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HughesNet Satellite Broadband page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1082 reviews (161 good) (609 bad)
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Review by gkalamon See Profile

  • Location: Pottstown,Montgomery,PA
  • Cost: $67 per month
Good "none"
Bad "unreliable Internet connection and slow upload and download speeds"
Overall "hold off on subscribing to DirecPC for Internet access, their satellite network system is not ready for the market"
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(ratings match consensus)

Dear Internet user(s),

Are you having problems accessing the Internet and e-mail using DirecPC? If so, you're not alone. If you are considering subscribing to DirecPC for your Internet access, I suggest holding off until they have the satellite system running reliably and as advertised.

I've upgraded my DirecPC system to the two-way satellite return system on June 14. The installer left my site without testing the system accessing the Internet. The installer told me he's only responsible for installing the hardware. When he finished the installation, the system didn't work. I couldn't access the Internet. After contacting DirecPC's tech support and the installer's manager, I couldn't get a straight answer. Both the installer and DirecPC were pointing their fingers at each other. Two days later and after spending hours of my time reinstalling the software and trying different software settings on my computer, the system finally started working. However, it wasn't working as DirecPC advertised - "always connected and high-speed access".

From June through August, I had problems accessing the Internet and e-mail. The satellite two-way return system is very unreliable. The system sometimes worked fine or operated slowly or it didn't work at all. The problems were random. Bad weather could not be blamed for this poor performance because this occured on cloudless days.

I've contacted DirecPC's tech support 13 times during those months and they were unable to resolve the reoccurring problems. After spending hours "on hold" and troubleshooting with tech support they admitted that there are problems at the network control center. During the month of August, the systems performance was slower then my 56K dial-up modem.

In conclusion, I've canceled the DirecPC service. I didn't receive the satellite service that was advertized. I feel that the time spent solving problems with the satellite system should be at the expense of DirecPC and not their customers. However, if you like spending your time and money troubleshooting, then maybe the DirecPC satellite system is the right system for you.

I'm now using Verizon DSL. The Verizon DSL service in my area is reliable and the download/upload speeds are faster then the satellite system.

Thanks for reading my report. Good luck!

member for 12.9 years, 53 visits, last login: 10.9 years ago
updated 12.5 years ago

Comments:

Review by joakes See Profile

  • Location: Garfield,Benton,AR
  • Cost: $39 per month
Good "works great after tweaking"
Bad "still dependent on dial up"
Overall "great alternative to dial up, if only other option"
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(ratings well above consensus)

I have had classic DirecPC for a few months now. The satellite portion of my connection has been very good, after doing the tweaks I found here on dslreports at »Satellite Forum FAQ. I have a three machine LAN, with an old pc working as just an internet server for the other two, and this set-up works great. I have to supply my own ISP, so my cost per month is rather high ($39.99/mo for sat + $19.99/mo for dial-up). Other than weather factors, which are inherent with any satellite dish, the only real trouble I have is the occasional busy signal when I try to dial up. I get great speeds down, having seen speeds close to 90 (what the browser shows) on downloads. Of course upload is totally dependant on the speed of my dial-up, which is poor in this rural area where I live. The 'Fair Access Policy' that DirecPC has will cause you problems if you try to download more than approx 150 megs in any 24 hour period, but for small downloads, and general surfing, that will never come into play. For anyone who wants broadband and cannot get it any other way, this is worth checking into, but I must stress that the performance before applying the tweaks mentioned above was very poor. Hats off to PetDude for the extremely helpful tweaks.

member for 12.6 years, 6 visits, last login: 12.5 years ago
lodged 12.6 years ago

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Review by BiggPawpa See Profile

  • Location: Pittsburgh,Allegheny,PA
  • Cost: $69 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 21 days
Good "I was able to get every last dime of my money back."
Bad "It took a letter and phone call by my attorney to get my money back."
Overall "Pegasus Express is a technology not ready for the market."
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Pegasus...what a company. First they jumped the gun and rolled out a technology way before they had ironed out the bugs. The sales staff had the order botched from the get-go and made so many promises that Pegasus just could not fulfill. They sent me the wrong equipment the first time. When they finally got the equipment here and the technician came for the install, he called to get some coordinates from the company and they kept him on hold for 4 hours!!! It worked nicely for about 6 hours. Then came the ISSUES. Latency is a horrendous problem. Many sites would time out and not even open as a result. Oh yeah...don't plan on having internet access via satellite if you live in an area that has any, and I do mean any clouds in the sky. It totally kills the signal. I could go on for days about the cons of Pegasus Express. To make a long story short, save your time and money and get a DSL. Hopefully you will heed my warning and not have to put a call into your attorney. I was very lucky that it all worked out as well as it did.

member for 12.6 years, 53 visits, last login: 7.2 years ago
lodged 12.6 years ago

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Review by kmac1 See Profile

  • Location: Port Neches,Jefferson,TX
  • Cost: $59 per month
  • Install: about 5 days
Good "Easy to setup, especially since I already had DirecTV."
Bad "Takes days to get new, replacement parts. No advantage to upload."
Overall "Great service if you don't have access to DSL or Cable."
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I install DSL for SBC so I deal with Broadband on a daily basis. Unfortunately I live in Sprint's Local Exchange and they don't have DSL there yet. I've been on their sign-up list for FastConnect DSL, Sprint ION and Sprint Broadband Direct ever sinc they came to the area (Houston). Well, ION is dead and I'm in a dead area for the wireless. There's no cable in my neighborhood, and even if there was it doesn't support Internet access (at least that's what the cable tech working down the road told me). After perusing the satellite forum and asking some questions about which provider to choose I made my decision to go with Hughes DirecPC themselves. The service was $39.95/mth plus my phone line at $20.

I started out by going to BestBuy and purchasing the DirecPC modem return system. This system can be self installed and uses the modem, with ISP service, for the upload. This was more desirable for me since I vary rarely upload anything except e-mail, and the occasional Morpheous upload. I already had a second phone line. I brought the system home on Friday night and started on Sat. morning.

Problem #1: Bestbuy only had 2 systems at the time and both were open. I and the useless salesperson looked into the box but didn't see anything missing, however on Sat. morning as I was pulling out parts and identifying as well as double-checking the parts list I realized that THIS WAS A USED SYSTEM AND THERE WERE PARTS MISSING!!! Man was I mad. So off to BestBuy and exchange the system. This time I go thru the box with a finetooth comb and the parts list. Everything was there so back home I go to install. I mounted the new anteanna where I had my DirecTV dish as I planned on buying the dish-sharing LNB for the TV. After setting the dish up I installed the software, USB modem and proceeded to align the dish using the supplied coordinates. I couldn't ever draw a usable signal. A friend of mine that installs satellites came over and we came to the conclusion the the location might have been good for TV, but needed a clearer line-of-sight for PC. Since it was late and dark we walked around the yard and found a good spot to put a post in.

Problem#2: Sun. morning came and off I went to get a post. I purchased an 8ft 2 3/4in fence post and some Quikrete. I came home, dug the hole, set the post and quickreted it in. The post was ready in 3 1/2 hours. I moved the satellite and re-aligned it with my compass. I was using an inline satellite finder (TV) that my friend let me borrow and I knew I was on a the satellite, but I never could get a usable PC signal. I even ran an extension cord and brought my PC outside just to eliminate the coax. I called tech support and after he had me test some things he determined that my modem was bad. He said he would ship me another and it would take 7-10 business days.

It didn't take that long, because Wed., my wife pages me and tells me that FedEx had dropped off the modem. When I got home I re-ran the websetup program, tweaked the dish a little and WHAMMO, I had a great signal. I went to the Tools section, did a speed test for a benchmark, ran Tweaktester and applied the tweaks and subsequent speeds were averaging in the 700-1000k for the download. I was happy!

Over the weekend I networked the connection using ICS on 1 computer running Win2K as my gateway/router and 2 WinXP clients. It went great after I used the supplied networking configuration wizard. I was still getting great speeds and my wife proceeded to tear Morpheous a new one.

Overall I would recommend the service to anyone that can't get broadband any other way. Due to the high latency it's not a good service for gaming or any othe low ping activity, but since I'm not a big online gamer I'm not concerned. I haven't recieved a bill as of yet but if there's any glitches I'll edit this review.



member for 13.1 years, 1539 visits, last login: 224 days ago
lodged 12.7 years ago

Comments:

Review by chrisrph See Profile

  • Location: Cullman,Cullman,AL
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "None yet"
Bad "Not working with Windows XP"
Overall "The ad says Direcpc is great. Wouldn't know yet."

I've had the dial return system installed. I'm running WindowsXP on a new system. I've set the compatability mode on the software to Windows 2000 as instructed. I keep getting an error message of "can't regitster ActiveX program" when I get to websetup. Tech support has had me reinstall software & modem, set compatability to Win2000 (I've tried them all), referred me to Hewlitt Packard and Microsoft (no help). How do I get past this ActiveX problem. I'm told it's an operating system issue. (Below is the message I get.)
Error: -2147221446

Source: websetup.util.RegisterControl

Description: Unable to register ActiveX control C:\WINDOWS\system32\msinet.ocx

Websetup cannot continue. Please press OK to end this registration session.

Another suggestion was that :regsv32.exe and msinet.ocx may have been corrupted. I ruled that out by both downloading versions of both files and restoring both versions from the hidden backup of WindowsXP on my hard drive. Both efforts led to the same error message. I can say that Direcpc tech support is spending time with me to attempt to resolve this, just we've not achieved it yet.

member for 12.7 years, 3 visits, last login: 12.7 years ago
lodged 12.7 years ago

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Review by tweaver1 See Profile

  • Location: Groveport,Franklin,OH
  • Cost: $39 per month
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Easy to install hardware and software."
Bad "Can be blocked out by rain storms for a short time."
Overall "Can be very fast after a few tweeks."
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(ratings well above consensus)

When I first installed my dial return direcpc system the speed downloading was very noticeable. I run a Windows ME network at home and the other computers were not seeing an increase till I used a shareware progran called tweekmaster on them. Then even my host pc was screaming! It has been almost 2 weeks and no problems. I get different results on download speeds on the tests offered free online. Just search for speed tests as many are there.

I bought the direcpc system at Best Buy. They knew nothing about it. I did my research online before I bought it. It was $150 with a $50 rebate. I thought it was worth the risk, as I have spent that much on a piece of junk modem before. Very happy to download large files and watch the multi meg files progress like a 2x cdrom drive!

member for 12.7 years, 32 visits, last login: 12.1 years ago
lodged 12.7 years ago

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Review by rwmiller1 See Profile

  • Location: Zapata,Zapata,TX
  • Cost: $59 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 9 days
Good "Very fast order to installation time in S. Texas"
Bad "Hughes' tech support lacks"
Overall "No dsl/cable this is the only way. Great downloads!"
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(ratings well above consensus)

I have been with the dial return for over a year and decided to try the satellite return. My download speed doubled (from 650 kbps to 1200 kbps) and upload went from 20 kbps to 38 kbps. The service was orderd on Sept 30 through American Satellite and I got a call from the installer on Oct 8 for an installation on Oct 9 at 8:30 am. They were there at 8:30 and finshed in under 2 hours. They did a great job-- Company: Satellite Communication in McAllen, Tx.

The down side: I could not make a connection to the Internet and I called Hughes. The tech there was a very unpleasant prima dona. The problem he said was the installer's error and they need to reposition the satellite. It was the Direcpc software! When I reinstalled everything went fine.

I think I made the right choice but I wish the Techs at Hughes would remember that they are to solve problems NOT start problems.

member for 13.2 years, 44 visits, last login: 10.8 years ago
lodged 12.8 years ago

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Review by miller28 See Profile

  • Location: Picabo,Blaine,ID
  • Cost: $59 per month (12 month contract)
Good "Good download speeds,"
Bad "Horrible upload speeds(10-35kbps),Tech Support nonresponsive,Constant errors and disconnects."
Overall "I WANT MY ONE-WAY SYSTEM BACK!"
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DirecPc lost my order. (Took 3 weeks to fix.)
Installer was no show. (Took 6 weeks to finally install.)
Get error messages and disconnect at least 3 times a day.
Support is ALWAYS 30+ minutes hold time.
UPLOAD SPEEDS AVERAGE 10-35kbps ONLY-----PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!! I got that on my one way with a telephone modum.
To much of a hassle to be worth it. If they can't give any better service than a one way they shouldn charge for it.

member for 12.9 years, 8 visits, last login: 12 years ago
lodged 12.8 years ago

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Review by subcultured See Profile

  • Location: Chestnut Hill,Middlesex,MA
  • Cost: $48 per month (month by month)
Good "much faster than advertised speeds, good tech support, fairly consistant speeds"
Bad "speeds often spike, which makes streaming media difficult to use. service will falter when stormy at the NOC"
Overall "if you're stuck with satellite, you're best off with DirecPC"
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after trying (and regretting) AOL+ powered by DPC, i switched to the real thing, and couldn't be happier (well, except if i had optimum online, perhaps). the speeds typically average 2-3 times faster than advertised rates and the tech support is much better than what you would get from the "powered by" resellers.

i'll update this as time goes on. in my first 4 days, it has made me quite happy.

[UPDATE 10/3/01]

things are bad right now - slower than average speeds, unable to download files 50% of the time. my download activity is very erratic. not too happy at this moment...

member for 12.9 years, 1813 visits, last login: 2.6 years ago
updated 12.8 years ago

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Review by deltaqueen See Profile

  • Location: Hughes,Saint Francis,AR
  • Cost: $40 per month
Good "only hi-speed available to me in the Arkansas countryside"
Bad "my conncection speeds range from 27 to 600!"
Overall "my only choice. sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it"
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While I am happy Direcpc exists as a service to me, I have to let off some steam here. I have been a 'classic customer' for about a year. At first I used MSN as my dialup, but was having slow speeds at peak hours and sometimes a busy signal. Tech support at direcpc recommended I switch over to them as a dialup. I did this and had happy browsing for about a year. Aprox. three months ago direcpc just up and did away with their dial-up in my calling area. There was no warning to me or notification. Is this any way to do business? The tech people didn't even know that my number had been taken out of operation. We spent a week at least trying to figure out what the matter with MY computer was. Now I have earthlink as my dialup and browsing is SLOW at peak hours. I was irate with direcpc over this matter. I feel trapped.

member for 12.8 years, 2 visits, last login: 12.8 years ago
lodged 12.8 years ago

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