Looking for some help about satellite internet

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I have had Exede internet since I  moved into my house about 2 years ago. I have enjoyed the service and like the reliability and the speed. I have learned to keep my data within the cap with only a few problems.

A few weeks ago my boyfriend moved in with me, and he was previously living in a place that had TWC high speed cable, with no data cap, so he is trying to learn to limit his data consumption now. I have never really paid much attention to the differences in cable based internet to satellite internet, and up until now, I would check the meter every few days just to make sure I was staying within my data budget.  My boyfriend has been bring up some things that I never thought about, or even realized wee happening, so I am asking others here on the forum for some explanations.

He has asked me about things like why is the latency so high, why pages seem to take a second or two to load, and why the internet seems to get slow during the evening hours.

I would love it if you could explain some of these things to me so I might be able to quench his curiosity. I have just fund this forum recently.
 I have been on the Liberty 18 plan since last November, but with my boyfriend here now, I have switched to the Liberty 30 so we have enough data for the both of us.
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Christine Conrad, Champion

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Posted 2 years ago

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redave

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The short answer is that the data has to go from earth to upload to a satellite, and then back to you, and that distance is quite large,  that causes the latency 
The slowness in the evening is due to the limited amount of data that the rather small satellite can handle,  in addition to the 'beam' that you are on
When you live in the boonies, you get used to it,   especially if you have never had fast cable internet.
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Old Labs

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Latency is satellite Internet's inherent weakness. With the approximate 88,000 mile round trip that data has to to make between Earth and the satellites, there is going to be a noticeable between the moment a you click on something and the moment in which the you see the result - it's simply the laws of physics at work. Contrast that with the comparatively short distances land based (including wireless) services must travel.

Slowness during peak evening use is typically attributed to congestion (more people on the information super highway) and the satellite's capacity is saturated. Unlike land lased services, the only way to increase that capacity is to launch a new satellite. Once launched however the satellite's capacity is a fixed and shared resource.

Some may question whether the service has been oversold, but it would probably be an unwise business decision to base subscription levels on peak usage periods when bandwidth remains plentiful during other non-peak periods.        
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Gregory Davis

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To add a few more comments. Depending where you live you share a specific BEAM area with your neighbors and the reason it slows down, usaully in the evenings when your neighbors are also using the internet. This BEAM also has to come down to a ground station which is then connected to the internet via FIOS. Even those with a FIOS (Verizon, Comcast, AT&T,...) connection will at times noticed SLOWED response due to high traffic in/out specific WBE sites but normal speeds when looking at other Web sites. Think of it as RUSH HOUR - traffic tie ups - there may be some back roads (other sites) that are not so busy.
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Christine Conrad, Champion

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redave, thanks for your answer. So I guess the latency means the delay it takes to get from pressing "enter" and getting a response on the screen. What are you talking about with the "beam" thing? I am not very technically tuned, so I may be asking some rather foolish questions.

I haven't been on a fast internet for several years now, and back in college, it wasn't really that fast. It is my boyfriend who is spoiled with the 30 Mbps cable internet he had at his apartment.

I love living in the boonies, I grew up on a dairy farm, so I am used to the country living and its advantages.
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Old Labs

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You should have gone to Farmers Only Dot Com, city folk just don;t get it...

Just kidding ;)
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redave

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the guys above explained the beam,  but how i 'see' it is this satellite way up there has several [lenses if you will] that point to north america,  each one is a 'beam' that covers a certain geographic location,  so if you are in central Calif, you might be on 'beam' 369,  but if you are in central Oklahoma,  you might be on beam 325, and beams that have more people using exede,  then there will be more traffic on the highway      [or county road for us folks] 
it really was not that long ago that i only had dial up  LOL
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Bev, Champion

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Another way to put is that a beam is a highway between the  satellite and the area you live in. When there is a lot of traffic, everyone on the beam (highway) has to go slower than when there is less traffic. The speed limit might be 12Mbps but, with heavy traffic, you can only go 2Mbps. (65Mph vs. 45Mph. if it were a highway for cars.)
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Gregory Davis

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Bev, I really enjoy your posts, but me being a Matematician I need to correct your math. It's all about ratios 2:12 is like 66:11. So it would be like instead of 66 Mph it would slow to 11 mph. Have a nice day (you all).
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Christine Conrad, Champion

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Old Labs, you are so funny. Actually my boyfriend is from a small town, and really like the rural life I live, and seems to be very happy around this farm girl. He just got spoiled living in that apartment with decent internet and tv cable service.
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Christine Conrad, Champion

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I do want to thank all of yo for your helping me understand the deep workings of this satellite internet thing. I am learning. Sometimes I learn things the hard way, but at least I keep trying. You guys have been very helpful.
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Bev, Champion

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Hey, we all had to learn this stuff once. For me that was over a decade ago. Back then I had no clue what latency, ping, Mbps vs MBps vs Kbps, TRIA, etc... all meant or what any of it meant for me and my computer.

I know it now, but we all had to learn at some point.

FYI: Mbps = megaBITS per second (that's how internet speed is usually measured)
MBps = megBYTES per second
Kbps = kiloBITS per second  and that's how dial up is usually measured.
TRIA is the white and/or grey thing at the end of the arm on you dish, it's what actually sends and receives the signal to and from the satellite.
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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Christine, as usual our forum champions have done a great job explaining things. It also never hurts to take a quick look at your service to make sure everything appears to be working OK. If you send an email to exedelistens@viasat.com with your phone number or account number, we can check it for you.
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Markgc, Champion

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michael

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first latency does not matter unless you want to do online game play like X-box or PlayStation . the reason there is high latency on wireless/ satellite is what most people just said . but think DSL, its slow and cable is fast and fiber is fastest but they all have low latency because they leave you house or business and go to the nearest hub/ junction / data center and directed at the end node or service/ server that you want to talk too . then there is a hand shake from your device to there network device , when the hand shake happens you got access and data can be transferred back and forth and maybe it only needs 2 nodes to get from them to you thats going to create low latency because the road is short from you to them like going to a store by your house and its 5 minutes away . but you have satellite your store is not 5 minutes away its 10 minutes away you just doubled you latency the time to make a round trip . satellite has a small amount of ground stations so it makes high latency . its like you live in Washington DC and you want to go to Florida but the plane can only go to Georgia so now you got to travel by car, bus or train to complete your trip from Georgia to Florida but now your there and anything you do only takes a normal amount of time and you want to bring back grandmas china dishes you still get to bring them back at the same time it just took longer there and back but you still got what you need .. simple a wired or optic connection might need to go in and out of 3 data centers to get to the finish line but a sat has to go to a minimum of 2 extra connections there and 2 extra back and a satellite can not reroute you when there is a jam in through put witch it saying you have a 8oz cup but you want a 10oz drink so fill the cup and drink some then the rest will fit in the cup .just a different view of what was said ..
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Matt B, Viasat Employee

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This is a year-old thread.  I'm closing it.

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