Saturday, February 8, 2014

Tech Talk from a Neophyte

You can do a ton of things and entertain yourself endlessly on the internet (yes, there is more than porn out there) provided you have the data allowance. The other caveat is that you need speed to upload and download; or stream, or video, much less graphics, will never work. In today's internet most websites take it for granted you have both the speed and data necessary to stream video and upload graphics laden websites. In our case, satellite was the key to enable us to fully enjoy the internet. Once you've got enough data and speed to allow streaming, you can watch network and cable shows, interact with the gaming community via your game consoles and even have commercial free, on demand television. And that's just a few things you can do. You can also use gaming consoles to access Amazon Prime and other providers and watch all that content on your television or internet capable device. To illustrate the data problem, we are allowed 10 gigabytes of data a month on our satellite internet. We could go through that in a matter of days by just watching a few movies. Fortunately our provider allows us unlimited data usage between midnight and five a.m. So that is when we watch and record movies and television. When we first got to the oil patch we had an air card and cellular service by Verizon. It didn't take long to figure out that wouldn't work so we purchased an AT&T phone and air card from Walmart. That air card was worthless; it was slow and only provided 1 gigabyte of data per month. The setup we use now is Exede satellite internet, AT&T phones and Dish network. Both Dish and Exede have poor customer service and their techs are rarely knowledgeable. It's kind of like everything else when you're off the grid. You have to learn to muddle though and fix stuff as best you can on your own. Tuning in the satellites occasionally frustrates me; but I'm usually up and running in less than an hour. A lot of folks don't put much stock in having a high speed internet connection or subscription television, but we wouldn't be without it. As far as the phones go, they're a necessity out here.

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