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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have sloooowwwwww dial up internet at the ranch. We are looking for recommendations on satellite. What do you like and dislike about your service?

Thank you!
 

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I left dial-up and went to Wild Blue about a month ago. While I would not call it real high speed, it is much better than dial-up.
 

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We have no problems with ours. The only problem we ever have is with the router and not very often. I think your location will have a lot to do with it. Just make sure they can get a strong signal before the installation. :) I would die if I had to suffer with dial up...the people who have it must be saints with all the patience it requires
 

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We have sloooowwwwww dial up internet at the ranch. We are looking for recommendations on satellite. What do you like and dislike about your service?

Thank you!
We had Wildblue for about 2 years. It was faster than dial-up (usually), but I would recommend it only as an absolute last resort.

It performed poorly in rain or heavy cloud cover. Their customer support was sloppy and evasive, when outages, or other problems occurred.

Wildblue has very stingy limits, on the amount of bandwidth that may be used on a given day. Watching youtube videos, downloading software, or file sharing, will use up the available bandwidth quickly, especially if the family is sharing the connection. If you use too much, Wildblue will "throttle" your connection, down to where dial-up is almost faster.

I would make sure there is no DSL or any other wireless ISP available, before committing to Satellite, especially Wildblue.
 

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We have hughesnet... it's all right. Much better than dial-up. Speed isn't an issue, unless you play online games like Everquest or World of Warcraft, then it just doesn't work.

The bad side of it is that if it's storming or other bad weather, you'll get some interference in your connection. The other downside is that there's a cap on how much you can "download" in a day. Ours is currently 500 megs per 24 hour period. If you go over that, they chunk you back down to dial up speed for the next 24 hours. It's like being in time-out. :) Be aware that "downloads" include anything you surf, not just videos or music downloads.

I read through Walter Jeffries Sugar Mountain Farm blog in it's entirety one day not too long ago (absolutely fantastic and inspiring blog, by the way - Holly is my hero). I got put in bandwidth time out for that.

It's also a bit on the pricey side, but it's worth it for me to be able to do my office work from home at times.

-April
 

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As others have said don't do it unless there is no other option except dial-up. it's expensive and limited in terms of speed, latency and volume. Use too much and they'll throttle you down to dial up speed. The dreaded FAP.
 

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Defending the Highground
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We have the HughesNet Pro plan. It is a bit more per month than the regular plan, but gives us all the bandwidth we need. The Fair Access Policy does not apply to downloads between 2am and 5 am CST. Although not convenient, we just work with that and have never been hit with a FAP. However, we do a limited amount of YouTube watching, or downloading music or photos. The most downloading we do is usually software or updates to our software.

The downside: bad weather wreaks havoc with the service, but then again, it does the same thing to our satellite TV. The worst weather issue is the build-up of snow on the LNB. When we voiced our concern to the person who installed our upgraded dish, he suggested using a SuperSoaker filled with non-toxic antifreeze. Just aim and shoot. Since we had one of the worst winters in Wisconsin history last year, that tip saved us a LOT! Except for having to rinse out the gun after each application, it worked really well.

We've been with HughesNet since 2000 and have not had to use customer service very much and have always been pleased with our experience when we did.

I do agree with others however, if wireless or DSL (cable) is available that would be the way to go...cheaper and more reliable I believe.

RVcook
 

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I have hughesnet as well. I use the basic plan because it is expensive. I'm a digital scrapbooker and I hate it when I can't download all the things I want. I ended up getting a program that I can use to schedule all my downloads in the middle of the night. I set it for 3 am. I like it alot better since I've gotten that program.

For the most part though, I've never had to call customer service in the 4 years I've had it. The service is ok. Don't count on it in the rain or if it's cloudy and sometimes it's spotty just because.

Our phone lines never did work out here so I can't switch to DSL but if the cable lines ever come this way I'll be switching quick.
 

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Defending the Highground
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I have hughesnet as well. I use the basic plan because it is expensive. I'm a digital scrapbooker and I hate it when I can't download all the things I want. I ended up getting a program that I can use to schedule all my downloads in the middle of the night. I set it for 3 am. I like it alot better since I've gotten that program.

For the most part though, I've never had to call customer service in the 4 years I've had it. The service is ok. Don't count on it in the rain or if it's cloudy and sometimes it's spotty just because.

Our phone lines never did work out here so I can't switch to DSL but if the cable lines ever come this way I'll be switching quick.
Wendy,

What download scheduler did you get? I've been looking for a good one and there is very little info.

RVcook
 

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For about a year now we made the switch from dial-up to sat. We use Xplornet (we're in Alberta, Canada btw).
Most times it is fine, better then dialup anyways! LOL
But then there are the times when I swear dial-up is faster. Not to mention the cloud cover affects the speed also.
My aunt has the same sat service (lives in BC), Xplornet, and hates it completely. She has to share the bandwidth with others, or something crazy like that. Now she works from home on the computer, so although she isn't on the 'net all day, the computer is turned on and technically "online". So in the evening when she wants to Skype or Facebook, she has little to no speed. She called and complained and thats when she found out it is shared. So since her comp is online all day, she gets put to the bottem of the priority list for bandwidth. What a load of crap.

When we move to our land, we'll be getting a wireless service. Or perhaps an aircard. If you have cell service, that seems to be the way to go up here.
 

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Crooked Gap Farm
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I too was faced with the satellite question and after scouring the internet and talking to quite a few people I just couldn't pull the trigger because of the price, the weather effect, and the problem people had with the companies. What I ended up going with is a Verizon wireless card that plugs into my computer via USB. It isn't as fast as Satellite most likely (for me anyways), but it is about twice as fast as dial-up.

Plus, if you are in a broadband wireless area than you can get pretty good speeds. We had broadband in our house for about two hours one day with our Verizon thing and it was about the same as the DSL we had when we lived in town.

So, that would be my vote ... check with Alltel, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or whatever you have in your area and see what is available. Another good thing is that many of these cell companies have a 30 day trial so you can test it out ... I'm not sure if the satellite companies do the same, but if they do there is a lot more involved because of the equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
At the house in the burbs, that we are trying to sell, we have Earthlink DSL and LOVE it. When the final move to the ranch happens(we are there about half time now), we would love to have DSL, but are told our old phone line service isn't set up for it. The ranch is quite remote, surrounded by National Forest.

Thank you all for your input. I will be sharing this with DH so we can discuss options.
 

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My parents don't get DSL or cable where they live, but they have a strong cell signal through Verizon. Last week my mom got the little Verizon USB wireless internet thingie and she LOVES it. I'm guessing it's comparable to DSL speed-wise, maybe a little better.
 

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My in-laws live in a location where the only option is dial-up or satellite. About a year ago they switched to satellite and it is just as slow as the dial up was....They would go back to dial up because it is cheaper if they where not under contract on it the satellite for two years.
 

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We have Dish (which might be Wild Blue "underneath"). It's pricier than I care for, quick enough, but the slightest breath of a storm knocks out service (we have satellite TV, too, and it's even worse, but it's a bundle...). We've gotten the warning about activity a few times, too, so there is that to think about if you do much downloading.

But... all that said, it's WAY better than dial-up (we can't get broadband). So that's something to weigh, too.

Good luck. You might also try contacting some broadband providers in your area and asking if they plan to get out to you at some point. If nothing else, they'll know there's at least some demand and might get in gear. We tried that, and they do seem to at least be heading our way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm surprised they haven't brought DSL our way. We are only 2 hours from Los Angeles!
 
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