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Fort Collins Internet Provider Explains WiFi vs. Wireless Internet

FRII Home WiFi vs. Wireless InternetMany people think of the terms “WiFi” and “wireless internet” as synonymous. They use WiFi to mean anything from their home broadband internet connection to the free internet service they get at a hotel or a coffee shop. As a leading Fort Collins internet provider, we receive questions about this frequently and understand the confusion. However, getting some clarity on these services can be helpful. This is especially true for choosing the right equipment for use at home and troubleshooting problems with these services.

WiFi and Wireless Internet: Similar, but Different

Here’s the quick explanation of WiFi vs. wireless internet that we give to our Fort Collins internet customers.


First, the term “Wi-Fi” is a trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance. Contrary to what many people believe, it is not short for anything (“wireless fidelity” is a term often suggested to be the origin), as explained by Webopedia. And, WiFi and Wi-Fi are considered to be acceptable.

There was a time when all the devices in a local area network (LAN), such as in an office, had to be connected by physical cables. You’d see the wires coming out from the back of a computer and snaking off in the direction of the server room. Or maybe they’d go up through a conduit into the ceiling to make the same trek. WiFi enables computers, and other devices like printers, to be connected but without the inconvenient wires. So, you can think of WiFi as a wireless LAN in a sense. Notice there is no talk of the internet at this point. And, the WiFi you have in your home serves the same purpose: connecting devices without wires.

Wireless Internet

The internet is what is considered a wide area network (WAN), as it connects many computers from around the world. Or more accurately, it connects many networks, and those networks are connected to many computers. As with LANs, there was a time when you needed to have a physical connection in order to access the internet. Today, however, if you have WiFi in your home and you have internet service, your personal LAN can be connected to the WAN we call the world wide web.


So, to summarize, the WiFi in your home creates a network out of your devices — computers, smartphones, printers, etc. This network can be connected to the internet, but isn’t necessarily.

One of the key takeaways then is that if you are having trouble connecting to the internet through your home WiFi, there are two primary sources of the issue. The first is that there is a problem with a device in your home called a “router” that enables your devices to connect to one another (think of it as the hub on a wheel). The second is that there is a problem with your connection to the internet.

In either case, a provider like FRII that has excellent support will help you resolve the problem quickly and efficiently.

Fort Collins Internet: Creating Connection Clarity

Have questions about our WiFRIIcustom wireless, Ethernet, 10 GB Fiber, or other services? As a longtime provider of Fort Collins internet, we can answer them! Don’t hesitate to get in touch by using our website Contact Us form. You can also stop by our facility or call us at 800-935-6527. We’re happy to help!

Northern Colorado Internet: Why Carrier-Agnostic Matters

Couple using FRII carrier-agnostic internetWhen it comes to Northern Colorado internet service, you can work with a service provider that uses a particular data carrier exclusively, or you can work with one that is “carrier agnostic.” Also called “carrier neutral,” this means that that provider is not in an exclusive relationship with one carrier. Why does it matter whether your provider is involved in one or many relationships? We’ll explain.

Picking the Right Partner

The truth is, you may never know if your Northern Colorado internet provider is carrier agnostic or not. However, there are a number of benefits of relying on one that is. They include:

  • Loyalty to customers over carriers. When a service provider has an exclusive agreement with one data carrier, that carrier has a lot of leverage in the relationship. Contrast that with a carrier-agnostic provider who uses many carriers. In that scenario, the provider can focus more on its relationship with the consumer and less on the carrier’s concerns.
  • Flexibility to take advantage of innovation. Service providers who are exclusive with one carrier can easily find themselves falling behind if another carrier enhances their offering with faster speeds, new services, etc. Can the provider switch allegiance to the other company? Possibly, but contractual obligations and other challenges related to making the change can leave them unable or unwilling to do so.
  • A backup plan. While it’s unlikely that any of the major data carriers would ever suffer a long-term service interruption, what happens to an internet provider who uses on carrier exclusively? It could result in a major inconvenience to their residential customers and a serious problem for their business customers. Carrier-agnostic providers don’t have to worry about that, which means their customers can rest easy as well.

Northern Colorado Internet: Working with the Best in the Business

At FRII, we partner with the most highly regarded data carriers in the business. We’ve got excellent business relationships with companies like:

  • Level 3 Communications
  • MHO Networks
  • Comcast
  • Zayo Group
  • CenturyLink
  • Cambium Networks

This ensures that our customers get the fastest, most reliable Northern Colorado internet today. It also means they can take advantage of advances in the industry whenever they occur. We’re carrier agnostic, and whether they know it or not, our customers reap the benefits. Check out our internet service options, including our: WiFRII (WiFi) wireless, Commercial Ethernet, Commercial Custom Wireless or 10 GB Fiber Internet. To learn more about our services, complete our website Contact Us form, stop by our facility, or call us at 800-935-6527.

What to Look for in Residential Custom Wireless Internet: 6 Key Components

Mother and son on FRII custom wireless internetHome internet needs have changed dramatically in the last decade. We’re surfing, gaming, working, and downloading at a rate today that would have been hard to imagine just a few years ago. Consequently, where you might have been able to get by with any residential internet provider and any internet setup 10 years ago, it’s a different story now. These days, you need custom wireless internet designed around your requirements.

Custom Wireless Internet Built with Your Needs in Mind

You want to create the optimal custom wireless internet environment in your home. Here are six things you want to be sure your provider can offer you:

  1. 24×7 support. Before even getting into the specifics of a provider’s solution, if they don’t have around-the-clock support for your wireless network, you should look elsewhere. Your need for uninterrupted high-speed internet doesn’t end at 5 p.m. In fact, in most households, internet use probably accelerates after “quitting time.”
  2. Comprehensive security measures. You want everything you do through your custom wireless internet solution to be absolutely secure. A provider should be able to set up multiple access groups. That allows you to grant specific users the access they need to particular resources while restricting access to things that aren’t relevant to them.
  3. A solution sized for your needs. It’s important that you can enable internet access for as many people as you would reasonably expect to be using your system at any given time.
  4. Cutting-edge encryption. As part of the security of your system, all of your access points should use the latest technology to encrypt and protect your data (currently WPA2 Enterprise encryption).
  5. Multiple bands. Your wireless internet solution should have access points that operate in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands simultaneously. This allows the system to accommodate any type of wireless network interface adapter.
  6. The right technology. Your internet access should utilize 802.11 A/B/G/N technologies. (IEEE 802.11 is a set of specifications created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for implementing wireless local area networks.)

You Deserve the Best Residential Wireless Internet

You and your family want the ability to move freely around your home while maintaining a strong, uninterrupted internet connection. And with a custom wireless internet solution from FRII, there’s no reason you can’t have it. Our experts can design and implement a system perfectly suited for your unique needs. Ready to learn more? Just complete our website Contact Us form, or call us at 800-935-6527.

Strategies for Staying Safe Online from a Fort Collins Internet Provider

Fort Collins Internet customer hackedThe recent “WannaCry” ransomware attack was unfortunate for those who fell victim to it. But, it serves as an important reminder to everyone that we have to stay vigilant against hackers, identity thieves, and other criminals online. As we tell our Fort Collins internet customers, even people who believe they know how to stay safe on the web should review the list of best practices periodically as a refresher.

How to Stay Ahead of Hackers

Here are some tips for making sure you don’t get burned:

  • Be informed. Watching the news, reading articles, and following tech-related blogs can help make you aware of the latest scams. Get the scoop before you become a victim. Doing so also lets you warn family and friends so they don’t get caught up in them.
  • Look closely at URLs. Hackers may try to lull you into a false sense of confidence by leading you to a bogus website that looks exactly like the real one. It may also have a website address that is nearly the same. Look closely at a site’s URL, especially if it’s a site where you intend to provide credit card or other information.
  • Don’t use a debit card online. While you’d hate for a hacker to steal any of your payment information, you definitely don’t want them to get access to your bank funds. Credit card companies are good about reimbursing people who are the victims of identity theft. Your bank may or may not be so generous.
  • Be VERY cautious about clicking email links. Unless you are absolutely certain that a link in an email is from a trusted source, don’t click it. This is good advice even if it appears to be from an organization you do business with. It’s better to open a browser, type in the site’s address, and navigate to the page you’re being asked to visit.
  • Look for “https” and the padlock icon. If a website’s address doesn’t have these items beside it, indicating the site is secure, you should be suspicious.
  • Create very strong passwords. While it’s easier to remember a password that combines your favorite color and your favorite animal (say, bluecow), that password is also much easier to hack. Something like 4eY349(4#j is going to be much harder for someone to figure out.
  • Protect your Wi-Fi connectivity. We tell our Fort Collins internet customers to protect their network by changing the default settings on routers and other equipment. We also advise them to make sure their connections are password protected.
  • Install security updates promptly. When security updates are released for your operating system, devices, etc., install them right away. The longer you wait, the more you risk being hacked.

Don’t Let the Bad Guys Get the Best of You

The internet is an awesome place to shop, explore, and do business. Just be sure you use caution. If you have questions about our Fort Collins internet services, complete our website Contact Us form, stop by our facility, or call us at 800-935-6527.

Your Northern Colorado Internet Provider: Experience Matters

FRII Your Northern Colorado Internet Provider: Experience Matters (son and father)

When you’re looking for a Northern Colorado Internet provider, there are many characteristics you could consider — everything from data speeds to the types and quality of support offered. As you make your list of selection criteria, one item you should be sure to include is experience.

The ability to provide reliable, high-speed Internet and related solutions isn’t something you have simply by virtue of creating a website and advertising your offering. It takes years of working in this industry (like any industry) to understand how to deliver the best possible service to your customers. You also need to be familiar with all the potential pitfalls you may encounter in your operations and how to avoid them.

FRII has been the leader in Northern Colorado Internet and commercial datacenter services for more than two decades. We own and operate 10 Gbps fiber Internet infrastructure in a number of Colorado communities. This includes Fort Collins, Loveland, and Estes Park. We also provide high-speed, point to point, point to multipoint, and meshed wireless solutions to customers all around the state. FRII knows this business inside and out because we’ve been in it for over 20 years.

Who can You Trust for Your Northern Colorado Internet and More?

Reputation is another important factor to consider when selecting a technology company. In addition to being a Northern Colorado Internet provider, we also own and operate SSAE 16 Type II certified datacenters. These facilities must have cutting-edge systems and advanced security to earn the confidence of our customers. This is especially true for those that handle sensitive data. Some of the names on our client list are a testament to the quality of our datacenters and services. They include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the City of Fort Collins, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The State of Colorado, Computer Associates (one of the world’s largest independent software companies), Arapahoe County, and La Plata County are on there as well. In fact, we provide 24x7x365 network monitoring and support services for over 3,500 customers.

They trust us because of our experience and because our datacenters and Internet infrastructure utilize the latest technology. For example, our Internet connections use the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) for load balancing and automatic failover. And our datacenters are fully redundant and designed with separate dual power feeds, three generators, three uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). They also have 120 tons of cooling, and two independent 10 gigabit fiber connections to the Internet provided by Tier 1 carriers.

Delivering the Quality Internet Experience You and Your Business Expect

Looking for a Northern Colorado Internet provider? We’ve got the experience and the trust of a long list of loyal customers that few can match. If you’ve got questions about FRII’s suite of services, just complete our website Contact Us form, stop by our facility, or call us at 800-935-6527.

Next generation Internet

Fiber Optic Internet

Have we outgrown our Internet?

Are there options people have for usage other than the current options available to us today? What happens when all the members of the city reach its maximum use of the Internet with the current systems in place? We live in a world where we are dependent on Wi-Fi for almost everything we do. From work to play, the Internet in the communal heartbeat that keeps us going. Soon everyone will everyone be on Fiber Optic Internet.

We have shifted into the digital revolution.

Every business depends on internet and our way of work has shifted from the factory model of making products to technical solutions. In America our corporations produce very little goods compared to a few decades ago, and the companies that have products are utilizing the internet to have them sourced across seas. People are creating their own online businesses to sell their niche products. How much Internet does that use?

Home use is astronomical with gaming, remote working, and streaming TV.

American gamer claims in 2016, there are “1.7 gamers in every house and two hands on every controller. Moreover, “Online gamers spend 6.5 hours a week on average playing with others.”

Remote working includes accessing servers and files across our internet connections and sending a plethora of emails.
Our last blog talked about TV streaming habits. On a monthly average, we are streaming 76 hours and 55 minutes per month.

Holy Wi-Fi, how do we maintain this high use?

Fort Collins is proposing a broadband network.

This could mean private entities partnering with the city to provide you Fiber Optic Internet. FRII has already made it a point to Get Fast. FRII’s fiber ring utilizes existing Platte River Power Authority underground cable to enable the fastest, most reliable network in Northern Colorado. Our self-healing 10 Gigabit fiber rings provide your enterprise all the speed you need. Plus, our redundant fiber terminates from several rings at our local facility to ensure connectivity in the event of a fiber breakage.
Keep up with your Internet demands by making the switch to the future of Fiber Optic Internet. Learn about Getting Fast >

Changing the Face of Regular TV

New face of TV

The way we view TV today has changed. If we think of a traditional TV Viewing, we may think of a DVR, cable boxes, and cords that connect us to one network. We are limited to the channels the network provides, the times that are scheduled and the places that we watch the tube. The lifeline is in the cable box. This legacy model is dying and “Traditional TV” viewership is declining across generations. Now you have access to TV anytime, anywhere. Commercials are shifting to Product Placement vs. traditional advertising. A la Carte services allow you to be selective in what you watch. The Future of TV offers a more interactive experience. Internet-based streaming alters the face of regular television.

Traditional TV” viewership

Each year Nielsen releases an audience report about how people view TV.
Here is the breakdown of age demographics on how much TV we consume:

  • Teens (12-17) watched 14 hours and 18 minutes of traditional TV per week in Q2, a rather large 13.5% drop year-over-year and a 36.2% contraction over the past five years;
  • Older Millennials (25-34) watched 20 hours and 56 minutes per week in Q2, a 5.5% decrease year-over-year (up from 3% in Q1) but a more expansive 25.6% drop over five years;
  • Gen Xers (35-49) watched 29 hours per week, just a 1% decrease year-over-year but a 12% decline over a 5-year period;
  • Adults aged 50-64 watched 40 hours and 18 minutes per week, representing a 1% increase year-over-year, but a 1.9% drop over five years; and
  • Adults aged 65 and older watched 48 hours and 38 minutes per week, up 1.2% from the previous year and up by 5.1% over five years.
    Is a network limiting us?

Anytime, Anywhere

TV of the past was a fixed element in the home. Whole rooms in homes are entirely devoted to TV watching. With a shift in technology and handheld devices, you can be anywhere and catch the latest film or series. You do not even have to be sitting down. The same device that keeps you connected to the world through social media, email, or face time, is all you need to tune in.

With that in mind, you can also have a debate from across the world about the Walking Dead episode that has you so heated. The people you share the experience with can be global. The boundaries are broken down with the rise of our virtual TV viewing experience.

Custom Wireless Services are customized for your usage, they are reliable and fast. Every point in your home can be capable of streaming high use data.

Product Placement vs. Ads

A big pro bono to streaming is no commercials. Companies still want an opportunity to promote their latest and greatest products, so ad placement is on the rise. Ad placement taps into your subconscious. The products no longer have one-minute segments to scream about how great they are. Now the film producers can choose sponsor alignment that is in accord with their audience base. You will see more Mac users, Coke drinkers, and Nike wearers and less 30-second pitches.
This is also an opportunity for a more grassroots effort from product companies to use the TV to promote and market items to the world.

Pay What You Use

The TV of the future is a “Personalized Experience.” Suddenly you have the power to subscribe to the services you like. If you only watch HBO, then you get their service. Devices like Roku help you have the streaming channels you use all in one place. You no longer have to sift through endless insignificant channels just to find the very thing made for you. You know what you like. Streaming with makes it easy to access that one thing and leave the others behind.

We all have our favorite things, and we want complete access to it whenever and however we like it. The TV of the future serves up a delightfully satisfying experience that you create as a viewer. It is yours to create, and it is yours to explore.

The Future of TV

Virtual Reality is going to take TV to a whole new level. Imagine yourself in a world of interactivity while streaming your favorite episode. With the rise of VR, it will immerse you in your favorite episodes. It will transport you into the screen with fellow minded viewers from across the globe. You all move through the storyline together. You are interacting with the characters.

To maximize the experience Virtual private servers can be set up in lieu of a physical server. This will grow and expand with your VR options.

The TV of tomorrow will be participatory. Internet-based streaming is changing the act of viewing TV. We no longer are being fed the stories and have to watch and sit. We will react, interact, participate and do. We will be involved and we will feel. It will be both a physical and emotional experience.

Our options are vast, and with the widespread connectivity of Internet-based streaming, we have more freedom in the way we view TV. In theory, everything can be Internet based, your cell phone, your radio, your refrigerator, and even your glasses. This is continually shaping the way we consume media and the media we consume.

The future experience of TV viewing is pleasurable and interactive. No more time barriers, no more commercials, no more network control, only more and more connection to the things you love most.

Binge watch away!

Get FRII Residential Internet to stream all of your TV. We don’t charge you for downloads like some of our competitors. Just email or call 970.212.0700.

What is Fiber?

What is “fiber” Really?

Fiber Optic Cable

In a world of ever expanding technologies, many new hype or jargon words can be thrown around that don’t necessarily come with an easy or readily available explanation. One of those words that you might have heard lately with regards to technology is fiber. While we all know and have used the word fiber when talking about clothing or dietary supplements, do we know what fiber stands for when speaking about technology? Continue reading

What is the Cloud?

What is “the cloud” Really?


We have all seen the TV commercials boasting about the speed and reliability of the cloud, but what s it really? Essentially, the cloud is nothing more than an abstract idea for hosting files on the Internet. Put another way, it is the idea of accessing something on the Internet rather than a physical object. A good example of this is file sharing programs like Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud. Instead of physically moving files over like you would do with a flash drive you can have the same effect but over the Internet. Think of it as a digital locker where you can put your photos and emails and via them from any computer with an Internet connection.

Read on to learn what is the cloud?

People still use dial-up?

close-up image of rotary phone

Although called dial-up, a dial up connection is actually calls out through your computer, not a rotary phone.

When FRII started in 1995, all of our customers were dial-up users. There was no broadband. And we still have many customers on dial-up [1].

Inspired by Verizon’s acquisition of AOL, CNET recently questioned why anyone would still be on dial-up. The answer isn’t that difficult.
So, why do people still use dial-up?