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Rural Broadband

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by velvetfoot, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Problems with Sprint giving us the runaround on even acknowledging there is a problem has prompted me to look for an alternative. I've heard there's a new satellite forsatellite broadband and that it's faster than it used to be. Does anyone out there have any experience with any rural broadband products? Thanks.

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  2. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Wildblue satellite user here.
    Better than dialup, and wireless is as good as dial up back here.
    They just put a new super satellite in orbit also.
    You got Hughes & Wildblue as the two top providers.
    Hughes is still working on putting their new bird in space.
    I'd go to DSL or cable in a heartbeat if it was back here, but no deal. So Satellite is the only game in town for me.
    Does what I need. Kinda expensive for my plan, but work from my home & need it.
    Not the satellite of yesteryear, if that is what your worried about.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You might check to see if Verizon has 4G in your area.
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. HughesNet sent a flyer today and I called them. They said their new satellite launched in July. I have a feeling they share the same bird. What speeds are you seeing using something like www.speedtest.net ? With Hughes they say 20 gig per month but 10 gig is between 2 and 8 am. Not sure yet about wild blue or whatever it is called now.
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Verizon has been spotty. ATT shares tower with Sprint, so maybe they' share problems too.
  6. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    See if any wireless ISPs offer a "fixed wireless" or "point to point wireless" service in your area. That is what I use here. Panel antenna on the roof that points to a tower on a grain silo about a mile north of me. Works great, and the price is reasonable.

    Not as fast as my Verizon 4G LTE service was, but at 4 megs down, 1 up, it isn't terrible. They don't limit my bandwidth either. The Verizon overages were killing me.

    -SF
  7. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I have the same but this company's towers are overloaded now days.
  8. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    998 ms ping, 3.79 Mbps down, 0.07 Mbps up
  9. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Latency used to be an issue with satellite, big problem for gamers, not so much for web browsing and/or email.

    I see it still is! 998ms ping _g
  10. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Sly, what kind of antenna is it? I'm thinking of trying to capture the unrestricted signal from a tower on the local library about 1/4 mile line of sight.

    Ehouse
  11. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. I tried that once before and there was a hill in the way. That was a few years ago, so I might try looking for a wisp again.
  12. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Is that with the upgraded WildBlue service? Nowhere near 10 Mbps promised by Hughes. I'm assuming the .07 Mbps up is an anomoly. The absolute best I'm getting with Sprint is 1 Mbps down, but that is very rare - it's mostly unusable now, ever since Sandy, and we're nowhere near the affected area. We're dependent on one tower, and every time it screws up it takes a couple months of calling Sprint just to get their attention.
  13. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I didn't switch over to the new bird. The new set up gets up to12 down and3 up. Much faster, but the new plans actually give a little less bandwidth allowance, so I stuck with what I have. The new setup is supposedly so fast, that you have to watch your usage and not gobble your limit up in a short period of time. Not sure how rue any of that is.
    Here is a link to the new plans.
    http://www.wildblue.com/options/availability
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Here I sit with 768 down and 128 up Verizon DSL green with envy for any of you guys' service. They have been promising FIOS fiber here for six years.
  15. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    At 1/4 mile, you might actually be able to get a signal if you have unobstructed line of sight between you and the tower. Something like a high gain yagi would work. It would be very directional, so it would need aimed carefully. I can't vouch for this particular model, but something like this might do the trick. http://store.rokland.com/products/new-16-dbi-gain-outdoor-yagi-wi-fi-directional-antenna-rp-sma

    The antenna that they used for me is a square panel antenna. It doesn't look like much, just a white square about 1'x1'. I'm not sure what the brand/model is, as it's up on my roof where I can't see it easily. When they installed it, they told me that it is in the 5 GHz range, but it isn't WiFi. It is equipment that is built specifically for providing this sort of point to point service. It has some sort of powered electronics on the back side of it. The Ethernet cable runs up to the back of the antenna and it is powered by a Power Over Ethernet injector down by my router and other network gear.

    -SF
  16. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Thanx. The Yagi sounds interesting, and cheap enough. I've looked into some of the homemade coffee can types that purportedly work well. I'm not tech savy, but I'd sure like to grab that free signal.
  17. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Once you get FiOS you will become totally spoiled and nothing else will be good enough. You have been warned.



    I am on their cheapest plan. Don't hate ;)

    Attached Files:

    keninmich likes this.
  18. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Used to be able to play back in 2006, then they raised the ping to hose game playing.
  19. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Trust
    me, you have far better then satellite. $80.00 per month for my plan. Climbing on the roof to brush the snow off the dish sucks too.
  20. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I hate you ;-(
    keninmich, PapaDave and jharkin like this.
  21. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the info/link. I'm not a fan of automatic updates, but one would have to be extra careful. We're grandfathered with an unlimited bandwidth @ $50/month; we're trying to nurse the modem along and stick with Sprint at least until 4g comes out around here in a couple of years, since any change will knock us off the plan.

    The satellite is in the Southern sky? The HughesNet web site said the dish is usually mounted on the house. I'd probably have to take down some trees, depending on where they put it. I guess I should get a survey, if that's what it's called.

    Right now, I'd be really happy with a 1 Mbps down.
  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    :mad:

    Rest of the house has been fiber for years. Till it hits the phone company interface box.
  23. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    My dish is on the roof, and I think it is the southern sky. But you can have it mounted on a pole anywhere in the yard etc.
    I am surrounded by trees, but have no issues with them. The satellite dish for the tv was another story. Lost local channels, and after a month or so called direct to come check it. They had to move the dish onto the upper roof to clear the trees.
    By law, we are supposed to have dsl available back here by 2014 I think. SO I just deal with what I have until I can get something better.
  24. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I guess that'd be State law, since I didn't hear about anything similar in NY.
  25. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    The "cantennas" are a neat idea for people that want to tinker, but for internet access day in and day out, I'd go with a professionally engineered antenna.

    The commercial antennas will be tuned properly, instead of "close enough" to work. If your cantenna isn't tuned right (and you won't know unless you have the right test equipment), you can damage the transmitter circuit in your wifi radio. The SWR ends up too high and some of the transmit power gets reflected back into the transmitter. The greater the mismatch between the transmitter and the antenna, the more power will be reflected back down the feedline instead of radiating out.

    Granted, we're talking about a few hundred miliwatts, but wifi transmitters are tiny and not made to dissipate much heat, so it can still be a problem.

    -SF

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