A little over a month ago, I had satellite Internet service installed at my house. In this entry, you will find my review of the service so far.
The service is pretty good overall. At it’s best, it’s not quite as fast as DSL or cable, but it is better than than the Internet service you get from wireless companies, such as AT&T Wireless, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, etc. The service is very reliable. I have only lost my connection a handful of times since I’ve had it, and it usually comes back within an hour. Most of the time, if I lose my connection, it’s storming badly enough outside that I shouldn’t have my computer turned on anyway.
The download speeds are pretty good. There is a bit of latency that occurs when a request is first made. According to some research I’ve done, the distance between the earth and the satellite will actually cause about three seconds of latency when the request is first made. Accounting for that, most sites load almost instantly after that period of latency has passed.
I have found that some large files take what seems like ages to download, while others download very quickly. A lot of it really has to do with how clear the sky is, etc. Regardless, I have not yet been terribly upset about the speed of downloads.
Uploads really are not as slow as I expected them to be. Again, the biggest issue is the three seconds of latency. When you are trying to upload a 3 kilobyte style sheet, which should take a fraction of a second, it still takes anywhere 15 seconds and a minute. With most FTP programs, the entire process (retrieving the directory listing, retrieving the original file, sending the new file, then retrieving the directory listing again) can take what seems like forever.
However, when uploading large files, the difference between my Internet service and DSL service is really negligible.
Although I would still absolutely recommend high-speed DSL (the 3 or 6 mbps packages) or cable Internet service over satellite Internet service, I can honestly say that this is a viable option for those of us that live too far off the beaten path to get traditional broadband service.