View Full Version : Internet provider???

Jim Sample
08-17-2005, 11:15 AM
Is anyone out there using Direcway satelite internet as a provider of service??

We are presently with a wireless provider, Speednet out of Omaha Ne.. They have been very good for the past couple of years , BUT they have gone to ---- in the last 6 weeks, they claim we are too far out (12 miles) and are dropping support to us. Our alternative Direcway or dialup.

Any suggestions out there from anyone??

Jim Sample

Stefan Antwarg
08-17-2005, 3:53 PM
I have no experience with Direct Way. But, I have been waiting for Wild Blue ISP to be available for a while now in my area. They seem to be cheaper than the other satallite providers. Do a google search.


William Parks
08-17-2005, 6:01 PM

I've been with Oneway (just like Direcway) for 2 years now. Like anything else it has its + and -. Biggest plus is "most" of the time it's a "little" better than dialup especially if you are in a rural area where there is no DSL, or WiFi. Now for the minuses.

1. Latency issue. Lag time between requesting a web site before it comes up on your screen. Don't let the sales/tech people tell you it's because the sat's are 22K miles away. Radio signals travel at 186K m/sec so uplink to down link time is less than .5 seconds. The real reason is because your signal is encrypted and compressed before being sent out. When it reaches the ground station it's uncompressed and decrypted and then sent out into internet land. Once the requested site is found, the return path to you goes through the same process (encrypted/compressed up to the bird then back down to you then uncompressed/decrypted) before being displayed on your screen. There are some newer compression/encryption techniques, but those are reserved for a more costly premium service.

2. Hughes owns the satellites. Directway, Oneway, and the others lease bandwidth from Hughes. During the day the bandwidth can suck big time reducing speed even further since businesses are big users of satellite service. With some of the newer transmitter/receivers (6000 and the new 7000 series) Hughes will have the capability of throttling down those with dynamic IP's allowing those with static IP's to have a little more bandwidth.

3. Somewhat pricey for the amount of speed you get. I have a static IP and my monthly costs are around $130 but my connection is used for business as well as personal use. The last time I looked, a Dynamic IP cost somewhere around $50-$60 per month. Also don't forget, you must purchase the equipment and pay for the install (no leasing or renting options). My equipment costs were around $1000 which included installation (no difference for a dynamic or static IP since it's all the same equipment). Since you have a transmitter that transmits a signal, the FCC requires a professional do the installation (wouldn't want to be transmitting a signal to the wrong satellite).

4. Bad weather affects the signal strength hence the speed. On real cloudy or rainy days, you can experience severe speed reduction and sometimes outages. The ironic thing is it doesn't necessarily have to be the weather where you live. I have had days where it's sunny in California, but the ground station which is in NC or VA (can't remember which) is having bad weather and the whole darn system is down. If you live in a high wind area, this too can affect your signal as you antenna can shift ever so slightly. Your receive signal has a somwhat broad latitude but your transmit signal is very narrow. Kind of like a 24" pipe versus a soda straw.

If it wasn't for the fact that my clients need 24 hr a day access to my system (hence the static IP), I'm not sure I would opt for satellite service based upon the costs versus rewards. Believe it or not, there are times I can email a CAD file by dialup faster than satellite during the day and my typical dialup speed 26.4K.

If you think satellite is your only viable option my recommendation would be to go on E-Bay and look for someone who is selling a 4000 series satellite system (Hughes has little to no control over these older transmitters/receivers). Then pay Direcway to send someone to install it; you'll be money ahead.

If I've missed something just ask but I hope this answers most of your questions/concerns.


Ken Kimbrell
08-17-2005, 9:20 PM
I have used Direcway for several years now and like it just fine for what it is.<O:p</O:p

However, as William points out, there are a number of issues that you should be aware of if you are going to have it installed.

Here are some Pros:
Faster than dial-up…
Your download speeds are good, way better than dial-up, but not like DSL or Cable.
Upload speed is faster than dial-up… but not by much

Good up time…
When we first installed it several years ago in Florida we had lots of downtime in bad weather, but they have greatly improved the service over time, it now takes a really bad rain storm to interrupt the connection and usually it comes back after just a few minutes.

And, some Cons:
For a home owner type install it runs about $600.00 for the equipment and the install. Some times they have rebate specials for $100.00 off, but that still leaves you with a $500.00 fee…
They have term payment plans; it runs you about $100.00 per-mo (includes the monthly service fee) for 15 months if you go that route.The home owner rate is $65.00 per-mo, runs me about $70.00 per-mo here in NC.

William explained it very well but, in your normal web surfing it is likely to be only a minor irritation…
However! If you like to do any interactive stuff on the web, like games, you can forget about it! I have tried to play online interactive games, like FPS, they simply do not work, or work so poorly so as to be a total waste of time.<O:p</O:p

There is a bandwidth limit of less than 200Mb per-day (176Mb, I think???), so if you do any large file transfers, like music, or other like stuff and run up to your daily limit, then your connection will slow down to worse that dial-up for the remainder of that day.…William’s set-up sounds like it is for business, if so it may not have the limit, but the homeowner setup will have it for sure, unless you upgrade to the $100.00 (?) per-mo service.

About the only point that I would give an opinion that is different from Williams is on which equipment to get.
I had the 4000 series modems for about two years and while they (it takes 2, one for in & one for out) work Ok in most ways, there is one very serious drawback to the 4000 series system…if you lose your connection you have a nice little problem on your hands.
Your connection can be lost primarily due to problems with your PC, your OS got messed up, or whatever. If you change PC’s is another way… caused myself more than one problem doing that!
At that point you MUST have a regular phone line available and your PC must have a modem, so that your PC can dial a 800 service number to reinstall/reactivate your service. They say you can use a cell phone, but I was never able to get that to work.
While I am by no means a computer ‘expert’ it is true that I am fairly knowledgeable about some aspects, including networking type issues… and I can tell you that if you use the 4000 series it will test your faith in yourself, even if you think you know a little about this stuff.
My choice is the 6000 series because there is no need for phone lines, all programming is in the single 6000 modem, with no software installed on your PC…. That means you can switch to another PC if need be and not have to deal with connection issues.

Bottom line…
If you can stand the cost and don’t have cable or DSL available it is a good service. In my case, DSL is actually available to our house, but the lines and equipment are so poor that we lost service about 40-45% of the time in the six months we used it here in NC… several times for 4-5 days at a stretch, so we finally got fed up and went back to DW.<O:p</O:p