Satellite Internet Anyone?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Wolf mom, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,284
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Appalachian Foothills
    Anyone use satelite internet? What are the pros & cons?

    I'll be calling them Monday, but I don't even know enough to know what questions to ask. They'll paint a rosy picture, I'm sure as they want to sell, sell, sell.

    At $80.00 a month for DSL & just local phone service (no extras, no long distance) with Frontier Communications, I'm thinking of Satellite internet and a cell phone as an option.

    I already carry a cell as I live alone in a rural area, so that's a must for me. All of this is getting pretty expensive - & I don't talk much.

    The only problem I can see so far is recharging my cell phone when the electricity goes out. That's a when, not an if it goes out.

    The company is callled Mini Dish. The advertisement does not say DSL, just superfast speeds and ISP included. What's ISP? See how little I know about this...

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,427
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Location:
    EastTN: Former State of Franklin
    ISP is an internet service provider......like AOL or one of thousands of small local ones.

    It would give you a web address and email most likely.

    Have you checked to see if wireless or cable is availiable ?

    I have wireless thru a local ISP.....pretty fast.
     

  3. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    Messages:
    7,273
    Joined:
    May 9, 2004
    Location:
    Zone 8a, AZ
    People i talk to (even me!) who have satellite internet pretty much say the same thing. Uploads (like when you are requesting access to a site) are pretty darned slow and downloads (when you are taking something from a site onto your computer are pretty fast most of the time) Slowness occurs in the evenings during prime time due to band width congestion and it is also slower during bad weather in certain parts of the country.

    You need to ask and get in writing the following from the company if possible:

    1) will i get money credit towards my bill when I am unable to access the net because of problems the company is having (weather, hardware etc).

    2) What upload and download speeds am I guaranteed? If i am not getting these numbers what will you do to fix the situation?

    3) How accessable is your customer service, are they in this country or India? Can they speak English?

    4) If i purchase your equipment and plan and then dont like it x number of days after it is installed may I get my money ALL back minus whatever?

    That should hold you pretty good. I always ask this at the end of my conversation "Why should I go with your company instead of "x" company?"
     
  4. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,284
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Appalachian Foothills
    ah, Queen of the Mountain (alias Sisterpine)
    ...Thank you for the info. just one more question:
    What's ISP stand for? Oh, and how's your water?
     
  5. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,427
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Location:
    EastTN: Former State of Franklin
    Ah, as I said.....ISP stands for Internet Service Provider
     
  6. MrPG

    MrPG Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    104
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    If you can, try to get the very cheapest DSL, then get a broadband-based "VOIP phone" package from Vonage if you want to do a lot of calling. See vonage.com or packet8.net to see what I am talking about.

    Basically you plug this small box into your Internet connection, then a regular phone into the box. Then you have dial tone and can call anywhere in the USA and Canada for $24.99 per month, unlimited (Vonage plan). If you do even a decent amount of calling outside your local area it is worth it, especially if you run a small business.

    DSL is usually much better than satellite, because the radio signal for satellite has to travel so far that you run into latency. If you are just checking your email, latency does not matter, but if you do a lot of web surfing, you will probably notice the lag time between the time you click a link, and when the page starts to load.
     
  7. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,446
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    missoula, montana
    Tried the satellite stuff. Lots of headaches. When it was working, normal pages were about the same speed as dialup due to latency (speed of light between the earth and the satellite is about a second - if you ask for a web page, the request goes up to the satellite and then back down to the ISP. Then the page you asked for has to go up and back down again. Then the page you asked for probably has a whole bunch of little pictures and other web content that has to through that process)

    Tried the cell phone stuff from verizon. Better. But they moved an antenna and my service went to hell.

    Got the wireless stuff. That's the stuff!
     
  8. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

    Messages:
    16,275
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Because my husband runs his software development business out of our home, we have the Professional (a lot more bandwidth) package via Direcway Satellite and we have had a very good experience. We have only had momentary outages because of rainfade during extremely heavy downpours. Both our uploads and downloads are as fast (but not as consistently so) as our previous DSL service that we used in Phoenix. Overall, we are very pleased with Direcway.
     
  9. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

    Messages:
    1,617
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    IL
    I use my cell phone to connect to the internet. Faster than dialup, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. Just hook a little cable to the phone and the computer (laptop). No extra cost, just minutes of use (free after 9 PM and weekends). I dropped my ISP ($15/month), my landline phone ($50/month), and my old cell phone plan, 100 minutes a month for about $35. Current cell phone is 800 minutes for $55. Money ahead and I can connect even on vacation if I want! If you have good cell phone coverage it works well!

    Kathie
     
  10. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

    Messages:
    169
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    Central & South Mississippi
    Hi Wolf Mom,

    The others have given some good info but I did some searching and wanted to give you some more info.
    The company called Mini Dish that I found is just a reseller for DirecTV and DirecWay Satellite. If you are looking at satellite internet then here is another choice... Wild Blue They give you three speed and price choices and would possibly have less traffic on their satellite.
    Just some more info.
     
  11. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,693
    Joined:
    May 4, 2003
    we use starband and haven't really ever had problems not even during the rush hour when everbody else is on. The pages load nice and fast so I'm not quite sure what the other were talking about when comparing it to dial up. :shrug: It does drowned out a bit when really heavy rains have been coming down for about an hour but that's it. Good luck.
     
  12. Snuffy Smith

    Snuffy Smith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    I use Pegasus Wi-Band. Its a good fast connection. You have to have line of sight from your dish to one of their towers. I like it. $35.00 per month, and descent customer support for problems. To check out go to...
    www.pgrb.com
     
  13. Auric

    Auric Registered Doofus

    Messages:
    362
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    When I moved to my current Homestead, we didn't have any other option for Internet than Satellite. I researched it and found it was going to cost $100 a month and did NOT include any television programming. There was only analog cable in our area, and we were too far out of town for DSL. I decided not to get it as it was so expensive and slow to boot. Luckily, a few months later, I was able to get DSL, which I had previously enjoyed when living in the city. We pay about $30 a month for the DSL, including local phone coverage. We use our cell phones for all of our long distance, as they have free nights and weekends. TV comes free on the 4 stations we can tune in. We like this arrangement, as the kids watch too much TV as it is.
     
  14. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    Messages:
    7,273
    Joined:
    May 9, 2004
    Location:
    Zone 8a, AZ
    Our water is clear cold clean and delish! Also wanted to add about direcway, we did try the professional service for a year as I am in college via internet and was having problems with delay of 8 seconds etc. the pro package did not help at all so went back to the regular one and just learned to live with the delay. where i live satellite is our only choice and we are very glad to have it!
     
  15. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,202
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    The Ozarks
    We're on our 4th year of satellite via Direcway. I think it works great 98% of the time, and am very happy with it. Currently we have our dish on a tripod so we can use it wherever we park our RV.

    I'm at my parents place for a week, property hunting and using their dialup, which connects at 49.2kbps, so it doesn't get much faster than that... and let me tell you it's god awful slow in comparison. I think I'd give up internet rather than go back to this.
     
  16. Chinclub

    Chinclub Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Who do you use for wireless? I'm getting my first laptop and I want to be able to connect to the Internet when I'm not at home. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do that.
     
  17. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia

    Not a bad idea, but just be sure you understand that you CANNOT dial 911 for help on some VoIP systems. (Most?) Even if the VoIP company does offer 911 service (for an extra fee in some cases), the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) will not get your location when you call them. You will have to give them your address.

    That will change, no doubt, but that's the way it is for now.

    http://www.voipnow.org/2005/03/911_voip.html

    http://www.911voip.org/faqs.htm
     
  18. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

    Messages:
    847
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    River Valley, Arkansas
    We had basic sat service and it was slower than our dsl but faster than dial-up.

    Ask them what the monthly cost would be if you provided your own equipment as you can buy systems on ebay for around $200.00 full complete.

    I sold my two way when dsl became available to a gentleman in northeast Arkansas and when he got the system set up he said it was great. I got $200.00 for the system, and it was three years old.
     
  19. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004
    If you have DSL keep it. If you can get cable where you are then try it. I have always preferred cable to DSL. satellite is the very very very last option. If you can't get DSL, cable or wireless then you go with satellite. The simple physics of satellite (latency) make it less than optimal. Also there are issues with FAPs (use too much and they cut you off/down) and congestion.

    In other words if all else fails satellite. It will most likely suck but hey there aren't any other options. Well, besides dial-up which around here is hideously slow and carries with it long distance charges as well. Even at 56k I don't know how people do anything but email on the net nowadays as graphic intensive as everything has become.

    I'm on a wireless system which runs from 128-500k which sucks compared to the 3-4Mbps cable line I had when I lived in town. I'd gladly pay 100 bucks a month for a reliable 3-4 Mbps DSL connection out here. I don't ever see us getting DSL out here. Ever. We don't even have local dial up. I tried dial-up dialing into a neighboring area and it was so slow as to be unusable.
     
  20. popscott

    popscott Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,027
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    SW Virginy
    Dish is OK if it is all you can get, like where I'm located....I've seen the cable and DSL stuff elsewhere and they work better than the dish....with TV and Internet dish we are paying around $100/mnth, but even at that price they are both usually in constant use by someone here. The weather will knock it out every once in a while :grump: , which seems to come about the time you NEED to get off an e-mail or get that last bid in on E-bay....FAP'ing has not been to big of a problem with us cause we rarely download that much stuff....

    One thing to note....the guy who installed the dish (yep it MUST be pro installed) would not mount it on our house and out of the way...he insisted and did, install a pole in the yard ....aaaaargh....... so this year the trees grew out into the way of the signal, the satellite quit working, so I mounted it up on the house, away from the trees, realigned it for the best signal, and everything is "O-tah" now…

    Thanks,
    Pam and Scott
    http://www.justkiddinfarm.com/