Sky Muster NBN ~ Review Of My New Satellite Internet
The Australian Government promised the new Sky Muster satellite would provide improved internet services to Australians in remote and rural areas. My home is one of the first connected to Sky Muster via the Australian Government's NBN initiative.
For those who are still waiting to experience the NBN Sky Muster satellite, here's my review of the installation process of the new satellite dish, and the internet service it provides.
Sky Muster Modem is Bright and Easy
The first, most obvious difference between the new Sky Muster modem and my old satellite internet modem is how simple and easy it is to see if you have an effective connection.
My old satellite modem had a number of different lights, all small and difficult to see unless you walked close. If three lights were steady and one was flashing, the internet connection should have been working. But that wasn't always the case. I was often forced to turn the modem off and on again, hoping for a successful internet connection.
I had the modem connected to Wi-Fi so we could use the internet on a number of devices throughout our home, but even if I was in the same room as the modem it was often impossible to figure out just what was happening with the lights and the connection.
The new Sky Muster Modem makes it incredibly easy to identify whether or not you'll be successfully connected to the internet. A large circle on the face of the box changes colour as it searches, and then connects to the satellite.
If the circle is bright blue on your Sky Muster modem, you are connected to the satellite and can confidently expect your computers and other devices will have access to the internet. Simple and easy to see.
Sky Muster Amber Light
Signing Up For Sky Muster Satellite Internet
After five years suffering the frustration and inconvenience of satellite internet with limited download and connection as slow as old-time dial-up internet, I was desperate for faster service. As soon as I heard word of the launch of a new satellite to provide improved satellite internet connection to Australians in remote and rural regions, I signed up for the new service.
If you are currently connected to satellite internet using old technology, sign up for connection to the new Sky Muster satellite through the NBN (National Broadband Network) initiative.
You cannot request the NBN connection through your current satellite internet provider, but you nominate a provider on the NBN registration form. You can choose to list your current provider. But it is worth making enquiries about the packages offered by a number of different service providers.
New Satellite Dish for Sky Muster Internet
How Long Does Installation Take?
The process of installing the new NBN Sky Muster satellite can take up to four hours. In addition to erecting the new satellite dish on the roof, the cable has to be fed down your wall (inside the wall cavity) and a plug for the cable attached to the wall. The modem is also attached to the wall, then connected to the cable.
My Sky Muster modem was attached to a new wall, not yet painted. But that's okay. It is easily removed by twisting the modem a little (clockwise) and then sliding it off. I asked the technician to demonstrate it for me, so I can paint the wall later.
I had hoped the existing cable to my previous satellite for internet would be used, but no. It is a new cable and you have no option other than accepting it.
No concerns about possible damage to my brand new wall. The technician drilled the appropriate small hole, then fed a firm plastic tape (the kind wrapped around large boxes during transit) through the hole and upwards.
We firmly packed insulation into that wall, and I feared it might be obstruct progress. But when the tape didn't smoothly travel all the way to the top of the wall, he simply taped a piece of garden hose to the end and tried again. Success. A bit of old-fashioned innovation came to the rescue.
Feeding Cable Through Wall
Does Sky Muster Satellite Have To Stay Turned On?
Page 8 of the User Guide supplied by the installer of my new NBN SkyMuster Satellite states the modem must remain plugged in and switched on at all times. But that doesn't suit me, so I phoned the NBN contact team to find out more. I wanted to know why the modem has to be left turned on.
I'm sure I'm not the only user to have concerns about leaving an internet modem (and satellite dish) switched on at all times.
- I live off the grid with 100% solar power, so I don't like to waste power. If I'm not using the internet, I turn off the modem as well as power to the satellite dish.
- I am wary of EMFs generated by the technology. Exposing my family to unnecessary electromagnetic radiation makes no sense to me.
- All electrical items including our television, Foxtel, phone chargers etc in our home are turned off at the power switch at some time each day. Stand-by mode is convenient for prompt connection, but wastes power and generates avoidable radiation.
After explaining to the person on the NBN contact number that I am connected to Sky Muster Satellite, I asked her why it is necessary to leave the satellite and modem connected at all times. She insisted if I disconnect the modem, I'll lose my telephone service.
I don't use Sky Muster for telephone connection. I have a conventional land line telephone service. So that's not a problem for me. I only use the satellite for internet connection.
She then said it would probably be necessary for me to reset the modem every time I reconnected it. Told me to look for the reboot/reset button. I corrected her with the news my service provider insisted our modem must never be reset. Resetting the modem would wipe the settings necessary to connect to my service provider.
Her third warning was that I'd be required to re-enter my password every time I freshly connected power. That's not the case either. I have already disconnected power to the satellite system multiple times. It simply reloads the same way my previous satellite did for years and years.
By the end of our conversation, she was confident there's be no problem with turning the new NBN satellite system on and off when required.
My only real concern when I first rang was if I would somehow 'lose my place' as more and more homes and businesses continue being connected to Sky Muster. Seems unlikely, but could the day come when new connections struggle to gain access to the satellite?
The voice on the phone never raised that as an issue, and I didn't bother specifically asking. I'm one of the first to receive the new service and the day of heavy burden on the new Sky Muster satellite may never come. So I'll continue turning my NBN modem and satellite on and off at will.
NBN Sky Muster Satellite Connected
The new NBN satellite service connection via Sky Muster is brilliant. I love it. For the first time ever, we can watch videos online. Instead of getting a glimpse of a couple of seconds of a video, then waiting five minutes for the next few seconds to load, we can simply click and watch videos play.
Websites with lots of photos display quickly and easily. In fact, I've not come across any website or page that has caused difficulty. I am very pleased with my new internet service. If you are waiting for your connection to the Australian Government's NBN satellite, get excited. It works really well, and your life is about to change!
Questions & Answers
I'm interested to know if you are still as happy with Sky Muster as you were in 2016 when you wrote this article?
Good question. This year we were connected to ADSL2 broadband via our landline, so the satellite dish and modem are still in place, but we no longer need to use them.
© 2016 LongTimeMother