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HughesNet Satellite Broadband page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1074 reviews (161 good) (603 bad)
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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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(ratings above consensus)

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 12.6 years, 1813 visits, last login: 2.3 years ago
updated 12.5 years ago

Comments:

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 12.5 years, 2 visits, last login: 12.5 years ago
lodged 12.5 years ago

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Review by normanbs See Profile

  • Location: North Wales,Montgomery,PA
  • Cost: $69 per month
Good "constant reliable connection, triple the advertised download speeds,"
Bad "poor upload"
Overall "Wouldn't hesitate to do it again"
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I'm incredibly impressed with the Directv/pegasus/Duo/two way satellite system.

Whether it is the new software or whatever has changed since some of these horrid old reviews, I have none of the problems my cable friends have. Consistent connections, triple the advertised DL speed. A change in the algorithm in the very near future should triple the upload speed which is week. Don't hesitate..

member for 12.5 years, 3 visits, last login: 12.5 years ago
lodged 12.5 years ago

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Review by sharden See Profile

  • Location: Canada
  • Cost: $150 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 6 days
Good "quick to install, download 750-850, exceeding promised 400"
Bad "upload originally only 25. After deleting netbui and tweaking now 40-60, you need to be extremely computer literate to setup"
Overall "expensive (in Cdn dollars) for what you get but was needed. Hope for improvements in upload"
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As a newly qualified installer, I found install simple enough but web setup requires considerably more than than the "hands off the computer" approach advocated by supplier. Customers will want the system up and running when the installer leaves the premises so as far as I can see, this load will fall on the shoulders of the installer

If I had read all the reviews available on dslreports, I might have experienced second thoughts about purchasing the system but have no regrets after three days of operation in clear and rainy weather. Signal strength on .74 meter dish located at 49.3N, 115.8W is 54-57% dropping to 51-52% during heavy rain.

member for 12.6 years, 60 visits, last login: 6.7 years ago
lodged 12.6 years ago

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Review by tunasub2 See Profile

  • Location: New York,New York,NY
  • Cost: $19 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 1 days
Good "Better Than Dial Up"
Bad "Slow Speeds every now and then."
Overall "Great service if DSL and cable are not possible"
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My Other Reviews

·Comcast
I have the DirecPC (Dial-Return) system for over a year now. So far I have been pretty happy with the service. For the amount that I pay monthly I think it's worth it.

Now, every now and then I get slow speeds but my worst speeds are around 120 which is still better than dialup. My average speeds are around 400 and once in a great while I'll get 800!

So here's the bottom line DirecPC is still new technology so is Starband but, I can say this after reading all the reports about DSL and cable stories I can say that I never had a single outage at all. For now I'll stay with DirecPC even when cable or DSL becomes avaliable in my area.

member for 12.8 years, 66 visits, last login: 1 year ago
lodged 12.6 years ago

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Review by joshua90 See Profile

  • Location: Madison,New Haven,CT
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "none"
Bad "not enough space to mention them all"
Overall "don't try to get 2 way direc pc in CT."
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I've had alot of experience with various services and internet providers around CT. as i have made a few moves around the state,but i have never had a more frustrating time than i've had trying to get a two way satellite system through Direc PC.

I currently have a one way dish that i purchased and installed myself and am quite happy with the performance of around 600 - 700k so i thought i would try the two way system. I placed my order in May and heard nothing for about two months until getting an email telling me that my order had been shipped ; unfortunately it went to somebody in Kentucky.

I got that straightened out after some serious phone time, waited a few more weeks and was contacted by the installer at:

ABOVE AND BEYOND TECHNOLOGY

4 CHAPMAN LANE

LEDYARD, CT 06339

We scheduled an appointment for an install which they , of course, didn't show up for. They also didn't show up for the next three dates for which i was rescheduled.

So, here i am 5 months later; no dish, four wasted days waiting for installers, and trying to get a refund of $400.00 from American Satellite.

To say i am pissed would be an understatement. As soon as an alternative is available in my area I'll be the first in line.

member for 12.8 years, 122 visits, last login: 9.4 years ago
lodged 12.6 years ago

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Review by pcalvert See Profile

  • Location: Potomac,Montgomery,MD
  • Cost: $60 per month
Good "DL throughput now is actually very good!"
Bad "Hughes organization is still the gang that can't shoot straight"
Overall "Now with 3 transponders running, DPC gives very fast DL if you tweak it"
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Well,

It's been about 2 weeks since I posted a scathing review of DPC, based on terrible DL speeds, and service interruptions. I must admit that the service has improved dramatically in the past few days. For this reason, I feel obliged to revise my earlier review.

The reason for the change is that Hughes has activated 2 new transponders, and managed to balance the load of subscribers pretty well now among the 3 transponders.

It is still necessary to tweak your system using DrTCP to get best throughput, but with the help of PetDude and others on the Satellite forum, many of us are managing to get very decent DL speeds now. On the other hand, the Satellite Return subscribers still are not getting the full rated UL speeds. The tech support people at Hughes DPC are really out of the loop in the organization, apparently not really knowing what's going on on the engineering side of the house, which makes them appear pretty dumn at times. This goes for upper tier techs as well.

We'll see if the load balancing holds up, but for now DPC is actually REAL broadband service. I would still only recommend it if you cannot get DSL or cable, but if you're stuck, it is now, finally, the way to go.

pcalvert

member for 12.7 years, 245 visits, last login: 1 year ago
updated 12.6 years ago

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Review by RFincke5 See Profile

  • Location: New Braunfels,Comal,TX
  • Cost: $40 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 6 days
  • Telco party Southwestern Bell
Good "Instructions to install dish went very well."
Bad "Software installation not freindly if one does not know how to setup a network."
Overall "Since we live outside the city, their were no other options for high speed service."
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Understanding electronics and computers comes easy after 20 years in the field. What I see today are Model T's being sold (PC's) that still need their hood opened up for inspection and tweaking. One day in the near future, all these checks will be done automatically as computers and their software become tightly integrated. Until then, John Q public has to put up with all these little headaches including how the PC works and what settings should be set when the software goes Mustang.

Case in point:

Bought a DirecPC dish from Best Buy Last Monday with just the downlink portion for now. Decided to go first class and sink a 2" x10ft Steel Sch 40 pipe in the ground with a 12" Dia x 4 foot concrete cullar. Welded re-bar to the pipe to prevent the pole from twisting in the concrete. Installed a 6 ft ground rod and ran all the cable in 100ft of PVC conduit. Installed the Dish without a hitch.

Then came the software installation.

The .36 version of DirecPC would not load on one of my Window's 2000 Pro PCs.

Tried several tricks and they all failed. Called Tech Support at DirecPC, "Reload the Software was their final answer.", which I had already done several times.

I then loaded .36 on another PC with Windows ME running. No problem. Websetup finally ran. Set up the Dish with their software detection program which worked great. Downloaded .40 which improved the download speed on that PC.

After looking over the situation, we installed a fresh copy of Windows 2000 Pro without any service patches on another PC running an 800 MHz Duron Processor.

Ran DirecPC's .36 software which loaded without any problems. Already signed up, their Websetup program picked up the SN off the DirecPC's Modem box which automatically loaded the IP, subnet mask, and gateway properly. Though, their software assumed that I had signed up for their service over POTS. Not correct. Using my own ISP (MSN), I had to go back under Turbo's Internet Properties (NAV) and install MSN's telephone number, my name, and password manually to make it work properly on that PC

After entering all the right info, REBOOT the PC including Windows 2000. Power up the DirecPC Modem Box at the same time. Both green leds on the box should blink back-in-forth until initialized. After about a minute the NAV symbol will show up as an ICON to click on next to the time clock. Double click and the new DirecPC service will dialout a connection (my ISP MSN). The right led on the modem box should be steady, the left one should begin blinking once the connection is made. Then just run IE or Netscape. To test your new connection, try DSLREPORTS.COM tools section to run a speed test.

As a note, when storms come up and the cloud cover overhead becomes dense the satellite signal usually drops way off to where no connection is detected. That is something we all have to live with connected to a satellite downlink. Besides that, the service has been running smooth. Downloaded an 8 meg file in under 45 seconds a couple of days ago. Not bad, since it use to take hours over POTS.

Have questions or if you want to put this PC connected to the satellite on your network, just email me at richard_fincke@email.msn.com

Happy Surfing!

DirecPC does work when the dish is installed properly and the software works right!

PS: Want to check my speed test, just enter 78132 as a zip code reference for direcpc.com



member for 12.6 years, 36 visits, last login: 194 days ago
lodged 12.6 years ago

Comments:

Review by ian3047 See Profile

  • Location: Ocala,Marion,FL
  • Cost: $59 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 20 days
Good "Downloads Way Faster Than Advertised"
Bad "The 2way System Has Been Having Some Problems"
Overall "Great Alternative When DSL Isn't Around"
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I just upgraded from the dial return system to the sattelite return system. It has been a pretty rough ride only working super fast early morning to early evening than really slow. But tech support, though stupid is nice and it's toll free. Also if you have been having problems just ask them for a service credit and you will get one. Today after their last "System Update" my dish has been quick all day long. 1600kbps this morning, to now at 8pm est down to my lowest 867kbps. This last update has done it for me (for now) and hopefully it will last. 20mb in only a hair over 2mins. If this keeps up this is gonna be a great service.

member for 12.9 years, 15 visits, last login: 9.5 years ago
lodged 12.6 years ago

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Review by thebert See Profile

  • Location: Hackettstown,Warren,NJ
  • Cost: $69 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 30 days
Good "Full time connection"
Bad "Poor communication. Evasive tech support. No way to connect in from outside. e,g, PCAnywhere"
Overall "It may be OK. Will update again when the holiday weekend is over"
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I have been experiencing all the same issues you will read about below. On 8/31 the network seems to have improved although holiday weekends may not be the best time to judge.

Still can't keep up with a 300k video stream at night. But radio now works. That is an improvement. Interestingly, while it can't keep up with the video, an FTP download goeas faster than 400k but it is not smooth. There are long time periods with no packets received. The transmit ready light goes out periodically as well. Tech support finally decided to replace my hardware to fix connection dropout issues. They expect the new hardware will fix multimedia streaming interuptions. I will update this review when the hardware arrives.

There is no longer an ability to connect from the internet to your machine. DirecPC put up a firewall with .36 and up. For the most part it is a good thing. It will be harder for hackers and worms etc to mess us up. Also, people who would ruin this asymetric service by running servers won't be able to. The drawback is some things that we may want won't work. For example, MSN Instant Messenger can't send files right now. You can receive them. Also, if you want to connect to your home machine from the road, you can't get through the firewall to do so. With a dsl/cable router, you can punch a hole. It will be interesting to see if Hughes views these as bugs or if they will continue with an incomplete service.

Pings are still horribly slow. I don't think it is just travel time to the satellite. They should be able to speed ping up at least a little.

member for 13.1 years, 573 visits, last login: 156 days ago
updated 12.6 years ago

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