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Choosing a Satellite Internet Provider
By Joseph Cranston

 When you live in the sticks, far from the chaos that makes up metropolitan life, there's really only one choice when it comes to internet: satellite broadband. The reasons are plentiful. For one, satellite reaches where cable and DSL do not. Satellite internet can also go where you go, if you choose to get a mobile setup. Secondly, satellite broadband is definitively faster than any dial-up service could ever be. It gives you access to the internet as it was meant to be used; dial-up, is notoriously slow, and many of today's modern applications simply do not work with it. Thirdly, satellite internet, of the two-way variety, does not monopolize the phone line. In fact, with satellite internet, you are always on, always connected.

Most importantly, satellite internet is available at competitive pricing and it may even be cheaper than both cable and DSL, depending on what type of package you choose to get. So, once you do decide to get hooked up with satellite internet, the question becomes, how do you pick the right provider? The ramifications of choosing the best internet provider for you and your family are quite serious. Pick a doozy and you may regret it. Here are some things you should consider before agreeing to any service.

First, shop around. Compare plans. Specifically look at speed, reliability, download capacity, and customer service.

Speed: Speed is all important. Make sure that if you plan on using the internet for downloading, for playing games, for working or even for all three of the above, that the provider actually provides the speeds they guarantee; sometimes the phrase 'up to..' will become all too pronounced.

Reliability: Your internet service needs to be reliable, especially if you need it to get your work done. Next to speed, reliability is essential; if you plan on watching streaming news videos, for instance, an unstable connection could render most programming unwatchable.

Download Capacity: Although many satellite internet providers offer unlimited bandwidth, this isn't always written in the contract. Some providers do impose limits, capping the amount you can download. Even those that offer unlimited usage do have Fair Use policies and if they find you in breech, they can cut off your limit. So, do be conscious of how much bandwidth you really will need and find a service that can and will in fact meet that need.

Customer Service: This is important because, inevitably, you will need to contact the company. If the customer service reps on the line cannot offer you the help you need, you may be caught in limbo. It's no good if they give you the wrong info, after you've been sitting on the line for minutes or even hours.

Before you sign any papers read customer reviews and ratings.

Other things you should consider: activation fees, contracts, equipment deals and availability. Some deals are limited to certain regions and are only offered for a limited amount of time. Be aware of their terms of service and remember, always do your homework.

Are you ready to experience the Internet the way it was meant to be? Don't let dial-up get you down. HughesNet can connect you at speeds up to 50 times faster. There are lots of great Hughes internet packages currently available.

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