San Francisco-based ISP since 1998



Monkeybrains is primarily a WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider). What this means is Monkeybrains uses microwave technology to create a wireless network covering much of San Francisco. We deliver internet service to individual locations by placing an antenna on the roof. This antenna picks up an encrypted wireless signal from one of our network access points which can be found on over 1000 buildings city-wide.

From the roof, we run a Cat5 Ethernet wire either to the unit, telecom closet, or the property's Ethernet patch panel. We are happy to comply with any building wiring guidelines or work with the building's riser company if required.

From inside the unit, the Cat5 Ethernet cable can be used to set up your internal network via your wireless router (wifi).

Single family homes and small apartment buildings

Our installation is much like a satellite TV installation. On the roof, we install a mast-mounted antenna, which is clamped to pre-existing structures. If necessary we can place a mast at an external wall near the roof line. We do NOT penetrate the roof membrane.

Wire is run using pre-established routes for wiring from the rooftop to your residence (i.e. conduits or vents). If these are not available, we may run the cabling along a drainpipe, seam or corner using small cable tacks. Our goal is a clean and professional run.

To deliver the cabling into your unit we may need to drill a small hole (3/8") underneath a windowsill. This hole will be professionally caulked and sealed. Inside your home the cable will terminate at a small box we call a P.O.E (power over ethernet). The POE has a port available for plugging in your router.

Please contact us about service for your single-family home or small apartment building.

Large multi-unit dwellings (10+)

Our installation process involves mounting a receiver antenna and possibly an additional meshing antenna to the roof. Our receiver is low voltage gear that typically uses between 10 - 20W of power, and less than 100W max for larger bandwidth subscriptions. From the roof, we run a Cat5e wire either to the unit, telecom closet, or the property's Ethernet patch panel. We are happy to comply with any building wiring guidelines.

Please contact us about service for your large apartment building or MDU.

Commerical buildings

Monkeybrains provides commercial-level bandwidth service to downtown San Francisco and beyond. We will mechanically affix FCC compliant wireless antennas atop the roof space in order to provide data services to said building and surrounding areas. If necessary, we can provide a non-penetrating roof mount (weighted base) in lieu of mechanically affixing equipment at the roof. The wire run typically consists of outdoor rated Cat5 being fished through the building's conduit, to the riser closet, or directly to the suite (in smaller buildings).

Please contact us about service for your business.
For temporary or event-related service click here.

Your internal network - wireless routers

Monkeybrains customers will need to provide their own router to create a wireless network (wifi). Most standard, consumer-grade, wireless routers should work with our service (as long as your device has an ethernet input). For the best performance, our Support team recommends Dual-Band routers, in the $60+ range. Netgear, Linksys, and Apple products are among the most popular.
Business customers requesting packages of 50Mbps+ should consult their IT professional about which router to choose.
Equipment that will NOT work with our service: devices provided to you by a cable or DSL company (modem/router combos). These devices are proprietary and will not work with other providers' service.
You will not need a modem. In specific instances where a modem is required (VDSL) we will provide one!

Limiting Factors

While 98% of installations are successful, there are a few limiting factors:

  1. Obstructions such as trees, billboards, taller buildings, or surrounding topography. Unobstructed line-of-sight must be available between the antenna on your roof and one of our network access points.
  2. The building is too far out of network range to maintain a reliable internet connection. Take a look at our coverage area.
  3. Unreliable roof access: access to the roof must be available and safe.
  4. Limited mounting locations on the roof, due to a steeply pitched roof or unreliable roof access.

What are your rights regarding a roof-top installation?

We want you to be informed of your legal right to receive wireless internet service whether you rent or own your home.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed rules in 1996 regarding the installation of dishes for residents of apartments, condos, town homes and HOAs. The FCC ruled that a resident has the right to have a dish that is less than one meter (39.37 inches) in diameter. However, the landlord or the Homeowners Association can enforce restrictions on common areas, such as the exterior of the building or the roof.
The FCC ruling also covers unreasonable installation or maintenance costs as well as unreasonable delays in installation, maintenance or use. This means that a landlord or Homeowners Association cannot ask you to pay unreasonable extra costs or create undue delays for you to use or install wireless internet equipment, nor can they prevent you from installing within the guidelines..
For any questions or to receive the complete FCC rules, please visit