How can Exede's plans be true? (trying to decide vs Hughes)

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Hello, I am deciding between Exede and Hughes.  From a strict pricing perspective it's a no brainer and Exede wins.  I can get 50 GB on Hughes @ 25Mbps for $99 a month, after which it goes down to 1-3 Mbps.  OR I can get 150 GB on Exede @ 25Mbps for $110 a month, and if I read the fine print correctly don't get throttled after hitting 150 GB (which also seems hard to believe but that's not even my primary concern).

So with Exede I can get 3x as much data at the same speed for about the same price.  BUT, that seems really hard to believe.  From what I've read Exede was only able to deliver 71% of their stated speeds in 2016.  And their new sat isn't even active yet.

So how is it that a service that wasn't able to deliver stated speeds in 2016, which IIRC was 12 Mbps, is not suddenly selling plans claiming 25 Mbps with 3x the data of Hughes?  I don't want to sign up with Exede and the real speed is 3 Mbps (or whatever).  In that case I'd rather go with Hughes because I know they at least meet their claims as long as data isn't exceeded.

I appeciate any/all input.
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David

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Posted 1 year ago

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ggg rt

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Wow! Is SAT your only option?
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David

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Ya, it's a bit confusing and I probably misread it since I'm not familiar with their sat packages.  If you go to the FAQ page you get this:

WHAT HAPPENS IF I GO OVER MY DATA ALLOWANCE?If your total data usage exceeds the data allowance, we may significantly slow and/or restrict your service until the end of your monthly measurement period.

But then the next paragraph you get this when they talk about the Freedom plan:

DO I GET THE FREE ZONE IF I’M ON THE FREEDOM PLAN?No, you don’t need it. If you have the Freedom Plan, you get virtually unlimited data without a strict data allowance during all hours of the day and night. That means you don’t need to wait until the wee hours to download movies, music and other big files. For more details, please see the Bandwidth Usage Policy associated with the Freedom plan.
I thought that was saying no throttling but now I realize they were probably referring to people on other plans who exceeded their limits having to wait til the wee morning hours to download if they didn't want to pay extra.
(Edited)
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David

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I would also like to know what "we may significantly slow and/or restrict your service" means?! It would be nice if when they write a sentence like that they clarify it.  5 Mbps?  1?  .5?
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Grumpyoldman

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I have had the freedom plan close to 2 years now and I have only been throttled once. I ran out with a week left and I think the post office would have been quicker. But if you run out a day or two before you probably won't get throttled. Most of the speed complaints seem to come from the west coast. The only way I would leave Exede is if I had cable internet available with no data cap.
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David

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Thanks grumpyoldman. Is there a way to see data usage online with the Freedom plan? Last time I looked in the help section it appeared some users could monitor data but other could not, depending on the plan you were on.

BTW, I'm in Illinois, so hopefully that means good coverage.
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DebG, Champion

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You can see your current data usage when you log into your Exede account.  I also use NetWorx on my computer; it shows my current daily usage when I hover over its icon in my taskbar.  It was vital to know my usage when I was on a 10gb plan; it's less of an issue now that I'm on 150gb.
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Judge and Jury

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If you go with Hughes now, it's a 2 year deal.  ViaSat has ViaSat-2 launched and will go live in 5-6 months and have capacity for bigger plans with more speed.  Exede is the better choice unless you go with Hughes now and later see what you could have had with Exede and don't mind paying off your Hughes contract to switch to Exede.
 
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Well the problem with that question is it cannot be accurately answered. Many factors could affect speed: A router you are using, the equipment connected, whether or not the capacity of the network is maximized or not, and so on.  We do have a range of what speed to expect "up to" and sometimes even that number is surpassed in non-peak times. As for a minimum generally if you are not over your data and no other common factors like speeds slowing in our busier times (common with ALL types of internet provider) I'd say we generally have a concern when it slips below 6mbps just as a VERY rough guideline and from there we may do some troubleshooting.
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Gwalk900, Champion

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David,

There really can't be a stated "minimum" due to the complexities of a sat connection. This is why speeds are listed as "up to".

A sat connection is a shared resource. Shared on many levels.

First ... the capacity of the satellite overall, then shared on a more local level as how much throughput is available on a given beam and gateway at a given instant.

Some beams are more saturated than others ... users in beam can be slowed to a crawl while others in the next beam are going full blast.

Next is the shared capacity within your own LAN ... how many devices are connected to your network ... and then how many programs and background processes are accessing your small "inlet pipe" at a given moment.

A sat connection simply does not have the same capacity, the same stability as a ground based connection be it, fiber, cable, DSL or even a WISP.

   

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David

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Folks, respectfully, I understand this subject fairly well.  Yes, there is a very good reason all network providers use careful language to describe their speeds and never guarantee them.

As far as my home network, it will employ managed layer 3 HP gigabit switches, and router, and a zone director for the access points, so I'm pretty sure the network won't be the limiting factor ;-).

Exede is purposely throttling network traffic when someone hits their limit.  They have to.

They are setting throttled traffic to perform below a certain speed or within a range.  They know what range they are setting and what their goals are and should be able to state them, regardless of whether they can guarantee them.

Whether it drops below that range because of bad weather or congestion is a completely different subject.

This isn't some useless question that has no relevance.  If it gets throttled to 3 mbps that's pretty decent and my existing Verizon phones/tablets give me enough backup as hotspots if I'm having issues on Exede.  But if it gets throttled to 600 kbps I'm going to add a couple Verizon mifi hot spots to my account for an extra 20 GB just to give myself a little extra buffer.  My average usage for the last 6 months has actually been around 200 GB.  But I'm going to be employing my own "family throttling" to bring that under control ;-).

Thanks
(Edited)
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Gwalk900, Champion

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"and router, and a zone director for the access points, so I'm pretty sure the network won't be the limiting factor ;-)."


I was referring to the fact that IF your connection, your "inlet pipe" if you will was supplying .... 12 Mbps at the modem and you had two programs or processes each using 6 Mbps you would be at your inlet pipe capacity but both functions would be operating as desired. If a third device or program/process were to kick on then the two requiring 6 Mbps each would start to appear to slow down.

Multiple devices and concurrent connections among your networked devices can easily exceed the small inlet pipe capacity of a fragile sat internet connection.

    

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Bev, Champion

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On the same vein, it's also a matter of how computers, be that our home computers or, the huge servers at gateways, game servers, even the DNS servers work. While we love to multi task, and might even think all of those computers multitask well, in fact they don't multi task at all.

A computer does one thing at a time PERIOD. They do switch between multiple tasks very quickly, giving the illusion of them doing several things at once, but, they actually are doing one thing at a time.

Say you are downloading a file, reading an online encyclopedia, streaming an internet radio station and, writing a thesis at the same time. Computer is going stream, stop, file, stop, stream, stop, browser, stop, stream, stop, word processor, stop, stream, stop, file, stop..... Hitting each task possibly hundreds of time per minute but, still doing only one at a time.

The more different things the computer has to do, the longer it takes for it to cycle back to any one of the tasks. - that's congestion. Like Gwalk900 said, you end up asking for 18mb when only 12 is available. The computers involved have to find that someplace, they do it by stopping or, drastically slowing SOMETHING else.


With our connections, it's multiple connections (multiple customers) the satellite and gateway are trying to handle. You might be the one that gets drastically slowed sometimes. And that's far more likely once you exceed your data allotment for the month.
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DebG, Champion

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Hi David,

I've been on the Freedom 150 plan since January, and I'm very pleased with it.  I was previously on the Essential 10 for almost a year.  I can't say how my speeds are; I've never tracked them.  I do stream movies on Netflix and YouTube Daily without any buffering and without coming close to using up my data allowance (standard resolution rather than HD).  I do keep tabs on my data use to be on the safe side, and the most I've used in a month is 70%.

I've found the WiFi much handier than I ever expected.  I use it for my smartphone so it doesn't use any of its data.  I also use it to stream movies to my TV with a HDMI TV stick. 

From what I've gleaned here in the forum, the speed and reliability of the Exede service seems to depend a lot on where you are and how congested your satellite beam is.  I'm in the California desert, and the only thing that affects my signal is a sandstorm, which knocks my signal out altogether for the duration of the storm.  I'm sure I'd have the same problem with Hughesnet though.
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Bev, Champion

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First, you are right that Exede wins, even if the price is slightly higher for the SAME amount of data - look at the hours data is available on Hughes, most plans have half or more of that data allotment during late night or the wee hours of the morning. With Exede, you use your data when you want to.

Yes, once you hit the data cap for your plan your speeds will be reduced, that's true of Hughes as well as most other metered service providers.

The thing to keep in mind is that advertised speeds are UP TO 25mbps. That depends on congestion (how many users) on your beam at any given time. Same with Hughes. Satellites have a finite bandwidth capacity (throughput capacity) That is huge obviously but, still it is finite so, no matter how technologically advanced and how fast they are, they can only handle so much data at any given moment.

Just like your computer, the more programs, webpages or apps you try to run simultaneously the slower all of them run. The more users using the satellite at the same time, the slower the speed of each connection.

ViaSat just launched a new satellite, so early next year sometime, their capacity will greatly increase once that satellite is in it's geostationary orbit, is functioning fully and, has been tested. That's another plus for Exede.

The choice is yours, but, even with the price being a bit higher for a plan comparable to mine, I choose to stay with Exede. I have rarely seen speeds below 12mbs, even at peak times, and generally 22 to 25mbps.
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ggg rt

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Then their is those of us who go way below 1mbps after data plan is exhausted.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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If you're on a Liberty Plan you may go below that mark in peak hours http://www.exede.com/liberty/
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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if you are over priority data*
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Grumpyoldman

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David,
You are correct the Exede network WILL be the bottleneck. But these other people are correct also. It is next to impossible to predict what will happen when you get throttled. If it is a network capacity issue it will only run at max capacity. I know for a fact that Dish will throttle down to 8Kbps if you go over your data allowance 'cause I monitored my Ftp Server downloading a file to a cousin and it took almost a day to get it loaded. And the whole time the server reported data rate of around 8Kbps. So in all cases "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". My solution was to set up a warning in my router when I got x gigs before my data limit. When I get the warning and see the Internet LED flashing from green to yellow. I put off downloading files and  updates until the next billing cycle.

As far as Hughes goes I looked at their residential plans and they only go up to 50 Gbytes, With another 50 of off peak. Be careful with that because most isps throttle the off peak when you exceed the priority data cap. I would ask them if they do that and record the conversation legally. Some people will tell you something on the phone and deny it later.
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ggg rt

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YOU ARE SPOT ON CORRECT ABOUT ALL THAT YOU SAY.THANKS
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David

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I thought I'd update this thread.  I had Freedom 150 with 25 mbps boost installed.  Obviously there are a bunch of variables when doing speed testing but in a nutshell it performs as advertised.  I'm very pleased and find it pretty incredible for a satellite connection.

I thought it was pretty funny that after the inability to get anyone from exede to answer my question here about throttled speed, that when the operator who took the order read from her script she warned me that throttled speeds would be between 1 mbps and 5 mpbs.
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Grumpyoldman

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All Right!!!!!!!!
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ggg rt

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Interesting because the truth is speeds can be and often are for me and others far below 1mbps.