Satellite or dial-up?



Hi there, I connect to the internet using a 56k modem because I live in a rural area and the companies are too lazy to extend their lines just a couple miles further. Anyways..

I have recently been looking into Satellite internet. The plan I am viewing can reach speeds of up to 512 KB/s. I pay about 10 dollars a month for my dial-up, while Satellite internet will cost me about 50-60 dollars a month not including equipment. While I think I can probably afford it, I just wanted to get your opinions on whether or not you think its worth it. Keep in mind also that there is a limit to what you can download per month, the package I'm looking at seems to be a 7,500 MB download, 2,300 MB Upload. By the way this is the provider I was looking at if you want more information:

Here are a few questions I was wondering if you could answer for me:

1) Is it worth paying the extra ~$50 dollars a month for the Satellite connection?

2) How reliable is the Satellite connection? How often does it go out during storms and such? (The site claims its very reliable, but we all know how people talk when trying to sell a product or service...) :)

3) Since there will probably be an increase in latency with information being shipped to the satellite then down to my computer, will playing online games still be possible? The only game I really play is Guild Wars, would I be able to play that without lag?

4) Does the provider I showed you seem to be a good one? Do you have any recommendations as to a better provider? Do you know of any providers that do not have a set limit on the amount you can download?

Thanks for your time, its much appreciated.


Yep. Its to enforce their "Fair Access Policy" :nuts:


You can change this now in User CP.
The 7,300 and 2,3000 isn't your speed, it's the "threshold". If you notice, on the page that word is starred (*). And below it says this:
*A "threshold" is the amount of data that you can upload or download in a 30-day period before WildBlue's Fair Access Policy may reduce your speeds. Typically these thresholds affect less than 3% of our customers and help ensure optimum performance for all WildBlue customers.

Well I read up, and it seems like they're reliable, though they're a pretty new brand (formed in 2005).

None of today's satellite plans are going to be extremely fast. For online games you'll get a bit frustrated, because the ping on satellites tends to be between 900-1200ms. Whereas, a standard ping from cable or dsl would be about 30-60ms.

But for web browsing you'll be fine.

Weather is another thing, when I had satellite for my television, it seemed like every time a storm rolled in, we'd be down the whole way through. But at my friends house, he was up 24/7, he had the same company too. So I really don't know if the weather will affect you.

If you've got a big budget, go with the pro pack. If you don't select is then the best choice, trust me value pack is about as good as dial-up.


Ah yes I was aware that the 7300 and the 2300 was your limit and not the speed. I must have been a bit vague in the OP. Thank you for your input on the latency and weather conditions.


Administrator - Servers are fun
Staff member
> Is it worth paying the extra ~$50 dollars a month for the Satellite connection?

Depends on how much you use the internet. Trying to download pictures? You need it already.
Looking up Wikipedia articles? You can probably suffer along....

> How reliable is the Satellite connection?

It depends on how well they point the satellite. If it's in virtually perfect alignment, you won't be down much. If it's off by 10 degrees, well....

> will playing online games still be possible?

Most likely. But you'll probably hate it, and the people playing in the same game will hate you....

> Guild Wars

You could probably play that one with a minimum of getting yelled at by other players, but you might be finding that you got killed by some monster before you even knew the game had a monster.

> Does the provider I showed you seem to be a good one?

Seems to get generally good reviews.

> Do you have any recommendations as to a better provider?

Seeing as you can't get a "normal" internet connection, no.

> Do you know of any providers that do not have a set limit on the amount you can download?

Hmm.... You might be able to find one. I don't know of one. I do know that HughesNet limits it day-to-day, though. I don't know the specs, however.


7gb could work out. Just limit yourself for downloading demos or game patches. Most game patches are under 200mb. Youtube videos are usually between 10-30mb.

You could download about 350 youtube videos before hitting the cap. You probably wouldn't be able to watch half that on Dial up.

I would consider taking the next step up though, to really get your money worth.

Are you on this map? Clearwire is the only wireless ISP I know of. I don't know much about them though.


Gone but not forgotten
Satellite internet connection should be your last resort.
Is 56k working out fine for you? If yes, the only reason to switch would be the extra speed which, as Ghan pointed out, might not be needed depending on what you use the internet for, especially considering you'll be paying 5 times as much + the equipment. 56k is completely sufficient for surfing BTW.

As for games...don't expect them to work (to the "playable" extent at least). Satellite internet is simply known to work badly with games because of the large delay. Even with a good ISP, it probably would not outperform 56k when it comes to gaming.


New Member
I use WildBlue's satellite internet and there are some things you should know.

1. Installation will be in the 200~300$ price range.
2. I get a ping of around 1500ms, sometimes up to 2000ms. You can not play games over the internet at those speeds.
3. My "plan" claims I can get speeds in the 200KB/s range, but I've never gotten faster than 130KB/s
4. In bad weather you will lose your internet. It can be very frustrating.

Something else to note, you will not receive any kind of warning if you draw near or exceed your DL limit. They simply cut your DL speed down, way down, to around 10~25KB/s.

WildBlue's customers service is actually pretty good though if your having any problems and can arrive pretty quickly is you need repairs or something.

Is satellite worth the hefty price tag? No. But for people like you or me, we have little other choice. I had to get it because I started college last year and dial-up wasn't up to the challenge. Only get satellite if you really need the extra DL speed and don't mind losing the ability to play games online

what ping does dial up usally get on games? Just curious.
mine was between 150 and 210ms.
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