Frequently Asked Questions

spacer

FAQ

Section: What is SoldierNET

Q: What is SoldierNET?

A: SoldierNET is an Internet Access service provided to military locations. Use of the SoldierNET is limited to personal use only and it is not permitted to use it to carry out official MOD business.

Section: Getting connected

Q: How do I connect?

A: Detailed instructions are provided in the How To... section.

Q: I get a message "Your maximum never usage time has expired"

A: This just means that there is no credit left on your account. This is normally caused by a monthly payment not being processed by your bank or by paypal. We do not get told why the payment has been refused. It can be because you have been given a new card. Paypal retry failed payments on the 6th then the 11th of each month.
If you cant wait that long - or if the card details need changed
1. Switch off any games consoles and disconnect any registered devices or phones
2. Log in to "My Account"
3. Unsubscribe
4. Resubscribe - payment is taken immediately
5. Leave consoles and registered devices disconnected for 15 minutes after payment before reconnecting them.

Q: My connection is rejected saying I am already connected. But I am not.

A: For some reason the service still thinks you are logged in. This might happen if a power failure caused a part of the network to be shutdown or a network fault caused a logout record to be missed. You can easily fix this yourself as follows:
1. Log in to the My Account
2. Click the "disconnect all" link beside the list of active sessions
3. Click the "Connect/Disconnect"
If you cannot connect immediately then you may need to disconnect from the network for 15 minutes after this for it to work.

Q: My games console/phone/registered device has stopped working.

A: Check the status of your account and current connections on the "My Account" page. If the device is showing connected but you dont think the connection is current then follow the instructions on the previous question to clear old sessions. If the IP address you have on your device is different to the one on the current session list then the session has expired and will need disconnected.

Q: Yes but I am still having problems

A: Phone us and we will investigate Support Page

Q: My windows 7 PC or Laptop will not connect to the wireless access point?

A: Windows 7 has been shipped with broken network drivers for the atheros chipset. There is more information available here about the Atheros Bug.

Q: My Vista computer keeps losing the connection?

A: There are a number of problems with Vista.
Vista loses default gateway IP address after wakeup
Vista has a problem waking up after a sleep whereby it forgets the gateway information provided to it from DHCP. If the default gateway is not shown when doing an "ipconfig /all" at the command line then this may be the cause. A permanent fix is available in Service Pack 1. See the attached knowledgebase article for more details.
Note that doing an "ipconfig /renew" at the command line will provide a temporary workaround by refreshing the gateway address.
See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933872

Vista shows 2 default gateways
Running "ipconfig /all" at the command line shows 2 default gateways one of which is "0.0.0.0", and the other the correct SoldierNET gateway 192.168.240.1. The quick solution to this is to open a command prompt window (Start Menu -> type "CMD" and hit enter in the "Start Search" window. Typing "route delete 0.0.0.0" will remove the faulty gateway. This is not a good long term solution.
The cause is an error in Vista with the IPv6 protocol. The solution is to disable IPv6 functionality in Vista.
To disable IPv6 in Vista:
1. Open Network Connections from the Control Panel
2. Right-click on your active, Local Area Connection and select "Properties"
3. Un-check "Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)", "Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper I/O Driver", and "Link-Layer Topology Discovery Responder" in the list. Click OK
4. Restart the computer

Q: What if I dont find the answer here?

A: Support for SoldierNET is also provided by phone and by email. Access to all support services, the SoldierNET site and account details is completely free. You can connect directly to the SoldierNET site from any network without needing an account and without needing to sign-in.

Q: How do I: contact your customer help line?

A: The phone number and all our contact details are on the Support Page

Q: Is my usage metered?

A: Not exactly. We use Quality of Service (QoS) software which attempts to optimise usage for a broad range of applications and to provide fair use to all users. This is designed to try and balance competing needs for bandwidth and response times. The QoS software monitors traffic in order to optimise algorithms but we do not record usage.

Q: How does QoS work?

A: There a description along with a couple of charts on a separate page: Quality of Service.

Section: Questions about Security

Q: Is it secure?

A: Security on the Internet is inherently weak and any data that you transmit, either by email or whilst browsing the web, will be transmitted in a form that could potentially be picked up and viewed by others. You should bear this in mind when deciding whether to transmit private information such as bank details. SoldierNET is NOT cleared for classified material.
We do however provide the following security measures: All hotspots are protected from the internet by a firewall. All hotspots encrypt traffic between your PC and the SoldierNET network. All users are segmented into a private virtual LAN.

Q: What about viruses?

A: You should always keep anti-virus software up to date on your PC. You can get free anti-virus software from http://free.grisoft.com/. Each PC that connects to a hotspot is treated as if it is the only one connected and will be prevented from communicating directly with any other PC. Other PCs will not be able to communicate with your PC and vice versa.

Q: What else can I do to protect my PC?

A: The ITSafe website, a government service run by the Home Office, provides a free service which is designed to provide you with plain English advice that can help protect your PC from malicious attacks.

Q: Will other users be able to connect to my PC?

A: Not through the SoldierNET network. Every user is segmented into their own virtual network. You will not be able to connect directly to another users PC and they cannot connect to yours.

Q: Can I connect using an MOD PC or laptop?

A: No. You must never attempt to connect any official MOD equipment to a SoldierNET private network. You should complete a "User Security Operating Procedures" form and give it to the site IT Security Officer (ITSO) prior to using SoldierNET.

Section: Questions about user account handling

Q: How do I: register for an account

A: Click the Subscribe option on the website.

Q: How do I: top-up my prepaid voucher?

A: If you wish to top-up your voucher, simply go to the SoldierNET site and click "log in". Then enter your username and password when prompted. You can access your wireless internet account history and overview. Here can you top-up your account by clicking the "top-up" button.

Q: How do I: see how much time I have left on my pre-paid voucher?

A: If you would like to check your Pre-Paid WiFi account usage in real-time, go to the SoldierNET site at SoldierNET, and click My Account, enter your account details to log in. You can then view how much time is left on your Pre-Paid account. You will also be able to top-up your account here, simply by clicking on the "top-up" button displayed on-screen.

Q: Do i need to pay VAT?

A: Yes at the current UK rate. We do not currently offer the service to locations outside the UK.

Q: Unlimited: how do i pay each month?

A: One the 1st of each month, the monthly fee will be automatically deducted from the credit card you used during the subscription process. You can change the credit card used at any time by logging in to your account on the SoldierNET website.

Q: My monthly payment failed - what now?

A: Paypal will automatically retry the payment in 5 days time. (We have no control over the delay). If you cant wait that long then go to the "My Account, More info" section to see your subscription details. Select unsubscribe, then re-subscribe using a card that will complete the transaction. Failed payments will be retried up to 3 times (all at 5 day intervals). If the payment fails 3 times then that month will be skipped and no further attempts will be made during the skipped month. Payments will resume again on the 1st of the following month. You will not be charged for the skipped month but will be unable to use the internet from that account during that time.

Q: What happens when I deploy?

A: If you are going to deploy simply login to your account and unsubscribe. You will be able to continue to use the service right up to the time you have paid for. You can easily resubscribe at any time or buy shorter duration vouchers if required.

Section: Questions about Consoles and XBox 360

Q: Can I use my XBox or XBox 360?

A: You can use an XBox 360 - but you cannot use an XBox. Only the XBox 360 is compatible. You will have to upgrade to the latest dashboard. We have found that the older dashboard will not work consistently.

Q: Can I use my Playstation?

A: Playstations and PS3s work

Q: How do I connect my Console?

A: You will need to phone us and tell us the MAC address of the console. This will then be linked to your account and be given the same access as your account. The next time you switch on the console it will connect automatically.

Q: Where do I find the MAC address of my XBox 360?

A: 1. Go to the "System" area of the Xbox Dashboard
2. Select "Network Settings"
3. Select "Edit Settings." or "Configure Settings" depends on which XBox you have
4. Select "Additional Settings"
5. Select "Advanced Settings"
At the bottom of this screen you'll see a heading called "Wired MAC Address," which is your MAC address

Q: Where do I find the MAC address of my PS3?

A: 1. Power up the PlayStation 3 without any disc in the drive.
2. Once the PlayStation 3 operating system has loaded, select "Settings."
3. Once you are in "Settings" select "Network Settings."
4. When the "Network Settings" list appears, select the first option which is titled "Settings and Connection Status List."
The physical address will be listed under "MAC Address."

Section: Questions about getting SoldierNET

Q: I am a manager at a site that wants SoldierNET - how do I get it?

A: Get in touch with us at Incito and we will arrange a free no obligation survey of your site. For details see our Contacts page.

Q: What is the process?

A: The process is straight forward.
1. You request a survey.
2. Incito survey the premises and provide a proposal
3. If accepted we will provide the drawings and design necessary for the SCIDA application
4. Once SCIDA approve the design Incito install the service and make it operational

Q: What information do I need to provide?

A: We will need to estimate anticipated usage so you will need to tell us how many people are resident in the proposed site, how many transient visitors, and approximate occupancy rates. If there is more than one building you will need to supply plans of any ducts between the buildings.

Q: How long does it take?

A: We will schedule a survey as soon as it is convenient, then submit a proposal within a few days. The physical wiring and installation time depends on the nature of the installation. It may take a few hours or a few days depending on the complexity of the installation.

Q: What do I need to provide?

A: You will need to provide a power outlet suitable for the equipment. This is a standard domestic grade 240v outlet. Power to the access points is then distributed across our local network by our Power over Ethernet (POE) equipment. POE has a limit of 100m so if the network needs to span a greater distance than that you will need to supply additional outlets.

Q: Who maintains the equipment?

A: We do. We have a program of upgrades to ensure that the equipment is up to date. We monitor error rates and try to ensure that we proactively monitor the equipment's serviceability.

Q: What happens when it breaks?

A: If we don't already know about the fault then let us know. We will come and fix it. You can check the status of all locations and any known faults on our web site.

Section: What can the service be used for?

Q: What channels do you use?

A: We use channels 1-11 normally. For a better explanation please see our Channels oage.

Q: How do I: connect to my bank/building society?

A: Connect to the SoldierNET service first then access your bank/building society site as normal. Note that the SoldierNET service does not provide any additional security. You should only use internet banking and other sensistive personal services if you are satisfied with the level of security that they offer.

Q: Can I: send and receive emails?

A: At many WiFi hotspots you can send and receive emails without any problems. However some hotspots have blocked the outgoing email port (port 25) to avoid spam - we don't. We do not however provide email services suchas pop or imap, for those you will need to sign up for an email account with an appropriate provider.

Q: Can I: host my own website?

A: No. The hotspot networks are separated from the Internet by firewalls. These will prevent incoming traffic from being directed to your web server.

Q: Can I use VoIP services, streaming video or video conference at a SoldierNET hotspot?

A: Yes, once you have successfully logged in at a SoldierNET hotspot you can user your Skype, Google Talk, MSN Messenger or any other application that allows you to start a (video) conversation. Note that you must use a service that is firewall and NAT friendly.

Q: Can I use the SoldierNET service on my Skype / WiFi phone?

A: Yes, if your WiFi phone has an internet browser, that enables you to enter your SoldierNET username and password when prompted, then you can access all SoldierNET hotspots. Your Skype/WiFi phone must be firewall and NAT friendly.