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james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA

Are there lots of happy Gen4 customers?

While visiting family in the central US, I noted that my mother's ISP was only delivering around 1 Mbps. "How much are you paying for this?" I asked. "$60 / month. It's supposed to be high speed Internet."

So I went outside for a site survey and discovered a WISP antenna aimed directly through two trees which are just going to get larger.

Of course I am going to suggest that she contact her WISP company and determine if there is anyway of properly installing the WISP system, but I don't think there is. (It would require an extended cable run on a pole, and the cable would need to be in a conduit as gophers were chewing on the cables on her old Direcway / Hughes system.)

Of course I have suggested a modern satellite system might be a better option. Both Gen4 and Exede-12 can be installed rather easily with a roof mount. (The landscaper left a clear view of the Southern sky. )

As someone who has used both Gen4 and Exede-12, I might suggest Gen4 over Exede-12 for various reasons. However, I have two concerns. As any regular reader is tired of reading, my Gen4 didn't work very at all (and I was not an isolated case).

So I am really wondering if there are lots of satisfied Gen4 customers besides the happy families in HughesNet's advertising who just do not share their positive experience with Gen4?

The data caps would not be a problem at all, as my mother mostly sends email and does general web browsing. (I wouldn't mind there being a data cap on her email.)

I would just suggest that she try Gen4, except that Exede-12 is $10 / month cheaper.

As to why I still might suggest Gen4, well, after "fixing" her speakers, printer, and making that enigmatic "Replace Battery" light go away on the UPS that I gave her, I labeled all of the cables. I was then asked "What is the difference between the `computer' and the `Internet'?" Hughes probably does have the best scripted flowchart of all ISPs, and I am sure that my mother would enjoy talking to them on the phone.

But I really would like to hear some positive reports on Gen4. I already know that Gen4 speeds can drop during prime time. As long as it is even 4-5 Mbps, that would be fine.


gwalk
Premium
join:2005-07-27
West Mich.
I know you have read many of my posts along the way but in answer to your question .....

My Gen4 (Power Pro (Beam 13)) system routinely meets plan max speeds of 10 Mbps.

So much depends on a getting a good installation, including proper grounding of the entire system followed by understanding how to use the modems SCC, Disable/Enable Web Acceleration and MBX Reset functions.

So many of the Hughes Business practices are deplorable .. example: Billing.

Hughesnet is just a crapshoot ... installation, beam loading and the need to be self-supporting.

kgloffice

join:2004-08-24
reply to james1979
I've had Gen4 for over a year. Service has been dependable and 10Mbps as contracted. Only downside to the service is the data limits which are split between "anytime" and "bonus bytes". Bonus bytes are available between the hours of 2-8 a.m. local time. So if your mom is a night owl or early riser...she might be able to use both allowances. Tech support and customer service have been great to excellent. I recently had a high data usage I could not explain and after checking things out (we never did figure out exactly what was happening....I have disconnected everything but this PC from the network to monitor things)...I was provided a 5 GB token to get me through the month. I have not experienced speed drops, but I am in a rural area and I suspect the number of users is relatively small.

laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas
reply to james1979
I have been happy with HN since 8-10 yrs ago (Direcway) so upgraded a few times in fact. Last summer I upped to Gen4 HT1100 modem $60/mo and have been running virtually perfectly since. Have had only a few minor slowdowns or outages.

I never really considered Wildblue/Exede as I wanted to keep our HN email addresses, and besides my sister had lotsa problems with WB so...

Try as I might, I have been unable to use all of the bandwidth in my plan, which is 10/10GB, and I'm a geek with literally dozens (maybe 3 dozen) internet-enabled gizmos including PCs, iPhones/iPads, GPS nav devices (needing map downloads) and other esoteric stuff. Another benefit I've noticed, which btw is twice what my 3G service does, is the 10MBps speeds are always there. I no longer get-up in the middle of the night to do downloads, I can do Windows downloads or iTunes stuff in the early morning hours (as now) and these all get downloaded in a few minutes, where before sometimes the entire FAP-free period wasn't enough to get the stuff I needed.

I could not be happier, especially as the upgrade was free i.e. I get all this good stuff for no more $ than I was paying before (and yes, the pre-Gen4 service was NOT GOOD which is why I got 3G for a while, which is now relegated to backup service and used very rarely).

Now having said all that, if a faster service eg 4G or some such were available in my area I'd do it. There is still some latency to the Gen4 satellite though honestly it does not reach the level of a "problem" for me though I'm not a gamer, nor do I watch anything other than YouTubes on my stuff (which btw I could not do pre-Gen4).
--
Gen4 Power Plan Jupiter HT1100 v3.0.2.15 Signal Strength Typical 125+


james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA
reply to james1979
Thanks for the responses.

Exede-12 was having problems connecting to Yahoo (specifically Yahoo Mail) on and off for several months. That would cause me quite a headache of phone calls, and anyway the extra $10 month is her money, not mine. The reliability of Gen4 would probably be worth it to both of us.

My concern is that there was a previous installation of Direcway at their house, and an old pair of coax cables is still hanging out of the wall. I would want a new coax cable installed. It's easy enough to make the potential installer use new coax cable by using wire cutters. (That all needs to be removed anyway. Even the dish and pole are still there. I didn't bring my Sawzall with me however.)

Her old Direcway system went out frequently as in during every storm. As I have mentioned on this forum, my former neighbors who moved back to Florida took their Gen4 modem with them even though DSL and cable were available. They have reported no problems with Gen4 in what I recall reading being the state with the most lightning strikes in the nation. (But then it doesn't seem to rain in Oklahoma these days.)

laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas
said by james1979:

My concern is that there was a previous installation of Direcway at their house, and an old pair of coax cables is still hanging out of the wall. I would want a new coax cable installed.

If you have reason to suspect the cables then by all means have them replaced, but my old DW cabling works with Gen4 no problem.
--
Gen4 Power Plan Jupiter HT1100 v3.0.2.15 Signal Strength Typical 125+

OldSatUser

join:2012-05-10
Fresno, OH
Installers can also test the cables to make sure they meet the specs required by Gen4. If the existing cable meets the specs, there is no need to replace them. That would just be wasteful.


james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA
said by OldSatUser:

Installers can also test the cables to make sure they meet the specs required by Gen4. If the existing cable meets the specs, there is no need to replace them. That would just be wasteful.

Installers can also not really care about the cables being up to Gen4 specs, particularly if there is heavy rain during the installation. The indoor cable on my previous Gen4 system was never tested by the installer or even during a site inspection. I posted the labeling on the indoor coax cable used on my former Gen4 system on this forum. Greg looked it up and said that it did not meet Gen4 specs. My former HT1000 did indicate the cable was "OK", but I am obviously unsure about the accuracy of that.

I also know that the $150 extra extended cable run on my Exede-12 was either not up to specs, or else ViaSat made a poor business decision by using an exposed steel ground wire. (It's so rusted after less than two years that it would break if I thumped it with my finger. But then that might violate my warranty.)

Thanks to you and laserfan for your responses about the cable. I will not cut the cables just yet. Assuming that there is a satellite installation, I might be around to insure that whatever system is installed and working properly.

Even though I ultimately dropped Gen4, I do imagine that they have the best tier 1 tech support of any ISP in the world. By that I mean, power cycling modems and routers, rebooting Windows, etc. The type of complaints about HughesNet's technical support on Internet forums are just the type of support that some people need.

Back to the current WISP system that is installed - it is the Arbuckle Communications Silver Plan. It is advertised as 5 Mbps download. The current download speeds fluctuate between [1.25-3.5] Mbps. It is quite noticeably slower than my Exede-12 system (while the latency is of course much, much lower). My current advice is to contact the WISP company and explain that the antenna needs to be moved if possible. If moving the antenna on the other side of the trees is not possible, Arbuckle Communications will be told that their service will be dropped, and that 2014-modern high speed Internet will be installed. (It would be interesting to study a Gen4 system working properly...)


Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT
reply to james1979
said by james1979:

While visiting family in the central US, I noted that my mother's ISP was only delivering around 1 Mbps. "How much are you paying for this?" I asked. "$60 / month. It's supposed to be high speed Internet."

So I went outside for a site survey and discovered a WISP antenna aimed directly through two trees which are just going to get larger.

Of course I am going to suggest that she contact her WISP company and determine if there is anyway of properly installing the WISP system, but I don't think there is. (It would require an extended cable run on a pole, and the cable would need to be in a conduit as gophers were chewing on the cables on her old Direcway / Hughes system.)

It all depends on what she's using the Internet for. Satellite is still a dead-last solution for most people. Heck, 3G/4G is still better than satellite.

Also, ask them what frequency the WISP-provider's equipment uses. 900MHz is more forgivable when going through trees than 2.4/5/etc gear. Also, either way, the dish will probably be on a poll in the ground and will have to lay conduit anyway.

If she's using Netflix or any streaming service, don't go through satellite.
--
Bresnan 30M/5M | CenturyLink 5M/896K
MyWS[Core i7-870@2.93G,16G RAM,GTX780,3x1TB WD Blacks,Win7]
MyLaptop[Asus G53SX,32GB RAM,2x2TB HDD,Win7]
WifeWS[C2D@2.4G,4G RAM,250G HDD,Win7]
Router[PE1750,4G RAM,3x36G HDD,2xIntel Pro/1000+GT Quad Port,Gentoo]


james1979
Premium
join:2012-10-09
Quinault, WA
said by Simba7:

Satellite is still a dead-last solution for most people. Heck, 3G/4G is still better than satellite.

Also, ask them what frequency the WISP-provider's equipment uses. 900MHz is more forgivable when going through trees than 2.4/5/etc gear.

Modern high speed Internet isn't so bad for many applications. Some are reporting using Gen4 or Exede as a primary system while using 3G as a backup system. I stopped playing interactive Internet games a while ago, so ignorance is bliss, and the latency doesn't bother me. The problem of not being able to compress and "accelerate" SSL is what I find most bothersome about modern satellite Internet.

I did see your post before the WISP technicians came out, but I forgot to ask about what frequencies they were using. I don't know what the problem was, but it turned out not to be the trees. They installed a new antenna and used "some new equipment" (presumably on the tower or elsewhere), and the speed was greatly improved. Now using ArbuckleCom's speed test, the WISP is getting 6-7 Mbps (as advertised) with only 2ms of latency. I couldn't get more than 3.8 Mbps using testmy.net, but the speeds were consistently at or above 3 Mbps. A manual ping to Google resulted in ping responses of 30-35 ms. Before prime time, I was just able to stream 720p HD on Netflix, confirming that I still trust testmy.net.


c0rr0sive88

@97.73.83.x
They probably installed a different ODU that uses a lower frequency and repointed it to a tower that uses that frequency. Used to work at a WISP here, they used 900Mhz, 2.4Ghz, and had some equipment for 1800Mhz?? Didn't think a WISP could use 1800Mhz. Never did install anything, but any time we had trees in the way, we would have to use an entirely different ODU and have it pointed at an entirely different tower here.

The fun part comes when people want an installer and you can't visibly see the tower because of the distance, but mapping software shows that at a certain elevation you have a clear line of sight, so you do the install at that elevation off the ground... What it doesn't take into account is the tree growth on the hill between you and the tower.

It's also HIGHLY possible that they are bouncing her off another persons ODU instead of the tower it self now... I know our ODU's here can bounce off of each other if needed, but we have to be very careful as it can bottle neck, badly, one of the installers kept "daisy-chaining" users, as in, he would bounce one person off another, and at one point, we had 40 customers all bouncing off a single person to get a signal. Took us a year to figure out why so many had issues, or why they even had installs take place as only 3 of them had a clear shot.