Satelite internet

Discussion in 'Computers' started by JAY KAY, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. JAY KAY

    JAY KAY Read Only Funster

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    Has anyone tried or used satelite internet, I am researching this at moment as I wish to stay in touch with my business on a daily basis when we are away for the winter in southern Spain.

    John D
     
  2. david price

    david price Read Only Funster

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    I am pretty sure there was an article in either mmm or practicle motorhome last year.
    You could try one of thier forums if no luck on here.
    Dave
     
  3. kenspain

    kenspain Read Only Funster

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    There is someone here that dose them if you would like the phone number i will find it for you, a friend has it at his house and is very good but not cheap to set up.
     
  4. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I checked this out a couple of years ago (Datastorm I think) and more recently Alden.

    I very, very nearly got an Alden system but was put off by the slow speeds that were on offer then as well as the huge setup cost. Thank goodness I didn't...

    Now have a contract with Vodafone Portugal for the six to eight months a year I am here... so very, very much more affordable... and a contract with T-Mobile in the UK. So wall to wall internet in the van in Uk and Portugal...

    I'm sure you don't need to be advised to check out the sat company's small print re speeds and "fair use" policy...

    JJ
     
  5. Hayleylulu

    Hayleylulu

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    never mind helping them out mate help me out first
     
  6. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I thought you were beyond help Martin...

    JJ
     
  7. ArenqueRojo

    ArenqueRojo Read Only Funster

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    We have been using the Alden Netmaster 90 for the last couple of years. Used as far South as Bibraltar and, now in Sicily.
    What would you like to know?
    Patrick
     
  8. JAY KAY

    JAY KAY Read Only Funster

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    Hi Patrick,
    It would appear that your system would suit my needs in Southern Spain, apart from set-up costs how do the running costs compare to mobile dongles and is the signal quality good most of the time.

    Many thanks

    John D
     
  9. ArenqueRojo

    ArenqueRojo Read Only Funster

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    Let me start by saying we are very happy with it and feel that it is largely what makes our fulltimer lifestyle tenable. We have instant easy access for the family through Skype (In & Out) and it keeps us amused for hours per day - reading the papers, doing Soduko, researching a book (Liz) and doing a little consultancy work(me) when the mood takes me.
    Now to the negatives:Sad:

    Cost: We take the standard unlimited annual subscription which cost us €600 this year. You can take other subscriptions ranging from 40 days over two years to the "Executive" priority faster service. See http://www.alden.ipcopter.com/en/shop/shop.php?catID=1000

    Reliability: The service seems very robust indeed though we did have trouble with the first modem but I am sure they have long since sorted that out. There are two things which stop us. One is trees or sun covers to the South East on a pitch so we can be seen checking out pitches with a good quality marine compass before settling in! The other is wind. We spent an alarming £250 to have an optional extra anonometer fitted which shuts the dish down if the wind reaches a dangerous speed and we are very glad we did. Sometimes, gusts of wind will shake it off beam and then it has to re-connect. In practice, I don't think we have had any days when we couldn't use it though we have had a couple of hours on stormy days when we couldn't use it but then we have had some real storms!

    Quality: Never had any problems with normal surfing or emails. BBC iPlayer can be iffy but I use it to stream radio all night most nights and sometimes it will cut out for a couple of minutes, otherwise fine. Youtube is slow and painful. Video streaming is not really worth doing.

    Speed: It isn't fast but I upload quite a lot of photos to our blog (www.lizingleton.net) and provided I keep them to a reasonable size (800x600) they only take a minute or less each at most. The upload speed is 128k. Downloads are better at 1Mb so it is seldom that that becomes a problem.

    As TV receiver: We have a Zendher digibox which is very good as a free-to-air decoder. The satellite control box can only be trained to two satellites other than the Helsat used for the Internet. We have Astra2 and Hotbird. Alden will train it to the satellites of your choice. We don't really use the TV side of things, at least not since the US elections when we did use it a lot!!! Of course, you can't have TV and internet simultaneously.

    Other equipment: We have thre PCs between the 2 of us! Don't ask... We use a wirless router to give us access. We are painfully aware that this is the box that hits the batteries when not on hook-up. The modem and controller, both 12v, are reasonably kind compared to the router. We often provide service for neighbours on campsites because many WiFi services are poor on reliability. At the moment, our Danish neighbours are using it to send lots of photos back home. This seldom causes us any problems and earns us lots of bottles of wine!

    Skype: We use this quite a bit. For friends and family it is excellent but won't really support video at the same time. Certainly not with cameras both ends so we usually have a look at each other for a minute or two and then cut the video. For business calling, you do suffer the satellite delay which can be off-putting if you aren't used to it. However, we find that if the first thing you tell them is that you are calling from (Sicily etc.) on a satellite link, not only do they understand and adjust accordingly - including less interuptions - but it often gets us put through to the right people much more quickly!!!

    Comparisons to other systems: For me, the big issue is data throughput. This system is unlimited and tends to mean that. Most of the other systems either charge per Mb or by the minute/day and still have a data cap. Alright, we are probably heavy users but if you have a look at our usage records at http://tinyurl.com/yfn7z3z you will see that the sort of costs that our usages would attract with a dongle would be astronomical. Yes, there are often "deals" and "special offers" which can beat us but they are always temporary. We just can't be bothered with constant monitoring and shifting suppliers.

    Hope this rather lengthy diatribe gives you a feel for the system.
    Ask if you need more.
    Patrick
     
  10. JAY KAY

    JAY KAY Read Only Funster

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    Hi Patrick,

    Many thanks for that detailed description of your internet system it sounds like our needs are going to be the same. I tend to upload word or excel documents but download photos as part of my work.

    It was interesting to find out that you use the same dish for tv and internet although as you say not at the same time, this could be useful as it might help to ween cruise control off "Eastenders".

    The Alden system is very firmly in the frame for us, once again many thanks.

    John D
     
  11. ArenqueRojo

    ArenqueRojo Read Only Funster

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    If you do decide to go Alden way, let me know and I will give my contact names and numbers for iPcopter and Alden.
    The UK agents were RoadPro at the time we bought ours and, nice guys that they are, they didn't really understand the internet/satellite thing in any depth.
    Good luck
    Patrick
     

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