Friday, January 23, 2004

New Internet Access - Hooray

After about 6 months on a waiting list, we now have Internet access at home here on Bonaire. Waiting turned out to be ok because the provider has had to get numerous bugs out of their systems. We have a cable modem, always on, type connection. Unlike cable modems in the States that can sometimes reach high speeds, ours is limited to 128K, but we are glad to be connected.

We have had the same cable modem from Flamingo TV at the TWR office since last summer. It is set to provide up to 256K. We use it to download radio programs from our TWR offices and cooperating broadcasters. The ones on ftp sites are easiest to download, but we get them from http sites too. Downloading a half hour program can take as little as 16 minutes with the cable modem. It used to take at least an hour and a half with the leased line 64K connection at the office. By way of comparison, I downloaded a half hour Insight For Living program with my Dad's DSL connection in PA in about 6 minutes, and I think it takes about 3 minutes with the T1 connection at the TWR headquarters in Cary.

So we are not on the cutting edge, here on Bonaire, but we've come a long way.

Yesterday, we also got a wireless modem connection from Telbo installed at the office. It is a 128K connection, and gives us two independent paths to the internet. The good thing about this Telbo connection is that, unlike the FTV service, all the "ports" are working. FTV is trying to get the ports unblocked, but right now we can't set up a IPSEC tunnel on port 500, do Instant Messaging, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

If we can set up a secure tunnel to our TWR headquarters in Cary using the wireless modem, then we can drop our super expensive leased line internet connection. We get our email here on Bonaire from an Exchange server at the Cary office and our Accountant here on Bonaire does all of his financial work on a Citrix server in the Cary office. So when we type in stuff on our computers here on Bonaire, we are really working on computers up in North Carolina. It's pretty cool, but can be painfully slow at times on our 64K line. We are hoping to speed that up with these new internet connections.

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