Monday, November 16, 2009

Satellite Internet?

There was a bit of a discussion in the comments the other day about satellite internet, and I wanted to bring this question to the full forum.

If you have satellite internet, would you recommend that I get it? Is the experience good enough that you would recommend to your friends to go for it? (For geeky six sigma or marketing types, this is the net promoter score question.)

A little about my situation. Right now I'm using a USB modem, which has the capability to work at broadband speeds (and does in the city), but here in the woods is closer to dialup speed. I do not have a land line, so DSL is out of the question, and cable doesn't come out here. It's this or satellite.

So, if you have satellite internet and care to comment on whether it's been a good thing or a bad thing, please do!


  1. Jordan, I have the same questions! I heard about satellite from RV people.

    At my cabin in the boonies, I just use the library signal (from my car, most times), which has varying speed. I have a land line (no cell phone coverage), but a limited pay-for-your-telephone-use plan, which makes dial up too costly. No broadband available.

    In the city I have Verizon dsl, which has slowed way down. I don't know if that's the dsl, or websites adding bells and whistles and loading slowly, or something I don't know about. Two years ago it was much faster.

    I'm curious to hear what people say. I hope you get some info!

    P.S. I will follow up about the other things we communicated about, but my dog got sick and I got distracted.

  2. Hi Kate,
    No worries and no rush - I'm not going anywhere any time soon!

  3. Hi Jordan,

    My inlaws live in a rural area and had satellite for a while. It worked intermittently. The main problem they had was with the customer service department at the company they chose. They ended up canceling it and finding a local service that used some kind of radio transciever on a nearby mountaintop.

    But I've heard others say that their satellite service is great, albeit slow.

    I would research cellular wireless cards first since they can be used in multiple locaitons and tend to cost less than satellite. Satellite can be mounted on mobile structures like an RV too but those setups are more expensive.

    There is also internet via television satellite services where the download speeds are fast and the upload speeds are slow. This is because the upload is via a landline phone line and the download is from the satellite. This might be the most cost effective way to go for most people because the dwnload is mostly what they use. Folks that need to upload a lot of video and photos or do two way video chat might find the upload too slow.

    Back in the early days of the internet there were custom multiple modem setups that were able to multiply the bandwidth across the modems achieving a faster connection. I'm pretty sure development on this kind of setup might have disappeared when ISDN, DSL, and cable appeared. But it might be worth a little research if the other options don't work out.

    Love to hear how it works out for you!