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  1. #1
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    Satellite Internet
    Well, me and the wife should be closing on our new place soon, but I've realized something pretty crummy. We're moving out to the middle of nowhere and our only internet option are dial-up or satellite internet access.

    Does anyone here use satellite for their internet? Can anyone refer a good yet affordable company?

    I don't really want to go back to dial-up, but I don't have a lot of extra to spend and also want a decent connection if I do go with satellite.

    I just don't know much about getting online through satellite.

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Can you get cellular access? Wireless Internet could be another option if it's available.
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  3. #3
    Internet Cowboy
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    I have a friend who lives in "BFE" and uses satellite. Her's is pretty fast, but it seems like it takes a few seconds to establish the "handshake". There is a few seconds before the page starts to load but then it loads quickly, about like my cable modem. The last time I looked it was about $600 for the equipment and about the same monthly as cable or DSL. That is better than dial-up. I am afraid I would blow my brains out if I had to use dial-up after having broadband for 5 years.


  4. #4
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleScooter
    I am afraid I would blow my brains out if I had to use dial-up after having broadband for 5 years.
    Would be like going from a Ferrari to a VW bug ... IMPOSSIBLE! LOL
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I am afraid I would blow my brains out if I had to use dial-up after having broadband for 5 years.
    Same here. I don't think I could survive on dial up, just shrivel up and die after a week or so.
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    Same here. I don't think I could survive on dial up, just shrivel up and die after a week or so.
    Whats this "dial up" thing you are all talking about?

  7. #7
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJJay
    Whats this "dial up" thing you are all talking about?
    OK JJ - just in case your question is for real (seeing as how you're not in the USA where we have EVERYTHING - LOL) 'dial up' is connecting to the internet via a phone line, as opposed to DSL (dedicated service line) or Cable which are much faster and better.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  8. #8
    Full Member Jungleland's Avatar
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    I had Direcway for several years and the end result is that it was better than dial-up, but not by as much as I would have hoped.

    At times it was great, but it would get bogged down during peak times, mostly in the evenings. Downloads were pretty good, but uploads were painful, about as bad as dial-up much of the time.

    Direcway also has a FAP (Fair Access Policy) that limits the amount of data you can download in a set period of time. I believe it was around 190 MB within a four hour period. They would pull you back to dial-up speeds if you went over their limit.

    By some miracle, I am in an Verizon Wireless EVDO area, and I switched to their broadbandaccess several months ago, and it is like night and day. I want to kiss the cellular modem good night every evening, it works so much better than the satellite did...
    [B]A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.[/B]

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I had a similar situation when I moved to my current house. No Cable or DSL was (or is yet) available.

    The main choices (other than dialup) that are available almost anywhere include:

    1) ISDN. This is not overly fast (128k) and can be expensive (often $100 per month), but it's incredibly reliable and has good latency (the amount of time it takes to get a response).

    2) T1. This is fast and reliable, but incredibly expensive ($400-$1000 per month).

    3) Satellite. This is fast, but is a little expensive (often over $100 per month) and has problems with reliability and latency. Do you have Dish or DirectTV now? Ever try to watch it during a storm? That's what your Internet connection will be like during a storm. You can get used to the latency in the web browser, but if you do any work in a shell (over Telnet or SSH), it'll be incredibly frustrating. You see about a second delay between the time you hit a key and the time it appears on the screen.

    Another option that I discovered in my area (and the one I went with) is:

    4) Wireless Broadband. Basically, this is the same technology as a wireless network in your house, except it uses a directed signal. The signal can reach up to 10 miles. Providers typically put their equipment on cell towers, water towers, etc. Speed can be up to T1 speed (1.5mbps). Price is usually comparable to Cable or DSL ($40-$50 per month). The reliability varies quite a bit depending on the provider, your distance, the equipment, any obstructions (hills, trees, houses) between you and the tower, etc. It can be really, really good. The hard part is finding them. The closest thing I can find to a wireless provider database is this list at dslreports.com.
    Michael Coley
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  10. #10
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    My friend have Satellite access.

    I can't remember the company but it's not that good. It costs like $800 (USD) for the installation and the equipment but about $30-$35 USD monthly fees. The download speed is not so bad (the upload speed is horrible) but the main problem is the connection.

    If it rains too hard, it disconnects, same with the snow, the wind and etc... She had problems with the past week, disconnects for hours at the time, then a 15 minutes come back, then a disconnect again.

    If you don't have a choice and are really patient, it can be good, if you have a choice, take it

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the responses. I'm dreading dial up, so this really helps.

    The cheapest I've found so far (haven't looked for long yet though) for satellite internet is around $300 for the equipment and like $50 a month I think. But I have read, like you guys are saying, that it can be slow at times.

    I'll have to try this wireless internet idea. Maybe someone offers it around here. Do you have to pay for extra equipment or anything?

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    It varies from provider to provider, but I think most are about $150-$250 for equipment and installation. At least that's what the ones here charge.
    Michael Coley
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  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    I got to test the Verizon wireless offering for a few months and it worked pretty good the few times that I used it, not as fast as cable but two or three times faster than dial up as remember it, , but I was never really in BFE either.

  14. #14
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    The latency is inherent is the sat system, so no xbox type stuff - jerkiness will make your kids hate you.
    That latency averages about 700 msec (.7 seconds) for the average consumer, so live chat and the like are fine.
    Your upload speed is faster than dialup, but maybe 20-30% faster - which still feels like dialup.
    If you compare what you'll get, to someone who has it, make sure you compare the same modem - there was a drastic improvement after the 4000 series modems that fixes most earlier speed and connectivity problems.
    If you run a VPN, try to find an alternative to satellite - the latency and encoding issues with sat internet makes a VPN crawl like a baby.
    HughesNet [formerly called Direcway (by DirecTV)] almost always runs $100 rebates on the install and equipment making the startup costs lower than the other posts I've seen here indicate - and the monthly costs are usually $60-75

    See www.hughesnet.com for more.

  15. #15
    Full Member Jungleland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    there was a drastic improvement after the 4000 series modems that fixes most earlier speed and connectivity problems.
    That's what I used (still have them). Hughes wanted a 15 month committment to upgrade at a reasonable cost. As long as the old modems were working, I wasn't giving them 15 more months.

    Besides Direcway, Wildblue may be available in your area. They are somewhat new, but worth looking into. As Michael mentioned earlier, dslreports.com is a good source of additional info.
    [B]A great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up.[/B]

  16. #16
    Full Member Deb's Avatar
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    I use satellite (DirecWay 4000 series). It's the only thing available in my area besides dial-up - and I refuse to do that. No DSL, Cable or high-speed wireless.

    Satellite's not too bad - seems about as fast as the cable we had before we moved here. We do have trouble occasionally if it's very overcast, heavy rain, snow, etc. DirecWay/Hughes.net has an upgrade that's supposed to be better, but I don't want to pay extra at this time.

    We pay about $59.99 per month. I don't remember how much the startup equipment was, but I'm thinking it was $499 before rebates. About 98% of what I use my computer for is business related, so it's a business expense. At tax time, that comes in handy.

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