WARNING: Avoid Hughes & Its Subsidiaries At All Costs!

A word of warning to my fellow CD freaks: avoid Hughes satellite service! Yes, this includes Hughes, HughesNet, DirecTV, DirecWay, et al. The service is absolutely abhorrent.

Any kind of fog or precepitation will interupt the television signal. Quite frequently, the audio will become so distorted and messed that I feel its damaging my speakers at times. Any Hughes customer will know exactly what I’m talking about. What do people do on rainy days? Watch TV! Don’t plan on doing that with Hughes.

If you’re even THINKING of using their internet service, you need a swift smack to the head to wake you from the delusion of obtaining even usable service from this joke of a telecommunications provider. A nice little bit of the fine print in your plan includes what’s called the Fair Access Policy. Don’t get suckered in by this DCE-like spin on the term (DRM=DCE or Digital Consumer Enablement; fuck you, HBO).

With FAP, you get to download 200MB per day. That is nothing at all. That is not even dialup speed if you calculate that out:

200MB = 204800KB.
1 day = 24 hours = 1440 minutes = 86400 seconds.
204800KB/86400sec. = 2.37KB/sec. = 19kbps
. . .and that’s giving them the beneit of the doubt. They probably interpret the 200MB figure in base-10; in which case it would be 2.31KB/sec. Broadband is technically 128kbps, right? They advertise broadband internet access, so how can they get away with delivering 14K speeds? Hughes sells you service under false premises. Wonderful.

That sure sounds like it’s worth $60/month on top of the $400+ for the equipment, doesn’t it? You can pay 5X the price of dialup for half the speed! What a deal, HughesNet. Thanks.

The draw, of course, is the ability to use this 200MB/day allotment whenever you like at speeds of 100KB/sec. So, on a ~800kbps down pipe with an allotment of 200MB means I can use it for:

800kbps = 100KB/sec.
200MB = 204800KB
(204800KB / 1 day) / (100KB / sec.) = 2048 sec. / 1 day = 34.13 minutes / 1 day
I get to use my satisfactory access to the infrastructure for a whole 34.13 minutes a day. What a deal; what a deal. Where would I be without you, Hughes?

Like the television service, the internet service will go out if there moderately indecent weather. Hell, even overcast can kill the internet connection. The customer service is on par with the rest of the service, too. My biweekly call to bitch about the service is always met by some Indian with the thick accent. Hughes cuts all possible corners. With the ridiculous throughput thresholds, the poor quality of service, and cheap-ass support staff, I wonder if this whole operation is run by a guy in his basement.

Do yourselves a favor by not buying into the FUD spouted out by Hughes themselves to hook you in.

Don’t hold back tell us what you realy think.

I think most folks are aware that satellite service, or lack of it, is wholly dependent on your location and line of sight to the bird, as well as the particular bird in use. I’ve never had anything but flawless, uninterrupted service and quality from DirecTV, even though I currently use Dish. I think it’s also common knowledge that the satellite internet services are problematic at best, and really only advisable for folks who cannot get anything else.

I know one who use to be with DirecTV (who switched to Dish Network also) who had reception problems. Apparently in his case, it was due to his satellite feed being multiplexed with his cable TV feed. Once this was replaced with a dedicated coaxial cable to the dish, the signal was fine all they way up until he changed providers.

From my experience of trying out five satellite broadband providers before I got DSL, the performance is inversely proportional to the advertised speeds, especially once the service has been running for over a year. Unlike DSL where a provider has exchanges all over the country, all traffic through a satellite ISP usually goes through a single transponder, which is often in turn shared with other satellite providers. This means that the more customers they take on, the more contended it gets, especially if they provide “High” bandwidth or high monthly limit packages.

I started off with the former EuropeOnline 768bps 1-way satellite package from the moment it was launched. At the start, I was getting typically around 80KB/sec, but when they were taken over by BroadSky shortly after, the performance dropped so bad that browsing was quicker with dial-up only. They also lost my account details mid-way through my annual subscription and I had no luck getting them to resolve this :doh: , so I strongly discourage anyone from choosing this provider.

Another provider I tried was “GetBroadbandAnywhere”, which at the time offered an unmetered 2Mbps 1-way satellite package and they claimed to have all the capacity they needed on a data-only satellite. While no where near as bad as Broadsky, I was often lucky enough to get 300kbps at peak time in the evenings. The closest I got to 2Mbps on a speed test was 1.1Mbps at 2am late one evening. Shortly after I left the service, they did away with the unmetered package.

The final provider I moved to, which I’m sure some may be surprised about, is NetSystem. It advertised a 300kbps 1-way satellite package and over the two years I was with them, I got 200kbps at the bare minimum (except for the few days it was down) and up to 320kbps at peak. While no where near the 512kbps DSL packages most providers were offering at the time here in Ireland, I was still happy getting 25KB to 40KB per second as opposed to the usual 4.5KB/sec on dial-up. On the other hand, as they only offered a 300kbps package, they were less crowded due to most heavy downloaders heading for the bigger providers. :wink:

At my last work place, we used a 512k down / 256k up package with a provider reselling Satlynx. Its cost was incredibly high and while download and upload transfers often went at 60KB/sec and 35KB/sec respectively, browsing performance after the first few months installed dropped so bad that I was using dial-up to browse the net and only using Satellite for file transfers.

With 4 out of the 5 satellite providers I used (3 being one-way) giving performance similar or worse than a dial-up only connection, I would strongly recommend doing some research and reading around for user opinions before deciding on a satellite ISP. Satellite providers will do anything to sell their service, often falsely claiming more than ample network capacity, providing case studies likely from a time when they first started where they only had a few subscribers and so on.

Finally, beware that unlike terrestrial broadband providers (DSL, Cable, 3G, etc.) most satellite providers have a very limited monthly allowance of usually 500MB to 1.5GB (2GB to 4GB for 2-way satellite) and most, if not all 1-way providers, do not allow incoming connections, so don’t expect much out of BitTorrent, even for small torrents. :disagree: For those unfamiliar with the difference between 1-way and 2-way, 1-way uses an ordinary dish and DVB modem for the downlink and a dial-up modem or GPRS connection for the uplink. 2-way uses a special fairly expensive dish set-up and modem, which professional installation is usually mandatory and all uplink and downlink traffic is carried out over satellite.

I love my Direc TV, wish it was a little cheaper but it beats the heck out of Cox Cable, sorry you had a bunch of trouble, when I do I call and complain and get a bunch of free stuff.
Ken

I’d take that any day. Fuck, let all of the customers compete for bandwidth by doing away with FAP and other allotments. I don’t mind being dropped from 800kbps to 300kbps. That’s not a HUGE deal. What is a huge deal is being artificially dropped from 800kbps to 19kbps in the middle of a software update; it’s like, ‘great, I sapped the connection AND I don’t have the update. . .FANTASTIC!’ If I was getting 800kbps the moment before this FAP went into effect, there is definitely available bandwidth that they’re choosing to keep from me, even though no one else is using it. It’s ridiculous.

How can they even drop you to 19kbps? They sold me “Broadband Internet Service.” 19kbps is NOT broadband. The absolute minimum for broadband is 128kbps; shouldn’t Hughes be obligated at least to fulfill the bare minimum necessary to qualify as broadband? :cop:

if you want better reciption use a bigger dish.

Yup, that is RULE #1.

to be on the clean side better use one of these too

lol sorry couldnt resist :bigsmile:

Coincidentally, I’ve had to clean my dish on several occasions. I wish I could use that machine, but I’ve got to manually go out there and brush out all the snow that collects in it. :stuck_out_tongue:

You could use such plastic rocks, cloth coatings or just heating layers depending on where your dish is mounted…

This is precisely why I have a good Winegard HD roof antennae to go with my PVR. My PVR has MYHD-30 tuner card at 1080p to get both analog and digital cable, and analog and digital roof antennae, and a Twinhan satellite receiver with a CAM card slot. I also have a Pansat 3500 digital standalone receiver with 36" Fortec dish with STAB HH 90 motor. I never bother to link onto Direct TV. I am happy with DishNet and FTA.

I’ve never tried a satellite ISP, but I have been a DirecTV customer for 10 years and was DISH for 2 . . . the only difference between the two IMO is their HD package.

Picture quality, audio, customer service, etc. are pretty much even across the board. One day you might get a very helpful operator on the line and then next time a complete boob.

I got Dish network and love it, but I see what your saying and i’m glad you posted this. It’s about internet service not television. I have dial up and was thinking of going with wild blue, but they got the fine print also. Not only that the kicker is you HAVE to commit to 18 months ( that’s with the special dish network has, or pay the higher dollar fees installation fees and everything else for that matter on the wild blue site) and if you back out you pay for it anyways. I really have to think about this but it’s not looking good for me either way. Slow dial up or have Wild blue take all my money, and then throttle my surfing. In this day in age just surfing the net would take up your “allowed” usage.