Frequently Asked Questions - High-Speed Internet
- I was notified of Copyright Infringement?
- I have no Internet connection
- I am paying for X Mbps speed but ________ speed test site says I am getting less!
- I am running a critical business over the Internet and it’s imperative that I never lose my connection. Is it wise to do this?
- I can’t send/receive an email containing a very large attachment.
- Help! I’m not getting important email from XYZ Company!
In some cases we get notice of infringement by copyright holders that one of our IP addresses may have copyrighted material illegally, it is our policy to act immediatley, in less that one business day. We call you and try to work with you and resolve any possible issues. We do not disclose subscriber data to any governmental or private entity without having first been provided with an appropriate warrant, subpoena, or directive from the Department of Homeland Security.
BELD Copyright Infringement Policy
From time to time, you may experience a loss of Internet connectivity. This is typically a condition that you can easily fix yourself if you follow these steps.
Are your other BELD Broadband services currently working?
If you're experiencing a problem with other BELD services there may be an outage in your area, best place to check for outages is our Facebook or Twitter pages, the main page of this website, or you can always call our HelpDesk line 781.348.2353 for more information. If there is an outage our phones lines are going to be very busy and our social media outlets would be the fastest way to get the information you need.
We invest a ton of money in equipment and bandwidth to make sure you have the best Internet experience practicable, but we are delivering a shared best-efforts service, just like our competitors. You are sharing bandwidth with people in your neighborhood. We have tested extensively and believe that with rare exceptions, the bandwidth we deliver meets or exceeds expectations but we do not guarantee speed. Here at BELD Broadband we do everything we can to meet or exceed expectations, but the nature of distributed control of the Internet itself combined with variables in customer equipment prevent us from making a guarantee.
Furthermore, the speed you get is affected by factors outside of BELD’s control. Wireless routers, especially in suburban and urban areas where multiple networks can be seen, deliver notoriously slow speeds that are far slower than their specifications would suggest. Many home routers can’t pass traffic faster than 20 Mbps, especially the older ones, even with directly wired connections. Likewise, once your signal leaves BELD, it is outside of our control. The average connection to a site on the Internet traverses twelve routers owned by eight different companies before it gets to its destination and often travels hundreds if not thousands of miles. We have absolutely no control over the condition and congestion of the routers and lines of companies such as AT&T and Level 3.
Then, the servers to which you attach also have limits. If a particular server can only respond at 100 Mbps and 100 people across the Internet are using it simultaneously, no matter how fast your connection is through BELD, you won’t see speeds faster than 1 Mbps.
Here at BELD Broadband we do everything we can to meet or exceed expectations, but the nature of distributed control of the Internet itself combined with variables in customer equipment prevent us from making a guarantee. Advertised speeds are indexed to a wired connection to the cable modem. Wifi is a convenience service that is shared with all other Wifi-enabled networks and devices in the vicinity – not just your own devices in your home, so speeds can be substantially slower than a wired connection. Wifi speeds are better when configured for 5.8 Ghz rather than 2.4 Ghz, but it is still a service shared with all other devices and networks in the vicinity. Wifi should be considered a service that replaces a wire with radio waves for the sake of convenience, but sacrifices speed and performance to achieve that convenience.
If you have frequent problems with poor Internet performance, please contact us for troubleshooting because certain physical problems with the cables or cable modems can cause those symptoms.
No. Cable modem (and competing FiOS-type) services are not designed for the level of fault tolerance needed for open-heart surgery, managing nuclear power plants, or operating weapons systems. We put a lot of effort and money into making our connections as reliable as possible, but a car could swerve, hit a utility pole and take out your connection in a heartbeat. Furthermore, other than voice traffic, we do not prioritize packets on our system. Because of this, your movements of a remote scalpel have the same priority on our system as someone downloading Aunt Mabel’s recipe for fried chicken.
We set a limit of 10 MB on the size of attachments that can be sent to or from our subscribers (attachments in webmail are limited to 6 MB). Considering the millions of spam emails we receive daily, if someone were to send us 10,000,000 emails, each with a 4 GB attachment, our ability to process email at all would be shut down because our servers only have so much disk space. These sorts of attacks were very common until ISPs learned their lesson the hard way. The 10 MB limit represents a compromise that allows for most ordinary uses without leaving us especially vulnerable.
To transfer larger files you can use a variety of methods, including using an FTP client (such as filezilla) to put your files in your personal web space. If you don’t want to do that, there are a number of free and paid file sharing services on the Internet.
The most common reason for missing email is a bad address: someone isn’t typing your address correctly. Another common reason is that the email is in fact being received, but it is going into your local spam or trash folder.
But what if these two reasons aren’t the cause?
BELD Broadband receives about 9 million spam emails daily for our 3,000+ internet subscribers. We have to employ spam scanning methods in order to weed some of that out, otherwise our average customer’s email would quickly become useless because of being inundated with spam. It’s not practical to employ human beings to scan that much email and any method that we use with a machine will sometimes error. So we try to eliminate as much spam as possible while allowing through the true email.
We subscribe to a so-called “blackhole” list of IP addresses that have sent spam. If someone sending you email is on one of these lists, we won’t be able to receive their email until they have been removed. It is very common for someone’s computer to be hijacked to send spam without their knowledge—the process just runs in the background. If someone has been blocked from sending you email because they are on a blackhole list, they will get a bounce notice from us explaining which lists they are on, and how to contact that list to be removed. Most certainly they should update any virus scanning software, etc. before doing so.
Another thing we do is “greylisting” we deny the first attempt to deliver email, and require the sender to try again. Usually this introduces only a one minute delay and isn’t noticed. But mail from some companies, can be delayed for as long as twelve hours as a result of the programmed retry interval of the server sending you email.
We also impose inbound sending limits of 200 emails for any 60-minute period. This is measured by total number of addressees, so four emails to 51 people, one email to 201 people, or 201 emails to 201 unique individuals would all exceed this quota. If this threshold is exceeded, we refuse to receive further email from that source for an hour.
One of our most successful (and most inconveniencing) techniques for eliminating spam is called “Sender/Recipient Address Verification.” Because a lot of spam comes from addresses that don’t actually exist, by verifying the existence of an email address before accepting inbound email it, we eliminate millions of spam emails weekly. The downside of this technique is that a lot of legitimate email comes from noreply@suchAndSuchDomain.com addresses. We have been running this system for several years, and as customers inform us of legitimate domains sending email from such addresses, we specifically exempt them from the list. If you are missing important email and none of the above reasons explains why, contact us and we can get that domain exempted in short order.
Additionally any emails with a blank subject, using an incorrect character set or deviating from Internet standards isn’t accepted and we send a message to the sender explaining why so the sender can solve the problem.
Finally, we run Spam Assassin software to examine email, and assigns it a score based on font size, graphics, links and so forth. If the score is high enough, the software decides that it is likely to be spam, labels it as such and sends it to your inbox. Many customers set up an automatic filter that sends such mail to a folder or their trash bin. If you aren’t getting an email and you’ve set up such a rule, check those locations.