I make my living online. I think that’s fairly safe to say. Whether it’s exchanging ideas via email or download and uploading massive files to clients and partners, I rely heavily on my ability to use the Internet. And for the last couple of months, I’ve been living with fairly substandard access. There have been times my access would burst up to around 30 to 40KBytes/sec. But most of the time it has been around 2KBytes/sec or less.
So, for you not-so-technical folks, what does this mean? Since a decent resolution photo can be larger than 1MByte in size, my “high-speed” satellite would download such a file in approximately 8.5 minutes. Pretty impressive, huh? 😉 Let’s put this in a little perspective. A 56Kbit/sec dialup modem can download the same file in 2.5 minutes. Hmm… dial up faster than high-speed??? You see why I’ve been out of touch lately. Now, when you consider that I routinely download 1GByte per day or more. I’ve had to rely heavily on Starbucks and on McDonalds for my access. I have found the T-Mobile access at Starbucks to average around 130KBytes/sec whereas McDonalds tends to hover around 55KBytes/sec. Bear in mind there is a distinction between KBytes and Kbits. By way of explanation to those who aren’t savvy on the differences, there are 8 bits to a byte. So that’s why the dial-up modem is faster than the old Satellite connection here.
Where are things now? I am averaging more than 200KBytes/sec or 1.6Mbits/sec. That means that same 1MByte photo that previously took over 8 minutes to download now takes merely 5 seconds to download. That, my friends, is high-speed.
I love the fact that I can get back to my regular routine finally. Sure, it’s not as fast as the cable connection I previously had, which was approximately 375KBytes/sec. But it’s plenty fast enough and I’m very happy with it. And to be honest, I never thought I could get this sort of performance off a Satellite connection.
And now for my commercial announcement. I highly recommend anyone looking for a high-speed solution for a difficult area that you take a look at Wildblue. Their fastest service is under $80 per month and the setup fees were more than reasonable. Basically, the equipment charges were $199 and the installation was free.
If you compare this to DSL or to Hughesnet, this is quite nice. Hughesnet charges $799 for their equipment and their monthly service is approximately $180/month for the equivalent service.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know that I feel as if I’m finally back 🙂