*Update – If you are based in Scotland, then you can use this link to get the best satellite broadband deal (March 2016) – ibub Satellite Broadband
Living and working in a rural community is fantastic. But, with rural living there are a few drawbacks. One of these is access to a fast and reliable broadband connection.
So, what options are there? We all know we cannot rely on BT. So, what’s left? Satellite broadband. It gets a bad wrap in my opinion. I’m always asked if there are delays and if the weather affects the connection. And the simple answer is no. Satellite broadband is the best answer to broadband issues in rural communities.
Now that’s out of the way. Let’s talk about options. I’ve had experience with two different companies. SES and Tooway.
We have Tooway and we never, ever have any issues with it. Occasionally, the wind will blow it slightly out of alignment. But since I installed it on a roof mount (on the ground) all it takes is a wee kick and it’s back on top form. Both SES and Tooway dishes have an audio based alignment system. This is when you log into the modem software and activate a noise. From this noise you can then align the dish. Using Tooway is very simple. It takes about 3 minutes. SES is another story. You have to go through the entire installation process which is extremely frustrating given how easy Tooway is to re-align. On a side note, the SES modem itself is harder to access. The IP address is the same as most routers so you have to connected directly to the modem. This rules out running the modem software from your phone because there is no wireless with the modem. Not major, but a good point all the same.
Tooway dishes require one cable only where SES requires 2. This isn’t a deal breaker but is something to be aware of. I’ve installed a few Tooway dishes for neighbours and they never came with the essentials. Cable ties, wall clips, cable, f connectors, Ethernet cable etc, yet they call it a self installation kit (kit being the operative word). With SES broadband they supplied everything. The cables were even labelled which makes life easier.
This next point refers to Scotland. Specifically, the highlands of Scotland. Tooway works, SES does not. They might tell you that it does and then proceed to sell you a kit and contract, but it most definitely does not work in the highlands of Scotland. With Tooway you get a constant 13db regardless of the weather. But with SES, you’re lucky to get 3db. My gripe with this is that they were adamant that it does work on Skye. Their solution was to re-align the dish. Which I did about 8 times but nothing worked. I sent them a video to prove the alignment accuracy and their solution was to re-align again. Here is the video I sent SES broadband.
If you’re looking for hassle free satellite broadband and you live in the highlands of Scotland, then Tooway is your only solution. Which isn’t a bad thing because it works very well even though it’s a bit expensive.