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Anyone using Starband? My inlaws live in an area where there is no cable or DSL service. They are considering this option. Pluses and minuses? 3 year contract, $49.99/month. $199 initial equipment charge plus installation charge.
 

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The biggest problem with sat internet is not the connection itself, which is normally good as long as you have a view of the southern sky. The problem is the latency... since the satellite is about 22,000 miles up. This means the signal has to go from your dish on the roof, 22,000 miles up, then 22,000 miles down to the earth station ran by starband. This takes considerably longer than a "normal" internet connection.

The way computers talk over the internet, this slows things considerably. You may have a really fast link (several megabits) but since it takes so long for the two computers to talk to each other, things run pretty slow. (that's the short answer... there is a very geeky backstory about TCP sliding windows, SYN/ACK latency, and slow-start for anyone that is interested)

It's still better than dial-up, but not as good as DSL or Cable. Some providers give you special software to run on your PC to help with this latency problem, but that also precludes running any routers or other such equipment. Some also will place a special router at your house to run the space segment.
 

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Why didn't you just say that it was a Sat. Provider in the first place.

If that's the only option you have over dial-up and the cost isn't astronomical then I would go for it. Other wise stick to some form of DSL or Cable.
 

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My neighbor has it and he says the same thing the delay in data from when you request it to when it comes down to your computer is about 5 to 8 seconds, not a real problem unles you are gaming. Most Sat companies restrict you bandwith as well to a certian limit per month, be sure to check that as well.
He like it for what is avaliable now around here, and he is an ISP himself (dial up only though).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Their 2 kids are into gaming, so I don't think it will work with that much latency. Good to know. Someday they might be able to get dsl or cable. No cable in that area (even for TV) and no dsl as of yet. It's a rural area, although not that far out.
 

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EatnAsphalt said:
Their 2 kids are into gaming, so I don't think it will work with that much latency. Good to know. Someday they might be able to get dsl or cable. No cable in that area (even for TV) and no dsl as of yet. It's a rural area, although not that far out.
Any option for a line of sight wireless provider? A friend of mine's parents have that and he says it is very quick. Don't know anything more than that since we don't have that here.

Unfortunately I'm in the same boat and have just gone with Verizon's Wireless Broadband. It seems to be working pretty good, much better than dialup, and has the benefit of being portable. It is basically a high-speed cellular modem that plugs into a laptop, or desktop with appropriate adapter. Speed really depends on your connection signal, so you need to check that out. I believe Sprint offers it, and Cingular is releasing their network beginning with select areas in the far west (California).

A couple options for you to consider. :)
 

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gt702 said:
Any option for a line of sight wireless provider? A friend of mine's parents have that and he says it is very quick. Don't know anything more than that since we don't have that here.

Unfortunately I'm in the same boat and have just gone with Verizon's Wireless Broadband. It seems to be working pretty good, much better than dialup, and has the benefit of being portable. It is basically a high-speed cellular modem that plugs into a laptop, or desktop with appropriate adapter. Speed really depends on your connection signal, so you need to check that out. I believe Sprint offers it, and Cingular is releasing their network beginning with select areas in the far west (California).

A couple options for you to consider. :)
That's a good thought. Unfortunately they can't even get cell phone service there. But I'll have them check into the cell companies to see just in case.
 

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EatnAsphalt said:
That's a good thought. Unfortunately they can't even get cell phone service there. But I'll have them check into the cell companies to see just in case.
If they don't have cell service, than they are much more rural than you let on!

To back up the point, gaming on satellite internet blows. It's unplayable.
 
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