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November 2009 - Opinions- Is Tooway OK?

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Nov 2nd, 2009 at 4:38pm  
I have read most of the posts of people having problems with Tooway.  Most of them are between August and September 2008.

There are not many recent posts. Does this mean that the problems have been solved and tooway now works OK?

I spend a lot of time at 1200 metres in the north face of the  Sierra  Nevada near Granada Spain 4 km from the nearest phone line with solar power. The 3G signal has recently dropped in power so I need a solution.

Is Tooway a good reliable solution or is it still a pain in the ****?
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« Last Edit: Nov 3rd, 2009 at 1:16pm by Admin1 »  
 
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Reply #1 - Nov 2nd, 2009 at 7:00pm  
You say "north face of Sierra  Nevada".  Check using this page http://www.satsig.net/tooway/satellite-dish-pointing-ka-sat-tooway-europe.htm that you can see the satellite from your location.

Tooway is in its first few years of service in Europe, from its teleport hub centre in Turin, Italy.   There have been some 'learning experiences' both for the hub staff and also for customers learning to set up and operate their terminals.  If any customers have problems, we try to help them here in this forum and chase the service providers/operators if necessary. The vast majority of customers are happy - it is not fair to describe the service as a 'pain' - just a minority people have had problems. We (the hub, the resellers and the customers) are doing our best to make it work well.

Note that there are different tariffs with different allowances for data transfers per unit times.

You will get friendly and local support from El Molino (Europe Satellite) info@europe-satellite.com

You can get Ka band service from 13 East satellite or Ku band service from 33 East satellite.  If an easily portable dish is important then Ka band is suggested.  Do practice with your dish at your base, before operation up the mountain. Tell your service provider the two locations (lat and long).

Best regards, Eric.
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« Last Edit: Nov 3rd, 2009 at 11:56am by Eric Johnston »  
 
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Reply #2 - Nov 2nd, 2009 at 8:03pm  
Quote:
I have read most of the posts of people having problems with Tooway.  Most of them are between August and September 2008.

There are not many recent posts. Does this mean that the problems have been solved and tooway now works OK?

I spend a lot of time at 1200 metres in the north face of the  Sierra  Nevada near Granada Spain 4KM from the nearest phone line with solar power. The 3G signal has recently dropped in power so I need a solution.

Is Tooway a good reliable solution or is it still a pain in the ****?


We have lots of systems installed in your area, please contact us by email.
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Reply #3 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 9:38am  
Hi, Tooway is a great system.  Has it's pitfalls like a lot of other but far superior to dial up and mobile solutions in remote areas.

We live remotely and cannot get a phone line.  Our site is a bit easier than most as we are at the top of the hill with clear line of sight.

However check out the install we recently did in Benfeita, Northern Portugal (a six hour drive each way for us!).  This site is extremely remote, in the bottom of a sheer valley and also run solar power.  There is no mains electric.

Check our website at www.broadband-algarve.net.

Cheers,

Stephanie
Tel +351 918 851 232/+351 918 771 381

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Reply #4 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 12:08pm  
Quote:
Hi, Tooway is a great system.  Has it's pitfalls like a lot of other but far superior to dial up and mobile solutions in remote areas.

We live remotely and cannot get a phone line.  Our site is a bit easier than most as we are at the top of the hill with clear line of sight.

However check out the install we recently did in Benfeita, Northern Portugal (a six hour drive each way for us!).  This site is extremely remote, in the bottom of a sheer valley and also run solar power.  There is no mains electric.

Check our website at www.broadband-algarve.net.

Cheers,

Stephanie
Tel +351 918 851 232/+351 918 771 381


Tooway Ka and Ku systems are a very good choice for "BASIC HOME" use, but remember support is limited on it (24H ticket system). In any other environment where a connection is crucial (24/7/365 phone support) we would suggest different systems (you get what you pay for) Smiley:)
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« Last Edit: Nov 3rd, 2009 at 1:17pm by Admin1 »  
 
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Reply #5 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 12:46pm  
Everyone has their opinions but I have to disagree that Tooway is a system for Basic Home usage only for the following reasons:-

I'm using it not only for normal home usage but also to connect via a VPN to another business client's systems.  It's quite normal for me to have two computers connected at the same time, sometimes 3 for over 10-12 hours per day and I get no degradation of usage and have never hit my FAP yet (we are on Bronze KU and get 4GB per 4 weeks).

Supportwise Bentley Walker are fantastic (good job guys) and turnaround for support issues is excellent, on many occasions well under 24 hours.  Not that I've had reason to raise many issues with them.  In my opinion the system is very stable.

Maybe there are other systems out there and yes you do get what you pay for, but I think Tooway is not only good value for money but a great all round system for home and business.  It's certainly comparable with ADSL which is how many users and business currently connect to the internet.
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Reply #6 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 1:19pm  
Quote:
Everyone has their opinions but I have to disagree that Tooway is a system for Basic Home usage only for the following reasons:-

I'm using it not only for normal home usage but also to connect via a VPN to another business client's systems.  It's quite normal for me to have two computers connected at the same time, sometimes 3 for over 10-12 hours per day and I get no degradation of usage and have never hit my FAP yet (we are on Bronze Ku and get 4GB per 4 weeks).

Supportwise Bentley Walker are fantastic (good job guys) and turnaround for support issues is excellent, on many occasions well under 24 hours.  Not that I've had reason to raise many issues with them.  In my opinion the system is very stable.

Limited support is NOT related to Bentley Walker but to the level of Tooway support from Skylogic !!!!

Comparing Tooway support with other systems in the market it is realy limited ! From installers point it is even bad, no way to contact the NOC by phone during install etc. etc.

Also in cases of problems after installation there is no way except via a ticket (time consuming system) to contact the NOC, even for home users who live remote and Satellite is the only way to communicate this is in many cases a big problem and can reflect on agents/installers in a negative way.

I agree above opinion but ....... for more professional use and a realy 24/7/365 (phone) support we advise other systems. In real life, this is also what clients expect, even if they pay 35 euro's per month.

Above is also very clearly stated on our website to avoid problems with users who expect a Rolls-Royce for a Skoda price Smiley

Subject closed for us.
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Reply #7 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 1:24pm  
Thanks for the answers so far but what I am interested in is for example. How much down time is there on average every 100 days? What percentage of time would I be able to get a download speed of over 128kb.  How often does it go wrong?

The statement "you get what you pay for" is a very wide and subjective statement rendering it almost meaningless.

At the moment I can't see why anyone would install a 2 way satellite system unless they are more than 3km from an ADSL exchange or out of range of a 3G network. Knowadays, that is not a lot of people.  I am almost in the middle of nowhere but I can still get 3G coverage about half of the time. When 3G is working it is fine but it is really frustrating when it goes down to GPRS and I have things to do.

I don't want to spend 1000 euros in installation and equipment fees  then have someone tell me that "you get what you pay for" when it is unreliable, in fact I would be angry if someone said that.

As normal ADSL is very reliable with zero instalation cost, no usage limits and costs about 40 euros per month the statement "you get what you pay for" would mean by comparison that the tooway system would be better than ADSL. (I doubt it) 

I would be happy if it worked at 128kb downspeed  and 50kb upspeed as long as it was reliable.

I just can't face the frustration of being tortured by an unreliable connexion.

I also do a lot of customer service by phone and it is really embarrassing when my internet connection is so bad that I have to keep saying "I'm sorry I have a network problem, I'll call you back".

I would say reliability is more important than speed.




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Reply #8 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 1:56pm  
Quote:
Thanks for the answers so far but what I am interested in is for example. How much down time is there on average every 100 days? What percentage of time would I be able to get a download speed of over 128kb.  How often does it go wrong?

The statement "you get what you pay for" is a very wide and subjective statement rendering it almost meaningless.

At the moment I can't see why anyone would install a 2 way satellite system unless they are more than 3km from an ADSL exchange or out of range of a 3G network. Knowadays, that is not a lot of people.  I am almost in the middle of nowhere but I can still get 3G coverage about half of the time. When 3G is working it is fine but it is really frustrating when it goes down to GPRS and I have things to do.

I don't want to spend 1000 euros in installation and equipment fees  then have someone tell me that "you get what you pay for" when it is unreliable, in fact I would be angry if someone said that.

As normal ADSL is very reliable with zero instalation cost, no usage limits and costs about 40 euros per month the statement "you get what you pay for" would mean by comparison that the tooway system would be better than ADSL. (I doubt it)  

I would be happy if it worked at 128kb downspeed  and 50kb upspeed as long as it was reliable.

I just can't face the frustration of being tortured by an unreliable connexion.

I also do a lot of customer service by phone and it is really embarrassing when my internet connection is so bad that I have to keep saying "I'm sorry I have a network problem, I'll call you back".

I would say reliability is more important than speed.


If reliability is more important than speed and a fast support is needed when system is down, than we advise different systems but ....... you pay also more.

We use in our Spanish office a Telefonica adsl connection (60 euro per month !!) and we have different Satellite systems mainly for demo but we use those also as a BACKUP, we need 24/7 a connection.

Telefonica adsl goes down also every X day's and this can be the same with a Satellite system, you can not expect a 100% connection. Also the weather can be a problem sometimes.

Telefonica adsl and any other adsl providers have also limits on usage and you will be trottle down if you use to much !

If you have the option to get a adsl line you should always go for this !! Satellite is not a substitution but only a last resort if you dont have any other possibility to connect to internet.

If you realy want a 100% connection the only way is 2 systems on a different HUB (location).

Tooway is good as long you stay within your limits and when systems is down you dont expect problem solved within 15 minutes (but it takes Telefonica also sometimes a day to solve a problem, so .......)

Read also the comments from Eric on this board.
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Reply #9 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 2:00pm  
Hi,
I have been a Tooway customer for a year. There have been problems as you may have read on the forum. Bentley Walker have spent a lot of time trying to resolve things but it has taken time. At the moment things are going well. Obviously I can only speak for myself not other Tooway users.

I live in mid wales and have no 3G reception. Ever.
I have a landline but I am too far from the exchange (approx 12kms) to get ADSL.
Therefore Tooway is my only option.

A lot of the problems I experienced seem to have been fixed, thankfully. This seems to be down to BW sending me a new head, and fixing a series of issues at the hub.

The last three weeks has been reliable and a vastly better service than previously.

I experience average download speeds of around 3000kbps. This is great for me. No issues there now that it doesn't fall over.
The upload speed is far lower obviously. I think it is quoted at about 350kbps? I seem to get around the 250kpbs at the moment. Sometimes higher, quite often lower. Sometimes around the 120kbps mark. Again - this refers to the last few weeks since the issues were fixed.
Before the issues were fixed I dropped to unusable 10 or so kbps. But shouldn't happen.
There is a slight delay or lag when you call up some web pages - this isn't normally that noticeable. Sometimes it is maybe 10-20 seconds before the page loads. This is not on all pages, usually heavily loaded ones. Again this has decreased a lot recently. It is not that noticeable to me at the moment.
I also notice that the speeds slow noticeably on weekends, although not to the point of any problem. It is still perfectly usable.
I have had torrential rain here (again) over the last few days and the modem has dropped out a couple of times. This is totally acceptable - we are talking major downpours - practicallly monsoon!. This doesn't last long and the modem reconnects very quickly.
I have not noticed anything going wrong over the last few weeks. Maybe the odd half hour downtime once. I tend to use the system during 8am-12noon GMT and 7pm-10pm GMT most days. Sometimes for much longer periods.
Now that things seem to have stabilised, I am a lot happier.
hope this helps.
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Reply #10 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 2:11pm  
I can't give you example speeds as don't really take too much notice of speedtests. 

For me if I can can online and do the work I need to then I'm happy.  My emails leave my outbox instantly and I can access other business systems via the VPN with ease.  For my UK client I am also doing project support work so it is imperative I can access the internet at all times.

Downtime - since July/Aug when there were quite some issues with Tooway, pretty much nothing to speak of until yesterday when they took it down for maintenance.  The spanish beam I understand was down for a short period last week but I just reset our Modem and we were back in within minutes.

We used to run a Vodafone 'dongle' but could only get 3G in one part of the house and then not all of the time.  This was the reason for changing to Tooway.  It gave us an always on connection and no fiddling about with having to move around the house to get a signal or keep getting thrown off the network.  I complained to Vodafone so much I was blue in the face and in the end they also had to concede that their connecttion was not what is was cracked up to be.  This seems to be the norm with trying to get connected via this method in remote areas.  At the time I cancelled our contract we were paying 42.27 euros plus IVA at 20% for a connection I couldn't use.  We now pay 49.90 euros plus VAT at 15% for one I can and do use all the time.

The support we have received from BW for Tooway is a reflection of the Skylogic support.  For example yesterday morning our system was extremely slow and we also had another client site completely offline.  I contacted BW who contacted Skylogic and by mid afternoon all was resolved.  They were doing some maintenance which hadn't gone quite as planned.  This I think is pretty good compared with Vodafone taking a week to tell me I wasn't close enough to the nearest antenna to get a good connection.

Contacting BW had to be done by phone of course but if your internet connection is down you would have to contact them by other means anyway even if support was provided 24/7/365.

Tooway isn't for everyone but when I compare it to my father's ADSL with BT in the UK I can't see much difference.  In fact he remarked the other day that our system when he stayed with us was faster than his BT ADSL!

Yes, it does cost for the equipment.  You can cut the cost of installation by doing it yourself (not really recommended unless you can get hold of a spectrum analyser), but not impossible.  Then it's just the monthly subscription after that.

Hope this answers a bit more what you are looking for.
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Reply #11 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 2:16pm  
PS - Tooway does go down in torrential rain (we get some here in the Algarve at times I can tell you!), but then our Sky also goes off when this happens - completely expected.

Rain stops, modem logs back in, and I'm back online again.
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Reply #12 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 2:48pm  
I have been using TooWay since May 2008 with varied results. I have no 3G here, 11.4Km. of wire to the nearest exchange so - a captive audience!

The good news is that since a few weeks back when reputedly Anthony Walker helped the Hub  to sort out some problems, things have been usually DRAMATICALLY better. Speeds have been excellent, well over 3M down and often well  over 250Kb/s up with much greater reliability although weather will always be a potential problem here in Wales. It has just been throwing it down with rain but my speed test was as previously stated - really good.

In a previous post I said I thought TooWay was an excellent system for people in my position but there were unresolved problems. If the performance of the last few weeks is now the norm, I unreservedly withdraw that comment!

In a post a few weeks ago, almost immediately deleted, a regular service provider inferred that the poor performance we were complaining about was due to poor customer self alignment, whilst this may be true in some cases with which he is aware, no changes whatever have been made to my system hardware but the results have been transformed. Please draw your own conclusions.

Regards,

Tony
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Reply #13 - Nov 3rd, 2009 at 9:27pm  
Quote:
I have been using TooWay since May 2008 with varied results. I have no 3G here, 11.4Km. of wire to the nearest exchange so - a captive audience!

The good news is that since a few weeks back when reputedly Anthony Walker helped the Hub  to sort out some problems, things have been usually DRAMATICALLY better. Speeds have been excellent, well over 3M down and often well  over 250Kb/s up with much greater reliability although weather will always be a potential problem here in Wales. It has just been throwing it down with rain but my speed test was as previously stated - really good.

In a previous post I said I thought TooWay was an excellent system for people in my position but there were unresolved problems. If the performance of the last few weeks is now the norm, I unreservedly withdraw that comment!

In a post a few weeks ago, almost immediately deleted, a regular service provider inferred that the poor performance we were complaining about was due to poor customer self alignment, whilst this may be true in some cases with which he is aware, no changes whatever have been made to my system hardware but the results have been transformed. Please draw your own conclusions.

Regards,

Tony


It's all in the game, same problems with any connection !, adsl, 3G or wifi, not one of those works 100% 24/7/365. It is just annoying and always wrong timing, just when you need it something goes wrong.
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Reply #14 - Nov 5th, 2009 at 9:34am  
I concur with Cambrian in post #12 above.
Since I posted here on Oct 1st with my complaints about the unreliability of the Tooway system things have dramatically improved and this improvement has been more or less maintained ever since, although I have to say that during the last couple of weeks performance has dropped from what I would classify as an 8-10/10 rating, it has been anything from a 5 to an 8/10 with a couple of days requiring several re-boots of the modem, which eventually 'cured' itself.
I haven't used Tooway at all this week so I can't comment on current performance.
I can underline Cambrian's assertion that for most DIY installations it has NOT been the installation that has been at fault; my dish hasn't been touched since initial installation.
Also, in the case of Welshbarn it has been shown that faulty equipment was at least a contributory factor to their performance problems.

In response to granadainfo's original question, my comment would be that provided the Tooway system maintains it's recent performance then I would recommend it without reservation.

Thanks again to Eric for providing this forum and his assistance in helping to develop Tooway in the UK as a usuable system.
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Reply #15 - Nov 10th, 2009 at 6:39pm  
I would recommend tooway as definitly an option for last resort broadband. However it depends on your needs which you should look closely at before you consider parting with what is a large sum of money. Also you might not realise that your area has gprs coverage which can give you a very cheap and reliable but slow internet connection.

[ text deleted from here onwards, by forum admin,  several follow up postings also deleted and thread locked.  Please note: "If you feel annoyed or angry ... it is recommended that you pursue your grievance directly with the persons concerned in private" ]
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