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Silver Spring, MD

Fastest ethernet compatible satellite service?

I'm reading the FAQs and wanted to know what's the fastest available UPSTREAM internet service, as I may be telecommuting in the future, and will need fast upstream service in addition to downstream? The service needs to have an ethernet modem so I can connect my existing Apple Airport Extreme base station, a modem and satellite dish that is portable, and the ability to point the dish anywhere, and not just the southern horizon in the U.S. The latter seemed to be a requirement for Dish TV, which I hope is not always a requirement for satellite internet. If it is, please let me know.


All of the 2-way satellite services we consumers use in the US (Hughes, Starband, WildBlue) as well as most commercial services (iDirect, Tachyon, etc) have satellites which are geostationary.

In addition it would be impossible for any portable manually-pointed dish to keep up with the movement of a satellite that is not geostationary.

Geostationary satellites can only exist over the equator, approximately 22,500 miles up. That is always to the south in the US, but is never on the horizon unless you are in Alaska. Depending on where you are in the US and which satellite you are assigned to the upward angle may exceed 45 degrees.

Upstream service is a function of power and price. Even if you have lots of money to spend the power limitation will keep you from getting really fast speeds with a portable, manually-pointed dish. That is because power in the satellite world is heavily dependent on dish size, and a large dish is not practical to transport and setup manually.

With a standard .74 meter dish you can expect around 128kbps up with any of the available services.

I have been interpreting "portable" to mean a tripod mount that you setup. If your definition includes the kind of dish I use, which is roof-mounted on a vehicle and is self-pointing, then the limit is around a 1.2 meter dish (the large one in my avatar). The service I'm on is a $389 per month service that has upstream approaching 500kbps. For more money faster speeds are possible with that size of dish.

All of the current standard services use a modem with an ethernet connection, so that is not a concern.
Motosat self-pointing dishes: 1.2-meter XF-3 on 105W or 121W, .74 meter G74 on 83W, SL-5 HD DirecTV|idirect 3100|Hughes HN7000S|Sprint Air Card|1990 Blue Bird Wanderlodge Bus "Blue Thunder"|Author of PC-OPI and DSSatTool