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Satellite Internet access is a service that uses a satellite dish
to provide dedicated high-speed, always-on Internet
connection. It's receiving interest from businesses and people
that can't subscribe to traditional high-speed Internet access
methods such as DSL. This is basically the case for most areas
outside of large cities. Satellite offers less network bandwidth
compared to DSL or cable, however. In addition, the long
delays required to transmit data between the satellite and
the ground stations tend to create high network latency,
causing a sluggish performance experience in some cases.
Network applications like VPN and online gaming may not
function properly over satellite Internet connections due to
these latency issues. Older residential satellite Internet
services supported only "one-way" downloads over the
satellite link, requiring a telephone modem for uploading.

VPN and satellite Internet technologies were not designed to
work together. These two technical limitations of satellite
Internet greatly affect the performance of a VPN: Virtual
private networks require a high-bandwidth, low-latency
network to function efficiently. Satellite Internet services, on
the other hand, normally suffer very high latencies due to the
long distance satellite signals must travel. Satellite Internet
also tends to support low upstream bandwidth. Specifically,
satellite bandwidth for uploads is comparable to that of
dial-up Internet services. VPNs demand high bandwidth for
both uploads and downloads. Despite these limitations, it is
technically possible to use most VPN solutions with most
satellite Internet services.

In other words, satellite Internet access is a lot like satellite
television: A "bird" orbiting the earth beams data to a dish
attached to your house. The dish relays the data at speeds of
400 kbps or more to a special satellite modem connected to
your PC. Currently, satellite services require an analog, ISDN,
or wireless modem for uploading files. Each Web page request
you make can only travel as fast as your current modem. The
system was set up that way to keep costs down.

When you put all those pieces together, here's how it works:
You dial into your ISP with your modem. While surfing a Web
site, you click a link to view a different Web page. Software on
your PC attaches a piece of code (called tunneling code) to
your request. Instead of requesting the file directly from the
Web server, the request goes to the satellite service's
Network Operations Center (NOC), located on terra firma.
The NOC then requests the Web page. The Web server
sends the requested Web page back to the NOC.

The NOC beams the Web page to a satellite, which forwards
the data to your dish. The dish passes the Web page to your
PC through the satellite modem. The whole process should
take less than half a second. All these steps can result in
latency (a noticeable delay between the time you click and the
time you receive data). The delay can occur as your request is
routed from your PC via modem to the NOC, to a Web server,
back to the NOC, and then 22,200 miles to the satellite and
back down to your dish. Latency is less of an issue with a
steady stream of data, such as a shareware download or
streaming music files.

Your performance may suffer when other users sign on to the
service, since the bandwidth provided by the satellite is shared
between users, as it is with cable Internet access. The satellite
only has a certain amount of bandwidth it can dole out.
However, upcoming two-way satellite systems, which will
eliminate the need for an analog modem connection for
uploads, will have greater bandwidth available--as much as
1.5 megabits per second down, 200 kbps up.

Until recently, satellite Internet connection was one-way (the
dish only received data) and required a dial-up modem and
telephone line for sending requests and uploading files, which
limited performance. But now two-way DIRECWAY satellite
Internet access is available (the dish both sends and receives
data), eliminating the need for an additional dial-up modem.
The startup prices have fallen considerably, making the service
affordable to most homes and businesses.

How fast is DIRECWAY satellite Internet connection?
Most users can expect download speeds of up to 500Kbps
(usually 200Kbps - 400Kbps) and upload speeds around
50Kbps. While this is slower than many cable and DSL
connections, it's about 10 times faster than standard dial-up
connection.

DIRECWAY is a leader in providing satellite Internet access.
This service is available to everyone in the continental United
States with a clear view of the southern sky. The system uses
a two by three foot dish and a satellite modem which allow
you to send and receive information. The Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) requires that licensed
professionals install any two-way satellite system. The
installation technician arrives at your location, completes the
installation and turns up the service.

All you have to do is connect your computer by using the
provided Ethernet cable. The system is compatible with PCs
and Macs (any device using TCP/IP protocols) and requires no
software to install. You need either a 10/100 Ethernet Network
Interface Card or PCMCIA adapter with an Ethernet connector.
Alternatively, you can purchase a USB Ethernet adapter.

You can easily connect multiple home computers and laptops
to a single DIRECWAY Internet connection at no additional
cost. Keep in mind though, that all computers on this network
will be sharing a single connection. Simultaneous use of high
bandwidth applications by multiple users may result in
degradation of download and surfing speeds. Additionally,
you can combine DIRECWAY satellite Internet access and
DIRECTV satellite TV on the same dish (DIRECWAY/DIRECTV
Combo System).

Benefits of satellite internet service are the same as those of
other high speed broadband technologies like cable and DSL.
For example, it is much faster than dialup, so you can surf
much faster, download large files quickly, enjoy streaming
audio and video, and enjoy the latest multimedia web sites.
It does not use your phone line, so there are no missed calls,
no need for an extra line and no need to dial in.

Satellite internet tends to be more expensive than dialup,
cable or DSL. The monthly fees are on average just a little more
than DSL and cable, but the difference is there can be a large
installation and equipment charge to start. While this may be
well worth it if Satellite is the only high speed option available,
it may not be price competitive with the best cable or DSL offers
if those are an option.

Some providers offer cash back rebates, which can really help
cover those setup fees. Some also offer options where you have
much lower installtion and equipment charges at the cost of
higher monthly fees. This may be a good option when you can't
afford the setup charge and you still need a high speed
connection.



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