Frequently Asked Questions

Our team at Mage is excited to provide reliable high-speed Internet service to rural and remote areas. However, deploying a new technology comes with many questions. We’ve compiled our most frequently asked questions below. If you don’t see an answer to your question,  please send us a note at info@mage-networks.com 

Yes! Mage Networks is a Canadian company, with offices in Bragg Creek, Alberta and Calgary, Alberta. 

Our network is a new breed of mesh networks. Unlike cellular towers, we use a series of interconnected nodes, instead of all units having to connect to one access point. We place as many nodes as needed wherever they are needed to bring Internet access directly to a specific area and guarantee no data rate loss. That means that even obstacles like trees or buildings – even the weather – do not impact the signal strength and you’ll have reliable high-speed Internet. In effect, the connection is made where it’s needed and not where it’s not needed (such as cows in a pasture getting great service from a nearby tower).

MagiNet™  is a solution to a world problem – unreliable or inaccessible Internet developed in Alberta, Canada by the team here at Mage Networks. MagiNet™  can go through trees, over hills, and travel long distances to deliver high-speed Internet anywhere. Plus, we’re the only ISP with Guaranteed Streaming Bandwidth™  

The question of health effects on people as a result of the Electro-Magnetic (EM) waves used in communications systems (such as Wi-Fi, 4G, LTE, and 5G) is an important one. As such, we’ve been asked specifically about the effect of MagiNet™ on one’s health.

Here’s some information to consider:

Some studies have shown that there is a link between high levels of EM exposure and cancer in male rats. The same study shows that for female rats and mice (both female and male) the evidence is unclear. The same study also shows that life expectancy for the male rats exposed is higher than that of the control group.
The study exposed the rats and mice to high levels of radiation for far longer than any human would be exposed to (9 hours per day, at 1 to 4 times the maximum allowed level from cell phones).
Power levels decline rapidly with distance. The most significant impact comes from devices closest to a person. For example, a cell phone is constantly trying to reach the tower to tell it where it is. This transmitted power is much higher than the received power from the tower and is closest to you. The transmitted power varies with the distance between the cell phone and the cell tower. However, even then the power emitted from phones very low compared to sunlight which can put up to 1000 watts (10,000 times more than a cell phone) on your body when you walk outdoors. The power from just the Ultra-Violet (UV) rays from the sun is 30 watt and our bodies have evolved to deal with these kinds of heating effects. The EM waves from communications devices are millions of times lower than naturally occurring ones.
Electromagnetic waves of some high frequencies such as Ultraviolet, X-Rays and Gamma do have serious effects (though moderate amounts of these ultra high frequencies are beneficial: UV helps metabolise Vitamin D for strong bones, X-Rays are used for medical diagnostics all the time and Gamma rays are used in radiation therapy to kill cancer cells.) Even still, Ultraviolet is 100,000 to 10 million times higher frequency than what MagiNet™ uses; X-Rays are 10 Million to 10 Billion times higher and Gamma Rays are even higher.
With MagiNet™ we place the units outside the home, they beam away from the building and we mount them in shields so the leakage into the house is much lower than what is emitted by the devices already in the house. Additionally, the exterior walls or roof decreases the incoming radiation and the use of directional antennas ensures that beams are focused and don’t spread out everywhere.

Sources: https://www.emfscientist.org/

Our technology, MagiNet™ provides symmetrical speed. This means that the upload and download speeds have the same maximum limit. Mage doesn’t cut corners on bandwidth and we’re the only ISP that has implemented Guaranteed Streaming Bandwidth™ 

At Mage, we have Guaranteed Streaming Bandwidth™, ensuring that you can always do a lot more than surf the Internet, check your email or scroll social media. Our GSB is a minimum guarantee and means you will never have more than a certain number of customers sharing your bandwidth and that your speed will never drop below 7 Mbps.

How can we do this? Our 100 Mbps Data Pipeline will never have more than 14 customers on it; our 1 Gbps Data Pipeline will never have more than 140 customers on it. It doesn’t matter if the entire network has 200 or 2000 customers, we don’t cut corners on bandwidth and will purchase a minimum bandwidth that meets our GSB.

The wizardry of MagiNet™ is that we can easily increase the overall capacity of the whole network or of a branch of the network using our concept of  New Bandwidth Introduction™ (NBI™).  With NBI™, the investment needed grows with the number of customers we have. If, for example, a certain group of customers is being served by a 100 Mbps Data Pipeline exceeding the limit of 14, we would install a 1 Gbps Data Pipeline over the same path, enable that capacity, then take down the 100 Mbps devices to deploy elsewhere. So with almost no interruption in service and a small incremental investment of time and money, the 14 original customers can now be up to 140. 

Using New Bandwidth Introduction™ (NBI™), the network gets upgraded whenever any of these factors change in a way that might impact the guarantee.

Recognizing our customers’ need for these critical services to operate at peak performance levels, Mage Networks has implemented GSB™, or Guaranteed Streaming Bandwidth™, to all Internet service offerings.  The GSB™ ensures the MagiNet™ service delivers to all customers the guaranteed minimum bandwidth required to operate these essential services. 

Our network is a combination of fiber and our own technology, MagiNet™ Therefore, our Internet service isn’t based on a tower or cellular service; we use mesh technology. 

MagiNet™ is formed by hardware and firmware designed by our team and seamlessly uses wireless and wired connections to create wireless coverage over, under, and around any sized area without degradation in speed or consistency. Our network (MagiNet™) doesn’t rely on towers or satellites. Unlike other service providers, we can go through and around trees, valleys, and difficult terrain to deliver high-speed broadband anywhere. We use data pipelines in a series of small hops where the locations are strategically selected to distribute the data from central locations. Those data pipelines carry multiple signals in multiple directions, intelligently choosing whichever routes will avoid obstacles and interference with other data pipelines. The data automatically zips on and off wired and wireless connections to maximize efficiency.

Ultimately, our technology MagiNet™ directly connects any home and business in an area that wants our Internet service.

Our Mission at Mage Networks is to connect everyone, everywhere to reliable, high-speed internet. Please send us a message and we'd be happy to look into it.  

MagiNet™ works by bringing the Internet to your home wirelessly. We install a small antenna (not much bigger than a smartphone) on the exterior of your home. This connects to our wireless network in the community. From the antenna installed on your home, we run an ethernet cable to the inside of your house. From that cable, you can connect to a Wi-Fi router.

At your home, you tell us where you want our ethernet cable to terminate and we'll need access to power. If your community typically encounters power issues, we recommend that you get a surge-protected
power bar.

If your home is a relay (only with your approval) then we would supply you an Uninterruptible Power Supply to keep the network up during brownouts or blackouts.

There are two (2) options: 

  1. Use no router, and directly connect your computer to the ethernet cable we provide. (This limits the number of devices you connect.)
  2. Use your own router both wired and wireless. 

The actual installation time can vary based on the type of residence. However,  average installation time once our installer is on-site is approximately two hours. 

We currently offer Residential Internet Service and Business Internet Service. To learn more about our packages, you can find more information here: https://www.mage-networks.com/internet/

We’ve done our best to simplify our Terms and Conditions so that you don’t need a law degree to understand them. You can find them here: https://www.mage-networks.com/conditions/

We are regulated and licensed by the CRTC. Additionally, we meet the internet code which was applied to the Big 10 back in January (however, we do so voluntarily.) Here’s more information about the Internet Code and its applications: https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/internet/code.htm

Yes. MagiNet™ is well suited to this application.

Absolutely. We recently completed a test in a heavily treed area with great success. Our system works well in trees because the units are kept relatively close to one another, and we have options to go through, around, and under trees to avoid being affected by blocking of leaves and foliage. See our recent blog regarding a treed area.

Most providers that quote “up to” speed have an over-subscription rate that greatly affects real speed. Typically this is a factor of 10. So, if their “up to” speed is 25 Mbps, and 10 people are on the network, then those users might only get 2.5 Mbps. With MagiNet™, you can expect performance to be 3 – 5 times better than what you are now accustomed to. MagiNet™ Data Pipelines can support 1 Gbps.

Our networks are not 5G.

5G is a cellular phone standard, we‘re using Wi-Fi as the basis but modifying the devices to be part of MagiNet™. Our frequencies are the Wi-Fi frequencies: 2.4 GHz, 5.x GHz, and 60 GHz.

Our Data Pipelines are constructed by placing our special relays in locations such that we get high data rates, overcome obstacles and trees, while being able to reach long distances. Calling them Data Pipelines was to indicate that they carry the data with no loss for very long distances, as opposed to a lot of other wireless (and some wired) technologies.

Our data pipeline is capable of 1 Gbps in speed. Its capacity is 1 Gbps times the number of pipelines. Depending on the topography, you can put a number of data pipelines into a given area, and you can use this to increase capacity. For instance, in areas of rough terrain or trees, you could actually put in several data pipelines, as the trees/rugged terrain create the isolation needed to prevent interference. Buildings and homes can also be used to create the necessary isolation.

Our technology works like this: simply install it, and forget it. The radios we use are doing very simple functions that are well within their capabilities. The more challenging world you’re living in now, having to climb up and hang onto towers, is behind you.

Our network is built using existing infrastructure, such as street lamps, power poles, and even homes. As such, an important part of our preparation is calculating the power required to cover the area. This includes surveying and identifying the sources – which include power poles. 

In terms of maintenance, for example, our Bragg Creek network uses power poles, translating into approximately 200 units. At a failure rate of 2% per year (which is relatively high), we expect to replace four units per year. We estimate a two hour response time, including travel to the pole and replacing the unit. However, what’s key is the distributed nature of our network. The only people who are serviced by a specific data pipeline would be affected by the outage (on average, 30 residences out of 300 are affected at a time.) Our estimate is approximately eight hours per year of downtime on 10% of the network or 99.99% uptime on the whole network. 

Mage Networks has recently upgraded the capacity of its Data Pipeline to 1 Gbps. However, the maximum data rate achievable is only the start of the story. The real question is how much data rate can you get at 7 pm when every home in your neighborhood is watching multiple Netflix streams? This is controlled by how over-subscribed your network is. Over-subscription represents the actual amount of bandwidth available to be shared by multiple simultaneous users. Ratios of 70:1 have been reported. MagiNet™ can be designed to economically support over-subscription ratios of 4 or 5 : 1.

Yes. In fact, wireless services are more secure than wired (not common knowledge, but our founder collaborated with CSIS on past projects and knows this first hand.)

The Mage Networks ISP infrastructure encompasses the network components between the customer premise and the Internet Service Provider(s). Mage Networks is responsible for the security of the Mage ISP infrastructure.  Mage Networks uses the most current wireless encryption protocols, stringent password controls, and internal best practices which generally exceed industry standards. Mage Networks has controls in place to monitor, review, and adjust security practices on an ongoing basis to ensure policies and standards are followed and regularly updated. 

 

As a user, you have an integral role in making your communications secure: 

  1. Implement a secure Wi-Fi password on your router, 
  2. Use the latest routers and the best encryption, 
  3. Ensure that your computers and devices are updated regularly (companies are constantly identifying and fixing weaknesses in their operating system.)
  4. Practice general safe and standard security practices. 

Yes. Talk to us, and we can design this for you.

We use the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band to provide access points for wireless devices and the 5 GHz and 60 GHz unlicensed bands to communicate between our nodes.

We use the WiFi physical layer and the MAC (media access control) layer just as any other WiFi system. We aren’t designing our own radios here, i.e. this is not something proprietary that will be finicky and easily prone to failure. We aren’t reinventing the wheel; what we are doing is improving greatly on the existing meshing capabilities of WiFi, to make it robust enough and scalable enough to build the type of networks we are designing.

Each MagiNode™ takes 1 – 2 hours to deploy. Depending on the scale of the network, it could be a few days or a few weeks to fully deploy.

Key nodes that are built on some customer's homes are fitted with Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS). These ensure that these nodes continue operating for several hours in an outage situation. This helps to stabilize the network against local outages in small areas. Data Pipeline nodes on the other hand are built on the power poles and fed directly.

Connect with us on our social channels!