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2 General Questions
The cost of the line varies widely. You must call your local phone company to find out the cost. But it generally costs between $60 and $80 a month for the phone line itself for most people but it can vary as widely as $40 to $120 a month. The cost of an ISP will generally be between $19 and $50 a month.
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Satellite has a very large delay when sending data back and forth between you and the internet. That delay can cause problems with certain programs, most notably online gaming. The delay for a satellite connection can be a half a second to a second (500ms to 1,000ms) because the signal travels thousands of miles above the Earth and back to you. The delay on an ISDN line is typically only 50ms to 150ms. That is a big difference. This delay can also affect how "snappy" your browsing experience is. When you click a link in your browser using ISDN it almost instantly begins to load. On satellite this can take a full second to begin loading.
Satellite performance is also subject to weather conditions. And as of the time of this writing, the Hughes Direcway satellite system is far from perfect. Some users have experienced only 40kbps download speeds during peak times of the day and evening. That is slower than a dialup modem.
ISDN is a more stable and predictable connection. It may be slower much of the time but it is usually a rock solid connection.
There is no clear answer to this question. Satellite vs. ISDN is a decision that needs to be made after you have learned all the pros and cons of both technologies.
To the uninitiated, it may come as a surprise to learn that an ISDN modem can connect each of its two 64K data channels (B-channels) to an ISP's 56K V.90 modem and get something that acts like a single 128K connection.
The tricky part is that the router that you connect to must somehow know that both of these incoming connections are really supposed to be grouped into one combined connection. In order to do this the ISP's router must support a protocol called "Multilink PPP" (dialing in with your second line is sometimes referred to as "joining the MP bundle" in router logs). Of course, your TA or router must be configured properly to use both channels as well.
Some ISPs explicitly support ISDN and Multilink PPP while others only claim to offer normal 56K dialup but some of their phone numbers actually do work with ISDN. Be aware that using ISDN with an ISP that doesn't officially support it may be in technical violation of the TOS (Terms of Service) agreement and your clever hookup could stop working at any time. That being said, many people have had good success with these ISPs.
Caveat: The information in the following table is subjective and may become out of date. ISPs without explicit ISDN support may or may not work for you even if they have worked for others.