The speed of your internet connection is determined by the connection to the nearest wireless tower. Our average speeds across our service area are 40 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up.
Interested Subscriber FAQ
About High Speed Packages
What are your average speeds?
What does the monthly traffic cap mean?
Traffic caps are set by the total Gigabytes you use per month. For more information on how many GB you need per month, see this blog: How Much Internet do I Need?
How do I choose an internet package?
The internet package you will need will depend on a few factors:
- How often does your household use the internet?
- Do you have multiple devices connected to the internet in your household at the same time?
- Do you stream music or movies?
- Do you have security cameras on your property connected to the internet?
- Do you use a smart speaker or a smartwatch?
All of these factors will determine which plan you should get. You should also test your internet speed. If you have a really plugged in household, you might want to go for the residential Extreme or Extreme Unlimited Plan.
If you’re a rural business, agricultural producer, or rancher, you might want to reach out to us about a business internet plan. We can work with you to ensure it meets your needs and technical requirements.
What types of internet do you have?
MCSnet provides three main types of internet services: Wireless, Fiber to the Home, and GigAir.
Wireless internet uses radio frequencies from one of our 550 towers to send signals to a radio on your building to receive the signal. You must use a router to use Wi-Fi within your home or business.
Fiber-optic internet replaces traditional copper wire cables with fiber-optic cables to send a signal. Fiber internet is faster and more consistent than cable internet because the signal travels by bouncing off of the inside of the cable because the optical fibers are made from thin strands of glass. Learn more about how MCSnet is using fiber-optic cables.
Our newest GigAir service (only currently available in St. Paul) provides fiber speeds through the air. The new GigAir wireless technology creates a “mesh” network by connecting customers to one another and to our wireless network. Customers will see speeds up to 1000 Mbps up and 1000 Mbps down.
What type of cable is used?
The cable is CAT5e, as is normally used with high speed networking. Cables are limited to a maximum of 320 ft (100 m) in length. The cable that runs from the radio on the roof to the interior of the house is outdoor rated cable, which is designed specifically to resist sunlight, moisture, and most other things. The connection provided to the computer is the standard jack used with NICs and routers (the flat black cable off of the power adapter).
Can I share my Internet to a nearby building?
With a wireless router, you may be able to provide access for a 100′ radius depending on the distance and number of obstacles. MCSnet will not help to configure or augment your wireless network if you choose to do this. There are router and antenna options available to extend the reach of a wireless network, you may want to hire a computer/network technician to help survey and setup an extended personal network if you are interested in this application.
What security do you provide?
By default, the radio that is installed (on your roof) uses NAT translation to provide a hardware firewall which will prevent unrequested access to your internal network. The firewall on the radio (NAT) can be turned off if you have a router already (routers have their own version of NAT). With protection already in place through NAT, MCSnet generally discourages the use of software firewalls for the inbound connection (with the exception of Windows Firewall), as they will often break the Internet connection (can be very disruptive to the DNS connectivity on your computer). Windows has built in antivirus and anti-malware protection. Please see our recommendations page for further suggestions.
What are the requirements to get MCSnet?
You will have to be within range of one of our towers (about 15 km maximum), and have an appropriate line of sight that is unobstructed by hills to the tower location from the roof of your building or tower.
When signing up for services, bank or credit card info is required, and the contract must be signed by the person whose name is associated with the account for MCSnet internet services.
Your location must also be free of local interference on the frequency that the radio uses to communicate back to the tower site. Our wireless signals use various types of radio frequencies to communicate (900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, 5.7 GHz).
How can I be notified when MCSnet brings a tower to my area?
Are there any costs if the install doesn't work?
There is no cost to you if we cannot get service to your property. If we cannot obtain a signal, our system will retain your interest in our service, and we will contact you if a new tower is constructed that may provide a service opportunity. MCSnet does not make multiple trips for installations. If the wireless shot tests 100%, we will install your services.
What are the payment options?
With residential packages, MCSnet will only accept pre-authorized payments either with a void cheque or Visa/MasterCard.
Documents are made available in the MyAccount section of our website in PDF format for all subscribers. They are also availabe in our MyAccount app. Please use your MCSnet email and password to access this data.
Statements by mail are available for business subscribers for $2.00 per month.
Does MCSnet support VoIP?
Please see our Phone page for more information.
Moving or Transferring Service
What happens if I move?
If you are moving to a location where MCSnet provides service, we can move the equipment to the new location and align it. A new contract will apply like with a new installation. Please contact our scheduling department 30 days prior to make these arrangements and schedule the appointments. The radio (on the roof) and associated power adapter remain the property of MCSnet. If you are moving, we will make arrangements to uninstall the equipment.
Current Subscriber FAQ
How do I set my homepage?
To change the homepage of your browser to mcsnet.ca:
In Internet Explorer:
- Open Internet Explorer
- Open the tools menu at the top
- Open the Internet options
- Type mcsnet.ca in the homepage area
- Click Apply and then OK
In Mozilla Firefox:
- Open Firefox
- Open the tools menu at the top
- Open options…
- Click on the Main icon at the top
- Type mcsnet.ca in the homepage area
- Click OK
I received an email that appears to be from MCSnet asking for my password.
Delete it. MCSnet will never email you requesting personal information. Be careful about email con-artists who may try to pretend to be your bank or credit card company, and ask you to verify your data (called a phishing attack). They will create false bank or financial sites (Royal Bank, CIBC, PayPal, MCSnet etc) and then attempt to capture your username and password. Do not respond to email requests to login to your financial accounts and do not click on links contained in suspicious email messages. The website will look exactly like the institution you are expecting to see, do not be fooled by this.
Usage and Traffic Allowance
Why do you track usage?
Usage is tracked to ensure the highest quality of service for all of our subscribers. Limits on downloads affect only a small percentage of users and ensures that network resources are not tied up amongst a smaller amount of heavy users. The available bandwidth at a tower site or access point is shared amongst the connections using it, by using a traffic cap we can allow for faster per second speeds while limiting the slowdowns that might be associated with several heavy users on the same node. The alternative strategy is to have no limit on the amount of usage but severely limit the top speed to ensure even distribution. MCSnet does not track your specific usage of websites you visit or the content of the files that you may download.
How much is a gigabyte (GB) of data?
There are approximately 1,000 MB in a GB. A typical song can be about 5 MB in size. You will be able to download about 200 songs with 1 GB of downstream traffic. Websites are typically only kB in size (this page is approx. 0.000070 GB); you normally will be able to visit thousands of websites before using a GB of data (not including sites that host videos and other multimedia content). The highest usage is from streaming video like Netflix, where an hour of video can use more than 1 GB of data.
How will I know when I reach my usage cap / How can I purchase more bandwidth?
After reaching the cap for your package you will be presented with a webpage explaining that you have reached your usage cap. Some additional leeway has been provided on all packages before the service is disrupted.
You can monitor your usage through the MyAccount section of our website or via our app. Click on this page to learn more about MyAccount.
The most economical upgrade is to increase your package to the next one up.
We have introduced a new option called ‘Unlimited Mode’. Unlimited mode will allow you to continue to use the internet beyond the monthly usage cap at a severely reduced rate of speed of 200 kbps.
Why is my usage so high?
Usage can be tracked by downloading the MCSnet app. If you have usage that is beyond what you expect, this is usually caused by:
- Streaming video from services like Netflix and YouTube
- Peer to Peer file sharing programs, commonly used with the downloading of music and movies (bit torrent like utorrent, etc.)
- Many hours of online gaming, especially if hosting a server
- Someone else connecting to your wireless router (please use a password with wireless routers)
- Viruses and spyware
Usage is tracked only as an amount of data, the traffic you transfer to and from the internet is not logged, we do not track where you go on the internet. If you are looking for help determining the source of unknown usage, MCSnet may not be able to help you with unknown computer issues.
Netflix has settings to adjust the quality, which can affect how much traffic it uses. Please see this page for more info on the settings.
How do I determine my internet usage?
You can monitor your usage by downloading the MCSnet app and clicking on Traffic Monitor.
How do I administer My Account?
You can administer your account by logging into the My Account page or by downloading the MCSnet app. In My Account you can monitor your usage, review previous invoices, change the password for other emails associated with your account, change the password of the Admin account that you used to login here, and register a new device to the connection.
What do I do if I lost my username or password?
Your original username and password should be labelled on your copy of your contract. If you require assistance, please call us to find out your username or to reset your password.
Connect More Devices
Is it possible to add multiple devices to the internet?
Absolutely. You will be sharing the same internet connection among all of your devices. A router is required for splitting the connection. You can purchase or lease a MCSnet router by visiting this page.
How do I set up my router?
Are any ports blocked on my connection?
The normal configuration for a MCSnet connection that goes directly to your computer will have NAT translation active with the radio. Some ports may be blocked due to this translation. If you would like the ports to be available, you will need to use a router as a gateway for your connection. If you get a router, the NAT translation can be disabled (please contact us), and then the connection will be open where you can manage use through port forwarding on your router.
If NAT is disabled on your radio, only port 25 (that does not go through our mail server) is blocked. If you are administrating your own mail server, you may need to have this port opened up (please contact us). To open port 25 you will have to have a static IP address (available through some of our business packages). If, after opening port 25, your connection is responsible for mail (spam) abuse, your account may be subject to additional fees and/or suspension.
What happens if I am moving?
If you are moving to a location where MCSnet provides service, we can move the equipment to the new location and align it. A new contract will apply like with a new installation. Please contact our scheduling department 30 days prior to make these arrangements and schedule the appointments. The radio (on the roof) and associated power adapter remain the property of MCSnet. If you are moving out of the coverage area, we will have to make arrangements to uninstall the equipment.
For transfers of service to new tenants, if the new owners are moving into your current location and they would like to assume use of the equipment, please have them fill out the sign-up form from our website. You will have to contact MCSnet to inform and authorize this change. If the new owners use the equipment with no servicing necessary (please do not take the power adapter with you). The new owners must sign a standard contract.
If there is a period of time where no one will be using the service, then you may want to make use of our parked package. Parking the service places it in a dormant state for a monthly rate of $19.95 per month.
Testing and Troubleshooting
What should I do when I lose the connection to the internet?
Please visit our printable Connection Troubleshooting page for step by step help. Steps normally involve rebooting your router, or renewing the IP address on your computer.
How do I check my internet speed?
You can check your internet speed conveniently and quickly by:
- Open our speed test tool.
- Click on the button that reads “Test Your Speed Now.”
- Hit the “Go” button when prompted.
- You will notice that it will reveal the IP address owner and the location of the IP address you are using.
- You will see your download speed and upload speed momentarily.
My connection is experiencing constant interruptions, what can I do?
There are some common factors that may cause an interruption of your surfing.
Wireless Interference with Your Wireless Router
First you should eliminate the possibility of any problems on your computer or local network. Wireless networks are sensitive to interference from similar frequencies. If you are using a wireless connection with a wireless router, please be aware that 2.4 GHz phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, and other electronic devices may interfere with your wireless network. You may be able to resolve these issues by changing the locations of these devices and/or selecting different channels for your 2.4 GHz cordless phone. Running a cable from the router to your computer to replace a wireless shot may save a lot of problems in the future.
Firewall Flooding from Excessive Number of Connections
If your computer is directly connected to the Internet, the firewall (NAT) table may be flooded due to unrequited requests (most common with peer to peer programs). If this is the case, it should start working again when you unplug the Motorola power adapter and reconnect it. After reconnecting power, you will have to wait about 2 minutes for the radio to reboot and your computer to negotiate a new address. If this is a constant problem for you, please contact us so that we can change the nature of how these unrequited requests are handled. We can also disable NAT if you are using a router, please call us if you would like to have this changed.
Interference with Wireless Feed to Tower Site
The other type of interference will be where the wireless Internet connection MCSnet is providing is disrupted because of local or remote crosstalk on the wireless frequencies. The most common application is cause by 900 MHz cordless phones when a 900 MHz radio is used for the Internet connection. 900 MHz radios are used most often when the line of site to the tower includes trees. MCSnet recommends replacing your cordless phone if it is causing drops in your Internet. Cordless phones have started the transition to a new wireless standard referred to as DECT to provide them their own frequency to avoid creating noise on commonly used bands. You can read about DECT here.
About Denial of Service Attacks
Why do software firewalls like Norton break the Internet?
MCSnet generally discourages the use of Norton and Mcafee products as well as software firewalls unless you are familiar with how to configure and repair them. Although the Norton products have improved in some areas over the last few years, there are free alternatives to Norton (Microsoft Security Essentials) that have proven to be much more trouble free and efficient to keep your computer running quickly (Here’s some details on what slows computers down the most). To uninstall Norton properly, you will have to download and run symnrt (Symantec Norton removal tool available here)
For good alternatives please visit our recommendations page.
How do I reset my router?
Rebooting your router
If your internet is having connection issues, try rebooting your router. Do this before trying a reset to factory settings.
- Unplug the power supply to the router. Check to make sure all the lights on the router are off.
- Wait one minute.
- Plug the router back in.
- Wait for all the lights to turn on.
- Connect to the internet again.
If you are still having issues with your connection, please contact Tech Support.
How do I change the Wi-Fi password?
With a MCSnet router, download the MCSnet app, click on Wi-Fi and “edit”. Here you can edit your Wi-Fi Name and your Password.
Here’s how to change your Wi-Fi password on routers other than MCSnet routers.
- You will need to log into your router’s configuration page.
- Open a browser and input the appropriate IP address into the search bar.
- You will need to know the admin username and password.
- Once logged in you will see a tab that will likely say “Wireless Security” or “Password Settings.”
- Select the router you need. You should then be prompted to select a new password.
- Save the new password.
- Devices may need to be reconnected to the internet by entering the new password.
- It’s a good idea to keep the new password recorded in a secure place.