Satellite Internet

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  #1  
Old 09-26-11, 06:17 AM
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Satellite Internet

This may be posted in the wrong section but here goes.

I live in the sticks. The only option I have for internet over a line is dial-up and it is useless so I gave it up a long time ago and got an internet card from Verizon. It seems it is becoming as slow as dial up. I have have talked to a couple of the satellite providers and I get mixed reviews.
Wildblue and Hugesnet are the two providers in this area. Does anyone have experience with either of these compared to the internet card I use now?
Thanks for your input on this.
 
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Old 09-26-11, 11:14 AM
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I think every area is different for air card usage so it's hard to compare in anything more than general terms. I've never had satellite but my understanding is your phone line is still the means of uploading data; the satellite feed is download only.
 
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Old 09-26-11, 12:29 PM
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We had Direcway (now Hughes) for about a year back in '99 when we first bought our house and neither cable nor dsl was available. The satellite internet was "okay"; nothing to write home about but a big improvement over dialup. It was pricey, more than double what we now pay for dsl. Don't remember the upload/download arrangment, but I know the phone line was freed up. I think both ways was via the satellite, but the upload speed was quite slow. The aircard might be spotty as mitch said; the sat connection is good as long as you have the line-of-sight to the satellite and the weather isn't doggy-doo. FWIW we still use satellite for tv (Dish) even after cable became available.
 
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Old 09-26-11, 12:41 PM
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I could easily be wrong on using the phone line for uploads, never had the service. If TG's phone was freed up, the uploads would seem to have been via the satellite as well.
 
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Old 09-26-11, 01:52 PM
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Satellite Internet

This stuff should of gotten better by now and the vendor should be able to tell you what types of speeds you should expect. They will come out and see if they can get a decent signal to the satellite before installing. I would ask for some type of guarantee about upload/download speeds. Typically you will be using download more than upload, unless you email a ton of stuff.

Remember that pretty much every McDonalds have free wi-fi. I used that for about 2-3months while in the outback of Kansas!
 
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Old 09-27-11, 06:16 PM
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I have only dealt with Hughs net through one of my clients. Personally, I did not like their service, nor their customer support. From talking to my client, they were extremely pricey, and had serious limitations on usage. It goes through satellite just as if you had satellite TV. His did not use the phone line at all. So while it is faster than dial-up, it is still slower (or at least his pricey package was) than DSL or Cable. Another alternative is to call the local ISPs and see if any of them offer wireless out in your area. Wireless is cheaper than Hughs by far and offers equivalent speeds to DSL.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 09-28-11, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd43 View Post
This stuff should of gotten better by now and the vendor should be able to tell you what types of speeds you should expect. They will come out and see if they can get a decent signal to the satellite before installing. I would ask for some type of guarantee about upload/download speeds. Typically you will be using download more than upload, unless you email a ton of stuff.

Remember that pretty much every McDonalds have free wi-fi. I used that for about 2-3months while in the outback of Kansas!
Hey we have more internet choices available in the outback of Kansas than most major metropolitan areas! We have TWO 50Mbps providers (one fiber one cable, in some counties Cox has rolled out their 100Mbps), and TWO wireless providers (one 3G one 4G) with solid coverage..

So yeah, satellite internet has come a long way since early DirecWay/Starband, but it's still got its issues. If it's that or and aircard though you'd learn to live with it. The hugest problem is the lag. Every single request you send has four earth-sky bounces that add literally thousands of milliseconds onto your ping times. A few seconds doesn't sound like much, but it's really annoying and makes it feel like you're not getting the speed you're paying for. Then there's rain fade and the fact that it's not quite as fast as DSL to begin with.

Oh and NO ISP will ever guarantee speeds on any kind of residential or low-end commercial connection. The only speed guaranteed pipes out there are leased lines (T-1, T-3, OC-3, etc) and you fork out bookoo bucks for those. A T-1 line is 1.544Mbps and goes for around $750 per month. A T-3 is 43.232Mbps and runs a cool $10,000 per month.. Get the picture?
 
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Old 09-28-11, 08:48 AM
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I currently have Wild Blue Internet 3mbs service and my wife has 3g service on her phone. We tested a 3g card in a computer and our reception was not great so we got worse than average speed from the. We also tried DSL but we are at the edge of DSL's range from the switch so it to was slower than satellite except that it did not have the lag.

Satellite Internet gets the bulk of the use in our house. The downloads & uploads are both faster on Satellite than 3G. There is always a lag for anything you do with satellite since the signal has to travel 44'000 miles before it even hits the providers routers and then you tack on the Internet's response time. So, when you click on a page nothing happens one Mississippi, two Mississippi and then things start flowing through. This lag prevents it's use with Skype, VOIP or effective online gaming.

Also keep in mind that most satellite plans offer different speeds. None are fast by cable Internet standards but still much better than dial-up. They also have monthly caps on how much data you can move. With two of us doing moderate to heavy usage we have never come close to hitting the cap but we do not download music or stream movies.

The satellite's speed varies with the quality of the signal. On a nice clear day we can get more than the rated 3mbs. Occasionally solar flares or terrestrial weather degrades the signal and it progressively drops to lower rates to insure accurate & reliable transmission. It's much like satellite TV (Dish Network or DirecTV). When it rains hard you loose the signal so if you try to check weather radar and the page won't load it's a good indication there is a decent storm between you and the satellite. One good thing about satellite Internet is that you do rely on wires on poles. When the power, cable and phone lines are knocked down by a storm you can still have Internet if you have a generator.
 
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Old 09-28-11, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilot Dane View Post
There is always a lag for anything you do with satellite since the signal has to travel 44'000 miles before it even hits the providers routers and then you tack on the Internet's response time.
That's only one way.. Then once the internet responds it has to make another 44,000 mile bounce for the return trip!
 
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Old 09-29-11, 02:49 AM
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I have a friend who lives under the mountains of Tennessee in a real small town with mainly farm land and he has had some of the same issues. He tried a friends Verizon Wireless hotspot at his house and the signal wasn't real great but not too bad either and then tried it at his house and it was better. Well his friend lives on a hill and my friend lives in a valley so there is a big difference. While trying to help my friend I also started remembering something I had seen on a home improvement show that will help you and him. The host of the show loves his cell phone as he gets better long distance rates versus his landline. Well for a long time he had no choice at home but to use the land line as there was cell service but it was very weak at his house. He kept wondering there must be a way to fix this and finally found out that there are cell phone booster antennas. Those cards from Verizon work the same as a cell phone so all you need to do is a Google search for a cell phone booster antenna. Satellite internet may or may not be better than what you are currently using I can't really say. I do believe though that from what little I have heard that satellite is more expensive and as has been said is subject to being messed up by the weather. I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do.
 
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Old 09-29-11, 04:20 AM
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But Matt, you have gravity with the return trip making it faster I couldn't resist!!
 
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Old 09-29-11, 05:28 AM
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Nah it's gotta fight gravity on the way up (which slows it down), so any gain on the way down is canceled out..
 
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Old 10-01-11, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by JerseyMatt View Post
Oh and NO ISP will ever guarantee speeds on any kind of residential or low-end commercial connection. The only speed guaranteed pipes out there are leased lines (T-1, T-3, OC-3, etc) and you fork out bookoo bucks for those. A T-1 line is 1.544Mbps and goes for around $750 per month. A T-3 is 43.232Mbps and runs a cool $10,000 per month.. Get the picture?
Not entirely true... The ISP I work for does wireless Internet and they guarantee the provided speeds for the most part. Unlike most cable and DSL providers around here which provide 'up to' the specified speeds. If we cannot get a good enough signal to provide the speed during installation we see what we can offer and either compromise on a different package or see what we can do to get another tower up depending on customer base. Of course there may still be DSL or something else as an alternative if we cannot get coverage for a while.
 
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Old 10-01-11, 02:18 PM
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Helped my MiL get connected with her Verizon hot spot thingy (MyFi). They sent her an external antenna that attaches to a window. Shes is in the middle of the woods and she will get three bars out there when I only get one bar on my phone. Speed is not to bad. Better than dial up by far.
 
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Old 10-02-11, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Spikester View Post
Not entirely true... The ISP I work for does wireless Internet and they guarantee the provided speeds for the most part. Unlike most cable and DSL providers around here which provide 'up to' the specified speeds. If we cannot get a good enough signal to provide the speed during installation we see what we can offer and either compromise on a different package or see what we can do to get another tower up depending on customer base. Of course there may still be DSL or something else as an alternative if we cannot get coverage for a while.
What ISP is this? I would really like to see that in writing because it just doesn't happen (I'm especially curious about the qualifier "for the most part"). Nobody guarantees speeds because they CAN'T. Same reason they don't guarantee uptime. There are too many variables. If it's not a T or OC system, it's "up to xMbps".
 
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Old 10-02-11, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by JerseyMatt View Post
What ISP is this? I would really like to see that in writing because it just doesn't happen (I'm especially curious about the qualifier "for the most part"). Nobody guarantees speeds because they CAN'T. Same reason they don't guarantee uptime. There are too many variables. If it's not a T or OC system, it's "up to xMbps".
Well as not part of management I'm not technically allowed to speak on behalf of the company. For that reason I will not reveal the name of the ISP. However I will try to answer your question a little better.

As far as providing a true guarantee I don't know the technical standpoint of that.
We will pick on a 3Mbps 768Kbps connection package for my attempted explanation though. While it may not be true 3x768 usually its right around 2.9x720 as actual speeds. But our packages are not 'up to' package. It is at least really really close to the specified speeds. What I mean by this is with cable (at least my cable internet) whom I will name because I do not work for them, Time Warner, I have a 7Mbps 256Kbps connection. Now it really isn't an issue if I only get around 6.5 down speed. However this is classified as an 'up to' type of connection. Basically meaning if I get 4 or 5 down it's one of those 'oh well' type situations. With our packages if we cannot get a full (or dangerously close) 3Mbps down connection when installing the equipment we will try troubleshooting, swapping equipment, channel changes, etc to see if we can. If we cannot to that particular customer we will typically offer whatever package we can get at full (or dangerously close) connection speeds at a discounted price. This is only for our wireless packages though. Our DSL and other packages are not under these same specifications as we basically resell most of those. Also the reason we can better control the speeds for our wireless customers is because we control the towers and can do better load balancing to provide the speeds we say we can. Obviously we cannot guarantee 100% uptime etc but we do our best. Also we do offer T1 and T3 connections as well but I have not dealt with those much.

Hope this explains more. Perhaps guarantee wasn't the best word for it, but we do not offer our customers something we cannot provide 99.9% of the time. Which I guess was more of my point. I hope this makes sense, and I also hope you understand my reason for not naming the ISP as I cannot speak officially on the company's behalf.
 
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