Starband internet access--any experiences (good or bad) on the homestead?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
This is somewhat homestead related, in that it has to do with running a business from a remote location and not having to depend on rural phone lines.
We are not off the grid, but live in a fairly remote area with phone lines that are not so hot. Best internet speed I ever get is 26400 bps. I am a freelance writer and rely heavily on the Net for certain research, and mostly for corresponding with editors and turning in work. In addition, my husband may be starting a homebased business that will rely somewhat on the Internet.
Anybody here have any experience using Starband (satellite technology) Internet? I've heard that startup costs are expensive and that the bugs are still being worked out of it. What have been your experiences, good and bad?
thanks in advance.
-- Cathy in MN (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 29, 2001
Starband is great for web surfing, downloading files and email. It is poor for interactive applications (telnet) and gamming. It is expsensive, About $90/month, plus close to $500 in equipment cost but is fast for web based applications.
-- Gary (email@example.com), June 29, 2001.
I'm getting one installed next week and I am looking forward to it. Your modem speed is about our best speed so It's time for something new. The starband is 69 a month if it's by itself or 99$ to add dish networks 150+ channel offering.
I am planning on having a router/firewall from linksys share the internet access among all the pc's.
More info once the system get's up and running.
-- Mark Rousseau (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 30, 2001.
We have had our starband system for about three months. Equipment cost was about $600.00. Monthly cost about $69.00. Put it in because the local providers were at capacity and therefore very slow and undependable and we wanted to set up a business online (which I'm in the final stages of launching.) When starband is up and running it is great. Fast, FAST downloads and response times. However we have found a few caveats. EXPENSIVE to put in. Opted for the combo package with Dish TV so my mother could watch the old shows from the sixties and seventies. With that option and receivers for both TVs in her house installation was $1000.00. Individual who installed the setup forgot to ground the system, didn't leave us our copy of the Command Module software ( a compact disc for trouble shooting the system), broke the plastic in the USB port so we had unreliable reception that eventually shorted out our motherboard and cost a month and a couple hundred dollars to repair even with Gateway honoring their warranty (said warranty now no longer valid since the machine has been repaired and now I have to purchase insurance to cover such breakdowns or foot it all out of pocket), system will not work in sunfade or in heavy storm due to satillite interference. It seems we get "modem is down" or "usb plug is not connected" messages way too often, however they are sending an updated system out to replace the orginal modem installed......Do I like it? When it works- YES! YES! YES! It makes research time and download time so much more pleasurable, I can't begin to say. Many times better than the phone based providers available in our area and I cannot get cable, therefore no broadband. I only hope the new modem has the bugs worked out of it so we have less trouble with downtime not weather related. This is emerging technology, so I guess you have to expect a little in the problem area....Would I reccommend it? For those in the toolies, it's the only way to get fairly reliable, fast service. Go for it. But check the installation carefully and make sure you get everything you're paying for. By the way, their tech assist department is excellent.
-- Sandra Nelson (Magin@starband.net), June 30, 2001.
I have a friend in OH that wanted Starband and waited months, with the Dish net distributor finally being told that it was not available in that area (but DISHnet is???)
They finally had DirectPC installed and have had nothing but troubles every since. She gets bounced after a few minutes (blue screen of death), the longest she has been able to stay on is 2 hours. They are almost at the end of the 30 day trial where they can return everything for a full refund and they just might return it. The poor installer is at the mercy of the company and they company appears to be no help at all.
-- beckie (email@example.com), June 30, 2001.
I have had starband for over a month and when it works it is ok. I takes forever to make a connection on download then the download is fast. Keep getting connection failure alarm. Written to company and they sent back e-mail to call in. I have been on hold for over 1/2 twice and shorter many times. Never got to talk to techs. i got a letter from the president of company telling they have problems in new unit and teck system is buryed. Also growing too fast for what the company has in place. If it doesn't get better by next month I will take the $240 penalty and get out of contract. I will miss the direct connection but as it is now I can't get a lot urs and downloads. I am hoping for an improvment. Duane Clink
-- Duane Clink (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 25, 2001.