Aug 22, 2012

How well does microwave internet access work?

We are looking at renting space in the old industrial area of town, which offers fantastic spaces with lots of character at low cost. The only downside is that the only option for internet access is through a microwave connection. I've never used a microwave connection, but the provider assures us that it will be great. Of course, they would say that wouldn't they? We would only have about a dozen people at that location, but we need decent speed and a reliable connection. Has anyone used this type of connection before, and if so, how well does it work?

I haven't used it, so I can't tell you how well it functions for net access. But here's a good background article that might give you an idea.


"WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a wireless communications standard designed to provide 30 to 40 megabit-per-second data rates,[1] with the 2011 update providing up to 1 Gbit/s for fixed stations. The name "WiMAX" was created by the WiMAX Forum, which was formed in June 2001 to promote conformity and interoperability of the standard. The forum describes WiMAX as "a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL".[2]"

I've used a microwave connection, WiMAX to be more specific, and it worked pretty well.  The service I used was consistently 10Mbps+ download, which was good enough for us to us a VoIP telephone system and to do pretty much anything we would normally do online.  Surprisingly, we never had any latency issues, which I have experienced in spades using a satellite connection the past.  I was at a small business of about 20 people at the time, which is pretty close to the number you have, so it should be fine for your use.  I'm not sure how well it upscales, though.  We were located in a flat area without any significant tree cover, which is pretty much idea for WiMax, so if you are in a hilly forested region, it might not be as good.   

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