satellite internet

Will Starlink Be a Good Internet Company?

Starlink

Episode 1773

DW from Morrison, CO

DW has preordered Starlink satellite internet and is waiting for his turn to get installed. Leo says it won't be cheap, at $500 for the gear and $99 a month for internet access, but Leo says that it's supporting SpaceX, and that's a good thing. Eventually, as more people come online, it'll probably go down in price. It's going to have to. But nobody really knows how fast it will be. 

What is a Good Option For Broadband in a Rural Area?

Starlink

Episode 1752

Stacy from Greenville, MI

Stacy lives in rural Michigan and she has really slow internet. Leo says that broadband companies don't want to install high-speed internet into rural areas because there aren't enough customers to justify the cost. Will satellite be a good alternative? Leo says that thanks to Elon Musk's Starlink network it will be. But it's $99 a month and costs $600 in equipment. And the more satellites they put up, the faster it will get. They've only put up 10% of the satellites they want to so far.

Another option is LTE and 5G if she's close to a tower. 

What's the best option for internet in a rural area?

Exede

Episode 1596

John from San Bernardino, CA

John is moving to a rural area of Pennsylvania, and the only internet available is via satellite. What are his options? Leo recommends first visiting BroadbandReports.com and see if there are any wireless ISPs there. If so, that's certainly going to be a better option than Satellite. But if you have to have a satellite, then the best option is Exede by Wild Blue. It's not cheap and you certainly won't be streaming with it.

Why is satellite access on cruise ships so slow?

Cruise Ship

Episode 1514

Don from San Pedro, CA

Ron is going on a cruise soon and he wants to know if the Wi-Fi on the ship will be usable. Leo says it's always slow because satellite connections are slow, with a lot of latency, and on top of that, he'll be sharing bandwidth with 4,000 people. The best he can do is get up in the middle of the night and use it. The worst part is, it's also very expensive. But when he's in port, he'll have access to mobile data.

How do I stay connected while on a cruise?

Cruise Ship

Episode 1503

Ellie from Honolulu, HI

Ellie is cruising the Hawaiian Islands. What should she do for internet access? Should she buy the cruise ship internet? Leo says don't ever do that! It's satellite internet and it's only a few MB up and down, and everyone on the ship has to share it. She'd have to get up in the middle of the night to get decent speed. It's also obscenely overpriced. Since Ellie is cruising around the Islands, she may be able to rely on local cellular service if she's near shore. She'll have data, but won't be charged a roaming fee. AT&T says that she will, though. Leo says that's nonsense.

How can I keep in touch on a cruise?

Cruise Ship

Episode 1469

Penny from California

Penny is going on a cruise to Alaska soon and needs to keep in daily contact with her business. Will she have issues? Leo says it depends on which cruise line she's going on. Royal Caribbean has decent internet, but most of them don't. It'll be really slow because it's by satellite, and it will also be expensive. With over 1,000 people wanting to stay in touch, it'll slow to a crawl unless she logs on in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep.

What are my options for rural internet access?

Network cable

Episode 1428

Lucas from Santa Barbara, CA

Lucas does a lot of video streaming and gaming, but he's moving to a rural area and will have to find new high speed internet. What can he do? Leo says that rural internet access is a real issue here and Leo doesn't believe the FCC cares enough to make it happen. Satellite isn't the answer because it's got terrible latency and bandwidth caps. That being said, the best satellite provider is WildBlue's Exede. It's that or dialup.

How can I get Wi-Fi while on a cruise?

Royal Caribbean

Episode 1388

Don from Brielle, NJ

Don is going on a cruise and he wants to use Wi-Fi. Is SkyRoam good? Leo says no, not for a cruise. The best and cheapest way is from the cruise line itself. It's not cheap or fast, though. Royal Caribbean has super fast internet called VOOM, but it's still expensive. He'll have to get up really early in the morning to have decent speeds.

Unless he's in a port, he should just pretend that he's disconnected from the world. Then when he's in port, he can then use an internet cafe or get a prepaid MiFi card to handle cellular.