Company News-September

The first phase of our major wireless upgrade project we’ve been telling you about over the last few months is finally nearing completion. With the infrastructure development now complete, significant increases in our backhaul capacity are currently being deployed. This new capability will essentially eliminate the choke points that affect our customers during peak usage times. Customers in Lotus, Coloma, the Luneman/Tanglewood/Arrowbee area, and parts of Garden Valley should begin experiencing noticeable improvements to their existing service over the course of the next few weeks, as we redirect our existing repeater site to these new backhaul links.

During the past few weeks we have also been beta-testing an exciting new wireless broadband technology in the field with certain select customers. We’ll give you more details in next month’s newsletter, but meanwhile, here are some of the features: higher speeds in both download and upload directions; better quality with significantly improved connection characteristics; and no radio interference from other sources. By the end of September, this new system will be available to everyone in Lotus, Coloma, and parts of Garden Valley.

Those of you in other parts of our service area – don’t worry – we’ll be phasing in similar improvements for you over the next several months. We’ll announce the next areas as they become available.

In other news – if you haven’t been to our Web site lately, you should check it out at http://www.cal.net. It has been completely redesigned with a more modern look and significantly improved navigation of the sections. Let us know what you think – we’d love to hear your feedback.

Also, we now have telephone support seven days a week. Beginning this month, a support person will be available Sundays to answer and return you telephone inquiries for service.

Stay tuned for more exciting news over the next few months. And, as always, please feel free to drop by our offices at any time to visit with us, and see what we can do for you, whether your Internet-related needs are business, personal, or both.

The Importance of Surge Protection and Battery Backup

Winter is coming and with it the inclement weather that we love and hate!  As storms roll through local community, it can often result in temporary power outages or power surges which can cause your wireless receiver (CPE), PC or other internet related equipment to lock up and or stop functioning.  A good preventative measure is to purchase a battery backup system or “UPS” to plug your PC, router and wireless radio power supply into.  Most basic UPS systems allow for a runtime of up to 30 minutes in the event of a power outage.  Because our wireless repeater sites also run on advanced battery backup systems in the event of a power outage, we are able to continue broadcasting a wireless signal to you for up to 14 hours!   Not only will you still be able to resume your internet connectivity with a UPS, but you will not lose work you are currently in the middle of when a power outage occurs.  Additionally, a UPS system comes with surge protection and will also condition the power that is supplied to the devices you have plugged into it, so a sudden power surge will not affect any of the devices.  In the long run, it is  better to pay for protection now, than replace devices that have become damaged.

Securing Sensitive information on the internet

In the past year we have heard about hacking and identify theft more than ever before. Every day the number of Internet users multiplies rapidly worldwide and that only means one thing: more vulnerable victims. In an effort to protect our customers and our own networks, Cal.net Systems’ Engineer team has made its network security a top priority. Every day we run threat-tests against our systems to ensure they are safe and up-to-date. In addition, we have also implemented hardware and software firewalls that can protect against certain types of attacks. Even when you think you may have plenty of security, someone with a lot of time on their hands always seems to find a way to break in.

Today, we will be educating our customers a little about secure browsing.

Browser Address Bar

Most users rarely navigate directly to a website, preferring to use a search engine like Google to find web pages. As a result, most people rarely pay attention to the address bar (pictured below)  in their browser.

The address or URL of a website has many components, the one we are concerned with here is the first part as highlighted in red below.

http vs https

Http is a protocol, or a method of transporting the information you see in your browser from the server where the pages resides, to your computer.

http – Data is sent back and forth in plain, human readable text.

https -The “s” stands for secure. Data is sent back and forth encrypted, meaning that it can not be read by someone for whom it was not intended.

Why would I need to know this?

Almost everyone uses the Internet for paying bills and buying goods and services. These activities require  sending sensitive information over the Internet such as credit card numbers or other personal information. It is not hard to see why you would not want this information sent in plain text. Just as you might use a shredder to protect your information from people digging through the trash, you should pay attention to the address of any website to which you provide personal information.

How can I know if I am protected?

Modern browsers have taken steps to make it easier to discern if you are using http or https, and to verify the identity of the owner of the website. The most straightforward way is simply to look for the “s” at the end of https in the address bar of your browser.

secure-connection

Encrypted Connection

not-secure

Normal unsecured connection

Other considerations.

Hackers and thieves have come up with many devious ways to try trick you into giving them your information, going as far as setting up look alike sites.  Your browser also has a way to verify that the site your are on belongs to the company you are doing business with.

When you are connected to a secure site, a lock will appear somewhere near the browser address bar. (1) Click on the lock in the address bar (2) Look for the Identity of the website, and verify that it is who you expect it to be.

Verify the owner of the Web Site

Final Thoughts.

The https is only necessary when you are sending sensitive information. There is no risk from visiting an unsecured site during normal browsing

Tech Support Hours Expanding

Tech Support Hours Expanding!

A few months ago we wrote that we were exploring expanding our support hours to be open 7 days a week. We are proud to announce our new support hours!

You can now reach us:

Monday through Friday: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Saturday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Sunday: 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

We would encourage you to reach out to us during these hours to address any service related issues you may be having! You can also reach us by emailing us : support@cal.net

As well as expanded Customer Service hours, we are in the process of adding extensively to our online knowledgebase found at https://www.cal.net/support.php.  Do you have a problem that you experience frequently with your email? Is there a setting you’ve been looking for in Internet Explorer? Let us know! Email us at support@cal.net and your question may become a topic for our Frequently Asked Questions page!

Configuring Outlook 2010 for your Cal.net E-mail Address

 

These instructions will work for @cal.net and @directcon.net e-mail addresses. The only difference will be the name of the Incoming and Outgoing servers.

1) Open your Outlook 2010

2) On the top-left menu click on File > Add Account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Select “E-mail Account” and click Next (Some of you may not get this screen; You can skip to next step).

4) Select “Manually configure server settings” and click Next

 

5) Select “Internet E-mail” and click Next. (Some of you may not get this screen; You can skip to next step)

6) Type your full name and e-mail address. Change “Account Type” to “POP3″, if necessary.
If your e-mail address ends with @cal.net, enter mail.cal.net for both Incoming and Outgoing mail servers.
For @directcon.net addresses, enter mail.directcon.net for both.
Enter your username and password and then click on the “More Settings …” button on the bottom right.

7) Click on the “Outgoing Server” tab and make sure “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication” is checked. You don’t need to change anything else on this screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8) Next you want to click on the “Advanced” tab. Change your incoming server port to 995 and check “This server requires an encrypted connction (SSL)”.
For the Outgoing server, make sure it uses port 587 and TLS for encrypted connection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9) You may now click OK to go back to the same screen seen in step 6 and click on “Test Account Settings” to make sure all settings are working. Here you may see a screen like the one below. This is a certificate warning that will create the encrypted transfer of data between your computer and the e-mail server. Click “Yes” to accept and you should be good to go!