP moves out of slow-start mode quickly and builds to the highest link send speed.
IPsec VPNs not only encrypt the data portion of packets, they also encrypt the TCP packet header. Popular IPsec VPNs, therefore, defeat the modem TCP acceleration software because the modem cannot detect the TCP packet and will consequently pass the unrecognised packet over the space link as a “raw” packet. This situation requires that acknowledgments transit the space segment twice (over and back) and results in substantial performance degradation. The impact on performance increases as the latency rises. Essentially what this means is that IPSec VPN wasn’t designed to run over satellite broadband, but we have many customers who use it this way quite successfully.
So any VPN should work, but could be slower than when connected on conventional fixed line broadband. It is recommended that the customer test their VPN over the system before making a decision. If the customer has the budget we sell additional supplementary hardware to overcome the IPSec over satellite issues, but this will add around £1000 to each site set-up.cost
Are ports open on the systems?
All the ports are open on QuickSat.NET Pro by default. For QuickSat.NET home packages, incoming ports are closed.
None of our satellite broadband services currently support Vodafone SureSignal or similar mobile phone boosting devices. This is because if they did, it would enable end users to avoid network roaming charges in other countries due to the pan European nature of the services. For this reason the mobile networks are unhappy to let our services act as a broadband connection for their users.
Is there any contention on satellite services?
Yes, there is a contention ratio on all satellite services and speeds may be reduced during peak times and on congested beams. On the QuickSat.NET Home packages the contention ratio is 50:1 where as on the QuickSat.NET Pro Packages the contention ratios are 20:1, so Pro packages are generally less likely to be affected by congestion.
PS: On the IP Connect package there is no contention. These are bespoke packages not available via our website.
Which wireless routers are approved?
Unfortunately not all the Wi-Fi routers available on the market are 100% compliant with satellite modems. A Wi-Fi router is not compliant with the QuickSat.NET modem when its DHCP client doesn’t perform a DHCP transaction with every interface bounce. In these cases, the End-User may suffer connectivity issues that can be only resolved by rebooting the modem and Wi-Fi router, thus forcing the router to perform a DHCP transaction and to re-establish the connectivity. So we have a list of tried and tested wireless routers:
- - Any Sitecom Wireless Router
- - Cisco router 2800
- - Cisco router 89x series
- - Cisco E series E1200, E1500, E3200 etc.
Why is there latency on a satellite service?
In the case of a two-way satellite system, the Satellite is 22,300 miles from the user. When you request information by clicking on a link, or any other way, that message travels 44,600 miles just to get to the Network Operation Centre (satellite hub).
The information requested must travel the reverse route, so the round trip is 89,200 miles. The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum, slower through the atmosphere. But even if you assumed 186,000 miles per second then the total time taken in space travel is about 480ms.
Given the atmosphere problem, it is actually more like 500ms. Add to that the terrestrial internet latency, which should be about 100ms. Some delays through transponders, gateways, proxies should also be accounted for. Latency can be anything between 600ms-1000ms.
Whilst there is an inevitable latency in satellite communications, satellite will often deliver an excellent and robust service where no other broadband service can.