VFR Satellite Service
VFR is pleased to offer fast Internet download speeds without the hassle
or geographic limitations of DSL or Cable. How? Via Satellite.
Using this system we can offer high speed Internet virtually anywhere
in the United States.
Here is how it works:
-You use your dial-up modem to dial in to the Internet
like you always do. The modem is used to send information TO
-You use our satellite service to download information
FROM the Internet at fast speeds.
-When you are finished you hang up like you normally
-The fact is that most users actually send very little
information TO the Internet. Most users send outbound e-mail TO
the Internet and that's about it. E-mail typically moves right along
even at dial-up modem speeds.
-On the other hand, most users download substantial
quantities of information FROM the Internet. For example, you turn
on your Internet Explorer and are looking at a web page. Every time
you click on a link on that web page, the information that you see displayed
is coming FROM the Internet. Right now it comes in through your dial-up
modem which is why it takes so long for pages to display. With the satellite
it comes in substantially faster.
-Your incoming e-mail comes through the satellite also.
So it will download substantially faster than it used to with the dial-up
-There are a couple of distinct benefits to Satellite
service over DSL or cable.
-First, it is more secure. You
disconnect from the Internet at the end of your session. With DSL and
cable you are hooked up all the time. The "hackers" and others who
cause mischief on the Internet cannot get into your computer to look at your
personal files when you are not on line.
-Second, it is transportable. If
you decide to move across the street or across the country, you can take
the equipment with you. You install the antenna at your new location,
change to one of our local dial-up numbers in your new area, and you are back
on line with the same user name and capabilities as before. Unless we
have to install the equipment for you, there would be no additional cost for
moving from one location to another.
How fast does it work?
-Dial up modems are usually rated at 56kbaud (or 56k
for short). But they rarely connect at that speed. Typically
a modem will connect somewhere in the 40's.
-The satellite can download at speeds up to about
400 kbaud. There are many things that affect download speed so no
particular speed can be guaranteed. But generally you will find the
speed to be substantially faster than your dial-up modem.
-Atmospheric phenomenon can affect speed. We have
a demonstration unit set up in our office. We have found that it works
well almost all of the time. However, when a heavy rain storm comes
through (not a drizzle or a steady rain, but the kind that shows up in yellows
and reds on the local TV station weather radar), then the signal slows down
or gets cut off altogether. Wait a few minutes and it is back. We
assume that a heavy snow fall would cause the same problem.
What does it take to get hooked up?
-This only works on PC's at this time. So if
you have an Apple computer, we're sorry
but we can't serve you at this time. Please check with us in a few
months to see if we have developed the ability to serve our Apple customers.
-Your PC must be running at least Windows 98 (Second
Edition). Windows ME, Windows 2000, and Windows XP will work fine.
Our system will not work with Windows 98 (first edition), Windows 95
and particularly not Windows 3.1.
-VFR will install a small satellite dish at your home,
a card in your computer and some coax cable between the two. Some software
is then installed on your configured, the system configured and you are
-You must have a location on your property where the
dish can be mounted and be able to see the sky slightly south of due east.
This can be on your house, a barn or a fence post. From Placer
County the satellite is located at a true heading of about 103 degrees and
an elevation of 22 degrees. Get out your compass and set it for north
then look at a heading of about 119 degrees (that is the 103 true heading
plus 16 degrees for magnetic variation). If you can see the sky looking
that direction and slightly upwards you should be OK. If you have many
tall trees in the way, this won't work.
-You must read and agree to our Terms of Service. You
can find the terms by clicking here.
What does it cost?
-The installation cost is $249.95. This includes
installation of the antenna, running the coax cable to your computer (100
feet or less), installation of the PCI card on your computer, installation
and configuration of the software to run the system.
-The monthly recurring charge is only $49.95 per month
(this includes the cost for the dial-up portion of the service).
-Any taxes are in addition to this cost.
-The price also includes a subscription for one e-mail
address to our spam and virus filtering service. You can learn the
details of this service by clicking here.
Are there any limitations? Yes.
-First, if you are a game player (meaning those who
play fast-action, interactive games against others via the Internet), you
will not like this system. Because the signal has to go from the earth
out to a satellite some 26,000 miles in space and back to the earth, there
is a small time lag involved - a fraction of a second. Most users
don't even notice this lag time but the heavy game players will. If
you are a game player, don't sign up for this service - you won't be happy.
-Second, the amount of information you download (referred
to as "bandwidth") while ample for most users, is not unlimited. Users
are subjected to a "reasonable use" limitation on bandwidth. For details
on exactly what this means, click here. This
is basically an amount of bandwidth somewhat in excess of that which history
as shown the average user uses per month. Right now that figure is
about 500 megabytes. Once that use limit is reached the satellite does
not turn off - it just slows down. Most users don't use near that much
bandwidth. This limitation is intended to limit the abuse caused by
those who get on the Internet and download massive quantities of data (such
as movies or music files) all day long. Those users who use it for e-mail,
browsing the web, Instant Messaging and perhaps listening to radio stations,
shouldn't have any problems with bandwidth usage.
-Our installation cost assumes the usual mounting of
the antenna on a building, routing of cable to the computer and installation
of the card and software on your computer. Anything different than
this must be discussed in advance. This would include any trenching
that might be required to bury the cable, or other unusual requirements.
-We are asked if you can install the equipment yourself.
Yes, you can. The equipment comes with a CD of software and an
instruction manual on how to install the PC card and configure the software.
We would be more than happy to discuss with you which portion you can
perform yourself and which VFR needs to perform. You may find that
the most difficult part is the aiming of the antenna. It is somewhat
-The price specifically includes the internal PC card
modem for your computer. There is an external modem available which
connects to your computer via a USB cable. There is a separate cost
for this modem. Please call us for pricing information if you want
Technical information is
available on our tech support page which can be accessed by clicking here.
Please call us at 916-652-3888 or e-mail us if you have any questions.
PO Box 1246
Loomis, CA 95650