|Table of Contents
- Can I still use pkFamily when I travel?
- Can I use a different e-mail program with pkFamily?
- Can I use a different browser than the one supplied with the pkFamily software?
- Can I use ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger, etc., with pkFamily?
- For FAQ on Filtering
- How can I sign up for pkFamily?
- I keep getting "Invalid Login" messages, but my password is correct!
- Since a Dial-Up Number for my area is not listed, what can I do?
- What do I do if there is a billing problem?
- What does unlimited access mean?
- What should I do if I lose my password or User ID?
- When can I start using pkFamily’s service?
- Where can I find a Glossary of Internet Terms?
- Where can I get a list of your local access numbers?
- Why can't my 56K modem get a 56K connection?
- Why won't my 56k modem connect above 28.8
- Why won't my new computer/modem work?
Q: Can I still use pkFamily when I travel?
A: Yes, however to avoid long distance telephone charges you will need to select a dial-up number which is local to the city in which you travel. We have over 22,000 dialup numbers for you to select from!
Q: Can I use a different e-mail program with pkFamily?
A: Sure. Just make sure it has the proper settings as shown on our support page (E-mail Setup). Of course, if we didn't supply the program, there is no way we can answer questions about it.
Q: Can I use a different browser than the one supplied with the pkFamily software?
A: Yes, you can use any browser.
Q: Can I user ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger, etc., with pkFamily?
A: Yes, if the application is properly configured.
For FAQ on Filtering, see About Filtering
Q: How can I sign up for pkFamily?
A: Visit http://signup.pkfamily.com to signup online.
Q: I keep getting "Invalid Login" messages, but my password is correct!
A: The "Invalid Login" message tells you to check your password and try again, but you will get the same error if your login name is not correct. Here are common errors and their solutions:
Incorrect login name: Remember, with pkFamily you need to include @pkFamily.com after your login name (e.g., if your login is joeuser then for pkFamily your login name -- for the dialup connection -- is joeuser@pkFamily.com). The login name must include @pkFamily.com.
Incorrect capitalization in login name or password: Your login name MUST be all in lower case (small) letters. Your password is case-sensitive. It will normally include both capital and small letters (and numbers too), and the correct letters must be capital or small.
Spaces in login name or password: There may not be any spaces in your login name or in your password. Sometimes the first character in the login or password area is a space. In this case it can be very hard to tell if there is a space there or not. If you are not sure, backspace all the characters out of the area and re-enter the login or password correctly.
Q: Since a Dial-Up Number for my area is not listed, what can I do?
A: pkFamily is currently working toward adding dial up numbers for more states. Please check back often. Another option is our filter-only service. This service is ideal for areas without a local pkFamily number as well as those customers with high-speed Internet access. Read more about our filter-only service...
Q: What do I do if there is a billing problem?
A: Contact customer service via email, chat, or phone.
Q: What does unlimited access mean?
A: A subscriber continuously and "interactively" using the service will not be limited to an arbitrary amount of time, but this is not meant to convey a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week connection. All accounts have a fifteen minute idle-timeout feature that clears the line for "active" users when any subscriber is NOT "actively" online. This is intended to provide network efficiency for the benefit of all subscribers.
Q: What should I do if I lose my password or User ID?
A: Call technical support.
Q: When can I start using pkFamily's service?
A: Immediately if you signup online.
Q: Where can I find a Glossary of Internet Terms?
A: A list of Internet terminology can be found on Glossary of Internet Terms.
Q: Where can I get a list of your local access numbers?
A: The list of local access numbers are on the pkFamily Rates & Plans page.
Q: Why can't my 56K modem get a 56K connection?
A: Various factors can contribute to this. These include the fact that even a new modem may not have the newest "firmware" (internal modem software) or may require some special settings (the initialization string) in order to get a better connection speed. There are other reasons, as well:
For one thing, the speed your modem reports is not always your true connection speed. Using initialization strings, the modem can be made to report its theoretical maximum capability (usually determined by a software setting on your computer, and normally set to 115,200 bps). This information is practically useless, as it tells you nothing about the current connection.
The initialization string can be set to report the connection speed. However, it is common for modems to "retrain" (adjust their speed after the initial connection) to a new speed. Unfortunately this speed is commonly slower than the initial connection speed.
If you have the latest firmware and a correct initialization string, the primary cause of connections that are slower than they should be is the phone line between your location and pkFamily's modems. In almost all cases pkFamily's modems are located at (or very near) the telephone company central office. You may not have such a fortunate location. Distance from the telephone company central office plays a big role in deteriorating speed. Also the quality of the phone lines, line noise, the presence of electrical interference, the quality of switching equipment, etc., all can affect your speed. People are also sometimes surprised to learn that their call to pkFamily's local number does not necessarily travel the same route every time they dial in. The route can also impact the speed.
Q: Why won't my 56k modem connect above 28.8
A: When considering connection speed there are several things that play a vital role in the speed at which you connect. Here are some of the more common things that determine speed of connection:
1- Does your modem have the latest firmware upgrade (see: "Where can I find out more about my modem drivers/settings?" to obtain the latest firmware websites for your modem.)?
2- Connection speed may be affected by the quality/age of your phone line. Just like all other wiring; poor quality and older wire will greatly hamper the signal going across the line. Phone lines usually contain "noise" which interferes with the signal from your modem, thus hurting your connection speed.
3- Initialization string changes. This is data that your modem sends across the line to tell the receiving modem it's speed and type. The following websites contain information on initialization strings.
** These are not initialization strings that we have tested or that we recommend, but we have found these pages useful in the past when all other steps have failed. **
Q: Why won't my new computer/ modem work?
A: Most new computers are currently shipped with 56K modems that meet the V.90 standard. This standard attempted to allow two very different kinds of 56K modems to communicate with each other at high speeds (see the FAQ "Why can't my 56K modem get a 56K connection?").
At the same time, telephone lines and switching equipment is often not designed to accommodate high speed data transmission. In fact, in many parts of the country the local phone company will only *Guarantee* speeds of 9600 bps on the line -- even though you may get a much higher speed.
Consequently, there are (at least) three separate things that will affect a connection with a 56K modem. These are your modem, pkFamily's modems, and the phone lines in between those modems.
Although you may have a new modem, in order to get the best possible connection your modem needs the very latest software to run it (called "firmware"). This can usually be downloaded from your modem manufacturer's web site. If your modem has been stored on the shelf for even a few weeks the firmware may be out of date. Also there are some modems that require additional settings (called "initialization strings") to help them to function properly. The particular setting required may depend on the type of computer in which it is installed, and type of modem you are trying to connect to. Any problems with firmware or initialization strings can prevent you from connecting, from staying connected, or inhibit the connection speed.
The phone lines are outside the control of either pkFamily or you. You will ordinarily have what is called an analog phone line to your home. To get 56K you must make a digital connection, pkFamily has all digital lines coming to its modems. The phone company equipment switches your analog connection from your home to a digital connection before it gets to pkFamily. However, if there is more than one analog-to-digital or digital-to-analog switch, the 56K connection will be defeated. Also line noise (or other interference) and your distance from the phone company central office will affect your connection.