Satellite internet, anyone?

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by TopCat99, Sep 7, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sep 7, 2003 #1 of 19
    TopCat99

    TopCat99 Godfather/Supporter

    336
    0
    Nov 3, 2002
    The newest I-have-whatever-and-this-is-what-I-think thread I found was from Jan '02, so don't hate me for asking again :lol:

    A customer of mine got DirecWay a couple weeks ago. Not being content with his praises, I had to torture test it myself. It passed several speed tests (both PC Pitstop and DSL/Broadband Reports tests--the latter using big and small files that are nearly incompressable) with flying colors--slowest was low 900s. I also did a little surfing and downloading and remained happy. Anyway, I did a little investigating and I think I'm ready to take the plunge.


    This is where you come in :D I honestly don't know which way to go, Starband or DirecWay. I like his DW system. However, I already have Dish and I don't want to buy all new equimpent (I just bought a 501 like 8 months ago). He gets some kinda deal where he gets D* and DW for like $80something a months, so I would like to go that route if possible. How does Starband service perform compared to DW?

    Basically I want to get rollin' with broadband internet worthy of the name (unlike my current setup) as quickly as possible with as little up front cost as possible. Any suggestions? :D
     
  2. Sep 7, 2003 #2 of 19
    Richard King

    Richard King Hall Of Fame

    21,331
    1
    Mar 25, 2002
    Don't do satellite internet unless you have no other options where you live. It works fine if you have no other options, but has several disadvantages. First of all you will lose (not loose) your signal in a heavy rain, just like television. Second, if you are a gamer you are at a distinct disadvantage in that the satellite signal is delayed by about .75 seconds due to the distance to the satellite and the round trips required. Third, don't plan on remote access to other systems, it just doesn't work. I had a customer try to use SB with Citrix and it was hopeless due to the latency (delay).

    In theory, SB and DW are very similar as far as performance. I am a Starband dealer and tell my prospects to expect around 500 down and about modem speed up. If they get better than that they are very pleased. I probably average around 600-700 when I test. I also explain all of the above to my prospects before I allow them to purchase a system.

    Posted using Starband.
     
  3. Sep 7, 2003 #3 of 19
    TopCat99

    TopCat99 Godfather/Supporter

    336
    0
    Nov 3, 2002
    I have DSL now. I'll be blunt: I get better speeds on dial-up from, say, 7 pm to midnight. I AM NOT KIDDING. And it's not me--it's a system-wide problem, and it's why the customer I talked about in my first post switched in the first place. They've been "upgrading" for 14 months now. I'm sick of waiting and paying $50 a month for what's basically dial-up with a static IP.

    As for games and VPN, ssh, and the like, I have aforementioned dial-up. In a real pinch, I can whip out the cell phone data cable ;)
     
  4. Sep 7, 2003 #4 of 19
    Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Banned User

    1,212
    0
    Jun 12, 2003
    What's your local cable company? If it's Time Warner then call them up and ask for Earthlink Cable Internet. No extra charge for not having Cable TV, and it's usually faster and/or cheaper than RoadRunner too. Same lines and everything. I have Earthlink Cable and DISH Network and I am very happy.
     
  5. Sep 7, 2003 #5 of 19
    TopCat99

    TopCat99 Godfather/Supporter

    336
    0
    Nov 3, 2002
    My cableco/telco/ISP are one. That's why I ditched them for E* 3 years ago. In other words, I'm in the middle of nowhere and they have the monoply :lol:
     
  6. Sep 7, 2003 #6 of 19
    Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

    7,657
    1
    Apr 14, 2002
    Earthlink also got the J.D. Power and Associates award for customer satisfaction.
     
  7. Sep 8, 2003 #7 of 19
    DCXFORDGM

    DCXFORDGM Mentor

    40
    0
    Jul 15, 2003
    Topcat99

    I have lincsat srs which is direcway in canada. I am happy with speeds, I am on business
    edtion, never have speeds below 1000kps. The system works always between 1500kps to
    as high as 2400kps<these are download speeds>. Remember that upload speeds are between 30kps to 70kps, this will not change until direcway opens the upload stream and
    that will happen when spaceway is up and running. My signal is 70 to 73, when it rains you loose signal alot faster then a dbs system, alot faster. I have dsl at work and I must say
    direcway on a constant level is faster at all times of the day and at night it cooks. There is
    a delay but if your direcway is set up properly and modified, the delay is very slight. An example this site loads about the same speed as dsl at work.

    I do all my work from my direcway, if you are going to be using it for business get business
    edtion. Its more money a month but very fast and constant which is what a business
    needs. Just putting my two cents in.


    DCXFORDGM
     
  8. Sep 9, 2003 #8 of 19
    rocco

    rocco Mentor

    44
    0
    Jun 6, 2003
    In the larger picture, it's not worth the expense. Had Direcway one way from Jan-June, 2003. It was an extra expense of 39.99 + 8.99 ISP expense every month. Sat Broad band is very tempermental and requires frequent tweaks!! The Downlaod speeds were great if you were a moderate downloader. However, the FAP(fair access policy) will hit you quick if you expect to download alot (169megs 8 hour period). Also with RIAA launching their lawsuits, it won't be long before your D/L activity is monitored by software manuf and other interested parties. Wildblue via KA band looks very promising when they finally offer their service I may consider getting it in the absence of cable or DSL in the mean time.

    Personally, I took down the dish in May because I found subbing to additional sat provider (BEV) to be far more beneficial. I will get DSL when Verizon gets around to adding it to my teleco. Just my $.02
     
  9. jhoak

    jhoak New Member

    3
    0
    Apr 22, 2002
    Up until July 21st I was a StarBand subscriber. Verizon finally turned on DSL in my neighborhood so I pulled the plug on StarBand.

    As was stated earlier... If you have DSL or cable available don't even consider satellite internet. If dialup is your ONLY choice then satellite is a MUCH better option.

    I was part of the StarBand "pilot" program. My initial install was in September 2000. At the time it included a Dell computer with a pair of cards installed. When they rolled out the 360 modem the Dell was abandoned. Between the Dell box and 360 was the 180 system. Although I never used a 180 personally, I was involved in an installation for a coworker. The 180 was NOT a good experience. StarBand was VERY wise to dump that POS.

    Overall I'd have to rate my StarBand experience as positive. It wasn't without its frustrations though. The high latency takes a while to get used to. It makes online gaming or VPN all but impossible. Download speeds were very good MOST of the time. Since it's a "shared bandwidth" system serious slowdowns were fairly routine. Especially evening hours. At 4:00 AM though it just screamed. I occasionally saw D/L speed in the 3Mb range but that was pretty rare. Usually in the 400K to 600K range. Upload speeds were typically awful.

    If you want to share the StarBand service across a network with the 360 system you have to have a "gateway" machine that runs the NetGain software. It then becomes the "router" or "proxy server". I used WinProxy and had good success with it. I didn't like needing to have a system running 24X7 just to get internet access though. I've read that the new StarBand modem (the 480, I think) has a built in 4 port switch and doesn't require a dedicated gateway box.

    All things considered I'd recommend StarBand (and have) to anyone who has no other choice now or in the foreseeable future.

    Oh yea... Anyone want to buy some StarBand equipment??? I've got a bunch of it
     
  10. Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Banned User

    1,212
    0
    Jun 12, 2003
    I think that in order to compete with Cable and DSL somewhat, we'll see maybe some more bandwidth dedicated to satellite internet in the future to improve upload and download speeds. I'd also like to see direct ethernet connect models, no crappy USB.
     
  11. waydwolf

    waydwolf Icon

    847
    1
    Feb 2, 2003
    That's not likely given that these are geosynchronous orbit satellites with a round trip of 44,600 miles. With light moving at only 186,284 miles per second, well do the math. Like sending every fiber line around the Earth a couple times before it reaches the next physical port.

    The DBS industry has been squaking for years about Low Earth Orbit satellites and conformal arrays and Popular Science has mentioned it umpteen bazillion times since the sixties, but it still ain't happened. It would require that constellation of LEO birds dedicated to data to come close to true broadband speeds and capacity and it wouldn't last even then.

    Modern cable operators tend to have fiber capacity measured in Gbps all over the place and right now, DOCSIS 1.1 allows more speed and capacity than we've been able to overload. In the future incarnations, it is likely that high side split systems will come in, deep fiber will be the rule, and we'll see bi-directional cable modem speeds above 10Mbps.

    DSL is flailing about because the telecom companies still don't understand the market dynamics and instead are doing the equivalent of fighting with your sister on the big trip(ILEC vs. CLEC) and contemplating your navel(endless drivel on things based in theory not proven customer desires). To give that kind of bandwidth you'd need to have fiber connected remote terminals with DSLAMs to cover no more than 200 customers per terminal.

    Satellite Internet is only a last resort option.
     
  12. snella1

    snella1 Cool Member

    16
    0
    Jul 8, 2003
    Did Charlie say last month on "Charlie Chat" that the new Sat. they shot up would be testing Internet in a few months?
    Second generation tech is always better. D.Way can not be networked and Star is in bankruptcy I think I read.
     
  13. toad57

    toad57 Legend

    184
    0
    Apr 23, 2002
    If you are considering Starband, I suggest you join StarbandUsers for a mere $15/year. The forums have good info, good downloads area for extras, etc.

    Now... I had Starband for almost a year and when I could get DSL I bailed out of Starband quick! The upload performance was abysmal (I had to revert to dialup to upload many files to a website) and things were always just a little 'flaky'... their software fought like cats & dogs with my ZoneAlarm firewall and WinProxy. You had to tweak, play, patch, install/de-install, etc. until you finally got it to work. I lived in fear of changing the setting on anything network related, else after a reboot my entire TCP/IP stack would quit working! Many hours and cusswords later, I would get it going again. I finally moved the mess to a dedicated PC that I could 'ghost' (snapshot the whole system disk) so that when it messed up I could restore it from scratch.

    Also, while I was a customer Starband went on a campaign to replace all of their 180 model modems with 360 model modems. My 180 modem had worked just fine, but after putting in the 360 I saw a significant decrease in my download speeds. Also, the 360 is like a 'Winmodem' in that it depends on companion software running on a Windoze box to work well. I had been planning on building a Linux-based proxy/gateway box and hooking the Starband modem to it, but once the 360 came along that was all shot down and I had to buy a copy of Winproxy to be able to share the connection.

    Starband? Not for me... :nono2:
     
  14. HarryD

    HarryD Icon

    597
    0
    Mar 24, 2002
    Lehigh...
    Nah! Way too expensive. I'm bitching at my cable broadband (RCN) at $40.00 per mo. Speed is around 1.0 to 1.5 meg downloading..
     
  15. Mike Richardson

    Mike Richardson Banned User

    1,212
    0
    Jun 12, 2003
    I'm talking about megabit speed not latency.
     
  16. DCXFORDGM

    DCXFORDGM Mentor

    40
    0
    Jul 15, 2003
    Direcway is releasing a ethernet model DW6000. This unit will be launched at end of month,
    will be replacing DW4020 unit. The software will be built in to units, no more dial-out on
    set up, it will be commisioned on uplink only. On the DW4000 and 4020 the are two modems,
    with the 6000 just one modem that performs down and up loads. Now when it comes to
    price who knows with direcway/lincsat, this is a replacement model for current unit, should
    be the same price.

    DCXFORDGM
     
  17. TopCat99

    TopCat99 Godfather/Supporter

    336
    0
    Nov 3, 2002
    Well I took the plunge. Got it all setup last weekend and figured I'd wait a few days before posting results.

    Only problem I've had is getting the DWay software to agree with my modem. The workaround was to uninstall it, setup a "regular" dial-up networking connection, re-install the DW software, then it worked :lol:

    I knew the first night I was gonna love it. I've done quite a few speed tests, some "real world" tests like downloading XP service packs, etc. and am very pleased.

    Just to give you one example, I ran a speed test after downloading Win2k SP4 in no time flat. I still have DSL until I move the Linux box (personal mail- and webserver), so I plugged it back in and did the tests. This was done at ~9:30 pm.
    The breakdown:
    DW: 1039 kbps
    DSL: 59 kbps (yes, that's fifty-nine--I didn't leave out a digit)

    I think I made the right choice :D
     
  18. toad57

    toad57 Legend

    184
    0
    Apr 23, 2002
    If that's all the speed you are getting out of your DSL then I'd say
    your DSL provider has their link to the Internet way, way
    overbooked- they are screwing all of their subscribers by offering
    'fast' connections (yea, back to their CO, big deal) but then lousy
    performance to the Internet.
     
  19. TopCat99

    TopCat99 Godfather/Supporter

    336
    0
    Nov 3, 2002
    toad, you hit the nail right on the head! And they've been "upgrading" since July of 2002 to provide "faster" service :lol:
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

spam firewall