Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Amazon’s HQ2s, Dubai police and over bikes, Stan Lee’s and Douglas Rain’s passings, and more.
Gary in Sartell, Minnesota listens on AM 1450 KNSI and asked: “I’m looking for broadband service. Mine has been cut off at the moment and so I’m left with satellite service. I don’t want to go there. I know it’s not a good choice. Between ViaSat and HughesNet – or maybe someone else you guys can think of – I’ve had hotspots from Verizon, but I don’t get a good signal.“
Gary, satellite service has improved a great deal recently. We’ve had good experiences with HugesNet’s new technology.
It’s still satellite, and there’s still more latency that you’d get with Earth-based services, since there’s that whole “going into space and coming back” issue, but the speeds have improved dramatically. Just a few years ago we were getting 1mbps in our satellite service, but in recent years that has gone to full speeds comparable to what you would expect from any broadband source.
The noticeable difference is the lag before the download, but the download itself is reasonable.
One thing you may want to look out for are data caps, those tend to be much more common and much lower than anything you’d get with regular broadband.
And the prices tend to be based on how much data you use. HughesNet’s plans, for instance are all the same speed – 25mbps – but what you pay depends on how much data you think you’ll use. Their plans start at $50 a month for 10GB of data, and go all the way up to $130 a month for 50 GB of data. If you use more, they will throttle you down to between 1 and 3mbps until the next billing cycle.
If Verizon can’t get good service around you, it may be worth checking out other cell phone companies too, in case anyone does happen to have a tower nearby that can reach you better. If that’s the case, you should be able to find a hotspot-only device from that company that doesn’t require you to switch your phone service if you don’t want to.
Unfortunately, as you’re probably well aware of by now, internet service is dependent on the infrastructure being there to support it, so everyone’s choices are limited and if you already lost one of your possible options, you’re probably down to the last few available.
If you can’t get it through cable or DSL, and your cell phone service is not strong enough, satellite is not the bad service you were once stuck with, but your new best friend, if it didn’t exist, you’d be offline. You may be pleasantly surprised by the speeds you get, just don’t compare them to what you used to get with a land-based service.
When you participate on the show – anytime 24/7 – and we HEAR you with any consumer tech question, comment, help for another listener, tech rage or just share your favorite App these days … you could win prizes.
Nuvelon: Flare Lantern Bluetooth Speaker
Razer: Huntsman Elite Mechanical gaming keyboard and Mamba wireless gaming mouse
Monoprice: MP Select Mini 3D Printer
Ninety7: JOT portable battery base for Google Home Mini and VAUX portable speaker dock for Amazon Echo Dot
AtmosFX: Gourdy plush toys and download codes for their digital decorations for the holidays
All CALLERS — using the AUDIO option on our Free App or 1-800-899-INTO(4686) – automatically qualify to win prizes.
Audio archived for at least 6 months