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  • Advice/feedback on Satellite internet provider

    Hey all.

    Wife and I are looking at moving, and may have just stumbled on our dream home. Mind already a buzz with new HA projects!

    the issue is that while it's not that rural, the internet provider option is limited for some reason. they have Frontier DSL (ugh) and that's it... the other option is satellite.

    Do any of you use Hughenet or some other provider, and what's your experience? looks like you can get 25MBs download, which isn't awful, but no where near the 150 I pay for with Cable right now. Also caps at 50GB.... per month, then they throttle you back.

    we often work from home, using audio and sometimes video conferencing. other than that, we stream quite a bit of movies (Xbox/Netflix, etc).

    Also, my son is a pretty big gamer, which sounds like the biggest problem with satellite. that said, he's going off to college in the fall (hence the move)… so not huge deal breaker, but I occasionally play as well.

    Live in east Seattle area... so 5G may be an option, but can't find any timelines to bank on.

    love any thoughts!

    thanks

  • #2
    The issue with satellite is latency. To the best of my knowledge it wont work well, if at all, for gaming. I don't know how it behaves with streaming services, might be ok due to the fact that they buffer content.

    I would expect DSL to cost less, and not have the contractual commitment that Satellite would have.

    Therefore, I think I would lean towards DSL over Satellite, and would strongly consider 4g/5g service over, or perhaps in addition to DSL, depending on my needs.

    Hopefully someone else can weigh in on Satellite.



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    • #3
      It would be the 50GB cap that would bother me most. Comcast claims that my family (myself, wife and two girls) used about 800+ GB one month last year (Nov or Dec). Could be accurate given we stream most entertainment, but seems high. Worth checking your usage to see where your family is in the usage range.

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      • #4
        I'm a Hughes customer. Hit the max d/l every month. The latency issue is for real. It's expensive, slow and the only game in town here in rural Montana. Century Link just started offering a DSL 3Gb service and as soon as my contract is up with Hughes I'm going to try that.
        Don

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        • #5
          I could not imagine going to a satellite connection as I just signed up for a 600Mbps plan with no limit on usage. We see about 1TB of usage per month now with the kids just playing games and watching streaming services and really no TV. Google just announced their new gaming platform and it's rumored to use up to 20Gb of data an hour, although less at lower resolutions.

          Low orbit satellites are being launched on a regular basis that will reduce latency, increase bandwidth and likely reduce pricing due to the increased competition. I'm guessing that it's still a few years away though, so things may get better over time if you can't get good wired or 4G/5G services.
          HS 3.0.0.531: 1985 Devices 1128 Events
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          • #6
            Originally posted by sparkman View Post
            I could not imagine going to a satellite connection as I just signed up for a 600Mbps plan with no limit on usage. We see about 1TB of usage per month now with the kids just playing games and watching streaming services and really no TV. Google just announced their new gaming platform and it's rumored to use up to 20Gb of data an hour, although less at lower resolutions.

            Low orbit satellites are being launched on a regular basis that will reduce latency, increase bandwidth and likely reduce pricing due to the increased competition. I'm guessing that it's still a few years away though, so things may get better over time of you can't get good wired or 4G/5G services.
            So jealous. Just sayin.
            Don

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            • #7
              Sigh....thanks all.

              They seem to get around 20MBs on DSL right now, but upload speeds under 2MBs.... So not sure I can live with that either.

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              • #8
                20MBs is better than the 13Mbps(notice the small b for bits instead of the B for bytes). Upload is under 1Mbps. This is the issue with living outside the large cities. I am able to stream things like Netflix HD movies with no issues. Just read where Verizon is starting to distribute their new 5G Home Broadband service. It is only in a few large cities now, probably get to me in a few years. They are saying $50 a month.

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                • #9
                  Try doing a google search for WISP and your area - there's some pretty awesome advances in wireless lately (ubnt in particular) that allow high speed links at a relatively low cost and light footprint. Depends on distance and topology, but worth looking into. I tried satellite about 15 years ago and the latency and speeds (and reliability) were horrendous.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by baudfather View Post
                    Try doing a google search for WISP and your area - there's some pretty awesome advances in wireless lately (ubnt in particular) that allow high speed links at a relatively low cost and light footprint. Depends on distance and topology, but worth looking into. I tried satellite about 15 years ago and the latency and speeds (and reliability) were horrendous.
                    Yes, this might be an option.

                    A friend and I actually have a point to point wireless link that we use to give him access to my internet service. The AP's are about 10 miles apart, we use 1 meter dishes with Ubiquity Rocket M5 radios.

                    He gets about 30Mbps down, 10Mbps up.

                    There is definitely time and money involved in building wireless links, especially if you have to address line of sight issues.


                    I think you'll find DSL is your best option initially.

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                    • #11
                      I might be of some assistance as I'm in a similar situation. My location is very rural 6 miles outside Darrington, WA surrounded by mountains.

                      Land line phone is from Frontier. Very poor sound quality and usually a service call once every couple of years due to degraded quality to a point you can't hear. Too far out for DSL to work they say. Used dialup for many years and even then it would only connect at 14.4 due to low quality. I keep it since I get no cell coverage (Verizon).

                      It was great when satellite became available. I got Hughesnet for internet and Dish for TV. It was great compared to dialup and no TV. I did have a 10GB monthly data cap that I had to manage to. No streaming. Pain in the rear for sure. There was a 'free zone' from midnight to 4am where data didn't get counted. I would schedule downloads during that window. My sleeping pattern actually got altered based on my satellite data cap. Over the course of 6 or 7 years, the service degraded to a point where it became a problem. They had oversubscribed and it got pretty bad. Support was insanely bad. I looked around and decided to move to Exede. They used to be Wild Blue but changed their name when they acquired a new transponder and opened a new service called Exede. I've been using it for 4 years or so. Its real good. Never have problems with weather other than snow buildup on the dishes. Very reliable and generally consistent on performance. Haven't needed support so can't comment on that. However I know my installer if I ever got in a bind.

                      Just ran a speedtest.

                      Ping 633 ms
                      Download 26.73 Mbps
                      Upload 1.18 Mbps

                      Until a year ago, I was on a plan that had a cap of 20GB per month. It was costing $75 per month. They came out with a new set of plans and one of them looked good so I changed. It is $100 per month with 480p streaming speed and 150 GB cap however it does keep working if you hit it but you are lower priority. I haven't gone over 100 GB in any month yet. I don't stream but do download a potload of youtube for offline watching. That way I can download at high quality like 1080p if I want or low at 480 if it doesn't matter. Watch with VLC at my leisure. Works great for me. Since I have more data than I typically use, I can stream but it is low quality @ 480p and sometimes pauses.

                      Still using Dish. It has a Hopper (dvr) that records lots of content. Plenty of space for us. 2TB I think. So when we want to watch TV, there are always tons of choices. It is not connected to the Exede internet so you can't use video on demand. Dish is one way. I don't need Dish eating up any of the internet data.

                      My near term hope is that we get cell good coverage here. For several years we have been hearing that a new cell tower was going in closer but not as of yet. If that happened, I'd be looking at some sort of hotspot with unlimited data.

                      These various data and speed limitations also come into play into how you do things in Homeseer or other apps. I use Blue Iris in my security suite. Streaming video is not often used. Windows thinks all my connections are metered connections so it doesn't download huge updates unexpectedly. No assistant devices.

                      Hope this helps.

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                      • #12
                        I am thinking of trying a new service from CenturyLink that is 3Mb download and running it concurrently with my Hughes service to see if I would be happy with it.
                        My primary reason to switch is, aside that it is cheaper, to try streaming video. I understand that 3Mb is marginal for HD, but I'm tired of paying almost 200.00 for
                        directv.
                        Don

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                        • #13
                          I find that Amazon Video needs less bandwidth than Netflix, by almost half.

                          Sent from my LGUS997 using Tapatalk

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