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  #1  
Old 07-11-2011, 10:33 AM
Eastendpat Eastendpat is offline
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Default Newb moving to rural area, need ISP

Hi guys,

I'm moving to an area just north of Bowmanville, Ontario next weekend. The area does not receive service from Rogers and I am on my own for internet (as part of my lease). The landlord uses Bell satellite for TV, I'm currently waiting his answer on what ISP he uses and what ISPs his previous tenants used.

I'm a bit overwhelmed, I've done some reading on this forum and others but still don't quite know where to start.

I've begun accepting that online gaming won't really be feasible, and that's fine I can do without it for now, it'll save me time and money anyway lol What I'd like to know is - what are my options? what type of money am I looking at spending? will I be purchasing expensive hardware to make this work?

As you can tell, I'm new to all of this. Since gaming likely won't be an option I'll only be using the internet for email, forums, small downloads (no Netflix, no big torrents etc). Any/all advice appreciated, TIA.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2011, 11:27 AM
Brad R Brad R is offline
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Generally speaking, you have four options:
1. Dialup - the worst option.
2. Satellite Internet.
3. Wireless Internet.
4. Cellular Internet (e.g. Rogers or Bell hubs).

Satellite you can get practically anywhere (you need a clear view to the south). It's slower than broadband but faster than dialup. The worst thing is the latency (ping time), which will ruin most games and makes VoIP (internet telphones) work poorly if at all. You'll also run into the dreaded FAP (fair access policy) which limits the amount of data you can transfer in any given day. There are two satellite systems in use - Hughesnet and Telesat. Xplornet is a reseller for both. In some areas only one is available.

Wireless (technically, "terrestrial wireless") is usually faster and usually cheaper, but you have to be within range of an Access Point (one of the ISP's towers). If you're too far away or have obstacles (e.g. trees) you might have to put up a tower on your property - big bucks. Beware of systems using the "unlicensed" 2.4 GHz frequencies, as they get lots of interference from other uses and often work poorly. Also beware of getting this from Xplornet, because they "throttle" their wireless connections -- you get 1 second at full speed, then get reduced to as little as twice dial-up speed for the rest of the transfer. If you can find a non-Xplornet local WISP (wireless ISP) then you might be able to get good service.

Cellular internet might be faster -- it depends on what kind of service (3G, 4G) is offered in your area, and how many users there are in your area. The gotcha here is that Rogers (and Bell, I assume) have recently started reducing their monthly caps -- and you pay big charges if you exceed your monthly cap. (I know you don't get Rogers, but you might get Bell.)

Satellite, wireless, and cellular are all subject to slowdowns when heavily loaded (when there are lots of users). This is usually in "prime time", say, 5 pm to midnight.

Questions to ask when you are investigating services:
1. What is the maximum data rate? (this is what they advertise)
2. What is the sustained data rate for long downloads?
3. What is the minimum guaranteed data rate?
4. What is the maximum data transfer limit per month? (How many gigabytes or megabytes) Per day? Per hour?
5. What happens if I exceed the maximum limit? Is my service reduced, or is there an additional fee?
6. Is there a Fair Access Policy? What are its terms? When is it applied, how is my service reduced, and for how long?
7. How long is the warranty on the equipment?
8. Am I required to pay a service charge or travel charge for in-warranty repairs?
9. Am I required to pay for a site survey? (This is to see if your site can reach the wireless AP.)
I'm sure others here will suggest more questions to ask.

I don't know much about current pricing. You'll probably pay an installation fee, possibly an equipment fee, and of course a monthly fee. Do the math to see what's the cheapest overall. But beware of the long-term (2 and 3 year) plans. They'll quote you a better monthly price, but then you're locked in for the duration, and they'll charge big bucks to let you out early. If the service is unsatisfactory or a better alternative starts up in your area, you'll want to be able to leave early.
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2011, 01:21 PM
Eastendpat Eastendpat is offline
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Awesome, thanks for that info Brad, very informative.

So the landlord does have Bell TV and like I said, I've asked him what ISP he uses and what his previous tenants have used, I haven't heard back yet. He simply specified during the lease signing that the only 'utility' I'd be on the hook for is internet, he says they've found it easier to just have separate internet connections - I'm guessing they had a tenant before who abused a shared internet connection or something.

So, is DSL an option? For instance, Acanac.com

I still plan on asking the landlord if there is any way i can share his internet connection and help him pay for it or purchase an upgraded package or something. It's a real shame that there doesn't seem to be one or two good solid, affordable options for rural internet in 2011. We're talking about areas just outside 'major' suburbs that are fully serviced by the big boys Bell or Rogers.

Last edited by Eastendpat : 07-11-2011 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:41 PM
Brad R Brad R is offline
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Sorry, I may have misunderstood. When you said "rural," I assumed you meant "outside of DSL coverage area." If you can get DSL, that's probably better than all of the other options I mentioned.

Likewise, if you can get cable TV, and your local cable provider is also providing Internet via cable, that's probably better than satellite/wireless/cellular. It may or may not be better than DSL.
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A computer without Windows is like a chocolate cake without mustard. http://www.goodbyemicrosoft.net
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  #5  
Old 07-11-2011, 02:54 PM
Eastendpat Eastendpat is offline
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As far as I know the area isn't covered by cable and so most people use Bell satellite for TV. I'm really not sure what the internet solution of choice is...


Answer me this if you can, and bear with my newbness. Is DSL an option so long as there is a normal phone (land) line coming into the house? Is it possible to ADD another line strictly for the purposes of obtaining DSL internet?
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2011, 03:51 PM
xplornetsuck xplornetsuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastendpat View Post
As far as I know the area isn't covered by cable...

Answer me this if you can, and bear with my newbness. Is DSL an option so long as there is a normal phone (land) line coming into the house? Is it possible to ADD another line strictly for the purposes of obtaining DSL internet?
Unless there is a DSL dslam/node that the phone line is connecting too somewhere down the road, you are out of luck.
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikiped...ubscriber_Line
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  #7  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:12 PM
Brad R Brad R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastendpat View Post
Answer me this if you can, and bear with my newbness. Is DSL an option so long as there is a normal phone (land) line coming into the house? Is it possible to ADD another line strictly for the purposes of obtaining DSL internet?
Sadly, no. We have wired telephone service, but we can't get DSL -- we're too far away from the telephone office. DSL has a fairly short distance limit. I read here that it's good to about 5 km, with not terribly good service; but when I inquired years ago I was told the phone company would only connect DSL out to 1 or 2 km from the local office (sorry, I forget which; it was a long time ago and I didn't take notes).

Strictly speaking, as xplornetsuck noted, the distance limit is to the nearest DSLAM or node. But unless you're in a heavily populated area, the phone company won't have put one of those near you -- your nearest access point will be the telephone office. (By "office" I mean the local telephone switch -- there are no people stationed there.)
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4G Fixed Wireless Formerly Echostar 17 "Jupiter"; Rogers Rocket Hub; Everus 3.5 GHz Wireless; Telesat Kazam plan; HughesNet Ku.
A computer without Windows is like a chocolate cake without mustard. http://www.goodbyemicrosoft.net
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  #8  
Old 07-13-2011, 11:46 AM
Eastendpat Eastendpat is offline
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Thanks again for the info. I'm still trying to work out an internet solution. I called Acanac about DSL and they do not offer it in that area, Rogers and Bell are their main carriers.

Looks like I'm stuck with a Bell or Rogers hub...or dare I say, xplorenet? Any and all suggestions are welcome. TIA.
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2011, 10:07 PM
Brad R Brad R is offline
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Did you find out what your landlord is using for Internet service?
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A computer without Windows is like a chocolate cake without mustard. http://www.goodbyemicrosoft.net
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  #10  
Old 07-14-2011, 08:14 AM
Eastendpat Eastendpat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad R View Post
Did you find out what your landlord is using for Internet service?
Rogers Hub. He is pretty sure the previous tenants were on a Bell hub.

Sounds expensive.
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