Reliable Internet has become as crucial as landline telephones were 70 years ago.
Our Internet option for living in a rural town in the Sonoran Desert has been limited to a single provider. Our receiver is located on our roof and – fortunately – we have a line of sight to a transmitting antenna about a mile away at the small local airport. Even so, we’ve experienced significant buffering, which sometimes makes TV streaming nearly impossible.
Reliability is very important to us this time of the year. Our daughter Stef coaches the University of Missouri Tigers, and her games are available on ESPN+ and the SEC Network. Watching her games is truly one of the highlights of every week.
As the season approached last week, our Internet service became even worse. Two of my trusted friends – young Halen who lives about a ¼ mile away and Dwight who built a house next door – came to the rescue. Each of them subscribed to Elon Musk’s Starlink.
Although the performance they receive is extraordinary compared to anything we’ve experienced, I was reluctant to switch to it because it is a bit pricey – $599 for the hardware and $120/month. Given further consideration, I decided that Mrs. tVM – who has done and continues to do so much for me – deserves reliable Internet.
We made the switch last week, and I can report it has been well worth it. My plan with my previous provider was 20MBPS download speed. What that means is that you can get up to 20MBPS but 75% of what you pay for is acceptable, consequently, I should expect to receive a Wi-Fi download speed of at least 15MBPS. I check the speed routinely and have averaged 11MBPS, but in the evening hours when we are most apt to watch TV – at least until the fall when we begin stargazing – our speed would drop to as low as 1.5MBPS.
Unlike most providers, Starlink does not advertise levels like 20MBPS, etc. With Starlink, you get what you get. After a week, the slowest speed we’ve experienced is around 150MBPS, that’s one hundred times faster than what we’ve been surviving on since we moved into the desert, and we’ve had speeds as high as 350MBPS. Buffering is not an issue, and our TV picture is as clear as it’s ever been. The Internet literally flies on my computer.
The antenna is designed to be installed on the ground provided it has an unobstructed view of the sky, which is no issue with us.
If you have issues with your Internet service, and if it works within your budget, I recommend you consider SpaceX Starlink. We ordered on Amazon, it was delivered in three days, and it took about 30 minutes to have it up and running.