My Personal Review of Satellite Internet (SI)

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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My learning curve about satellite internet (SI) has taught me the differences between this and wired service. My local Dealer told me that the Ping Rate (latency) was highly over rated! Well, this might be true but it’s kind of like comparing apples to oranges.

The fastest Ping Rate I have gotten with SI is just under 500 ms and the slowest was 750 ms when I chose an overseas Server to ping to. A friend on a wired service is usually about 25 ms. No matter what my up & download speeds are, I sit waiting on a connection. Sometimes this times out and quits.

My Dealer stressed how great the Boost 25 (25 Mbps) made the SI but with the slow Ping Rate this doesn’t really help. The Exede Flyer states that the upload speed is “up to” 3 Mbps with no hard data cap. Mine has never been under 2.25 Mbps until I used up all of my Data and got switched to the Liberty Pass. Then there are times that the upload part of the speed test won’t finish, so after 10 minutes I just exit from that.

My Dealer asked me how I use the internet. I told him I do mostly Emailing, reading news, some Facebook and watching a couple movies each week. He said that the Liberty 12 (12 GB / month) would be all that I needed. Well, I used up the 12 GB in 20 days and got switched to the Liberty Pass. For the last 10 days of the month I could only do my Emails and all the other sites wouldn’t load.

Since my wife was coming home from her overseas visit, I had to upgrade for the following month. My choices were between Liberty18 and Liberty 150. She likes to watch movies and “surf the ‘net” a lot, I chose Liberty 150 as 18 GB would not be enough for us. This pretty well shot down my Dealer’s hype about how SI was the cheapest and the fastest internet.

My wife was upset with how slow everything loads but we have both adjusted to this. Even with the new satellite going up maybe this year, the Ping Rate can’t improve until someone invents something faster than the speed of light!

My thoughts on all of this...

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Posted 3 years ago

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Thank you Aerosick, I feel this  was a very constructive take. 

The ping rate will always be high no matter how many satellites we put up in the sky because like you said, unless something can go faster than light speed it's going to be in that ping range (we're sadly fresh out of warp drive technology).

As for the data I think a common thing that happens is everyone has a different definition of what "browsing the internet a little bit and maybe a few movies" means. So a LOT of people go to the 12GB plan. Most people only have 2GB mobile plans and do just fine so why not? The issue is mobile data is quite different than what you do at home and even if you do all the right things with streaming (lower resolution and such) it will be easy to eat a lot of that data up. Then you can factor in things like News websites that autoplay videos of the story you're reading, autoplay on Facebook, a few cat videos on Youtube and the data is gone just as quick. Freedom is a really great plan if that's how things work for you. It's a more expensive plan because it is our biggest baddest plan right now. However, one of the BIGGEST goals with ViaSat 2 is to answer the call when it comes to how people use the internet now. Just in the last 4 years something like Netflix wasn't as big on streaming as it is now, today people are favoring it over cable/satellite for TV due to their library. Youtube has gone very similar, Facebook feeds have a lot more video now, so a lot of the internet changed and unfortunately so has data consumption. With ViaSat 2 (expecting to launch in March or April this year) we'll double our ENTIRE bandwidth capacity. As a result we'll be able to offer more robust plans such as Freedom as a more available option as opposed to it sort of being our platinum option like it is currently. In addition we hope to have some more awesome options as well.

There's great things coming very soon, I expect we'll soon see some announcements as we wind closer to our launch. 
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The issue is mobile data is quite different than what you do at home and even if you do all the right things with streaming (lower resolution and such) it will be easy to eat a lot of that data up. Then you can factor in things like News websites that autoplay videos of the story you're reading, autoplay on Facebook, a few cat videos on Youtube and the data is gone just as quick.
I learned most of these "how to" restrict data from here. Also I read a lot of the Questions & Topics by clicking on the Tabs at the top. Also the "Search" here works quite well by just putting in "key words".

Thank you Aerosick, I feel this  was a very constructive take.
Thanks! Hope this helps some here that are also "Newbies" here like I am!
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Markgc, Champion

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Interesting review bit it still boils down to, "if you can get a wired internet service then go with that".  SI is for people who have no other choice and it can never perform as well as a wired service for speed, latency and data caps. Don't believe the saleman's hype when he tries to sell you SI over a wired service.
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I too have had to upgrade to Liberty 150. I first I made the mistake of hooking up Direct TV to the internet, which cannot be undone- As I work from home through some VPNs, I felt the upgrade would be more beneficial anyway. Unfortunately since upgrading, my speed has slowed tremendously! I am quite disappointed at this point as my start with Excede was top notch-
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kevin lawhorn

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Guys the thing is, I hear some complaints which is warranted in some cases. I have done and used all three. dish, hughes and via sat. Via sat hands down better. For most of you which is 85% of exede customers these are the only three options in most areas. And with the new satellites being launched the sky is the limit for this company. I am a retailer and fulfillment partner. By far the best to deal with. ON the cutting edge of technology and a product that is pretty stable for being 22,000 miles in space. Trust me i was with another company that was bought by a very hated company, wont name names. This is exceptional technology, the support is awesome. Might not always get the answers your looking for, but you dont see forums with actual via sat and exede employees on to help out their customers. That should say something. 
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Thanks for all of the feedback on my Review! I hope it helped some learn the ins & outs of SI.
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Gwalk900, Champion

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"I have done and used all three. dish, hughes and via sat"

There are in fact only two mainstream satellite internet providers: ViaSat and Hughesnet

Dish is a DBS satellite Television provider. Dish as well as Directv do offer "bundling" internet services as a re-seller of both Exede and Hughesnet. Which satellite internet service that is offered will vary by local market.

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henry murnahan

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Viasat is taking advantage of my dad. He is 76 with dementia. They claim he entered into contract in spring of 2017. I called dec 29 and had thought we worked it out. But i was told tonight that cotporate said that they wont honor agreement. And gonna take more of his money regardless of his mental disability.
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Matt B, Viasat Employee

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Brad is working with you on your issue.  
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J L Holt

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I have a question about the Silver 25 package.  Talked with a local salesman and he assured me that if we switch from DSL to Viasat that the slowing of speed after the data cap is rare, and that we would be able to stream movies all month and should never have a problem.  We are a large household 8 users.  Is this really true ?  I have read a lot of negative reviews on other sites. Email me please with information **removed email address** Thank You.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I would be VERY hesitant to give up DSL for satellite with that big of family. The amount of data you would consume would be quite large. And if you have gamers in the family they are not going to be happy if they can't play certain games due to high latency.

I am a big proponent of Viasat when it comes to satellite internet. But I know and understand its limitations. If you got good reliable DSL in know way would I switch.
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J L, I’d remove my email if I were you. That said, if you have like the 3Mbps dsl, you might want both. 8 users (depending on your dsl speeds) probably won’t be satisfied with either alone.
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Matt B, Viasat Employee

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J L,

I removed your email address, as this is a public forum.  If you'd like, you can email us at with your questions.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Did I just read that there used to be a Liberty 150 plan?  That sounds freaking amazing.
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"It’s far better to simply upgrade your AT&T phone plan to have a mobile hotspot and use it."
Except many people that have satellite don't have viable cell service at their homes.  Satellite is a last resort option in many cases (not all).  By your complaint, you have better options, many don't.
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I have great cell service but want more than 20 gigs a month. I had a Verizon usb modem getting 45Mbs but only 10gigs for $80. Went to Viasat and got 15 times the data. Some of us have other options and choose Viasat because they are better.
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I guess the "more robust" plans of Viasat 2 haven't materialized.
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Bev, Champion

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Exactly Jim, I have 10 GB on Sprint, for 50/month and 3 times that on Viasat for 100.

fmj, those plans are for the spot beams, rare animals, the rest of us get the 12 Mbps "Unlimited" plans.
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Like I said, in many cases, not all.  Here, many people don't have a usable cell signal.  Also, Exede 5 was closed for installs nearly 6 years (yes, people are tired of me saying that I'm sure), people that did have it dropped it for ~anything they could, including Hughes (as of now, literally everyone I know that had it, because it didn't work well).  Those in range get the regional cell carrier.  Or, Verizon is the only national carrier here, people max out the lines with family and neighbors, gets the phone service cheaper.  Also, it costs $20 to add on a jetpack.  15GB per each line and jetpack (before throttle).  Plus, phones have an additional 7GB (to 22GB), before deprioritization (which here doesn't mean that much since so few are on the tower).
So, added on someone's plan, one phone, ~$50, plus two jetpacks, $20 each, $90 total plus split of tax for 45GB unthrottled usable on any devices, plus unlimited on the phone (could cast, etc.).  If not on someone's plan with more lines, then it's about $130 for that roughly including tax for this area, including the phone service, one line.  Not saying it's better than satellite, because that would vary by area (here, up to now, no question, MUCH better performance), but I am saying that people can make it work (because I know some that do, and it works well).  Works better if people don't download games or figure on much streaming, which, most people keep sat. tv around here, not many game.
If not directly on Verizon, there are various prepaid options on Verizon, Straight Talk (60GB before they look at your usage at $55), Pageplus, US Mobile (with hotspot), Visible Wireless, etc.  Most of those don't have hotspot, but could be used to supplement something, VPN to get around video restrictions.
Depends on what's available and personal choices.  Given the choice of the regional carrier, that's the best one over anything mentioned here.  But picking between the cheapest $110 360p 35GB Viasat plan or something figured out like above, for me, I would not pick satellite, someone else might.  Was hoping that the plans available in other areas, that were never available here, would have at least been matched on VS2.
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Becky Cobb

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Viasat is a JOKE!!!  Called last week asking about service, and terms because of the location we live in is not a good service area for any one. We were told we had a 30 day trial, if it did'nt work we would be able to cancel without penalty. Was install on Monday 2/26, we call tonight 2/28 to cancel because its not working here and were told there is NO "grace period". SCAMMERS, one person tells you one thing to suck  you in, then your stuck. COME GET YOUR EQUIPMENT, SCAMMERS!!! 
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Matt B, Viasat Employee

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Please send your account information to us at, we will work with you.

There is no 30 day trial, if you were told that, then we need to track down the person/dealer that told you that, and correct them.
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victor macias

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We had the same issue. Luckily I asked the installer BEFORE he started and then we spent over an hour on hold trying to get this sorted out. The installer informed me that his previous install cancelled as well because the salesperson lied to them as well. Now I have the fun job of trying to get them to refund the $159.99 they charged to our card before they even did anything. Customer “service” tried telling us that only sixty bucks of that is refundable.
Here is a thought, if your sales guys have to lie to us about trial periods to get us in the door, how about you ... I don’t know... HONOR THE VERBAL AGREEMENT??? Hey here are states where verbal agreements are binding, and with Indiana being one of those I think I may have legal recourse. All we want is for my wife to be able to log in to her job and work from home, she made the mistake of telling your customer service she was blind and dependent on stable internet to work from home and they took advantage of it.
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Alisa Schutza

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Satellite Internet is a SCAM.
Don’t do it! It’s literally, 1,000 times worse than using your phones hotspot!

I just had a technician come install the platinum internet plan, right before he left, made sure everything would load a webpage- all seemed ok. Ran a speed test at speed, speed was 114, upload was 1.14, and ping was is what makes your internet fast- they claimed because its sattilite they couldn’t resolve the ping issue so I cancelled service. With the platinum plan, I couldn’t download direct tv shows, couldn’t use a security camera on internet and no gaming. It’s far better to simply upgrade your AT&T phone plan to have a mobile hotspot and use it. At least the ping on it is under 100.

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