Castles Internet Services
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
Castles provides phone line based Internet Access but is no longer accepting new customers for this service.
High Speed Point-to-Point Wireless Internet (Fixed Point)
No fancy gimmicks or In-your-face discounts that always get you in the end. Castles just provides great service at a reasonable price and what we tell you is what you pay. No hidden fees or charges.
Network – Castles provides high speed point-to-point wireless Internet from a series of strategically placed towers and relays. Starting at a central tower in Solano County, we send Internet traffic to and from other towers and independent relays located at high points on the Vaca Mountains and other elevated locations in Solano and Yolo County. In total, we have operated over 16 sites.
Equipment – Castles uses wireless equipment manufactured by Ubiquiti Networks operating at 5Ghz or 900MHz.
Internet Bandwidth – The Internet source (bandwidth) for our network is provided by Cogent Communications, Inc. Cogent provides the network bandwidth via the Comcast network pipe.
Network Monitoring – The network is monitored 24x7x365 using the airControl (AC) program. AC monitors every aspect of the network including network health, speeds, signal quality, connection quality, uptime, etc.
Fixed-Point Wireless Technology
No Phone Lines, No Satellites and No Modem Required
Wireless – Wireless signals are transmitted to and from a local mountain-top tower access point (AP) or local relay to a customer’s customer premise equipment (CPE). The CPE consists of an antenna mounted to the roof or other structure and carrier via an Ethernet (Cat5) computer cable line into the customers home or office to a power injector.
Power Injector – The Ubiquiti power injector has 2 Ethernet ports and a short power cord. The power cord is plugged into a standard electrical outlet or power strip. The power injectors has a Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) port and a Local Area Network (LAN) port. The POE port provides power to the external antenna. The LAN port is where a wireless (WiFi) router connects or a single computer device.
Wide Area Network (WAN) vs Local Area Network (LAN) – WAN is simply the larger network that all customers are connected to. LAN is the customer network comprised of their wireless router, computers, tablets, phones, TVs, gaming units, cameras, etc.
Static IP vs Network Address Translation (NAT) – Castles used to assign a Static IP to each customers router and therefore required every customer to have a router. We have slowly migrated most customers to NAT. For some customers a static IP on their router is needed for their business. Otherwise a customer is programmed for NAT. NAT allows the customer to connect any Ethernet enabled device to connect to the LAN port on the power injector and get Internet. They can also purchase almost any wireless router off the shelf, connect it to the power injector LAN port and have Internet. A wireless router is required whenever you have more than one device using the Internet. It acts like the traffic cop.
Wireless Routers – When the customer connected a typical WiFI router, they will connect an Ethernet cable from the power injector LAN port to the Internet Connector on the router. The typical router has 4 Ethernet ports on the back for hard-wired connection and broadcasts a WiFI network name to connect customer devices to.
Castles responsibility stops at the power injector. If the customer can connect and has Internet access by plugging into the LAN port of the power injector, then we know the system is working and the cause of an issue most likely is with either the router or some other device – or there could be local interference with the WIFI signal at that location. Should the customer have an Internet issue with no service, our technician will verify the radio is up and responding. If there is no system outage, the technician walks the customer through a series of steps to help identify the problem. One step is to turn off any router the customer has, move the Ethernet cable from the router to a computer and restart. If the customer has Internet at that point, the customer is online and has access. The customer is instructed at that point to check the router troubleshooting guide (often provided online) or contact the router manufacturer. Unfortunately, due to the number of routers available and untold configuration options, Castles does not provide router support.