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Old 04-30-2009, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Montana
193 posts, read 407,851 times
Reputation: 86

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Just wondering if anyone does any kind of remote work with DSL?

Is it fast enough?

Dependable?

Thanks!



.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,602,054 times
Reputation: 2954
My tenant's workplace (a Fortune 500 company, or bigger, I forget) has been shifting people to working at home over DSL, because it's a lot cheaper than maintaining a big office, and they rely on these workers to keep the income flowing. So yeah, it can be pretty reliable, or they wouldn't be doing it.

Speed depends on where you are and how much you want to pay (or which part of the anatomy the local broadband company has you by, if there's no competition).

It doesn't have to be DSL per se either. Cable modem is generally quite a bit faster tho performance depends on how many people share your line, and how many of 'em are into filesharing or online gaming, two of the biggest bandwidth hogs. Conversely DSL is not shared so what you buy is what you get.

Of course you have to be in range of a phone station (whatever they call 'em, I forget) -- the max is about 45000 feet for a single line, or about double that if you have a "dry" (unused) line in addition to your main line, but it can get slow at the max distance. And line of sight means nothing -- you could have 40,000 feet of useless wire in a loop between you and the station, and my experience is that the phone company is not willing to locate and fix such issues, unless the line goes out altogether.

I'm on fixed wireless myself (no other option) and it's about like DSL speed-wise. Max distance is about 15 miles from the base station, and it is strictly line of sight. It's generally reliable, tho can go out during storms (it's not supposed to, but I've found that it does). It's a bit more reliable than satellite and is a lot cheaper. If you go for fixed wireless, you want an ISP that uses Motorola radios; other brands have reliability issues. (My ISP is a one-man band and loves to talk about his work, so I've heard way more about the business than most folks.

One thing to take note of is what UPLINK speed you get. The fact is that downloading costs nothing, but uploading costs by the byte, so ISPs try to restrict uploading by making it a lot slower than your download speed. This can potentially affect business use, depending on what you're doing. Again, if you're willing to pay for more speed, you can usually get it.

Also, some just flat double the price if they find out it's for business, without giving you a thing more for your money, which IMO is gouging.

Any computer with a network card will do; it doesn't have to be anything special for DSL so long as it will do the other work you need it to do. The one I'm typing on right now is 11 years old, if that tells you anything, and I think it's normal to have half a dozen big apps running at once. (Actually, the oldest parts of this machine date to 1994.)

Motorola radios and some DSL/Cable modems include a router which acts as a strong firewall, but if yours doesn't, DO invest in a router for your own security, and in either case, make sure you also install and run a good firewall utility. Comodo's free firewall has consistently had the best security ratings, tho it takes more-than-average dinking with it to get it set up. I don't recommend the all-in-one suites that don't let you install just one part -- too many ways for complex software to go wrong or have security holes.

You can also turn an old computer into a firewall/router using free software, such as the Dubbele firewall (which seems to be very good, is based on extremely secure software, and will run on any old piece of junk).

Hope this helps
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Montana
193 posts, read 407,851 times
Reputation: 86
WoW!! Thanks Reziac , I will read that a couple times and try to get it all through my head.

We are a bit closer to the move to MT. and My wife works for a major company from home. She is a data analyst and uses a VPN to connect to the company where she mostly work with programs such as Oracle and Excel, MS works etc. We hope to live out of town so we were exploring what options are available and fast enough.

Thanks for the info. If I got you right we may have a few options.

.
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:54 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,912,703 times
Reputation: 3429
Why Rez, you are a techno neighbor!
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,602,054 times
Reputation: 2954
I was going to ask if your brain had exploded yet, but forgot

DSL will probably not be available if you are more than 3 or 4 miles from a major chunk of town, tho there are starting to be phone stations out in some rural neighbourhoods -- this is so highly individual that one house might get DSL and the one across the street or next door can't (and that can be true IN town, too). So unless a given house already has DSL service, don't count on it being available, even if the phone company SAYS it is. It's not a sure thing until the day it arrives and is actually put into use. And rarely, it errs the other way (they say it's not available, but it works anyway, if you can get 'em to try it).

A fairly good clue is that if dialup modems are limited to 26k, DSL will usually not work, because the phone company hardware inbetween doesn't support it. (I'm lookin' at you, Verizon...)

Cable modem is generally available anywhere cable TV is, tho don't take that as 100%.

And as noted, fixed wireless is line of sight. I know there's a fixed wireless company that serves the Bozeman area at tolerably reasonable rates, I forget the name but search brings it up readily enough. (There is no excuse for $65/month, like some charge for it. I pay $35 for 1.5Mbit, and that's plenty.)

VPN and work with large databases will likely need at least 1.5Mbit which is basic DSL speed, tho a lot of the podunk companies call that primo and gouge accordingly.

Anyway, as you can tell it is all highly individualized depending on EXACTLY where you live. If all else fails you can nearly always get satellite.

Oh! Almost forgot -- If you're in an area served by Sprint, they have highspeed wireless access as part of the cellphone package at no extra charge (you can also get it thru Verizon and some other cellphone companies, but only for an extra charge). We use a SprintPhone for internet access at our computer club, and it works fine. Seems to be about midrange DSL speed, around 3Mbit. This may be a good option if you already have a cellphone package -- could be cheaper and possibly faster/more reliable than traditional routes, and certainly a more flexible range.

I don't have a cellphone at all so I tend to forget about any related options but when/if I ever get moved back to MT, I may find it the only real internet option, so I'd best train myself to remember
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,602,054 times
Reputation: 2954
Quote:
Originally Posted by seven of nine View Post
Why Rez, you are a techno neighbor!
Well, it was my 1000th post here so I figured it was a good time to maximize the useless information
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,543 posts, read 12,602,054 times
Reputation: 2954
I should also mention that if you're willing to pay to have a radio all to yourself, fixed wireless can go up to 5.7Mbit, which is about comparable to cable modem. (Fixed wireless is shared bandwidth, but unlike cable modem, most of the time you can't tell you don't have it all to yourself.)
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Montana
193 posts, read 407,851 times
Reputation: 86
Reziac, great info!!

We Thank you!

.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Montana
193 posts, read 407,851 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
I should also mention that if you're willing to pay to have a radio all to yourself, fixed wireless can go up to 5.7Mbit, which is about comparable to cable modem. (Fixed wireless is shared bandwidth, but unlike cable modem, most of the time you can't tell you don't have it all to yourself.)
Thats interesting....

Give me a ball park figure?? Can you get that about anywhere??

.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:20 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,912,703 times
Reputation: 3429
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Well, it was my 1000th post here so I figured it was a good time to maximize the useless information
Congratulations!
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