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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.
Standard User windrushvalley
(newbie) Wed 20-Jan-16 13:45:23
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: kingbiscit] [link to this post]
 
I have just started looking again at bonding. I thought it would be too expensive but have just discovered Sharedband. So I am interested in your experience.

Why did you find it disappointing? On paper it looks like a great solution and certainly cheaper than satellite although in my case much slower.
Standard User craski
(regular) Wed 20-Jan-16 13:53:10
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: windrushvalley] [link to this post]
 
General advise is that you'll need line of sight and clearance in the radio fresnel zones. From what I understand, the lower frequency products are better at dealing with obstructions in that 5Ghz doesn't go through many trees, 2.4Ghz will go through 1 or 2 (at a reduced quality) and 900 Mhz can deal with quite a bit more but that isn't available for use in the UK I don't think.

Could you potentially get a signal to somebody on the "rim" of the dip and then from there bounce it to your place? i.e. a Middle point requiring only power and line of sight to host and your place. It complicates things but still only one or two people you need on side as opposed to tens or hundreds to get a wireless ISP involved.

My philosophy was that I could wait until 2020 and then be offered nothing better than a satellite voucher. If BDUK does stretch into my area, it is highly likely I'll be on the fringe of that anyway so putting in my own link has given me access to 80/20 fibre connection now and in future, it is likely to be better than any roll out will be for my circumstances.

Zen Unlimited Fibre Office BQM
Standard User craski
(regular) Wed 20-Jan-16 13:54:46
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: windrushvalley] [link to this post]
 
Look at AAISP too, If I recall there pricing model was different in that you paid for the hardware to do the bonding your end but they didn't charge you a specific bonding fee per month.

Zen Unlimited Fibre Office BQM
Standard User kingbiscit
(member) Thu 21-Jan-16 08:41:43
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: windrushvalley] [link to this post]
 
Sharedband does work and if it's just browsing, streaming etc it's fine. I needed Xbox live and PS4 to work and even though sharedband say it's compatible I had nothing but issues with it.

I also think it depends on your home setup. Mine is for a family of 4 and by increasing the overall speed the quality of the steam would increase which is great for one user but not so great if others are trying to also use that connection. Instead by having two single connections i found overall the experience was better for everyone.
Standard User knighton
(regular) Thu 21-Jan-16 12:27:17
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: windrushvalley] [link to this post]
 
I have Satellite from Avonliine. I have had the XXL package for 2.5 years. Its £75 a month for an alleged 20Mbps down and 6Mbps up. Initially sold as 'unlimited' but moved to a 50Gb cap about 2 years ago.

Overnight downloads are unlimited and to be honest, this is the only time you will get the advertised speeds.

Daytime use is slow and uploads pretty awful.

Poor weather takes it offline pretty easily.

My last daytime TBB test wouldn't even start.

If you can schedule work to be up/downloaded overnight then it may suffice but for anything time dependent its awful.

I can Skype my daughter in the USA but we have to remember the 1-2 second delay.
Standard User windrushvalley
(newbie) Thu 21-Jan-16 12:51:59
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: windrushvalley] [link to this post]
 
I am really grateful for everyone's comments - all have been really valuable.

On the basis of these and other research, I have now decided to order a second ADSL2 line and consider Sharedband once this is up and running. Your comments regarding satellite broadband have warned me off taking this route.

By installing a Draytek Vigor 130 I have also managed to make a small improvement in my line speed - today it is running at around 2Mbps (according to Speedtest.net). I suspect a Sharedband bonded line giving me around 4Mbps with a low latency would give me a far better result that I could expect to receive over satellite.

Again, many thanks for your contributions.
Standard User B31
(member) Thu 21-Jan-16 18:51:06
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: craski] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by craski:
My philosophy was that I could wait until 2020 and then be offered nothing better than a satellite voucher. If BDUK does stretch into my area, it is highly likely I'll be on the fringe of that anyway so putting in my own link has given me access to 80/20 fibre connection now and in future, it is likely to be better than any roll out will be for my circumstances.


You can get basic broadband vouchers now, even if you are not in a BDUK area.

Looks like there is one company on the list that offers 4G solutions, including outdoor aerials. But the rest is just satellite

http://gosuperfastchecker.culture.gov.uk/basicbroadb...

http://gosuperfastchecker.culture.gov.uk/basicbroadb...



BT ADSL customer getting 1.7 Mbps (0.6 Mbps up) on a new road / new build development
CAB not FTTC enabled, not part of the 66% commercial plan. Not rural - no BDUK funding
(Virgin Media nearby)
Standard User Growltiger
(regular) Thu 21-Jan-16 23:58:33
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: windrushvalley] [link to this post]
 
I think your choice is sensible. I am also in the Cotswolds 7 km from an exchange and get just 0.8Mb. I installed satellite as well as keeping the ADSL.

I have the same technology Tooway satellite service Avonline offer, but from another seller, Bentley Walker. 20 down, 6 up. If the equipment is accurately aligned (I did it myself) it works OK all the time, but as described above the speed in the day is slow (1-8Mb) and in the evening slower (1-4Mb). But if you use it for downloads at night you get a wonderful service, so you can use Free Download Manager to schedule all downloads to start at 1am, and you can set a Sky box to start downloading catchup TV after 11pm to get the unlimited allowance. So if you can work at night you would be OK.

I'm lucky in that I'm on the Fastershire list for the Gigaclear contract, so if all goes well this summer I get fibre to my house, with a minimum of 50Mb up and down (£40/month). I have opted for 100 up and down, and can upgrade later to 200 up and down or 1Gb up and down. These speeds are not "up to" they are actual speeds (apart from the 1Gb which apparently runs at only 940Mb. So check you are not going to be covered by Gigaclear. The list of 6500 properties is on a spreadsheet you can download here, and it also shows the maps:
http://www.fastershire.com/where-when/phase-two-the-...
These are all digitally deprived properties.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 22-Jan-16 10:13:09
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: Growltiger] [link to this post]
 
One proviso the speeds are still up to, hence why Virgin Media that also sells fixed connection speed services uses the up to, i.e. broadband is a shared medium at some point for point to point fibre this will not be in the local area but where the fibres are aggregated and then further back in the network.

So while your connection speed is nailed to what you bought, you cannot guarantee that sites will always be at that speed all the time. Hence why Gigaclear charge more for business connections with lower contention or better throughput guarantees

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Growltiger
(regular) Fri 22-Jan-16 11:19:01
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Re: Satellite versus twin ADSL2 lines


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
True. Gigaclear give domestic users 25:1 contention and business users 10:1 contention.
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