Technical Support Hours:
Monday to Friday between 07:00 to 22:00 GMT+2
Saturdays 07:00 to 21:00 GMT+2
Sundays a technician is on standby to troubleshoot if needed
Monday to Friday 08:00 to 17:00 GMT+2
Kindly see if your support query has been listed in the below commonly asked questions.
Can I keep my previous email account when I migrate?
If you are using a paid or corporate email account on your previous service provider’s domain (for example firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com it can be retained. However, that service provider would probably still charge you for continuing to use it. The cost is normally around R50 per month.
We would suggest that users register their own domain emails (for example firstname.lastname@example.org) in order that they may maintain full ownership and full control. Alternatively, registering a public service email account is also a good idea. Gmail and other services generally yield excellent results and are free.
Can I only pay for connectivity during the months that I am at home?
Yes. You can request a service deactivation with one calendar month notice. Be aware that there is a R750 reconnection fee when you request reactivation. This option therefore only makes sense for users who will be away for very long periods of time.
The best option normally is to request a subscription downgrade to the smallest available package – i.e. 1GB/R99 per month. This keeps your service active and alive. When your return, simply request an upgrade again to your original subscription package. Upgrades are effective after the end of every calendar month. Up- or downgrades can be scheduled on the Snowball Connect website or using the Snowball Connect app on iPhone, iPad or Android smart phones.
Can I pay by means other than bank debit order?
Payment is only possibly on monthly debit order. Cash and EFT payments cannot be accommodated.
Can I pay in advance? For example – can I pay for a year ahead?
No. The request of topups and additional work generates impractical account complexities.
Can I run voice over internet protocol (VOIP) phone services on the network?
Yes. Just be aware that there are cheap VOIP solutions and there are quality VOIP solutions. Cheap solutions are practically guaranteed to yield sub-standard results. Cheap VOIP solutions are therefore used at your own risk.
Also take into account that voice quality is directly influenced by the quality of the handset you use. We recommend SNOM or Siemens. Cheaper brands and analogue phones with ATA converters tend to yield unpredictable, and often inferior quality. Also be aware that running voice traffic along with significant data traffic at the same time could result in congestion which will affect your voice quality.
Can I upgrade or downgrade my data subscription later?
Yes. Up- or downgrades can be done across any calendar month.
Up- or downgrade requests must be sent in writing to email@example.com. Up- or downgrades can also be scheduled on the Snowball website or using the Snowball app on iPhone, iPad or Android smart phones.
Can subscriptions be deactivated during periods of extended absence?
Yes. This can be done by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Changes can only be effected with one calendar month’s notice. Kindly note that reconnections are charged at R500. It is therefore only cost-effective to request an account deactivation for periods of absence of 6 months or longer. Account reactivations are possible without a notice period.
The most practical and most commonly used alternative is to simply request an account downgrade to the smallest possible package – i.e. a R99pm/GB account. Upon your return simply send an account upgrade request to email@example.com and your account will be upgraded again at the start of the start of the next calendar month. This way there is less to plan and remember.
Can you assure me that connectivity will be possible at a certain address?
To receive wireless connectivity, line of sight is required to the nearest wireless repeater. Most of the time this can be determined theoretically or visually. Otherwise it has to be done with a signal test.
When your exact location is known, we will first do a software signal test. This will show whether there is theoretical signal coverage at your address. The software test cannot account for trees and tall buildings that can obstruct line of sight. If the test is positive then the likelihood of a successful installation is usually around 90% and it would be deemed safe to proceed with a normal installation.
If more definite assurance is required there are two options:
- A visual assessment. This requires a visit from a staff member – and the callout will be billed at standard callout rates of R395 per hour, minimum one hour – up to a distance of 25km, after which travel cost of R4/km will apply additionally.
- If you want full assurance we will have to do a signal test by mounting a wireless antenna at the place where installation is expected. This is a R500 non-refundable cost. If the signal test is positive, the R500 will be deducted from the cost of your installation, provided that the full installation can be completed at the same time. If the test is negative, you will still be liable for the R500 test cost.
Recommendation: The more practical approach – followed in 95% of cases is for us to do a theoretical test. If the result is positive we will schedule a normal installation. If connectivity proves not to be possible, then the equipment will be uninstalled and there is no charge of any kind, plus your deposit will be repaid promptly. If, on the other hand, connectivity is possible, then the installation will be completed as normal. This is the most favored and most cost-effective approach for nearly all customers.
Can you explain why I am using so much data?
There can be a multitude of reasons. The most common explanations by far are the following:
- The Snowball Connect network is very fast. On a fast network people’s browsing habits change immediately. They access more video and graphic content and have longer browsing sessions. The same applies when driving. On dirt roads people dry slowly. On open freeways they drive fast. The reason is simple: they drive fast because the road conditions allow it – and because it is pleasant to do so. When you drive fast you use more fuel. The same applies to internet.
- Computer updates are consuming your bandwidth. A lot of users have been with service providers who disallow certain computer updates. Updates are not restricted on the Snowball Connect network, therefore anti-virus and operating system updates will come through in the way that you specify on your own network. It is not recommended that updates should be permanently disabled as these are meant to keep your system healthy and up to date.
- Apple updates. Apple products frequently have software updates of about ½ Gigabytes. A user that has an iPad and two iPhones can for example easily consume 1.5GB of data at a time.
- An unsecured WiFi router. If your wireless router is not secured with a password then neighbours and transients can easily log onto your network and use your data. It is your responsibility to ensure that your router is password-protected and remains so at all times.
- Visiting friends and family. Many users give their wireless access key to children or visitors who are in many cases hugely instrumental in consuming large and totally unexpected amounts of bandwidth.
- Unauthorized access. Similarly, it does happen that users sometimes succeed in resetting their wireless routers (if they have one) to default or somehow using an unsecured wireless router which will allow neighbours to tap into their connectivity. Always ensure that your access is properly secured with a wireless access key.
- Peer-to-peer traffic. Users that engage in peer-to-peer traffic such as downloading torrents consumes very large amounts of data. Users also frequently forget that when a torrent is downloaded it will continue to “seed” data – or broadcast it to the rest of the internet – unless the torrent is totally closed and the downloading software is exited successfully.
- Viruses and malware. Viruses and malware account of large-scaled bandwidth usage and can easily be contained by using high quality commercial anti-virus and anti-malware software. Experience as shown us that the most successful software is ESET NOD Anti-virus www.eset.co.za .
- Legitimate usage. The internet is evolving all the time and is constantly being built for more bandwidth-hungry applications. YouTube movies can sometimes easily consume 15, 20, 30 or even 150MB of data without the user realizing it. Similarly, Facebook browsing, if a lot of pictures are viewed, can add up to a browsing session of 60 or 100MB. Ten such session make up a Gigabyte of data. Also take note that many computer programs and instant messaging services such as Skype will continue sending and receiving small amounts of data as long as there is connectivity – even when the user is not there. Like a leaking tap, little drops at a time add up to a lot of water after a few days. In most cases what appears to be abnormal data usage is just the sum total of a user’s combined browsing sessions in the same manner that a large bill at the supermarket usually turns out to be the sum total of many small and medium items in the bag.
- If there is a long term pattern of inexplicable data usage, it is recommended that your computer should be checked by an IT professional. Snowball Connect will can perform this service at the standard rate of R395 per hour, or your can use a good IT technician of your choice.
- General rule: If your network is consuming large amounts of data – even while you are not at home – this is neither caused by Snowball Connect, nor is it Snowball Connect’s responsibility to remedy as part of its standard service.
Can you prove the quality of connectivity at my address before I commit?
Yes. In order to do that we will have to perform a full standard installation and a R1,000 deposit is required. If you accept the results, the installation will be signed over to you at the cost of installation. The deposit is off-set against the cost of installation.
If you do not accept the results, you will still be invoiced for the work at a cost of R395 per hour or part thereof, plus R4/km.
Can you show me what sites I visited?
Compiling a browsing report is a complicated and time-consuming process of extracting raw server data and translating it into web addresses. It can also only be done for certain kinds of web traffic. Furthermore, there are privacy and legal implications which have to be considered.
Accordingly, browsing reports are not available, except in the most exceptional cases, such as with a court order for the purpose of legal investigation. Such work shall be billed at standard IT rates of R395 per hour. A standard bandwidth investigation report (BIR) can only be requested by the account holder and must be done in writing. The report will then be provided by email. A BIR costs R100 per month-report.
If the technicalities have to be discussed, a consultation with a network manager may be scheduled at standard rate of R395 per hour or part thereof.
Subscribers are cautioned that a BIR may reveal browsing information of a personal or sensitive nature which may be embarrassing to the user or his family members. Discretion is advised. If a casual inquiry is made, a network manager will only confirm whether your data is legitimate traffic or not.
Do I need to have a WiFi router?
No. A WiFi router is optional. If you do not have a wireless router, then the wireless antenna’s cable will simply plug straight into your computer. If you add a wireless router, then it will create a small hotspot inside your home to which wirelessly-enabled devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets can connect. The performance of Wifi equipment is expressly not covered by our service.
Do you accept cash payments?
For installations, yes. For monthly subscriptions, no.
Do you have an uncapped service?
No. The market abounds with uncapped products of differing kinds. One thing they all have in common is being slow and shaped. In general, the more attractive the price, the slower the connectivity and the more the service is shaped.
For users that have very high bandwidth requirements and have enough patience so accommodate lengthy downloading sessions at a budget, uncapped internet may be an acceptable option. Typically for users who use more than 30GB per month and are prepared to wait for downloads.
For users that require quality and performance, however, home uncapped is usually not satisfying. Such users should consider a business uncapped service if they have a large budget, or a low cost high quality capped service. Regardless of this fact, uncapped internet of any kind is seldom advisable for business use.
Snowball Connect does not offer slow internet products of any kind. We therefore do not offer uncapped internet. Users who have large data needs would typically select a 10MB or 20MB option, and then topup as required at R49/GB. Topups can be requested in increments that you specify i.e. in increments of 3 or 5 or 10 or 15 GB etc. Snowball Connect believes in fast internet at low cost. The only way to make this possible is by means of affordable high speed capped products.
Do you shape traffic?
Snowball does not shape traffic. For example, torrents and updates. Kindly be advised that an acceptable usage policy does apply which may result in bandwidth management action being taken in the case of abuse.
Does a standard wireless installation include a WiFi router?
No. Your internet connectivity is delivered via an Ethernet cable and this is where the service terminates. This cable can be directly plugged into a PC or laptop in order to use the internet.
Most users already have a wireless router. This device receives connectivity from the Ethernet cable and then creates a small local internet hotspot inside your home or office. This enables wireless-enabled devices such as laptops and smartphones to connect without the need for cables.
This device, if you do not have one already, is an optional extra.
How can I have wireless connectivity throughout my entire house?
A standard wireless installation from Snowball provides connectivity to your computer by means of an Ethernet cable which plugs directly into your PC or laptop.
In order to create a hotspot to which wireless devices can connect, you will need a wireless/WiFi router. A wireless router is only designed to provide connectivity to devices that can be seen with the human eye. When the signal has to pass through obstructions such as windows, walls and vegetation, the signal strength and connectivity speed rapidly degrades. For this reason low power WiFi routers are meant for living areas such as an office or living room and possibly one or two adjoining rooms, depending on the architecture of the building. Low power WiFi routers are available at R650.
High power WiFi routers have more penetrating strength to pass through architecture, but will still not cover large homes with thick walls and reinforcing. High power WiFi routers are available at R975.
Signal coverage is never guaranteed on WiFi routers. Kindly notice that a drop in connectivity speed can be expected when devices connect via WiFi routers. And different devices will experience different connectivity speeds. For example, standard smartphones will typically have lower connectivity speeds than iPhones, which have lower speeds than iPads, which have lower speeds than laptops, etc.
For users that have large buildings which require comprehensive coverage, a cabled hotspot solution is recommended. This relays the signal from node to node and redistributes it by means of WiFi.
Kindly be advised that in any application, wireless connectivity has stronger and weaker spots throughout architecture. If speed is measured the standard methodology is always to test with a new generation, newly formatted laptop, using the Ethernet cable.
If there are areas of weak or non-existing coverage of the user’s WiFi network, the user shall have the option of purchasing additional access points.
How can I know how much bandwidth I have used?
Upon signup you will receive automatic bandwidth usage notifications by SMS and email or on the Cloud app. By clicking on the link in each of these messages you can log into your control panel and set your own notification levels, if you wish. For example – 50%, 70% and 90%.
This will show how much bandwidth you uploaded and downloaded. It will show this on an hourly basis or a daily basis for both the current month, as well as historical usage. Your browsing sessions are also indicated.
How can I upgrade or downgrade my subscription?
To request an upgrade or a downgrade simply schedule your request on the Snowball website or with the Snowball app. You may also send your request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For example: “Please upgrade me from 5GB to 10GB.” Up- or downgrades work across a calendar month.
How do I request a topup?
You can request a topup on the Snowball website or by using the Snowball app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
You can also reply to any of your bandwidth notification SMS or email messages, for example: “Topup 1 gig”.
Or request a telephonic topup at 044 805 7150.
How long will it take to do a new installation?
Standard installations are normally done within an average of three to four business days. It can be same day, or as long as a week as all installations are weather- and workload dependent.
How stable is the Snowball network?
A wireless network is a living connectivity environment that fluctuates as load and traffic flows in cycles. Another reason is because connectivity is still supplied by a national backbone and third party service providers such as the electrical grid ? all of which may fail or perform erratically. These are circumstances entirely beyond our control. Most network failures are a result of electrical grid failure or national backbone failure. Our relay points have battery backup but if power outages are of a very extended nature then the battery backup will be exhausted. Our network uptime is in excess of 99%, and generally outperforms any other service in the region.
I already have a WiFi router. Can you re-use it?
A very definite rule applies: If the installation team is able to easily configure your existing equipment in no more than 15 minutes then they will attempt to do so upon your request.
This is done as a completely free courtesy. Snowball accepts no responsibility for the success or performance of this work or the stability of your own network afterwards. This work does not include ensuring that your local area network works. This remains your own responsibility.
This service is not available on old generation equipment or on non-supported brands and models or on equipment that is set up in languages other than English or Afrikaans.
If the installation personnel cannot easily setup your existing equipment you will need to call your IT technician or book an IT callout from Snowball.
It is the user?s own responsibility to ensure that his router?s access key is securely stored.
I do not have connectivity. What must I do?
80% of customer problems reside on their own internal infrastructure. Please do the following:
- Restart your PC. Some internal network problems can be resolved this way.
- Call support at 044 805 7150 during regular business hours. Our support specialists can determine whether connectivity is delivered to your antenna. If so, there is a problem beyond our point of service delivery (end plug of your Ethernet cable, as described in the user agreement), on your own network environment. If the problem is on our network it will be resolved free of charge.
If the problem resides on your own network, you will have the option of telephonic or remote desktop support at R150 per hour or part thereof, or a physical visit from a technician at R395 per hour or part thereof, plus R4 per km.
- In case of a known outage, customers may be sent notifications by SMS or email.
I intend moving house. Can I re-use my wireless equipment?
Your wireless equipment should continue to work provided that you stay within the reception area of the Snowball network. To know whether there is a likelihood of reception, please contact us with your exact address or GPS coordinates.
Your existing wireless antenna will have to be re-installed at your new address. This will cost R500 to remove from old premises and R750.00 to re install at your new premises . If the installation proves to be complex or requires non-standard work then there will be an additional cost of at least R500 or more plus traveling at R4/km. If we have to remove your old equipment as well, this will be charged at R500 plus traveling at R4/km.
Is data carried over to the next month?
Data carry over is not currently feasible. In the South African connectivity industry data carry over is only feasible at significantly higher subscription prices. On the Snowball network the data purchases are for a specific time period of one month only. All data expires at midnight of the last day of the month. The data that we purchase for resale from the national backbone wholesale suppliers also expires at the end of every month. It is recommended that users choose a data package that will fit their average monthly usage pattern plus a little extra. Topups may be purchased as and when needed in case of shortfall.
What connectivity speeds can be expected?
Speeds may burst higher at times, depending on local and national network conditions. On average Snowball still ranks as the fastest wireless network on the Garden Route.If guaranteed speed with redundancy is required, then committed information rate solutions with a service level agreement that sets forth the standards can be offered. This is, however, mostly cost-effective for corporate users.
What does a wireless installation not cover?
A wireless installation provides internet connectivity at the end of an Ethernet cable. Making it work on slow PCs that require formatting, software updates, hardware upgrades and has virus and malware problems is not part of an installation. Other items that are not covered would include applications such as ensuring compatibility with point of sales systems or any other systems and third party service providers. Installations also do not involve work on your own internal network. Any such work can be requested at standard service rates, if required.
If specialized equipment such as a cherry picker, for example, must be hired to perform an installation this shall also be at additional expense.
Installation personnel are expected to use personal judgement in assessing safety conditions for installations. If installation work is judged by the technicians to be unsafe then they shall not be expected to continue with the installation until safe working conditions can be assured by the customer.
What equipment does a standard installation include?
A standard installation includes a wireless antenna of R1,500, plus two hours of installation work, plus 20m of Ethernet cable, plus one standard antenna bracket. It does not include an optional WiFi router.
If your installation site requires a solution beyond the scope of this installation this will be at additional cost.
What is the difference between a standard and a non-standard installation?
Snowball makes no profit on installations. A standard R2,000 installation is specifically for an average home installation which requires no special brackets, extra long antenna poles, special aesthetic work, or long and complicated cable runs. In particular, the installation must take no longer than two hours and involve no more than 20m of Ethernet cable.
If these criteria are not met, then a non-standard installation fee will apply – in most cases this means the installation will cost R2,500. In exceptional cases it may be more. For example if free-standing masts have to be erected, etc. If this is the case then a solution will be quoted separately.
Typical installations that will quality as nonstandard would be the following:
- Very large buildings that require long cable runs.
- Complicated architecture that require difficult and time-consuming cable runs – for example buildings of which the roof cavity cannot be accessed, or thatched roofs where cables have to be run across complicated beams, etc.
- Buildings with high aesthetic requirements. If extraordinary care has to be taken to hide cables, to drill through very thick walls, floors or hard building materials, so that much time is required or special tools have to be hired, or if trunking has to be provided and fitted in order to hide cables.
- If existing ducting inside the walls of homes are blocked and have to be unblocked. Please note the installation team shall have the right of declining this option if this proves too complicated.
- If trees and vegetation have to be cut in order to achieve line of sight.
- If long masts have to be fitted in order to achieve line of sight.
- If long range antennas have to be fitted in order to achieve adequate connectivity – roughly applicable on distances of over 20km, although there are exceptions.
Kindly note, however, that practical thinking applies to all installations. We are not responsible for providing electric connection points. If an electrical connection point is not conveniently available you will be requested to have your electricians provide one before the work can continue.
Please do not argue with installation technicians about whether an installation qualifies as standard or non-standard. They are highly experienced and accurate in their judgement, and it is up to them to make the final decision. You may accept or decline, however, in the latter case of which the installation will not proceed and your deposit will be repaid.
Snowball does not make profit from installations – it must however ensure that it does not perform installations at a loss.
What quality of workmanship can be expected for installations?
Our installation team is extremely well-skilled, well-trained and highly experienced. We make it our ongoing mission to do the highest quality installation work in the industry. We believe we are consistently successful in this endeavour. We receive many compliments for the quality of our installations.
In general, the installation team goes to great effort to try and hide cabling as best possible. To the extent that this is possible, cables are run in existing wall ducting, power skirtings, etc. If these are not available, or blocked or filled, then cabling will be either tacked or glued into place. If any special work, consumables or trunking is required beyond this scope, such cost will be additional to the cost of the installation.
The installation team can drill through structures, but shall not be expected to fill drilling cavities with plaster or repaint over installation sites.
There are occasional customers who demand that no cable work of any kind may be seen and that unreasonable amount of care should be taken to avoid all traces of installation work, or whose instructions might require electrical work. This may necessitate multiple visits, plus the calling in of service contractors such as tillers, painters and electricians. All such work will be billed additionally, including time, traveling, materials and contractors costs.
Where does Snowball’s service end?
Snowball’s service ends at the end-point of the Ethernet cable which comes from your wireless antenna, as defined in the user agreement. Any technical problem before that point is our responsibility. Any problems beyond that point is your responsibility.
Snowball is an internet service provider which delivers wireless internet to an outdoor antenna. This is where our service ends. For the purpose of his explanation, wireless internet shall be defined as long range wireless data transmission in the 5.8GHz frequency spectrum.
Our service expressly excludes WiFi service and performance, even if it is on equipment that we have supplied – i.e. a WiFi router. For the purpose of this explanation, WiFi service shall be defined as a local wireless environment in the 2.4GHz frequency spectrum.
Snowball can assist in providing wireless access equipment for creating a personal wireless network inside homes or offices. However, there is no guarantee of any kind on coverage or performance of WiFi equipment. If a user as problems with speed or performance, Snowball will only test performance at the network point of your Ethernet cable. Problems and investigation on your WiFi network will be billable at standard rates.
Where does service delivery terminate?
Your point of service delivery is at the end of the ethernet cable which brings connectivity from the wireless antenna into your building.
This is where service quality, speed and performance is measured. Anything beyond that point is your own network environment and your own responsibility.
If there is a service problem on the Snowball side of the cable (uplink side) then repair is part of the support agreement. If it is on your own network side, repair work is for your account. Repair work is billed at standard callout rates.
Will my old wireless equipment work on your network?
Some old equipment may work but Snowball will only confirm once the details have been provided.
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