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Windows wireless/satellite ISPs
Authored by: mattriley on Apr 02, '02 06:03:04PM

I currently share a DirecPC satellite connection using a lower-end PC to my company's Intranet and it works pretty well. However, there are some differences in our setup.

First off, we use WinRoutePro running under Win2K for the sharing part. WinRoutePro offers great security and many advanced options (port forwarding and the like). Second, our service is through Earthlink (they call it DirecWAY now, but it is really the same as DirecPC, just with different logos).

The latency of a satellite system like this sucks. Web pages don't feel like they load very fast. Online gaming is simply not worth it. And the upload speeds just plain suck.

Also, I'd like to point this out on a separate line for all to read, EARTHLINK'S SUPPORT FOR OUR SATELLITE CONNECTION IS QUITE SIMPLY HORRIBLE. There, got that out of the way. ;-)

That said, the setup works okay for most things. I can usually get good download speeds once I initiate a download (usually around 75 k/sec, but often faster if the time of the day is right). But there are some network tweaks that I am doing to the clients on the network to help things out (adjusting mtu and tcp receive windows). Using the built-in proxy software included in the satellite modem software is an absolute must for any sort of reliable connection.

Would I recommend this setup to anyone? No. But if you are out in the sticks like the company I work for is, then it may be your only choice for semi-broadband speed. We used to have ISDN, but the prices kept going up without any performance increase so we switched to our only alternative... Well, I guess we could have opted to install that T1 line, but justifying a few grand for installation, let alone the monthly charges, is tough to do. ;-)

Feel free to email me if you want to know more about my setup or whatever.

-Matt



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