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Standard User windrushvalley
(newbie) Wed 20-Jan-16 11:34:10
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Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


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Can anyone offer any advice please?

I live in a rural part of Gloucestershire about 7 km from my local exchange. There is no mobile receptiion and my ADSL2 line runs at around 1.3Mbps (which is probably quite good cosidering the distance). However it doesn't meet my needs and I have been considering satellite whilst retaining my ADSL2 line with a load balancing router.

My main usage is web application development (high FTP usage plus interactive web app testing), general browsing, email, 'catchup TV' downloading, internet radio and occasional use of 'Team Viewer'. Streaming short videos (e.g. YouTube) would be nice to have as these are impossible at the moment. My wife is also self employed and uses the web for research and to run her business on cloud-based applications. I also notice that Windows 10, Office 365 and Nortion Internet Security updates take quite a toll - we run 4 PCs. Jointly, we currently use around 40GB per month and our usage is growing.

My two options seem to be:

1. One ADSL2 line plus a satellite (probably using Avanti Hylas Ka band)
2. Twin load balanced ADSL2 lines.

I am also considering a bonded ADSL solution but I suspect the cost will be too high.

There are a lot of claims made about satellite and a lot of dissatisfied customers - but they tend to talk the loudest. I have to admit that the level of advice available from the satellite providers is poor to say the least; which is worrying in a pre-sales environment.

I would be really interested to hear from anyone with practical experience of using the Ka band satellites who can give a dispassionate appraisal of their exerience. I would also like to hear from anyone who has experience of using low speed load balanced ADSL2 lines.

In fact any advice would be welcome!
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 20-Jan-16 12:07:30
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: windrushvalley] [link to this post]
 
Latency of satellite is a killer for many interactive things, so expect for example if on remote desktop the mouse movements will be very slow i.e. imagine moving mouse and pointer only moving 1 second later. For text based stuff this is less of a problem if you know what you are typing of course.

Have you doubled checked that there is no sniff of 3G or 4G on any of the mobile networks, if you don't have a 4G device it is worth double checking and if for example an upstairs window gets some signal adding a 4G antenna and router will usually give even better results.

Sat plus an ADSL line, will let you do some video over the satellite and other downloads that need to happen 'faster', and the ADSL should deliver the interactivity you need for web development. Which works best for cloud based activity will depend on the way the software developers worked - many are optimised for low latency connections.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User craski
(regular) Wed 20-Jan-16 12:27:57
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: windrushvalley] [link to this post]
 
I ran two load balanced ADSL connections for a while.
Each was running at ~2.5Mb and while it worked quite well in removing the pain, I still found things like PC updates, iOS device updates and streaming TV difficult (but not impossible). For the two line rentals, two sets of broadband, it was expensive at around £60/month for what was still essentially quite a slow connection. I did look at bonding them but that would have added another ~£25/month.

Satellite was a non starter for me, far too expensive and limited data allowances and whilst I have no direct experience of it, I have friends and neighbours who use it and service levels and opinions vary drastically. My preference to satellite was to use the 2x ADSL lines.

I attempted to convince a wireless ISP to expand into our area but they either wanted astronomical setup costs to get it up and running or a lot of users to sign up. I canvassed the local area and while there is demand, many dont care (yet) what speed they get as long as email and web browsing works.

What I have done is find a source/host close to a BDUK FTTC cabinet who was willing to let me install a second line and mount a small ubiquiti 5Ghz wifi dish to beam that 5km to my house. Are there any areas within say a 10km radius with decent internet access that you could set up something similar?

Zen Unlimited Fibre Office BQM

Edited by craski (Wed 20-Jan-16 12:30:14)


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Standard User windrushvalley
(newbie) Wed 20-Jan-16 12:46:39
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Many thanks MrSaffron,

I live in a dip in a hilly area so there is no 3G, not even a basic mobile signal. I have to drive a couple of miles to pick up a weak signal on my O2 phone although there is a very intermittent Vodafone signal about 500 metres up the hill.

Thank you for your comments regarding satellite. This confirms what I thought.
Standard User windrushvalley
(newbie) Wed 20-Jan-16 12:56:50
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: craski] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for your post craski,

It sounds as if you have very similar issues to me!

I don't know when you last looked at satellite but it has become faster and cheaper than a couple of years ago but it is still relatively expensive and there is nothing to be done about the latency issue. So your comments are valid.

I live in a dip in a hilly part of the Cotswolds. Like you there is local interest in better broadband but insufficient people are prepared to pay the costs needed to interest wireless ISPs.

I really like your ubiquiti solution but fear it may not work for me as I live 7 km away from the exchange and (more important) 200 metres higher. Anyone close enough to the exchange to get a reasonable signal will be too low down the hill for me to get a signal from. - I can't even get a reliable terrestrial TV signal! Also my local exchange isn't scheduled for fibre at the moment. However, I plan to follow this up so many thanks.
Standard User craski
(regular) Wed 20-Jan-16 13:10:59
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: windrushvalley] [link to this post]
 
I am lucky that BDUK has upgraded my local exchange so was able to identify a suitable host near to an FTTC cabinet with line of sight to me.

Have you checked Code Lookup for any hints if your exchange will be upgraded to fibre in future?

You can identify potential host properties in your local area with decent access speeds by understanding the layout of the local exchanges and cabinets and using the BT Wholesale DSL checker in address mode to suss out speeds available in an area or by using Mr Saffrons broadband speed maps. If you can identify a potential host, you can use Google Earth or Ubiquiti's airLink tool ( https://airlink.ubnt.com/#/ ) to plot out cross sectional profiles between two locations to see if its a viable path for wifi radios. The tools dont account for trees etc but are a good starting point.

Zen Unlimited Fibre Office BQM
Standard User kingbiscit
(member) Wed 20-Jan-16 13:12:43
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: windrushvalley] [link to this post]
 
I used to only get a 2.5mbit ADSL line. I used http://sharedband.com for a while to bond two ADSL lines into a single connection.

It did work and I got close to 5mbit from it, but some things like XBOX live didn't work well on it. Its also very expensive you have £20 cost for that as well as two phone lines and two ADSL connections.

I also used a cheap load balancer and split the traffic, this worked well and in all honesty even though I couldn't combine the lines together into a single connection it tended to work better this way, more than one person could do stuff at the same time.

I was originally with ZEN ADSL but found swopping to SKY got my a much better stable connection. They seem to have kit in place on LLU lines to get the most out of a long line. In the end the SKY connection was so good compared to my ZEN connections I actually went down to a single line while I waited for FTTC.
Standard User craski
(regular) Wed 20-Jan-16 13:16:44
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: kingbiscit] [link to this post]
 
I'm interested to hear more about the performance differences you saw going from Zen (presumably via BT Wholesale) to Sky LLU. I still have one backup ADSL line through BT and my local exchange has Sky LLU so might be interested in switching to sky to keep the cost of that backup option down.

Zen Unlimited Fibre Office BQM

Edited by craski (Wed 20-Jan-16 13:16:58)

Standard User kingbiscit
(member) Wed 20-Jan-16 13:19:58
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: craski] [link to this post]
 
It was actually ZEN who told me to try SKY LLU. ZEN couldn't get me a stable connection and I was told the equipment SKY have at the exchange is far superior to what BT Wholesale offer.

On ZEN I had 2-2.5mbit it would constantly go down whenever the phone rung, I had lots of engineer visits but nothing could be done to sort it.

Swtiching to SKY it rarely went down and synced at just over 3mbit, but a speedtest would get me just under 3mbit with almost a 1mbit upload.

Edited by kingbiscit (Wed 20-Jan-16 13:21:25)

Standard User windrushvalley
(newbie) Wed 20-Jan-16 13:40:30
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: craski] [link to this post]
 
Yes you are right, I have just checked 'Code Lookup' and find that the exchange has just been upgraded to fibre but my line is not scheduled for upgrade - probably because I live too far from the exchange. I previously checked on 'Fastershire' and they reported that my area was 'under review' but unlikely to get upgraded for at least 2 years - if ever!

Does Ubiquiit AirLink need line of sight because I am 200 metres up from the exchange site and then within a wooded 20 metre dip? Radio wave generally pass straight overhead even when beamed from a distance!! Hence no mobile reception and very poor terrestrial radio & TV reception.
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