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How does satellite (wireless) internet work, and why is having a wired network more reliable?

There are so many internet options and companies out there that provide internet services, how do you choose, or know what service is right for you?

All West Communications internet network is delivered over wires because it not only increases reliability but allows faster upload and download speeds at better pricing for our customers and community.

Why does a wired internet network work more efficiently?

Let start by looking at how each type of network works and how it relates to the services available.

Satellite Internet

Satellite internet is having the ability to transmit and receive data from a satellite dish. Most satellite companies' connections involves three satellite dishes; one at the internet service providers (ISP) hub, one in space and one attached to your property. The ISP will send the internet signal to the dish in space, which then relays it to you. Every time you make a request (new page, download, send an email, etc.) it goes to the dish in space and then to the ISP's hub. The completed request is then sent back through space to your dish and then to your computer.

Common issues with satellite internet include:

  • The weather affects the signal path. During bad wind or rainstorms, you should expect poor quality internet, assuming you have internet at all.
  •  Poor latency or high ping rate. Your internet signal has to go at least 22,000 miles in the air two times before it reaches your home. Since you have to send data to space, this creates a lag on internet connecting devices. This lag can affect your internet experience, especially if you're a gamer, working from home, streaming TV, or use VoIP services.
  •  Minor obstructions can affect your signal. Your dish needs to point south because this is where all the orbiting dishes are in outer space. Anything in the way of your dish's signal such as branches or buildings, can affect the quality.
  • Satellite internet is relatively expensive for the speed you get. For example, Utah Broadband’s highest speed is 60 Mbps for $89.95, whereas All West's lowest speed is 100 Mbps for just $59.95. You can get twice as much speed for $30 less.

Wired Network

A wired network is the physical connection to your home and your ISP provider through either Coax, DSL, or Fiber.

Benefits of a wired network include:

  • You get better upload and download speeds. When you are connected directly to your ISP provider, there is no lag, which makes your connection faster.
  •  There are no obstructions to block your service. Since most Coax, DSL and Fiber lines are either buried or affixed to utility poles, you won't have to worry about your connection getting disturbed.
  • With a wired connection, your ISP can offer you better prices and faster speeds than satellite offerings. For example, Wicked Fast internet provides 75 Mbps for $99.95 per month, whereas 100 Mbps will All West is $59.95 per month.

We hope this helps our customers understand the differences between satellite (wireless) and wired internet connections.

Learn more about All West’s Internet Plans.

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Don’t worry about capacity – we have plenty!

Having a fast internet connection depends on what you use the internet for at home, how many devices are using the internet at the same time, and how many Mbps you have from your service provider. As a result of the COVID-19 virus stay-at-home advisory, families are using their internet more than usual for information, schoolwork, working from home, entertainment and more. We wanted to share with you things you can do to make sure you’re getting as much capacity from your Internet connection as possible.

Things you can do to make sure you’re getting as much speed as you can:

-              Update your router. Older routers are often not made to handle higher speeds. It might max out at a lower speed resulting in blocking the bandwidth that could be distributed throughout your home.

-              Move your router to a central location in your home. Your routers radio signal doesn't just broadcast in one direction. Instead, it's more like ripples in water. If you've placed your router in a far corner of your home, you're most likely reducing your usable coverage and capacity.

-              It might be the device you’re using. Older devices are not designed to handle higher speeds. The best way to test if the problem is your device or your router is to directly connect a newer device to your router using an ethernet cable and test the speed. If you are getting close to your full speed on the newer device, but not on your older device, the problem is most likely the age of your older device. If neither device is reaching full speed, it is probably your router.

Keep in mind that not all routers are created equal. Your router signal needs to sync with your modem connection. And your modem and router need to be able to handle the speed you are paying for. For example, if your internet is provided through a Coax cable, your router needs to be compatible with a Coax connection—and if you’ve purchased a 1 Gig plan, your equipment needs to be Gig-capable.

If you determine you need to replace your router, All West offers up to 2 Plume SuperPods at $9.95/mo.  To ensure you get full-strength, uninterrupted connectivity where and when you need it.

What is Plume

Plume is a cloud-based system that provides you with full-strength, uninterrupted connectivity where and when you need it. The Plume app delivers an enhanced experience through custom guest access, parental controls, and AI Security™ for added protection. SuperPods™ are beautiful, small and plug straight into the wall.

Why you may need to upgrade your speed

The best download speeds and upload speeds for you depend on how you use the internet at home.

Let’s first look at your connection as if it were a water pipe. When it’s just you at home, you normally have enough water moving through the pipe.  However, if all your faucets are on at the same time, you may see less water pressure than usual.

The same thing happens with your wi-fi speed. When the whole family is home, your wi-fi gets divided between all the devices connected to your router resulting in a slower connection.

For example, let’s say you have a family of four, and nine devices split between them that include phones, laptops, iPads, and Smart TVs. When everyone is home at least six devices are being used at once for school, streaming TV, surfing the web and gaming. When you have that many devices in use, you need enough bandwidth to support them all. 25 Mbps distributed six ways is about 4 Mbps allocated to each device. Just doing schoolwork on a laptop could use up to 25 Mbps, resulting in very slow internet. The more internet-connected devices you use, the more your speed is distributed amongst them.

Upload speeds vs. Download speeds

Internet speeds are measured by how much data your internet connection can transfer per second, which is measured in megabits of data per second (Mbps). The number you see in Mbps measures the rate at which a provider delivers internet data to and from your home.

Download speed refers to how many Mbps it takes to download data from a server in the form of images, videos, text and more. Activities such as listening to music on Spotify, downloading large files or streaming tv on All West.tv all require you to download data.

Upload speed refers to how many Mbps you can send data from your internet connected device or server to another. Sending emails, posting photos or videos on social media and video calling a friend all require you to upload data.

When you purchase internet speed, it’s an up to speed. Meaning if you bought 100 Mbps you can get up to that speed. Different wired connections (Fiber, Coax, or DSL) give you different up to speeds. For example, 100 Mbps on a Coax connection will give you up to 100 Mbps download speed and up to 10 Mbps upload speed. Whereas Fiber is symmetrical, giving you equal upload and download speeds.

If your internet plan doesn’t support the amount of data you are uploading or downloading, your internet may slow down. So the next time you’re using your internet connected device and it slows down, it may not be your internet provider but the upload and download speed of your internet plan.

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How secure is your home from cyber threats?

We asked Plume’s AI SecurityTM Product Head Susmita Nayak to help us better understand how AI Security works and the evolution of whole-home protection.

Susmita Nayak is vivaciously passionate about solving cybersecurity attacks and tackling the evolving threats of hackers, viruses, and spammers. With over 20 years in the science, engineering and technology fields, she has worked for household names such as McAfee, Intel, and now Plume. She gets fired up about working for Plume because they are looking at security more broadly than just anti-virus but rather for every device in your home as a whole, which gives security a more holistic approach.

What makes Plume’s security more reliable and smarter than other security services available?

The landscape for cybersecurity services for consumers is very focused on anti-virus, but technology has evolved so much that it’s not enough. The average home has so many more types of devices now, and each device has many attack surfaces, so securing the home requires new thinking. Antivirus protection is cumbersome to install on so many endpoints and isn’t supported on IoT devices and as such doesn’t scale to the smart home. Additionally, IoT devices need zero-day protection for which behavioral learning and anomaly detection is best suited. On determination of zero-day threat, the device must be quarantined to prevent the attack from spreading to other home devices.


From the figure above based on data collected across a subset of Plume homes in Q4’19, on average 91% of Plume homes have had a security incident. Attacks span different types across malware, botnets, phishing and more. A staggering 85% attacks are on personal devices shows the lack of endpoint protection on these devices, possibly due to the inconvenience in installing them. Also noteworthy is the 15% attacks on IoT devices across NAS, Cameras, Media Set Top Boxes, Game Consoles, TV and more.

Plume’s approach provides whole-home coverage, meaning it acts as the gateway into your home stopping dangerous connections from or to devices in the home. Would you let a stranger into your home? Most likely no. It’s an invasion of privacy and safety for your family. The gateway acts as a force field that shields devices, making sure your data and privacy are safe. Plume uses artificial intelligence to monitor threats across a growing scale with adaptive WiFi deployments at more than 15 million homes and half a billion devices. It allows us to understand device behavior and spot new threats faster. Our service is designed to adapt to all the different types of devices and all different types of threats making it smarter than other security options.

What is your favorite security feature in the app?

I love that you can see all the devices connected to your network. This is important for security because you can dive into each device and see all the blocked content that it has tried to visit. Plume also has the ability to quarantine an infected device, so you can take action to solve the problem while the rest of your devices stay unaffected. For example, let’s say someone hacks your smart doorbell. Plume’s service will immediately quarantine the device and stop the hacker from impacting that device or penetrating your network further and doing even more damage.
Just like the common cold, viruses get smarter and adapt to their environment. Plume is unique because it is constantly learning your home behaviors to better adapt to threats.

What’s your top tip or trick for customers with Plume to manage their security?

Knowledge is power and having the knowledge about what is happening in your home keeps you and your family much safer. I highly recommend using the Guest Access features to create different access passwords for visitors or guests entering your home. Devices, like people, carry bugs; and if the right type of virus is present, there is a potential risk in it infecting your network. By limiting what they have access to protects not only your household but your guests too. When you give that device a different password with an auto-assigned expiration, you are limiting its access to your network, which makes it easier for you to control them from accessing other devices with your personal data.

What does the future of smart home security look like? And, how is Plume preparing for future threats?

Plume looks at the security of the whole home, we are working on not only cybersecurity but the physical side as well. We believe we are just scratching the surface on how to make your home safer and are looking forward to rolling out some new enhancements.

Predicting the cyber future is tricky because we don’t know what threats will be, while hackers and viruses continue to get smarter. When you do machine learning you can find the patterns of abnormalities and address them easier. We are also developing a better understanding of device behavior. The more comprehensive data we get from device feeds the better we can identify any new threats.


All West partners with Smart Home Services provider Plume®

KAMAS, Utah | March 2, 2020 – All West Communications, a Broadband, TV Streaming and Phone provider with operations in Utah and Wyoming, announced its partnership with Plume®, a smart home services platform designed to improve broadband coverage and speeds and help personalize and secure the home network. Powered by cloud-based artificial intelligence, Plume offers an integrated solution that is controlled from the Plume app.

The new service will further enhance the online experience for All West customers through custom guest access, parental controls, and AI security for added protection of their devices. Plume works alongside All West’s existing broadband connection, allowing customers to make the most of its ultrafast speeds in every corner of their homes.

"All West is excited to bring our community the next level of speed, personalization, security and control by partnering with Plume," said Matt Weller, President of All West. "As leaders in broadband technology, we know that the modern smart home requires a personalized approach tailored to each person, home and device. Plume does just that."

The Plume integration brings All West customers:


Plume Adaptive WiFi™ which intelligently monitors, adjusts and optimizes your network for peak performance.
HomePass® which lets users control guest and child access to their network, set up profiles, and pause access to the Internet.
AI Security™ to detect and block potential security threats, customize content access, and block unwanted ads.
• Elegantly designed, powerful tri-band SuperPods that plug directly into wall sockets to ensure reliable coverage.
• The highly-rated Plume app puts you in control of all of these smart home services.

Plume will now be part of the standard offering for new and existing All West customers. The Smart Home Services offering includes up to two SuperPods for $9.95 with add-on pods available for an additional fee. For more information, visit www.AllWest.com.



About All West Communications
All West Communications is a telecommunication company based in Kamas, Utah and provides broadband, TV Streaming and phone services to rural communities from northeastern Utah to southwestern Wyoming. Our broadband-powered network delivers technology services that give people access to information, entertainment, and communications across town and around the world. We’re neighbors serving neighbors, dedicated to creating opportunities in the communities we serve. To learn more, visit www.allwest.com.

About Plume®
Plume is the creator of the world's first Smart Home Services Platform. As the only open and hardware-independent solution, Plume enables the curation and delivery of new services rapidly and at massive scale. The Plume service bundle which includes Plume Adaptive WiFi™, HomePass®, and AI Security™ is managed by the Plume Cloud, a data- and AI-driven cloud controller currently running the largest software-defined network in the world. Plume leverages OpenSync™, an open-source framework which integrates into a broad set of silicon & platform SDKs for connection to the Plume Cloud. Plume’s smart home service and back-end product suites are proven to help communications service providers around the globe deliver on the promise of fast and reliable internet throughout the home, while increasing ARPU, improving NPS, and reducing call-in rates, truck rolls, and subscriber churn

Community Connections

South Lincoln Medical Center Gets a Boost in Connectivity

All West Communications delivers 1 Gig and best-in-class phone solution

KAMAS, UTAH | February 27, 2020 – All West Communications is pleased to support South Lincoln Medical Center, Kemmerer, Wyoming with a Hosted VoIP and data solution that allows for greater operational flexibility, stability and efficiency.

South Lincoln Medical Center’s traditional premise-based phone system was outdated and due for a change. The phone system couldn’t provide them with the functionality they needed, nor could the malfunctioning phones be repaired or replaced. The Hosted VoiP solution through All West delivers leading-edge technology and can be tailored to the medical center’s growing needs. This solution also provides a cost savings, as there is no on-site equipment needed, save the more than 100 phones, and includes enhanced features such as hunt groups, 4-digit dialing, auto attendant and others. The 4-digit dialing feature was especially attractive to the medical center as they operate clinics in Evanston and Rock Springs, Wyoming as well. Low capital expenses, a generous pool of long distance and predictable billing all help to enhance the bottom line and operational efficiencies. The value-added web portal (CommPortal) allows for a better customer experience through a customized call flow and auto attendant.

The Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) data solution provides monthly cost savings, a speed increase up to 1 Gig symmetrical and most importantly, a back-up to their current fiber service to create redundancy. This redundancy will allow operations—such as their phone system, computer systems, patient monitoring devices, security cameras and doors—to continue functioning should an internet connection drop or be interrupted.

All West not only delivered the products and services, but personalized training and support as well. South Lincoln Medical Center received assistance porting phone numbers from their premise-based system to the Hosted VoiP system and were assigned additional blocks of phone numbers to use as they grow. All West installed and tested the phones over several weeks to ensure the system was set up to the medical center’s needs. This personalized service continues today.

“From the consultation to the set-up, staff training and system adjustments, it was a team effort.”, Matt Weller, All West Communications President stated. “The porting process was time consuming, but the All West team was tenacious with South Lincoln Medical Center’s past providers to get the advertised numbers ported over to the new system. And the medical center’s administration was very helpful and accommodating prior to and during the install. I’m thankful for everyone’s efforts to see this project successfully executed.”

The hospital district’s CEO, Karl Sundberg, had this to say, “This new connectivity and phone system technology is just one way that South Lincoln Hospital District is transforming and modernizing to meet the needs of our community and region with healthcare services. All transitions of technology have growing pains, and with the tenacious support of our All West partner, coupled with an excellent IT and leadership team, we successfully transitioned the entire complex system within 60 days, and are now working to optimize the system and add functionality that was previously unavailable to us. Technology infrastructure is the backbone of the future of healthcare, and this new infrastructure allows us to expand telemedicine, integrate a tele-critical care system, develop new cloud based technology for clinical systems and drive better customer service and accessibility through our telephone system. Thank you, All West team!”
All West Communications is delighted to deliver these services to South Lincoln Medical Center and looks forward to a long partnership.

About All West Communications
Since 1912, All West Communications has provided leading-edge telecommunication services. Based in Kamas, Utah they operate a broadband-powered network to deliver services that connect people and businesses to what matters most—across town and around the world. Their wired infrastructure and ongoing fiber investments that span from northeastern Utah to southwestern Wyoming provide customers with unparalleled broadband speeds, entertainment options, connectivity and service. To learn more, visit www.allwest.com.

About South Lincoln Medical Center
South Lincoln Medical Center, located in Kemmerer, Wyoming has been designated a Critical Access Hospital, as defined by the Office of Rural Health Policy, part of the Health Resources & Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. South Lincoln Medical Center’s mission is to deliver extraordinary compassion, innovative healthcare, and customer service to our community, our patients, and each other, close to home. For more information, visit www.southlincolnmedical.com.

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