nbn Fixed Wireless Congestion

What is Congestion ?

Congestion on a nbn Fixed Wireless connection can result in your service slowing down during peak time periods. nbn Fixed Wireless has a finite design capacity and when everyone wants to stream video (termed high concurrency) in the evening on a tower, that is close to design capacity, then some congestion will ensue.  nbn are working to ensure a minimum 6Mb/s peak time experience by the end of the 2018.  Other causes of congestion include too many users on a tower, how a providers CVC (the Connectivity Virtual Circuit) is managed or a tower in need of an upgrade.

Another key reason for slow nbn performance is your home equipment that is either supplied by your RSP or yourself. Contact your RSP to ensure that this equipment is best configured for your use.

NB: nbn Fixed Wireless congestion due to tower overload is NOT widespread. The vast majority of fixed wireless customers enjoy a congestion free experience.

Check out WhistleOut’s tips on how to speed up your connection here and the BIRRR Guide on how to troubleshoot your fixed wireless connection here

You can also try activating a second port on your service with a different provider, such as Aussie Broadband, to see if your service improves. Aussie Broadband will offer a no contract 30 day trial to enable you to see if your old provider has the congestion issue, or if the issue is with nbn.

Whirlpool Discussion on Fixed Wireless Congestion

Whirlpool List of Congested nbn Wireless Towers – please note this is only a guide to congested towers, that has been compiled from Whirlpool Users experiences.

If you are having issues with your nbn Fixed Wireless Service, your first point of contact should always be your provider.

If your provider does not get the issue resolved, in certain cases BIRRR (and providing you have tried to help by following the tips above) can escalate your issue, please complete this form:www.tinyurl.com/BIRRRnbnFWfault

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your RSP regarding your own connection issues.  Thanks to John Kitchener for assistance in compiling this document.   This page was updated on 17th July 2018.

Network Outages

If you are having an issue with your connection, you may be experiencing a network outage.  If your connection is an nbn connection, you could have a provider outage or an nbn outage, you will need to check both.

A good provider lists network status information on their website / social media.  Some also have recorded messages on their call centres, this is useful for those who have no back up internet connection.

The RSPs that have network status information are

  1. Aussiebroadband here
  2.  Active8me post network outages on their FaceBook page here (like their page and the updates will appear in your newsfeed) and on their network status page here.
  3. Clear Networks here
  4. Iinet posts all the planned maintenance events here 
  5. IPSTARhere
  6. Optus here
  7. Reachnet here
  8. SkyMesh also have a network status page that is usually up to date at https://www.skymesh.net.au/advisories/
  9. Telstra here
  10. Westnet here

This is a user reported outages page that is good for alerting you to a widespread problem – click here

NBN OUTAGES

Contact nbnnbn have an outages pages which lists an outage if it is happening and also alerts you to any upcoming planned  maintenance happening in your area. Click here
or Phone 1800 OUR NBN to see if there are any widespread outages.

BIRRR Forms

NBN Fixed Wireless Troubleshooting
You MUST have tried to solve your issue first before completing this form.
It is essential that you have a ticket or fault number from your provider. Click here

BIRRR Desk Check
Unsure of what your best option is for internet ? Fill out this form for a BIRRR Desk Check – click here

Report A Mobile Broadband Fault
You MUST have tried to solve your issue first before completing this form. It is essential that you have a ticket or fault number from your provider. Please ensure you have your correct address (including locality) and co-ordinates before filling in this form. Co-ordinates should be in this format: -23.295476, 146.713776 Tips on how to get your GPS coordinates are here  Click here for the form

Report a Fixed Line Fault (internet or landline)
You MUST have tried to solve your issue first before completing this form. It is essential that you have a ticket or fault number from your provider. Please ensure you have your correct address (including locality) and co-ordinates before filling in this form. Co-ordinates should be in this format: -23.295476, 146.713776 Tips on how to get your GPS coordinates are here  Click here for the form

SkyMuster Not Working
This form is for those who have a non-working Sky Muster install.
Complete the following BEFORE completing this form:

  1. Plug a computer directly into the NBN modem, bypassing the router.
  2. Try a power cycle routine once. https://birrraus.com/2016/07/27/how-to-power-cycle-a-device/

If it still isn’t working, please contact your provider and contact nbn – 1800 OUR NBN or via their FB page or email: info@nbn.com.au. Please complete this form if you still have no working connection after completing the above. BIRRR will do their best to help troubleshoot the issue and send your information onto provider & nbn contacts. Click here for the form.

BIRRR Non-NBN Alternative Fixed Wireless Provider list
This form is for Non-NBN Fixed Wireless ISP’s to enter your wireless towers onto the BIRRR map. You can view the map here. Please enter all of your covered areas into this form, one area/town/tower at a time. (1 response per town/tower). It will then appear on our map within a few minutes. Click here for the form.

BIRRR Map of Installers, Equipment Suppliers, Computer Technicians and other Regional, Rural and Remote Internet/ICT Service Providers
If your business offers Internet , point to point systems or ICT products or services that may be of interest to Regional, Rural and Remote Australians, please fill out this form to have your details added to the map on our website. More details here including the map.

HAVE YOUR SAY on PHONE SERVICE GUARANTEE for #BETTERBUSHCOMMS
Rural Australians have the chance to influence the future of telecommunications in the bush, through a new survey being hosted by BIRRR (Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia). “We urge everyone in the bush to get online and fill out this questionnaire – help us build a clear profile of which tools are most important to keep us safe and connected,” said BIRRR spokesperson Kristy Sparrow. The survey takes just ten minutes, and explores the telephone and internet options in homes.

The Australian Government is currently developing options for a new Universal Service Guarantee (USG) which seeks to ensure all Australians can access voice and broadband services. “This USG is so vital for rural, regional and remote Australia – if they get this wrong, we have grave concerns that some could well be left in very tough and isolated situations, with potentially disastrous consequences.” “Data we collect will be provided directly to the USG taskforce committee, government departments and ministers and will be used in BIRRR work towards better bush communication,” Kristy said.
A previous BIRRR survey (May 2016)* found that:

  • many rural residents have a landline only, no internet connection.
  • Many Sky Muster users (42%) have no mobile coverage.
  • Boosting coverage into your home is costly.
  • Illegal repeaters are causing huge issues with mobile coverage.
  • Voip (considered a replacement for landline) is not simple to use and is not reliable.
  • If Sky Muster (satellite internet) goes down you cannot trouble shoot your connection without a landline

BIRRR has been involved in previous submissions to government in their ongoing effort to save existing tools and to secure RRR telecommunication services into the future.
BIRRR LANDLINE & CONNECTIVITY SURVEY: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BIRRRlandlines

Excessive uploads gobbling your data allowance?

If your uploads are higher than your downloads, some things to check are

  • You need to isolate what device is uploading all the data. Turn off all devices and only turn one on for 2 hours and monitor your data usage. Keep doing that until you find the culprit.
  • Login into your account with your service provider and see if you can pinpoint when the uploads are happening. Your RSP will only have hourly data keep for the last 24 hours.
  • Do you have a Network Attached Storage device? If so, turn it off and see what happens. The software on them can phone home for updates.
  • Your router may have been ‘hacked’. Try bypassing the router and plugging your computer directly into the NTD and see what happens.
  • Your computer maybe ‘talking to friends’ in the background. Here is how you can turn that option off.

Windows 10: Check here to see how to set you WiFI connection to WiFi, disable peer-to-peer updating, prevent automatic App updates and Live Tile updates, Save data on web browsing. http://www.howtogeek.com/249254/how-to-stop-windows-10-from-using-so-much-data/ This tells you how you can moniter your data usage in Windows 10
https://www.cnet.com/au/how-to/monitor-your-data-usage-in-windows-10/

Apple: Most often BitTorrent, iCloud, Dropbox, or some other cloud-data application is involved in cases of mysterious bandwidth use by a Mac. If you use iCloud, uncheck at least iCloud Drive in its preference pane and see whether there’s any change. If you use third-party network backup or file-sync software, disable that. If you use a torrent client, remove it. https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7314385?start=0&tstart=0

If you have tried all the above suggestions, and still can’t control the uploading of data you will need to contact your service provider and ask for help. They will be able to monitor in real time what is happening over your connection (best done when the uploading is actually happening)

Problems with your NBN connection?

Until now, BIRRR has spent considerable time troubleshooting nbn issues – we now ask that these issues are directed to NBN or your provider. It doesn’t mean we don’t care, or can’t help if you continue having issues after you have tried these alternate contacts.

NBN now has a new ‘specialised regional support team’  inside the existing nbn contact centre which customers can call directly, dealing with a wide range of issues. BIRRR welcomes this improvement, as we have consistently called for this contact centre to be created. We also appreciate that NBN has acknowledged the work the BIRRR team has done up until now.

We are looking forward to spending more of our time advocating for RRR communication needs, rather than troubleshooting. BIRRR encourages providers to follow NBNs lead and establish their own specific RRR contact centres.


For ‘GETTING CONNECTED’ PROBLEMS

  • Not sure what type of NBN connection you can get? Visit here and type in your address (you may have to drag the marker over your house).
  • If you are ‘on the fringe’ of a footprint(eg just outside a Fixed Wireless area and are seeking to get fixed wireless) then you can contact NBN and ask to be reclassified. You will need to provide them with your address and GPS coordinates (Find your GPS via Google Maps here)
  • Your address is not there? You can contact NBN and ask to be reclassified. NBN’s engineers will then evaluate your situation and potentially change your designated nbn technology to fixed wireless. You will need to provide them with your address and GPS coordinates (Find your GPS via Google Maps here)

CONTACT NBN at 1800 OUR NBN (1800 687 626) or send an email to info@nbnco.com.au

 NB: the nbn co call centre will not be able to help with tower/nbn activation dates, nor will the BIRRR team. The ‘nbn co check your address’ site has a date of service available.

For INSTALLATION PROBLEMS:

  • Cancelled/Postponed installations?  Contact NBN and report your problem! NBN have set up new procedures and are trying to be more helpful.
  • Installer fails an install?If you feel that they could have tried harder (different locations on your property, tried a 3m mast etc)  Contact NBN.
  • Equipment is installed, but not working.  Try the power cycle routine (see here). Try the different ports on your NBN box, power cycle in between swaps. If still not working contact your service provider (RSP). Make sure you get a ticket number.

 For CONNECTION PROBLEMS:

  1. If you don’t have a working connection, please try a power cycle routine once with a computer plugged directly into the NBN modem. See here to see how to do a power cycle correctly (the article is about SkyMuster, but the principle is the same). If you have a SkyMuster connection check here for further details.
  2. If you are still offline check the service status pages offered by SkyMesh who lists unplanned outages here, and Iinet  who list scheduled maintenance events here, to make sure your problem is not a widespread problem. Activ8me Facebook page and the ANT Facebook page also list outages when they know about them.
  3. You can also ring the NBN hotline for SkyMuster outages. They will tell if a beam is down, an earth station (many beams) is down or the outage is national
  4. If you are offline and it is not a widespread problem, please contact your RSP (service provider), make sure you get a ticket number. Send an email (if you can) to your RSP support about the problem, so they know it exists, especially if the callback queues are long (if the queues are long, it means that many customers have a problem).
  5. Contact your service provider (RSP) when you have problems with your speed, dropouts, excessive data usage.

nbn-call-centre

If you have tried the options above and you still need help either post in the BIRRR Facebook group or  send an email to birrraus@gmail.com


nbn co recently announced:

  • call centre policy and protocols have changed so that satellite end users will not be referred immediately to their RSP.
  • nbn’s call centre will now be able to provide basic network outage information so that callers will at the very least know if the network is down in their area.
  • set up ‘a dedicated regional support team inside this call centre to handle rural addressing issues, location I.D generation, non-standard fixed wireless installs, or other issues that people living in regional, rural and remote areas experience’.
  • nbn will also incorporate this approach into its official Facebook page, nbn Australia.

Announcement from NBN about their SkyMuster issues (Nov 2016):

‘By now you have no doubt heard about Sky Muster, nbn’s $1.8 billion custom-built broadband satellite delivering fast internet to the bush. While nbn has heard many stories of people having a great Sky Muster experience, we have also heard your concerns. These concerns are something nbn takes very seriously and the company wants to directly address them here. 

nbn is currently implementing a satellite service improvement programme, which is being led by a committed task force to address and resolve the issues identified. Some of the corrective action already undertaken includes software fixes to reduce connection times and configuration updates to improve the stability of the service. This work is ongoing and has seen a substantial improvement in network stability.

nbn has implemented changes to our call centre and social media processes which means we are now providing network information directly to end users as it becomes available. We have also set up a dedicated regional support team in our call centre to handle regional-specific queries. In addition, nbn is working with our retail providers and delivery partners to help improve the installation process and ensure the number of rescheduled and missed appointments is minimised.

The Sky Muster technology is breaking new ground and as with any new technology, particularly one as complex as satellite broadband, there are issues early in the roll-out that need to be worked through.

nbn acknowledges that we need to get this right as soon as possible and we are working hard to do just this as we ramp up to connect more than 10,000 premises a month to Sky Muster.’  (source: nbn co )

SkyMuster not working?

  1. If you don’t have a working SkyMuster connection, please try a power cycle routine once with a computer plugged directly into the NBN modem (wait at least 30 minutes before going to the next step). See here to see how to do a power cycle correctly.
  2. Check the NBN outage page to see if it is widespread – https://www.nbnco.com.au/support/network-status
  3. The RSPs that have network status information are
    1. SkyMesh also have a network status page that is usually up to date at https://www.skymesh.net.au/advisories/
    2.  Active8me post network outages on their FaceBook page here (like their page and the updates will appear in your newsfeed) and on their network status page here.
    3. Iinet posts all the planned maintenance events here https://www.iinet.net.au/status/
    4. Clear Networks here
    5. Westnet here
  4.  If you are still offline please contact your service provider. Send an email (if you can) to your support about the problem, so they know it exists.  If you have to call it may involve a long wait if there are many problems. Keep records of who you have phoned/emailed, dates and ticket/fault numbers
  5. After you have completed steps 1,2,3 and 4 above and Sky Muster still not working (as in NO connection, complete outage or not activated on install), Fill in this form (please follow instructions on the form first), fill in for your neighbour or friend or family member if they have no connection.
  6. Also, post to the BIRRR FaceBook group and state where you are located (nearest town), who your service provider is and how long you have been out for, just in case others in your area are also affected.

Thanks to SkyMesh for providing this printable power cycle document. Please note SkyMesh are one of 12 providers offering nbn Sky Muster.  You should always contact your provider for assistance.

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*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your own connection issues. Updated 29/8/18

How to power cycle a device

If you have a computer in your home, you probably have at least one other device that works alongside it, such as a modem, wireless router, or printer. These devices have a tendency to stop working from time to time, and it’s not always immediately clear why.

Before assuming anything is actually broken, you should try to run a power cycle. To do this, you’ll want to turn the device off, and all devices connected to it, then turn it back on. This will force it to reset, which can fix a lot of basic problems. It is important to turn the devices on in order.

Here are the steps to power cycle a typical Sky Muster setup:

  • Turn off ALL devices. If you have a nbn Sky Muster connection unscrew the white cable from the SAT port (see blow photo) that goes from the wall into the nbn box (NTD).
  • Wait at least 5 minutes.
  • Turn the Devices on in order
    1. Screw in the white cable, then turn on the NBN box first (also known as the NTD or modem). Wait until all the lights are on and indicate an active connection (this may take a few minutes). Active connection for NBN Sky Muster is a blue light.
    2. Then turn on your router. Wait until all the lights are on the router indicate an active connection.
    3. Then turn on all your other devices.

S-NTD Router cable connections

Temporary fixes to Sky Muster internet connection problems July 2016

Problems include

  1. Unable to visit certain websites, especially HTTPS ones.
  2. Unable to do any form of remote logins (Reckon, Phoenix, Microsoft Remote login etc)
  3. Short term dropouts, especially noticeable in any forms of chat.

Possible solutions that have worked for SOME people (see below for more details)

  1. Clear the browser cache.
  2. Turn off iPV 6 on your computer and/or router (Note SkyMesh has done this for their Sky Muster service so no action is required for SkyMesh customers)
  3. Ask your provider to turn Web Acceleration OFF
  4. Test using a VPN application called Tunnel Bear
  5. Enable TCP Timestamps
  1. Clear the browser cache.

    See here for instructions http://www.refreshyourcache.com/en/home/

  2. Turn off iPV6 on your computer and/or router

    Instructions here for Mac OS X https://kb.iu.edu/d/aqig
    Instructions here for Windows https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/kb/929852
    Y
    ou will need to read your router’s manual to determine how to turn off iPV6 in it.

  3. Ask you service provider to put a request into NBN to have web acceleration turned OFF
    for your connection.Browsing will be slower, but you should be able to visit the problem websites.
    Ask Service Provider to get NBN to disable the Transparent Performance Enhancing Proxy (TPEP)
    Web Page Optimisation to OFF, Transport Protocol to OFF
  4. Trial a VPN application called Tunnel Bear (first 500Mb is free)https://www.tunnelbear.com/
    Download the Tunnel Bear extension in Google Chrome
    Visit the website via Chrome with the tunnel bear extension turned on
    If your secure website or Remote desktop is now working, let your Service Provider’s Support know.
  5. Enable TCP Timestamps (this has now been done at the NBN end of SkyMuster, so you shouldn’t have to do this)The following was worked out by technical support at SkyMesh. Original Workaround provided by SkyMesh  here  

 

sky muster 3

Detailed below is a temporary workaround for customers with Sky Muster services that are having issues browsing some websites. Some operating systems do not have the TCP Timestamps extension enabled by default. By enabling this extension on each affected computer, customers can overcome the problem. The workaround temporarily resolves a certain class of issues. If you continue to experience browsing issues after enabling timestamps, you might be affected by a different problem.

You must run the command prompt as the Administrator.
This is how you do it
Windows Vista and Windows 7 http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/windows-elevated-command-prompt/
Windows 8 and 10
http://www.howtogeek.com/194041/how-to-open-the-command-prompt-as-administrator-in-windows-8.1/
Apple computers
http://www.wikihow.com/Get-to-the-Command-Line-on-a-Mac

WINDOWS INSTRUCTIONS
These instructions are not suitable for Windows XP. See below for dedicated instructions.

How to Check the Status of Timestamps

  • Click Start.
  • In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press ENTER.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type netsh interface tcp show global and the press ENTER.
  • Check if RFC 1323 Timestamps is listed as enabled or disabled.

How to Enable Timestamps

  • Click Start.
  • In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER (the command below requires administrator privileges).
  • If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type netsh interface tcp set global timestamp=enabledand the press ENTER.

How to Disable Timestamps

  • Click Start. In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER (the command below requires administrator privileges).
  • If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type netsh interface tcp set global timestamp=disabledand the press ENTER.

WINDOWS XP INSTRUCTIONS
How to Enable Timestamps

  • Click Start.
  • In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER (the command below requires administrator privileges).
  • If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters /v Tcp1323Opts /t REG_DWORD /d 2 and the press ENTER.

How to Disable Timestamps

  • Click Start. In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER (the command below requires administrator privileges).
  • If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Continue.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type reg add HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters /v Tcp1323Opts /t REG_DWORD /d 0 and the press ENTER.

How to Check the Status of Timestamping and Window Scaling Features

  • Click Start.
  • In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press ENTER.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type reg query HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip\Parameters /v Tcp1323Opts and the press ENTER.
  • Check if
    Tcp1323Opts is listed as 0x2 or 0x3 (enabled) or 0x0 or 0x1 (disabled).

MAC OS X INSTRUCTIONS
Please note that these instructions may not work with El Capitan:https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7408993

How to Check the Status of Performance Extensions (including Timestamps)

  • Run sysctl net.inet.tcp.rfc1323 from the command line.
  • Check if net.inet.tcp.rfc1323 is listed as 1 (enabled) or 0 (disabled).

How to Enable Performance Extensions (including Timestamps)

  • Run sudo sysctl net.inet.tcp.rfc1323=1 from the command line.
  • Modify the /etc/sysctl.conf file with net.inet.tcp.rfc1323=1 to make the setting permanent.

How to Disable Performance Extensions (including Timestamps)

  • Run sudo sysctl net.inet.tcp.rfc1323=0 from the command line.
  • Modify the /etc/sysctl.conf file with net.inet.tcp.rfc1323=0 to make the setting permanent.

GNU/LINUX INSTRUCTIONS
How to Check the Status of Timestamps

  • Run sysctl net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps from the command line.
  • Check if net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps is listed as 1 (enabled) or 0 (disabled).

How to Enable Timestamps

  • Run sudo sysctl net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps=1 from the command line.
  • Modify the /etc/sysctl.conf file with net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps=1 to make the setting permanent.

How to Disable Timestamps

  • Run sudo sysctl net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps=0 from the command line.
  • Modify the /etc/sysctl.conf file with net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps=0 to make the setting permanent.

Save Your Data Usage with Windows 10

Living in a rural area comes with limits for bandwidth and a data allowance, that means you may only have access to mobile wireless networks or satellite. You might be coming to the realization that Windows 10 loves data, your data plans are quickly eaten up. Here are some suggestions on how you can save data on your limited data allowance connection.

If possible set a connection as metered?

When you set a network connection as metered, it scales back some components of Windows to prevent them from using excessive amounts of data. More specifically, it changes the following:

  • Disables automatic downloads of Windows Updates
  • Disables downloading of app updates
  • Disables peer-to-peer uploading of updates
  • Live tiles will not update
  • Offline files may not sync automatically
  • Other system behaviours might change to reduce data usage – whether it’s for Windows or apps.

Although Microsoft recommends setting a connection as metered if your ISP imposes data caps, Windows 10 only allows you to set Wi-Fi and mobile data connections as metered – not wired Ethernet connections. If you’re using a wired desktop PC and your ISP imposes strict data caps, there’s no way to have Windows 10 download updates on your schedule. Instructions on how to set your connection to metered are here http://www.howtogeek.com/226722/how-when-and-why-to-set-a-connection-as-metered-on-windows-10/

Turn off background apps
By default, Windows 10 keeps some apps running in the background, and they eat up a lot of data.

OneDrive
OneDrive was another part of Windows 10 and it uses data in the background.

You might also want to do this for other syncing clients such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Disable PC Syncing
You don’t need to have it running around the clock. You can turn it off, and when you do need to keep things synced, you can easily turn it on.

Turn off notifications
Another area that I notice can save you some data is turning off Notifications.

Turn off Live Tiles
Feed based apps such as News will retrieve the latest news and other information in the background, if you keep Live Tiles turned on. You don’t need to do this for every app, but apps like Mail, Twitter, Weather, Facebook will grab the latest information. You can turn that off by right clicking on the Tile and “Turn off live tile”.

Configure Windows Update to download updates over your local area network
Windows Update Delivery Optimization (WUDO) is a controversial feature in Windows 10 for some. For Windows 10 Home and Pro, it’s set to send Windows Update data to other PCs on the Internet by default (it’s only set to PCs on local network for Enterprise and Education editions). If you’re in a limited bandwidth situation, you don’t want to be sharing updates with other PCs on the Internet. NOTE: Windows Update Delivery Optimization lets you get Windows updates and Windows Store apps from sources in addition to Microsoft. This can help you get updates and apps more quickly if you have a limited or unreliable Internet connection. And if you own more than one PC, it can reduce the amount of Internet bandwidth needed to keep all of your PCs up-to-date. Delivery Optimization also sends updates and apps from your PC to other PCs on your local network or PCs on the Internet. More information about WUDO is here

 

Defer Windows Updates
If you are running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, there is an option in Windows Update settings that lets you delay the download of new features for several months.

The above steps can also be viewed in detail at http://www.howtogeek.com/249254/how-to-stop-windows-10-from-using-so-much-data/ , which also has graphics for each step.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with a professional if you are unsure.

TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS FOR SKYMUSTER SPEED ISSUES

If you get slow speeds all the time, it’s likely the problem is at your home, so here are 13 STEPS to try before calling your RSP. (It’s a good idea to do methodical tests and make detailed notes while you’re trying to find the cause of speed problems.)

If for some reason, you can’t complete one of the steps, like a speed test, then skip to the next step.

  1. First check that no one else in your home is downloading or streaming If you have teenagers, ask them to take a break from using the service and shut down any downloads and close YouTube. YouTube’s new auto-play feature is a big data thief.
  2. Next check your usage to make sure you’re not speed limited for exceeding your Data Allowance. (Sounds simple, but RSPs get lots of calls from speed limited customers).
  3. Run some speed tests at fast.com.
    Your service lands in Sydney no matter where in Australia you live if you are nbn SkyMuster, so if using another test, make sure it chooses a Sydney server. Telstra and Optus have good servers and lots of bandwidth for their speed tests.
  4. Power cycle everything, including your NBN Sky Muster modem, your router (if you have one) and your computer(s) – turn everything OFF and then back ON in THAT ORDER. A monthly reboot of everything often makes a performance difference. Do some more speed tests and see if that made a difference.
  5. What’s the weather like? Bad storms and heavy cloud cover may reduce speeds, but only a little. That’s also the case at your Beam’s Ground Station. Details on beams and what  ground stations they use are here. Wait until the weather clears and run some more speed tests.
  6. Download and install a fresh copy of a browser you haven’t used before. If you use Windows and Internet Explorer, try Chrome or Firefox. If you’re a Mac owner using Safari, try Firefox. Sometimes browsers get clogged up with cookies and other stuff and that can affect your speed.
  7. Windows users should set your computer into Safe Mode with Networking (how to is here). Reboot your Windows computer in Safe Mode with Networking and run some more speed tests. That starts your computer with the bare basic software, so if you have anti-virus or some other program that’s slowing your computer, speed tests in Safe Mode will reveal that.
  8. If you’re using the service via Wi-Fi, plug your computer directly into your router with a network cable and run some speed tests. If that solves the speed problem, your Wi-Fi signal may be poor, or your router has a problem or the Wi-Fi device drivers in your computer may need to be updated. You should ask your local computer specialist for help with device driver updates as it’s tricky if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
  9. Plug your computer directly into the Sky Muster modem with a network cable, bypassing your router (if you have one) then reboot everything. It’s best to wait for the modem to be rebooted first then reboot your computer. Do some more speed tests, and that will tell you if your router is causing speed problems.
  10. Try a different network cable, just in case that’s the problem. If you have a few of them in your home, try them all just in case you have a dud cable. Network cables lull you into a false sense of security by rarely being faulty, then when you least expect it, there they are!
  11. Try another computer (if you have one), plugged directly into the Sky Muster modem, in Safe Mode with Networking if it’s a Windows computer. More speed tests will tell you if you have a computer problem rather than a satellite service problem.
  12. Reach around the back of the nbn Sky Muster modem and locate the connectors for the black co-ax cable. Make sure it’s finger tight and not loose. Do the same if you have a wall plate for the cable . Don’t put a spanner or pliers on the connectors as a heavy hand could break the connectors and that would mean a service call. ‘Finger tight’ is the go.
  13. Take a look (from the ground) at the satellite dish and make sure there are no trees or branches close to the dish. Cockatoos chewing the cables usually take the service offline rather than making it slow, but it can’t hurt to check for obstructions or any obvious damage. Do not climb on the roof, do not go anywhere near the dish, do not knock it out of alignment!

Advanced Troubleshooting

We recommend doing this step while you’re on the phone with Support (at least for the first time)

  • Occasionally static electricity builds up around the dish (it’s more complex than that, but that’s the simple version) and causes issues. Gently undo the connectors from the back of the nbn SNTD with your fingers (don’t use a spanner or pliers please). Leave out for 30 seconds and re connect.
  • If you can’t get them off with your fingers, skip this step as it’s not worth damaging the connectors.
  • If you don’t solve the speed problem using these steps, you can forward your notes and your speed test results to your RSP and say “I tried all these things, what’s next?”

This document was prepared with the help of SkyMesh support.
Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your own connection issues.

How To: Log onto Windows Safe Mode

Windows’ Safe Mode is a boot option that only loads the operating system with absolutely necessary basic files and drivers. It is generally used to troubleshoot issues in Windows, as many components, such as graphic drivers or software that automatically start with Windows, are not loaded.

To start in Safe Mode you need to reboot your computer.

Repeatedly and gently tap the F8 key as Windows begins to boot. (This is the usual key you press, if that doesn’t work try Shift+F8, if that doesn’t work you will need to Google your brand of computer asking how to start in safe mode) If you see the Windows logo, you missed the right time point; just start over. Once you see Advanced Boot Options you know that it worked. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select Safe Mode from the options and press Enter to boot into Safe Mode.
Windows2

If your computer no longer appears sluggish when you are in Safe Mode, you can assume that your hardware is fine. A trouble-free Safe Mode is an indicator that a software issue is the source of problems you normally see. There are still many candidates, for example a driver or software conflict, malware, or simply too many programs launching at startup.

Note: Accessing Windows 10 Safe Mode is a bit different – see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-10/start-your-pc-in-safe-mode  for details.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with a professional if you are unsure.

Ways to speed up a slow Windows Computer

Windows PCs typically slow down as applications are installed and used. Whether you are using a word processor, writing a spreadsheet, surfing the internet, playing games or anything else, hard drives fill with temporary files that do not always get removed when no longer needed. Hard disks can succumb to this wear and tear over time. Read on to learn of ways to help keep a PC running smoothly.
1.     Clean up the Desktop
  • Empty Recycle bin – see below
  • Only have short cuts on your desktop (they should look similar to below … the little blue arrow indicates a shortcut). If there is no arrow, it isn’t a shortcut.
    Windows1
    Move all files stored on the desktop that don’t have the shortcut symbol to a folder in your Documents folder (you can create a shortcut, if you want quick access to it, on your desktop)
2.     Empty the Recycle Bin

Simply deleting files from the disk doesn’t really delete them at all; rather they are moved to a temporary holding area on the hard drive for easy restoration. This area is called the Recycle Bin and is usually displayed on the Desktop. Review the contents before emptying. Once emptied, the space on the hard drive that the data occupied is made available for reuse and the restoration of any files emptied from the recycle bin becomes extremely difficult if it is overwritten by new data. Note that this will only speed up your computer if the hard drive is nearly full.

3.     Log onto Windows Safe Mode

Windows’ Safe Mode is a boot option that only loads the operating system with absolutely necessary basic files and drivers. It is generally used to troubleshoot issues in Windows, as many components, such as graphic drivers or software that automatically start with Windows, are not loaded.

To start in Safe Mode you need to reboot your computer.

Repeatedly and gently tap the F8 key as Windows begins to boot. (This is the usual key you press, if that doesn’t work try Shift+F8, if that doesn’t work you will need to Google your brand of computer asking how to start in safe mode) If you see the Windows logo, you missed the right time point; just start over. Once you see Advanced Boot Options you know that it worked. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select Safe Mode from the options and press Enter to boot into Safe Mode.
Windows2

If your computer no longer appears sluggish when you are in Safe Mode, you can assume that your hardware is fine. A trouble-free Safe Mode is an indicator that a software issue is the source of problems you normally see. There are still many candidates, for example a driver or software conflict, malware, or simply too many programs launching at startup.

Note: Accessing Windows 10 Safe Mode is a bit different – see http://windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-10/start-your-pc-in-safe-mode  for details.

4.     Freeing Up Resources

Stop all unneeded background processes.

Look at the right corner of your Taskbar, to the left of the time, date, and essential system icons. You will see a group of small icons, collectively called the ‘notification area’ or ‘system tray’.
Windows3

Each of these icons represents a program that has been at least partially started or is running “in the background”. Regardless of state, each causes a reduction of available memory and processing power, or resources.

Closing, exiting or cancelling any unused background process returns those resources to the system, and becomes available for use by the application(s) started specifically by the user.

Go to your task manager and click on the Process tab. To access the Task Manager, you will want to hold down  CTRL and ALT keys, then tap the DEL simultaneously,  then click on the task manager button in the window that appears.  This will show you what processes are using your computer (If you aren’t sure what the process does, Google it and see whether it is important or not to the running of your computer)

A utility is built into Windows that can enable/disable task bar programs and processes from automatically loading with Windows at Startup

To access it, go to Start > Run > type in “MSCONFIG” and click OK.
Windows4

You may need to choose the Start-up tab (Windows 10 does it differently. From the taskbar, search System Configuration. Select the top result, System Configuration desktop app.)

If you do not know what a process does, search its name. Do not disable processes if you are unsure, as some processes are necessary for your computer to function normally. You can stop applications like Skype, your printer applications, camera updaters etc from being automatically loaded at start-up. Applications like your antivirus software need to be loaded at start-up.

5.     Install anti-virus software and keep it current

Today, anti-virus (AV) suites are an absolute must. There are many from which to choose at the software store, but there are free AV solutions that do a very good job, too. Three popular free AV solutions are Avast!, AVG, and Avira AntiVir. All include regular “virus definition” file updates that allow the AV program to detect and protect from the latest viruses being released. Note that while installing antivirus software actually slows down your computer, it does not slow it down as much as a virus does. Here is a 2016 review of Antivirus Software and Apps (http://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-antivirus,review-2588-5.html)

6.     Install Malwarebytes and check your computer for malware

Malware is short for malicious software. It is a piece of software, such as a virus, adware, or a worm, that you did not authorise to install but it eats up your system’s resources. It can decrease your systems performance, like any other running software, and can also compromise your operating system. Download the free version here https://www.malwarebytes.org/  Read the installation screens and make sure you UNTICK the option for a free trial.

7.     Clean up the primary partition

Click “Start” type “Disk Cleanup” and press “Enter” key. Select your primary partition (Windows installed drive, in most cases C:/ drive) and scan it for junk files. After few minutes, it will show a list of unnecessary files and simply select all these check boxes and start cleaning your drive.
Windows5

8.     Desktop Services

Turn off unneeded Desktop Features that try to make things look better. The fancy rounded window corners, the way the menus fade in and out, and the 3-D button styles on modern Desktops all require some computing power and can overwhelm older machines. To turn off these appearances only enhancements:
Windows6

Vista – Click the Start button, then Control Panel, then choose System and Maintenance, then Performance Information and Tools. Click Adjust visual effects. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation. Click the Visual Effects tab, and choose “Adjust for best performance”. You can also try the “Custom” option, and turn on and off individual settings to see which ones will work without slowing your machine down.

Windows 7 – Click the Start button, then Control Panel, and then System and Security. When you see System, click on it and then Advanced system settings. From here you can make sure you’re on the Advanced tab and click on Settings under Performance. Here, you can also choose Adjust for best performance or choose Custom if you’d like to compromise between fancy visuals and performance. On a side note, this menu can be accessed much quicker by right-clicking on Computer, from either the Desktop or Start menu, selecting Properties, and then Advanced system settings.

Windows 8 and 8.1 – Search for “adjust visual” in Windows 8 Start menu, Choose “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows”,  Click “Settings” then select “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows” in the Settings are in the top left, Select “adjust for best performance” in the Performance options box that appears. Then Click Apply.

9.     Uninstall all applications that are no longer needed.

When applications and games are installed to a Windows PC, some files are written in the Windows directory structure and dozens (or more) changes are made to the Windows Registry file. Most of these changes are not readily apparent to the user, so proper removal requires uninstalling the application through the Control Panel’s “Add or Remove Program” or “Programs and Features” icon.

If the program is not listed in the Control Panel use the “uninstall” command provided by the application.

Please note: Simply deleting the entire application directory is not the same as uninstalling, as all the files written to the Windows directory and changes to the Windows Registry file will remain and may be reloaded when the system is rebooted.

Make sure that you do not uninstall any programs that are required by others. e.g. iTunes® will not work if Quicktime® is uninstalled, and many programs rely on other Microsoft programs.

10. Do a Cold Boot
(only necessary if you didn’t do the Safe Boot above)

Do a shutdown/reboot also known as a cold reboot. Some programs do not release memory properly when they close, which is the case for some operating systems. Even doing a warm restart will not release some of the memory drivers and other core programs had allocated. The computer has to be completely shut down and then restarted. When a program is asking for some memory, a space would be allocated for it by the operating system (like Windows). This allocated memory cannot be used by any other programs. “Well-behaved” programs typically let go of their hold of this memory space but some programs don’t – this is known as a “memory leak”, which is caused by a programming error. A memory leak is easily evident when a program uses up an abnormally high amount of resources because it keeps on asking for more and never gives back any of the allocated memory space. The user workaround is to terminate the program or process, but some processes and core processes cannot be closed. Shutting down the system will have the operating system forget which memory locations aren’t free, so on the next boot, all memory locations are free to use.

Be realistic.

The “high end” computer purchased as new 5 years ago may run the latest version of Windows, but that doesn’t mean that it will do it very well. Keep in mind that the Minimum System Requirements on the software box is indeed, minimum. The best experiences usually require that the system is configured to Recommended System or better, instead. Technology marches on and it seems there is a game of “one-upmanship” played between software developers and hardware designers. Regardless, eventually new software will require new hardware or vice versa. It seems that the amount of frustration you can endure best determines how long you will run your current setup.

Tips

Be aware that some of these steps are specific to a specific version of Windows; not all are cross-compatible.

  • Keep malware in check. If running utilities mentioned in this article gives you an “Access Denied”, “You don’t have rights to run this”, or the program will not run, you probably have a malware infection. Symptoms other than these are frequent phony, but realistic-appearing, anti-virus warnings that your system is infected, or your web browser sending you to pornographic websites or search sites you have not configured it to send you to.
  • Consider the use of an Adblocker in conjunction with your browser. An Adblocker may improve speed and appearance of pages displayed by your browser. Check that the Adblocker does not disrupt valid site pop-ups for the sites you visit. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_blocking
  • Add memory. While not free, adding memory is a very effective way of boosting performance, especially if your system has 1 GB of memory or less. Increasing the amount of memory installed reduces the need for the computer to write to and read from the hard drive. Check the motherboard or system documentation to determine size, type, speed and permissible configurations of memory before purchasing and installing additional memory. Systems with lower amounts of memory (256 MB to 1 GB) installed receive the greatest boost when increased to 2 GB or more (as this represents a 100-400% or more increase in system memory). Systems that have 2 GB or more memory installed also receive a boost – but it is less noticeable.
  • Keep your PC cool. When a computer gets too hot, the CPU fan will speed up. If the CPU is still too hot, the CPU will enter something called “thermal throttling” which slows down processing speed in order to prevent the CPU from breaking down. Turning off or hibernating your PC when not using it, increasing airflow, and keeping the room which your PC is located in cool will help keep your computer cool — and fast.
  • Keeping Windows Up-to-date, especially with Security Updates, is very important and can prevent BADWARE infections which slow a computer.
  • Consider re-installing Windows. It may be easier to format the hard drive and re-install Windows on the computer. Be sure to back up important data first and have all program installation disks ready for re-installation. Be aware that the format process will delete all files on the disk. This means that you will need to reinstall all software and restore all documents from a backup. This can take days!
  • Consider using a different operating system. If you have a slow or old computer considers switching to Linux. This has its own set of issues such as needing to learn a new Operating System, and much more.
Warnings
  • Do not delete unknown types of files, because they may be System Programming Files.
  • Discharge any static electricity. Touch an electrically grounded source (a heating or plumbing pipe or the metal case of an electrical device powered by a grounded 3 prong cord connected to a grounded receptacle) prior to touching components inside the PC case. Static electricity can pass through hands and could cause delicate electronics inside the PC case to fail.
  • Beware of using MSConfig. Using MSConfig as anything but a troubleshooting tool is considered dangerous by many in the IT field to long term computer stability. If you’re unsure of something do your research and don’t remove it until you know for sure you don’t need it. You can always uncheck it and come back later.
  • Download files from trustworthy sources. The developer’s page is best; P2P, newsgroups and anonymous file hosting sites are more likely to be infected with a virus.
  • Do not download any software which tells that they will speed up your computer. More downloads can also cause your computer to slow down as they (software) put more load on your PC’s processor and eat up its RAM.
  • Shut down your computer and disconnect all the cables from it prior to opening the case. This eliminates the chances of electrocution or damage to system components.
  • Do not use registry cleaners. Registry cleaners can be dangerous. They may seem legitimate, but after some amount of usage, they can fragment your registry. Leave them alone, if you feel that it must be cleaned up, make a backup and defragment afterwards. The registry does not need to be cleaned, so cleaning it can only result in nothing, or damage.
 Other things to try ….
Run “Error Checking” on all hard drives.

Right-click a drive icon in “My Computer” and select “Properties” followed by “Tools”. Choose “Error Checking” to let the utility scan the drive for damaged files that can contribute to slow drive access speeds. This process may take several minutes to hours or more to complete. Warning: Do not do this if you have an SSD. (solid-state drive)

Run “De-fragment” on all hard drives.

Right-click a drive icon in “My Computer” and select “Properties” followed by “Tools”. Choose “De-fragment” to let the utility clean up fragmented files and consolidate free space on the drive. Note: this is not needed on an SSD drive. This process may take anywhere from several minutes to hours or more to complete depending on size of the drive(s) and amount of unused capacity or free space. Consider starting the defragment process so that it will run overnight or prior to logging off. You may have to disable your screensaver as well.  After completion the speed of hard drive read and writes times may improve significantly. Warning: Defragmenting an SSD will yield no performance gains, and can actually damage the SSD.

Set your computer’s energy settings to High Performance.

This is especially useful in Laptops and Netbooks where the processor speed is altered in accordance to energy settings (and if you are running on battery power).

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with a professional if you are unsure.

Troubleshooting your Fixed Wireless Internet Connection

If you are having issues with your nbn Fixed Wireless connection, they normally fall into the following categories:

  • Dropouts
  • Slow Speeds – If you get slow speeds all the time, it’s likely the problem is with your in-home equipment. If the slow speeds are during peak times/busy periods it may be congestion
  • No connection

Here are 7 STEPS to try before calling your RSP. (It’s a good idea to do methodical tests and make detailed notes while you’re trying to find the cause of your problems. You might like to take screen shots or record the speed test results you get.) Likewise, if you are experiencing drop outs and other (non speed related issues), there could be a problem with your equipment and you will need to escalate with your provider.FW Indicator lightd

Information about your nbn™ Wireless Connection Box

If you cannot complete one of the steps, then move to the next one.

  1. A full power cycle routine.

When troubleshooting your nbn Fixed Wireless connection, your first step should be a power cycle. To do this, you need to turn the device off, and all devices connected to it, then turn it back on. This will force it to reset, which can fix a lot of basic problems. It is important to turn the devices on in order. A monthly reboot of everything often makes a performance difference. Do further speed tests and see if that made a difference.

Here are the steps to power cycle a typical nbn Fixed Wireless setup:

  • Turn off ALL devices.
  • Wait at least 5 minutes.
  • Turn the Devices on in order
    • Turn on the NBN box first (also known as the NTD or modem). Wait until all the lights are on and indicate an active connection (this may take a few minutes). Active connections for NBN Fixed Wireless connections are indicated in the nbn light chart above.
    • Then turn on your router. Wait until all the lights are on the router, this indicates an active connection.
    • Then turn on all your other devices – e.g. computer, tablet or phone.
  1. Plug direct into the NTD

Plug a computer directly into the NBN modem (NTD), with an ethernet cord – thus bypassing the router. Repeat Step 1 above (do a complete power cycle). If this fixes your problem, you may need a new router, contact your provider for help with router issues.(NB make sure you use the same port that has a cable in it already, only one port is activated by NBN – usually port 1)

  1. Check cables

Try a new network cable / ethernet cord from the router to the NBN NTD, check that the cord is plugged into Port 1 (unless instructed otherwise by your provider). If you have a few of them in your home, try them all just in case you have a dud cable. Network cables lull you into a false sense of security by rarely being faulty, then when you least expect it, there they are!

nbn Fixed wireless equipment diagram Uni D

  1. Check your account usage

If you are on a limited data nbn Fixed Wireless plan log into your account and check you aren’t ‘shaped’ or ‘speed limited’ (used all your peak data & have been slowed).  Check what ‘speed tier’ your plan is on whilst you are logged in.

  1. Check for any network outages

Check for any nbn Fixed Wireless or provider network outages.  Nbn outages can be either provider or nbn related. You will need to check both.

To check for an outage, see our Network outage Page

  1. Do a speed test

If you are experiencing slow speeds, do some speed testing.

Run regular speed tests , see the BIRRR How to Run A Speed Test. You should run the speed test at various times of the day and night, especially when you think your speed is slow.

Record the speed test results, so you can forward them to your RSP. Please keep in mind that your speed will vary depending on a number of factors including congestion at peak times. Your RSP probably doesn’t guarantee to give you 100% of the peak speed of your service 100% of the time, so check your Customer Agreement and see what it says about expected speeds.

      7. Check your device

  • Check to see if you can access the internet with another device, phone, tablet or laptop. If you can the Wi-Fi device drivers in your computer may need to be updated. You should ask your local computer specialist for help with device driver updates as it’s tricky if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
  • If using a computer, download and install a fresh copy of a browser you haven’t used before. If you use Windows and Internet Explorer, try Chrome or Firefox. If you’re a Mac owner using Safari, try Firefox. Sometimes browsers get clogged up with cookies and other stuff and that can affect your speed.
  • Make Sure Your PC Is Healthy. Check for spyware, viruses, and malware. These programs are easily downloaded and installed, without your knowledge, while you’re surfing the Web. They can run undetected and have a significant impact on your Web surfing speed and overall system performance. There are plenty of free and subscription-based utilities available that will detect and eradicate these programs and prevent them being downloaded and installed in the first place.  If you notice an improvement, then you may have something wrong with your antivirus software (try disabling web shield in your antivirus software.to see if there is an improvement). Scan your computer for malware. (Anti Malwarebytes is a good program)
  • Windows users can try setting the computer into Safe Mode with Networking (how to is here). Reboot your Windows computer in Safe Mode with Networking and run some more speed tests. That starts your computer with the bare basic software, so if you have anti-virus or some other program that’s slowing your computer, speed tests in Safe Mode will reveal that.

STILL HAVING ISSUES

If you have tried all the steps above and are still having problems, you will need to contact your provider.

Use your Provider Contact Sheet to contact your service provider to help you troubleshoot your issue further.

If your provider is unable to help resolve your issue, get a fault number/ticket number from your provider, also ask for the nbn Incident Number and fill in the BIRRR Escalation form.

You can also try activating a second port on your service with a different provider, such as Aussie Broadband, to see if your service improves. Aussie Broadband will offer a no contract 30 day trial to enable you to see if your old provider has the congestion issue, or if the issue is with nbn.  You can read more about nbn Fixed Wireless Congestion here.

You can also check out Whistle Out’s Guide to how to fix a slow nbn connection here.

*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your ISP regarding your own connection and speed issues.  Thanks to SkyMesh for their assistance in compiling this document. This page was updated on 20/11/2020

Cloud Computing : Dropbox , iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive

Cloud computing has gone from a ‘buzz word’ a few years ago, to an integrated part of both Apple and Microsoft operating systems. We have Dropbox, Onedrive (Microsoft), iCloud (Apple), Google Drive etc.

THE GOOD

  1. You have a backup.
  2. You can also access to your files from anywhere that has an internet connection, across multiple devices.
  3. You can even share files with others.

An example of using DropBox:

‘I went to a party and took a lot of photos and a few movies with my mobile phone. As soon as I returned home, my phone connected to the WiFi and uploaded the files to the ‘cloud’.  These files were then accessible from my PC, my Laptop and my Tablet which not only meant that they were backed up they also could be viewed on the larger PC screen.’

THE NOT-SO-GOOD
Multiple movements of files: Internet use is calculated by both uploads and downloads. In the above example the picture and movie files were counted as data when they were transferred UP to the cloud, and then were counted AGAIN to DOWNLOAD to my PC. Then they were counted yet AGAIN to download to my laptop. By itself, it may not be a big thing, but it does add up.

What to do?

  1. Try to identify if you are running any cloud applications
  2. be aware that newer operating systems (by default) may automatically use cloud apps eg: iCloud and Onedrive.
  3. Consider turning them off completely – I have stopped using Dropbox and removed the apps from my mobile devices. Not only that the new install of windows 10 can automatically connect to Onedrive – event though no files were yet shared to it yet. And the new version of Microsoft word wants to save to Onedrive by default.
  4. Choose (instead) to save to the local computer.

(Thanks to Cliff Tindall From Christmas Island Computer Services for the above information.)

DROPBOX

How to PAUSE and RESUME syncing from Dropbox

Dropbox allows you to pause and resume syncing through the Dropbox menu in your system tray or menu bar on your computer.

When syncing is active, Dropbox will try to be smart about the amount of bandwidth it uses. Dropbox will use any remaining bandwidth available to download changes and only 75% of available bandwidth to upload changes. You can also adjust your bandwidth usage through the Dropbox desktop application’s preferences.

If you’d like to stop Dropbox entirely, you can do so through an option in your Dropbox menu.

Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 7.36.51 AM Screen Shot 2015-11-08 at 7.36.41 AM

(The above information is taken from Dropbox)

How to DISABLE AUTOMATIC PHOTO UPLOADS in Dropbox on iPhone / iPad:

Step 1: Open Dropbox

Step 2: Tap the Settings gear icon (bottom right)

Disable-Automatic-Photo-Upload-in-Dropbox-iPhone

Step 3: Now, tap on the “Camera Upload” option

Step 4: Turn the switch to OFF

Turn-Off-Automatic-Photo-Upload-in-Dropbox-on-iPhone

That’s it. Dropbox will now stop automatic syncing of photos from your camera album.

Thanks to iGeeks Blog for the screenshots and tips.

iCLOUD:

Turn iCloud features on or off:

Depending on which device’s settings you want to change, do one or more of the following:

On your iOS DEVICE: 

Go to Settings iCloud, then tap to turn on or off iCloud features.

idevice cloud off

On your MAC

Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click iCloud, then select or deselect each feature.

idevice cloud drive off.jpg

NB Some features aren’t available or are listed differently in earlier OS X versions.

On your WINDOWS computer: 

Open iCloud for Windows, then select or deselect each feature.

To make your changes take effect, click Apply.

S0012_WiniCloudPrefs

  • Some features aren’t available on your Windows computer, or are listed differently, depending on whether your computer has Microsoft Outlook 2007 or later installed.

    Outlook installed: You use iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks in Outlook. Note that iCloud reminders are called tasks in Outlook. If you turn off Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks, the iCloud information remains available in Microsoft Outlook, but it isn’t kept in sync with iCloud.

    Outlook not installedYou can use iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders in your web browser on iCloud.com.

TO TURN iCLOUD OFF COMPLETELY

Depending on whether you want to stop using iCloud on all or only some devices, do one or more of the following:

On your iOS deviceGo to Settings > iCloud, then at the bottom of the screen, tap Sign Out (Delete Account in iOS 7 and earlier).

Note:    If you sign out of iCloud (or delete your iCloud account), iCloud no longer backs up your iOS data. You can still back up your device in iTunes. For more information, open iTunes, then choose iTunes > Help.

On your MacChoose Apple menu > System Preferences, click iCloud, then click Sign Out.

On your Windows computerOpen iCloud for Windows, then click Sign out.

Note:    If you turned on automatic download of music, app, or book purchases (in iTunes preferences or in Settings on your iOS device), your iTunes purchases are still downloaded to your devices.
 
(Above information taken from APPLE SUPPORT)

OneDrive:

Windows 10 will put your documents, music, and photos automatically into its cloud service, if you don’t tell it not to.  Microsoft wants you to store your data in the company’s cloud-based storage service.   You have to change some settings to avoid this, as not only will it consume your data allowance it will also start to charge you when you use up your available space.

Turn off OneDrive for your documents, music, pictures and videos:

Right-click Documents in the Navigation pane (must be the Documents library, not any of the folders listed below it) and select Properties.

In the resulting dialog box, select the local location (probably C:\Users\yourname, where yourname is your login name) and click Set save location button.

1106-change-default-100622079-largeWhen you close the dialog box, your local Documents folder will be your default Documents folder. While both folders will be part of the library, new files will default to being saved locally.

Repeat and change the library settings for your Music, Pictures, and Videos libraries.

If you already have documents, music, pictures & videos stored in onedrive follow the steps here to store them locally on your computer rather than in a ‘cloud’ based program.

Information obtained from PC World 

Google Drive:

Google Drive for Mac/PC is the sync client. When you install Google Drive for Mac/PC, it creates a folder on your computer named Google Drive. Anything you put in this folder is synchronized with Google Drive on the web, and also becomes available on all your Google Drive devices. Google Drive provides bi-directional sync, so changes you make online are reflected on all your devices, and vice-versa. You can use Google Drive via your browser where it won’t automatically sync your files.

Turn off Google Drive Syncing

If you DO HAVE the Google Drive app downloaded to your computer or device, and you wish to keep your documents and photos from automatically syncing to the Drive folder on your computer, you can turn off syncing.

  1. On your desktop, click the Google Drive icon google drive desktop icon.
    • On a Mac, the icon is usually found in the menu bar at the top right of your desktop screen.
    • On a PC, the icon is usually found in the taskbar in the bottom right of your desktop screen.
  2. In the top right, click the overflow menu .
  3. Select Preferences.
  4. Uncheck the box next to “Only sync some folders to this computer.”
  5. Click Apply changes.

Change how much bandwidth Google Drive uses

You can increase or decrease the bandwidth used by Drive on your Mac or PC while syncing your files. Decreasing this bandwidth can allow more bandwidth for other programs on your computer.

  1. Click the Google Drive icon google drive desktop icon.
    • On a Mac, the icon is usually found in the menu bar at the top right of your desktop screen.
    • On a PC, the icon is usually found in the taskbar in the bottom right of your desktop screen.
  2. Click the overflow icon in the top right .
  3. Select Preferences.
  4. Go to the Advanced tab.
  5. To choose a different rate, click the radio button next to Limit to and use the up and down arrows to change the rate. The numbers are measured in kilobytes per second.
    • To use the full bandwidth for Drive, click the radio button next to Don’t limit.
  6. Click Apply.

Note: Changing the rate for downloads or uploads to a higher rate than your Internet connection allows may significantly slow other programs that you’re running using the Internet.

(Information Obtained from Google Support)

All efforts are taken to ensure BIRRR documents are correct at time of publishing, please contact your device manufacturer or cloud provider for further information.