Considering a plan change, would like clarification

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I've been looking at the plans available to me now, which include various Liberty Plans as well as the new "unlimited" plans. I'm tempted to make a change from my Classic12 - 15 Gigs a month with a late night free zone from 12 to 5 a.m. I find I need a few more Gigs, and more hours of sleep! I'm way too tempted to stay up until 2 a.m. and the time is usually spent poking uselessly around trying to find the videos I didn't allow myself to watch during the day.

I've read the plan descriptions and a lot of the discussions here, but find myself confused about something. Could someone explain to me what is the difference, if any, between the various ways the service is limited after one has hit the cap? 

With the Liberty plans it describes the range of Liberty Pass download speeds, so that's fairly clear, and of course it will depend, I'm sure, on the how crowded the system is.

With the "unlimited" plans, it says after using 150 Gigs it will "prioritize my data behind other users." Am I right in assuming that would be a more serious reduction in service than the Liberty Pass provides?  I mean, 150 Gigs is 10 times what I have now, so it seems unlikely I'd hit that cap, but I'd like to understand what that would would happen if I did, and how it compares to the Liberty plans.

I've met the cap on my Classic plan the last couple of months, and have been surprised that the service I'm getting without buying more Gigs is actually pretty adequate to my needs.  It used to be that when I hit the cap, I had virtually no service, but my recent experience is different.  Which makes me wonder if I should just sit tight on the Classic.  

Thanks in advance for whatever clarity anyone can offer me.  

Kate Smith
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Katherine Cragoe Smith

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Posted 9 months ago

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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I have a similar plan and just couldn't justify giving up a five hour free zone. Once you give it up, you lose it. You might be able to get a 3 hour Liberty free zone, and depending on your location Liberty might be a good option.

Couple things to consider. One, if you do decide to love to Viasat-2 in a few months, that will require new equipment. Do you really want to swap out equipment now that you might get rid of a few months later? Second, if you go unlimited your video resolution will be degraded to standard definition unless you are on the.Gokd plan. Finally, unless you can get an unlimited plan for $99, you are going to pay a significant premium for 150GB of data and you might only use half of that .

So everyone has to make their own decision, but for me staying on Classic right now makes the most financially as I wait to make the jump to the new satellite shortly.
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Katherine Cragoe Smith

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Thanks for your input--you make several good points.  

Regarding equipment, though--I wouldn't need new equipment to move from Classic to Liberty, would I? Not unless it's Liberty "Boost," which I think does require something different...

My router is not from Exede, it's my own, a Cradlepoint some-model-or another that I had on hand from when I was using it to broadcast a signal from a wee Verizon device around the house.  It was a bad situation.  We barely have a Verizon signal in this house, so Exede was a real breakthrough for me.  
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Old Labs

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While the Boost option reqires the newer WiFi modem, it's a self-install so existing customer  considerations for the new equipment that will be required when moving to Viasat-2 in a few months are few - it would/might, however, be consideration for new customers who would require two installs (service calls) in the span of a few months. Existing customers on Viasat-1 will still require a service call if moving to Viasat-2 (assuming they can move to it - an unobstructed line of sight to the new satellite will be required and there's no gurantee you'll have that - in my case I probably wont have one without taking down a couple of trees but am hoping the new elevation angle will be sufficient to clear them since it probably wont be worth cost to have them taken down professionally - if so I'll simply stay on Viasat-1 where things should improve also as subscribers and demand is shifted to Viasat-2).

I found myself in similar circumstances when switching to a Liberty plan from a Classic plan and was not getting any significant advantage from the 12-5 AM free zone having rediscovered a fuller night's sleep. The Liberty 3-6 AM free zone is sufficent for me at this time (getting up around 5:00 AM as I'm doing now and performing updates for an hour is sufficient).

When I do exceed my priority data and am in Liberty Pass mode, the 1 - 5 Mbps claim is generally accurate during non-peak usage periods (occasionally more than that). During prime time (evenings and weekends) it's typically much lower at around .1 to .2 Mbps. Even with the .1 to .2 Mbps simple browsing remains functional and usable for me (but that's largely because I've eliminated much of the bloat that appears on today's web sites that makes them unusable at those lower speeds).     

Overall, Liberty works well for me since I can shift my usage to non-peak periods during the day time while on Liberty Pass - those who cannot shift to non-peak will likely be disappointed based on their currently assigned beam's utilization during peak hours. In my case it works well since I'm paying less per month than I previously was (and getting more sleep).       

With Liberty Plans you are both throttled and deprioritized while on Liberty Pass.

With Unlimited Plans you are simply deprioritized on reaching the 150 GB cap. The net effect during peak hours is reported to be the same as those on Liberty Plans (very slow), but during non-peak hours your "speeds" should return to normal (there is no throttling on unlimited plans except for that of detected video streaming). The experience on Unlimited plans should be less severe on reaching priority data on Liberty.    
          
(Edited)
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Katherine Cragoe Smith

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Thanks for the information, Old Labs.   I keep running into health information that says a good long nights' sleep is important for keeping your wits about you in old age.  Sufficient sleep puts me in a more ambitious mood, too. 
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Bev, Champion

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Katherine,

Classic - go over your data cap and you are hard throttled to very slow speed.

Liberty - go over and you are hard throttles to 3-5 Mbps but, may see slower than that during times of heavy congestion.

Both of those have the Video Data Extender which reduces video to 480 (DvD quality/SD) that can be turned off if you so desire.

Unlimited - go over the 150 GB soft cap and no hard throttling, only slowed if your beam is congested (the more people using Viasat Internet in your are a at the time, the slower Unlimited is once you have used 150 GB in a month. Video quality is determined by the Unlimited plan you choose (Bronze, Sliver or, Gold) and, is controlled by Viasat, you can't turn it off.
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Katherine Cragoe Smith

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Very cogent summary, Bev.  Thanks!