Satellite Communications: not What They Used to be

By: Scott Jarvis

I had never given much thought to the likes of satellite internet until recently. For most of my professional life I have been tied to a desk as many of us are, that is until I was promoted to the executive level within my company. Though I knew there would be some travel involved with the position when I interviewed for it, it was revealed to me that I would be on the road eighty percent of the time.

I would be on trains and airplanes the majority of the time preparing for presentations and so I it was advised that I set up some type of commercial satellite so that my time traveling would be productive and well spent. I had two weeks to prepare for my first trip so I spent a number of hours both at home and in the office researching satellite communications.

When I first began my search for a decent satellite internet provider I recalled all of the horror stories I had been told by subscribers of such technology. From complaints of slow connections, to horrible lag and ping rates, these reverberated in my mind as I looked over several of the newer providers. I was surprised at what I found however. Many of the organizations I had looked into provided sections within their websites that showcased just how much the technology had matured and improved over time. Thankfully, this laid many of my fears I had to rest.

No longer was connectivity an issue and gone where the disquieting ping rates. It was connection speeds however that had shown the most growth. Though speeds varied from provider to provider, the majority of transfer rates I saw had been nearly as fast as a home based cable connections and in a few cases just as fast and reliable. Of course websites more often than not throw a pair of rose tinted glasses on their readers so I knew the only way to be sure was to try a couple of providers out at a time. With the go ahead from my superiors at work I proceeded to test the three providers that piqued my interest.

I ran my laptop from my car, home, office, and even a coffee shop. I put my connections to the test by performing such tasks as surfing the net casually, downloading movies and music, and uploading a website or two through an FTP. After almost a week and half of putting these providers through the mill I settled on one. The one provider I settled on outclassed the other two in terms of upload capabilities. In all other areas the three providers where nearly equal but upload speeds where the deciding factor simply because I was going to be doing a lot of communicating with the office servers.

Having been on the road making use of my satellite internet connection, I can tell you that things have gone smoothly. Every single worry and myth about satellite communications I held in the back of my mind has been negated by an outstanding and dependable service provider. If mobile technology continues on the path it's currently on I have no doubts that eventually all internet connections will be wireless.

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