Frequently Asked Questions

How to pay your CommStream Bill.

What do you need to know about Wi-Fi interference?

What are the differences between Wi-Fi and Hardwired services?

How do Downloading and Uploading speeds affect your web browsing?

Does having too many devices on the same network slow things down?

What is the difference between fixed wireless and mobility wireless?

What are the difficulties of getting high-speed internet to rural communities?

How can you shop online safely?

What is the difference between Strict, Moderate and Open NAT?

What do you need to know about a Static IP Address?



How to pay your CommStream Bill:

There are two ways you can pay your CommStream Bill.

  1. Automatic Payments

Automatic payments are the easiest way to pay your bill because the money can come right out of your back account or credit card. Payments will come out on the first business day of each month. Ask our billing department for an automatic payment form at billing@commstream.net or call 1-866-206-3707.

  1. Credit Card

You can pay your bill through the online customer portal or by calling the billing department at 1-866-206-3707 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.


What do you need to know about Wi-Fi Interference?

What is Wi-Fi Interference?

  • Wi-Fi Interference is any signal outside of your Wi-Fi network that prevents you from using your Wi-Fi   network properly.

  • If there is something interfering with your Wi-Fi network you may notice slower speeds, longer delays, constant disconnecting and reconnecting to the Wi-Fi, and sometimes you will be unable to connect to the Wi-Fi at all.

What can cause Wi-Fi Interference?

  • Other Wi-Fi networks with similar channel frequencies that are close to yours.

  • Some Bluetooth devices operating at a similar frequency to your Wi-Fi network.

  • Older microwaves

  • Thick walls (brick, concrete)

  • Small electronics that use 4 or 5 GHz signals such as:

    • Remote control cars

    • Baby monitors

    • Drones

    • Security cameras

    • Motion detectors

    • Cordless phones

How can you prevent interference on your Wi-Fi network?

  • Bring your device closer to the router.

  • Avoid using your device near common sources of interference (listed above).

  • Reduce the number of active devices using the same frequency (2.4 or 5 GHz are most common).

  • If your Wi-Fi router supports 5 GHz, it might help to connect more Wi-Fi devices to that frequency.

  • Try to avoid any possible obstructions between your device and your Wi-Fi network (concrete, brick or metal walls).


What are the differences between Wi-Fi and Hardwired services?

Wi-Fi Connection

  • A Wi-Fi signal does not require any wired connection, and allows you to have an internet connection anywhere in range of your network signal.

  • Wi-Fi is generally slower than a wired or Ethernet connection, but offers the convenience of moving around to different rooms.

  • Can suffer from interference from multiple factors (listed in “What can cause Wi-Fi interference?”).

  • Data sent over Wi-Fi is generally less secure than a wired connection.

  • Wi-Fi connections usually experience more delay (or lag) between the internet and your device than a wired connection.

  • Ability to connect portable devices (phones or tablets).

Wired or Ethernet Connection

  • A wired or Ethernet connection requires your device to be plugged in to a source of internet.

  • Generally faster than a wireless or Wi-Fi connection, but doesn’t offer the convenience of moving around with an internet connection.

  • Offers more reliable speeds and minimal interference (good for downloading large files or streaming video).

  • Data sent over a wired or Ethernet connection can only be accessed by devices that are connected to the same network via wired or Ethernet connections so they are generally safer and more secure than wireless connections.

  • Generally has minimal delay (or lag) between the internet and your device.

  • Only able to connect to a device with an Ethernet port (laptop or desktop computers).


How do Downloading and Uploading speeds affect your web browsing?

Download Speeds

  • Download speeds affect how fast data (pictures, videos, files, websites, music, movies, etc.) is delivered to you from the internet.

  • The higher the download speeds the faster the information will reach your device.

  • Internet plans tend to offer higher download speeds than upload speeds because people tend to download more than they upload.

Upload Speeds

  • Upload speeds affect how fast data (video chat, audio, uploading videos to internet, etc.) is delivered from your device to the internet.

  • The higher the upload speed the faster the information will reach the internet from your device (resulting in better quality video/audio).

  • Internet plans tend to offer lower upload speeds than download speeds because people tend to upload less than they download.


Does having too many devices on the same network slow things down?

To put it simply…yes, it can.

  • Each internet network (wireless or wired) has a set amount of bandwidth, and the more devices connected to a network, the more bandwidth is taken up.

  • Each device that is connected to a network requires a certain amount of bandwidth to perform an action (load Facebook, watch a video, upload a picture, etc).

  • If too many devices are performing actions that take a lot of bandwidth, they may experience slower speeds because there is less bandwidth to share.

  • Streaming videos, uploading files to or downloading files from the internet, and playing games online are the most common sources of high bandwidth use.


What is the difference between fixed wireless and mobility wireless?

Fixed Wireless

  • Uses fiber, cables, or DSL to provide internet from one location to another.

  • Internet goes across cables, fibres, or DSL to a base station that launches the signal to your home or office.

  • Usually much faster than the current 4G networks on mobility wireless.

  • Generally limited to more densely populated areas.

Mobility Wireless

  • Internet delivered on a cellular network

  • Signals bounce from cell towers to your mobile

  • Internet is portable—but is susceptible to slower speeds and higher delays in patchy coverage areas.

  • Not limited to densely populated areas, though signals become worse in areas further from cell towers.


What are the difficulties of getting high-speed internet to rural communities?

  • The biggest issue getting high-speed internet to rural communities is the cost.

  • It is very expensive to build new infrastructure or upgrade old infrastructure in rural towns.

  • Companies don’t see it as a good investment because it will take too long to earn that money back.

  • More cost effective to install new wiring in urban areas because the population is denser.

  • The further down copper wiring networks that you go, the weaker the signal is, so companies install signal amplifying equipment called “access multipliers” which adds to the cost of internet use for some customers.

  • Most times there aren’t many options available to rural communities—they take what they can get.


How can you shop online safely?

Here are our Top 10 tips to make sure you are shopping online safely.

  1. Research retailers online to make sure they’re legitimate.

    • If you haven’t heard of the retailer before, make sure you do your research to make sure they are legitimate. Retailers like Amazon, Walmart, or other well known stores are reputable and more secure than unknown websites.

  2. Keep your virus protection software up to date

    • Just installing the software won’t fully protect you. Make sure it is up-to-date to get the strongest protection you can.

  3. Don’t over share information.

    • Online retailers don’t need personal information like your birthday or social security number to purchase their products.

  4. Use strong passwords for online accounts and change them regularly

    • It is recommended to use passwords that have a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The more difficult the password is to guess the harder time people will have getting into your account.

  5. Don’t use public Wi-Fi when purchasing online.

    • Public-access Wi-Fi networks are less secure than private password-protected networks.

  6. Pay with a credit card over services like PayPal

    • Hackers are more likely to get into third party payment options than credit cards. Make sure you check your credit card statements to ensure your card has not been used for something you don’t know.

  7. If shopping on your phone, use that retailer’s app if possible.

    • Using the retailer’s app is more secure than going onto your phone’s internet app and then using the retailer’s website.

  8. Buy giftcards from the retailer.

    • When buying gift cards, purchase them from the company they are for. People try to sell gift cards with little to no money on them for more than they are worth, and some websites will sell you completely empty gift cards.

  9. HTTPS in the URL

    • Websites that begin with https: are more secure with your information than the regular http: start. Trusted online retailers will use https to keep your private information more secure.

  10. If it looks too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is.

    • At the end of the day you need to trust your gut. If something seems a little fishy, there is a very good chance that it is.


What is the difference between Strict, Moderate and Open NAT?

NAT, or Network Address Translation, is a method used by routers to translate a public IP address (used on the internet) into a private IP address (used on your home internet) and vice versa. NAT is used in the world of gaming consoles. There are three types of NAT.

  • Open NAT(Type 1) – all is permitted – your gaming device can connect to anyone’s games and host games. Plus – other users will be able to find and connect to the games you are hosting. This is usually the case when your console is connected directly to the Internet with no router or firewall.

  • Moderate NAT(Type 2) – your gaming device will be able to connect to other players, but some functions will be limited. When connecting to the Internet through a router that is configured properly, you’ll get this NAT type.

  • Strict NAT(Type 3) – your gaming device has limited connectivity with other players. Other players on a moderate or strict NAT will not be able to join your hosted games. This is the case when the router doesn’t have any open ports.


What do you need to know about a Static IP Address?

  • A static IP address is manually configured for a device, and doesn’t change.

  • Routers, phones, tablets, computers and other devices that can use an IP address can be configured to have a static IP address.

  • Sometimes referred to as Fixed or Dedicated IP Addresses.

  • Static IP Addresses make it easier to connect to devices on a network.

  • Mostly used when hosting a website or a server on your internet.

  • Needs to be purchased from your Internet Service Provider

    • Most IP addresses are dynamic (they change automatically) and will work fine with connecting your devices to the internet and having them stay connected.