Rural areas might try a satellite Web service

HELPDESK

August 30, 2007|By BILL HUSTED | BILL HUSTED,Atlanta Journal Constitution

Ilive way out in the country and it's beautiful, but I am literally the last phone on the local line. My download speeds are very slow. And obviously there is no cable or satellite access. What can I do other than move back to the city? Are there different speeds from the Internet service providers, or am I stuck napping while waiting on a download?

- E. DeVane

You're not out of satellite range. While I am not a great fan of Internet by satellite, it's sure better than your painfully slow dial-up speed. So when there's no other choice, satellite is the way to go.

I won't recommend a specific service, but I will offer a specific example since your e-mail said satellite service was not available. HughesNet advertises service "anywhere in the USA."

You'll need to buy the dish and receiver. Then you'll pay $59 a month if you use HughesNet.

I suggest you do a Google search using the search words "Internet satellite." You'll find several firms that offer satellite service.

In my limited experience using these systems, speeds are slower than DSL or cable access.

I have lost ability to send an e-mail to a person. I receive e-mails from her, but she never gets mine. I contacted my Internet provider about this; they said the problem has to be with her service. Her service says no way, it has to be with my Internet provider. Have you any ideas that would restore my sanity?

- Barbara Larson If the problem involves only the person you mentioned, then either her anti-spam filter, or the built-in anti-spam filter at her Internet service, is blocking your specific address or mail from your entire domain. (The domain is the back half of the address. For instance, "ajc.com" is the domain indicated in my bhusted@ajc. com address).

You can test my theory by using one of the free e-mail accounts from Yahoo or Gmail to send her an e-mail.

If your address is being blocked, your friend can check her anti-spam filter. An Internet provider might also block mail in the belief that it was spam. Usually that's because of past activity from that account or because the domain itself is known as a haven for spammers. I doubt that's the case in this instance.

My incoming spam started increasing significantly recently. For the first time, I see my "full name" or my "e-mail address" as part of the subject in the subject box. What is happening?

- Jack Gibson

My guess is that your name and e-mail address have landed on one of the many lists that spammers buy and trade.

If that is the case, then you may have to live with a temporary increase in the amount of spam you receive.

The alternatives aren't very satisfactory.

You could change your e-mail address, but that would mean notifying all your usual correspondents. You could add a spam filter, if you don't have one now, but it may not make a major difference in the amount of spam you receive.

Some Internet providers also offer a challenge-and-response system of controlling spam. When a person writes you for the first time, they receive the challenge: an e-mail asking them to respond. Spammers can't take the time to do that because they send out thousands, even millions, of e-mails.

bhusted@ajc.com.

Bill Husted writes for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

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