Mobile satellite internet

2 systems using the DirecWay satellites, one for $1975, one for $2765. Service is $59.99 per month for 2 way broadband internet. Not for the tech challenged, as you have to aim the dish yourself, but with a little practice (and the meter thats included), the aiming time can probably be cut to 5-10 minutes.

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I like this much better than the WxWorks system, as you can get anything you want. Equipment is more expensive, but monthly service is cheaper. I am considering this for next season.
My parents, who live on a lake in the middle of nowhere (Eastland Co. Texas) have had the two-way system for a couple of years.

My observations:

1. Aiming is actually fairly simple. I used the meter within the Direcway software. I could do it in short order.

2. Speed is a tricky issue. Browsing web pages, it's considerably slower on average than my cable modem at home. On average, because you can often tell which times of day are peak (evenings) and which are light. However, downloading individual files (lets say a 10MB test file) is blazing fast. I don't know why there would be such a difference, except perhaps it's not as good negotiating many small downloads, but good at a big one.

3. Upload speed is slow, though I have not had too much experience with it. Uploading/e-mailing video for example could be problematic.

4. Rain fade is terrible. The signal craps out much sooner than their Dish Network signal. If it's raining, fugetaboutit. We have adjusted and adjusted, but it just doesn't help.

Anyway, my folks have had their system for several years, and have upgraded once (new send/receive units).

As they say in so many ads, "results may vary".

EDIT: I should add that if I had the money and was going to chase extensively (job won't allow me to do it as much as I would like), I would definitely fork over the money for that before doing Wx Worx. Despite the issues, having satellite internet has made my mother an internet addict. It is far superior to dial up in the field.

I am in the market for a direcway system for my house in Vermont. We have no cable or DSL up there and the phones lines only handle about 42kbps. The phone system is so bad we still have to pay for local service.

I was actually looking into Earthlink Satellite service, I think it is like $69.99 and it supports 500kbps upload speeds. It uses the Direcway system, but Direcway is now using several service providers to manage their system.

Anyone with experience with this system please let me know how it works, I would be very interested.
It's been a couple years or so since I remember last discussing the Direcway setup, but isn't there some issue with regulations? Seems like you had to get an installers license to use the equipment in different locales.

Did this change?

The issue stemmed from FCC concerns about the upload signals people would be sending, I believe. They didn't want unqualified people shooting transmissions around willy-nilly, as it were.

I don't know about the reg, but I have seen them on chaser vehicles and RV's. Several companies make a model that folds down for driving.