I relocated to another state a few months ago, and I needed internet service. Most broadband services weren’t available in my area, so my only options were dial up, wireless, and satellite internet. I wasn’t sure if dial up would even load the websites I frequented, so I had to eliminate that from my consideration template.
My choices were wireless and satellite internet. I have no laptop, so I only needed an internet provider that would suffice my desktop needs. I had used HughesNet satellite internet before at my employer’s office in 2006 and was turned off by its unreliability. Therefore, my initial decision was to give wireless internet a try (although I strongly dislike Verizon Wireless).
I was forced to ditch Verizon Wireless Internet after about two weeks because the service didn’t work in my area. About six weeks later, I resigned to HughesNet satellite internet as my only option, and have been satisfied with the results. I didn’t have wireless internet for long, but it was a taxing and aggravating experience.
My objective is to give folks some comparisons between the two services and things to consider before you commit to a provider.
Preliminary Stages (Setup)
I was a bit dissatisfied with the preliminary stages that both internet service providers offered, but I was more understanding of HughesNet because the installer was upfront with me right away. The sales representatives had informed me of the costs and procedures of having internet installed at my residence, but they neglected to inform me of the potential need of a pole. I ended up paying an extra $100 that I hadn’t budgeted when making the transaction, but I believe the service worked better than what I had experienced at my employer’s office when his satellite was grounded without a pole.
Setting up Verizon Wireless internet was a nightmare. The in-store representatives and on-call help specialists had assured me that I was within distance of wireless internet availability. I spent about one to two weeks trying to replace antennas and configuring my desktop computer to retrieve a wireless signal. Unless the machine was setup outside, I could only retrieve a connection occasionally at night, and it was a very weak one.
Eventually, I gave up. I apparently had too much metal surrounding my shelter that interfered with a wireless signal getting through to my computer. Unless I had the window opened and had the antenna sticking out, I basically had no chance of getting a satisfactory connection. They don’t install it, and the specialists don’t appear to be trained well enough to help you through the process of making it functional.
Price & Bandwidth
Wireless internet was about $20 cheaper than the mid-range option from my satellite provider, but you only get about half the bandwidth that satellite permits. HughesNet offered me about nine gigabytes per month whereas wireless offered five. My satellite internet provider also offered much cheaper options for restoring your bandwidth if you went over by offering you tokens (including giving customers one free monthly token).The wireless internet provider would just slam you with mind-boggling overcharges.
HughesNet had a major advantage in convenience because they offered five hours of unlimited bandwidth every night. This made it possible to perform large downloads for your computer and video-gaming system from your computer. Wireless internet didn’t, so you’d have to bum someone else’s computer for critical Windows Updates.
If you own a laptop, then wireless is a much more intriguing option than satellite because you can relocate your computer to an area that receives a connection. For desktop users, that isn’t the case. The only way I could sustain an internet connection was late nights (which was very weak) or by setting my computer on the porch (which was still pretty weak).
Wireless Internet vs. Satellite Internet Verdict
I’d lean desktop internet users toward satellite internet over wireless internet. The mobility that wireless internet gives customers is voided when you’re using a desktop computer (unless you carry your machine everywhere you go). Satellite offers more as you’d be getting nearly twice the bandwidth and five hours of unlimited bandwidth for just $20 more per month. They also have a cheaper option that would suffice those who use the internet solely for browsing and social networking with very limited video usage.
Verizon Wireless customer service wasn’t very helpful. They informed me that it would work in my area on numerous occasions over the phone and in-store. Don’t be surprised if you’re making numerous trips to the Verizon Wireless store thinking that it’s your antenna or computer that’s preventing an established connection.
You’ll be making a commitment to both services for at least a year, if not two. DSL and especially cable are much better options, but satellite is good enough to get you by. Make sure to see if cable or DSL will be available in your area soon before you subject yourself to a $500 termination fee from one of the other providers.
You may have different experiences with different providers, especially without Verizon Wireless being involved on the wireless side.