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Open Roads Forum  >  Technology Corner

 > Change from HughesNet to Verizon Broadband?

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tinstaafl

The Highways of America

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Posted: 02/13/08 08:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've been full-timing since 2000 and have used DirecWay/HughesNet since 2003 with a desktop setup in our 36' motorhome. We have no real complaints but satellite would not be my first choice if there were any viable alternatives. I think that Verizon Wireless Broadband with EVDO Rev-1 technology may be that better, faster, more convenient technology.

I like that satellite works out in the western BLM lands 100 miles from nowhere (with solar+inverter) but that's not where we spend much of our time. Looking at Verizon's coverage map it's clear that there are holes in the system, but we could live with the "no coverage" areas. I'm more interested in the real world experience of those of you who have tried Verizon's Wireless Broadband.

Specifically, how does the experienced coverage match up with Verizon's representations (both as to connectivity and speed)? What has been your overall experience?

Thanks for all of your input.

Phil
http://www.stringbean.com


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Eycom

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Posted: 02/13/08 08:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Traveling the east coast, I've been happy with Verizon's air card. So far, I've only had problems in out-of-the-way campgrounds in the mountains of northwestern NC and some areas in WV. But I had no cell service in those areas as well. Usually, driving in closer to town solved both problems. I've also been pleasantly surprised by broadband service when I didn't expect any in the area.

I'd say their National Access speed is about twice that of dial-up and the broadband approaches DSL speed.


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hwybnb

Southern California

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Posted: 02/13/08 09:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been using both HughesNet and a Verizon Air Card for several months. Here is my put:

HughesNet can't be matched for coverage, which is everywhere. The downsides are the initial cost, especially for the automatic systems like DataStorm, and the time and effort required to set the less expensive tripod systems. Data rates are fairly consistant for me, averaging 600 Kbps to 800 Kbps download.

Verizon has not lived up to the hype for me, even with an external Wilson antenna. EVDO coverage has been spotty when I get away from the major population centers and speeds have been disappointing. I sometimes see peak data rates around 1 Mbps but that is for short bursts. Sustained download speed as measured by online measurement services has averaged about 600 Kbps but is not as consistent as HughesNet. It often drops to around 250 Kbps with EVDO and to 50 kbps with National Access.

In summary I like Verizon for the ease of setup and operation but am not yet ready to give up the satellite link. If I were depending on having Internet access for business I would definitely choose Hughes over Verizon.

strollin

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Posted: 02/13/08 09:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The EVDO Rev-1 technology is the older technology, Verizon has been rolling out EVDO REV-A which is faster. If you buy a current Verizon air card it will support REV-A.

I've had my air card for only a few months and have only used it within Calif. but I have been very pleased with it. I've seen DL speeds with the air card that are faster than what I used to get with my Hughes (DirecWay) that I had at my stick house a few years back.

Don't know if this is of value to you or not but one advantage to the air card is that you could have an internet connection while in-motion. There's also no setup required with the aircard.

tinstaafl

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Posted: 02/13/08 09:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I misstated when I said EVDO Rev-1 It was the Rev-A I was referring to.

Phil

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Posted: 02/13/08 09:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Interestingly, I use both, at one place I frequent a lot, they have Hughes - I am using it now, but my own set up is Verizon. I find the Hughes often much slower than the Verizon, which is consistently faster in most locations. I may be lucky that I only go online in good places, but even many miles from any cities, I can get a good signal, with my external antenna, that gets me online, and fast enough for me not to complain.

Often the Hughes net service cannot match that, so I prefer the verizon - which is somewhat cheaper in all ways, than the very expensive satellite system.

lwmuddy

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Posted: 02/14/08 03:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Never mind. Miss read your post.

Big Katuna

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Posted: 02/14/08 09:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So why Verizon and not ATT? ATT is GSM, which has a much larger market share among providers and is the standard world-wide which is pushing equipment costs lower. 3G is as fast as DSL and ATT is spenind millions and millions expanding Cingulars network. I tether a Blackjack and can also acces the net right on the phone. $99 phone.


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RVJimofOregon

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Posted: 02/14/08 09:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been testing Verizon air card this winter in AZ and so far it works very good. The only place that it had problems was Pipe Organ NP, but cell coverage was not available.
When I get home next month I will drop my DSL and go with the air card at home. The only down side is that I can only use one computer at a time and when the kids come up they will have to load the software on their computer.
RV Jim


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strollin

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Posted: 02/14/08 09:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RVJimofOregon wrote:

I have been testing Verizon air card this winter in AZ and so far it works very good. The only place that it had problems was Pipe Organ NP, but cell coverage was not available.
When I get home next month I will drop my DSL and go with the air card at home. The only down side is that I can only use one computer at a time and when the kids come up they will have to load the software on their computer.
RV Jim


There are several ways to share the air card with other computers. If you network the computers together you can use Internet Connection Sharing that is built-in to Windows to share the connection. Another solution is a router such as the Cradlepoint CTR-350. The air card plugs into the router and the connection can be shared via wifi to other computers.

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