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View Full Version : Revisiting the farm/rural internet problem



RacetrackReject
Jan. 19, 2010, 04:05 PM
I just wanted to bring up the topic of rural internet service again to say that I found something that works. I had Wild Blue satellite internet and had an older (last year) verizon broadband usb modem. Both of which sucked and my bf's son griped that he couldn't play computer games on them.

I saw that Verizon had a newish modem out (UMW-190) that was getting rave reviews and since they have a 30 day trial/return policy, I decided to order one online and try it out. The thing works great! It has an antenna thingie on it and a place to connect an external antenna. I've never had to use the external antenna, but I did buy one just in case and it was like $10. The bf's son is very happy that he can play World of Warcraft now and I am a happy internet surfer.

Not sure this would work for everyone, but it might be worth trying for the 30 days to see if it works for you. The largest package they have is $59/month for 5Gigs which doesnt' sound like alot but it is and it's much cheaper than my slower crappier satellite that was $99/month.

Anyway, just thought I would share my luck.

tangledweb
Jan. 19, 2010, 04:31 PM
I'd be pretty worried about such as small limit if you have a WoW player in the house full time. A 5hr a day WoW addiction could easily eat all that, even if only during school vacation.

RacetrackReject
Jan. 19, 2010, 05:03 PM
For a whole month it didn't go over 2Gig even with all the playing during holiday vacations and I think he was on it 24/7 quite often..lol. I had actually asked someone I know who uses a similar EVDO modem and plays WoW, he said the only time he has gone close to going over is when sharing it with his wife and brother who also play and the brother was torrenting as well. I don't know what torrenting is, but apparently it eats up lots of data usage??

I am still keeping my eye on the usage though as that was my main concern as well. Thanks for bringing it up!

MunchkinsMom
Jan. 19, 2010, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the update. I got an upgrade to my Sprint aircard and software, and the speed is better than the old one. Still not 100% better, but something is better than nothing. It won't get better until they install more towers or upgrade the existing towers to 3G.

Going to google the antenna's as I have a place to plug one in on my aircard also.

pintopiaffe
Jan. 19, 2010, 09:51 PM
I am *pretty* happy with my AT&T wireless, USB modem. Speed is super, as I look at the tower out my bay window--direct line of sight it's probably less than 1/2 mile away. In the worst snow storm, it was only 4 bars instead of 5, and a little slower, but still, compared to 19.9 and 12. Yes, 12.0, I'm happy.

They came out with a cheap plan, which is what made me try it--200mg for $35. That's what I was paying per mo for a phoneline that barely worked, so I could justify it. I use Opera, and have graphics turned off, and don't do vids at home... and came in just under that for the first month. The BIG eater was an interactive survey I did last week. Got a warning notice (which I liked!) that suddenly I was using a LOT and at risk of going over.

It's like $60 or $65 for 5gig. But if I just almost used 200mg... I'll save the big stuff to look at at work. :winkgrin: (and yes, we're allowed.)

Janet
Jan. 19, 2010, 11:17 PM
I don't know what torrenting is, but apparently it eats up lots of data usage??

Google "Bittorrent".

It is a file sharing protocol. Basically, you are "downloading" from multiple computers at the same time, and it can use up LOTS of bandwidth.

RacetrackReject
Jan. 21, 2010, 10:14 AM
Thanks for that information Janet! I had no idea but the name sounded like it might be a bad thing..lol.

dressagejudy
Jan. 21, 2010, 10:34 AM
We just hooked up to Sprint wireless and we didn't realize it was limited to 5G. We went over the first month and our "$60" bill was $189. We don't game on ours. We usually just do email and surfing, but my husband downloads some Utube videos. So beware. The service is great and fast, but I'd rather be back to Wildblue because we didn't have to worry about how many GB's we are using.
Judy

Foxhound
Jan. 21, 2010, 01:24 PM
Has anyone here had luck with the sattelite internet services? It's the only way we could get non-dialup internet where I live. We went with HughesNet. All that crap in their commercials about "high speed where you live!" are lies, all lies.

Petstorejunkie
Jan. 21, 2010, 01:52 PM
be weary on your usage. Everything was fine in my house for at least 6 months, then, with NOTHING changing in our internet behavior the bill skyrocketed to $400!!!! Apparently even with no change in activity they were claiming we used the 5GB in 2 weeks. They had no way to prove they were right. I requested a print of every internet activity with sites visited and usage, which they said they would send to me and never did.


Be VERY weary of Verizon internet.

RacetrackReject
Jan. 21, 2010, 03:55 PM
I know that sites like YouTube can eat lots of data usage. I will definitely keep check on the usage though. It pops up every time you log on. One issue I do have is that their updates that you have to download are done on your download limit per their own little warning box and can cause you to go over. I dont' really see how that is my issue.

Thanks for the warnings! I will definitely watch the usage.

Petstorejunkie- Could someone have been stealing your signal?

Outfxed
Jan. 23, 2010, 07:46 AM
Having used HughesNet satelite for over 2 yrs. and not exactly thrilled with it, I am currently doing the 30 day test out of a broadband modem from Verizon for my tower. I'm amazed at the difference in speed!

I plan on keeping a close eyeball on the usage, but I don't think I will exceed the 5G. I'm not a gamer and mainly use the internet for emails, some websurfing and that's about it. So far the comparison of the satelite and the broadband modem are like night and day.

JanM
Jan. 23, 2010, 08:40 AM
Pet Store-I second what Race Track said, either someone is using your signal or they changed the measurement somehow. I bet someone in the line of sight of your place is really happy with their free service from your modem.

CosMonster
Jan. 23, 2010, 09:54 AM
I have HughesNet and I'm very happy with it. We have another local satellite provider in our area who I used to have and it is way way faster than them, and the customer service is better too. In fact I don't notice a difference between surfing at home and surfing at my parents' house, which has cable internet. Even high winds and bad weather I haven't had an issue.

My neighbor has Verizon and has to come over to our place sometimes if he has to get things done because of reception issues, too. I think which is a better choice depends a lot on your area.

Valentina_32926
Jan. 25, 2010, 04:36 PM
be weary on your usage. Everything was fine in my house for at least 6 months, then, with NOTHING changing in our internet behavior the bill skyrocketed to $400!!!! Apparently even with no change in activity they were claiming we used the 5GB in 2 weeks. They had no way to prove they were right. I requested a print of every internet activity with sites visited and usage, which they said they would send to me and never did.


Be VERY weary of Verizon internet.

PSJ - If you have wireless in your house (and people can get close enough) they can "piggyback" on your wireless - i.e. use your Internet connectivity for free why you pay for their usage. Could that have cause the issue?

monalisa
Mar. 25, 2010, 02:06 PM
Can someone please help me here???

I need to get Internet and phone service at my farm. My only "vendor" option is satellite through Hughes.net to the tune of $70 per month. I don't work from the house anymore so I won't use the Internet a lot. But I would like to have it. I was going to use Vonage as my phone service for $25 a month, unlimited long distance.

Do I have other options? The only cell service that is any good in my area is Verizon with Sprint a distant second. My iPhone does not work at all from my house. Perhaps I should just get another cell phone and use that as my phone service.

But can I get some kind of card for my laptops? I have a Mac and an older Thinkpad.

HELP?????????????

Valentina_32926
Mar. 25, 2010, 03:03 PM
If you don't mind SLOW internet you can get dial-up for $10 per month - that's what we use cause we're cheap. Not enough bandwidth for things like tons of pics or Youtube, but plenty for COTH!

monalisa
Mar. 25, 2010, 03:13 PM
My blood pressure cannot live with dial-up. Especially after having a DSL line for so long. And I want to be able to work from home from time-to-time.

I think I am going to try a Verizon Mobile Broadband Plan. I can use it for 30 days and then if it does not work then I can turn it off.

The Satellite is like highway robbery to me!

LauraKY
Mar. 25, 2010, 04:36 PM
Can someone please help me here???

I need to get Internet and phone service at my farm. My only "vendor" option is satellite through Hughes.net to the tune of $70 per month. I don't work from the house anymore so I won't use the Internet a lot. But I would like to have it. I was going to use Vonage as my phone service for $25 a month, unlimited long distance.

Do I have other options? The only cell service that is any good in my area is Verizon with Sprint a distant second. My iPhone does not work at all from my house. Perhaps I should just get another cell phone and use that as my phone service.

But can I get some kind of card for my laptops? I have a Mac and an older Thinkpad.

HELP?????????????

No, no, no to Hughes Net. Crappy service, crappy speed, crappy everything. And then, when they can't make your service work AND they charge you for out of warranty service calls, you get a disconnection fee. Terrible company. Never got anywhere near the connection speeds they advertised. Best I did was 2 times faster than dialup on uploads.

You cannot use Vonnage with satellite service (like HughesNet or Wild Blue). The upload speeds are not fast enough.

Equibrit
Mar. 25, 2010, 04:48 PM
I'm out in the sticks and Windstream have something called Greenstreak. It's unlimited 12Mbps broadband over the phone line, but you don't have to pay for phone service as well. It's $49.99 a month. http://www.windstream.com/Product.aspx

RacetrackReject
Mar. 25, 2010, 04:54 PM
That sounds pretty neat Equibrit. I think I might have to google it and find out more.

Our local electric Co-op is doing a test with highspeed internet through an electrical outlet. Not sure how it works at all, but I read the card they sent in the mail about it and it sounded good. Sadly, they did not pick my area for the test trial though.

Equibrit
Mar. 25, 2010, 04:56 PM
You can check your location in Texas on the link I posted.

MSP
Mar. 25, 2010, 05:07 PM
be weary on your usage. Everything was fine in my house for at least 6 months, then, with NOTHING changing in our internet behavior the bill skyrocketed to $400!!!! Apparently even with no change in activity they were claiming we used the 5GB in 2 weeks. They had no way to prove they were right. I requested a print of every internet activity with sites visited and usage, which they said they would send to me and never did.


Be VERY weary of Verizon internet.

Don't give up on it. Go here http://www.consumeraction.gov/

Use the site to complain if you like but I would order the 2010 Consumer Action Handbook. We use it any time we have a dispute. I find the numbers given for companies gets you to people higher up and things happen more quickly.

jawa
Mar. 25, 2010, 05:28 PM
We have an Ntelos air card with an external antenna (due to stone house and metal roof). We have unlimited usuage and the price was around 30$ a month. We went from dial up to the air card and couldn't be happier. We are able to down load most anything. Youtube and other media sites are not a problem.

ambar
Mar. 25, 2010, 05:34 PM
I've been happy with my Hughesnet service, though I sure wouldn't mind finding a cheaper alternative. (I did buy the business-class service, since at the time I was working from home and could not afford a 24-hour wait for any needed repairs, but none have been needed.)

monalisa
Mar. 26, 2010, 09:02 AM
Jawa:
What part of VA are you in? I am interested in the Ntelos Air Card idea......

jawa
Mar. 26, 2010, 11:14 AM
Powhatan County, Central VA

You can get the device and try it for 30 days at no charge if you don't like it, or it doesn't work. They have a service map on their web site that lets you see if it might be worth trying. You will get best service if it gets a 3G connection. We have ours set up for a WAN and LAN networks through a router we purchased. We have been thrilled with the service.

We used a local area wireless guy (Twiddy Wireless) to help us set up the lines for an external antenna (think car antenna). To go from air card to antenna, he had to do some adapting of lines, as one has a larger plug than the receptacle for the other. You need to make sure that the air card you get is able to attach to an external antenna (some don't).