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View Full Version : Another Rural Internet question



pintopiaffe
Oct. 25, 2009, 12:56 PM
I know that part of the 'price' for one of the most beautiful pieces of land on this planet IS the fact that it is on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere... but...

Fairpoint bought out Verizon. My 45.5 dial up slowly decreased to 19.9 on a GOOD day.

My only other option is to use my cell as a modem, which is even worse.

What I'm wondering is if there are settings you can change on your browser for CotH that make it download faster/easier? I would love like a 'text only' mode...like the old days. Otherwise it's brutally slow... like, hit a link, make a cuppa coffee slow...

Help.
(and... because I know someone will ask... cell provided web with the right connection is $60/mo w/ contract; no cable; sattellite doesn't make sense for JUST internet, I do not have nor watch TV... :sigh: )

jn4jenny
Oct. 25, 2009, 02:16 PM
Here's some tips to speed it up.

Firstly, make sure there isn't fuzz on your connection by plugging a regular phone into your usual model phone jack. If it's a staticky line, call the phone company and ask them to do something about it.

Secondly, make sure you're using the fastest browser possible. If you're on Internet Explorer, you are shooting yourself in the foot. I am a Firefox girl but I am also on broadband--it is the most gee-whiz browser and it's faster than Internet Explorer, but it's not the fastest browser of them all. And if you are on dialup, then it's full of things that you wouldn't be able to appreciate anyway.

For someone on dial-up, Safari for Mac or Opera (for PC or Mac) are your winners. Opera Turbo is where it's at for your situation--it has special compression algorithms that will make web content load as quickly as possible with maximally compressed data. Yes, it's free:
http://www.opera.com/browser/turbo/

Next, there ARE setting to turn off much of the CSS gee-whiz on pages like COTH and make them essentially text only (ugly but way faster). In Firefox, you can do it by going to View --> Page Style --> No Style. In Opera, you can do it with View >
Style >User Mode.

pintopiaffe
Oct. 25, 2009, 03:10 PM
YOU ROCK!!!

I'm a Mozilla girl too... but yeah--way more than I need at home. Can't get ONE tab to download before timout, not to mention two. :p

Off to download Opera while I'm still on highspeed wireless at work. Maybe it's the compromise I've been looking for.

THANKS!

RegentLion
Oct. 25, 2009, 03:14 PM
We are in the same position that you are-- so rural that our only options are dialup, or a sattellite tv/internet combo.

We ended up going with a third option, we got this aircard from Alltel (http://cgi.ebay.com/ALLTEL-WIRELESS-UM175-UTStarcom-USB-Air-Card-Modem_W0QQitemZ230382260062QQihZ013QQcategoryZ7495 3QQcmdZViewItem). You can see on the side there's a little flap/door where we have an antenna http://www.alternativewireless.com/cellular-antennas/wilson-antennas/wilson_yagi_antenna.html attached to it and onto our roof. There are a couple of other wire pieces we had to get to make the two parts match. The aircard plugs into the USB port on your computer.

I now have "high speed" internet that I can watch most YouTube videos on, download ITunes, etc. Some days it gets fast enough that we can connect two computers to it at once and both surf.

My cellphone WILL NOT work in my house. But this does. And yes, we pay $$ for it, but it is well worth it. We ditched our dialup service and that helped a lot.

Now, if you go with a different company or aircard, make sure it has a slot for an antenna to plug in, and the AllTel card doesn't have limits (we can use it as much as we want) but AT&T for example has limits on how much you can use.... this is the case with satellite internet as well. the Alltel situation is truly "unlimited."

blueboo
Oct. 25, 2009, 07:33 PM
sattellite doesn't make sense for JUST internet, I do not have nor watch TV... :sigh: )


TV and Satellite Internet use different Dishes - they are NOT on the same system at all. We too live in the country - and we have a dish for my DH's TV and another one (Hughes net) for the Internet. Completely separate systems. So yes, you can have Internet without 'wasting' or having TV. :)

MintHillFarm
Oct. 25, 2009, 07:42 PM
TV and Satellite Internet use different Dishes - they are NOT on the same system at all. We too live in the country - and we have a dish for my DH's TV and another one (Hughes net) for the Internet. Completely separate systems. So yes, you can have Internet without 'wasting' or having TV. :)

I have DIRECTV for TV and HughesNet for internet; 2 separate dishes on the roof. I love DIRECTV and it's a good deal (off topic I know), but HughesNet although the only high speed option for me, has issues. It is expensive
(90.00 a month), it's weather sensititive and at times not that fast. However, it is better than dial up for sure...I keep calling the cable company hoping they will run it up my road, but I am not holding my breath. As for DSL, maybe in the next century.

buschkn
Oct. 25, 2009, 08:13 PM
I have hughesnet satellite internet. It is not exactly HIGH speed but def way better than dial up. I think it's $69.99/m or something like that. I have DISH network for TV but as others said, they are two diff satellite dishes. I got the internet one well over a year before the TV. Def the only way to go IMHO when cable/DSL/etc aren't options. Good luck!

Chall
Oct. 25, 2009, 08:38 PM
Usually under the pulldown menu TOOLS OPTIONs, or EDIT, PREFERENCES you will be given options to turn off images/pictures. I use this on my cell. When SmartPakRadio infected my pc (GRRR), I turned off java script (scripting) and that finally got rid of that (after I deleted all my cookies and history).
Goes much faster without pictures, but you wont get smilies.

cssutton
Oct. 25, 2009, 09:47 PM
I have the Alltel air card and have been a big booster of it for several reasons.

I use a laptop for everything except my office accounting which is done on a machine with NO internet connection.

The lap top allows me to carry all information except accounting information everywhere I go.

However, since Verizon purchased Alltel, the service sucks both at home and at the office.

I get 16 to 24 kps at home. That is totally unacceptable.

I get 120 kps at the office.

A year ago, I got two to three times that speed at each site.

I can put it in my truck and go to other areas and get 8 times the best speed I get at the office.

Yet Verizon sells air cards in this area every day with the sales brochure that says you may get 3G.

They keep promising me that they are updating equipment an that my service will improve. I hope I live to see it.

On the other hand, I have investigated others and found that I have a better contract than available through Sprint or AT&T.

So go air card. It attaches to your computer through the USB slot. It has its own cell phone number. My contract allows for unlimited use of the air card at $59.00 a month.

CSSJR

WaningMoon
Oct. 26, 2009, 08:15 AM
I know that part of the 'price' for one of the most beautiful pieces of land on this planet IS the fact that it is on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere... but...

Fairpoint bought out Verizon. My 45.5 dial up slowly decreased to 19.9 on a GOOD day.

My only other option is to use my cell as a modem, which is even worse.

What I'm wondering is if there are settings you can change on your browser for CotH that make it download faster/easier? I would love like a 'text only' mode...like the old days. Otherwise it's brutally slow... like, hit a link, make a cuppa coffee slow...

Help.
(and... because I know someone will ask... cell provided web with the right connection is $60/mo w/ contract; no cable; sattellite doesn't make sense for JUST internet, I do not have nor watch TV... :sigh: )

I hate fairpoint. They may even be kicked out of Vermont, going through the process now they are, to see. Mine went from 56 down to 18 so I know what you're dealing with. We get no cell phone coverage here either so satellite was my only other option. It is $52 a month for their lowest tier. I did have to up to the $70 one since I wanted to be able to watch some video and when I did at the lowest tier I got an FAP warning. But if you don't care so much about the speed, I think the lowest tier was around 330 for speed, than the $52 would be cheaper for you, wouldn't it? We have wild blue through Dish. We didn't add tv until the gov went digital here which left us with none since the box they tell you to buy is ineffective in our area, no signal. Yup, we are WAY out. Fairpoint told me we are their last concern. Nice isnt it.

AnotherRound
Oct. 26, 2009, 08:45 AM
Wow, and I thought I was in misery land with Comcast cable (surf all day, just don't download anything, they choke the download). I feel for you folks. Seems like something should be done about it. Durn capatilists!!

Boomer
Oct. 26, 2009, 04:32 PM
However, since Verizon purchased Alltel, the service sucks both at home and at the office.

CSSJR

Yeah, it hasn't been a good switch down here either. I finally took my cell phone to Verizon and they switched my SID, which has helped with the signal and clarity.

I have an Alltel aircard as well, but it doesn't seem to be a whole lot different than before, just the cell phone service. They did say I can have the SID changed on my aircard if I start having problems, so maybe that would help?

I love my aircard - horse shows, camping, home... internet everywhere!

RegentLion
Oct. 26, 2009, 10:43 PM
Yeah, it hasn't been a good switch down here either. I finally took my cell phone to Verizon and they switched my SID, which has helped with the signal and clarity.

I have an Alltel aircard as well, but it doesn't seem to be a whole lot different than before, just the cell phone service. They did say I can have the SID changed on my aircard if I start having problems, so maybe that would help?

I love my aircard - horse shows, camping, home... internet everywhere!


We love our aircards too... and we've also had speeds decrease since the switch, even with our phones. I used to NEVER drop calls on the way to work with my phone, and now I do at random times. Very frustrating.

Our Aircard DID slow down for a while but it has picked back up again. Sometimes it varies a bit with cloud cover, but we do have an antenna on it that helps out. I love that I can truly have internet ANYWHERE. When we go on trips I bring my laptop, aircard, and an inverter and I can surf the 'net while DH drives. He loooooves that, :lol:... but in all fairness when he travels for business he takes his laptop/aircard and has internet then too.

Guilherme
Oct. 26, 2009, 11:21 PM
We had HughesNet for several years. It's a real compromise in many ways but beats the daylights out of dialup. Between dialup and HugheNet we had ISDN. I don't even know if it's available anymore.

There's also a satellite service called Wild Blue. It's a direct competitor of HughesNet and appears to be cheaper. Don't know about quality, though.

Satellite is weather sensitive, but we upgraded from basic to a "small business dish" and got much better service It was a few dollars more but our "outages" declined to almost nothing.

You might be able to make up some of the higher costs of satellite by using
VOIP phone services. But I'm not sure they work with satellite service. You'd have to check.

We finally got DSL service about two years ago. I let HughesNet go at that time.

G.

cssutton
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:44 AM
A follow up on my gripe on the Alltel purchase by Verizon.

In the last two days, my service has improved significantly. Not yet what it should be, but three times faster than it has been for the past 10 months.

So it looks like Verizon is finally, after 10 months, gaining on their problems with the purchase.

I suspect that a lot of it has to do with the fact that, in my case anyway, Alltel was renting Sprint tower facilities and even Alltel had trouble meshing their software with that of Sprint.

So enter Verizon and you have a three way software problem.

At any rate, my service has vastly improved. An air card is the way to go.

As for the SID switch, you can call Verizon support and they will look at your location, etc., and give you the SID number you need.

With an Alltel air card, you can change the number yourself thus saving the hassle of taking your equipment to the store and waiting in line.

CSSJR

Protect your privacy. Replace Google with IXQUICK at www.ixquick.com.


If we do not wish to lose our freedom, we must learn to tolerate our
neighbor's right to freedom even though he might express that freedom
in a manner we consider to be eccentric.

moonriverfarm
Oct. 29, 2009, 09:50 AM
I feel your pain. I bit the bullet and bought the verizon card at $60 a month, but use it so little that I'm dropping down to $30 a month. I can take my laptop to work during the day and use the T1 line to do online stuff. Living in paradise has its downside when it comes to technology!

lwk
Oct. 29, 2009, 10:11 AM
Hughesnet satellite sucked for us. Very unreliable and we kept getting "throttled" on uploads and downloads.

We got an ISDN line and then later were able to get DSL.

pintopiaffe
Oct. 29, 2009, 07:03 PM
Just had to share... new all time low. I am meandering s l o w l y around CotH tonight on 12 MBPS.

Yes. 12.

Thanks to Opera and turning off images, I *am* here... but still. :sigh:

I just cannot justify $60/mo for the internet which is what AT&T is--the tower that is literally outside my window. (and yet up/far enough that I'm not under the umbrella)

Mobile web has worked 2x in the 10 days I've had the new phone, and I cannot check my email from it without extra charges. Signal's perfect, but I keep getting 'page unable to load' type errors.

The sad part is the web is my only diversion. No TV. I don't rent movies. I do read, of course, but I love spending stormy winter days decadently surfing... a rare treat as I generally catch up on email & CotH and that's it. :sigh:

rideapaso
Oct. 30, 2009, 01:42 AM
We had HughesNet for several years. It's a real compromise in many ways but beats the daylights out of dialup. Between dialup and HugheNet we had ISDN. I don't even know if it's available anymore.

There's also a satellite service called Wild Blue. It's a direct competitor of HughesNet and appears to be cheaper. Don't know about quality, though.

Satellite is weather sensitive, but we upgraded from basic to a "small business dish" and got much better service It was a few dollars more but our "outages" declined to almost nothing.

You might be able to make up some of the higher costs of satellite by using
VOIP phone services. But I'm not sure they work with satellite service. You'd have to check.

We finally got DSL service about two years ago. I let HughesNet go at that time.

G.

I've used Wildblue for several years and their service has been excellent. Much better than dial-up and not that expensive.

MunchkinsMom
Oct. 30, 2009, 11:23 AM
I'm on aircard internet as that is my only option, it is not EVDO in my area, but my husband can get his aircard to pick up the EVDO signal with an antenna on the roof and some sort of booster thing. We have seperate accounts.

You would think that with government stimulus money being offered that the internet providers would be scrambling to get their fists on it, and fill in the "gaps" in coverage areas.

I can't get DSL (me and about 75 of my neighbors) because we are two miles too far from the two DSL boxes in the neighborhood. Don't get me started on my conversations with the phone company. Can't use satelite as the lag time plays havok with my VPN connections for work.

If you go the aircard route, shop around and check the coverage maps for each provider, I had Verizon at first, and their service was horrible, switched to Sprint which has been much more reliable in my area.

Guilherme
Oct. 30, 2009, 02:34 PM
I've used Wildblue for several years and their service has been excellent. Much better than dial-up and not that expensive.

Thanks for the reply. You're the first person I've ever "met" who actually uses the service! :)

It's nice to know that there's an alternative to HugesNet. Once we got the larger dish most of the connectivity issues disapeared. Sevice remained a problem in that I had to earn to interprest Indian English when seeking tech support. Frankly, it was a 50-50 chance that I'd be able to get useable information. :(

On the other hand Apple exports it's tech support, too (at least for the Nano).

G.

2Horse
Oct. 30, 2009, 02:47 PM
What all is involved with the air card? Is there some sort of receiver out side? It works with a regular computer?
I'm soon to be moving out to the boonies and we need fast internet. I sure the card will be the answer.
Thanks,

cssutton
Oct. 30, 2009, 08:39 PM
Nothing to it.

You go to Sprint or Verizon and tell them you want an air card.

They give you (joke, it costs something like $65 or so with a two year contract).

This little device has a USB connection which you either plug into the USB slot on your computer or the USB slot on a Cradlepoint Wireless Router, my preference because it is much safer with its internal firewall and other options.

The air card has its own phone number.

If you live in the right area, it will be fast as blazes.

Even if you don't, it is better than dial up and immune to thunderstorms and line static that goes with bad weather.

And it enables you to use your laptop anywhere from home to the office to the beach.

CSSJR

Protect your privacy. Replace Google with IXQUICK at www.ixquick.com.


If we do not wish to lose our freedom, we must learn to tolerate our
neighbor's right to freedom even though he might express that freedom
in a manner we consider to be eccentric.

lwk
Oct. 30, 2009, 09:26 PM
Air Card doesn't work in our area (or at least it didn't a year ago). We could get it to work if we took the laptop outside on the porch. It works fine for the folks a mile down the road from us.

JanM
Oct. 31, 2009, 11:44 AM
Be very careful downloading if you are not in your home country. On Clark Howard (financial guy on Headline News) a man went to Mexico, downloaded a movie for his nephew to watch, and got a $62,000 bill for it, later reduced to $17,000. The show staff called the internet provider and got it cancelled, but did say that downloading outside the U. S. is an opportunity for the companies to rip you off big time.

cssutton
Nov. 1, 2009, 07:24 AM
After 10 months of terrible service as a result of Verizon buying Alltel, my air card connection is finally improving.

I really did think they were lying when they said they were working to improve the service. It took so long, it certainly gave that impression.

For the past 3 or 4 days there has been a noticeable, as in 4 times faster, improvement.

This morning, it will go from page to page in COTH which was for the past 10 months very slow because of all of the frames and other junk that is on the COTH pages, so fast that you don't see the pages loading.

Sort of like a strobe flash on a camera.

I would suggest that you who are in a rural area without DSL or cable, try it.

Most vendors have a trial period. I think some as long as 90 days. That would give one time to get properly set up and able to see what it will do.

CSSJR

Protect your privacy. Replace Google with IXQUICK at www.ixquick.com.


If we do not wish to lose our freedom, we must learn to tolerate our
neighbor's right to freedom even though he might express that freedom
in a manner we consider to be eccentric.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 1, 2009, 10:27 PM
Well, I got an upgraded aircard for work, went from the Novatel big slot type card to USB - speeds are faster most of the time but. . . I cannot now get into my home office network via VPN - this is going to be a big issue as the new PC they want me to use can only accept the USB type card. I am beyond annoyed, was on the phone for 6 hours yesterday with various help desks, and nothing works. Hopefully they can get to the root of the problem tomorrow, otherwise I have to uninstall this one (the software), and install the old software and have Sprint deactivate the new card and activate the old one.

What is weird here is I watch the "strength" go from 1X (not EVDO) to anywhere from 10 - 40% EVDO signal. Not sure why it fluctuates like that, it's not like I am walking around with the PC, it sits on my desk in the docking station. Very strange. I am 3.2 miles from the nearest tower, which the technical guys did say that is pretty far, and may be impacting the signal.

Hip
Nov. 1, 2009, 11:16 PM
I live in the middle of nowhere too, outside the limit of 'good' internet.

I use Firefox private browsing. For some reason I can't download Opera. Go figure. I don't bother with IE. I'm on dial-up, the slow one. If I want to upload pictures, I have to drag my laptop to the library for their wireless. So, I do everything in one go. :yes:

Have thought about getting Hughes but I'm still too cheap to pay that much. Only on here for chatting and checking sites, not business, so I can't justify paying that much more. Actually, I'm glad to see what others are saying about the aircards, as I thought of getting one. Just thought only, I'm still too cheap to spring for one just yet.

Honestly, I don't know what all the letter-combos even mean. EVM, QVON, ASDF:LKJ, WHATEVER?? :eek: