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FAQs

Why Switch to Fiber-Optic Internet from Cable or DSL?

Considering a switch to switch to fiber-optic Internet? You’ve found an excellent place to learn the basics. Fiber- optic Internet is growing as an option across the United States. It’s also extremely fast and reliable, too. Fiber-optic Internet has been called the Internet of the future. It uses different equipment and transfers data more efficiently than cable and DSL lines. Rather than copper coaxial cables, fiber-optic Internet travels on optical cables. These cables, made of hair-thin fibers that transfer data via light signals, aren’t subject to the same pitfalls of cable and DSL Internet.

Is fiber optic internet better?

Fiber-optic Internet differs from other options. What makes fiber-optics such a promising option? Speed: Fiber-optic speed is incredibly fast. Fastmetrics reports that fiber speeds are as much as 20 times faster than other broadband speeds. Bundling: With an Internet service provider that offers fiber, consumers can bundle services for super-fast Internet and TV options.

Does fiber-optic cable increase Internet speed?

Fiber-optic carriers deliver Internet via a fiber-optic cable. Subscribers won’t share this line with neighbors. The line isn’t susceptible to weather interferences or high Internet traffic times.

Who uses fiber optics?

According to an article from Business Insider, “The US ranks 18th among countries in the OECD, a group of the world's largest economies, in fiber-optic penetrations rates…” Americans are slow to get on the fast Internet train. Most Internet Service Providers already utilize existing cable and telephone lines. Implementing a fiber-optic infrastructure takes time and money. The service continues to grow, particularly in larger American cities. Expect to see more options appear, especially as the cost to maintain copper networks increases and fiber-Internet infrastructure and maintenance costs decline.

Does fiber optic internet require a phone line?

Nope! Fiber-optic Internet runs on cables that go straight to your home.

Is fiber optic worth it?

Fiber optic Internet offers tons of advantages. If you want to know “is fiber optic Internet good for my home?” here are a few benefits to consider: STRONGER SIGNAL: With fiber-optic Internet, there’s less signal degradation than with other delivery methods. Light doesn’t fade over distances. Once the fiber groundwork is in place, Internet service providers deliver Internet to a wider variety of homes and businesses, regardless of their distance from the hub. BETTER EFFICIENCY: Metal and copper wires can overheat over time ruin, making it impossible to transfer data. Fiber-optic lines transmit light without use of electricity, and won’t get overheated or wear down. MORE CAPACITY: Fiber lines will also be easier to upgrade. The lines can carry data over longer distances, which creates less overhead, making upgrades more cost-effective than they might be on other less-advanced networks. Fiber-optic networks are projected to grow significantly over the next few years as the demand for fast internet increases.

Sources:

http://fios.verizon.com/beacon/cable-and-fiber-internet/

hhttp://fiberforall.org/why-fiber-is-the-future/

http://www.businessinsider.com/fiber-optic-penetration-in-us-is-low-2016-2

http://fios.verizon.com/beacon/how-fiber-optic-internet-works/

http://broadbandnow.com/Fiber

https://www.fastmetrics.com/how-fast-is-fiber-optic-internet.php

https://www.alliancecom.net/internet/frequently-asked-questions

FAQs

My Internet is Slow – Who’s On My Wi-Fi?

Has your Internet been running slow lately? Do you sit down to watch Netflix after a long day, only to have to pause to buffer? It’s the worst. For some of us, this might just be because of a slow Internet connection. What if you’re paying for one of the fastest connections around, though? This could mean someone is hacking your Wi-Fi. Oh, the injustice! Here’s a few ways you can know for sure.

The quick and dirty

Most wireless routers have an indicator light to show Internet connectivity and network connections. To see if any pesky neighbors, or, worse, hackers, are on your network, turn off all your wireless enabled devices. Check the router’s wireless light. Is it still blinking? This helps you learn something in the moment. If the light is still blinking, there are steps you can take, such as checking the devices on your router. Log in via your web browser. Once you’re logged in, look for a place where attached devices are listed. Check your devices’ IP addresses against those listed on the router.

Consider using network monitoring software

There are plenty of network monitoring tools on the market. PC Mag has compiled a list of the best. There is also a free tool from the Organizational Systems Wireless Auditor called MoochHunter. Law enforcement agencies have used it, and it works by letting you trace the hacker’s location. If you’re not into confrontation or triangulation, you could always beef up your network security.

Ways to secure your wireless network

  1. Log in to your router. Type 192.168.1.1 into your web browser. If this is the right address for your router, it will ask you to log in. If you aren’t sure which address is …
  2. Created a strong password, especially if you didn’t change the default password when you got the router. Choose a password with a lot of letters and numbers with a few symbols thrown in for good measure. Make sure you don’t use common names or phrases, your name or phone number, or address.
  3. Change your wireless network name, also known as the SSID, to distinguish your network.
  4. Encrypt your wireless signal. For a step-by-step guide, check out this site.
The more precautions you have in place, the harder it is for anyone to mooch off your Wi-Fi. Having a secure network means you can rest easy knowing no one is slowing down your bandwidth or hacking important files on your devices.

Sources:

http://www.labnol.org/internet/secure-your-wireless-wifi-network/10549/

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/technology/create-strong-wifi-password

http://lifehacker.com/5738123/how-can-i-find-out-if-someones-using-my-wireless-network

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/how-to-tech/how-to-detect-stealing-wifi1.htm

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FAQs

A Brief and Sordid History of Wireless Internet

Who invented wireless Internet?

Let’s travel back in time for a moment. The year: 1896. Utah had just become a state, Henry Ford has just finished the first Ford vehicle and the first modern Olympic Games were being held in Greece. It was a time of discovery, gold rushes and technological leaps. It was also the year Guglielmo Marconi, a dapper man with a killer mustache, developed the first wireless telegraph system. A year later, he did something huge for his day – he sent the world’s first wireless message that read “Are you ready?” (It hasn’t been confirmed yet if the message recipient or the world was.) Guglielmo’s system helped pave the way for the Wi-Fi and Internet technology we use today.

When was wireless Internet Invented?

In 1971, after years of phone and wireless innovation, the University of Hawaii gave the world a glimpse into the Internet age. The school provided a public demonstration of a wireless packet data network. It used radio waves for different computers to communicate with each other. But it wasn’t until 1985 that wireless really began to take off.

How long has wireless Internet been around?

The year 1985 was a banner year for wireless Internet and for George Michael. This was the year wireless Internet became mainstream. The Federal Communications Commission decided to allow certain wireless frequencies to be available without a government license. The frequencies they allowed were: 900MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. Who would have thought that because of cash registers we now have Wi-Fi standards? In 1988, the National Cash Register Corporation wanted to create a standard for WLAN, or Wireless Local Area Network. It wanted it for their wireless cash registers. The NCR asked Victor Hayes, a senior research fellow at the Delft University of Technology, to lead a committee to establish these data transfer standards. Hayes partnered with Bell Labs engineer Bruce Tuch to create a standard for WLAN frequencies. Their committee was called 802.11. Nine years after the committee convened, the standard was established, and transmitted data at two megabits per second. The technology continued to increase, and, in 1999, the standard 802.11b came into existence. It represented higher transfer rates than the original standard. That’s when Wi-Fi started to become mainstream- it was cheaper and had a longer range than wired connections. Engineers began to create technology and equipment to accompany wireless networks’ capability. In 1999 routers, came onto the scene, and ushered in the popularity of home wireless use. WI-Fi’s popularity also increased because of companies such as Apple and Starbucks. The first iPhone included Wi-Fi capabilities, and, in 2010, Starbucks started to provide free Wi-Fi to customers. From the very first discovery of radio frequencies to wireless enabled devices everywhere we look, Wi-Fi has come a long way.

Sources:

https://getvoip.com/history-of-wifi/

http://www.exigentnetworks.ie/the-history-of-wireless-technology-storymap/

http://www.ucopia.com/en/technology/history-of-wi-fi/

http://www.thesuitmagazine.com/technology/web-a-internet/22360-wireless-revolution-the-history-of-wifi.html

http://www.flashrouters.com/blog/2015/08/07/what-is-wi-fi-router-wireless-router-faq/

http://purple.ai/history-wifi/

FAQs

What is a DSL filter?

We at Internet Providers often find ourselves pondering deep questions about the universe. Like, is there life on other planets, or how many grains of sand are there on the beach? For today’s deep question we’re asking ourselves, “What is a DSL filter?” We know it’s probably something you’ve asked yourself. Maybe you’ve seen it at your grandparents’ house. What exactly is its function? And, most importantly, are DSL filters necessary? A DSL filter is a small square with a phone connection at either end. It’s placed in your phone line’s wall connection, and connected to your home phone line. If you get Internet on a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), your other devices, such as phones and fax machines, are likely share that line. These devices send Internet data back and forth on the same line. Normally, this isn’t a problem. Occasionally, when these frequencies travel on the same line simultaneously, they can interrupt or interfere with your Internet connection. This is why a DSL filter comes in handy. It’s designed to help field the different frequencies coming across your phone line. Imagine a highway system with three different lanes. The first lane, with the lowest frequency at 0-4 kilohertz (kHz), carries phone calls. Your voice sounds clear on this wave frequency, we might add. The second and third lanes on the highway are for your DSL Internet connection. The upstream lane, from which you download and access the Internet, is the most frequently used. This has a range of 26-138 kHz. The third lane is the upload or downstream lane, which operates in the 138-1,000-kHz range.  DSL allows these frequencies to coexist on the copper line that carries these signals to your home.

Are DSL filters necessary?

DSL works if you want both phone and Internet service. However, signals for those services don’t always stay in their lanes. That’s when a DSL filter becomes necessary. Subscribers get a DSL filter if they start to hear an echo on phone calls or resonance within their Internet connection. A DSL filter splits the frequencies to prevent them from interfering with each other and interrupting Internet or phone service.

Do DSL filters wear out?

If you have a filter installed, but have noticed spotty Internet connections, your filter might be worn out. This website gives a how to guide to test your filter. If, after testing, you find that it has gone bad, you can replace it easily and for less than $10 dollars at a local office supply store or online at amazon.com.

Sources:

http://www.epanorama.net/documents/telecom/adsl_filter.html

http://www.centurylinkdeals.com/internet-resources/what-is-dsl-filter/

FAQs

Reasons Wi-Fi Isn’t Working on Your Device

No wires, no problem – unless the Wi-Fi connection says no-go. Wi-Fi connects web-enabled devices to an Internet network by radio waves. It’s effective technology, but also subject to pitfalls, including, but not limited to: HARDWARE ISSUES | Faulty settings on your router or device damage could prevent connection to a network. INTERFERENCE | Baby monitors, cordless phones, and microwaves close to a router can interfere with a signal. SIGNAL RANGE LIMITS | Rooms far from the router might not have a strong signal in a large home. Much depends on the router’s strength and physical obstructions, such as walls. Human error can also cause Wi-Fi problems. That switch on the side of a laptop from wired to wireless Internet can get switched by accident. Users could attempt a login to the wrong network. There’s no shortage of ways people can make mistakes attempting to get online.

My connection is sporadic – why?

The Internet connection stops working, but why? Wi-Fi keeps disconnected status, sometimes, or turns off for no clear reason. Those intervals might be as long as a couple of months, or as brief as a couple of minutes. It could happen any time of day, on any device. If this happens, try this: UNPLUG | Disconnect your router for one minute. Plug it back in. This resets the router and resolves some connection issues. MOVE IT | Wireless devices or microwaves can disrupt service. Move the router away from items that could interfere. These include cordless phones and microwaves. Car alarms, Bluetooth devices, and wireless video adapters could also cause interference. Be sure to:
  • Place router nearest the true center of the house
  • Keep router shelf free of clutter
  • Choose a location away from brick walls or thick beams
STAY COOL | Heat can also hinder your wireless connection. Be sure your router has plenty of ventilation space. If you connect with a USB wireless adapter, give it a touch test. If it’s hot, adjust your workspace to keep it free from confinement, such as blankets or clothing.

Pages take forever to load – why?

Wi-Fi so slow you can’t access a web page?. What can slow down an Internet connection? Lots, including: ACTIVITY | Streaming, gaming, video conferencing on one network can lead to slow page loads. Solution: Turn off bandwidth-thirsty movie and music apps if you’re not using them. HALF-DUPLEX COMPLEX | Wi-Fi can send or receive data at any given moment in a half-duplex system. Ethernet Internet carries a full duplex system, which can send and receive at once. IT’S NOT YOU – IT’S YOUR DEVICE | Older versions of devices – such as iPhones or iPads – don’t have the capacity and processing speed of newer models.

I can’t connect in some rooms of the house – why?

Wi-Fi signal weakness can occur. Are you asking, “Why did my wireless Internet stop working?” Or, do you just want more speed? Try these: REPEAT THAT | Wi-Fi extenders, also called repeaters, expand your network’s reach. They amplify your wireless signal farther than the router can on its own. POWER DOWN | Routers often have more than one power setting. Try a lower one. UPGRADE | Have a 2.4GHz router? Try a newer 5HGz frequency model. 2.4GHz can suffer from more congestion that the newer model. One drawback: the 5HGz upgrade isn’t as adept at penetrating walls with a signal.

FAQs

All You Need to Know About Satellite Internet and Gaming

Satellite Internet seems pretty cool. It involves outer space, and space is always neat. Basically it works like this: Your Satellite Internet service provider sends a signal to a satellite orbiting the earth. That satellite picks it up, and beams it back to the satellite dish at your home. Most satellite Internet users live in rural areas. That’s because cable, fiber-optic and DSL lines don’t always reach far out from their main hubs in larger cities to reach these rural homes. Those living in rural areas interested in getting a satellite connection often wonder if they will be able to game and stream like they would with DSL or cable. Typically satellite speeds can range from .5-1Mbps. For gamers in rural areas, satellite is sometimes the only option. Satellite Internet is often susceptible to latency. The distance the Internet signal has to travel can often affect response time. Most quick-response or real-time strategies and action games can be more difficult to play with satellite Internet than with cable, DSL or fiber optics. If you like online board games, strategy games or indie games, however, you likely won’t notice disruptions.

Can satellite internet work for Xbox live?

That depends. It is possible to connect and game with Xbox Live on a satellite connection, but it isn’t recommended. Because of the lag time, it can lead to a slow gaming experience.

Will VoIP work with satellite Internet?

Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, lets you talk on the phone through your Internet connection. A 2011 report by the Rural Mobile and Broadband Alliance doesn’t recommend getting VoIP with satellite Internet, but many satellite companies have started creating solutions for phone options. If you live in a rural area, and are interested in VoIP with Internet service, here are a few companies that either work with satellite or offer other solutions.

Will MagicJack work with satellite Internet?

MagicJack doesn't recommend using its service with satellite Internet, citing possible delays with a satellite connection. But satellite companies like HughesNet do offer VoIP services through their Internet connection.

Will Vonage work with Satellite Internet?

Yes. According to their website, Vonage will work with a satellite internet connection that has 90 kbps of upload/download speeds.

Will Ooma work with satellite Internet?

Yes. The company’s website, however, states that “the Ooma Hub device has been designed to work with a wired high-speed Internet connection (such as DSL, cable, or fiber-optic).” The company notes there are customers who use the phone service with a satellite or wireless connection. Performance might not be as fast as with other connections, but is still an option. Satellite Internet is a great option for those living in rural areas who want a fast connection. Often, satellite Internet carriers offers bundle packages with tons of TV and movie options. When you’re done gaming, you can check out your favorite TV shows.

Sources:

http://highspeed.com/vonage/faqs/

http://www.magicjack.com/faq/

http://support.ooma.com/home/faq#can-i-use-the-ooma-system-with-a-wireless-or-satellite-internet-service

http://techin.oureverydaylife.com/voip-work-satellite-service-17613.html

http://www.gamingdebugged.com/why-satellite-internet-is-a-viable-option-for-gaming/

FAQs

Everything You Want to Know About Satellite Internet

With any form of Internet connection, questions regarding speed, availability and installation are common. Can the network support gaming and streaming? What about TV? Here’s a list of common questions when it comes to satellite Internet. Perhaps the most reliable option for rural residences, satellite Internet carries speeds faster than dial-up.

Is satellite Internet good?

Yes, especially for customers for whom cable and DSL aren’t options. Peak-time use might not slow satellite speeds the way it could with cable networks. Latency, a gap between what you request and when you get it online, can be higher for satellite Internet. That could affect gaming and streaming.

Do you know how to make satellite Internet faster?

Conduct a speed test online. Online speed tests will reveal what you’re getting. How does it compare to what the plan claims? Bugs and IP conflicts can slow speed on any Internet platform. Start by resetting the modem and router. Refer to your instruction manual for details.

Does DIRECTV have satellite Internet?

No. DIRECTV partners with Internet carriers, including AT&T, CenturyLink, HughesNet and Verizon, to bundle services. Some providers offer home phone service too for Double Play or Triple Play bundles. Subscribers often get prices less than what they’d pay for services on their own.

How reliable is satellite Internet?

Under ideal conditions, a satellite Internet connection remains consistent, buttormy weather and snow can hamper performance. This applies to both the subscriber’s home and the Network Operations Center. Steady rain shouldn’t slow the network, and satellite hardware is sturdy.

Why does satellite Internet have data caps?

Internet providers can limit how much data a subscriber uses by capping data each month. Data caps ensure users on a network have fair access to available broadband. If subscribers on the network engage in data-heavy downloads, it can slow the network for everyone on it. If a customer exceeds a data cap, the carrier could throttle speeds. That means for the rest of the billing cycle, the subscriber’s speed will diminish. Providers might also charge an overage fee, or sell a user more data.

Is satellite Internet faster than cable?

It depends on the chosen speed tier. Cable and satellite Internet perform under optimal conditions. Network traffic can slow a cable connection. It depends on how many users access the signal from a single node. Weather can interrupt a satellite Internet connection.

Can you get satellite Internet anywhere?

Yes. Is there a clear view of the southern sky from a potential subscriber’s home? A satellite Internet provider can deliver there. A home-mounted dish must have this access for communication with the satellite and NOC. Rural addresses too remote for cable and DSL can usually qualify for satellite Internet.

Does satellite Internet work in bad weather?

In a downpour, at home or the NOC, satellite Internet usually shows no ill effects. Hardware and other network issues can factor in. Thunderstorms and snow can impact performance. Changes in speed and connection usually end as the adverse weather passes.

Can satellite Internet be wireless?

Yes. A router will broadcast an Internet connection throughout a home. Some carriers provide a router to buy or lease, or include it in the service price. Enabled devices can connect with the wireless network. Which router works best depends on how much data-burning activity you partake in online.

Does satellite Internet require a phone line?

No. Customers don’t need a landline or dial-up data modem for satellite Internet. The network relies on two-way data communications by satellite. A satellite Internet connection won’t interfere with a landline phone.

Is satellite Internet secure?

Yes. As any system of high-speed data transfer, satellite Internet becomes a target for hackers. A dedicated line to a subscriber gives satellite connections another layer of safety. Networks that service many customers on a single connection might not be able to.

FAQs

Do Wi-Fi Extenders Work For a Stronger Internet Signal?

Yes. A Wi-Fi extender works like an electronic megaphone for your wireless Internet signal. It extends coverage by picking up the wireless transmission and broadcasting it again. Some extenders work better than others. Some routers come with integrated repeater functionality. If yours doesn’t, a well-placed, high-quality extender can expand your wireless coverage by double. It can reach places such as: ALL THE FLOORS | Up in the loft, or down in the basement. An extender can carry a signal from the ground floor to the attic. GREAT OUTDOORS | No, an extender won’t give you Wi-Fi in the forest. It will, though, connect devices on patios and porches. THE FAR CORNERS | Top bunk in the bunk bed, the home office, the muck room, and more can become Wi-Fi ready. Also called repeaters, extenders come in various types and strengths. Before you invest in extenders, try moving your Wi-Fi router to a central location. Extra cat5 cable – used in Internet, phone and TV networks – can give a user options for where to move the router. The router should live on its own shelf, free of clutter and off the floor. Or, go with a new model, if the old one has some mileage. An upgraded router might also provide a wider range.

Are Wi-Fi extenders worth it?

That depends on need. If spots your router won’t reach happen to be places you’d like to connect, it’ll be worth the cost. Some extenders can cause a dip in connection speed, though, by as much as half. The ability to stream videos could be impacted, depending on the subscriber’s speed tier. Extenders can be expensive. Here’s a cost-effective alternative.

How to use a previous router as a new extender

PICK YOUR ROUTER | Still have that last router lying around? Anold router will be set for providing network speeds close to your current one. CAN YOU CONVERT IT? | The router’s admin page will tell you if it’s possible. If it isn’t, you’ll need firmware, or permanent software embedded in the router. Firmware options include: HIT RESET | If converting your router into a repeater doesn’t work, reset it.

How Wi-Fi range extender works

A Wi-Fi repeater comes with two antennas. One’s to capture Wi-Fi network signals. The other disburses the signal farther. It’s a snap to install a repeater. Just place it in the location it can still receive radio waves from your router. It should be central to the space to which you want to extend coverage. Extenders can also provide wireless access to sea vessels. They're capable of expanding coverage in places such as campgrounds, warehouses and office complexes.

What Wi-Fi extender do I need?

For top-of-the-line performance, opt for an extender that supports 802.11ah. That’s the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology. It's designed to power devices compliant to the Internet of Things. Your new router should comply with the newest standard, too.

The advantages of 802.11ah:

RANGE | The Wi-Fi Alliance claims 802.11ah covers twice as much ground as previous iterations. It’s capable of transmission of as much as two-thirds of a mile. PROPAGATION | 802.11ah devices operate even in the presence of interference that would sideline older versions. PENETRATION | Beams, walls and other physical obstructions once stopped a wireless signal in its tracks. 802.11ah signals can pass right through most barriers. Users can go with a new extender with the latest technology, or a repurposed router. Either way, Wi-Fi extenders can ensure your home gets the wireless coverage you need.

FAQs

Wi-Fi in the Sky: Guide to Airplane Wi-Fi

Taking a domestic flight in the U.S.? There’s likely Wi-Fi available on your plane. But getting online? That’s a different story. It’s one thing to keep a connection as you walk to the laundry room watching Teen Wolf. It’s another to do the same in a 75-ton plane at 30,000 feet. Airplanes grab data from towers below and satellites above. At 600 miles per hour, that requires constant handoffs for connection. A rotating antenna mounted to the top of the plane pivots during flight, from takeoff to landing. Internet data travels between the plane and satellites orbiting 22,000 miles above the earth. It takes about a half a second to travel from satellite to airplane. Users experience less latency with airplane networks tied to ground towers instead. These towers have antennas pointed upward. Otherwise, they’re much like ones used to connect cell-phone networks. Satellite networks might download larger files in less time than a land-based connection. Ground-tower connections work only when the plane is in flight, with bottom-mounted antenna. Satellite antennas mount on top, and can connect from the ground, too. Some airlines have satellite capacity on their flights, and ground-to-aircraft connections on others. Check your boarding pass or airline check-in website to determine which flights have Wi-Fi. Several factors could interrupt Internet access during a flight: GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS | Depending on air space, national laws may differ. Some governments block or limit access to the web or specific websites. SWITCHING BETWEEN SATELLITE REGIONS | Internet access could come from many sources. Passengers might experience loss of service as the network switches satellites. WEATHER | Satellite Internet could be subject to a performance drop during adverse weather.

Is Wi-Fi free on Southwest?

Only for A-List Preferred Members. All passengers can access the Southwest Airlines Hotspot portal. A-List customers can click a get connected button or access. Check southwest.com for current prices for Wi-Fi access.

Is Wi-Fi free on American Airlines?

No. According to American’s website, passengers can buy Internet access before their flight or onboard. American Airlines offers Wi-Fi on nearly all domestic flights. American has International Wi-Fi on Boeing 777-300ER flights for sales purchase only. Check the airline’s Wi-Fi page for pricing.

Is Wi-Fi free on Delta?

No. Delta offers 24-hour, monthly and annual Wi-Fi passes, available on domestic and international flights. They’re available before and during flights. Passengers get free access to delta.com. They can manage their trips, including options to book hotels or rent cars.

Which airline has Wi-Fi?

As of August 2016, eight world airlines offered free inflight Wi-Fi:
  • Air China
  • Emirates
  • Hong Kong Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Nok Air
  • Norwegian
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
Some airlines offer onboard power sources and USB ports on select planes. For international flights, you might need an adaptor that will fit AC or DC power outlets. In most cases, mobile phone use still isn’t allowed during flight. Most airlines offer purchasable Internet access. Speeds and performance might lag behind earth-bound connections. As technology improves, the gap is sure to narrow.