The Internet by Satellite

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
6 messages Options
Chris Waite Chris Waite
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

The Internet by Satellite

Next impossible problem

My Dear Old Dad lives in a valley in the South Downs where there is not only no mobile signal, but no internet connection.  There is a company (Kijoma) that provides a local exterior-grade WiFi, but their signal will not penetrate the surrounding undergrowth, alright 'trees' then.

So it's satellite broadband or bust; does anybody have any do's or don'ts in this respect?

The other question is how many gigabytes should I be looking at for an e-mail and basic search service?

So far I have found 'Avonline', 'Tooway' and 'Hybeam'.  Are there any others people might recommend?

Thanks

Chris W.
Timmo Timmo
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: The Internet by Satellite

Hi Chris.

Friend of mine runs an IT business in Scotland and he researched satelite broadband options for our house in France. After reviewing the range he reckoned Tooway was best for our situation. We have the 20mbs download and 10gb a month option.

Installed the gear myself over New Year with the help of the same friend, very straightforward, but they'll do it for you quite happily. Can't remember the installation cost because it didn't apply to overseas. We opted to buy the kit rather than rent it.

Service works well. You quickly get used to a slight 'satelite lag'. Means when you select something there's a pause before the internet responds, but it's a fast connection so when it responds whatever it is then downloads quickly.

10gb a month is plenty for e-mails and general surfing. If you start downloading movies or watching video on-line the allowance will disappear fast. Here we find that we go the whole month doing normal internet stuff and find we have 3 or 4 gb unused toward the end of the month so we indulge in a downloaded movie. Then an HD download can burn 2.5gb or more in an evening.

Just to declare an interest... that friend I mentioned has since become an agent for Tooway. He lives near Inverness so won't be round to fit it but if you want more info he would be happy to advise and would be able to process an order for you. He also wouldn't recommend anything that wasn't genuinely the best option.

Can send a PM with his details if it's useful.

Tim.


On 8 May 2014, at 11:34, Chris Waite [via UK HBBR Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Next impossible problem

My Dear Old Dad lives in a valley in the South Downs where there is not only no mobile signal, but no internet connection.  There is a company (Kijoma) that provides a local exterior-grade WiFi, but their signal will not penetrate the surrounding undergrowth, alright 'trees' then.

So it's satellite broadband or bust; does anybody have any do's or don'ts in this respect?

The other question is how many gigabytes should I be looking at for an e-mail and basic search service?

So far I have found 'Avonline', 'Tooway' and 'Hybeam'.  Are there any others people might recommend?

Thanks

Chris W.


If you reply to this email, your message will be added to the discussion below:
http://uk-hbbr-forum.967333.n3.nabble.com/The-Internet-by-Satellite-tp4027555.html
To start a new topic under Technical/Eco Forum, email [hidden email]
To unsubscribe from UK HBBR Forum, click here.
NAML

Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: The Internet by Satellite

Tim is in the right ball park.  Average emails and general website surfing for news and forums will be in the Megabyte range.

But if you watch videos, use Netflix, the Glorious BBC IPlayer, or other catchup TV apps then your consumption will soon sky rocket into the Gigabyte range. Roughly 0.3 to 1 Gb per hour of video depending on quality, see below.

Quoting from http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbiplayer/NF8035762?thread=8164355

These are the typical file sizes per hour on iPlayer:

Streaming (PC, PS3)
Low bandwidth streaming (480Kbps) = 190-210MB
Standard quality streaming (800Kbps) = 320-340MB
High quality streaming (1500Kbps) = 600-640MB
High definition streaming (2800Kbps) = 1.10-1.20GB

Mobile
Mobile streaming (396Kbps) = 160-170MB
Mobile 3g streaming = 120-130MB

Downloads
iPlayer desktop (1500Kbps) = 600-640MB
Windows Media Player (WMV) = 550-600MB
Portable devices (WMV) = 210-230MB

Set-Top-Boxes, FreeSat, TVs etc
Standard quality streaming (800Kbps) = 320-340MB
High quality streaming (1500Kbps) = 600-640MB
High definition streaming (2800Kbps) = 1.1-1.2GB


Chris - strike a deal on a basic service with an upgrade option if required. Make sure you don't get stung if accidentally over the limit.

For reference we have used 700Mb over the last 2 days, but we are heavy users.

-Paul
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: The Internet by Satellite

Avonline seem fair on price/performance ratio. I'd pick 10gb at 25 squid and rent the hardware initially until you are happy with the service. Their 15-20Mb download speeds are comparable to cable.

http://www.avonlinebroadband.com/order-your-package/


Hybeam are slow on downloads (5-10 times slower on the basic packages) but maybe cheaper on installs.



I gave Avonline a call, the good news is you WILL get a UK IP address which means you can access the BBC IPlayer (they kick off non-UK addresses due to licence restrictions)

Their sat is roughly 32 degrees east of South, roughly 25 degrees elevation. Engineer will fiddle around until he can find a line-of-sight path - gable end maybe?

Compass, cardboard, spirit level and drinking straw time! Hopefully no chainsaw antics required, but I expect the conifers need a trim.

There is a ping time of 800ms because of the long sat loop (22,000 mile orbit), which is poor for online gaming which is of no interest to you at all. That means you get a reply no faster than 800ms (typical landline less than 50ms). However some sites are so damn slow it won't make any difference at all, especially after a few glasses of red.

cheers
Paul

GregHBBR GregHBBR
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: The Internet by Satellite

In reply to this post by Chris Waite
Hi Chris,
Chris Waite wrote
My Dear Old Dad lives in a valley in the South Downs where there is not only no mobile signal, but no internet connection.  There is a company (Kijoma) that provides a local exterior-grade WiFi, but their signal will not penetrate the surrounding undergrowth, alright 'trees' then.

So it's satellite broadband or bust; does anybody have any do's or don'ts in this respect?

The other question is how many gigabytes should I be looking at for an e-mail and basic search service?

So far I have found 'Avonline', 'Tooway' and 'Hybeam'.  Are there any others people might recommend?
Here in rural Norfolk, I gave up on a landline connection a couple of months ago. Typically, I was getting a 0.8mbps though it did sometimes get up to 1.2mbps, but worse than that it started dropping out completely and there was one stage when I had not connection for five days and I would frequently lose it for several hours at a time.

I investigated other local wireless services (Thinking Wisp and WiSpire) but was out of range of all of their transmitters, so it came down to Satellite.

My understanding is that all satellite providers to UK end users actually use Tooway as their provider and that company will only deal with distributors not end users. You'll find the full list on the Tooway site (I didn't encounter HyBeam in my searches and their packages seem slightly different, so maybe there other sources of satellite signals. I note they say Skype won;t work, whereas Tooway claim it does. I haven't tried it yet.)

I got my dish installed by a local computer company. They recommended Avonline as having the best support, though I found them unbelieving when I tried to use them in my first few days with the system (Eventually, they accepted a faulty modem had been supplied. They sent a replacement and collected the old one.)

So now I've been running with them for a couple of months what can I say...

What did shock me after many happy years with PlusNet (a landline ISP I would strongly recommend) was that Avonline's offices/helpline are only manned 9-5 Mon-Fri. However, you do get to talk with one of the handful (perhaps two?) of engineers that the company employ and they do call you back when they say you will - most of the time.

Another thing is that the company's web site offers almost no information to customers - nothing like as comprehensive  as PlusNet's. For example there's no usage metering available and no service status reports. Other things are missing from the standard things you expect with a UK-based ISP e.g. no email service, no free web space. All you get is basic Internet access. You have to find any services you want and if necessary pay for them.

I quickly discovered that Tooway isn't a British company, its HQ is in Paris and is one of a web of European companies with the outfit that actually appears to run the satellite being Italian with a satellite that serves the whole of Europe and having millions of users.

The first and most important thing to note is DO NOT BELIEVE that that 20mbps headline figure they quote. That misleads if not actually lies! Instead read one of their associate company's documents at:

http://www.accesointernetsatelital.com/Data_speed_congestions.pdf

This ends:

Key Points

1. Satellite broadband is contended. Please explain what this means to your customers.

2. Networks constantly evolve their policies in line with the constant
evolution in the customers on their bases to try to achieve fair
access for all.

3. Always described speeds as ‘up to’ and never as guaranteed.

4. Set expectations correctly on speed. A simple rule of thumb
currently for Tooway is 5 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload, on average.

5. It is advisable to assume customers will underestimate their data
usage when weighing–up their purchase options. The customer
purchasing is usually not the only person who will be consuming the
data on the service. Is the purchaser aware of what amounts of data
other people and devices will consume when satellite broadband become
available? Do they all have the same expectations of speed?

In the main body of the document it points out that those figures in Point 4 refer to a 24 hour period. I can confirm that I have seen download speeds drop to around 2mbps on weekday evenings which the parent company, Eutelsat, say is the peek usage time. I can also confirm that you can get speeds up to around 18mbps at around 03:00, but I'm rarely up at that time.

Also carefully read Avonline's page at:

http://www.avonlinebroadband.com/general/fair-access-policy-fap/

Latency (speed of response) is a HUGE issue for satellite users.

Bear in mind that instead of a mere jump of a few thousand miles, perhaps across the Atlantic, any click on a web site link means a signal that goes up around 22,000 miles and down again before you see a response. That can mean response times that are painfully slow to those only used to landline and even mobile connections. Especially noticeable are where web sites require interaction, such as posting images on this forum. (The insert image dialogue can take a second or two to appear.)

I run some 20 email accounts and poll them every 20 minutes. The business of requesting and responding with usernames then passwords, then accessing the mail box and responding to the check to see if there's any new mail, now takes up to two minutes, even if every mail box is empty. My old atrociously slow landline used to do it in as little as 10 seconds.

In short, I would say satellite is no cure-all but only an option for the desperate. It's costing me much more than my slow old landline and gives me much less for my money.

Obviously, there are some benefits. Now Diana and I can simultaneously watch YouTube without clips buffering constantly. If I stay up after midnight my podcasts and other large file downloads take only moments to arrive. (I must get round to scheduling that kind of thing to happen overnight where usage is not metered.)

Once a year or so PlusNet used to tell me I was approaching my 15Gb monthly download limit, so I chose to go with Tooway's, 20Gb package, but I'd agree that for simple email and web surfing, without a lot of streaming audio or video 10Gb should be enough. However, do take heed of the notes about what will happen to your speeds if you exceed your data allowance on Tooway. IT IS DRACONIAN!

Hope that helps!
Greg Chapman
GregAfloat - My Boating Biography
Chris Waite Chris Waite
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: The Internet by Satellite

Thank you Gentlemen

That's actually a great help; I'm impressed with your in-depth analysis Greg.

So it looks like 'heads' - Avonline, 'tails' - Tooway....

I'll let you know how I get on

CW