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Tips for the best online experience

At Q Sat, we wish our customers to experience the best browsing and video streaming possible when using our service. As you know, satellite connections can sometimes change your experience on the internet when it comes to latency. But, if you follow the guide below you should experience snappier internet browsing, smoother video streaming and have a more secure connection.

 

Step 1: The best browsing experience!

Choosing the right internet browser
We recommend our customers install and use the Mozilla Firefox internet browser because our tests show it performs better on Q Sat than other browsers. If you are a new customer and are using another browser, you can download the latest version of Firefox on http://www.mozilla.com
The reason we recommend Firefox is because the overall speed of Firefox outperforms browsers such as Internet Explorer.

But, if you decide you don’t like it, it can be easily uninstalled.
Ad blocking software
Once you have Firefox installed we would recommend installing an ad-blocker.
This will help prevent adverts on websites causing pages to load slowly. Blocking adverts can speed up your web browsing experience, enhance your privacy and prevents adverts consuming your data allowance.
We recommend Adblock Plus because it’s free, easy to install and tried and tested by the staff at Q Sat.
You can download it on http://www.adblockplus.org
Anti virus protection
Q Sat strongly recommend securing your computer with anti-virus software as it protects your computer from damage by viruses; spy-ware and malicious software. It can also help prevent your computer from being used to pass on viruses to other computers.

For Microsoft Windows:
We recommend downloading and installing Microsoft security essentials. This anti-virus software is available on genuine installations of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. If you are using Windows 8 it already has Microsoft’s security software installed. It’s also free and always runs in the background protecting your computer.
You can download MSE on http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/mse.aspx

For Mac OSX: We recommend downloading and installing Avast! Free Anti-virus for Mac.
You can download Avast for MAC on www.avast.com/free-antivirus-mac

For Android: We recommend you search for AVG Anti-virus in the Google Play store. This will help you to ensure your device is secure and free of malicious software.
If your computer, tablet or smart phone already has an anti–virus installed; we would recommend you ensure it’s updated. If it has expired you should renew its licence or uninstall it and install the one we recommend above.
A firewall
As well as an anti –virus, we recommend your computers firewall is enabled. If this has been disabled please re-activate it as this helps keep your computer secure and your files private. If you have a Microsoft windows computer, windows will inform you if your Firewall is turned off by displaying a small icon on the bottom right of the screen.
firewall
In order to re-activate your firewall, you can simply click on the warning message and it will bring you to the firewall settings. Alternatively, for Windows XP – you can click HERE and for Windows Vista and 7 click HERE for Microsoft’s firewall guides.

Step 2: Optimising your video streaming

Whether it’s YouTube or an iPlayer you are watching, it will always work better when you optimise its settings for a satellite connection. The default settings of online video players are set for use with DSL (Phone line) internet connections. As Q Sat is a satellite provider, we have recommended a few settings changes below allowing you to get the most out of your online video streaming.


Video resolution usage stats
Each level of video resolution or quality uses a different amount of data. If you look at the table below, you will see that the higher levels of video quality use far more data than the lower levels. Because of this, we recommend you use the lowest resolution for online video streaming. Doing this lowers the amount of data the video stream consumes, reducing the chances that you will pre–maturely reach your broadband package data allowance limit. It also increases the chances of your video playing more smoothly without interruption.

Video Player
Resolution
Approx. data used per hour
YouTube
240p
7.7MB
YouTube
360p
225MB
YouTube
480p
450MB
YouTube
720p
1.2GB
YouTube
1080p
2GB
YouTube
3072p
2.6GB
RTÉ Player
512k
240MB


There are 1024 megabytes (MB) in a gigabyte GB

YouTube
YouTube videos are played at the highest quality for your player size by default. However, as higher quality videos stream more slowly than lower quality videos, we recommend changing this setting.

There are two settings you can change on YouTube to allow for smoother video streaming and less data consumption.

1: YouTube by default will choose a high definition video quality for you to watch. On a satellite connection, this can sometimes cause extended buffering. (The loading of a video for some time before it plays). High definition videos can also contribute a lot to data consumption which means your data allowance will be used up more by a high definition video leaving less for you to use for web browsing.

To reduce the length of buffering on your YouTube video we would recommend changing the video quality / definition to the lowest level. Once you make this change, the loading speed of the video may be a lot higher and you have the peace of mind that your data allowance is not being eaten into.

To reduce the video resolution, simply click on the gear symbol on the bottom right of your YouTube player and select 240p.

Youtube_resolution

2: The second change will allow for a smoother playing of YouTube videos and should reduce the pausing of the video as it buffers.
To make this change, Right click the video and click on settings. Next, click on the folder icon on the bottom of the box and move the slider to the unlimited position (The farthest position to the right.)

flash_settings

When this is done, click close.
Flash based players such as RTÉ player
There are three settings you can change while watching RTÉ’s player to allow for smoother video streaming and less data consumption.

1: By default, the player will choose the resolution for you. But, it sometimes gets it wrong. We would recommend you close the lowest resolution setting. You can do this by moving the cursor over “Auto” on the bottom right of the RTÉ player and changing the resolution to 512k

rte_quality

2: If you right click on the video you should see a menu appear. One of the options on this menu will be “Decrease Quality”. By clicking this you are allowing for faster video streaming and less pauses. This option may not be available on all internet browsers.

flash_settings2

3: Right click the video and click on settings. Next, click on the folder icon on the bottom of the box and move the slider to the unlimited position (The farthest position to the right.)

quality
Silverlight based players such as Sky Go
There is only one setting you can change while watching a Silverlight player to allow for smoother video streaming and less data consumption.

1: By default the video quality is set to High. We would recommend you change this to low. The option to change the quality of the video is at the bottom of their player. The option will appear when you move the cursor over the player.

quality2

Step 3: Monitoring your data usage

Our packages are based on several data allowances. These allowances allow you to use a specific amount of GB (Giga Bytes) per month or within an agreed amount of time.

Because we have several packages available – each based on a different allowance, we feel it’s important for you to keep an eye on your data usage to ensure you are on the right package for your needs.

The Q Sat usage monitoring tool
You can use our usage monitoring tool, which you can access on http://portal.qsat.ie. This tool allows you to see your remaining usage out of the allowance of your package.

This tool records ALL data that is uploaded and downloaded between your Q Sat modem and the internet. It will not show you the amounts from your individual computers or other devices so if you have a wireless router and need to see the data amounts for each computer you have you would need to install usage monitoring software on each computer or device in your house.
TP-Link router device data reports
If you have a TP-Link router provided by Q Sat, you might be pleased to know that it can record data amounts for each individual device connected to it. This is a very useful tool to have if you need to know which device is using the most data in your home.

Firstly, to access this, you will need to access your routers homepage.
You can do this by opening your internet browser and typing 192.168.1.1 into the browsers address bar. (This is the bar located at the top of the page with http:// in it)

You will then be prompted for a username and password. This should be the default setting which is
Username: admin
Password: admin

When the routers homepage loads, you should click System Tools. This is located on the bottom of the menu on the left of your screen.
menu

Next, you should click on -Statistics. Again located at the very bottom of the menu.
menu2

Once you have done this, you will instantly see a report listing each device connecting to your Wi-Fi network. This report can be customised to your needs and can auto refresh for real time data usage monitoring.
stats

So how do I read this information?
Heres a quick explanation of the important things you need:
IP Address: The unique number assigned to your device by the modem. Think of it as a telephone number for computers.
MAC Address: This is the unique hardware ID. This will help you identify what the device is. If you copy the MAC address (This is the sequence of letters and numbers AA-BB-CC-00-11-22) and paste it into a MAC address search website such as THIS ONE it will tell you what the device is.
Packets: Pieces of data being transferred over your wireless network.
Bytes: This is the important one. This is the exact amount of data being downloaded and uploaded by a particular device. 1024 Bytes = 1 KB. 1048576 bytes = 1MB and so on. You can use an online conversion tool such as THIS ONE to help you.

You can reset these stats or delete them if you wish.

If you are confused about this guide or have any questions about your usage please feel free to call our support team on 021 202 92 42 as were always happy to help.
Your own usage monitoring software
We recommend the NetWorx usage reporting meter. You can download this HERE for any windows computer.

To download the tool, please click Download NetWorx Installer

networx

Once its installed, simply right click on the icon on your taskbar (the bottom right side of your screen) and click usage report. It will then show you your usage from the date you install this program. This software will automatically start when your computer is turned on so it will always record your usage amounts.

The NetWorx usage stats will only reflect usage on the computer it ’s installed on. You may need to install usage monitoring tools on other devices such as smart phones separately.

Please note that this is third party software and Q Sat cannot provide technical support for it or guarantee it's accuracy.
Got any questions?
Arrange a call back from our support team