Author Topic: Best Internet solution for rural family  (Read 8989 times)

Jake P

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Best Internet solution for rural family
« on: December 11, 2012, 09:01:45 AM »
So, I just wanted to get some input on Satellite Internet.  I've been with Wild Blue sat isp for over 2 years now.  I pay $55 a month for an average of 400k download connection and about 100k upload.  I keep getting adds from Wild blue wanting me to upgrade to their new Exede satellite service which promises 12meg download speeds. 
www.exede.com
This is very tempting, but what I would really like to gain from it is the ability to stream netflix (we cancelled our tv service over 2 years ago).  Exede's data caps start in the 10g range for about the same monthly payment bracket that I'm currently in.  It will also cost me $150 up front for new equipment.  I realize that 10gigs a month will get eaten up pretty quick when streaming netflix.  If my satellite internet bill gets too much higher, than I might as well turn the TV service back on (which I don't want to do).
So, does anyone else here have any experience / input on Satellite internet?  I guess I could always go back to dial up....
Oh, here is something really frustrating: 

http://bigrivertelephone.com/studentsenior.html

This is a new, Government backed internet option in my area.  The prices are amazing by rural internet standards, however, they won't have a tower in my area for at least 2 years if ever :(

desrever

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Re: Best Internet solution for rural family
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 11:28:45 AM »
I am skeptical that any over-the-air provider will provide you with an acceptable video streaming experience. The bandwidth is just too scarce a resource, and the bandwidth caps exist essentially to discourage you from wasting it. DVDs-in-the-mail will probably be your best provider of video content.

If you have 3G or better wireless data coverage where you are, I would consider a Verizon MiFi or similar as an alternative to satellite; the latency should be better since the packets don't have to go, you know, into outer space. When browsing the web, latency contributes more to your perception of speed than bandwidth does.

Or you could move to Kansas City where you can get a 1000MBps internet for $70/mo, no caps on anything :)

Daley

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Re: Best Internet solution for rural family
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 11:35:00 AM »
Short reply? Rural "broadband" and streaming media don't really go well together without throwing huge wads of money away. Unfortunate but true. Exede and other LEO broadband satellites are certainly a move in the right direction with speed, but the data caps and latency for the money are still a bit painful to swallow, and throwing extra speed at most people who don't really need more speed so much as data throughput for the money in rural areas is a bit painful to see.

If you're anywhere near any halfway decent cell phone towers from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon, the prices per month and speeds available kinda wash out, and setup can be equal or less as well if you've a propensity for going under contract. (Yes, I'm aware that's quite a statement from a guy who urges everyone not to tangle directly with the big four MNOs.) If you've got good Sprint coverage in your area, of the big four, they'd be the most cost effective... especially if you're in a 4G area. Look at Virgin Mobile for their Broadband2Go options. You still won't really be able to waste much bandwidth streaming entertainment, but it's just entertainment. Use Netflix's DVD mailers instead as Desrever suggested or the local Redbox... or decide exactly how much money you really want to spend per month on keeping that living room box illuminated.

grantmeaname

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Re: Best Internet solution for rural family
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 01:02:33 PM »
Your library may also have boxed seasons of TV shows if you have specific ones you follow.

Jake P

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Re: Best Internet solution for rural family
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 03:48:04 PM »
I think I keep the kids TV requirements filled.  We've been a netflix dvd by mail customer for years.  I usually pick up a dvd for the kids from the library while the netflix movies are in transit.  Our local Library doesn't have much when it comes to dvd's, in fact their VHS selection is way larger. With netflix if I mail out a dvd on say, Monday, I'll have my next one on Wednesday so I can't complain about that.  I also got one of these as a gift from my techy brother in law soon after we cut our TV service:
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Media-Center-Full-HD/dp/B004GK0GKO
when he gave this box to me he had already put about 700 gigs of movies and cartoons on it!
So I guess that spending an extra $150 and dealing with the hassle of switching Satellite equipment just to gain a little browsing speed really isn't worth the cost.

Jake P

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Re: Best Internet solution for rural family
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 03:55:21 PM »
We live in a cell phone black hole so until another tower pops up, using 4g for our internet needs won't be an option.