While there are quite a lot of satellite ISPs, the good majority are designed to help consumers boost their download performance, such as anything better than 56k dial-up or 128k dual-ISDN. There are very few, if any, that try to compete against ADSL, since the majority of providers offers downlink bandwidth in the 256K to 2MB region, while relying on an existing modem as the uplink.
From my experience back in the days of dial-up, after going through five different satellite ISPs (promising anywhere between 300k and 2Mb), hard to believe, I finally settled with the 300k NetSystem service until ADSL came into my area earlier this year. In my experience, the faster the ISP claimed to be, the slower it actually performed, since the service ended up being severely over crowded. A very good example is BroadSat’s 1Mb service, which not only performed worse than dial-up most of the time, but they lost my subscription 1/2 way through the year and could not find any record of it no matter how many times I complained (in the end, they stopped replying to e-mails). I had the best experience with NetSystem. While their speed is only the equivalent to 300k ADSL, at least every time I connected, I could expect a throughput of 25KB to 30KB/sec. I have also tried one so called ‘unlimited download’ 2Mb service, but got performance often slower than ISDN at peak times and rarely anything better than 512k.
Unfortunately, the only satellite ISP service you’ll get for under â‚¬100 a month will be one-way satellite broadband providers. These work by using the satellite as the downlink and your modem, ISDN or GPRS connection as the uplink. So far I have not even come across a single one-way provider that offers public IP addresses, which is something essential if you need to use a service that relies a lot on incoming connections, such as BitTorrent.
Two-way satellite providers typically start around â‚¬100 and I can pretty much guarantee that you will not come across any that will give you the performance of ADSL for a simlar price, unless ADSL is exceptionally expensive in the area. For example, the cheapest two-way satellite broadband provider I’m aware of in Ireland is Digiweb. Their equipment and installation costs over â‚¬1,300 to start with, not to mention a monthly price of about â‚¬99 for a 512k/128k service. From what I recall, this is also restricted to 2GB/month!! I know a company that use B-DSL which costs â‚¬149 a month for a 512k/256k service and from my experience accessing the Internet there, it performs often worse than a 64k ISDN connection for browsing (even using their proxy accelerator), although regular FTP and HTTP downloads can vary between 25KB/sec and 60KB/sec, while within the 4GB monthly quota. As with Digiweb, they use SatLynx, which from what I heard from someone is seriously over-crowded and they recently lowered the monthly limits in order to reduce the load.
In my opinion, I would seriously recommend sticking with ADSL unless some better service provider comes by, such as a terrestrial wireless service (many offer synchronous (same) up / down bandwidth) or an ADSL service with a faster uplink.