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arisk

join:2001-08-08
London, ON

Xplornet vs. Rocket/Turbo for rural dilemma

I've certainly seen some previous discussions on the issue, but circumstances change and I'd like up to date info.
Xplornet has a newer satellite. Does that affect the "run, don't walk" impression of Xplornet?
Turbo/Rocket download limits/cost seem better than they were in the past.

Here is the scenario:
Rural internet with NO OTHER OPTIONS but Bell/Rogers and Xplornet via satellite.
For irrelevant reasons, the current wireless solution is becoming unworkable.
Current usage is 5GB or less per month. General web browsing, email, software/OS updates, etc.
The subscriber does not do online gaming.
Voip usability might be nice, but not currently used and not a deal breaker.
Current scenario is the subscriber uses there own router and we would like to keep it that way (3rd party F/W, more control).

I'd welcome comments:

1. A nearby resident uses Xplornet satellite and seems satisfied. Signal is not an issue (Of course ... it's satellite)
However, we can't be sure of adequate cel signal.
What is that process?
Do either of those providers offer any pre-purchase testing?
Is there a trial period with a good return policy?

2. I believe it's not an issue with Xplornet to continue using the subscribers router etc. as before.
Is there any restriction on the Bell/Roger's hardware which would be an obstacle?
Is the "hub" hardware configurable by the user and can simply be used as a bridge with wifi turned off?
Any difference in that respect Rogers vs. Bell?

3. None of the services websites really provide details of restrictions (terms of use).
Not that any of these is a current consideration, but I don't want surprises.
Peer-Peer, host servers, etc?
Blocked ports?

4. Remote access is essential.
Currently Logmein works great and I see no reason why it wouldn't continue with any of the others, but once again...no surprises.

5. It's not necessarily convenient, but I believe with the cel options, the hub is portable.
If traveling, it could be taken with you and provided the signal/service is adequate, internet is available.
It's not locked down to a local gateway or something is it?

6. My general impression at this point is that with lower monthly usage, a cel option might be more economical.
It seems if you download more, the scale tips in favour of Xplornet.

7. Other constructive comments welcome.
Any caveats I'm not aware of?
Remember the NO OTHER OPTIONS situation.



Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

Keep in mind that if you go with satellite, you can expect a minimum of ~750 millisecond pings. You've given remote access as a requirement, but all remote access solutions will be virtually unusable with those kinds of latency.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


arisk

join:2001-08-08
London, ON

Possibly important info.
How do you define unusable?
Is the connection dropped or serious issues like that?

I've dealt with pauses, slowness, stuttering before and that can be dealt with.
It is used to assist the other end with the odd issue, not for regular use as a workstation substitute.



Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4

A 1-2 second delay between you and the remote access site makes it virtually unusable. Trust me, we tried it with a satellite customer a few years back when I was still in IT and it just does *not* work.

It will work over an HSPA or LTE network, though.


scorpido
Premium
join:2009-11-02
New Hamburg, ON
kudos:1

Can you PM me your address and I can see what options you have. I'm from Bluwest Wireless.
Thanks


scorpido
Premium
join:2009-11-02
New Hamburg, ON
kudos:1

with satellite it is all the time high latency. Your remote session more then likey will just disconnect you.



donoreo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
North York, ON
reply to arisk

I can connect to work over a VPN, for hours at a time, using my iPhone either tethered or as a wifi hotspot.

Prior to using that we used a Bell stick shared with a router and it worked well.


arisk

join:2001-08-08
London, ON

said by scorpido:

Can you PM me your address and I can see what options you have. I'm from Bluwest Wireless.
Thanks

Trust me.
There are no wireless options.

As far as remote access, that's good info and I'll look into it further. Thanks.
That just may prove to be a deal breaker.

Still listening.
If satellite isn't an option, any things to be aware of with the cel alternatives?


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to arisk

That at $10/GB, it can get expensive really fast.


arisk

join:2001-08-08
London, ON

said by Guspaz:

That at $10/GB, it can get expensive really fast.

I was looking at from the perspective of the end users requirements which currently are 5GB/mo or less.

»www.bell.ca/Mobility/Products/Tu···lex_Plan

A 5GB/mo plan via Bell is $55/mo
10 GB/mo plan is $70
It certainly climbs rapidly after that.
It looks like $15/GB if you go above 15GB/mo.

Xplornet 10GB plan is $55/mo, but setup fees are higher than Bell.

scorpido
Premium
join:2009-11-02
New Hamburg, ON
kudos:1
reply to arisk

Just shows on your username that your in London, Ont and there are lot's of options in London.


arisk

join:2001-08-08
London, ON

said by scorpido:

Just shows on your username that your in London, Ont

I am, and happily enjoy DSL.
The location I refer to is nowhere near London.

OHSrob

join:2011-06-08
reply to arisk

There is probably more options then you are aware of.

Where is this person located ?

city/postal code



cellno

@apexcovantage.com
reply to arisk

How well cell based solutions depend exactly how remote you are. Just kind of remote might be ok but many of the more northern sites have big issues:

-How close to the tower are you? Do you have good reception?

-The tower's backhaul: this can be a big one you might have 4/4 bars but many of the remote towers are microwave backhaulled and suffer from either being grossly under-serviced or grossly oversold.

What it means is despite being connected at hspa+ you get terribly inconsistent speeds often 1 mbps or lower, high pings, random drops (all with 4/4 bars.) Rogers and bell pull the up-to card if you call in and nothing changes. It's an exercise in frustration as you're paying the same as someone who can get fullspeed service.



The Geezer
Premium
join:2004-12-28
43.3Á
reply to arisk

Having tried the Xplornet/Hughesnet package for many years and now using the Rogers Rocket Hub, I can tell you that the latency issue is real and can be a big problem. My biggest issue on satellite was that there were quite a few forum web sites (especially those using SMP forum software) that would disconnect me every few seconds and were next to impossible to use. With the Rocket Hub, there is no problem at all.
--
Rogers (Ericcson) Rocket Hub, Apple Intel iMac, OSX 10.6


scorpido
Premium
join:2009-11-02
New Hamburg, ON
kudos:1

I do not think were going to be of much help without a actual location. Just because you think that there are no options does not actually mean their are none. You might have missed one. If you can provide the town/city of the person in question it will help us more.


arisk

join:2001-08-08
London, ON

said by scorpido:

I do not think were going to be of much help without a actual location. Just because you think that there are no options does not actually mean their are none. You might have missed one. If you can provide the town/city of the person in question it will help us more.

I really don't get this.
I stated the facts (twice in and in caps) in my first posting to try to avoid this type of diversion.

I'm intimately familiar with the location. I know the options. You don't.
Just to quiet you a bit, it's in Grey County and don't you dare say there are other options, because at this specific location there aren't.

There have been some tidbits of useful info and to those posts I'd like to say thanks.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

You know exactly what providers have equipment on every single tall structure or tower within a several mile radius of your location, which providers have plans to do so in the future, and also know the business plans of every small wireless provider in the country to be able to predict with perfect accuracy which of them might be willing to install new equipment to service you?

I think you're being arrogant, and unfair to scorpido, who is only trying to help.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


OHSrob

join:2011-06-08
reply to arisk

Neither Xplornet nor the Rocket/Turbo hub's will give you internet anything even remotely like what you expect in the city. you will be gouged with overcharges, and your service will not preform near advertised in the peak hours.

Xplornet's new satellite gets slower every day as they pile in more users on it.

It took me 10minuets to find a wisp with google in your area. www.maximumisp.com

Maximum isp assuming you can get signal will provide you with a far more consistent fast speed as well as unlimited internet.

You will have to get a free site survey to confirm you can receive signal.

If we had some more specific location information there might even be more we can recommend.


arisk

join:2001-08-08
London, ON

said by Guspaz:

You know exactly what providers have equipment on every single tall structure or tower within a several mile radius of your location,

Yes, as related to internet providers.

which providers have plans to do so in the future,

Future is irrelevant. It is needed now.
There are many others besides me who have already looked into the available providers.
This issue of lack of providers is many years old and has been followed and examined by many locals who are familiar with the local situation.
The proper people have already been consulted. Answers have already been given.

I think you're being arrogant, and unfair to scorpido, who is only trying to help.

I see it as arrogant to assume I haven't already examined the possibilities and question the facts as I presented them.
I know far more about the specifics in the area.
Derailing a thread because you believe you know more about a specific locale is where the arrogance lies.

said by OHSrob:

Neither Xplornet nor the Rocket/Turbo hub's will give you internet anything even remotely like what you expect in the city. you will be gouged with overcharges, and your service will not preform near advertised in the peak hours.


I never said I had any of those expectations. Did you see "NO OTHER OPTIONS"?
I simply was looking at differences between the two to make the most informed decision.

It took me less than 10minuets to find a wisp with google in your area. www.maximumisp.com

Really? Big county. Diverse geography.
Why do you think I didn't already do that? No service to the location I refer to.

I fail to understand why I when I provide specific details and facts, the discussion gets derailed.
If I tell you my local grocery store only sells apples, oranges and bananas, don't tell me to buy pineapples.

The answers and discussions which have stayed on topic have been useful and to those posters thanks for the info.
I've learned a few things relevant to the mentioned services which warrant consideration.

I guess this all serves to demonstrate the "rural divide" as far as internet service.
Even when pointed out in black and white, some people simply can't comprehend that there are areas without good options.

bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1
reply to arisk

said by arisk:

said by scorpido:

I do not think were going to be of much help without a actual location. Just because you think that there are no options does not actually mean their are none. You might have missed one. If you can provide the town/city of the person in question it will help us more.

I really don't get this.
I stated the facts (twice in and in caps) in my first posting to try to avoid this type of diversion.

I'm intimately familiar with the location. I know the options. You don't.

And without the actual location, nobody can give you advice on cell signal strength or tower load.

So even within the options you listed, location is still necessary to give you a response that is more than guesswork.

OHSrob

join:2011-06-08
reply to arisk

said by arisk:

said by Guspaz:

You know exactly what providers have equipment on every single tall structure or tower within a several mile radius of your location,

Yes, as related to internet providers.

which providers have plans to do so in the future,

Future is irrelevant. It is needed now.
There are many others besides me who have already looked into the available providers.
This issue of lack of providers is many years old and has been followed and examined by many locals who are familiar with the local situation.
The proper people have already been consulted. Answers have already been given.

I think you're being arrogant, and unfair to scorpido, who is only trying to help.

I see it as arrogant to assume I haven't already examined the possibilities and question the facts as I presented them.
I know far more about the specifics in the area.
Derailing a thread because you believe you know more about a specific locale is where the arrogance lies.

said by OHSrob:

Neither Xplornet nor the Rocket/Turbo hub's will give you internet anything even remotely like what you expect in the city. you will be gouged with overcharges, and your service will not preform near advertised in the peak hours.


I never said I had any of those expectations. Did you see "NO OTHER OPTIONS"?
I simply was looking at differences between the two to make the most informed decision.

It took me less than 10minuets to find a wisp with google in your area. www.maximumisp.com

Really? Big county. Diverse geography.
Why do you think I didn't already do that? No service to the location I refer to.

I fail to understand why I when I provide specific details and facts, the discussion gets derailed.
If I tell you my local grocery store only sells apples, oranges and bananas, don't tell me to buy pineapples.

The answers and discussions which have stayed on topic have been useful and to those posters thanks for the info.
I've learned a few things relevant to the mentioned services which warrant consideration.

I guess this all serves to demonstrate the "rural divide" as far as internet service.
Even when pointed out in black and white, some people simply can't comprehend that there are areas without good options.

Have you even talked to Maximum ISP ?. They even have equipment on some cell towers and have been around for a while. I am pretty sure they have a big coverage area's.

I am mentioning this because there are hundreds of wireless internet service providers that have been established to service people like the person you talk about and you probably wouldn't even know many of them were around you because they don't have Rogers/Bell/Xplornet's marketing budget's.

MaximumISP also is a wholesaler for the equipment they use so they probably have everything up to date.

If you have to pick one it really depends what you want. If the person just wants to check their email and load the occasional youtube video either will do.

I think Xplornet has packages with higher cap's.

Neither is properly suitable for online gaming,VOIP or anything else that is sensitive to high ping or jitter.

jumpingryan

join:2008-07-27
Pembroke, ON
reply to arisk

I am just replying to the original poster..... I am probally one of the few people on here who is enjoying both Xplorernet 4G Sat and Turbo Hub due to my location in Petawawa, Ontario.

I live about 1 to 2 KM outside the DSL zone, with no options available to me to set up a tower due to VERY tall, old trees (one in my yard is over 12 feet in circumference and well over 150 feet tall)

Either Bell or Rogers Turbo hubs have some advantages in my area. Bell has the best reception in my area, and we went with them. The speed is good, generally 3 to 5Mbits per second, and a good 700 k to 1 mBits upload. The latency is key for my wife, who works online using VPN. She gets around 30 ms. We also get the Bell "Speedboost"

The issue is bandwidth at 15 gigs a month, and $15 a gig after. Last month we used 40 Gigs, so you do the math, and it is costing us alot.

Rogers apparently has a maximum they will charge you for bandwidth, and I have thought about moving to them.... but change is slow with us right now.

One of the key tips we got was to consider getting a second sim card to cut costs. It is alot cheaper to subscribe to a second package, and swap sims after you hit your first 15 gigs of the month. I am pissed that we have to do that, as Bell seems to want you to have good net, but not afford to surf it....

This to me is one of Bell's racket's they have going on.....

---------

I am using Xplorernet 4G Sat Business Max right now to type this. I am more of a bandwidth person. You need a GST number to get a Business package with Xplorernet. My wife also uses this to upgrade her computer and for big downloads while not on VPN.

Xplorrnet has sort of improved over the last few months of me using it.... over a week ago we had bad weather, and we lost most connection (very low speeds). When I called, they told me they were having spot beam problems..... However it rained today, and things really went fast for surfing this evening.

I have done BitTorrent, and have gotten speeds up to 250K down and 150 K up, but I suspect they do shape traffic with regards to incoming connections somehow.

The speed is generally about 3.5 to 4 Mbits down and 700 K up. (I am on a 5 Mbits down/1Mbits up plan). Pings are at 700 ms, but surfing the web is fairly fast most times.

---------

Nobody can really say what the perfect solution is for you, but both are good options when you have none like me. If it wasn't for Xplorernet, I would have nothing...... and I think they are doing better with this 4G Sat than ANYBODY expected. Their customer service is friendly, and they seem responsive to any issues quickly. I know about their bad rep, but maybe their experience has taught them some stuff on how to do better.... along with significant investment in technology.

Bell just pisses me off mainly because they have no interest in bringing DSL to my house because they can make FAR more money sucking us dry with wireless. But they have the DSL side of things monopolized, and the cell tower side of things almost monopolized as well.

Anyways, good luck in your choice....

R


arisk

join:2001-08-08
London, ON

said by jumpingryan:

I am just replying to the original poster..... I am probally one of the few people on here who is enjoying both Xplorernet 4G Sat and Turbo Hub due to my location in Petawawa, Ontario.

Thanks for your refreshing post, just as I was losing faith.

The second SIM card is an interesting tip.
I doubt it would get to that point, but something to file away.

Have you ever attempted any remote access back home through the Xplornet link?

jumpingryan

join:2008-07-27
Pembroke, ON

said by arisk:

said by jumpingryan:

I am just replying to the original poster..... I am probally one of the few people on here who is enjoying both Xplorernet 4G Sat and Turbo Hub due to my location in Petawawa, Ontario.

Thanks for your refreshing post, just as I was losing faith.

The second SIM card is an interesting tip.
I doubt it would get to that point, but something to file away.

Have you ever attempted any remote access back home through the Xplornet link?

No I haven't yet, but I might be making an attempt within a week or so...... The package I am on (the top business package available) has a static IP FYI.

As a side off topic note on a current project: I used to run a HP EX 470 Windows Home Server Box to serve files, and I even rigged up a little for automatic BitTorrent. With the death of the WHS Drive extender technology (which I loved for it's ease of use), I am VERY slowly figuring out Ubuntu Server which I have managed to force onto the machine with some resistance with both hardware & software.

I will keep your post in mind when I give it a try later on... I will strive to report results soon.....

As I mentioned before, my wife finds the 4G Satellite unusable for VPN stuff.... but she uses a GUI Remote Desktop Connection over the net. Turbo/Rocket hubs handle this just as good/better than DSL in areas with quality cell coverage, and quality equipment on the towers.

With my new Ubuntu install on the old HP MediaSmart Server, I want to see if I can simply access files on the server remotely, and operate it remotely though the command line. I don't know what you are planning, but GUI Remote Connection stuff might not work well with Sat 4G.

Good luck in your choices...... the technologies are comparable in some respects for basic internet demands, but each companies' offerings are different things to different internet users.

Ryan

scorpido
Premium
join:2009-11-02
New Hamburg, ON
kudos:1

With out any details on location (did you rip off the bikers or something?lol pretty paranoid) I would also say check with maximumisp.com but since you know all the towers might as well go with Xplornet. Hope this helps. I am ending my part in this thread unless more information on location is provided.


arisk

join:2001-08-08
London, ON
reply to arisk

With the cooperation of an Xplornet customer, I've performed a remote access test via Logmein.

Results were quite acceptable.
Would I want to use it for a workstation or a "work from home" situation? No.
Was it nice? No.
It wasn't frustrating though. It was better than expected.
I maintained a stable connection during which time I was able to perform any of the tasks which would be required, without screaming in frustration.

For the purposes of remote assistance for occasional use it was very useable.

Two speed test sites gave DL speeds of 2.00 Mb/s and 1.97 Mb/s and latency of 479ms & 541ms

The pros/cons/limitations of each are now known and it's up to the end user to decide which way to go, based on all factors.



Semaphore
Premium
join:2003-11-18
101010
kudos:1
reply to arisk

said by arisk:

said by Guspaz:

You know exactly what providers have equipment on every single tall structure or tower within a several mile radius of your location,

I guess this all serves to demonstrate the "rural divide" as far as internet service.
Even when pointed out in black and white, some people simply can't comprehend that there are areas without good options.

There is ALWAYS a wireless option. It just that no one ever wants to pay _that_ much for it... But you ALWAYS have a wireless option. There's NEVER a place that you can't get 1.5Mbps Service to or even 100Mbps for that matter. But anyway your very... umm.. let's call it 'strong' assertion that you don't want diversions argues you right into your very own corner... you realize that right ? So no one is going to go out of the box and offer you something that maybe just maybe you didn't know about and could be far better than what you're absolutely positively sure is the only way you can go?

Cool


bravbro

@198.254.147.x
reply to arisk

I am in a similar situation:

Was on Bell Turbo Hub, but we average 24 GB a month for a family of 6. Which means we were chalking up huge amounts of data and huge bills.

Just made the switch to Xplornet. If I could avoid it, I would, but its the same price as Bell, slower speeds, but you get twice the bandwidth cap. That is the only benefit we get. Cannot get Netflix because it would eat up bandwidth...can't online game or download otherwise because of bandwidth and bursting...Skype is a problem as well...But it is the only choice (as far as I can tell)

We do not have access to DSL or Cable, and we are in Pickering, ON. I can literally see the Ajax town line, where they have Rogers cable, from my front porch, but we do not have service...I wish there was a way to petition Bell or Rogers to extend service...



XT0RT
S3x, Drugs, War

join:2001-07-28
Edmonton, AB
reply to Semaphore

Don't always assume that wireless (Canopy for example) is an option. If a residence cannot achieve line-of-sight with the tower, wireless will not work for spit. You try installing a wireless radio when a house is surrounded by trees that are taller than said house. 900 MHz just barely penetrates through the trees, so 2.4 and 5.2 GHz won't be an option. Best speed that I have achieved over Canopy is 2-3 Mbps.

As for the VSAT through Xplornet, we recently had that service installed at a camp site not far from Cold Lake, AB. It works, but the latency just tanks once a VPN connection has been established to the corporate network. Using LogMeIn is nearly impossible due to the latency.
--
Core i7 2720QM : GTX 460M : 16GB DDR3-1333 : 320GB x 2 in RAID 0 : Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
I have anonymous postings turned off.