FAQs

The Basics

What is Phillywisper.net?

We are an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that provides internet service to residences and businesses in Philadelphia.

We’ve built out a fixed wireless network using the latest, most reliable radio technology.

Why should I use Phillywisper.net?

We’re local, we’re responsive, and we’ll take care of you.

Our network is new, fast and does not have the legacy issues of the big providers.

Ultimately, we are about providing a good service at an affordable price to happy customers.

Will Phillywisper.net sell my data?

PhillyWisper.net will NEVER sell your browsing, location or other data.

We believe that privacy is a basic right and that our customers are entitled to it

Do you require annual contracts?

No. (We don’t even offer them!)

Our service is month-to-month. You can cancel at anytime. (But why would you want to?!)

What about data caps?

There are no data caps!

Do you offer different services/packages/speeds?

We keep it simple. For residential service we have only one plan. 25 Mbps (or better) for $50 / mo and no data caps.

All we do is Internet. We do not offer TV or phone service.

Is 25 Mbps fast enough?

Absolutely! In fact, 25 Mbps is our minimum commitment to you. Our customers typically see much faster speeds.

Check out Netflix’s Internet Connection Speed Recommendations.

Below are the Internet download speed recommendations per stream for playing movies and TV shows through Netflix.0.5 Megabits per second – Required broadband connection speed
1.5 Megabits per second – Recommended broadband connection speed
3.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for SD quality
5.0 Megabits per second – Recommended for HD quality

Can I stream sports?

Yes! Check out sling.com.

Do you offer TV or phone service?

No. Just Internet.

Do you offer email?

Nope. These days, most folks use Gmail or one of the many other free email services.

What does it cost?

Our residential service costs just $50 per month. There are no extra taxes, service or rental fees.

Your monthly bill will be exactly $50 a month. Simple and predictable.

Why do you charge an installation fee?

To cover the costs of the radio, cabling, and mounting hardware used during the installation. The installation fee also partially covers the installers time.

Doing an installation takes time and attention. We take it seriously and it’s an investment in you as a customer. And because we do not require an annual contract we need to make sure we’re not losing our shirt with every installation.

And don’t forget, the installation fee includes your first month of service.

Is the installation fee refundable?

Sorry, no.

How can I pay?

We’ll gladly accept a check when we complete your installation.

Then each month we will email your bill. The email will also contain a link so you can securely pay online with your credit or debit card.

You can also mail us a check using the payment stub on your bill.

In the future, we also plan to support ACH or e-check payments.

How does PhillyWisper.net work?

PhillyWisper.net works with your Wifi Router to provide internet service throughout your home.

We’ve built out a fixed wireless network using the latest, most reliable radio technology.

That means we deliver internet service from our tower antennas directly to a small antenna we install on your roof. The antenna requires clear line of sight (LOS) to the tower, ie: no trees or buildings can be in the way.

We run a network cable from the antenna on your roof down into your house near where your router is now. The network cable plugs into your wifi router and provides Internet service.

What is fixed-wireless?

From Wikipedia.org:

Fixed wireless is the operation of wireless devices or systems used to connect two fixed locations (e.g., building to building or tower to building) with a radio or other wireless link.

Is WiFi the same as fixed-wireless?

WiFi is great for your laptop and smart phone in your house or a cafe, but it’s range is limited to a couple hundred feet. WiFi radios are omni-directional which means that the signal goes in every direction, but it lets you move around, sort of like a mobile phone.

Fixed-wireless requires that two stationary antennas be precision aimed at each other. If the aim is off then the signal is lost and they can not communicate. Fixed-wireless links are stationary and can not be moved. Based on the antenna and frequency, fixed-wireless radios can communicate over great distances (100+ miles).

What is clear line of sight (LOS)?

Clear LOS means that we need to be able to see one of our access point towers from your location.

The frequency used by the radios we use to deliver Internet to your home can be reduced (attenuated) or blocked by buildings and even trees.

This means that nothing can be in the way. Even a partially obstructed view can cause problems – see fresnel zones.

Does weather affect the service?

No. In fact, our network did not even blink during Jonas, the big blizzard of Jan 2016.

Do I need a router?

Yes.

If you already have one, great, you should be able to use it.

If not, there are many to choose from. Completely adequate WiFi routers that are more than good enough for typical usage (streaming, email, browsing) can be purchased for around $50 or less. Faster models typically cost in the $75 – $125 range. High-end routers can cost more than $200 but are rarely needed or worth the extra cost.

What is the installation process?

The first thing we need to do is check the line of sight (LOS). Once you provide your address, we use Google Earth and other tools to do a preliminary LOS check. Often we still need to perform a visual check from your location.

Once we know that the LOS is clear, then we schedule a installation time that is convenient for you. (We show up when we say – no 4 hour window nonsense.) Our only requirements are daylight hours and no snow or rain.

When we arrive, we’ll go over the installation process with you to find out where you want or have your router and answer any questions you might have

We usually start by installing and aligning the antenna on your roof and making sure we have a good signal. Then we install the cabling. Once inside the house we double check that the antenna is working and has a good signal. Next is plugging the cable into you router and making sure everything works.

The final step is walking you through everything we did, demonstrate that things are working, perform a speed test for you and answer any questions you might have.

How long does an installation take?

We allocate 2.5 hours for an installation though it often take less time. On rare occasions an installation will require more time. The time required depends on the house, ease of roof access, length of the cable run and other factors.

How do I schedule a LOS check/installation?

Submit your information on our web site or send us an email, Someone will contact you to schedule a time.

We perform LOS checks and installations 7 days a week. Our only requirements are daylight hours and no rain or snow.

Technical Support

The internet is slow, how do I make it faster?

There are multiple reasons why your Internet may be slow.

Determining the source of the problem requires testing at different locations:
1) At the radio, before it is plugged into your router
2) Connected to your router with a Ethernet cable
3) Via your router’s WiFi

Almost all reported problems of the Internet being slow are due to #3.

The first thing to do is to confirm that there is a problem and then try to identify its source by running some speed tests. Both www.dslreports.com and www.speedtest.net work well. (You will need to use a Ethernet cable to run a speed test at point #1 and #2.)

Run a speed tests at each point listed above.

You should see significantly higher than 25 Mbps at point #1 though our commitment is to provide at least 25 Mbps. If the speed at point #1 is less than 25 Mbps let us know and we’ll fix things.

Depending on your router (#2), you may see speed similar to the speed to point #1 or a bit slower.

The speed over WiFi (#3) depends on many factors including the WiFi protocol (b, g, n, ac), distance between your device and WiFi router, frequency (2.5 or 5.8 gHz), channel, interference including from other nearby WiFi routers, etc. It can get complicated fast.

If your WiFi router is new or just a few years old then it should be fine, especially if it supports n and/or ac protocols.

Two config changes often solve most WiFi speed problems – a) set the channel to “auto” and b) enable aggregation frames. (Note: These configuration options are not supported by all wifi-routers)

My streaming service (Neflix, Youtube, Hulu, etc) "buffers" - how to fix?

Under normal circumstances, Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and other streaming services should never buffer. On rare occasions it happens.

If your streaming service consistently pauses while buffering it is often a sign of a problem.

See the previous question for more information

Why can't I get to <insert name of web site>?

At times, the Internet is sort of like the Interstate during summer, there is construction and traffic problems all over the place.

If you can get to some web sites and not others it means you can access the Internet, but you just can’t get to where you want to go at that moment in time.

If you can get to www.google.com, but not to the web site your want, odds are either the web site is down or the web site’s provider is having a problem. Be patient, and try again in a little while. (We don’t like this answer and much as you don’t.)

If you can’t get to Google or any other major site, then it might be us.

Follow us on Twitter (@phillywisper) for network status and other updates.

Billing Support

Do you accept automatic monthly payments?

At this time, our on-line payment system does not support automatically debiting your account each month. We may support this feature in the future.

In the meantime, you can always use your bank’s on-line bill pay functionality to schedule a monthly payment. Since your bill will always be exactly $50 this should be easy to set up.

How do I cancel?

Just send us an email. No muss, no fuss.

Depending on our schedule, we will likely arrange a time to remove the antenna from your roof after you cancel.