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Old 06-06-2013, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Niota, TN
851 posts, read 2,241,233 times
Reputation: 472

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Hello everyone. Hope you all are doing good.
I am sick of HughesNet for internet service at almost $80 a month. I was wondering if anyone had AOL that lived in a rural area. And how well does it work? I have a desktop and a wireless laptop that would need to hook to the inernet. We don't have fiberobtic phone lines in our area. Or any other ideas are greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Chattanooga, TN
2,891 posts, read 4,307,952 times
Reputation: 4637
[I posted this in response to someone else asking a slightly different question in another forum, which is why it's so long, but it's germane.]

I've lived in rural and urban areas and used a variety of connections. In general, in terms of speed and reliability, any direct wired option is better than any wireless option - except for dial-up. Price always depends on competition. Larger towns will have more options so it'll be cheaper. Satellite is the most expensive because they're selling to people with no other broadband option.

- Direct fiber is the best, but you said that's out.
- Cable is next, and is an option in more areas that fiber, but still not available if you're completely rural. If you can get cable TV, most providers also sell cable internet. If you are close to a cable network you may have the option to pay to install an extension to your house, but this could get very expensive.
- DSL is usually (not always) slower than cable and is the slowest wired option other than dial-up, but is still leaps and bounds better than any wireless option. It's availability is randomly based on the old telephone network and how close you are to a hub. It may be available at a house way out in the sticks but not available downtown. You can check availability HERE (click the link near the top of the page). Any provider can tell you if you can get it, but you don't have to buy through that provider.

- Cellular wireless is the best option if you can't get a wire, but obviously only if you're near a cell tower. You will have variable speeds and strict download limits. My parents barely have a cell signal, but they were able to install an antenna on the roof of their house wired to a signal booster inside. This cost them a few hundred dollars in equipment, but it boosted their cell coverage so well they got rid of their old land line. Their internet connection is with a Verizon MiFi. To determine best cell coverage:
RootMetrics - Good maps. Some carriers use these maps instead of making their own.
CellReception - Can be used to locate specific towers. Useful if you install a booster antenna.

- Satellite is your last-ditch option. It's the slowest so-called "broadband", and it's also the most expensive because they sell to people who have no other options. I've never met anyone who was happy with theirs. About the only positive is that it will usually be slightly faster than dial-up. Here is a site that lists several satellite options if you just want to get away from Hughesnet, but based on the scores they're obviously being paid by the providers. I can't picture any legit company giving Hughesnet a 10.0 rating for "Help and Support". But anyway, it does provide you with other satellite options along with contact information.

- Dial-up is your last-last-ditch option, but I might move before resorting to dial-up. My parents had dial-up before going wireless several years back, and I sometimes had to use their connection to check my work accounts when visiting there on vacation. It was a nightmare.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:45 AM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,576 posts, read 49,562,588 times
Reputation: 13508
I didn't even realize that AOL still did dial-up. I checked and they do but it is a tiny fraction of there business now since there is probably five people that use dial-up now. Hyperbole to be sure but not that many people use dial-up any longer.

If you have a laptop and have to use a router it is going to be even slooooower because there is going to be some loss. Good God, that would be bad.

How about tethering to your phone? Or getting connected from your cellphone provider? What I mean is using something like this:

http://shop.sprint.com/mysprint/shop...Id=dt_mbc&ptn=

I've used one like this traveling from Tenn. to Florida and the only time it was a bit slower was in Ocala. Of course I was on the highway. There were no limits but some carriers do have them.

And by the way jw, she's already using a satellite provider and she doesn't like it.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:33 PM
 
6,046 posts, read 9,695,102 times
Reputation: 5420
I have peoplePC for dial-up mainly because I am a cheapskate. That's all they do so they have software that speeds things up - but only to a point. So it is great for e-mail, city data and a lot of forums/blogs. Not great at all for u-tube and data heavy sites.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:27 PM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,576 posts, read 49,562,588 times
Reputation: 13508
Quote:
Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
I have peoplePC for dial-up mainly because I am a cheapskate. That's all they do so they have software that speeds things up - but only to a point. So it is great for e-mail, city data and a lot of forums/blogs. Not great at all for u-tube and data heavy sites.
It doesn't speed it up. It just uses cached pages so that it seems like it is faster when you surf sites that you use a lot. Smoke and mirrors, really.
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Florida
861 posts, read 1,296,074 times
Reputation: 1421
I didn't even know AOL was still around.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:37 PM
 
947 posts, read 2,916,011 times
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AOL still offers dial-up services, not sure if they still offer high-speed Internet now.

Recently, I have came across several reviews on Amazon where some used some kind of inexpensive WIFI/cell phone boosters so they could use McDonald's WIFI at home. I thought I have saved the webpage, but for some reason I can't find them now. I will go back and try to find the site.

There is a kind of new service offering free/inexpensive Internet. They use Sprint towers. FreedomPop I am considering to get it though it says there is no coverage in my area, but since I have a Republic Wireless phone, I am able to get on Sprint just fine.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:13 PM
 
701 posts, read 1,859,751 times
Reputation: 375
I didn't know people still used AOL anywhere.
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