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Satellite Internet?
Old 05-09-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
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Satellite Internet?

Does anyone have experience with satellite internet? How does it compare to DSL? Oddly, here in the deep boonies we have good DSL provided by a very small telephone company. But DH and I are considering moving closer to a city and we've been amazed to find that the major phone companies do not provide DSL on the outskirts of town.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:14 PM   #2
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You might want to check one other option - so called "fixed wireless internet access" which is broadband via two way radio transmission. Here is a list of providers in California: Wireless T1 California Internet Service Providers

We live in the boonies and use this rather than satellite, which has some latency (delay) issues and is generally very slow to upload.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:18 PM   #3
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I had the service thru Directv and it was very slow. I'm out in the sticks too and DSL wasn't great so now I have service via comcast (cable) and the DSL thru att and cable is much faster and more stable the DSL.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:47 PM   #4
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The reason is that you have to be within a certain distance of a phone company central office (which means a local switching center) to get reliable DSL.

Why is distance important with DSL? DSL FAQ | DSLReports.com, ISP Information
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
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I use DSL out in the boonies through ATT but our neighbors (who even have a home phone through ATT) can't get DSL? They use satellite and it is terrible.
I wonder if they have the option of some sort of fixed access like REW mentioned? I'll have to check it out.
We love our DSL--cheap, cheap, cheap! Friends have nothing but gripes about the satellite.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
You might want to check one other option - so called "fixed wireless internet access" which is broadband via two way radio transmission. Here is a list of providers in California: Wireless T1 California Internet Service Providers

We live in the boonies and use this rather than satellite, which has some latency (delay) issues and is generally very slow to upload.
Is this secure for financial stuff?
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:04 PM   #7
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Is this secure for financial stuff?
Yes, I don't have any information to lead me to believe it is any less secure than other types of internet connections, but I'll leave it to more technically savvy members to chime in with a more educated response.

Oh, and I have several neighbors who have used the system for years without ill effect.

EDIT: Here is some additional info on system security: http://motorola.wirelessbroadbandsup...27422d17e7a906
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:48 PM   #8
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If you see https: at the beginning of the url then it is secure with encryption. The media in use does not matter. Plenty of other people can see your traffic, regardless of the media.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:58 PM   #9
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I had satellite about 10 years ago when it was that or dial-up. I had it with Starband, partnered with Dish. It was so bad I switched to dial-up and saw an improvement, and I even ate 4 months of service because Starband wouldn't let me out of the 1 yr contract even though it was much worse than advertised. I needed to use a VPN to get into work, and it didn't hold the VPN connection well at all. I'd have to reconnect a dozen times a day. Even without VPN, I'd lose service a few times a day. Not sure how much better it might be now, but I'm under the impression that it's not all that much better.

The delays really killed me. Part of the problem is that I was using it for work, and I do a lot of interactive work on remote machines. There's something like a 1.5 second delay guaranteed just because of the distance to the satellites. The service was so lousy that it ranged from 2 to 10 seconds, and that unpredictability made it unbearable. I would type something, know that I had a typo, and then wait to see it appear on the screen, and carefully count how many times I had to hit backspace, or else I'd have to wait and make sure I was changing the right letter. Horrible. When I switched to dial-up, I found I could live with the slow but steady speed.

If you are just doing web browsing and email, nothing interactive, it won't be horrible, but I still don't think it'd be that good. Absolutely forget about any online gaming or skype, and even chatting would probably be too annoying for the other person to wait for you.

The fixed wireless access should be a lot better because the delays are much less, just going to a nearby tower rather than out in space. I've heard from a few people using one around here, and it can be spotty (semi-frequent outages) but is generally usable.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:59 PM   #10
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If you see https: at the beginning of the url then it is secure with encryption. The media in use does not matter. Plenty of other people can see your traffic, regardless of the media.
What Rustward said. As far as the satellite net connection goes, it's really a last resort. From what I've heard, it's slow in terms of download speed plus there is a latency issue (several second delay when you click on a link). You will have a lot of difficulty streaming video. And there is some sort of data cap system where your bandwidth gets reduced if you download too much in a given time period.

If there is 3G cell phone service available, there may be an option for you to have internet service that way. Also, there are sometimes regional wireless providers as REWahoo noted. I take it there is no cable service? It was very unstable where I live now, but I've had good experiences with it in other cities.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:10 PM   #11
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The fixed wireless access should be a lot better because the delays are much less, just going to a nearby tower rather than out in space. I've heard from a few people using one around here, and it can be spotty (semi-frequent outages) but is generally usable.
I've been using fixed wireless since last Sept and have experienced no latency problems. I'm sure reliability depends on the individual service provider, but mine (Internet America) has been very consistent. I've had only two service glitches in those eight months - one interruption and one slowdown - and both were resolved in less than 24 hours.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:10 PM   #12
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We had WildBlue, I think, about 4 years ago. Paid about $75 a month for there slowest service which was about equal to the slowest DSL. We did not have any problems with it. It is just about the same as Sat TV. It is lousy for weather. When you really want to know where the storms are, or are going to be, you loose the signal. As said, it is better than dial up, but if DSl or any other option were available I would try them.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:15 PM   #13
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I considered Direct TV but the cost was more than cable which was umpteen times faster! I have low speed ATT DSL 768kbps, it is fast and cheap. I'm surprised to read how poor satellite is!
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:53 AM   #14
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Verem, I have that same slow DSL, for $19.95 a month from ATT.
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