Broadband and Satellite

What is broadband?
Broadband means very simply, a high-speed connection to the Internet that is ‘always on’. Our Next Generation 18Mbps service is over 300 times faster than dial-up.

Can I really get reliable Satellite Broadband anywhere in Ireland?
Yes – it really is as simple as that. Irish Satellite Broadband is available ANYWHERE in Ireland (and mainland Europe as well). As long as there is electricity and you can see the sky, we can deliver a fast and reliable broadband wherever you need it already.

How do I choose the service that’s right for me?
We offer a range of satellite broadband services so that now you really do have the luxury of a choice to make. What you choose depends on what you will be using broadband for and how many people are using the system. Our standard consumer packages each come with a set amount of data from a practical 8GB per month to a massive 50GB per month. There are different choices for consumer and business alongside specialist industry specific solutions like broadcast and SNG. Whenever you would like some free, impartial advice, please call us on 01 254 8555 during office hours and we would be happy to help you.

How much data is required for common uses?
Under normal conditions, you can use the following information as a guideline. If you were to do just one thing, the indicative usage is the amount our standard 26GB per month Tooway 18 service would support. Of course, you’ll use your service for a variety of things so it will be a blend. With Irish Satellite Broadband, you can always upgrade to the next tier without a charge. Still not sure what you need – call us on 01 254 8555

Am I charged for the time my broadband modem or computer is online?
No. With our consumer packages you pay a standard monthly service charge  each month for a fixed volume of data no matter how often you use it. If you wish, if you have used up all of your monthly data (like a Pay as You Go Mobile) you can pay to top up with more data until the next month (or alternatively upgrade to the next tier).

Does Satellite Broadband have any limitations I should be aware of?
There are a few specialised uses where it is important to select the correct system for but other than that, there is not much difference between satellite and other broadband services. Unlike some of our competitors, our packages accept direct connection to Windows, Apple or Linux operating systems. Irish Satellite Broadband’s Tooway satellite broadband system also supports catch-up services like RTE Player etc.

Our Consumer Satellite Broadband packages are not ideal for:
Online gaming and peer-to-peer networking
. Some remote control software
. Certain VPN applications.

If you want to do one or more of the above, we recommend, based upon many years of providing high quality Satellite Broadband solutions, that you take a look at our Business Broadband section. These uses can be easily accommodated in our more specialised products and we are always happy to advise on such matters.

Irish Satellite Broadband’s Tooway™ service

What is Tooway™?
Tooway™ is the brand name of our Next Generation Broadband Satellite service. Available across Europe it means that Irish Satellite Broadband can offer a reliable 18Mbps broadband connection wherever you live. Irish satellite broadband offers a choice of four standard consumer packages with speeds from 8Mbps to 18Mbps and monthly data allowances from 8Gb to 50GB. The toughest job for you is to choose the service that is most suitable to your needs.

Why should I get satellite broadband from Irish Satellite Broadband?
Irish Satellite Broadband  is Irelands premier provider of Tooway satellite services – Read what our Customers have to say about our great service.

We believe that any company that you invite into your home or business must be able to demonstrate these standards as a minimum to give you the peace of mind that your investment is the right one.

How fast is satellite broadband?
We offer four standard consumer packages – you choose which one suits your needs – 8Mbps, 12Mbps and two 18Mbps services. Satellite Broadband works in a different way to a normal (ADSL) connection in that you don’t “share” your connection with your neighbours. That means that our 18Mbps service is designed to deliver 18Mbps download speeds to every customer.

You may have read in the press that many people that use ADSL broadband pay for a service that consistently fails to deliver the speed that they are paying for. For example, a recent Ofcom study in the UK reported that the average speed achieved by rural ADSL customers paying for a 20-24Mbps service was in fact 3.3Mbps and only 1% of all 20/24Mbps ADSL customers received a service which exceeded 18Mbps.

What equipment do I need?
You supply the computer; our trained installation engineer will install the satellite dish (outside) and connect it to a modem (inside) and also set-up your wireless router if you have purchased one from us.

Can I install it myself?
We recommend a professional installation by one of our trained installers or via our installer network. Nevertheless, self-installation is possible following careful antenna assembly and pointing instructions. Particular attention is given to the pointing phase which has to be much more precise than for television reception. There are free smartphone applications (“apps”) that you can also use to assist your DIY installation.

Are email and other services included?
Our services support the usual webmail applications like Hotmail, Gmail, MSN and Yahoo but if you use an email client like Microsoft Outlook you will require the use of an SMTP server to send your mail, as many ISP’s allow you to receive email but block you from sending. If that sounds like technical mumbo jumbo, yes you will get an email address and yes, we’re happy to show you exactly how it works. If you need more specialised email sending services we would be happy to recommend a third party provider.

Do I need a phone line?
No you do not. In fact, if you wish, you can use your broadband service to make free or chargeable calls using VoIP (voice over internet) – you can even keep your existing telephone number and equipment if you purchase our low cost monthly call package.

Are there any minimum requirements for computers?
No, the vast majority of modern computers or laptops these days come with a network card or wireless option which will allow you to connect to the internet. Smartphones and tablets like the iPad will have wireless which means that you will need to purchase a wireless router to allow you to use these and any other wireless devices in your home.

Can I integrate Irish satellite broadband Tooway™ into a network?
Yes, it’s possible to connect the modem directly to a router, or other network LAN device, to share the connection with other users. We can supply you with a suitable router with wireless capability.

Can I use a wireless router ?
Yes. With a wireless router, anyone at your location can access the Broadband connection without needing to physically connect to the modem (hence “wireless”). We are happy to help you set this up properly (without any extra charges) when we install your system to make sure it is both secure and working properly. The wireless router box may say “plug and play” but in our experience, it’s easier to let someone who knows what they’re doing do the “plugging” and leave you to enjoy the “playing”. We’re happy to recommend a wireless router if you need our help.

Can I connect more than one user to the service?
Yes. Unlike some of our competitors, it is possible to connect the equipment directly to a router, or other network LAN devices, to share the connection with other users. See the answer above about using a wireless router that will enable you to share your connection with multiple users.

Can I play online games with Irish Satellite Broadband Tooway™?

We do not recommend satellite broadband for certain types of online gaming due to latency (ie. the time it takes the signal to get up and down from a satellite 22,000 miles high). If your current broadband is appalling and you are desperate to do online gaming in a remote location, our advice is to talk to our team about the options that we offer.

Can I use this equipment with my Apple Mac or Linux computer?
Yes. With all our services, connection via non Microsoft Windows platforms is simple. Are there limits to how much data I can transfer? Yes, each service is subject to a Fair Access Policy (FAP**). The FAP has been designed to be as open and flexible as possible, while ensuring fair use for all users. Unlike other services, where you are charged per additional MB used above your monthly limit, Irish Satellite Broadband’s service is based upon fixed data allowance each month. It’s like pay as you go (“PAYG”) mobile – once you’ve used up your allowance for the month, your system effectively stops (ie. runs at 128Kbps) until the next months top-up is credited to your account.

The FAP for standard consumer services means that during peak usage times, heavier users (ie. those users already into the second half of their monthly data limits may experience some reduction in their connection speed (a “best endeavours” basis), ensuring an equitable access for all users throughout the day. There are no hidden changes.

**What is a Fair Access Policy?
The Fair Access Policy has been defined by our Satellite Provider to enable each user to receiver a consistently high quality internet access service via Satellite. The FAP is implemented to prevent unfair use by a small minority of customers or for anything considered to be an unacceptable use of the network by the satellite operator.

Does the Fair Access Policy apply to both upload and download?
Yes, traffic volume is measured on both the inbound and outbound connection and is measured over five time periods, as shown in the table below.

*What is Protected traffic?
Protected traffic is the amount of traffic that can be used (upload and download) before the Best Endeavours restrictions could apply. It is half (50%) of your total monthly allowance.

What is my Protected traffic usage?
This depends on the monthly service option. Please use the table above to check your package allowances.

What happens if I exceed my traffic usage, will I be cut off?
No, you will not be cut off but your bandwidth will be severely reduced until you start the next monthly cycle. This is to help maintain a consistent quality of service for all users.

Can I buy more data if this happens ?
Yes – you have two choices. If you think that you would be better suited with the speed or data on the next package, we can upgrade you quickly, usually on the same day that you ask us to. You will then start the new package with a full months data allowance. Alternatively, if you have just used a lot of data for a one off reason, you can purchase one or more 1GB data tokens which can be added to you account at anytime.

Is the Fair Access Policy applied 24 hours a day?

Can I check how much traffic I am using?
Yes, you can request a copy of your FAP graph from our support team or visit http://checkportal.skylogicnet.com if you are a customer.

How can I check what download or upload performance I am getting?
We recommend using: http://speedprobe.skylogicnet.com this will show both the upload and download speed of your service.

Is the equipment/service mobile – can I use it at different locations?
The standard equipment is mobile in the sense that it can be used virtually anywhere in Europe. All you have to do is arrange for it to be de-installed and re-installed.

If you are looking for a transportable system that can be fixed to a vehicle/trailer for mobile use at events, working sites etc please contact a member of sales team on 01 254 8555 and we will be happy to help. We can provide everything from a manually demountable system (something you set-up, align and then pack up again when you have finished) to a highly portable “fly-way” system to fully automated pointing systems which aligns the system automatically at the touch of a button.

Will I need to buy any extra software?
As your broadband connection is ‘always on’ it means that there is a permanenet connection from your computer to the internet. It is generally recognised as a good idea to install firewall software to protect you from any viruses or other unwanted attempts by hackers to access your computer. Irish satellite broadband strongly recommends that you install suitable Firewall and Antivirus software to protect your computer from unauthorised access from the internet. For example, ZoneAlarm is a handy personal firewall application, free for personal use (see www.zonelabs.com). You will also need software as for any other service such as your Internet Browser and Email Client Software. Commercial and free packages are available and suitable and we’re happy to advise you on this subject.

(My) Installation

What equipment do I need for broadband?
Put simply, a satellite dish (outdoors) and a small modem (indoors). The standard equipment includes a 74cm dish. If you have any special needs eg. Professional packages, a larger dish may be required to ensure suitable signal strength. You will be advised in advance if a larger dish is necessary and if any additional costs apply.

Do I require planning permission or other permits?
Though conditions may vary slightly from county to county across the Ireland, normally planning permission is not required for your satellite dish provided the dish size is below 1 metre in diameter and you do not have other dishes on your building. If your building is a protected historical building official permits will be required. Also, if your location is within a short distance of an airfield, or similar, special conditions may apply.

It is your responsibility to understand and comply with the rules and regulations regarding the placement of equipment on the building you occupy. However, since it is what we do for a living, we’re always pleased to offer you advice based upon our knowledge and experience but any final decisions and responsibility do remain with you.

Do I need my landlord’s permission?
If you do not own the building where the equipment is to be installed, you must get written authorisation from the landlord approving the installation. Irish satellite broadband will normally require a copy of this prior to installation.

What happens if/when I move?
We are happy to advise on de-installation and re-installation charges. Moving the antenna/dish to another location, whether on the same building or otherwise, must be undertaken by an approved installer. When planning your first installation, please give careful consideration to the location of your dish to minimise the likelihood of you subsequently requesting us to move your system to a more preferable location as additional charges will apply.

How long will it take to get installed and operational?
We usually get customers installed within two working weeks. We do need to get all of your order paperwork correctly completed before we can start. This includes your Service Agreement, Direct Debit Mandate and any Initial Payment for the hardware and/or installation. If you have ordered online, we will telephone you to carry-out a quick and easy telephone Pre-Installation Survey and to arrange a convenient installation date if you have asked us to install your system.

What does a Standard Installation consist of?
The standard installation allowed for in our advertised Professional Instaltion service includes mounting the dish and wall bracket on a standard brick or block wall at a height reachable on a standard double extension ladder and not more than 30m from the proposed location of the modem.

Technical questions

Can you explain what latency means ?
Due to the distance travelled by the signal to/from your computer and the Internet Hub, via the satellite, all satellite technologies exhibited a short delay between the sending and receiving of any signal at either end. This delay is approximately ¾ second (700 milliseconds). For many applications, it is barely noticeable but where the programme that you are running is frequently sending or receiving multiple smaller data files (eg online gaming) the effect can be more pronounced.

Why does ping not work/give very slow response?
When a network measurement tool like Ping sends small data packets, the latency has a disproportionate effect upon the measurement that is rarely relevant to most customer applications. Try using “ping -t -w 2000″ to get round this problem. In our experience, there are much better and more reliable ways of testing for this type of network.

How can I check what download/upload performance I am getting?
Click here for an independent performance testing program. This will give a good idea of your system’s performance. You can also use Irish Satellite Broadband’s FTP server to accurately check upload and download performance. Please contact our Technical Support team to arrange a test.

Do I need additional software?
No, as Irish Satellite Broadband’s Tooway service is designed to be plug n’ play. We do however advise you to use a hardware or software firewall and an anti-virus program? If you are using a router then this will mask your ports and act as a basic firewall. If you don’t have a router and/or you want a second line of defence, try downloading Zone Alarm for a free firewall. In addition to a firewall you must run some form of anti-virus software on any system that is connected to the internet all, or most, of the time.

For example, AVG is a handy personal firewall application, free for personal use (see http://free.avg.com). Anti-virus software is available from companies such as Norton or McAfee and many others.

PLEASE NOTE: The above download links are offered for information only. Irish Satellite Broadband are not responsible for any software you choose to download and install and can therefore not offer any support for the above products.

Does the satellite service get affected by weather?
The standard dish installation is designed to withstand 100Kph winds. The latest satellite technology is specifically designed to be extremely resilient to European weather conditions so in general snow or rain should have little impact upon your service. However, torrential rain or very heavy, wet snow may cause degraded service in extreme conditions, as the satellite signals are partially absorbed. Our new services will automatically increase power levels to counteract such conditions. All this happens automatically so if you do experience any slight slowdown in speed, it will normally not last for very long and will return to normal operating speeds by itself.