These are all based on real customer enquires and are regularly updated. They are based on our understanding of applicable technology and/or regulations as at the time of writing. We start off with downloadable Quick Start Guides, which also include answers to common questions
QUICK START GUIDES
TO FOLLOW SOON
If you need any help on any topic related to our services please do contact us
Who are we?
UKSofa is owned by CommerceCall Ltd and operated in partnership with a privately owned UK internet Service Provider (ISP) which already supplies services to the Police, NHS and even the nuclear industry. Security is a priority and they have a high critical care resilience. You’ll struggle to find better, more resilient services.
UKSofa? What’s that?
UKSofa is a UK-based Internet Access Service yet, unlike any other UK internet services (from providers such as BT, TalkTalk, Virgin or PlusNet), you can connect to your account remotely – from anywhere in the World! You do this by using a box we provide (we call it a UKSofa Box). Each UKSofa service has it’s own unique UK IP address meaning when you use your UKSofa Box to connect remotely to the UK internet (direct from the site of our UK-based internet Service Provider, or “ISP”) the sites you visit always see you as located in the UK.
Does a UKSofa always show my location as the UK?
Yes, as you will (a) always connect to the UK internet from your UK-based internet account, and (b) use your unique UK IP address, for the majority of websites this routing will allow you to pass their UK location test. But many popular sites, including all the streaming service providers, add a second test; they request your device to confirm your actual location! To pass test 2 you can simply say you don’t have a GPS app which you can do by disabling your device’s location settings. If you’re using a ‘phone the simplest way is by switching to “Airplane Mode”. It’s normally top of your settings menu and, in one click, switches off all location settings. For PC’s and other devices, find your browser’s location setting options (normally in Privacy & Security) and switch them off. A simple way to check location is “off”, is by rebooting, route through your UKSofa Box and then open a “maps” app, or search “maps” in your browser . If the map that appears shows your actual location, then location settings are still turned on.
Do remember that each time you enter your real location in a search, such as when looking for a local restaurant, you will have told the search engine where you are really located and this information can remain in the cache (memory) of your device. So, if you have recurring location problems we suggest you clear such caches, reboot your devices and re-connect through your UKSofa Box.
When using a UKSofa Box alongside pre-existing local internet ( with its own WiFi network address/SSID) it is easy for a device to remember old WiFi connection instructions and connect you via a local SSID. The best way to avoid this is by deleting the local SSID address from your selection list.
To help you, if you’re experiencing a location problem contact us and ask us to check your UKSofa Box is connecting via your UK internet account. If it is and you are still presenting a non-UK location, you will then need to check your devices to find and remove any conflicting location settings.
Some of my devices will not connect to the UKSofa Box, Why?
This is a classic sign that they are still using a local internet connection and not using the SSID (WiFi Network Address) of your UKSofa Box. This always happens when you have pre-set an SSID as your default connection. When no default is set, and as SSIDs often appear in alphabetical order, “UKSofa” is normally last on the list of options so is unlikely to be selected unless marked as your default. In either case, the cure is to delete or remove the passwords from all SSIDs other than the one for UKSofa, and also mark UKSofa as your default connection.
Can I watch UK television when not in the UK?
Generally yes, but this is a grey area. When in the UK, to watch or stream live or catch-up TV you must have a UK TV licence. However, when overseas you will need to have the licence issued by the relevant country, in France it’s part of the taxe d’habitation. Some countries (e.g. China and UAE) forbid or restrict what can be viewed. In the EU once you have a licence, any available television channel, (which may include some from the UK), can normally be viewed, yet “foreign” broadcasters may try to restrict availability to help them comply with their own internal contract issues (see next item). Because of the unique way UKSofa maintains a true UK identity, we know of no customer who has ever had their TV access requests blocked.
Can I extend the WiFi range of my UKSofa Box?
Yes. Your UKSofa Box’s range can be extended in the same way you would extend the range of any normal Broadband router. Cable (ethernet) connection always gives the best speed and reliability, but to extend WiFi into a distant room we always suggest using a pair of powerline adaptors. A range extender, which you would normally place in an area of reduced WiFi power near the edge of the UKSofa Box’s normal WiFi range, can be used yet the added coverage area will only ever be at that same level of reduced power.
Can UKSofa help me continue my UK work from overseas?
Most definitely YES. In fact this was UKSofa’s initial purpose. A UKSofa allows you to duplicate your UK desk’s internet access and business phone. Every website you visit, or on-line form you may complete, will (because it routes via your new Internet service account with us) show your UK Identity. Every call you make can show your UK phone number. Every caller dialling your number can hear the normal UK ringing tone.
With a UKSofa your work experience will be just the same as if you were at your UK workplace. As a UKSofa can host multiple devices you could even invite all your UK-based team to join you in your overseas hideaway (yet that may defeat the reason you’ve gone there in the first place!)
When abroad, why can’t I access some UK Web sites
All websites are “virtually” located in their home country and the owners are free to impose access restrictions. These can prevent a non-resident from visiting the site and downloading content. It’s a legal and very common process known as geo-blocking, but it can be very annoying if you’re on holiday from the UK.
- Examples of geo-blocking
- Global corporations will often have websites in many countries. As a means of generating local sales, each one can have different pricing. To avoid visitors from a higher-priced more affluent country from buying through another country’s lower-priced website, they impose geo-blocking and will commonly route the visitor to the site they want them to view.
- Entertainment sites (including TV channels) will buy content that only licenses them to broadcast content to viewers located in pre-agreed countries. If you’re not, you may be geo-blocked.
- UK Streaming Services (such as Netflix UK or SkyGo) were able to be accessed from any EU state yet in 2021 this concession was revoked. If you have a UK streaming service it will now only be available when you are in (or seen to be in) the UK.
When streaming TV, if your data speeds (or monthly allowances) are a problem you may need to view on a low resolution. Most sites have this option hidden in “settings”, yet the easiest way is to use a device like the Amazon Firestick. They allow you to fix your default resolution so you’ll never be caught out using all your allowance watching one advert on 4K UHD!
Is UKSofa a VPN?
No. A VPN is a network of private servers, normally located in many countries. With a VPN you join the internet in your local country, connect to the VPN’s website and they then replace your real IP address with a false IP address from the internet of the country you wish to access.
A VPN is designed to cloak your real location and does this by giving each of its servers the IP address you’ll then share with multiple users (which can be thousands!). This is the main reason many VPN’s are known to give poor quality connections and why many are eventually banned from accessing popular sites.
Because every UKSofa Box links to your associated UKSofa Internet Service account (with Fixed UK IP address) it connects to the internet in precisely the same way as a normal UK home or business UK internet; so all activity is genuine UK based activity
How many UKSofa designs do you have?
Two. The basic and original UKSofa connects your UKSofa Box to your hosted Internet account via any pre-existing local internet connection; which can be ADSL, Fibre or even a 4G mobile internet router. It’s simple to fit and just works.
If you don’t have existing broadband, you’ll need our mobile data version, the UKSofa4G. This is a mobile Broadband Router that we’ve adapted to incorporate UKSofa technology. To make it work you’ll also need to source a local mobile data SIM, preferably with unlimited data. For France, these are available from Anglo French Telecoms
Can more than one person login at the same time?
Yes, it’s one of our major advantages over a VPN. In fact every UKSofa can simultaneously host as many as 20 users (time to invite the neighbours?).
In which countries will a UKSofa work?
UKSofa will work anywhere in the world where there is internet connectivity. The normal exceptions are some countries where internet is restricted , such as China and certain middle east countries. Be careful you do not break local laws!
Can you supply a non-UK (e.g. French) Data SIM.
Yes, but only French SIMs. You will need a French bank account and a French phone number (a neighbours number is sometimes sufficient) and if ordering something that needs to be delivered in a parcel or will involve a technician’s visit, you’ll also need a French mobile number that can receives SMS.
Do I need to be a UK Resident?
No. We “tunnel” you into the UK and to your UK-based Hosted Internet Service account. If a website needs you to pre-register to gain access, you will need to register and it remains your responsibility to maintain your membership/s or other login details.
I work from home and my employer monitors and restricts the internet sites I can visit. Can a UKSofa help me?
Absolutely YES! Employers increasingly use surveillance and monitoring tools such as hubstaff. They are useful yet can also take screenshots of your private use, potentially allowing them to see your private emails and details of your private contacts.
By connecting a UKSofa Box and using a private device (such as your phone, a laptop or tablet) all your internet use can be completely hidden from your employer. Please note: many employees embed apps on work devices that record a worker’s web activity. To ensure your activity remains private not only will you need to use a UKSofa Box but you will also need to use a private device for your browsing activity.
As UKSofa handles all our browsing requests, does this mean you log all our web activity?
We specifically do not log any web activity. This golden rule has never been breached. Occasionally we receive requests for information, these are always met with a requirement for the request to be backed by a valid Court disclosure order. No such court order has ever been received thus confirming all requests are opportunistic and without foundation
What monitoring do you do and how will this help me?
We are the most active of all the ISPs in the UK. We activity monitor each connection and if a connection goes down, we are alerted to this. Our Network Operations Centre (NOC) is manned 24/7 to monitor the network and to assure quality of service.
Data Flows are monitored in real-time, allowing us in real time to track data routing round the globe enabling us to find any points of failure – FAST.