Internet via Satellite?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by jtown, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. jtown macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    There are a couple of options but your best bet is to run (don't walk. run!) away from satellite.

    I'm not kidding.


    If you're not running yet, I may as well list your options.

    1) DirecWay has a standalone transciever/router/switch that gives you the same ethernet connection as a regular cablemodem router. You might have trouble getting your hands on one but look for the DirecWay 4020. It's a clunky looking setup with three boxes held together with a makeshift rack and nearly a dozen cables snaking all over the place but it's a standalone unit that's basically plug-n-play once the installer's done. Plug your machines into the ethernet switch and you're done.

    2) Get a cheap PC (Anything over 200Mhz should do), get a 1-way DirecPC system (dial return, not satellite), hook it up to the PC, and use ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) to let the PC act as a gateway for your Mac(s). This requires having some knowledge of windows networking configuration.

    #1 is the pretty solution since you get fancy looking hardware and 2-way satellite communication but it has its downsides. The biggest drawback is the expense. Between the cost of the 4020 system (assuming you can even find someone selling it) and the cost of installation, you're in the 4 figure range. Then there's the fact that the satellite uplink is generally slower than a modem in real world use. It's better than it used to be but hardly worth the extra money.

    #2 is a bit ugly because the PC is basically just doing the job of the 4020's triple-unit rack system but you can get 1-way dial-return systems for under a hundred bucks if you shop around and you can do the installation yourself. You also have the bonus of being able to use the dialup if you have satellite trouble.

    Which solution is best depends on how much money you're willing to spend and how much you know about networking.

    But back to the important part. RUN!

    Go to the newgroup alt.satellite.direcpc and see how many happy satellite customers there are. And DirecPC/DirecWay is the cream of the crop. :p

  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    wow, a newbie with smarts... nice call jamie :)

    i'm curious as to why you want a sat system? Cable or DSL is so widely available, and if it isn't in your area, it will be shortly (check with any of the major ISPs for expected date)... There are few places sat internet is a good idea.

    You'll get thoroughly pissed if you go sat/phone uplink. Your phone will be tied up, you have the cost and space taken by a third PC, and the speed just isn't that great, having to jump through so many hoops...

  3. jtown thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    I forgot to mention the obvious alternative. WiFi. There are quite a few companies getting into this arena. Some national, some local, all better than satellite (IMHO).
  4. jgilmore macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2003

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