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Satellite Internet for Gaming? 131

SphericalCrusher asks: "I have been using Comcast high-speed internet for the last three years. Before that, I used Bellsouth DSL and then random dial-up services — but I have to say that overall, I love Comcast the best. Now that my parents are moving, to a new house some 12 miles away, and having no money for my own place, I'll have to move with them . The thing is, the road that it is on is pretty far off the highway, and after calling all broadband providers in the area, I've found out that broadband is not available at my new location. Charter Cable Communications covers the entire area of Summerville, Georgia except mine and neither Bellsouth or Alltel offer DSL. Now, I'm forced to either go back to dial-up or try out a satellite broadband service, which is what I want to do. Has anyone here had any success in gaming online with satellite internet?"
"After purchasing the modem and cords off of eBay for DirecWay (now HughesNet), I'm ready to get satellite internet (we had everything else we needed at the new house). However, has anyone here used satellite and actually enjoyed it? I play a good bit of online games, such as World of WarCraft, Quake IV, and F.E.A.R. and I know gaming online with those will not be the same (the satellite is 25,000+ miles from Earth) because of latency issues. Will the high latency seriously affect the overall download and upload speeds?"
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Satellite Internet for Gaming?

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  • by blackcoot ( 124938 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @12:00AM (#16123052)
    so probably not suitable for gaming.
    • by zcat_NZ ( 267672 )
      That depends.

      For online Chess it'd be just fine!!
      • by n9hmg ( 548792 )
        That was precisely what I was going to use as an example, though any turn-taking game should be fine. Realtime and latent are contradictory concepts. Every network has some latency. On most, even dialup, the latency is small compared to human perception.
        When your latency in an interactive activity becomes large enough that an enemy can kill you and strip your corpse before your session shows his presence, it's not a lot of fun. Conversely, if you host the game, nobody will want to play with you.
        On the
    • Perhaps he should try ISDN? I was looking into it before Broadband came to my area, but Braodband showed up so that was it for that idea. -Fred
      • Check around some more and find out if anybody offers IDSL, and also do check whether your phone company really supports ISDN in a useful fashion. IDSL uses the same electrical transmission as ISDN, but connects it to a full-time DSLAM connection instead of a telephone switch, so you get the same distances as ISDN and the same ~144kbps rate, but with flat-rate connection. It might not be available; it's less popular because the speed's lower, and it's often more expensive than consumer DSL, but it may be
  • Considering how much the next gen consoles cost, I'm not getting private satellite for multiplayer. Besides, the ping rate probably sucks during a solar storm.
  • by SaDan ( 81097 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @12:03AM (#16123067) Homepage
    Will the high latency seriously affect the overall download and upload speeds?

    Speed isn't going to kill gameplay as much as latency will. Who cares if you're able to burst 2Mbit/second when it takes you half a second to register commands you send through the game realtime. Frag city, my friend. []
    • Half a second of lag is EXTREMELY low for what I'm familiar with in satellite internettery. Memory more lends to numbers like 7500 ms for most commerical satellite links. You'd be just as well off with IP over Carrier Pigeon [] for gaming.
      • by SaDan ( 81097 )
        Half a second is 500ms, which would get you completely kicked off of most FPS game servers, and probably wouldn't work well with games like WoW and Everquest. I was being very generous in my example, the URL I provided indicated that latency is up to one second.

        It's completely unsuitable for any type of realtime interactive game.
        • by Guspaz ( 556486 )
          Consider that the absolute minimum latency that satellite COULD provide is quite high. Let's do some math:

          Geosynchronous satellites reside at roughly 35,786 kilometers altitude. Multiply by two for the round trip, or 71,572 KM. The speed of light is 299,792 kilometers per second. Therefore, it would take light itself (in a vacuum) 239 milliseconds JUST to travel the distance. And of course, satellites don't use light for communication, and the signal isn't going through a vacuum, so the actual numbers are m
          • by Guspaz ( 556486 )
            I should note that not all PCI internal modems are WinModems. You can buy them still, such as this one from US Robotics:

   sku=USR5610B []

            which sells for about $80 US. It features a "gaming" mode which supposedly reduces latency (probably uses shorter buffers or something). If you could find one, I guess there'd be no reason not to stick it in your gaming PC itself (unless you're using a laptop). (Proper) external hardware modems from US Robotics sell for about $
          • by timster ( 32400 )
            satellites don't use light for communication

            I'm going to go with "yes they do" on this one.
            • by Guspaz ( 556486 )
              And I'm going to go with "microwaves are not considered a type of light". You can't call the entire electromagnetic spectrum "light".
    • I supported Satellite for a few years and heard nothing but complaints about it from gamers. For surfing, its fine most of the time, but gaming - no way. Its picky, especially when it snows, wind, etc. Kind of like some of those anti-satellite commercials you see every once in awhile.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Poster is correct... it will suck, and suck badly.
      Better solution is to find a neighbor who CAN get cable, you pay for it, and set up a wireless bridge with a couple of 21dB directional antennas. With good line of sight, you can get a mile with no problem and about $200 in hardware. Even further if you pay more for better antennas.
      • Good advice if you have a neighbor friendly enough. Be wary of the legal issues, tho. Some cable companies might consider this "re-distributing" the service and it might be against their TOS.

        It's not very likely that they'll even detect it, but better safe than sorry.

        A couple of years ago, you could get a decent spread spectrum ethernet bridge very cheap (full set for less than $500). I guess prices should be better today.
        • by Ucklak ( 755284 )
          I would do it anyway until they provide the last mile.

          Technically, the remote user would be the customer and is willing to pay for the services.
          It's the cable company that isn't willing to provide services.
  • As far as I know, you need a dialup modem for your upstream so that won't help.
    • not anymore, you should look into hughes net and blue(whateverthefuckitis) again, as they now have two way sat communications, but lag is still a major issue.
      • I wouldn't worry about the lag as much as the usual fair usage problems. Generaly, with ever satalite internet service i have seen, they have a hidden clause saying you only get to use so much bandwidth at high speeds and if you go over that it slows you way the hell down.

        Here is a fair use/access policy from wildblue []. As you can see, it has some limits that could cause them to yank the service. I'm not sure if constant gaming with do it or not but I first found out about it several years ago when someone w
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Redfrost ( 202676 )
      As far as I know, you need a dialup modem for your upstream so that won't help.

      Perhaps for more Civilian/off-the-shelf solutions, but for big-ish commercial grade stuff you can receive and transmit through the dish. I work for a Canadian oilfield service company that has just gotten a whack of dishes on most of our Fracturing datavans that support both transmit and receive. Its pretty cool, actually, being way out in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no cell phone service and still having high speed i
    • by SEWilco ( 27983 )
      He might be better off with a service which uses dialup for upstream data.
      In games which send little data but you have to receive a lot more data, sending data up through dialup would get it into the game faster, while the larger bursts from the game might arrive faster through the satellite. It depends upon how much data has to be downloaded in each update and how often an update takes place.
      There would still be more lag than with a faster uplink, but an issue is how much better than a simple dialup can
    • HughesNet (formerly DirecPC) and WildBlue both offer two-way, self-hosted (their satellite modem just has a standard ethernet jack to connect to) systems. In my experience with it, latency is high (around dialup levels or sometimes a little bit slower even), but bandwidth can vary from so-so (on an unknown HughesNet contract) to pretty good but below advertised (for the WildBlue system that was supposed to be 1.5 mbits down)
  • by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <megazzt&gmail,com> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @12:08AM (#16123084) Homepage
    *cough* []
  • Ground Control is now offering the new HN7000 and HN7700 professional grade HughesNet satellite Internet systems that blow the lid off of high-speed performance vs. price when compared to consumer grade service. The "Business 400" service will give you more than T1 speeds down (Up to 2048 Kbps) and upload speeds up to 1024 Kbps. Satellite Internet service is more affordable than ever.
    ^^^ From website.

    it looks like it would be usefull to know what pan your getting, or atleast your budget.
    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )
      But gaming is low throughput .. it depends more on latency .. and guess what happens when you send a signal up, bounce it off something in space, and send it back down. You guessed it. Shitty gaming.

      I had satillite for a brief while. It almost doesn't matter how far along the technology gets, the physical limitations of the technology make it completely unsuitable for gaming.
  • well, i dont haver sat net myself, but i have expirenced it, and for the price i dont think its worth it, but that aside, uploads and downloads should be comparable to DSL to some extent as the packages being sent back and forth contain alot of information, so once the flow starts, it generaly goes pretty fast, however latence will be an issue with gameing, as with gameing its not just how much information you can send to the servers, but how fast you can get and receve it, and this is where lag time comes
    • by exi1ed0ne ( 647852 ) <> on Sunday September 17, 2006 @12:47PM (#16125067) Homepage
      I've got satellite, since I live out in the sticks. No ISDN, no Cable. Heck, it took the phone company three weeks to figure out how to activate my phone service. Latency is an issue, but the pipe is T1-ish or better once it gets going.

      Actual pings via my WildBlue connection (pro package):
      64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=50 time=1040.5 ms
      64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=50 time=591.3 ms
      64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=50 time=698.5 ms
      64 bytes from icmp_seq=3 ttl=50 time=606.3 ms
      64 bytes from icmp_seq=4 ttl=50 time=709.0 ms
      --- ping statistics ---
      5 packets transmitted, 5 packets received, 0% packet loss
      round-trip min/avg/max = 591.3/729.1/1040.5 ms

      Verdict: gaming sucks, way better than dialup, way way better than nothing.
      • Verdict: gaming sucks, way better than dialup, way way better than nothing.

        Actually, as a dialup gamer, I feel a need to respond to this.

        If you need the throughput (for downloading, browsing, etc), yes satellite is the way to go.

        But here's my results for pinging Google on dialup:

        Reply from bytes=32 time=190ms TTL=243
        Reply from bytes=32 time=170ms TTL=243
        Reply from bytes=32 time=170ms TTL=243
        Reply from bytes=32 time=170ms TTL=243

        Ping statistics
      • Before I had cable (5+ years ago) I had two modems in what is called a Shotgun [] configuration. I've never had satellite so I can't make a fair comparison. I'm sure you will get better speed with satellite but the latency may be less with a modem Shotgun. Just a thought.

        BTW, is anyone still doing this?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've used satelite for gaming for years and it's great. I get checkmate every time!
  • Nope. (Score:3, Informative)

    by antdude ( 79039 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @12:24AM (#16123143) Homepage Journal
    From what I read, satellite Internet services haven't improved in terms of latency. WISP should be decent if you can get that.
  • Cost (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jpmkm ( 160526 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @12:27AM (#16123150) Homepage
    You could probably pay a couple months' rent on an apartment with the setup and equipment costs for satellite internet. It's not cheap. And it's no good for most types of online gaming.
    • You could probably pay a couple months' rent on an apartment with the setup and equipment costs for satellite internet.

      The current deal with HNS is $400 for installation and equipment. If you pay $200/mo rent for an apartment in the US, I really don't want to visit that area.

      They offer a plan to ammortize the setup and equipment over 16 months, and the interest rate is 0%, so it's $25/mo equipment costs.

      For games, I would go with dial-up, my understanding is that game packets are very small and don't take
      • In rural Northeast Iowa (where I am from) you can rent a very nice 4 bedroom house for $150 a month. Rent isn't expensive everywhere. Since he only has dial-up and sat availible to him, chances are he is in a similar area.
        • by schon ( 31600 )

          If you pay $200/mo rent for an apartment in the US, I really don't want to visit that area.

          In rural Northeast Iowa (where I am from) you can rent a very nice 4 bedroom house for $150

          Two things to point out:

          First, he specifically said apartments, not houses - I sincerely doubt that you'll find any apartment buildings on $150.00/month Iowa farmland.

          Second, if you're living in a rented house on Iowa farmland, I doubt you'll be able to get DSL (which, in case you missed it, is the entire point of this discussi

          • by supasam ( 658359 )
            Yeah, man, I would never pick to live in an actual house on an actual farm over a nice, cramped, sketchy apartment in a bad part of town! That would be stoopid!

            And OF COURSE there's no way that there are any rural parts of the country that get decent dsl. That dude should count his blessings and just live off his parents teets, happily shut away in his room playing computer games for the rest of his life sticking it out with, i don't know, a cell phone modem.

            He'll be just fine.
  • You can play online games, but you won't be satisfied with the performance. Typically, you can manage a latency of 200 on Counterstrike, which was the last online game I used with satellite. Check out a wireless internet provider. It can offer a better ping, and can easily be stretched 12 miles from broadband. Good luck, and if nothing else, look at this as an opportunity to branch out into some new online activities. BTW, the new equipment wont change your PING, just the up and download speed and the s
    • Nuts.

      We were never able to get less than 500ms ping times on Directway. A lot of times, the pings were running 750ms & up. You're transmitting to a satellite 23,000 miles up in geosync orbit. That's 46,000 miles round trip. Double that for the return bounce. 500ms is the best it's gonna get due to simple physics. Just can't beat lightspeed yet.

      And yeah, I'm VERY familiar with sat rigs. In my part of Arizona, they just put fiber optics thru town 4 months ago & started offering DSL at an outr

  • by Jack Pallance ( 998237 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @12:35AM (#16123177) Homepage Journal
    Let me see if I under stand the issue: 1. Living in parents' basement 2. Focus most of your time playing computer games 3. Biggest problem is getting faster Internet connection I don't know. Have you asked your girlfriend yet? Oh wait, I'm really sorry...
  • I have your same problem, I live in Rural North Florida, far away from any /real/ broadband. I've tried Satellite Internet, and I have to say that while it is effective for browsing the Internet, it makes games pretty much unplayable. With Satellite, anything you do it going to have about a 2 second response time. You press fire, you fire two seconds later. You cast a heal, the heal happens two seconds later. Not fun times. On dial up, MMORPGs normally do okay, but downloading patches can be a pain- also
  • In short, NO! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Daniel Wood ( 531906 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @01:03AM (#16123288) Homepage Journal
    Long version:
    Speed of Light = 299792.458 kilometers / second
    Geostationary satellites are at an altitude of ~35786 kilometers.

    This means that just for the radio wave to travel to and from the satellite, you are adding around 238 milliseconds. That is just one way, the return trip is another 238ms MINIMUM.

    This doesn't account for signal conversions, modulation, demodulation(the preceeding are mostly negligable), latency from the ground station to the host, etc. You would be lucky to EVER see under 580ms ping using satellite.

    Even the providers do not recommend gaming.
    Link: x []

    My terminology may be a little different than others are used to, that is because I am a Satellite Network Controller in the Army and use the military terms.
  • by Cecil ( 37810 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @01:16AM (#16123312) Homepage
    It depends on the game. World of Warcraft or a RTS/Strategy game might be tolerable. Any first-person-shooter will not be. When it takes 500ms for you to see what just happened and then for your commands to register... oops, you're dead.

    Latency on dialup is generally around 150-300ms. Latency on Satellite is limited by the speed of light and starts at an absolute, physical limit of 240ms, assuming that the radio signal is actually travelling at the speed of light (it isn't), no retransmissions need to take place (they will), the satellite isn't processing or juggling your data stream at all (it is), the satellite isn't oversubscribed (it is), and the game server you're connected to is directly connected to the other end of the satellite downlink (it isn't).

    Expect latency of 400ms or more, sometimes much more. And for WoW, note the Latency the game tells you. Much of that is on the server end. When WoW's lagging and you have a latency of 500ms or more in-game, probably less than 100ms of that is due to your current broadband connection. So you can take the remaining 400ms and add that to your satellite latency as well. Now you're looking at almost 1 second before you can react to what's happening in the game.

    Might I suggest trashing the dish and looking for terrestrial radio internet instead? Like WiMAX or EV-DO. Good luck.
    • I will second that. I had it for 3 years, until my wife got enough people in the area to sign a petition and they run cable out to the area. My average latency was 800 at that time. Keep in mind, this was several years ago when it was pretty new, and you still used dialup to SEND packets, and satalite to receive them. I had what was a pretty good box (at the time), and was using the first of the "new" pci adapters that Hughes offered.

      We have a sister company that uses the satalite still because they can
  • Has anyone here had any success in gaming online with satellite internet?


    Well, let me go into a bit more detail:

    Hahahahahahahaha! No Flipping Way, Sucker! Hahahaha!

    Also: Yet another Ask Slashdot question that can be answered by Google and common sense. Satellite = 600+ms latency. What do you do with people with that much latency in your Quake 4 game? Oh right, you kick their asses. WOW *might* be marginally tolerable... but I doubt it.
  • I have a professional account with HughesNet (DirectWay) and it sucks. Speed is based on accessing their proxy server not real speeds. If you need vpn, dont even think about it dial up is way faster.

    Limit of how much you can download is stupid. Try to download over 300-500mb in an hour and you'll be slapped with FAP (Fair Access Policy) 10-14k for the next 12 hours. There is no notification your approaching the limit, and the limit is not fixed it fluctuates based on how many people are on your satteli
  • I actually knew someone who had both. She used satellite for work, basically anything that needed fast Internet, but dialup for gaming. And we were playing an MMO -- if you're into any kind of FPS, forget it, satellite won't work.
  • well, go with dialup and either a LOS system or SAT. both are going to suck and thats the price you pay for living off the grid.
  • by Wiseleo ( 15092 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @02:06AM (#16123441) Homepage
    Edge is 144kbps and there are faster technologies. I used VPN over plain GPRS as well.

    This will beat your satellite broadband in terms of usability.
    • You raise a good point; my father just purchased a broadband connection for his laptop from Sprint. Talk about "true" wireless internet...
    • Indeed. May parents have direcway/hughes or whatever its called at their house in the middle of the sticks. They even have the business grade plan, so the "Fap bucket" doesnt get drained while dad is working from home. However, most of the time, he pulls out his wireless card from verizon and uses that. Hell, I've used that card of his in the middle of the woods and still was able to stream audio while camping. I personally wouldd't consider it an option, as I would like several machines connected, but if t
  • Wifi? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MarkRose ( 820682 )
    Nobody has mentioned this so far: why not go with plain old 802.11g? All you need is a friend with broadband with a clear line of sight to your place and a couple Pringles can antennas. Sure, it'll be crap when it's raining, but it's cheap.
  • Another solution... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Money for Nothin' ( 754763 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @02:44AM (#16123527)
    If you're so far out in the sticks that you must resort to satellite instead of Comcast or DSL, then here's my suggestion:

    Start a local ISP. Do a little market research on your area; find out what kind of demand there is for fast, low-latency Internet access. If the demand is sufficient to both pay for the service and employ you (and if you're interested), then get a T1, T3, or if possible, fiber run or two to your door. Share it among everybody you can find and run the service yourself.

    Then play Quake 4, F.E.A.R., etc. during the down times on your fast line when nobody's calling you for support. :-)
    • by spauldo ( 118058 )
      I looked into this once. A T-1 equivalent (frame relay) would have cost me about $500/month. At my location, a T-1 from SBC would have cost about $1800/month.

      You'll have last mile issues, which are always expensive. Maybe if there's a phone exchange near you, you can get a DSLAM in, if the phone company doesn't laugh you out of their office. Cable would involve a lot of equipment, know-how, and rights to use the poles (no idea there, but I'm certain they don't just let you staple your own lines on the p
    • If he can't afford his own apartment, what makes you think that he can afford to start an ISP?

      • Good point... He might be able to get a loan from his parents, or maybe the bank. But he does sound like just another kid looking to play games, not make money and/or do something more constructive...
  • You'll be able to totally pwnz0r people in chess!

    For everything else it'll pretty much suck. Rumor has it one of those companies had to implement their own FTP client because the ping times were so high that the regular one thought the connection had been lost and gave up.

  • Keep in mind, I have no idea how well this is supported with any ISP anymore.

    However, some years ago, I was in an area that was far outside of any access range. The only real alternative I had was ISDN. I believe at the time, it was 39.99 a month, and you did have a limit on the number of B channel hours you could have, but I never found myself over that limit (200). You get about 16K/sec, which isn't great at all bandwidth-wise, but it was very good on latency. I found it perfectly acceptable for gaming, a
    • by smash ( 1351 )
      Again, i'm not sure on most major ISPs, but I used to be an admin for a smaller ISP, and our Cisco 5200/5300 access servers (primarily set up for V.90 56K) would accept ISDN calls just fine, and run 64kb (per B channel) digital/digital connections just fine.

      May be worth a shot just asking them, as their equipment quite possibly supports both call types - i'd hazard a guess that it's more an accounting issue than a technical one...

  • If you have good signal strength you might be able to use a cellular data service. Just make sure you're allowed to use it as your primary data service and you can access the cell companies high speed network where you are going, you don't want to get stuck on gprs. You might want to check out, otherwise I'd go with ISDN.
  • by EvilMal ( 562717 ) on Sunday September 17, 2006 @03:29AM (#16123635)
    I'm on Direcway's asstastic service right now.

    It's $60/mo for me. That $60 lets me download about 160mb a day before I hit the "Fair Access Policy" which caps me at about 4-5kB/s for the next twelve hours. The speeds up to that point are okay, but it still sucks ass. $60/mo for that!?

    Okay, well, you didn't mention a concern about downloads. You want games! Well, no. It's not going to work. If I go into a server for any given FPS game with this thing my ping is about 500-900. It's never, ever less than 400. If you're concerned enough about gaming to ask slashdot about this, I'm sure you understand exactly what devastating effects that would have on gameplay. There are other posts in this discussion about the speed of light being the limiting factor. It's really true. It takes about a quarter second to half a second for your signal to even reach a server and come back.

    I was in your same situation. My parents were moving and I can't afford, yet, to live on my own. So I moved with them to the middle of nowhere. Now I made the wrong choice and I have what I would describe as the shittiest ISP I have ever used (I haven't used AOL. Not sure how that would compare. :P). I got this because I had to keep my system up to date (doing development work, etc - yes, out of my parents' house) and I'm addicted to pornography and demand easy and quick access to it.

    If things like pornography and downloading music, videos, or other big content are not important to you, do not get this. You will NOT play games at any adequate level on this kind of connection.

    Turn based games are okay.

    Keep a dialup account handy to play anything else, though.
    • It's also not very good for streaming media, or rather, it doesn't work at all, I don't know why they can't or don't do it.
  • solution: use the sat for downloading updates and dial up to game. dial is not that bad at latency and a lot of games have optimized to send as small a packets as possible but often. So dial works for that. The wirelss GPRS solutions dont' work well because often no DSL = horrible cell coverage. So while you can get 144 kbit/s under the tower on a clear day you get closer to 4kbit/s at the remote locations where dsl/cable isn't available.

  • Another option for you can be ISDN or IDSL. IDSL is basically DSL over ISDN lines, and it will give you a slight edge over dialup (in the boonies, 19.2kbps conect rates are not unusual), and should have decent latencey. Frankly, you will not be gaming on a satellite Internet connection.
  • I am on satellite right now. Latency is a minimum of 600 milliseconds so games like Counter Strike are completely unplayable. I do play Eve Online and it is not so bad, quite playable for the most part. I have friends here who play City of Heroes and World of Warcraft and they have no problems with either of those games.

    In short, if response time is absolutely critical, the game will be unplayable. If response time is important, you will get frustrated. If response time is not important, satellite kicks ass
  • Most people responding here don't seem to have real experience with current-gen satellites and gaming.

    Gaming is very possible on both Wildblue and HughesNet 7000. It really comes down to the game though, and how it handles lag. Obviously Satellite gaming is never a prefered solution, but many games are easily playable with 700-850ms pings (average DW7000 and Wildblue ping).

    Most all MMOs are playable - even Planetside and Auto Assault.
    Some RTS are playable (Warcraft 3 works for example).
    PC-based FPS are ve
  • is check the availability/price in order-

    freind/girlfreind with DSL/cable
    ISDN (bonded if possible)
    T1 (fractional is possible)

    Honestly if your parents chose to move to a place without broadband and you're a geek, and they don't get that broadband is a requirement for your life I would leave as soon as humanly possible.
  • You would have to walk uphill both ways through a snow storm just to get your ass whooped...

    What is wrong with that abacus I bought you?

    Satellite huh? I will give you a satellite you'll never forget.

    (Seriously - get a life, girl, dog, car, morgtage, sense of humour)
  • I have seen many posts so far from people who have never had sat inet. And they are getting it all wrong. I have wildblue service, and I support several direcway installs. Gaming on sat inet is all about the specific game.

    FPS's / Twitch Games == Not gonna happen
    RPG / RTS / MMORPG == Should have no problems

    For the people who say VPN's are unusable on sat inet, I beg to differ, as I use mine all the time to run remote X from my office, and its an ipsec vpn not an SSL vpn which in theory would work better.

  • Satellite Internet talks to a (you guessed it) Satellite in geostationary orbit. Geostationary orbit is roughly 3.6 x 10^7 meters from the surface of the earth. Before your packets can join the rest of the internet, they have to go up to the satellite and back down. When they come back from the server, they have to go up to the satellite and back down again. Now you're talking 1.44 x 10^8 meters that a packet has to travel (round trip).

    Light speed is roughly 3.0 x 10^8 meters per second. So, in your best ca
  • growing up, getting a job, buying your own place. Then if you've done everything right you can buy whatever service you want because you have the job to pay for it.
    • by really? ( 199452 )
      Sounds good. But, we don't really know how old he is, nor what his future plans are. Even if he is older, what if he is in the middle of a distance education degree? Would it make sense to drop that, or move it to the back burner, just so that he can "grow up"?

      Again, it's not that I disagree with your position, but, we just don't know about _his_ situation.
  • If only there were some quicker, more efficient way of answering this question. Some sort of engine that would be good at searching for things. A searching engine if you will. Then you could simply type in satellite internet gaming [] and get the answer. Oh for such a wonderful device...
  • Satellite is completely unacceptable for any real net junkie, especially gamers. The ping is even higher than with dial-up. Man, I played FPS games over dial-up for a few years-- it's not so terrible as all that if you've got a good phone line. And of course, if you're out in the boonies you probably don't have a great phone line. My tip is this: get yourself a nice desktop replacement laptop like a Macbook Pro or some such, and mooch off some free hotspot in town. You'll spend about the same, and have a ki
  • I have been using Direcway's service for the last 6 years (back when it required a dialup return connection, and now with the DW6000 unit that is basically like a DSL modem). Throughout that time I have played EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, and World of Warcraft and all three were playable. It wasn't the best possible experience at all times, but it was playable and the alternative was just not acceptable (try entering Ironforge in WOW on a dialup connection and watch that latency skyrocket).

    For backgrou

  • Satellite should be your LAST choice for gaming, especially FPS games, because of the high latencies.

    IDSL has very low latency, a speed of 144 kbit/s, and long enough range that almost any residence with copper phone wires can get the service. Unlike ISDN, IDSL is usually sold at a flat monthly rate and is an always-on connection. You can get IDSL service from ISPs such as -- prepare for sticker shock, however, as it's rather more expensive than Cable or DSL.

    3G cellular service, if it's avai
  • You can play WoW. You'll never see latency under about 900ms, though. How much of a difference that makes will depend on your class and what you're doing. For example, as a rogue you will find it basically impossible to stay within range of a moving target long enough to pull off a successful backstab. As a priest, if it takes you over a second to notice that your tank needs healing, you may become unpopular. On the other hand, a warlock can function effectively because it doesn't make a lot of differe
  • 700ms at best. Loss is a problem. Sign up some neigbhors and create your own hotspot.
  • Will the high latency seriously affect the overall download and upload speeds?"

    Yes, and it will be so awful you won't be able to play period. The _only_ thing sat internet is good for is big downloads from a single source. Kiss file sharing good bye, and forget about gaming.

    If you want to game in the country, find a wireless isp that doesn't have a shitty T1 (or less) connection (real isp's that use wireless do exist, do some research), that uses Motorla Canopy radios. As I write this, I am enjoying 4.5 mbi

  • I happily signed up for WildBlue's satellite service about a year ago, since (1) they're not DirecWay or StarBand and (2) I was sick and tired of 26.4 (yes, 26.4, not 28.8 even, but 26.4) dialup service. My wife & I had moved from our happy happy DSL-connected (Verizon, technically, but on BBN/Genuity/Level3's old network) townhome out into the boonies of VA since we could turn a 115% profit on selling our house and move closer to my work.

    Soooo then the fun started. Don't get wrong, most of

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.