Goodbye Hughesnet; hello Verizon MiFI
While there are a lot of great things about living in the country like letting the dog run free and having 4×4 trails in the back yard, having access to high speed internet is not among them.
I am about a mile from the end of the Charter cable run and several miles from the nearest DSL capable phone line. For years the only option I had was Directway. Directway eventually evolved into Hughesnet.
The satellite internet seemed really cool at first. Connection speeds were much faster than dial up. And it was also more reliable. It was always on and I never had to worry about busy signals when trying to connect the modem. The savings of dropping AOL and the extra phone line pretty much paid for the Satellite service at first.
However over the years the price went up and the service went down. First they added download limits. And they did not tell anyone, they just secretly started limited speeds if you went over a certain amount. It took some folks in a broadband forum to figure it out and write a program so you could monitor your download sand not go over the limit and be penalized for going over.
In the past few months, the system has become virtually unusable as the connection speeds during peak use times are unbearably slow. The system works fine during the day and late at night; but from 4pm to 10 pm it is useless.
I reluctantly tested the Verizon 3g connection at our house. Cell phone coverage is pretty good there but not perfect. I suspected the data transfer would be spotty at best. However, I was surprised at the speed of two different devices I tested. They worked great and got better signal than my phone.
So, I finally cancelled the Hughesnet service and got the Verizon MiFi 3g. 4g had just come out but it was much more expensive for the device so I decided to just get the 3g.
The box arrived by FedEx and was very easy to set up. All I had to do was connect using the wireless card in my laptop computer. I have not run any actual speed tests but the feel is much faster. I can actually play Car Town on Facebook. That was next to impossible on the satellite.
The trouble came about when I tried to connect it to the desktop computer. The USB connection simply refused to install. I saw in some forums that others were having similar issues using XP like I was. I decided to just stop fighting it and use a wireless connection for the desk top as well.
The trouble was, I needed a wireless device for the desktop. See the next post for how I modified my Linksys router to connect to the MiFi.