Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Tag: High-Speed Internet (page 1 of 14)

I’m Dreaming of a Wifi Christmas

The turkey leftovers are finally starting to dwindle. You swap recipes for Amazon wish lists and smile at the thought of 2-day shipping. You notice Disney’s The Santa Clause trilogy is coming to Netflix December 12 and set a reminder in your calendar. The Internet has become a helping hand through the holidays. From Cyber Monday deals you can do in your pajamas, to streaming a crackling fireplace on your television because it has become a tradition the kids look forward to each year. The more we lean on that helping hand, the more bandwidth we demand and higher speeds are needed.

Make sure all your electronic devices operate smoothly this Christmas season by adding Great Plains Communications high-speed Internet service. In addition to receiving the top speeds in your area, we’ll include an Amazon gift card and FREE installation! Bundle your service to earn the maximum gift card benefit!

 

Not sure what speed is right for your family?

Click Here to take our interactive test.

 

Call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 to learn more about what’s available in your area.

Some restrictions apply, residential customers only. Services must be maintained for 6 months. Failure to do so will result in an early termination fee equal to the amount of the gift card received. Speeds and availability may vary by location.

*Restrictions apply, see amazon.com/gc-legal

Stay Secure this Cyber Monday

People often associate chaos and risk with Black Friday and not so much Cyber Monday. Rather than mobs running through aisles, they picture themselves safe on their couch with a blanket and cup of coffee. What people don’t understand is that all Cyber Monday has done is take the craziness of Black Friday and opened it up to the World Wide Web. Great Plains Communications wants to provide tips to protect yourself when shopping online.

The three tips we will cover are:

  • How to spot fake shopping websites
  • Keep your software updated
  • A credit card is safer to use than a debit card

 

Fake Websites

With targeted ads and pop-ups, it can seem as if the best deals are right in front of our faces. But even a secure looking ad or link could take you to a fake shopping website. From there, your computer could either be infected the moment you arrive or by malicious links within. However, where you want to be the most careful is during the checkout process. Below we have listed some giveaways that will help spot a fake website.

  • Is it a strange URL like the one in the graphic above?
  • Are they selling an odd selection of products? For example, you went to the website for the dress you saw in the ad but see they also sell computer parts.
  • Does the copy have an abundance of grammar and spelling errors? Most companies will have a copywriter whose job is to expertly write intros and product descriptions.
  • Is the customer service contact email a little off? For example, it would not be ebaysupport@support.com but support@ebay.com. Don’t get tricked by familiar terms.
  • Are the prices too good to be true? Is the website trying to sell an iPhone X for $100? It is probably a scam.

 

Software Updates

Having out-of-date versions or unpatched software is like having a target for malware, leaving you vulnerable to exploit kits. At the least, make sure to have your browser updated when shopping online. This will ensure your cookies and cache are more secure against data leaks.

We are all guilty of rolling our eyes at the little update bubble. It’s time consuming and most of the time the changes are behind the scenes so we write them off as insignificant. But it is the information behind the scenes that is keeping your data protected.

 

Credit Card vs. Debit Card

The main advantage to using a credit card versus a debit card is that a credit card has better consumer protection. In the case that someone did obtain your information, you wouldn’t be liable for fraudulent transactions. With a debit card, depending on when you report the missing card or fraudulent transactions, you could be on the hook for the entire amount. No matter what kind of card you use, it is always smart to monitor your accounts after online shopping.

Internet Search Tips

Not sure of the capital of Portugal? Can’t remember who played Chunk in The Goonies? What’s the weather going to be like Friday night? Google it.

The internet is full of more information than we could imagine or even retain. While this is an exciting fact, it can also make for long tiresome searches as you wade through pages of results. Great Plains Communications has a few tips to help streamline your search.

  1. To help with a more specific search, try using the AROUND feature. It allows you to find articles with two key words not only on the same page, but inside a specific number of words apart. For example, if you wanted to search for articles on Selena Gomez and lipstick within 8 words of each other, it would look like the following:

“Selena Gomez” AROUND(8) “Lipstick”

  1. Instead of including an additional topic in your search, maybe you want to find results excluding a topic. For that you would use the minus sign. For example, if you wanted to search for washers and dryers but didn’t want the stacked option, it would look like:

“washer and dryer -stacked”

  1. You have found an article you like, but it is long. Do a quick search of the article for a key word or phrase by pressing Control + F (Windows) or Command + F (Mac).
  2. You have been working hard and finally found the information you have been looking for, but you accidentally close the tab. In most modern browsers, just press Control + Shift + T (Windows) or Command + Shift + T (Mac) and it will come right back up.

Last Chance for Back-to-School Special!

Don’t miss our Back-to-School Special, as it comes to a close next week! Not only can you save money by bundling services, but right now you can also receive up to a $100 bill credit.

Great Plains Communications is excited to celebrate the launch of NEW services and NEW options in your area, along with NEW tools on our website.

 

NEW Bundle Offer

Combine services and save up to 37%

$100 Bill Credit for new customers who bundle all three services*

$50 Bill Credit for new customers who bundle two services

$50 Bill Credit for existing customers who add one or more service

FREE Installation

 

NEW Bundle

Streaming Bundle**
Access your favorite prime time entertainment and news in real-time with our Basic Cable package, while streaming additional content on your Smart TV or tablet utilizing a high-speed Internet connection.

 

NEW Tools

Visit our newly updated, forward thinking website, complete with interactive tools to help you determine the best service options for your home with the “What Speed Do You Need?” and “Build a Bundle” tools.

 

If you have questions over what services we offer in your area, or would like to sign up, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

* $100 BILL CREDIT ONLY AVAILABLE WHERE VOICE, CABLE TV, AND INTERNET ARE AVAILABLE.
** STREAMING BUNDLE AVAILABLE IN SELECT CABLE TV COMMUNITIES ONLY.

Business Appreciation – Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park

Great Plains Communications is proud to highlight another one of our business customers, Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park in Antelope County, NE.

This national treasure called Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park got its start about 12 million years ago. At that time, a volcano in southwest Idaho spread a blanket of ash over many miles, and one or two feet of this powder covered the flat savannah-like grasslands in northeastern Nebraska. Within several weeks, animals gathered around a waterhole in the area died, and their bodies were covered by ash. This preserved their skeletons for today’s paleontologists to study and the public to see.

Travel Back in Time

Visitors have access to interpretive displays and the fossil preparation laboratory and can ask the paleontologists there about their work. The park also includes the Hubbard Rhino Barn, where new fossil discoveries continue to be unearthed. Fossil evidence at the site reveals complete, articulated skeletons of large mammals, birds and turtles, as well as seeds of grasses and trees.

Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park is in Antelope County, four miles east and six miles north of the village of Orchard. Due to its remote location far from a population center, getting adequate communications services has been a challenge.

A Need for More Bandwidth

Superintendent Rick Otto notes, “The satellite Internet service we’ve been using is limited in speed, and its lag time disrupts any interactive transmissions we’re trying to host. In addition, many of our callers have complained about the poor audio quality of the current phone system. Clearly, changes needed to be made since the local provider was simply not able to provide the level of technology we require.”

To develop a solution to these challenges, Great Plains Communications has been in discussion for several years with the State of Nebraska on a fiber project to bring more bandwidth to Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park. The installation is scheduled for completion in August 2017. Funding of the fiber optic cable was made possible by a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

What is Otto expecting after Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park becomes a customer of Great Plains Communications? He replies, “I expect to see a night-and-day difference between our new fiber Internet service compared to our current satellite service. I am also looking forward to having significantly better audio quality during our phone calls. What’s more, I appreciate how friendly and informative the team from Great Plains Communications has been during the planning process.”

Virtual Field Trips

The vastly improved speed of fiber Internet from Great Plains Communications will be especially beneficial. Otto explains, “We’re open seven months a year and get about 20,000 visitors annually. The park is operated entirely with funds generated by admissions fees and gift shop sales; we receive no tax dollars. After Great Plains Communications finishes the installation of fiber Internet service here, we’ll have the speed we need to offer virtual field trips to classrooms all over the world.”

He adds, “These virtual field trips will be a win-win addition to our educational services. Schools will benefit by being able to give students the feel of visiting Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park without the time and expense of travel. And the park will benefit by bringing in the additional revenues generated by the fees for virtual field trips.”

Great Plains Communications is honored to help enhance the capabilities of Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park. It’s one example of our longstanding commitment to Nebraska.

New Services and Great Deals

The school year is in full swing and our back-to-school promotion is just about over. Don’t miss out on not only bundling your services and saving 37%, but right now you could also receive up to a $100 Bill Credit!

Great Plains Communications is excited to celebrate the launch of NEW services and NEW options in your area, along with NEW tools on our website.

 

NEW Bundle Offer

Combine services and save up to 37%

$100 Bill Credit for new customers who bundle all three services*

$50 Bill Credit for new customers who bundle two services

$50 Bill Credit for existing customers who add one or more service

FREE Installation

 

NEW Bundle

Streaming Bundle**
Access your favorite prime time entertainment and news in real-time with our Basic Cable package, while streaming additional content on your Smart TV or tablet utilizing a high-speed Internet connection.

 

NEW Tools

Visit our newly updated, forward thinking website, complete with interactive tools to help you determine the best service options for your home with the “What Speed Do You Need?” and “Build a Bundle” tools.

 

If you have questions over what services we offer in your area, or would like to sign up, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

* $100 BILL CREDIT ONLY AVAILABLE WHERE VOICE, CABLE TV, AND INTERNET ARE AVAILABLE.
** STREAMING BUNDLE AVAILABLE IN SELECT CABLE TV COMMUNITIES ONLY.

New School Year and New Service Options

What used to be a time of burying noses into books and handouts has turned into hours online; reading, researching, and working through digital activities. High-speed Internet is no longer a luxury in education, but a necessity to succeed. We understands how essential a fast connection is and would like to make sure you are getting the speeds you need as the kids head back to school.

Great Plains Communications is excited to celebrate the launch of NEW services and NEW options in your area, along with NEW tools on our website.

 

NEW Bundle Offer

Combine services and save up to 37%

$100 Bill Credit for new customers who bundle all three services*

$50 Bill Credit for new customers who bundle two services

$50 Bill Credit for existing customers who add one or more service

FREE Installation

 

NEW Bundle

Streaming Bundle**
Access your favorite prime time entertainment and news in real-time with our Basic Cable package, while streaming additional content on your Smart TV or tablet utilizing a high-speed Internet connection.

 

NEW Tools

Visit our newly updated, forward thinking website, complete with interactive tools to help you determine the best service options for your home with the “What Speed Do You Need?” and “Build a Bundle” tools.

 

If you have questions over what services we offer in your area, or would like to sign up, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

* $100 bill credit only available where Voice, Cable TV, and Internet are available.
** Streaming Bundle available in select Cable TV communities only.

 

Facebook Tips You Might Have Missed

As you have probably noticed, social media sites are constantly updating with new features and layouts. This can be great, but it can also lead to users missing out on certain features, due to not even knowing they were added. Great Plains Communications wants to highlight a couple Facebook tips to look out for next time you are browsing through your newsfeed.

 

Following a Post

Have you ever come across a post in your newsfeed or swap group, that you want to keep track of? There is no need to comment, “following” or really comment anything at all. All you need to do is go to the small arrow in the top right corner of the post and choose the option “Turn on notifications for this post”. From there, you will get a notification each time somebody comments on the post, or if the original creator changes something. To later turn off notifications for the post, you will follow the same steps, however it will read “Turn off notifications for this post.”

 

Checking Your Apps

We have all taken the quiz to find out what flavor ice cream we are or clicked the article heading that Facebook clearly targeted to our interests. If not that, you have probably logged-in to something and when asked if you wanted to log-in using your Facebook, you were grateful for the convenience. While these types of things are just that, convenient, they can also be risky. By not reading the pop-ups as you click through these posts, you can miss things like allowing them to “access your contacts and information.” This can lead to giving a company or even scammers access to your Facebook page or personal information. To check who you have given access to, you can check your App Settings. To do this, follow the directions below:

 

Go to Settings from the drop-down arrow in the top right.

 

Go to Apps in the column on the left.

 

You will find all the Apps you have given access to. Delete any that are unnecessary or are not familiar.

Troubleshooting At Home

Having problems with your Internet connection can be frustrating and confusing. After your first 12 tries at the refresh button, you restart the device. All that does is gives you a few minutes to contemplate just how frustrated you are. It still doesn’t work. Great Plains Communications wants to give you a few tips on how to troubleshoot the problem to either solve the issue, or provide you with helpful information for tech support in assisting you further.

 

First off, what are you having an issue with?

 

Email

When having problems with your email, ask yourself the following questions before panicking and continuously hitting resend.

 

  • Did you go over your quota in your mailbox?
  • Is it not sending to a certain email or to all email accounts?
  • If you send group emails, are you getting an error stating you sent too much mail? If so, are you registered for mass email agreement with Great Plains Communications?

 

Modem & Router

If you don’t have an Internet connection reaching any of your devices, it might be your modem that is causing the problem. Your modem is what allows data to travel over a phone line from your device to the Internet. The router then connects all other devices to the modem. So if the only problem seems to be the connection to your tablet or laptop, the issue is more likely in the router.

 

  • Is your ADSL or DSL light flashing? This means the modem is not connected
  • Is there a red Internet light on? This means your DSL modem is not getting an IP to connect.
  • Is your Ethernet light on or off? This will determine if the connected device is online.

 

Specific Website

If you are having problems with a specific website that will not load or is continuously giving you an error, the first step you could take is entering the link into “Down For Everyone Or Just For Me.” This site will help you determine if the problem is with your device. If it comes back that the problem is with your device, there are numerous things it could be, from something in your computer stopping the stream of data reaching the Internet to really anything along the way.

These are just three of the many common problems users may experience with their home networks. If troubleshooting the problem on your own does not work, follow these last few steps in contacting our tech support and they will be happy to help you.

 

  • Make sure you have your account number ready.
  • Be sure to be in front of your computer, to enable you to walk through tech suggestions step by step.
  • Expect to be on the phone for a minimum of 20 minutes, as it can take some time for a tech to pinpoint the exact issue.
  • Have all your findings from doing your own troubleshooting ready.
  • Call 1-855-853-1483, Option 1

Don’t Forget About Spring Cleaning Your Electronics!

It is officially spring, which doesn’t just mean cleaning the carpets and landscaping the yard. Great Plains Communications wants to remind you that your electronics could probably use some cleaning as well.

Has your documents folder become the junk drawer of your computer? Or worse yet, is it your desktop that is cluttered with untouched files circa 2015? You don’t notice until your once fleeting load time has become more of a bathroom break between tasks. We have some specific steps and programs to consider when starting the process of spring cleaning your computer or tablet.

 

Erase Unwanted Files

Get rid of those research papers from college, articles you were meaning to read a year ago, and any pictures you could keep on a USB flash drive. By deleting files, you clear up storage space, making it easier and faster for your computer to find information.

 

Update Software

By not keeping your software up-to-date, you aren’t allowing it to be the best version of itself. Skipping multiple updates will cause your loading times to increase rapidly. Make sure to keep not only your software updated, but also your virus protection. For computers with built-in virus protection, sit back and relax while your software update does all the work for you.

 

Defrag Hard Drive

Defragmentation is simply speeding up read times on the hard drive, by moving sequential data physically close together so that it doesn’t have to search the entire drive to find specific data. One way to do this is with Great Plains Communications’ Tech Home. With Tech Home, you are provided with world-class security for all devices, home and on the go, while also having access to 24/7 “Live” tech support. If you would like to find more information on the Tech Home services, go to https://www.gpcom.com/residential/internet/techhome or call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

 

There are multiple ways to increase performance speeds on your computer, but take the time this season to find which ways work best for you.

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