to connect with us
to our products & services
for home users
for business users
to see our prices
to our support page
to contact us
About Hotkey
My Hotkey

Frequently Asked Questions

general faq
web faq
email faq
accounts faq
connection faq

FAQ(rhymes with "back") is net slang for "Frequently Asked Questions" - and come with the answers to them. These are usually presented in a "Q & A" format, and are a very popular way of communicating information to new users of a service.

If you are ever looking for more information when visiting a website, the FAQ link should be the first place you look

We have divided our FAQ into several sections to aid you in quickly finding the info you want.


How do I tell what version of Windows I am using?
To find out which version of Windows you are running, right mouse click on "My computer", which is usually in the top left hand corner of your screen. Choose "Properties". Click on the "System:" heading and then you should see details of the current operating system, with a version number after it. You can also find out the operating system by opening a folder and click on Help in the toolbar and then click on About Windows.

What’s this whole “Starway” / “Hotkey” thing?
Starway was a company that started several years ago. It was bought by Hotkey internet Services in September 1997. There have been a few changes, all for the better. Most of the people have stayed the same, especially the people that you deal with. For us, it means that we have a bigger backer, we become part of a bigger company. Your local office will always be on hand to deal with any problems you may have, on a personal level (Call us on 1300 134 336)

As you may know, Hotkey (and the old Starway) is a franchise based system. Primus, a new telecommunications company (rival of Telstra, Optus, AAPT, and such), has bought a majority share holding in Hotkey, meaning a larger company to back us.

With regards to email and web addresses, “hotkey” and “starway” are synonymous. They mean the same thing, and can be used interchangeably. As an example, “joblo@kew.starway.net.au”, and “joblo@kew.hotkey.net.au” are the same for all intents and purposes. And with regards to web page addresses, http://kew.hotkey.net.au/~joblo is the same as http://kew.starway.net.au/~joblo. Hotkey is the new name for "Starway", so we prefer to use it here. It's also a tiny bit quicker to type!

Back to Top

What can I do if I want faster Internet access?
Please check out our ADSL page.

How can I chat to people?
Chatting to people on the net is free, fun, fast, and useful because it happens in "real time". This means, you can see what the other person or people are typing as they are typing it (spelling mistakes and all!). It's a good way to become a fast typist. To chat with anyone, you need software called a Chat Client, or a Chat Program. Have a look at our downloads page for several of these. Have a look at our links page to find more information on other web sites, regarding chatting over the net.

Is it safe for kids?
The nature of the internet means that not all things are suitable for all people. But having a diverse amount of topics covered is an important feature. There are safer places to be, but no place on the net can be completely safe - like anything in life. The net - especially chat programs - are not babysitters. Children need to be supervised when they use the net, and chat programs. There are ways to chat that are safer for kids than some other ways. These are recommended, but are not a substitute for supervision.

One way of chatting - ICQ
ICQ (a play on the phrase "I seek you") is a direct client to client messaging program. This means that you have a list of people you want to stay in contact with (so long as they are online, and have ICQ). You are notified when they are online, as are they when you are online. These people can be in the next office, another city, or on the other side of the world. It makes no difference, and often the speed with which you talk to them is very similar (pretty much instantaneous).

The advantage of ICQ is that you have a list of specific people with whom you (or your child) wish to chat. ICQ can be set so no one you don't approve can chat. Short messages can be sent easily, or an actual real time chat session can be initiated between two or more people. For example, to corroborate on a school project. The drawbacks is, you don't meet new people by staying in your same circle of friends. You can find out more about ICQ on our download page, listed under Chatting Programs.

Back to Top

Another way of chatting - IRC
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a more anarchistic method of chatting. There are usually several thousand people on line connected to a specific server (usually geographically arranged, so if you connected to an Australian server, most people on there would be Australian (generally). The servers are all connected to each other in theory, but in reality "netsplits" occur, where a server is disconnected. They can still talk in their world, and we can talk in ours, but we cannot talk to them until the "netsplit" has been "repaired".

IRC servers are organised in to "rooms", where people can meet and chat. A medium sized server might have a few thousand rooms, with anywhere from two to a hundred people in each room. With lots of people talking at once, it can get quite frenetic, and takes some getting used to. People can talk publicly, to everyone in a "room", or just to a specific person (using what's called a private message). Inherently, nasty people can then use a private message to contact innocent people. It's easy enough for an adult to ignore, but a child might not be able to differentiate.

That being said there are IRC servers around that are more friendly than others. Have a look in our links section for links to websites that have more information regarding these issues.

More information and a link to mIRC can be found on our downloads page.

Other Alternatives
There are several other ways of chatting, but these two are the most popular. Our links and download pages will provide information on where you can obtain these programs.

Many websites (www.yahoo.com.au, for example) have chat "applets" (where you can chat using your web browser). Like IRC, these are often a tad anarchistic, and may not be a suitable place for kids.

What are viruses and how can they affect me?
A computer virus is similar to a virus that a person might get sick from. And like their real world counterparts, different types of computer viruses have different levels of severity, different symptoms, and can be caught and treated in different ways. With a bit of care, they can even be avoided entirely.

Some viruses are harmless, but annoying (often feeble attempts at humor), others can be responsible for a selective loss of data (any word processing document that has the word "Microsoft" in it, for example, might be deleted), clogging up critical systems (like internet mail servers, by attaching a large file - sometimes the virus itself - to each outgoing email), trashing an entire hard disk drive (the place where all your data is stored), or worse, actually damaging hardware on your machine such as erasing disk drives.

Back to Top

For tutorials see Tutorial, downloading, using a browser, Email.

If you have any further questions, please contact us.

Sales 9853 6400

Support 1300 134 336

Accounts 9853 6400

Fax 9853 2622

Connect With Us


Products & Services


Home Users


Business Users




About Hotkey Internet


Contact Us


My Account


© Istos Internet Services Pty Limited Terms & Conditions gPrivacy Statement