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Old 08-07-2004, 06:34 PM
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Default Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

Okay no, I'm not really. But I tell ya, if for some reason I was forced to remain on 26kbps dial-up it would be a very serious consideration. I've already turned to the PS2 for distraction more than the Internet in the last couple of days, and I'm sure it would only get worse. I got my first cable modem... gee, in like 1996 or something, and I've had nothing slower on anything like a regular basis until now. This is really unbearable.

Anyway, the DSL modem is here and hooked up, but I have to wait for the clowns at SBC to actually activate our account. :eek:

So, while we wait...

DirecTV seems to be huge around here. What gives? Is it better than digital cable? More channels? Better channels? Tell me a story, Texans. (Or anyone else who has a big DirecTV presence in their area).

I'll be back online to find your answers next time I can stand to dial-up again.
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Old 08-07-2004, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

Here, DirectTv is a whole lot cheaper than cable, though the quality is not as good from what I hear... not sure how much this helped.
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Old 08-07-2004, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

DirecTV quality is fine when I had it and it has a lot more channels than cable. The reason I got cable is for the internet service. As for monthly cost, there just isn't much difference between satellite and cable.

The DirecTV company do offer internet service via satellite dish, I think they call it DirecPC. I'm not sure of the cost now, but when I first looked into it about five years ago they wanted $96 a month just for internet, no TV.


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Old 08-07-2004, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenly
The DirecTV company do offer internet service via satellite dish, I think they call it DirecPC.
They used to do DSL (I had it, but not their TV service) but they went out of the DSL business a couple of years ago. I haven't seen anything about them doing internet by satellite but maybe they do. When they stopped doing DSL I switched to SBC DSL which seems pretty reliable (and much more so than DirecTv DSL which regularly had short down periods).

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Old 08-08-2004, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirecPC
DirecPC® is now DIRECWAY®!
It looks like they like to compare themselves to dialup and not DSL or cable. There must be a reason for that. Could it be that it is only 500 Kbps maximum for download and only 50 Kbps for upload, which is dialup slow, and so it really doesn't compare at all?

Their own caveat:
Quote:
DIRECWAY utilizes satellite technology to send and receive the Internet to your computer, making it available everywhere in the contiguous United States. While satellites give you high-speed Internet, the distance between our satellite and your dish does produce a micro-fraction time delay or ‘latency’ during transmissions, which may not be perfect for ‘twitch’ games or online trading that need split-second reactions. So, if you’re a big online gamer or utilizing a VPN, DIRECWAY may not be ideal for you.
According to their site it is either $59.99 a month if you buy the equipment ($$$) or $99.99 a month for their promotional deal (includes equipment and standard installation for a mere $99.99 a month for 15 months, then $59.99 a month after that). Add DirecTV to that and it can easily run more than $100 a month. Right now, my cable TV and internet service runs just over $80 a month, but I don't have any premium cable channels at all.

So, if satellite isn't the way to go, what are the other options? For broadband it is DSL or cable. In terms of theoretical peak performance, cable modem is generally faster than DSL. Cable technology can achieve networking speeds of approximately 30 Mbps (using a 100 Mbps network interface card), whereas most forms of DSL cannot reach 10 Mbps.*

*information in this paragraph is from this about.com webpage.


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Old 08-08-2004, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenly
In terms of theoretical peak performance, cable modem is generally faster than DSL. Cable technology can achieve networking speeds of approximately 30 Mbps (using a 100 Mbps network interface card), whereas most forms of DSL cannot reach 10 Mbps.*

*information in this paragraph is from this about.com webpage.


Warren
I've heard that cable slows down as more people on your street get it (DSL doesn't). Is that true?

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Old 08-08-2004, 04:50 AM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Satellite?

I have had DirecPC (Direcway) satellite ISP for the last couple of years. It costs me $59.99 per month. The slower upload speed and latency really wasn't a problem when it was actually making connections, but for the last 6 months I think many of my page requests just were not being made and sites would stall or time out.

However, the downloads, once locked on and started, kicked ass.

My tv cable company just last month started offering Internet service so I presently have both. (And my 26.4k max dialup ISP and a 14.4k ISP available with my wireless phone.)

The cable Internet seems much more steady than the satellite has been, but not more so than satellite was when it was first installed. And the downloads are nowhere near as fast as the satellite was. I would prefer DSL and will jump to that when/if the phone company ever figures out how to get it to me (I'm 6 miles from the closest whatever it is that I need to be within 2 miles of.)

(And yeah, I have both cable and satellite tv services, too. I like certain aspects of both, so I'm not getting rid of either until one or the other offers everything I want.)
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Old 08-08-2004, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenM
I've heard that cable slows down as more people on your street get it (DSL doesn't). Is that true?

Helen
Hmm? I sent a reply to this, quoting that same about.com webpage, I even saw it posted, but now it's gone. Weird.

But, the anwer is yes. My "neighborhood of about four square miles has a population probably less than 1000 people, most of whom do not have cable internet. Hell, probably less than half of them even have cable, let alone internet of any kind. What I am getting at is right now there aren't enough people between me and the cable company's hub on their fiber optics network to make a bit of difference at all. Despite that I've noticed a bit of a slowdown during the noon hour, but I'd bet it's not the cable company, it's probably the internet itself. This noon-time phenomena is observable at work, where we have T1, which I just tested at McAfee's site as 3.897 Mbps. At this time of night my home connection is probably pretty close to that, but then, it's probably so fast my eyes probably are not able to discern the difference. I'll run a speed check in the morning at home to see what it shows.


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Old 08-08-2004, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

I just tested my home computer using McAfee's site as 6.501 Mbps on a 600 KB file. At this time of the morning on a Sunday morning, it's faster than the T1 at work, about 67% faster. Sweet mother. Gotta love it.

Note: I retested a couple times and it averaged about 2.5 Mbps on 3.0 MB file transfers.

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Old 08-08-2004, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

26K and you're quitting? Come to South Africa where the telcos are real telcos and the public are really shafted. I get 16.6K max, sometimes lower. (I admit to some doubt over this since I sometimes clock downloads from local sites at over 4KB/s wh wd be ~ 40Kb/s. I don't know if this is an artifact of compression or if it means my 56K modem sometimes manages that even though it reports a low connect speed. Regardless, it is impossible to get international sites or downloads to run that fast.)

ADSL is available from our monopoly Telkom. You have to sign up for 2 years (OK, they're investing in infrastructure) and there is a 3GB cap per month. Plus it's not available widely yet. And their customer care sucks.

By the way, they're making record profits, and laying off staff.
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Old 08-08-2004, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeP
26K and you're quitting? Come to South Africa where the telcos are real telcos and the public are really shafted. I get 16.6K max, sometimes lower.
Yeah, see, to me that would render the Internet virtually unusable as a resouce. I'd still use it for chat, text-based games and what little porn I could get at that speed, but if I can look up something in a Dictionary faster than I can load dictionary.com then what's the point?

Of course I only had a 2400 baud modem when I started out on the 'net back in '94, but then the web was in its infancy anyway, so Lynx (the text-based web browser) was sufficient for surfing. But when the web boomed and I got a cable modem to browse it, it became an entirely different thing. Having a persistent connection and mega-bandwidth suddenly made it faster to research something online than to go to the library.

So while I was being facetious with my comment about quitting the 'net altogether, it really is an entirely different thing when I have to dial a connection and wait several minutes to download a page. I literally would opt for the dictionary on the shelf today before trying to look up a word online.

Anyway I appreciate the reminder that I'm a spoiled American who takes such things as broadband Internet access for granted. It's just that I've lived in about 10 places in 5 cities across 4 states in the last 6 or 7 years, and this is the first time I've gone a week without it. :(
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Old 08-08-2004, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

VM, I've had DSL through SBC for 3 years now and love it. Only once did it go down for about a week..ummm...2 years ago? When Houston had the huge flood. Since then, SBC has rerouted alot through other servers. Even North Texans, like me, were out of service that week.

There have been a few hiccups, but so few and so short I don't mind at all. Cable dsl/broadband users have told me when the cable goes down, so does the internet. My cable goes out much more than my phone line. And BTW, my bill is only $67.00 for phone service and DSL.

DirectTV services were notorious for going down in the rain. I don't know if they've fixed that or not.
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Old 08-09-2004, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

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Originally Posted by Gawen
DirectTV services were notorious for going down in the rain. I don't know if they've fixed that or not.
Shit no. Not in my neighborhood, anyway.
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Old 08-09-2004, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gawen
There have been a few hiccups, but so few and so short I don't mind at all. Cable dsl/broadband users have told me when the cable goes down, so does the internet. My cable goes out much more than my phone line. And BTW, my bill is only $67.00 for phone service and DSL.
Actually, I've lost the internet service more times during storms than the cable TV. Twice I've had the ethernet card get fritzed because of lightning. I'm thinking the surge in power that took it out came in through the cable. One of the times that the cable internet went out but the TV was still working it was down for three days, I heard lightning zapped a bunch of their equipment too. Another time after losing it due to a storm, the cable company said it was working and they could see nothing wrong, but I was getting no indication on the cable modem that there was any signal until I called their customer service; right during the call it came back up and they were able to do online diagnostics and everything. Althought they denied they did anything at all to make it come back up, I wondered at the time if they might have turned on some device by remote operation.

Quote:
DirectTV services were notorious for going down in the rain. I don't know if they've fixed that or not.
I had Dish satellite in Salt Lake City and the only time it ever went out was during on particularly heavy snowstorm where snow accumulated on the dish because of it was a wet slushy snow. I switched to Dish from cable because everytime it rained the cable went out, sometimes for a day or more. I think they had a problem with water getting in their underground facilities.

After moving to Oklahoma I got DirecTV service because my house wasn't wired for cable and the satellite company was offering free installation and free equipment for a one year contract. I was pretty happy with DirecTV for TV watching, but I switched to cable only because of their internet service, which I only checked out after finding out that I couldn't get DSL. Despite a few days downtime in two years, I'm extemely satisfied with it. Cox rules.


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Old 08-09-2004, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

As far as I know, the DirectWav stuff works as follows. They have to compress the information from web-sites then spit it up to the sattelite and then down to you (up to 768k I think is the maximum, which is okay speed). Then, uploads go through a normal modem, this is a limiting factor because data does not go back up to the satellite, only down to you (now, there ARE solutions that do this, but they are VERY expensive).

This breaks most VPN solutions, because zipping up the data causes a delay in timing with the encryption process, thus I can't have people use it here (most poeple that doesn't affect).

As for picture quality between the Satellite and cable, when compared to non-digital cable the satellite picture and sound is leaps ahead of the cable. When compaired to digital cable, they are probably about the same.

I have had weather related and tree releated problems with the dish reception, there just isn't a good window to see the satellite without a bunch of trees in the way.

As to cable/DSL speeds, DSL is actually maxed out at 1.5Mbps (that is Mega Bits, not Mega Bytes/second), but that is usually expensive to get. You can "double-up" phone lines and get faster service, but this is again not the norm.

Cable can get up to speeds of 30Mbps (I think that is right), but again this is not the norm. Cable modem speeds are limited by the cable company actually, and by the "nodes" or groups of cable users (usually a node is a maximum of, I think, 600 people, then uplinked to the ISP). With that many people you can get slowed down, but normal nodes aren't that full, thus speeds are up. But yes, cable is not a guaranteed speed to you at all times, it can get slower with more usage within the node.

DSL is a guaranteed speed between you and the ISP. This does not mean that an ISP cannot be slowed down with a lot of DSL connections, so really, overall I think cable is better for maximum speed over time, especially if you have less then the maximum people on a node.

Oh, and warrenly, I think that "Internet Connection Speedometer" from McAfee is bogus somehow, as I am on a T1 here, and T1's are 1.5Mbps, which probably gets you 187k/s max or so download speeds, ( a 768K DSL gets about 80K/s "real" download speeds). It listed me as getting 45Mbps which translates to 5.6MBps which is bogus (remember a byte is 8 bits, so a 768K DSL is 96,000 bytes/second download speed but I see 80k regularly, just like about 160k on the T1).

I really hate how they designate speed for the modems or T1's or whatever, it just leads to confusion. (so, a 10Mbps network link is 1.2 megabytes/second max, 100Mbps network is 12.5 megabytes/second speed max, I usually see 10-11megs/second with a good machine).


Anyway, not important I guess. :)

-Scott
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Old 08-09-2004, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

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Originally Posted by Scotty
As far as I know, the DirectWav stuff works as follows. They have to compress the information from web-sites then spit it up to the sattelite and then down to you (up to 768k I think is the maximum, which is okay speed). Then, uploads go through a normal modem, this is a limiting factor because data does not go back up to the satellite, only down to you (now, there ARE solutions that do this, but they are VERY expensive).
That's the way it was before a year or so ago, at least in my area. But it's not that way now. I didn't get satellite Internet until they offered both directions and did not require any dialup modem.

I have DIRECWAY. Unfortunately, I came to wish that it used a normal modem for the uplinks. It has been my experience that while the uplink speeds are plenty fast enough and I don't really mind the inherent small latency, it was my uploads that just never happened reliably. I think I would like the combination of my old reliable standard modem for all my upload requests and the blazing fast satellite for the downloads.
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Old 08-09-2004, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Quitting the Internet -or- Cable or Sattellite?

Cool, I was wondering if they fixed the modem-out feature, but it still has the lag time of compression from the satellite company and the time it takes to transmit to the satellite.
I have seen other satellite services, but the cost was amazingly high for true send and receive capability. Then again, I was looking at mobile services.

-Scott
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Old 08-10-2004, 12:27 AM
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Default Warrenly

I guess it's where you live...and all that. I'd never have cable dsl here. It goes out too much. I've never had a problem with losing phone (and dsl) service due to storms with the exception of that one week and a few minor hiccups that lasted no more than a few hours. DirectTV must have fixed that problem they had. It used to be during rain, the drops would collect on the boom and it'd lose the connection with the satelite.
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