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Satellite internet is a great solution for RV's. In North American
English the term recreational vehicle and its derived acronym,
RV, are generally used to refer to an enclosed piece of
equipment dually used as both a vehicle, a temporary travel
home or a full time home. RVs are intended for everything from
brief leisure activities such as vacations and camping, to full
time living, for which they are often parked in special trailer

Satellite Internet has allowed people the freedom of being on
the road whilst still having access to the Internet. What could
be better than getting away from it all in an RV and still having
the benefits of the digital age with the ability to e-mail all of
your family and friends, and keep track of the latest news of
the world, while still being able to shop for the greatest
bargains during your travels across the country.

One of the main benefits of RV satellite Internet connection is
the fact that it is extremely fast. In fact it makes DSL and cable
connections seem like they were from a previous lifetime. With
a satellite feed, you will have one of the quickest Internet
systems in the world through the link with a satellite dish,
which accesses information from the many satellites that are
circling the earth in outer space. This direct connection via
satellite offers unprecedented speed and ease of use, all at
your fingertips no matter where you are.

The satellite dish isn't only limited to RV's with many people
using them for other applications such as their trucks, boats
and various other vehicles. Of course, the bigger majority of
people will have their satellite Internet at home where the
dish can be attached to the house for fast Internet access. It
is especially convenient for businesses that are on the move
as the dish can be removed from the office and transported to
a new location with relative ease. It is also very handy for
temporary applications, such as promotional events where
Internet access is needed in a location other than the main
business premises. The convenience of the dish Internet
connection offers unprecedented flexibility for the business
owner to operate from a location in a very short amount of

People on the move, such as RV owners are also able to use
additional services such as voice-Over IP phone services that
offer the very best quality that technology can bring. Voice-over
IP phone services are as clear as cell phones in terms of
communication quality and there aren't any problems with the
communication being out of range, as can happen with a cell

Satellite Internet can also offer Virtual Private Networks, or VPN
for those people who need to operate their business whilst on
the road. Whether you are considering communication systems
for your RV or simply a more flexible application for your home
or office, satellite Internet is an excellent alternative.

While some techno whizzes have managed to set up their own
systems, usually an authorized installer is required. The choice
of installer is also important evidenced by complaints on the
forums about those who suddenly become unavailable when
you have a problem. Here are a few options:

Motosat/Datastorm -- Offers only the automatic roof mounted
dish with pricing in the $5,000-plus range for the .74 meter
size. A 1.2 meter dish is available at a much bigger price
($12,000). Basic monthly ISP is $99.99.

Hughes/Direcway -- Installers offer tripod systems for a .74 and
.98 meter dish, with the larger dish providing wider coverage.
While there are varying configurations, the commercial surveyor
tripod that folds compactly for travel is the best bet for the
traveler. Pricing is in the $1,400 range including setup and all
the doo-dads necessary to find and tweak the signal.

ISP plans range from $60-$130 monthly depending on term
commitment, bandwidth limits and refresh rate. The last two
terms relate to "FAP" (Fair Access Policy), intended to prevent
some users from hogging all the bandwidth. If you just surf,
Email and EBay, no worries. If you download streaming video
or a lot of MP3 files, you might get "fapped," which will slow
your service for a while.

The fine print about the tripod is that mobility is not officially
sanctioned by Direcway. However, no one seems to think they
will suspend this service, as they've known for years now
whenever a system is moved. Because you can't call them with
pointing problems, this is when a responsive installer comes in
handy. There are also excellent online user groups that offer
support with any problems that arise.

Starband -- offers both automatic and tripod system. They
sanction moving, but users must be trained by a certified
installer first. Their automatic system is in the $6,000 range
and the tripod setup around $1,700, with ISP plans from $55
- $135 depending on service speed and term commitment.
They have hefty early termination fees up to $600, so be

One difference to consider between Direcway and StarBand's
lowest cost plans is that the Direcway DW6000 is "self-hosted,"
one advantage being that you can hook up a wireless router
with no software installation on your PC. StarBand must be
cabled to a Windows PC that runs StarBand software. This
also matters if you don't want to drill holes into the RV for
running cable inside. With a router placed in an outside bin,
you get you get your signal inside, as well as having the
option to let others "piggy-back" like a wi-fi hotspot.

How hard is it to get it going? Well, can you use a GPS to
determine your position? Do you know how to read a compass
or use a bubble level? Then you've got a good head start and
there are tools, software and gadgets galore to help with
every step.

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