Frequently Asked Questions

Q   Why am I receiving a lot of bounced email that I've never sent in the first place?
A   Your email address has probably been spoofed. Click Here to learn about spoofing, and what you can do about it.

Q   How do I setup my Email account?
A   If we have activated an email account for you, Click Here.
        If you wish a new or different email address, please contact us, and we can activate one for you.

Q   My computer seems to be running slow. Is there a way I can determine if this slow speed is inside my computer, or a problem with my Internet connection?
A   Yes, but first we need to know how your Internet connection is performing. Click Here and then click the graph to test your Internet speed. (Please read and follow the speed test instructions)   If your speed is substantially below what you have signed-up for, this may indicate an interference problem between you and our transmitter. One common interference problem is tree growth. Check to see if there is new growth out in front of your antenna. If you antenna path seems to be clear, but you are not getting the right speed, please let us know, so we can fix the problem for you.

                Click Here to email our technical support department.
                        Please include your name, telephone number,
                        and the results of at least 3 of the speed tests

Assuming your Internet speed is close to that for which you have signed-up, your slow speed may be related to problems inside your computer. Click Here to learn how to check several things in your computer.

                    (The above two links open in a new window. Close the window to return here.)

Q   Iím receiving a lot of email virus alerts from Postini, and would rather not be bothered by all these messages. What can I do about this?
A   You can change the way Postini alerts you to possible viruses by selecting the way alerts are sent to you. Click Here for instructions.

Q   Why can't I view some attachments in emails that I've received?
A   Your email program is set to block access to some potentially dangerous email attachments. You can change these settings by Clicking Here.

Q   Sometimes when I send an email with large pictures or data files attached, I receive an error message about the SMTP server timing out. What is this, and what can I do about it?
A   These problems can be due to the speed of your computer, the size of the outgoing emails, and other variables including high network traffic. Settings, in your email program, may be too short. You can change these settings by Clicking Here.

Q   I have a Windows Vista computer and need to check or change my IP address. How do I view or change the IP address of my Vista computer?

You can learn how to view your IP settings by Clicking Here.

You can learn how to change your IP settings by Clicking Here.

Q   My Internet connection was working fine until I uninstalled an Internet speed-up utility or firewall. Now the Internet no longer works. What can be done about this?
A   Internet speed-up utilities, firewalls, or other third-party software are installed between your browser or email programs, and your connection to the Internet. The connection from your applications to the Internet is controlled by a component of Windows called Winsock "Windows Socket". These third-party programs can become defective, or when removed, may leave the Winsock component of Windows inoperative, which will cause your Internet connection to fail.

Download and run this little utility, which will attempt to repair a damaged Winsock: WinSockXPfix.

Q   What are BOTs and why are they bad for my computer?

Click the Bot for More
A   Bot, short for Robot. A computer program that runs automatically, and usually without the userís knowledge or permission.

Bots are computer infections, similar to viruses. Some bots will steel your passwords, banking or credit card, and other valuable information. Still other bots, known as Spam-Bots, use the infected computer to send Spam, or copies of itself to other computers.

Spam-Bots not only hurt the infected computer, but have the potential to infect tens of thousands of other computers, and cause trouble for many of The SkyBeam's other customers.

If we at The SkyBeam detect that you have a Spam-Bot, we will temporarily suspend your service in order to protect our system and other customers. We will then attempt to contact you by telephone, to inform you of the infection and the temporary suspension of your Internet service.

Click Here to learn more about bots, and what you can do to protect your computer.

Q   I'm hearing about P2P "Peer-to-Peer" programs that a lot of young folks are using on the Internet. What are these P2P programs?
A   Peer-to-peer or ďP2PĒ software causes your computer to open itís files to others on the Internet, and not only attracts but advertises for Internet users from all over the world to visit your computer. We have some important facts about peer-to-peer file sharing programs in the following letter: Clicking Here to learn more about P2P programs.

Q   How do I get a faster speed? I started with The SkyBeam at 256Kbps, and now I would like to increase my speed. Do I need any new equipment?
A   Simply Email or call us and we can usually turn your speed up in a matter of minutes. The equipment we originally installed at your location will work at all our offered speeds.

Please note that you will be required to remain at this new speed and billing price for period of time. (Usually 3-months to 1-year, depending on your account type.)

Q   What is the difference between "Download" and "Upload" speeds?
A   The Download speed is the speed in which data comes to your computer over the Internet. The Upload speed is the rate in which data is sent from your computer to the Internet.

In that something near 90% of all data over the Internet is in the direction towards the user's computer (Download), the SkyBeam is, in all but one case, an Asymmetrical System. We send Internet data to your computer (Download) at the speed you selected when you signed up with us, and we accept data from your computer (Upload) and send it out to the Internet at a rate about one-third your download speed. For instance if have our 1,000Kbps plan, your upload rate would be about 333Kbps.

The one exception to the above rule is our Ultra Plan. The Ultra Plan is a fully symmetrical data path. The Ultra Plan is our highest possible speed in both directions. The Ultra Plan is selected by businesses that need to move a lot of company data around the Internet.

Q   Will bad weather affect my wireless signal?
A   NO!   Unlike satellite TV, and some other wireless Internet providers, The SkyBeam signal is not at all affected by even the heaviest rainstorms.

Q   What kind of warranty do I have on the equipment that was installed at my location?
A   Just about Forever!   Since we want to keep you as our customer, we usually extend the normal 1-year parts and labor warranty, offered from the manufacture, as long as you remain our customer.

As long as the equipment failed for normal electrical reasons, we will fix it!   Should you or your clumsy cousin damage the equipment, we will charge a nominal fee to repair it. Theft, fire, vandalism, war, or acts of nature are not covered under the normal warranty. Most homeowner insurance will cover many of these types of problems.

Q   You claim that The SkyBeam's email is checked for Spam "Unwanted and Unsolicited Email", but I still get some very objectionable things in my Email from time to time. What can I do about this?
A   Yes, The SkyBeam has one of the best email Spam filters offered, but some of the new types of Spam are crafted in such a way as to get through our Spam-Filters. Our Anti-Spam system is good but not perfect. None are!

Until new technology is perfected to stop more of this deplorable stuff, and/or legislation is passed to make this disgraceful marketing illegal, the only good solution is to change your email address and be very careful as to who you give your new address.

We recommend that you not only change your email address at The SkyBeam, but also get a free email account with the likes of   Then use your free email address whenever you signup for anything, buy anything online, or fill in ANY online forms that ask for your email address. This will direct most Spam to your free email address, and leave your "Real" email address relatively unmolested. When your free email address starts filling with Spam, simply abandon it, and get a new one.

Q   I now have a second computer and would like to connect it to The SkyBeam. Is there a way I can connect more than one computer to my high speed Internet connection?
A   Yes!   You can add any number of computers to your SkyBeam connection, as long as they are in the same home or business.

There are several ways to connect more than one computer to The SkyBeam: If you are adding only one other computer to the system, all you need is a Cross Over Cable (Available from J.R. Whipple & Associates   824-1400. ). If you will be adding two or more additional computers, you will need a Network Hub and appropriate cables for the computers.

After you connect the cables and/or hubs, you will need to change several settings in the computers. Changing the settings in your computers can be a bit of a challenge for some. (If you would like your computers professionally connected, contact J.R. Whipple & Associates   824-1400. ) They can supply all needed equipment, connect your computers, and make all the necessary changes for a reasonable fee.

Q   Will adding more computers to my SkyBeam connection slow my overall Internet performance?
A   A Little!   One or two additional computers added to your SkyBeam connection will slow your overall speed a little, but for most this slowing will be negligible. Three or more computers connected to your SkyBeam interface will start slowing your performance, depending on the usage patterns of the other users. You can contact us for a faster speed to compensate for any slowing that the additional computers impose on your Internet speed.

Q   My neighbor has asked me to run a cable from my computer over to his house, or setup a small wireless radio connection, so he can get high speed Internet through my connection. What is The SkyBeam's policy on sharing my connection with a non-subscriber?
A   This is a violation of your agreement with The SkyBeam!   Our equipment can detect unauthorized connections to our system. If we detect this type of Theft of Service we will immediately terminate your account with us, and we may impose a forfeiture of your unused balance of your contract with us.

Theft of Service is a serious crime in most jurisdictions. Beyond our termination of your service, the local district attorney may file criminal charges against you.

Q   I would like to add another computer to my SkyBeam Internet connection, but I don't want to run wires. Can I use one of those simple wireless devices to connect my other computer?
A   Yes But...   You can easily add a second computer to The SkyBeam with a simple wireless system. These simple wireless systems have a range of a few tens of feet, and in some cases several hundred feet. Some interference and slowing of your Internet speed can be expected with these simple wireless systems, but most importantly, they can expose your computer to hackers!

The way the simple wireless systems are setup from the factory can expose your computer to anyone near enough, and with a similar radio. If you are considering a simple wireless connection between your computers, please contact us via Email or call 824-4305 for help in securing your connections.

An unsecured wireless connection could inadvertently expose you to Theft of Service. Please see the above FAQ for more information.

Q   I am considering buying a new computer. How can I change my SkyBeam Internet conection from my old computer to the new one?
A   Changing the SkyBeam connection to a new computer is a little involved, it is best left to our professionals. Contact us via Email or call 824-4305 and we can change your connection for a small fee.

If you are considering a new computer, please see the next question before you decide on a new machine.

Q   I am fed up with my old, slow, unreliable computer, and want a better one. Can you recommend a good computer?
A   Yes! J.R. Whipple & Associates, an affiliated company with The SkyBeam, offers the best computers on earth. If you want the best and most reliable computer, you can do no better than one of J.R. Whipple's machines.

If you purchase a new computer from J.R. Whipple & Associates, they will deliver it, set it up, install the SkyBeam connection, and even move all your old data from your old computer to the new one at no additional charge. Not only will they do all this for free, but they will spend the time to train you on the operation of your new computer.

Do we sound a just little biased?   You bet we are!   The entire SkyBeam system runs on computers supplied by J.R. Whipple & Associates. The SkyBeam requires equipment with 100% reliability, J.R's machines give us the quality, speed and reliability we must have in order to run our business!

Contact J.R. Whipple & Associates via Email or call 824-1400 for more about their products. Visit J.R's Mark-V Computer for one of his fine computers.

Q   I understand that Microsoft will be releasing six new versions of Windows (Called Vista) in late 2006 or early 2007. If I buy a new computer, or upgrade my old machine, which version should I buy?
A   Microsoft, in order to maximize profits, is offering a large selection of various versions of Windows. This may be fine for their bottom line, but can be very confusing for the potential customer.

The following is a listing of Microsoft's future releases, and our recommendations:

  • Windows Vista Starter Edition
    This version can only access 256MBs of RAM, and you can only run three applications on it at a time. (This is a very crippled version, and is not recommended for anyone under any circumstances!)

  • Windows Vista Home Basic Edition
    Better than the Starter Edition, but not by much. (Very limited graphics. No DVD support, and nearly useless for business applications.) Not recommended!

  • Windows Vista Premium Edition
    A good choice for home and small home-business use.

  • Windows Vista Business Edition
    The best choice for both home and business. (Highly recommended!)

  • Windows Vista Enterprise Edition
    Only slightly better than the Business Version. Has features not used except in large businesses. (Not Recommended!)

  • Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
    Nearly $400 at retail, and probably around $300 with a computer, this version does it all. Superb graphics, If you have top-end video hardware. Does all the business stuff, and supports home entertainment centers, HDTV, and more. ( Requires lots of memory, and the fastest and most powerful hardware, to get the most out of it,)
  • All prices are Microsoft's suggested retail, and may differ after release.

    Regardless of which version of Vista you are interested in, we highly recommend you wait until at least the first Service Pack has been released.
    Every major release of any software is prone to bugs and other errors in its creation. Most of the bugs and errors are usually just small nuisances, or cosmetic in nature, and cause little real problems for the early adopters. A few, however, can be a showstopper for some customers. A major new release of something as important to your computer as the Windows operating system may cause some of your other software to stop functioning.

    If you just can't resist the temptation to try this new OS, you would be well advised to first contact the vendors of your important software, and ask them if their software has been tested with the new Vista versions.

    A word about cheap computers:
    Many computer manufactures will, as they have in the past, offer cheap computers - built with cheap components and loaded with Microsoft's cheapest version of Windows. Buy these machines at your peril.
    As in most things, you get what you pay for!

    From their inception in the 1970s J.R. Whipple, The SkyBeamís Chief Technical Officer has seen nearly all computers, ( Both the good & bad) and from his decades in Silicon Valley, was involved in the design & development of the desktop computer. This has given him the opportunity to see and work with nearly all computers ever made. He says he has never seen anyone who complained that they bought too good of computer, but has seen hundreds that have complained about the poor quality & performance of the cheap machines.

    The following is JR's recommendations for a good computer:

  • Plenty of Memory
    512-Megs as a minimum. 1-Gigabyte is better.
    (Never buy less than 512-Megs of memory!)

  • A Fast CPU
    A true Intel Pentium running at over 2.5GHz. 3+GHz is even better.
    (Don't buy Intel's Celeron but their full Pentium-4 CPU)

  • Appropriate Software
    Don't let the salesman load you up with programs you will never use.

  • A Good Anti-Virus Program
    Most computers come with some form of Anti-Virus software. Many of these are less than optimum.
    (We highly recommend either of the two you can find Here.)

  • Clean Up Your New Computer
    If you have purchased an Off-The-Shelf computer, it likely came with all manner of useless software pre-installed.
    (We recommend you uninstall all the junk, such as the free AOL offering, and all the other free offerings that are cluttering up your screen and slowing your new computer.)
  • Cheap computers are nearly always built with the poorest/cheapest hardware. Too little memory, and too slow of CPU. Most of these cheap machines have a poor cooling system, run too hot, and have a very limited running-life. They may look good in the store, but shortly after you start using them in your home or office, their shortcomings will be apparent.

    Even many of the better machines have two glaring shortcomings; The Warranty & Technical Support. Most computer companies have an acceptable warranty, in as far as it goes. The real problem is your data. Several months after you put all of your valuable data in the machine, it may fail. The manufacture will replace the computer with a new one, but all of you data will be in the dead one. Six months of lost bookkeeping data is not good for business. Family photos and all your email, addresses and other important personal information may be lost, or in the hands of the minimum wage workers at the factory, after you have returned your defective computer. If all you need is a little technical support, a phone call to many computer companies will get you a long wait on hold, then you will most likely be talking with someone in India, who's mastery of English or understanding of your problem may be questionable at best.

    J.R. Whipple & Associates, JR's computer company, offers the best computers on earth. And English is our native tongue.
    Designed with multiple removable hard drive modules, backup software, and the best components available, all of his machines are truly worry free. No data loss EVER! Even a catastrophic computer failure won't cause loss of any data. His business machines are designed in such a way to safeguard your data, even if the entire computer is totally lost due to theft, fire, or any other reason, your valuable data will be completely recoverable.

    J.R personally delivers and sets-up each new computer, in your home or office. Moving your data from your old machine to a new one can be a challenge for many. JR will move all your important data from your old computer to one of his new ones at no additional charge to you.

    Contact J.R. Whipple & Associates via Email or call (530) 824-1400 for more about their products.

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