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  1. #1
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    Satellite Internet

    Hey all, I was wondering if anyone has any experience with satellite Internet. I'm gathering some information for the folks and was wondering if anyone here had any experiences.

    They live about 5 miles out of town, so dial-up has really been their only option. With dial up they're getting about 36 Kbps... My understanding is that DSL would not be an option being this far out of town, am I correct?

    I've been reading about this Hughesnet you see advertised on TV. Sounds like the connection speed averages about 650-750 Kbps which would be a pretty good upgrade.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.



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    Re: Satellite Internet

    Don't do it unless it is a necessity. It is costly, performance is better than dial up, but certainly not screaming fast, and tech support is suspect.

    I wouldn't rule out DSL. Call your local phone companies. My sister is several miles outside of town and has DSL service through a local provider.



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    Re: Satellite Internet

    DSL CAN work out to about 7 or 10 miles, albeit at reduced throughput. I don't know if the phone company supports that though. A lot depends on where the nearest DSLAM is. I live in Des Moines and I can't even get decent DSL speeds where I am.
    Satellite internet does work, but the latency is pretty rough, and there's not a whole lot you can do to get around that. It's good for things like streaming video, but bad for things that require interactivity (i.e. video games).

    One thing you can look into, if they live in an area serviced by EVDO with sprint or Verizon is their wireless data. You get near-DSL speeds (generally in the 256-512k range) and the latency is pretty reasonable. I suspect it would cost roughly the same as satellite.



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    Re: Satellite Internet

    My parents live about 7 miles outside their tiny town and have DSL through their phone company. It works for what they do (which is mostly e-mail) so I would definitely check it out.



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    Re: Satellite Internet

    Thanks everyone. I'll have to look into the DSL a little more I guess and see what I can find for providers and speeds.

    Thanks.



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    Re: Satellite Internet

    I won't get it because it kills VPN performance and I need to use VPN for work. I'm out in the country as well so no cable, no dsl. I'm using a sprint broadband card that is shared through one of my PCs.

    Works pretty well.


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    Re: Satellite Internet

    I had Hughesnet for a 1 1/2 years. I wouldn't recommend it unless it is a last resort. I lived just north of Ames and when my wife and I got married she moved to my house. She was taking online courses and needed better than a dial-up so we bought the dish and directway service. The speed was fine. There were outages that were not weather related though. Their primary techs could never help and it took hours to get through to someone who could actually help. My wife missed enough classes that we decided to cancel the service and she drove to Jewel to take classes until we moved in Sept.

    I would look into getting a wireless line-of-sight service for your folks.



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    Re: Satellite Internet

    I use Starband. I lose the signal whenever it is raining.


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    Re: Satellite Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by mclatch View Post
    I would look into getting a wireless line-of-sight service for your folks.
    Ditto on the rural wireless line-of-sight service if it's available in your area. I know several people who live on farms and have speeds close to DSL with it. I think it's also a fraction of the price of satellite internet.



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    Re: Satellite Internet

    Look into Praire iNet. It is microwave dish to nearest COOP typically. My Mom lives out in the country between Ames and Nevada. Works great, good tech service. I believe you have to get a 1 year agreement due to hardware costs for setup, but the speed is 750k to 1M. Down side is that the email service through Praire iNet is not good. Better to use Yahoo or HotMail or something like that.

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    Re: Satellite Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by MontyBurns View Post
    Ditto on the rural wireless line-of-sight service if it's available in your area. I know several people who live on farms and have speeds close to DSL with it. I think it's also a fraction of the price of satellite internet.

    My brother in law farms and has line of sight - one tree in the wrong spot is his biggest problem. They are happy they can do that.

    My spouse uses satellite internet from her consultant work that is a god send for her. She works going down the road when riding with someone and does not have to hook up at hotels, airports, and she works overseas sometimnes- just great for her work connections. She does not have to go to Panera Bread or the Iowa Interstate Stops to get her messages. She recommends satellite. The company (URS) bought a gaggle of people satellite cards because they were tired of restrictions/impacts/synching for other internet devices. Command decision by the company - they have 63k employees also under their control.Made it easier for their workers...


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  12. #12
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    Re: Satellite Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesley View Post
    My brother in law farms and has line of sight - one tree in the wrong spot is his biggest problem. They are happy they can do that.

    My spouse uses satellite internet from her consultant work that is a god send for her. She works going down the road when riding with someone and does not have to hook up at hotels, airports, and she works overseas sometimnes- just great for her work connections. She does not have to go to Panera Bread or the Iowa Interstate Stops to get her messages. She recommends satellite. The company (URS) bought a gaggle of people satellite cards because they were tired of restrictions/impacts/synching for other internet devices. Command decision by the company - they have 63k employees also under their control.Made it easier for their workers...
    I highly doubt they are "satellite" internet cards. They are likely mobile broadband, which uses cell towers. From the sound of it, probably GSM cards, so that would be T-Mobile or Cingular/AT&T here in the states. They have pretty spotty high speed (or low speed for that matter) coverage in the states, so unless you go overseas and need to use it there, I'd recommend either Sprint or Verizon.

    Satellite internet would require a clear line of sight, as well as a likely huge antennae (see: iridium cell phones).



  13. #13
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    Re: Satellite Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Whin4Cy View Post
    Look into Praire iNet. It is microwave dish to nearest COOP typically. My Mom lives out in the country between Ames and Nevada. Works great, good tech service. I believe you have to get a 1 year agreement due to hardware costs for setup, but the speed is 750k to 1M. Down side is that the email service through Praire iNet is not good. Better to use Yahoo or HotMail or something like that.

    Prairie InetŪ

    IMO, that is good advice for anyone, those are the best services to use in case you ever change ISPs. When I moved to WC, changing and letting ppl know was a big hassle. Since then I decided to use Hotmail for all my personal email, because it transcends ISPs.

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  14. #14
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    Re: Satellite Internet

    We live out east of DM near Runnells. Our only options were dial-up or satellite. We went with Wild Blue Satellite and are happy with the service. Wild Blue - $49.95/month
    MSN - $22/month

    DSL was available, but within a couple miles of our home. Qwest said they could set us up on DSL if we would commit to a minimum 1 year @ $149.95/month - NOT.

    Wild Blue is blazing compared to dial-up, but some occasional weather issues.



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    Re: Satellite Internet

    We have line of site at our farm at home, it is a big upgrade from dial-up and originally starting out it didn't work very well because of where our signal was coming from. We get it from a different spot now and it seems to work well except for some periodic down times.



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