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HughesNet Satellite Broadband page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1089 reviews (162 good) (614 bad)
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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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Mail,DNS,News:
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(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 13.6 years, 1539 visits, last login: 1.1 years ago
lodged 13.2 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 13.2 years, 3 visits, last login: 13.2 years ago
lodged 13.2 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."
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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 13.2 years, 32 visits, last login: 12.7 years ago
lodged 13.2 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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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 13.7 years, 44 visits, last login: 11.3 years ago
lodged 13.3 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 13.4 years, 8 visits, last login: 12.5 years ago
lodged 13.3 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 13.4 years, 1813 visits, last login: 3.1 years ago
updated 13.3 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 13.3 years, 2 visits, last login: 13.3 years ago
lodged 13.3 years ago

Comments:

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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(ratings well above consensus)

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 13.3 years, 3 visits, last login: 13.3 years ago
lodged 13.3 years ago

Comments:

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 13.4 years, 60 visits, last login: 7.5 years ago
lodged 13.4 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 13.6 years, 66 visits, last login: 1.8 years ago
lodged 13.4 years ago

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