StarBand launches satellite 'Telecommuter' broadband

Satellite-based Internet service provider (ISP) StarBand Communications Inc. has announced its new 481 Telecommuter Service, which provides users with up to 750Kbps of downstream bandwidth and up to 100Kbps of upstream bandwidth using a satellite modem compatible with Mac, Windows, Unix and Linux operating systems -- faster than current StarBand residential customers.

StarBand's 481 Telecommuter Service is wedged in between its lower-speed, lower-cost Residential service -- up to 500Kbps download speed -- and its higher-speed, higher-cost Small Office service, which provides up to 1Mbps download speed. It's two-way connectivity -- no phone line is needed for uploading data.

With prices ranging from $600 to $700 for equipment (plus added costs for dish installation) and another $110 to $120 a month for service, satellite broadband access isn't cheap -- but if you live in an area where DSL or cable modem access isn't an option, satellite access may be your only broadband alternative.

The 481 satellite modem has an Ethernet port and doesn't require any software drivers to operate. It supports operating systems that use the TCP/IP communications protocol, and will work with Macs running Mac OS X or Mac OS 9. StarBand's service includes the ability to use Virtual Private Networking (VPN) access to connect to your company's network (albeit at reduced performance, according to a FAQ posted to StarBand's Web site), and comes with 10 e-mail accounts with up to 15MB of storage each.

StarBand also offers a StarBand 480 Pro satellite modem that includes a 4-port router built in. The 480 Pro is the way to go if you plan to share your satellite Internet connection with more than one computer on a network, according to StarBand.

This story, "StarBand launches satellite 'Telecommuter' broadband" was originally published by PCWorld.

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