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Century Link DSL or Hughes Net Gen 4 ??

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by N4UP, Jan 11, 2013.

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  1. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am very happy with my current internet service, Time Warner, although in my experience, they have horrible customer service and not very appealing prices, yet their internet service has been both fast and reliable for the past four years or so.

    But in the next four-to-six weeks I expect to relocate and the only options available would seem to be Century Link DSL at "up to" 10 Mbps or Hughes Net Gen 4 at "up to" 10-15 Mbps ( depending on whether I want to pay one arm or one arm plus a leg ). Apparently the Hughes Net also has a data limit. Wild Blue would be another option but that would also have data limits and would be even more costly.

    From what I can see, neither would be very reliable but Century Link would be cheaper and not have a data limit. I used to have the old Hughes Net and it was extremely unreliable and the average download speed was not much better than dial-up, and I had to use dial-up fairly often because the Hughes Net modem would go on the fritz.

    ( I am giving up good internet service in order to say goodbye to antenna restrictions. The new place has over 10 acres but is much more rural than the gated HOA community where I currently live. )

    I download a lot of stuff ( websites, software, audio files ) but I do not stream videos.

    Does anyone here have any recent experience with either Century Link DSL or Hughes Net and care to recommend one over the other?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  2. WB7OXP

    WB7OXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    there is nothing on earth (or in the sky) worse or more unreliable then hughes internet. unless you are so in the middle of BFE, that there is no other option, RUN AWAY. not only is their system unreliable, their "Fair Access Policy" is outrageous, and there is no real accounting for how much data you may really be using. suddenly, you will be running at speeds slower then dial up, with no warning, and other data usage monitors telling you that there is no way you have exceeded your daily "usage". then there are the calls to india, not the india with great engineers, but the india you see on "starving kids" commercials

    i have converted essentially everyone i can to 4G or 3G "cellular data" using cradlepoint "modems". depending on where you are, there are a few providers with "unlimited data" such as virgin, even if you have to pay the $10 or so per G/B the reliability, and a far more reasonable access structure makes this almost a "no brainer". i am getting 30 M/B on my verizon 4G, and thats really COOKING, and even 1.5 M/B on the cellular one 3G is still fine for almost everything, even a little bit of skype. btw, wilson "repeaters", and other products make it pretty unlikely that there is not at least 3g data available.


    otherwise, i have no opinion

    it just occured to me, the us congress has a satisfaction rating of 18%, below cockroaches, maggots, and dentists. google hughes-net, they make congress look like "miss congeniality"
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  3. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bob on HamNation said he was happy with Exede satellite internet. That might be another alternative. There's only so many satellites up there so the core service might be the same as the others for all I know.

    I think all the satellite providers have data caps. Actually, even "unlimited" plans on cable and DSL have limits in the fine print either explicitly stated or more vaguely "excessive use" sort of language.

    For $49.95 Exede does 10GB per month 5am to midnight. Unlimited outside those hours. More daytime GB for more money.

    My one piece of advice to anyone choosing an ISP is this. Don't use the ISP's email service. Use Gmail or something similar or your own domain so you're not locked in. All you really need from an ISP these days is the pipe.
  4. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well, your experience and opinion regarding Hughes Net is consistent with my own experience 4-7 years ago. I have now looked at both Verizon, AT&T, and Clearwire, and they all say there is no service in my intended location. I suppose the test would be to try my daughter's "smartphone" at the intended location and see what coverage/speed is actually there. Will do that on Sunday. I may also talk with some of my neighbors here who use Century Link DSL.

  5. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Interesting. I have Century Link (was Qwest) DSL, and while the fiber node is only 0.2 miles away, 256k (actually 225k) is the fastest DSL I can get. To go faster I have to go to a microwave link.

    Wonder what the fastest copper DSL speed is?

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  6. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I understand Excede is the same thing as Wild Blue, and it runs $129.99 a month for 12 Mbps service and 25 Gb of data. Hughes Net is cheaper, claims to be faster and have a higher data limit, but if it's not reliable, then their claims really don't matter. Maybe Wild Blue/Excede is more reliable and worth $129.99 a month ?? That's about two times what I am paying now for reliable cable internet at 20 Mbps.

    Agree very much regarding email accounts. I have used for email since the mid-90s, even though they went out of business in the late 90s ( taken over by RCN, who graciously maintain the erols domain ).
  7. N6OIL

    N6OIL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Peter how much data do you use in a month?
  8. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I almost responded by saying I have no idea, then it occurred to me that my ISP might keep track, and they do ( thanks for the insight ).

    So the answer is, 7 to 9 Gb per month, though every now and then I have used 1 Gb in a day, though I'm guessing that might be when my kids are here. I'm also guessing the ISP rounds the monthly numbers up to the nearest whole Gb.

    That suggests that the satellite data limits would not be a problem, so it would be about speed, price, and reliability.
  9. K4SAX

    K4SAX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I live in BFE and have tried them all - all the way back to DirecWay one-way satellite service, HughesNet, StarBand, and then WildBlue. I love Wildblue! They have a monthly limit, not a daily limit like the old Hughesnet had. Two or three days a month, I needed to move some very large files for work. It was impossible with the daily limit. And Exede from Wildblue is smoking fast.

    But last week I turned Wildblue OFF. Verizon finally upgraded the closest tower (7 miles away) to 4G! I bought a Wilson repeater and have 4G in my house. With my unlimited data plan I was grandfathered into, I am enjoying it so much. Hopefully, Verizon will not throttle back those of us granfathered into the old data plans.

    After taxes, I was paying a little over $140 a month for Wildblue. If satellite is your only option, Wildblue was my favorite of any of them and customer service was great any time I needed it. I was barely ever down for anything except a big storm rolling through. And then it was only for minutes in most cases. It was actually more reliable than my mom's DSL at her house.
  10. N6OIL

    N6OIL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Guys one thing to watch out for if you have any kids or yourself that like to play on the Xbox or any other type games that rely on low latency rates satellite will not work. Peter you may not have to pay the $130 for ViaSat go for the lower monthly data cap, also Hughes Net still has the FAP limit which I think ViaSat does not. Problem with FAP is you do have a big download they will slow you down.
  11. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you all. Your responses have been very helpful.

    Now knowing my data needs I can consider the Wildblue/Exede 12 Mbps and 10 Gb plan, at $50 a month; it won't break my budget. Also I just checked and they have an installer about 20 minutes away.

    I am very wary of Hughesnet and ( wrongly ) assumed Wildblue/Exede would be just as clunky. So it is very helpful to know otherwise.

    I am also wary of CenturyLink, as they play games, e.g., if I plug in the seller's phone number, CenturyLink says I can get 10 Mbps, but if I say I'm a new customer and plug in the seller's address, then they say High Speed Internet is available at 768 Kbps. I don't consider that high speed. I am currently getting 20 Mbps but I suspect I can live with 10-12 Mbps at the new QTH.

    The population density at the intended QTH is around 90 per square mile, so I would not expect Verizon or any cellular service to be upgrading anytime soon, but you never know. Years ago I lived in a very rural part of Loudoun County VA and when the County was negotiating with a cable company the County insisted that they make cable available to every home in the county or no contract. So I was able to get one-way cable and then eventually they upgraded to two-way. But that was a high-growth and high-wealth area, while where I plan to move now is neither. On the other hand, the intended QTH is only 5 miles from I-64 and that's the main thoroughfare between Richmond and Charlottesville, so maybe I'll get lucky with Verizon one of these days ( no doubt my ( grown ) kids will figure that out before I will, as they all use Verizon ) ( and they are all "smarter-with-phones" than I am ).

    Regarding big downloads. I don't do that very often, but I do occasionally download simulation software ( huge files ) from a developer-friend in Germany, so monthly limits are okay, but daily limits might hurt.
  12. K4SAX

    K4SAX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wildblue = ViaSat and they do have the FAP limits. The $130 plan has a 25GB per month limit.
  13. KT1F

    KT1F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't forget that Exede has unlimited between midnight and 5am so that would be the time to download your big files. Hopefully you could setup something automatic to do it while you sleep. I didn't see a time zone mentioned on their page so that would be important to clarify.

    My dad in New Zealand has a data transfer cap with the same sort of night time unlimited so he downloads big files at night.
  14. KD4MOJ

    KD4MOJ Database Subscriber QRZ Page

    Be careful of Verizon... your grandfathered account dies on your next upgrade of a phone, adding a second phone or any changes to your current plan. The only way you can save it is to buy a phone outright when your contract expires or your phone dies a sudden death.

    I'm on an old Alltel plan and Verizon is always trying to get me to change plans to their "better plan". Yeah right.. less minutes... no "family & friends", and not unlimited, etc.

  15. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    gee, I dunno. I have had Hughes for over 3 years and have NEVER even had a temporary lack of service or an equipment failure.
  16. WB7OXP

    WB7OXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    re: no problem with hughes
    then you must be THE satisfied customer that they keep referring to in their ads and on their web site.

    i have had to deal with many installs in nevada and the pacific northwest, and have never encountered anyone who was "satisfied" with them on any level other then "it's all we can get". and in most of these, we have run usage monitoring that greatly differed with what hughes reported, and thusly hit the fap unexpectedly often
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