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HughesNet Satellite Broadband page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1086 reviews (161 good) (612 bad)
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Review by bobcat698 See Profile

  • Location: Amherst,Portage,WI
  • Cost: $59 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 95 days
Good "Umm... I don't really know, I'll have to research that...... Ummm.. Oh yeah 'Sometimes On' connection."
Bad "High Ping times, Generally unstable, Transmitter 'loses connectivity' frequently, generally service royally sucks"
Overall "If you want a Cheap, Piece Of Junk, Ugly, Unreliable, $430 bird bath, get DirecPC!"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Mail,DNS,News:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I think DirecPC is a great Internet Service is you can't get anything besides dial-up. I had a few problems with slow browsing, but I got a different gateway and now experience 500-600 Kbps all the time! Pointing the satelite is not the easiest, but after you get the signal it is worth the fast connection. Ping times are not the BEST choice at all for gaming as they usually range from 500ms-900ms, but it can be done on a few servers. (NOT QUAKE). If you use a download manager you can get around 200KB down which is pretty decent. The dish was around $149 last year at Bestbuy. I bought the 2 year extended warranty so if the modem dies I can get a new one. I was pondering getting the 2 way system, but with the big speed increase we just got I think I will wait.

UPDATED January 3rd, 2002
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I ordered the Upgrade for DirecPC 2-way in May of 2001. I was told the wait could be as long as 90-120 days. It almost was that long. I got my system installed on August 11th.

Here is my official recap of service:

My Recap of DirecPC Service:
Day 1:
August 11th, Dish is installed & improperly grounded, & LNB cap deal was not installed, because it "Looks Cool Without it".
Poor Speeds, Poor Reliability, Poor everything until August 29th, when I was told my Polarization Isolation was TOO LOW, & that I needed an installer to come out & fix it.
2 way transmission was disabled. I was stuck with one-way CRAPPY service.

September 28th, after waiting ONE MONTH for an installer & living in agony, paying $59.99 for 1-way service,
I got the number to the NOC & went up on the ROOF & pointed the dish myself to NOC specs & got an Isolation of 34.

September 28th-November 1rst, Very bad service, Transmitter goes offline intermittedly for 30 seconds 7-10 times a day.

November 1rst-November 30th:
New Transmitter Modem sent out & replaced.
Transmitter still goes offline intermittedly 7-10 times a day.

November 7th, Installers come out to "Clean Up Install", & Put on LNB cap.
Tell us "Grounding is just fine", & then Re-cross pole the dish at 33 Isolation (remember when I did it myself I got a 34:()

November 7th-November 27th:
My Tier 3 technician decides I need to replace the rest of my dish components, including:
Satellite Receiver (ITU), Microwave Transmitter (OTU), Power Supply, Recieving LNB, etc.

November 27th:
Installers come to install the parts DirecWay sent me.
They install my components on my dish & I install my Reciever modem.
They hook MY modems to THEIR laptop & the DirecPC software gave the error: Transmitter not found.
The installer decides my Transmitter modem is bad & reluctantly gives me one of his for mine in exchange.

November 30th: Transmitter still goes offline intermittedly.
I talked to my Tier 3 guy today & I find out:
I HAVE AN ISOLATION ON MY POLARIZATION OF 26-30!!!!
I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS, I AM AT MY WITS END!
He is going to transfer my case to Maryland & I guess I will be talking to the NOC next week about my system.

To top it off, I find out today that the pipe they "Grounded" my dish to is hooked up to a HUGE PVC pipe underground.
Great Ground, Huh??!!!!
December 1st:
Re-Cross-poled dish again!

I went from a isolation of 30.8 to 33-34.

I am still getting "Transmitter is locking to the receiver carrier" Errors & transmitter goes offline repeatedly!

December 19th, 2001
Switched to 1370 Transponder to fix “Transmitter Going offline intermittedly”.

December 21, 2001: Called Tier 4 because I get NO SIGNAL on 1370 Transponder.
I finally talked a technician into switching my service to SatMex5 instead of Galaxy 11 Satellite.

I have made over 85 calls to Hughes Technical support since August 11th!
I have about 111 notes in my case file.

I hope this review will dissuade other potential buyers of the DirecPC, Earthlink, Pegasus, etc. Satellite Return Systems.

Do not buy it unless you want to spend HOURS on the phone with techless support.

I appreciate comments.

GS

member for 14 years, 2872 visits, last login: 17 days ago
updated 12.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by camaro327 See Profile

  • Location: Bailey,Park,CO
  • Cost: $39 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Broadband at 9300 feet! Still very happy!"
Bad "Latency"
Overall "Hey, it's all I can get."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
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Mail,DNS,News:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

UPDATE:

After using DirecPC (classic) for several months, I am still very happy with the service. My download speeds average around 750k since the latest version update. The 750k is consistent no matter what time of day or night. I still have not been hit with the dreaded FAP. Although I don't download lots of MP3s, I do download some shareware software, game patches etc. If no other broadband choice is available, DirecPC is great for casual surfing and occasional downloading and beats my old 28.8 connection by a long shot.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:

I live 60 miles west of Denver at 9300 feet. Not only is satellite broadband my only current choice, it is my only alternative for the foreseeable future. My CO is over 10 miles away (67000 feet). The current limit for DSL (if the COs up here were equipped) is less than 40000 feet for IDSL loops with electronics.

Even if I could get IDSL, my download speed would be about 1/3 of what I am getting with DirecPC.

I installed the system myself, without a hitch. The instructions and mpeg video on the CD were very clear and concise. I have been connected for about 3 months now. The first week, my average download speed was around 300k. The speed immediately dropped to around 80k during primetime for the next few weeks.

However, as I use MSN as my ISP, I have numerous dial-up numbers available as local calls to Denver. I switched the dial-up number and my download speeds have been consistently between 300k and 500k for the past 2 months (at all times of the day). not sure why that helped? In fact, it is now 8:30p.m.(Mountain), it is currently dumping extremely heavy snow, the dish is packed, and I just tested the download speed at 494K! The slow upload speed and the dreaded FAP do not bother me at all.

My only disappointment is the inherent latency with all satellite systems. Although I was aware of this before I installed DirecPC, I would sure like to be able to run Nascar4 online and dial-up just doesn't cut it either.

Overall, I am just glad to have any type of broadband. As a Covad employee, I was tired of dealing with Telespeed 1.5 all day long only to come home to 28.8k dial up. For anyone living in a remote location with no other broadband choice, I would highly recommend DirecPC.

member for 13.7 years, 74 visits, last login: 7 years ago
updated 12.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by rnummi See Profile

  • Location: Glen Burnie,Anne Arundel,MD
  • Cost: $49 per month (month by month)
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Fast, reliable, self-installed, Rocks"
Bad "FAP after 40 MB"
Overall "Outstanding for browsing and small downloads."
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Mail,DNS,News:
Value for money:
(ratings well above consensus)

Bought the white dish dial return system from Best Buy in Glen Burnie. Went home, installed Dish, hooked up DirecTV, called DirecPC, got the appropriate numbers, was on DirecPC in about 1 hour from arriving at home with brand new dish. This was one of the easiest installs around. I've had cable modems (slooowwwww after school). The real downside is the FAP, or "Fair Access Policy" which came about according to Hughes, as a result of the minority of users hogging up the majority of bandwidth by DLing MP3s. After 40 MBs of total DLing, the ISP throttles you back to about .0003Kbps, i.e. you are CUT OFF. While every review in DirecPC mentions this, I'll step up on the soapbox and state without reservation, for pure browsing and minimal DLing this is the BEST. Let me repeat again with emphasis... UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES GET DIRECPC if you are into MP3s, AVIs, etc. You will soon be cursing a blue streak and have a complete understanding of the negative reviews on this board. If however, you can't get DSL or CableModem, you just like to surf at a high rate of speed, you don't download.... THEN BY ALL MEANS GET DIRECPC. You will be completely satisfied. I've dialed in throughout the day, weekends, after school, etc. No noticeable slow-downs. I have a home network w/ 4 PCs hooked in, they all have worked without missing a beat. I would be the first to step up and say if they didn't have the FAP this would be the best ISP experience I've had. WIth the FAP...well let's just say, I don't have access to cable or DSL, when I do, I'll probably switch because of the FAP. Regular browsing? Way way slick.

member for 12.9 years, 1 visits, last login: 12.9 years ago
lodged 12.9 years ago

Comments:

Review by aqela See Profile

  • Location: Harbor Beach,Huron,MI
  • Cost: $59 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 110 days
Good "Available Everywhere, Always On, Fast At most times"
Bad "FAP, Instability, Support Denies Many Problems"
Overall "It's great for downloading small files and for people who have no landline broadband"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Mail,DNS,News:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

It all started August 14th when I ordered this system as an upgrade to my 3.0 classic dial return system. It took forever for RS&I to find an installer in my area. My system finally got installed on December 4th. The system was cruisin at the time, and I couldn't believe I didn't need my 2nd phone line anymore. Then the weekend after installation, I did a 35 MB download of Midtown Madness 2 Demo, and I got fap'd at 33 MB. I was slown down to a crawl. I called Tech Support and they wouldn't acknowledge that it was FAP. I came to the boards and I saw that this stricter FAP was a major issue. Then came DirecWay 4.0.1.28 software, and ever since I installed that software, my system locks up or reboots at least once every two hours.

I would recommend this system only to people who have no chance of seeing terrestrial broadband in the near future. For anybody who wants to download alot, I would advise you to stay away from this system for now.

member for 13.4 years, 369 visits, last login: 8.2 years ago
lodged 12.9 years ago

Comments:

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"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
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Tech Support:
Mail,DNS,News:
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(ratings below 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 13.3 years, 53 visits, last login: 11.3 years ago
updated 12.9 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"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
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Tech Support:
Mail,DNS,News:
Value for money:
(ratings 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 13 years, 6 visits, last login: 12.9 years ago
lodged 13 years ago

Comments:

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."
Pre Sales information:
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Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Mail,DNS,News:
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(ratings match consensus)

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 13 years, 53 visits, last login: 7.6 years ago
lodged 13 years ago

Comments:

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."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Mail,DNS,News:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

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 13.5 years, 1539 visits, last login: 1 year ago
lodged 13.1 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 13.1 years, 3 visits, last login: 13.1 years ago
lodged 13.1 years ago

Comments:

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."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Mail,DNS,News:
Value for money:
(ratings 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 13.1 years, 32 visits, last login: 12.5 years ago
lodged 13.1 years ago

Comments: