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DirecWay Satellite Internet Service
The Original DirecWay

When DirecTV first introduced DirecWay it opened up the world of high speed internet access to virtually everyone in the continental United States. Initially, DirecWay was a 1-way system, which meant that the satellite could communicate directly with your PC, but your PC could not communicate directly with the satellite. A conventional modem had to be used through a dial-up connection in order to send requests to the DirecWay Network Operations Center (NOC). The NOC would process the request and send the data to your computer via a high speed link from the satellite. Since page and file requests consist of small amounts of data that are easily handled by a conventional modem, this arrangement worked out pretty well, however, the fact that a phone line and dial-up connection was still required proved to be a huge drawback when compared to other high speed alternatives.


The New DirecWay!

The current DirecWay system is a vast improvement over the original concept. Satellite communication is now 2-way thereby eliminating the need for a dial-up connection. This amazing breakthrough allows DirecWay to compete with other broadband internet providers by offering a system that is not only "high speed" but is also "always on".

It Travels with you! - DirecWay is also the ideal solution for RV's and Boats. All you need is a special tracking antenna to get a High Speed Broadband internet connection while on the road or at sea!


Qualifications for DirecWay Service
  • You must be within the contiguous 48 states or Puerto Rico.
  • You must have a clear, unobstructed view of the southern sky.
  • You must be able to mount the antenna at least 5 feet off the ground as per FCC regulations.
  • You must have a computer that meets the minimum requirements (see tables below)
  • Money (unfortunately the best things in life are not free)


Minimum Computer Requirements
Operating System
98SE, ME, 2000, XP
MAC OS 9.0-10.2
(10.0 not supported)
Pentium II 333mhz or faster
300mhz or faster
64MB for 98SE, ME
128MB for 2000, XP
Free Drive Space
100 MB
150 MB
Network Card
10/100 Ethernet Card
10/100 Ethernet Card
Dish Requirements

The dish antenna used for DirecWay is much different than the standard DirecTV dish. Since DirecWay is a true 2-way service, the antenna must be able to transmit as well as receive. The size of the DirecWay dish is approximately 26"x39" as compared to the standard 18" DirecTV dish. If you are a DirecTV subscriber and do not want to add an additional antenna to your roof, you can purchase various upgrade kits that will enable the DirecWay antenna to also receive DirecTV signals in both Standard and High Definition, but these are an extra cost option to the standard system.

Internet Gamming
If your big on playing games over the internet you may want to think twice about DirecWay. Satellite suffers from high latency (lag) caused by the time it takes for a request to get processed and returned. Each request from your computer must get bounced off the satellite and sent to DirecTV's Network Operations Center (NOC). In turn, the NOC beams the response to the satellite and the satellite transmits it back to your computer. All this takes just a fraction of a second and would never be noticed under normal circumstances, however, some fast paced games require split second response times that only DSL or Cable can deliver.
Virtual Private Networks
Think twice if you're planning to set up VPN access to your corporate network via DirecWay. VPN is only available to DirecWay Professional subscribers which is a premium service that will cost you a lot more money. Even with DirecWay Pro, running a VPN client can reduce the download speed of your connection by as much as 50-75%! DiretWay's speed comes largely from a packet bursting technology developed by Hughes to help deal with the latency encountered when sending data back and forth to the satellite. Since VPN data is encrypted, this technology can not be applied, and hence the speed drops off dramatically.
Uploading Files
DirecWay has been optimized to appeal to the typical web user who is looking primarily for download speed. Since the upload speed of DirecWay is not much faster than a conventional dial-up connection, it may not be the ideal solution for those planning to upload large files on a frequent basis. Keep in mind that you don't need a phone line with DirecWay, so there are no local connection charges to worry about during large file uploads.
Professional Installation Required

Installing the DirecWay dish is definitely not for the average do-it-yourselfer. It is much larger and heavier than a standard satellite TV dish, and must be precisely aimed in order to ensure proper operation. Also, because the antenna will be transmitting signals, the FCC requires that it be mounted at least five feet off the ground. To cover their butts and reduce the number of customer service calls DirecWay insists that the installation be performed by a qualified professional. Standard installation is however included in the price.


DirecWay Satellite Internet Diagram
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