Netflix user considering Switching to Exede

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Hello,

I am currently a customer of AT&T FastAccess DSL. I live in a rural area so the MAXIMUM speeds I can get are from DSL (cable does not service my area) and they are 5Mbps down and .5Mbps up. These are top end speeds but both usually are about a 1/3rd slower.

The Pro is:
- It is unlimited. Meaning that I can watch as much Netflix/Hulu/Youtube as I want and I never worry about going over data

The Con is:
- The speeds absolutely suck. For 12 years AT&T has promised that they are working on increasing speed offerings for our area but I just found out that they have decided to not invest in our area and are, in fact, scaling back their DSL service (i.e. limiting DSL service to 1 per household).

I would like to ask these simple questions:

1. I am told that with Exede I will enjoy 25Mbps (at least on the first day of the new cycle) and after that the speed will be throttled down. What will it be throttled down to?

2. 
If being a customer of Exede means that I would have to stay up until 3:00am to tell Netflix to download something for the next day, that would totally suck! but if that is what you have to do to enjoy the service, how are people doing that?
- Do you have to create a home network with a media server or something?
- Are there download assistants (for Mac) where you can schedule Netflix downloads?

If the answer to question 1 is that the throttled speed drops by 50% (from 25Mbps to 12Mbps) then I'd be totally ok with that ... heck even at 75% (25Mbps to 6.25Mbps) would still be better than my current DSL.  If however, the throttled speed drops by 90% (25Mbps to 2.5Mbps) then it would not be worth it to switch. 

Could someone please give me some insight ...

Thank you
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Gary

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Posted 2 years ago

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Bradley

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Gary, I think it would be important to first ask what kind of prices are you currently paying for DSL and if you are happy with the way it streams Netflix.  Do you get the resolution and buffer free experience you want?  Satellite is handicapped by data limits and on the "unlimited plans", you are restricted by the resolution of the plan.  Depends upon beam and time of the day, but you will most certainly see better speeds than DSL with Exede.  You will also certainly see times where you would be lucky to get 2.5 Mbps on a 25 Mbps plan.  

Exede can be faster than DSL for browsing, but if steaming is your main concern, personally, I'd stick with DSL if you get the streaming quality you desire now. 
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Gary

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Our Netflix is already set to SD (480) and we can stream it without issue ... on one device. Where it becomes a problem is when I want to watch something on Netflix and my son wants to watch Rhett and Link on Youtube while my wife scrolling through IntsaGrams, Coupons, Facebooks, etc ... That is when it all bottlenecks for us.

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that on the "unlimited" plan, there will even be times of day where we will be lucky to get 2.5Mbps?

Are these times regular times? Like are they between 3pm - 8pm ... or 8am - 5pm? or is it just random times? 

Netflix is not the only use ... I work from home and require internet usage but most of that usage is uploading so the upload speed is also a positive thing for Exede.

Also, IF there happens to be any other Mac users out there, can you recommend a good download assistant that lets you schedule your download to be in off peak hours. 

I have an external HD connected to my Airport Extreme that I can use as a storage for downloaded content and then stream it to my Apple TV. 
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Bradley

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Yes to your first question.  There are times it will slow dramatically, even with priority data left.  Mostly during prime time, but subject to slow at any time.  Exede is probably going to be much faster than the dsl you currently have, but in some ways, you would have trade offs that might cancel each other.  ViaSat 2 early next year will probably change all of this.

Exede pros:  faster than most DSL (multiple users can do more)
Exede cons:  data caps (even if "soft' caps), high latency, network congestion dramatically reducing speeds, weather outages, often higher priced

I had four people in the house yesterday streaming YouTube videos, surfing FaceBook, etc.  It all worked fine.  Most times Exede is a fine service.  If you can live with the limitations, it will almost certainly be a better experience for multiple users than what you currently have.  
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Gary

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If you can live with the limitations, it will almost certainly be a better experience for multiple users than what you currently have.

I think that that is the key right there ... seems to me that people have a hard time switching from DSL/Cable to Exede because they expect it to better when it should be more viewed as

different ... better at some things not so much on others ...

What is this ViaSat2 you speak of and where can I learn more about it?

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Bradley

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Bingo.  

Check this link.  I'm excited about it.  Game changer in many ways.

https://www.exede.com/blog/status-update-viasat-2-newest-satellite/
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Gary

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Sounds exciting ... Although, now I am wondering if I should wait until January and order new equipment then or go ahead and get the V1 compatible equipment and hope they offer an exchange program ... or maybe the V1 equipment with new plans will be just fine with others moving over to the V2 satellite and freeing up some bandwidth.
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Bradley

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That's a pretty big point to consider.  If I had something workable ATM, I might just hang around and see what happens.  Two-three months is not a lot of time to wait in the long term.  
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Anita Tockey

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Stay with dsl.2 year contract sucks.some days my speed is .5 some days 6 some days 9. 1st day was 34,never again after that and I have the supposed speed doubler. I regret my decision to go with Excede daily.
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Gary

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Have you tried to find out why your speeds are so low? If so what did you find?

I'm constantly dealing with "outages in my area" with DSL ... at least once a month. I am currently using my cell phone as a hot spot for internet access (which actually has faster service than my DSL).

EDIT: Thank you for your response. I appreciate the feedback.
(Edited)
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xode0000, Champion

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@ Anita Tockey:

The problems you are having could be hardware related, as for example dish slightly out of alignment.  You might want to see what http://192.168.100.1 (your Exede modem page) says.  If you do post a screenshot, please remove the section labelled "Identification" first.
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xode0000, Champion

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I'm constantly dealing with "outages in my area" with DSL
I suspect that Exede is going to more reliable for you, even with its weather outages.  I believe that my Exede service went down only 2 times in the past 6 months or so, and, in each of those instances, my service was down for no more than 30 seconds or so.  Exede actively monitors its service 24/7/365 and, whenever there is a problem, they work to get it fixed right away.  If you have Exede service and the cause of your outage is not at your location, your Exede service will come back up, without you even having to call them.  Compare that to AT&T, Verizon, or any of the other large and very rude phone companies, who do not monitor their network at all, and who give you a hard time when you call in to report a problem and ask to get it fixed.

You do want to make sure that you get a reliable installation of the Exede service at your location.  I would recommend:

  • the installer use brand new cable between the Exede modem and the tria (the box on the dish), that he/she not use any existing cable you might have, and that the cable from the Exede modem to the tria be in a protected run and not strung across your roof or anything like that.

  • the cable between the Exede modem and the tria be at least 40 feet.  In any event, the stats page for the Exede modem at http://192.168.100.1 needs to show "Cable resistance" of at least 1.0 ohm and no more than 3.0 ohm.

  • the power supply for the Exede modem have at least a surge protector, and ideally an uninterruptible power supply,  between it and the wall plug, and the Exede modem be in a freely accessible location.

  • After the install is complete, the stats page for the Exede modem at http://192.168.100.1 shows "Cable resistance" between 1.0 ohm and 3.0 ohm and an SNR as close to 10 as possible.  The higher the SNR, the less likely bad weather at your location will cause an outage for you.
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R Frederick

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I don't think I have ever checked the cable resistance at my location so thanks for this information. I've been a customer since 2013. We have no other options for internet service and have assumed we had to learn to live with things as they are. Anytime I call in they usually tell me everything is fine even though there is a problem so I rarely bother to call any longer. If there is a total outage I wait a while and it generally clears up. We are on the Evolution Plan and are very careful about usage. We have never streamed because we have assumed it would just burn up all of our time. Just looked using the information you have provided and my cable resistance says:  Cable Resistance 0.5 Ohm. Do I need to do something about this?
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R Frederick

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I don't think I have ever checked the cable resistance at my location so thanks for this information. I've been a customer since 2013. We have no other options for internet service and have assumed we had to learn to live with things as they are. Anytime I call in they usually tell me everything is fine even though there is a problem so I rarely bother to call any longer. If there is a total outage I wait a while and it generally clears up. We are on the Evolution Plan and are very careful about usage. We have never streamed because we have assumed it would just burn up all of our time. Just looked using the information you have provided and my cable resistance says:  Cable Resistance 0.5 Ohm. Do I need to do something about this?
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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R Frederick, Any cable resistance less than 3.0 ohms is good, yours is excellent.
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R Frederick

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Thanks Steve. I guess I misunderstood what was written previously and thought perhaps we had a problem. I am relieved to know it is okay.
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xode0000, Champion

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R Frederick, Any cable resistance less than 3.0 ohms is good, yours is excellent.
Actually, I believe that R Frederick could have a problem.  Too little cable resistance tends to cause potentially destructive resonance between the modem and the tria which can cause the modem to cut out without warning.  The cable resistance needs to be at least 1.0 ohm in order to keep that resonance in check.  That is what happened to me.  The fix is to put in a longer cable.  Once that was done for me, I never had a problem since.

R Frederick: does your modem tend to cut out from time to time for no reason?  Further, if your modem has cut out, does the stats page at http://192.168.100.1 show a red marker by the IFL?
(Edited)
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R Frederick

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Thanks for the reply. I honestly don't know if it has ever shown a red marker by the IFL. We have times when our service becomes fairly slow or seems to drop completely but not frequently. There was a time a couple of years ago that we were having a lot of problems but nothing like that recently.  I usually reboot everything and most generally that takes care of it. There are times when it seems as though what is happening is on Exede's end because the lights on the modem go out completely and then begin flashing. At times like that, I generally leave things alone and just wait a while because it usually fixes itself. I only mess around with it when it is sluggish.

Next time something happens I will check the stats page now that I am more aware and know how to locate the info.

We were a bit limited because of the location of our house (surrounded by mountains, rocky hills, and boulders with large pine trees on the west and east side) so the installers had only one place on the edge of our roof that was optimal, and which was also a good location inside for the modem, etc. There definitely is not 40' of cable from the dish to the inside of the house. The installers left quite a bit of cable inside the room where the modem is located in case I needed to move it around. I have moved furniture and the equipment three times and the spot where I have everything located right now (almost directly below the spot where the dish is mounted) seems to give us the best reception. The excess cable is coiled up in a corner. Some of the reason things are better in the current spot may be where the router is now located - it seems to be in its happy place.

Appreciate the information and will keep an eye on the stats page to see if there is a red marker showing when there could be a problem. Just ran Speed Test to see where it is at 16.27 Mbps download and 2.43 Mbps upload so I'd say I don't have anything to complain about right now. Thanks again.
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VeteranSatUser

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Gary. I can tell you all you need to know when it comes to Netflix and Exede. Your location is also going to dictate your satisfaction level with Exede.

At this point, I would follow the advice of other posters so far. Wait until the new satellite comes on board.
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DebG

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I've been streaming Netflix and YouTube with Exede for 10 months now.  I stream 10-15 hours per week at standard resolution without any buffering.  I'm on the Freedom 150 plan, and most months I use up to half of my data allowance.

Although I don’t monitor my speed, I’m unaware of any throttling down, and I certainly don’t schedule any downloads.  You may be considering a different plan than the one I have, however.  My plan doesn’t have a free time.

I do tend to lose my signal altogether during sandstorms and rainstorms, sometimes for several hours.  Although I'm pleased with my Exede experience overall, there are no other acceptable options where I live (boonies, California desert).  I've always regarded satellite internet as a last resort option.
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Ron D Stricklin

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You'd be better sticking with what you have or seeing if ATT fixed wireless is available.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi Gary
 
It looks like the other users gave pretty solid advice. Since you stream in SD that's great because a lot of the unlimited plans are optimized for that resolution (or better) so I think if you want to get Exede that should work fine. 

The speeds on the unlimited plan will vary depending on the network at the moment. I haven't seen too much say it affected the streaming on those plans.

Our Liberty Plans though do not have the resolution restrictions but they do have priority data limits. Once you go over those you go into Liberty Pass which slows you to 1-5mbps outside of peak hours. During peak hours (5pm-12am or so) you may drop below that range.

I would say if you were looking at us the Unlimited plan if available in your area will be the route to go since you stream a lot. We are having ViaSat 2 release early early next year and that will possibly bring additional options
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Gary

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Thank you for your response.

RE: The V2 satellite ... will there be any sort of trade in program for people who have V1 equipment?

Will the V2 satellite eliminate so much bandwidth traffic that V1 equipment users might also see speed increases ... instead of topping out at 25Mbps maybe 30-40?

If the V2 satellite is to cover 7x as many people wouldn't that also mean the potential for 7x as many customers therefore bottlenecking everything again?
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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It will take quite some time to get there and we already have ViaSat 3 in development with a targeted 2020 release
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Ron D Stricklin

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You had viasat-2 in development in 2012 with a targeted release of 2014 said your phone side staff.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Just because you hear it from phone support doesn't mean it is always accurate.

Viasat-2 isn't really that far delayed. Now Viasat-1 was delayed for several months because there was cleaning fluid spilt on the satellite during its production.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Yeah if I had a nickle for every wacky thing I heard a phone agent apparently said.... I think I heard one say that the satellite is malfunctioning once. No no noooo (gives a funny end scene of Goldeneye of the satellite burning up in space mental image) but I would say for any official news look for announcements on our blogs or by an employee on here. A lot of times if you ask a big picture question like "When is the new satellite expected" they won't know any more than  you and are merely guessing if they give you a date that isn't reflected on any official Viasat/Exede Blog post. 

ViaSat-2 did have a few bumps in the road. Space X had a Falcon Heavy rocket explode so that set us back, we had a minor delay with civil unrest where we launched it from but we got her up shortly after. So Viasat-2 is already in space. We get the keys handed over by the end of the year and after some testing on our end we'll release it. ViaSat 3 has been in development, these things take years but we anticipate seeing it in 2020 or so and then by then we'll probably have more plans for expansion. Take target releases as just that:  "a target" 
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Some of the stuff I've heard from phone reps is downright silly. I suppose when some people don't know, rather than admitting they don't know something, just make up something that sounds sensible to them.

I was the one, or one of the ones that got told the satellite was malfunctioning and someone was on their way to fix it LOL. Gee, when did y'all buy or build a space shuttle and hire astronauts? Maybe just build your own launch vehicle if you can do all that LOL.

Either that rep had no clue, or she actually meant that there was a problem with the antenna at a SAN and, someone was going to fix that.
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DOOOONNNNNTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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xode0000, Champion

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Exede has worked quite well for me.  What hasn't worked for you?  Or, do you not have the Exede service at all and are simply making this statement based on hearsay?
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Gary

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Do you have reasons or explanations or just "don't"?
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Marika

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I'll offer up my 2 cents real quick, I am on the unlimited silver 25mbps plan, I can stream on Hulu and Crunchyroll in 480p with ease, but Netflix ever since swapping plans just doesn't wanna load anything. So, for general streaming aside from Netflix and Twitch, it should be good.  The first day i had it speeds were pretty slow, then there was a short outage and ever since my speeds have been above 10mbps pretty consistently even during peak hours while over 150GB used. 
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Marika,

On Netflix is that at all times, or limited to peak usage periods? Just trying to put together another piece of the "optimization" puzzle.
(Edited)
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Bev, Champion

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Marika, that may be an issue on our beam. I too have found that Netflix is an issue at all times. It will not connect at all on the smart TV, connects but videos will not load on any device connected via wifi (using SB2+ built in wifi and, no this modem does not have the slow wifi issue) Ethernet connected desktop computers will play netflix videos.

Could be something in the firmware for the SB2+ as well, or a minor setting at the SAN, might be a simple fix, might be no fix available.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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I assume you've tested using your older router's WiFi (if applicable) attached to an Exede WiFI modem LAN port (to potentially pinpoint the Exede Wifi functionality as the culprit).
(Edited)
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Bradley

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I'm pretty sure my significant other was streaming Netflix the other day without issue.  Different beam than you of course.  She has the subscription, not me.  I'll try it out tonight for myself.  She was using her phone and my wifi.  I would think if Netflix streaming was problematic, the forums would have blown up by now.  
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Bev, Champion

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It may be isolated to one beam. I don't have another router to test with, my old pre SB2+ router is dead, not worth buying one for that. That's why i suggested that it may be something at the SAN (Gateway) for us because it seems only to be beam 332.

All other video service stream just fine, it's just NetFlix that has issues with WiFi streaming on this beam, knowing a bit about it makes me think it's either a firmware thing, or a SAN thing going on, or it's this wacky area that gives installer fits getting SNR above 7.0 in the first place, in which case, it can't be fixed.
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I wish I could get an SNR of 7. If I can get 6 to 6.5 on a clear day I am lucky. But you are right Bev, SNR is what it is by location and can't be fixed.

Another reason why I don't want to change plans. I don't want the 480p, but if upset the apple cart and cant get my Netflix to work to finish Stranger Things, those would be fightin words!
(Edited)
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Marika

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Old Labs,

Sorry for such a late reply, but it is anytime.  Whenever I use Netflix even in far off-peak hours (such as 2 AM) it will never load. This isn't a big issue for me, I seldom use Netflix, but not being able to binge the new season of Stranger Things sucks. 
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Thanks Marika,

See my later reply to Bev if possible to try that as a work around. 
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Marika

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Alright at 5:30 AM aka just now I tested if Netflix ran and it did, crappy quality I'd say about 240p. But, it did in fact load and didn't buffer during my short test.  I didn't make any changes to wifi or anything, cause tbh I am fairly sure i would mess it up worse if i actually tried to tweak it lol.  Anyways, I guess it will on a very rare occasion work during off-peak hours in very low quality.  
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Jim16

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Netflix should work extremely well even if you have slow speeds.  Do you have Netflix video playback set on auto?  That will allow Netflix to set your streaming rate according to your internet speed.  You say you're getting 10mbs, you should have zero issues with Netflix.  Are you using Appletv?  I had very poor results trying to stream Netflix using AppleTV when I switched to Exede.  Roku works great.
(Edited)
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Marika

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I watch on my laptop and tbh I use my friend's Netflix account so whatever setting he has is what it is set to. That very well may be the problem.

edit: I just remembered that on Liberty 10 during off peak hours or when i had data, it played perfect, it only started messing up like this once i swapped plans.
(Edited)
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Jim16

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Depending on the real subscribers account, he may only have paid for one screen at a time and that is why you are having problems using it.  And lets be real here, you shouldn't be stealing from Netflix, it's not right and Bev may sic her wolfhounds on you!
(Edited)
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Marika

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He pays for 4 screens+UHD 4K.  So, i guess it's just the connection being weird, I don't use it very much, so oh well. 
(Edited)
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Bev, Champion

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He has it set to the highest resolution possible, $K if available for that video. On Silver Unlimited, that would buffer (attempt to load) for a very long time and, unless you have a 4K capable device is pointless.

With Silver, we need to use 480 or lower (DVD quality) for smooth streaming. Netflix will only stream wired for me, it won't work over Wifi in my home but, that's fine, not many I watch on Netflix anyway. Only thing is, it should work WiFi and isn't even though all other services (Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, HBO to Go, HBO Now.) all work just fine.
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Marika

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I understand that, but I thought Netflix would just load it in the quality the internet would allow since I previously had no issue streaming on the liberty 10 plan during off hours despite his plan always being 4K.  I just did another quick test of loading Moana on my laptop, which has a 120fps 1080p screen and is the computer i use the majority of the time and is always connected through just wifi. The picture quality was blurry, it loaded instantly and didn't buffer, but it looked to be at about 144p.  Quite odd.  
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Marika

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Anyways, it's not a big deal and at this point it is mostly speculation as to why it is working differently than before. 
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Thomas White

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You cant watch netflix with exede. It doesn't load fast enough or at all.
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Thomas White

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Can't use my xbox at all for online gaming or streaming video but i'm stuck in their contract. Basically paying for nothing. Got hooked up with this through a bundle with direct tv. They apologized for the customer service rep setting us up with this. Because we have other internet providers here. Unfortunately they couldn't do anything about it and of course exede isn't going to help with the situation. I suggest you stay far away from this company
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Bradley

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Cancel, pay the penalty, and move to cable. In the long run it will be cheaper and better. Heck, tell them you are a senior citizen. Might get 50% off cancellation...
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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The ole bundling sales trick to save $10 a month. Such sales tactics do more harm to Exede customer satisfaction than anything else Buyer beware of bundling!
(Edited)
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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I watch Netflix and Hulu all the time with no problem. Beam 314, upstate central  NY, Freedom 150 plan.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Depends on the beam and time of day. I know I can't do 1.0Mbps at times during primetime on my beam, and hence no Netflix direct. Same goes for Amazon. Late at night I can get it to work when I pull better speed.
(Edited)
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Lynn

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I switched from Cingular DSL cable to Exede for the same reason and WHAT A NIGHTMARE.  Stay away from this company!!!!  Even when it does work, it's not the speed they tell you it could be. And good luck when the signal goes out - customer service is TERRIBLE.  Just sayin'

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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Can I ask why you would give up cable internet to go to satellite internet in the first place?