Frequently Asked Questions
My service is not operating, what can I do?
There are a few things that you can do before contacting the Internet support desk that will frequently get you going again.
1: Power cycle all of your equipment. Disconnect the power from the Midwest Connections equipment and your router (if you are using one), for 20-30 seconds and then reconnect them. It can take from 2 to 5 minutes for everything to restart, then try accessing the service again. If you need some additional information on how to power cycle the Midwest Connections equipment, click here!
2: Make sure that the cables between the Midwest Connections equipment and your equipment are connected firmly. There will be a cable coming from the equipment outside that will connect to a power supply, and a second cable that will connect between the power supply and your router or computer. All of these cables must be firmly in place and the cable from the power supply to your equipment must connect to the 'Internet' or 'WAN' port on your router, or to the network port if connecting directly to a computer.
3: Reboot your computer/device. Particularly if you have multiple devices and only some of them are having issues. Rebooting the affected devices may resolve the issue.
4: Verify your connection to your wireless router. If you have multiple devices, particularly things like tablets, smartphones, and laptops you are likely using a wireless (WiFi) router. If you lose the connection between the device and router, the affected device will be unable to access anything even if the service into your location is still operating properly. Most devices will automatically re-establish a wireless connection after a loss of connection, but it never hurts to check.
If you have gone through these steps and are still experiencing an issue, please contact our Internet support staff for assistance.
How much bandwidth do I actually need?
That can be a complicated question indeed, and is largely dependant on what you want to be able to do on the service.
With streaming video and music becoming much more prevalent today, the amount of bandwidth needed in order to access the net without delays or buffering just keeps increasing, and streaming video is the major consumer of that bandwidth!.
For example, let's take a look at the bandwidth requirements as shown on the web sites of some of the most popular streaming services as of January 2020:
Netflix: 3 Megabits per second for SD quality, 5 Megabits per second for HD quality, 25 Megabits per second for Ultra HD (4k) quality.
Hulu: 3 Megabits per second for HD streaming library content, 8 Megabits per second for Hulu Live streams, 16 Megabits per second for 4k content.
Vudu: 4.5 Megabits per second for HDX quality
YouTube TV: 3 Megabits+ per second for SD quality, 7 Megabits+ for HD quality
As you can see, each service has their own requirements so what may be sufficient for one service may not be for another. And these numbers are for a single stream to a single device. When you have multiple streams across multiple devices, the bandwidth required will go up accordingly.
What are the speeds of your service plans?
Just remember the numbers do not always tell the whole story, but since you asked:
Basic Access- up to 1Mbps download and 1Mbps upload
Data - Up to 3Mbps download and 1Mbps upload
Basic Streaming - up to 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload
Entertainment - up to 10Mbps download and 2Mbps upload
Family - up to 15Mbps download and 3Mbps upload
If you have requirements that do not appear to fit into one of our standard packages, contact us to inquire about getting a service package customized to your specific needs.
I appear to be having issues streaming, Why?
Streaming media (video, movies, music, etc.) uses more bandwidth than nearly any other activity on the Internet today! And while our network management systems do their best to make every customer's connection operate at it's most efficient, there are some things that you need to be aware of.
Not all streaming services have the same requirements: Some services are very efficient in their use of bandwidth, and some not so much. Generally speaking a minimum of 3 Mbps of available bandwidth is necessary for most video streaming services for each program that is being viewed. Audio streaming services require less bandwidth but can still use a substantial amount if multiple programs are being listened to at the same time. Information on the specific requirement of a given streaming service should be available on the provider's website.
Every Internet service package has a finite amount of bandwidth that it can provide: Each stream that is running will consume some amount of bandwidth and each additional stream will add to that amount. Once the total amount of bandwidth being used reaches the maximum amount provided by the package that you have subscribed to, no additional streams will be able to start without taking bandwidth from any other stream that it already running causing reduced performance on each of them. This can show up as buffering, stuttering, freezing, etc. In this case either reduce the number of things that you are trying to view/listen to at the same time, or consider upgrading to a package with more available bandwidth.
Reducing resolution reduces the bandwidth requirement: Many streaming services offer the option on their 'dashboards' to select the resolution of the video programming that is being viewed. Selecting a lower resolution setting will reduce the amount of bandwidth being used by that stream freeing up more for other uses.
Not all service packages support streaming: Due to the bandwidth requirement of streaming services, not all packages offered by Midwest Connections are able to support them. Of our current service packages, the "Basic Access" package does not support streaming. For those still on one of our 'legacy' packages, the "Basic", "Standard", and "Premium" residential packages do not support streaming.
How can I check the speed of my connection?
We offer a speedtest facility on our Customer Portal. There are also a number of sites around the 'net that provide similar capabilities. Please keep in mind that the reported values can be affected by any number of factors, including other activity on your local network, and the load levels on the network connection between your equipment and the site that the test is being run on.
What is the 'Customer Portal'?
The Midwest Connections Customer Portal is the place where you can go to pay and review your bill, see how much data you have used in the current month, run a speed test, and more! A link to the Customer Portal can be found on the support page, or you can click here.
To insure the security of account information, a login I.D. and password are required in order to access the Customer Portal. If you do not have this information, contact our support staff and they can have the needed information delivered to you in minutes.
Can I pay my bill online?
Yes, by accessing your account through our Customer Portal. See the description above for additional details.
Are there data caps on your service plans?
No! There are currently no data caps on any of our Internet service plans. We also do not 'throttle' or slow connections once some arbitrary data usage threshold has been reached.
My data usage seems awfully high, why is that?
In today's home many devices may use data from your Internet connection that you might not realize.
Things like "Smart" TVs, gaming systems, security or automation systems, DVRs, smartphones, VoIP phones, etc...
These devices may use data for updates or downloading of information such as program guides and the like even when they are not actively being used. Your computer or tablet device may also download updates at any time and some of these can be quite large.
I see a screen that reads "Access Restricted", why?
The most common reason for seeing this screen is a change in the primary device (router or computer) connected directly to the Midwest Connections equipment. This device needs to be registered with our network management system in order for your service to operate.
If you have changed the primary device connected to our equipment, contact our support desk to get the device registered. It will only take a couple of minutes.
You can also update this information from the "Equipment" page on our customer portal without even the need for a phone call. You will need to know the MAC address of the device in order to update the equipment registration through the customer portal.
You will also see this screen if your account has become delinquent for some reason. If this is the case, making a payment by contacting our billing office or making a payment through the customer portal can have you back online in minutes.