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Tips and Tricks

Some Stephouse Networks customers will receive a DSL modem/router combo device if they are in a multi-tennant or office building that requires that type of setup to access the internet.

If you’ve received one of these devices from us, please do not push the factory RESET button on the back of the device.

Do not reset your router using the reset button
Pushing this small button, usually with a paperclip end or a small screwdriver, will set the device back to its factory settings and will disconnect you from the internet.

There may be a time where you’ll contact Stephouse Networks for troubleshooting and one of our staff members might tell you to “power cycle” or “restart” the device. This means removing the power to the device and replacing it (plugging it back in) to get the device.

Here are a list of steps to follow:

  1. Remove the power cable from the device or unplug the power cable from your wall outlet.
  2. Wait about 10-12 seconds.
  3. Plug the power cord back into the device or back into the wall outlet.
  4. Wait a few moments for the device to turn back on, load all of its settings, and reconnect your devices to the internet access.

Please read this article on the differences between resetting, rebooting, and other similar tasks so that you don’t accidentally kick yourself off of our service.

Pushing the factory reset button will wipe out the settings on the device, eliminating your access to the internet. If you have any questions about a DSL modem/router combo device, please call our Technical Support line at 503.548.2000 or email us first at through an alternate internet connection.

NOTE: This factory reset button is on all kinds of networking devices, and not just on Stephouse Networks’ equipment. If you push this button on your own router, you might reset all of its settings. Please be careful!

One of the most common questions we receive is: can I use all of my favorite streaming services with Stephouse? Can I listen to music on Pandora and watch my favorite movies on Netflix?

You absolutely can. Stephouse offers service plans up to 20mbps download speeds (and beyond), while services like Netflix require only 5mbps for streaming video in HD quality, and Pandora requires a mere 300kbps to stream high quality audio.

Can you use your favorite streaming services with Stephouse? The answer is an unequivocal “yes.”

When you sign up for internet service from Stephouse, you choose from one of our plans. Each of those plans has different download and upload speeds—6Mbps down / 768kbps up, 10mbps down / 1.5mbps up, etc.—which represent the upper limits of your connection’s speed.

If you’d like to check how fast your connection is own your own, there are several speed tests available online that let you know how fast your real world performance is. Our favorite is, but there are many others available.

If you’ve got the need for speed and your current plan just isn’t cutting it, you can upgrade at any time. Take a look at our residential plans, and feel free to email or call us and we’ll take care of you.

Stephouse doesn’t sell or rent wireless routers, which means one less thing to worry about on your bill. Even if we don’t provide one, the question still remains: do you need a wireless router?

If you want to just plug in directly to the internet, then you don’t have to worry about a wireless router.

If you have a laptop, smartphone, or tablet that you’d like to use on your own WiFi, then a wireless router can make a great addition to your home network. While Stephouse can’t install or troubleshoot your wireless router, it has its advantages: you can use the internet without being tethered, and lets you save on your mobile data plan. Remember, Stephouse has no caps or limits!

When we begin to provide service to you, we’ll install what’s called a wireless receiver. A wireless receiver looks a lot like a satellite dish, the kind that people have on the side of their home when they get satellite TV.

But unlike a satellite dish, our signal doesn’t come from space; it comes from one of our antennas located around the region.

Because our signal comes from such a nearby location, it’s important that our receivers have a clear line of sight from your home to our antenna. If any trees, buildings, or other obstacles get in the way, that will degrade the signal.

Once our field technicians have your wireless receiver properly installed and aligned, a cable will run down from the receiver into your building, where it connects to a little black box called a power over ethernet (POE) injector (you can read more about that here). That little black box powers the wireless receiver, as well as providing you a place to plug in to the internet.

Use the following email client settings to set up your email account:

Our email settings work for various email clients, including:

Mozilla Thunderbird
Apple Mail
Microsoft Outlook

…and many more.

IMAP Server Settings:
Our server supports the use of the IMAP protocol. Remember to be weary of your mail storage usage when using IMAP as this method does not remove messages from the server unless you delete it from your mailbox.

Incoming Mail Server:
Server Port: 143
Authentication Type: Password
-or (SSL)-
Incoming Mail Server:
Server Port: 993
Authentication Type: Password

POP Server Settings:
Our server supports the use of the POP/APOP protocol. Be sure to set a reasonable policy for deleting messages from the server after they have been downloaded to prevent your mail box from becoming too full.

Incoming Mail Server:
Server Port: 110
Authentication Type: Password
-or (SSL)-
Incoming Mail Server:
Server Port: 995
Authentication Type: Password

SMTP Server Settings:
Our outgoing server uses the SMTP protocol (SSL is supported). As a method of preventing the abuse of our system for SPAM, we require that our users authenticate to send mail.

Outgoing Mail Server:
Server Port: 25
Authentication Type: Password
-or (SSL)-
Outgoing Mail Server:
Server Port: 465
Authentication Type: Password

Webmail Server Settings:
While there are no client side settings required in most cases, be aware that our webmail application uses Javascript and requires the use of cookies to login. These settings must be enabled in your browser to use our webmail service (this is typically enabled by default).

Be wary of your mail server storage utilization when using webmail as your primary method for checking mail as this method does not remove old messages from the server unless you manually delete them. Your disk usage statistics are available at the bottom of the screen when logged into your webmail account.

So, let’s say that we’ve installed our receiver onto your home sweet home. Awesome! Welcome aboard!

You should expect a cable to run from the antenna on the roof into your home or office. A power-over-ethernet (POE) adapter will power that antenna. If you’re in one of our subscribed buildings (one that is pre-wired and setup), you’ll just get a cable directly from our equipment.

The receiver needs power in order to receive our incoming signal. If unplugged, the antenna can’t send or receive data.

Power on Ethernet
Be sure to take care of this little guy.

There are three cables that plug into this POE adapter:

  • A network cable from the wall, which is from the antenna, goes into the POE port.
  • The LAN network cable from the adapter to whatever device you choose will grant it access to our service.
  • The power cable powers the device once you plug it into an outlet.

Connection Problems

We are frequently asked “Does rain affect our service?” It’s a fair question, but the short answer is no, it does not.

“Rain fade” is the phenomenon where rain in the atmosphere eats up radio frequency. During times of heavy rain, snow, and fog, this can affect the quality of any kind of service that relies on radio frequency, including: wireless, satellite, and cellular services.

It’s not surprising that when some people hear that our services are built on wireless technologies, they become concerned that it’s affected by poor weather. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we completely understand that fear. After all, with grey skies and drizzle hitting us for the majority of the year, it’s not surprising that people are concerned about how weather affects their Internet.

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about this with Stephouse Networks. Bad weather doesn’t affect our service.

While it’s true that some forms of wireless Internet service, such as satellite Internet, are vulnerable to bad weather, not all forms of wireless Internet are affected by rain and snow. Most of the time when wireless Internet is affected by weather, it’s either because of interference affecting its specific frequency, or because of the distance the signal travels.

Stephouse Networks’ Internet services operate on frequencies that don’t run into problems caused by rain or snow. In the rare cases that we have equipment that operates on those frequencies that are sensitive to the weather, we deploy them in strategic ways that account for the technology’s limitations.

If you’re having issues with your connection, it’s always a good idea to reboot things. Restart your computer, unplug your wireless router then plug it back in, etc.. Rebooting these devices can do wonders in solving connection issues.

If you have a DSL modem, you may even want to press the “reset” button on the back DSL modem. Please do not press the reset button.

Do not reset your router using the reset button

While it might seem like a good idea, the reset button on a DSL modem can actually work against you. The reset button wipes out any configurations Stephouse have put on the modem.

Without these settings, Stephouse is not able to access the modem, and it may make your connection problems worse.

Instead, feel free to give us a call at (503) 548-2000, or shoot us an email at and we’d be more than happy to help you!

When your WiFi works well, life is great; you can use the internet anywhere without worrying about being tethered to one location.

But when it doesn’t work, wireless internet can be frustrating. Fortunately, we have some tips to make your WiFi network faster and more robust.

  • Location While a WiFi signal can travel through walls and other obstacles to some extent, the signal is only so strong. Try and place your wireless router in a centralized location so that its signal is strong wherever you may use it.
  • Too Many Connections An open WiFi network can attract any number of unwanted guests, slowing down speeds to a crawl. A good way to keep your WiFi connection fast (not to mention secure) is to lock down your wireless network. Change the name (also known as an SSID) of your WiFi network. Add a password. Change the login credentials on your router.
  • Interference Wireless interference is always a risk when it comes to WiFi. All sorts of devices send out wireless signals, and they can sometimes run into each other.
    One thing you can try to improve performance on your wireless router is to change the channel. Wireless internet travels over different channels, so changing the channel can sometimes help to reduce interference. (Instructions vary from router to router.)
    You can also try using a router that utilizes a different frequency. The newer 5GHz wireless routers generally experience less interference than the older 2.4GHz routers.

You can grab the LAN network cable from the Power Over Ethernet (POE) adapter and plug it into the Ethernet port of any of your devices. If that’s all you need, then enjoy!

Otherwise, read further about routers. From our research, most of our customers already have one. If not, you could always pick one up from your local electronics store.

If you want to create your own private wireless network, you’ll need a wireless router. Our internet service is designed to work with your garden variety network routers that you’d find at the store. Be sure to do some research ahead of time to get exactly what fits your needs.

Home Wireless Router
We’ve all seen one of these at some point in time.

Remember, a wireless router takes an internet connection and shares it within its network. It’s not a part of our actual service. Changes to the router may affect our service because you stop the flow of connectivity at the router. Be sure you read your device’s manual before you go and experiment with things.

We admit that tinkering around is can be pretty darn fun (or stressful). Be sure to take your time and do it right!

After long periods of use, wireless equipment will sometimes need to be reset. This includes: your POE adapter, your router and your devices (PCs, tablets, etc.).

Restarting devices lets the devices refresh their settings and realign with any changes that may have been made at one of our service towers to improve the overall network’s performance.

Go ahead and unplug the power cord from your POE adapter and your router. Wait about 30 seconds or so, then re-plug those cords back into the devices. Let them restart.

It’s also a great idea to restart your device that you’re using to connect to the internet as well. This will give it a fresh start along with the other restarted network devices. Oh, don’t forget to save any work you’re doing before you restart!

Billing questions

After signing up for Stephouse Networks high-speed internet service, you can register a valid credit or debit card to use with our BillPay system. Call us during business hours, M-F 8AM to 8PM, to set up your payment method.

You can log into the Stephouse Networks BillPay by clicking on the link at the top right of our navigation bar:

Use your account number and your account email to login to your account. From there, you can make a payment to your account using the card that we have on file.

Known issues as of March 2013 site launch:

  • For some browsers, customers may need to exclude the zeros that prefix their actual account number. For example, use “4567” rather than “00004567.”
  • Thank you for your patience as we continue our quest to squash remaining bugs.

If you receive a payment error, experience payment failures, or have questions about our billing, please let us know by phone at 503.548.2000, or by email at

Of course you can.

Situations and needs change all of the time. We can’t help with employment, the housing market or how to tighten up your household budget. However, we can at least change your internet speed to something that fits.

Maybe it’s something faster. Perhaps it’s downshifting to a slower speed for a while. Whichever the course, we can help you out.

Make the request during office hours, and we’ll adjust your billing and make the internet speed change effective within minutes.

It’s not some crazy markup that we decided to include on a whim. This is the cost of labor and goods to implement the service receiver.

But before that happens, our technician will be straightforward with you about your signal strength and which internet speeds to expect. Remember: you have every right to turn us down if it’s not a good fit. Our goal is to provide a usable, enjoyable internet connection to our customers.

Whenever a new customer calls us, we have a brief chat with them about our service and what they should expect. It’s not that we’re trying to talk your ear off just to get a sale. We want to make sure that our customers find the service that fits their needs and that we’re able to provide it.

Once agreeing upon a surveying and installation, you agree to pay the non-refundable installation fee, which is due along with your first month’s payment once service begins.

We appreciate our customers and our community. We understand that there comes a time where a customer might outgrow our service as a business, or maybe move away to the next step in their lives.

If you find yourself needing to cancel our internet service, please let us know with a phone call at least 7 days before your next billing cycle. We request this of our departing customers to avoid partial payments and to make sure everyone moves forward with a clean slate.

Once you let us know that you’re canceling your subscription, we’ll set up an appointment to pick up our equipment, if you have any.

One of our crew may give you a call towards the end of our service relationship to tie up any loose ends. Otherwise, we always wish our departing customers the best of luck with their next adventure and hope they find great service down the road.

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