Stephouse is different in a lot of ways—we’re locally owned and operated, we don’t do bundles, and don’t have data caps—but what usually catches peoples’ attention the most is the technology we use. Stephouse is a wireless internet service provider, which works a little differently than many other internet service providers (ISPs).
We get a lot of questions from customers like:
“Does Stephouse Networks provide DSL service? (No.)”
“Do you use cellular equipment? (No.)” or,
“What’s the difference between Stephouse’s wireless internet service and cable internet? (A few things.)”
Those are great questions. We’ve tried to answer some of them before (see our post about DSL versus wireless internet providers), but let’s take a more comprehensive look at the different choices available from internet providers.
How Do Conventional ISPs Work?
Most ISPs rely on cables and wires to get their internet service from point A to point B. Whether it’s phone lines (for DSL or dial-up), coaxial cables (like for cable internet) or fiber optic cables, many ISPs use an infrastructure of wires and cables to provide internet service to their customers.
While these kinds of connections are very effective and reliable in certain situations, there are definite downsides too.
The overhead costs these traditional, wired ISPs can be astronomical. Imagine what it takes to build and maintain a network comprising hundreds, if not thousands of miles of cable. The permits, the digging, the maintenance—it all adds up pretty quickly. Upgrading an existing network can be even more of a headache.
It’s also extremely difficult to provide service to a new area quickly. Need internet service at an event? Traditional ISPs can’t help you out unless you’re in a place with existing infrastructure.
Fortunately, there are a whole slew of wireless internet options that nicely complement these conventional, wired ISPs.
The Advantages of Wireless Internet
There are many types of wireless internet that bypass the cables and beam internet signals wirelessly. Relative to traditional ISPs, wireless internet providers can build up its infrastructure quickly. This means that not only can wireless internet reach new places quicker, but it can go places other ISPs can’t.
There are also different types of wireless internet that serve different needs. Here are some of the varieties of wireless internet, and how they differ:
Cellular internet is an increasingly popular option that uses the same technology that powers cellphones to provide wireless internet. In a lot of ways, cellular internet is great. The portability of cellular internet makes it a convenient option for many people.
However, cellular internet is limited by a few things. It only goes as far as cell service goes, and the signal can be weakened by obstacles (like buildings) in the way. Many cellular internet services have a data cap, meaning your usage is limited.
You may have also heard of satellite internet, another type of internet that travels wirelessly. Satellite internet, as the name implies, is internet transmitted from a satellite circling overhead, orbiting the earth.
The advantages of satellite internet is that it’s available pretty much anywhere. You’re not limited by the terrestrial obstacles that other types of internet face. The downside is that the speeds are quite limited, and the latency is poor. Satellite internet providers, like cellular internet, also often have data caps.
What Stephouse Does
Stephouse doesn’t provide cellular internet, satellite internet, or even Wi-Fi. We use a network of antennas and towers combined with microwave technology to deliver internet service to your door. With a direct line of sight (barring any obstacles like trees or buildings), we can provide internet service that’s faster than both cellular and satellite internet.
For residential customers, that means that our service can go places other people won’t. We’re one of the few internet providers in the city of Woodland, Washington that can reach areas that even cellular signals can’t go.
For businesses, we offer another option for internet service that isn’t tied down to existing infrastructure; and for event planners, it means that we can provide service to places with otherwise no hope of internet service.
What have your experiences been with wireless internet services? Have you used cellular internet, satellite internet, or Stephouse? Tell us in the comments!