Tooway, one month in

I posted last month that we had moved to satellite broadband, using a service called Tooway provided through a company called Avonline. So, after one month what has the experience been like:

1. It is certainly faster and has much great capacity than I could obtain from BT before. That was why we went this route and for that alone, it is fully justified.

2. You don’t see the increased speed when you are downloading individual webpages, because of the latency effect with each new page request. There is a distinct pause after each request, followed by a quick odwnload when it finally responds.

3. You really notice the improvement when downloading or uploading pictures, softare etc. That is when you really notice the difference.

4. It can support quite high concurrent demand. We had eight people in the house the other day, all on laptops, iPads etc. It seemed to cope pretty well. The BT service would have ground to a halt.

5. It is a pleasure not to have to deal with BT when you have a question or concern.

BUT

6. The speed still varies from time to time so I guess they are still having to manage concurrent users at busy times.

7. We did have one 24 hour period with very intermittent service because of a problem with the satellite.

8. And key issue, you forget just how much data gets transferred over the internet. We had signed up for the 26gb per month programme. We ran out with almost a week to spare and have had to increase the capacity to 50gb. Hopefully that will be enough. But with two computers, iPads etc it is amazing how much you get through. After all, one significant Apple software upgrade can involve more than 1gb per device.

So it is definitely an improvement and the only really practical solution if you want to stay digitally connected in a remote location. But it is expensive and not yet perfect.

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3 Responses to Tooway, one month in

  1. Mark Wynn says:

    As MD at Avonline, it is always great to see how our satellite broadband product is being used. Your first month did coincide with the first outage that we have had for some months so hopefully you won’t see that again for some time.

    great to see that it is being enjoyed by multiple simultaneous users. I have asked Technical Support team just to monitor system as system should not exhibit peak time slow-down as technology just does not work like ADSL.

    I look forward to the next update. Mark Wynn

    • Croick says:

      Mark

      Thank you for your comment. I’m impressed that you found my blog and bothered to respond. Interesting comment about not having contention like ADSL. One of the challenges with a multi-user wireless domestic network is that there are multiple potential bottlenecks and it is very hard to nail down what might be causing a particular problem. Too often I simply revert to switching off/on particular routers/switches/wireless relays to see if it fixes an issue.

      If there is one thing you could deliver which would be of real value it would be a management tool which would give the customer an accurate picture over time of the actual speed being delivered, usage levels and data transfer volumes. Your current tools are fairly crude and don’t allow me to understand what is happening day be day. BT certainly doesn’t provide this either so it would be a nice differentiator.

  2. Toni T says:

    Great, this is a real real-world situation, so glad you have blogged this! I have general interest in everything related in communications and have studied this new generation satellite access aswell.. Stumbled across your site via Google search, good optimization there 😀 I absolutely adore your surroundings and are amazed at the technical feats made possible in such an idyllic setting 🙂

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