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  1. #1
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    OT: satellite internet (wildblue)

    Anyone on here use wildblue satellite internet ? I've been using it for a couple years now and have finaly decided to upgrade my service to there " pro paln " which is there fastest plan, and I'm not that impressed, I was expecting much better service for the extra $30 per month. So if you have this service can you watch YouTube vids without it loading after it starts ? Or have you tried Skype ? Just wondering if there is possibly something wrong with my setup or if it is what it is...... Thanks.

  2. #2
    Master of None
    Reputation: presslab's Avatar
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    Forget about Skype. The latency of a satellite internet connection is enormous, the limiting factor being the speed of light. First your request leaves your dish, up to the satellite in space, back down to Earth, then to wherever it's going. The response then goes back up to the satellite, and then down to your dish.

    All that takes almost 700ms. Compare that to DSL which is 15ms. So basically anything interactive will be sluggish, or in the case of two-way audio/video, choppy.

    The YouTube stuff should stream ok after a few seconds if you have good speed. Go to speedtest.net and run the bandwidth test. Also check out pingtest.net.

    I don't have satellite internet anymore but when I did it was still better than dial-up.

  3. #3
    Master of None
    Reputation: presslab's Avatar
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    You can do "copy forum link" and post the results here. Here's what my DSL looks like:

  4. #4
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    so I understand that when they (wildblue) say 1.5mb/s there talking up to but should it realy be this low ??


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhoffroad
    so I understand that when they (wildblue) say 1.5mb/s there talking up to but should it realy be this low ??

    If you don't mind my asking, how much a month do you pay for that service?

  6. #6
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    well fo the package I just steped up to which is the fastest speed package its $80. a month. that's my problem here, the "basic" package (slowest) from them is $50. per month and while it's faster than dial up the step up to the fastest package realy did'nt blow me away and not sure if its worth the extra 30 per month

  7. #7
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    oh yea and why is my server out of WA ? sorry but I'm not all that savy when it comes to computers

  8. #8
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    The server is picked by the test program based on where it "thinks" you connect to the Internet. In case of satellite that is the ground station/gateway, the program has no knowledge where the user is exactly located. It may well be that the ground station is in WA.

    The bad news is that a quick scan of the Internet shows that there are a lot of complaints about Wild Blue. FWIW, I was out in Panamint Springs before the holidays, where they have no telephone or TV, and have their own power and water supply. But they do have Hughes Satellite for Internet, and I used Skype talking all the way to Germany.

    C>

  9. #9
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
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    My parents had Hughes a year or so back when they RVed. It blew, slow and frustrating. When they say things load "way faster than dial-up", well, I guess so, but who the hell uses dial-up anymore? It's way slower than DSL/cable.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  10. #10
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    Maybe you have bad aim on your dish. If you call them up they can measure your signal strength.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by presslab
    The YouTube stuff should stream ok after a few seconds if you have good speed.
    The OP can forget about youtube as well. Satellite internet providers have something called FAP (Fair Access Policy - "fair" being a misnomer), which means your download allotment must be under a certain amount every thirty days or they will throttle you down to modem speeds anyway: http://www.wildblue.com/fap/

    The real irony is that they advertise free email accounts vis a vie Google, "with more than 7GB each". The minimum plan you can buy gives you a 7.32GB cap, which means you'll be waiting a long time to fill that gmail account with backup data. http://www.wildblue.com/getWildblue/details.jsp

    Now, before anyone starts humming about how 7-12GB monthly allotment is a lot of data, consider system updates, cloud storage, number of computers in household, and the size of a half hour youtube video. You must keep all these different sources of data consumption under those caps for thirty DAYS in order to avoid being throttled back to where you are now. Satellite internet 'speeds' are a scam.

    And of course, there's no direct comparison to DSL because satellite internet providers are licensing GATEWAYS. This means they're sharing a host satellite with corporate intranets and government. Consumer satellite internet is at the bottom of the totem, so unless you pay for something corporate level (like iDirect), you'll never see those advertised speeds. Add to this the fact that consumer satellite business models are built around subscriber subletting, and companies like hughes and wildblue have every incentive to cram more and more users into ever thinning gateways (i.e. your speeds keep getting slower over time).

    I had satellite internet for more than five years. It was hell and I'd recommend avoiding it as the highest priority.

  12. #12
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    I have comcast at home which is lightening fast but for our second home in the mountains, satellite is our only choice. I have HughesNet service and I get close to the speed they publish for the plan... but as Lassiar points out, I have to worry about the stupid "FAP". No streaming of any kind. No internet radio, No high quality video (netflix, etc)... doing so eats up the allocated download amount in no time. When I go over, they slow my speed down to BELOW dial-up for 24 hours... sucks.

    HughesNet does have a window of time each night where the downloaded data amount isn't counted against the FAP. You can use this to update computers or things like that... My teenagers use it to watch videos, TV shows, Movies over the internet on their laptops... I think its 11pm-3am PST where they don't count data download amounts... Yeah, just what you want - your kids glued to their laptops from 11pm to 3am... not!

    Bottom line, I wish I had a choise besides satellite!

  13. #13
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    thanks guys for all the info.

    Dave94024 I'm in the same boat, I don't have a choice, its either satelite or dial up. living in the "country" has it's down falls but it's worth it...

  14. #14
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    It sounds like you got what you were asking. But I might add one more thing. I was on satellite for ten years, and all but the first couple (before they had FAP, and before they outsold their bandwidth) were pretty frustrating.

    I'm now on the Verizon wireless with a usb modem card. It just happens that's all I can get where I am. It has a limit, and as such I am spending a hell of a lot per month in order to have real internet service.

    4g is out and running in a few places now. And it's supposed to be fast, and have coverage over more locations than regular wireless. You might check into that. Right now they have 10 Gigs per month for $60 or so.
    Note to self: 85% of FTP for 20 min.

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