Tuesday, January 15, 2008

HughesNet Special Deals on Satellite Broadband

Ah, the good life. You've just moved into the cabin by the lake. It's off the grid. Way off. That's not really a problem because you've got solar panels and batteries to run your lights, fridge and water pump. TV? No problem. The Dish Network installer just got the dish mounted and aimed. The battery powered inverter puts out a nice sine wave to run the satellite receiver. Wow. You could even do business out here if you could only get an Internet connection. But how, with no wires leading off the property?

Know how you get your TV delivered by satellite? That's how you can get your broadband Internet, too. You'll need a separate dish for this service. In this case, one that can transmit as well as receive on the channels allocated for satellite Internet service. Plug it into your inverter along with your computer and you're good to browse the web, upload and download files, and use email.

HughesNet is a satellite Internet service that caters to both home and business users. I ran a quick check for my home address through Can I Get DSL? and found their best priced plan is $59.99 a month with a $100 mail-in rebate. I'm sure this special is for a limited time only. With the home plan you get download speeds up to 700 Kbps and upload speeds to 128 Kbps. These are quite similar to what you get with many DSL services or EV-DO cellular broadband. There are other plans available with higher speeds for home users up to 1.5 Mbps download and 200 Kbps upload for personal and professional users and even higher bandwidths for businesses. You should also know that there is an equipment and installation fee of around $400 to get everything up and running.

The point is that satellite broadband is available at a price most people can afford just about anywhere in the good 'ol USA where you have a clear view of the Southern sky. That's where the "birds" are parked. If you can get satellite TV ok, you can probably get satellite Internet too. Unlike earlier offerings, this satellite broadband is two-way via satellite transmitter / receiver. You don't need a phone line or even cellular service at the cabin. You don't even need to be in a cabin. In fact, most satellite Internet users are in smaller towns and rural areas where DSL, Cable and wireless Internet options aren't available.

There are a few unique aspects to satellite broadband that you should be aware of. First of all is latency. That means the time it takes to send your request to the satellite and down to the actual wired Internet and then return the information you requested. It can be on the order of half a second or so. If you try to use the connection for VoIP, plan on it being more like using a walkie-talkie. Otherwise you and the other party will wind up talking over the top of each other. HughesNet also warns against expecting this service to work well for online gaming, Virtual Private Networks (VPN), real-time online trading, or Web hosting. Large file uploads and downloads are also not recommended, as there are restrictions on the amount of Mbps you can use before the system throttles your speed to make sure all users have equal access.

Think of satellite Internet as a hotspot that you install virtually anywhere. Use it as you would casually use a WiFi hotspot and you'll probably be happy with the service. Check out all the service plans available for your location, including satellite, DSL and Cable Internet, with an instant online search at Can I Get DSL?

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