Due to higher than normal call volumes, we recommend you use our self-serve tool, MyXplornet.com, to activate or manage your account online.
Managing Bandwidth and Data Usage
Most streaming services can be set to lower resolutions to reduce their data requirements and allow for smoother performance. Many services are set to automatically select the video quality by default. However, you can change this setting to a lower level to help with streaming, reduce buffering, or lower the overall data usage from streaming video.
Instructions for how to manage your resolution settings can be found on the Xplornet website:
- Instructions for Netflix
- Instructions for YouTube
- For Prime Video:
- If using the Prime Video app, you can choose between Best, Better, Good and Data Saver in Streaming Quality options. Click on My Stuff, then click the gear icon and select Stream & Download.
- If watching from a PC, these settings are accessible from within the streaming player. While a video is playing, click the gear icon and select from the available options (estimated data usage will be provided for each quality level).
- For Disney+: While streaming quality cannot be manually selected, video quality for videos downloaded for offline viewing can be adjusted. From within the Disney+ app, select your profile image (bottom-right) and then select App Settings. The option called Download Quality allows you to choose between three settings.
Note some streaming services will also allow you to download a program or film to be watched later. Once downloaded, the video is played from your local device and is not dependent on real-time use of your internet connection. This should reduce buffering especially during high-traffic times of day.
Software updates are often downloaded automatically, using large amounts of data. This can be disabled or scheduled for off-peak times with many services. Instructions can be found below for some of the most common software:
- Steam Gaming Service: How to block Steam from updating games automatically
- Apple/Mac computers: Disabling automatic updates. Once set up, you will be prompted to initiate the download of any software updates, rather than the download happening automatically.
- Windows 10: Setting your connection to metered will stop the automatic download of non-critical Windows updates and may also reduce background data usage of some apps.
- Windows 10 also includes a peer-to-peer update service which means participating users not only download updates from multiple sources, but also upload them to other users. Instructions for disabling this setting are found here. Disabling peer-to-peer update sharing should reduce uplink traffic on your connection and help reduce unnecessary data usage.
Some services and operating systems include automatic backup of your data to cloud. If these backups are not vital or can be delayed, you can disable this feature on individual devices. Instructions for Mac and Windows computers are found below:
- Apple iCloud: These instructions include how to disable automatic cloud backups on both your Mac and your iOS devices.
- Microsoft OneDrive: Instructions found here can assist you with temporarily or permanently disabling automatic backups to OneDrive.
Smart Home and Mobile Devices
Some tips are included below for how to reduce the data consumption from digital assistants, smartphones and tablets.
- Smart Home: Smart home devices and digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home may be using more data than you realize. If possible consider turning these devices off when not in use to optimize your bandwidth consumption and local network traffic.
- iOS devices: Modern Apple devices including iPhones and iPads have a Low Data Mode available in the Wi-Fi settings. Instructions for managing this mode are found here.
- Android devices: Data Saver can be enabled in Connection Settings under Data Usage. Instructions can be found here.
- You may also disable automatic updates in your Google Play Store settings.
With the recent increase in work from home arrangements and virtual collaboration, below are some tips to help you get the most from your Xplornet connection when working from home:
- Consider reducing the number of devices on your network during the workday, so that your available bandwidth is reserved for work activities.
- Alternatively, some routers will allow bandwidth caps per device, allowing other household members to maintain basic connectivity while reserving the most bandwidth for telework. Refer to your router manual or manufacturer’s website for more details.
- Some VPNs can reduce your connection speed. If your workplace allows you to telecommute without an always-on connection to VPN, consider enabling it only for those tasks that require it, and leave it disabled by default.
- Set Microsoft Outlook to only download the headers of large emails automatically. This will save bandwidth as emails and attachments above a size you specify will only download if you choose to open them. Instructions on activating this setting for various versions of Outlook can be found here.
Tip and Tricks
These tips will help maximize your connection for remote working and e-learning.
Give video conferencing and e-learning priority in your home
Running multiple applications at the same time can impact the performance of video conferencing and e-learning applications. When you are on a video conference, close other applications you may have open on your computer, schedule automatic backups and large downloads to occur overnight, and coordinate with how other members of your home are using the Internet. For example, have a family member take a break from optional online activities (like gaming, or streaming videos or music) when other family members are on a videoconference or participating in e-learning activities. This will ensure that your most important activities have priority to your bandwidth.
Avoid using video when it’s not needed and limit screen sharing
If you do not need to participate in a videoconference with video, turning off your video stream will minimize the bandwidth you need to participate in the meeting. If you have a home phone or cell phone, dial in to the call instead.
Sharing your computer screen in a meeting also uses more bandwidth than just participating with audio. When you share your screen with other meeting participants, try to limit the amount of time that you need to share your screen.
Try different platforms
Experiment with all the available video conferencing services and see if one works better than the others. Some people will have better luck with Google Meet or Teams than Zoom. For times when you have the ability to choose, use the platform that works best for you.
Optimize the settings in your videoconferencing or e-learning platform to improve performance
Zoom: Make sure to disable HD video.
Google Meet: Set your video resolution to standard definition or set it to “audio only” so that there is no option for video.
Microsoft Teams: Ask the administrator of your Teams account to adjust the bitrate for video and shared media to save on bandwidth.
Billing and Account Changes – Self-Serve Options
Logging in to MyXplornet
To access your account visit www.MyXplornet.com and log in using your username and password (your username, in almost all cases, is the same email address where you receive your Xplornet invoice). If you do not know your password or username, or you have not yet registered for MyXplornet.com, there are links right on the home page to assist you. All you need is your account ID and access to your primary email address.
You can always track your usage at MyXplornet.com. Once logged in, you will see a link on the home page called View My Data Usage. Here you will find usage and quota information for your current bill cycle, as well as historical data for past cycles.
If you need to temporarily suspend your services, you can request this through MyXplornet, by clicking the Request a Temporary Service Suspension button on the home page. From this tool you can enter the beginning and end date of your temporary suspension, as well as a contact email address and phone number.
If you already have a service suspension in place, or have one scheduled for the future, and your plans have changed, you can modify these requests through MyXplornet as well, including removing a temporary suspension effective the next day. Just click the View/Update Your Temporary Service Suspension button and edit the details as needed. Note that suspend/unsuspend requests must be dated at least one day in advance, as these requests are processed overnight automatically.
From within MyXplornet.com, you can:
- Update your payment method: From the home page, click Change Payment Method.
- Make a one-time payment: From the home page, click Make a Payment.
- View your current or past invoices by clicking View My Invoices.
- View your current balance (located directly above the Make a Payment button).
- Review subscription information such as contract start and end dates, as well as home phone plan and usage information.
Xplornet Home Phone
Full control of your Xplornet Home Phone service is at your fingertips. From the MyXplornet home page, click the plus sign next to Home Phone to:
- View or export your usage details.
- Manage calling features such as call forwarding, call waiting and voicemail.
From the home page of MyXplornet.com, click the plus sign next to Email and you can:
- Add a new email address or remove an existing one.
- Update your email password.
- Find a quick link to Xplornet Webmail sign-in.
Activate Your Xplornet Internet Service
If you are a new Xplornet customer, you will need to create a MyXplornet.com account to begin using your connection.
- From MyXplornet.com, click the link marked Don’t have a MyXplornet account yet? Click here to register.
- Enter the email address you provided to Xplornet when signing up.
- Enter your Xplornet Account #.
- Provide the first and last name of the primary account holder.
- Click Sign Up.
Once you have created your account, log in and you will automatically be directed to a Customer Information page. This information should reflect what was given when signing up, but if you notice anything is not accurate, you can correct it on this page. Click Save & Continue.
Finally, you will be prompted to enter your billing information. Select your preferred method of payment: Credit Card or Preauthorized Bank Account. If you select Bank Account, there is a sample cheque to guide you through entering the required information. Note that Visa Debit cards issued by Canadian Banks may be used; these should be entered by selecting the credit card option.
Activate Your Xplornet Home Phone Service:
If you have also signed up for Xplornet Home Phone along with your internet service, you will be automatically redirected to the Home Phone activation process once you enter your billing information. The Xplornet Home Phone activation process consists of three steps:
- E911 Address Information: You will be prompted to enter your physical address. PO Boxes are not accepted. This information is critical as this is the address relayed to emergency services operators when you call 911.
- MAC Address: You then will enter the MAC address of the Xplornet Hub. This information can be found on the back of the Hub itself, or on the box it came in. You can now review the information you have entered, your calling plan, as well as your new Xplornet Home Phone Number. We recommend you save this information for future reference. Click Activate when you are ready.
- Finally, powercycle your Xplornet Hub by disconnecting it from the wall outlet, or using the power button on the Hub. Once it has rebooted, your Xplornet Home Phone service should be operational.