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Inmarsat Isathub review: When better than nothing is very nearly priceless

Michael Brown | July 1, 2015
Remember those old FedEx commercials? "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." There was no talk of how much it would cost to get that package to its destination overnight. If you had to ask, speed obviously wasn't your first concern. It's the same idea with Inmarsat's IsatHub. This battery-powered device can connect you (and several of your colleagues, family, and friends) to both 3G mobile phone service and the Internet just about anywhere on earth--all you need is a clear view of the sky.

Using the Internet on my laptop, however, was a very  different experience--even though my DSL service is a relatively pokey 18Mbps down and 1Mbps up. Inmarsat says the IsatHub can deliver data at up to 384Kbps down and 240Kbps up. That's kilobits, not megabits. The best speeds I saw were considerably slower than that: 50Kbps down and 10Kbps up. Those are speeds I haven't seen my dial-up modem days.

But when you're thousands of miles from any other communications infrastructure, and you absolutely, positively need to send or receive data, or speak to someone in real time, expensive and slow really can be priceless when there's no other alternative.


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