Not sure on purchase

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I have been lurking for about 6 months now just seeing how the service is. I know that any ISP get's bad feedback so I take that with a grain of salt.Not saying the people complaining are wrong at all....just saying I need to weed through the complaints.

I'm very close to making my decision to get exceed but there are just a few things that hold me back

1.Locked into 2 year contract then Viasat2 comes online and I could be stuck with a plan
2. On Viasat1 then Viasat2 comes online and I will need all new equipment and satellite realignment (I know buy the service contract but that still means a service call)
3. seems like the answer to many complaints is to spend hours on support calls....not optimal to me as I want less tech support calls

The current plans offered in my zip are pricey but I would be willing to go silver 25 but with I have been lurking for about 6 months now just seeing how the service is. I know that any ISP get's bad feedback so I take that with a grain of salt.Not saying the people complaining are wrong at all....just saying I need to weed through the complaints.
I'm very close to making my decision to get exceed but there are just a few things that hold me back



I'm not complaining in the least...I like exceed and the support given here by others....these are just the questions that are going through my mind 
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briman

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Posted 11 months ago

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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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What are you using for Internet now? And you are correct, if you get something installed now you will need a new modem, a new tria, and the dish repointed. That shouldn't cost for the upgrade, but do you really want to go through the hassle of getting equipment put in an configured, only to change again in less than 6 months? Maybe you do. It is whatever you decide!
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briman

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VetranSatUser,
thank you for the reply
No my goal is not to have to upgrade anything in the next 6 months, that is after getting excede I would rather not deal with hours of customer service calls and needing equipment upgrades.
I currently have a very unreliable DSL ISP 
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Bradley

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Maybe define unreliable dsl. I’d take any dsl over anything Exede offers. Low pings, lower costs, higher data caps, etc.
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briman

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Bradley,
not really lower cost when you add in the land line phone service that you need with having dal and here in California there are taxes upon taxes for copper service. I pay roughly 75.00 a month for my current dal (only dal offered here as no free standing is offered in my area)
by spotty I mean it cuts out constantly after Verizon sold the copper infrastructure services to frontier. The service is not reliable and yes the pings are low but does not help me stream a movie ......I know other cities around me have got more love with fiber available but not here, unless I want to pay for everyone else getting it. Cable is way over priced for the service also so I would rather not deal with them
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Well then you can get the Silver plan now on Viasat-1, but packages and prices could be better on Viasat-2. We don't know yet. Then you might feel compelled to upgrade again regardless or just wait a few more months before taking the plunge.
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Michael McDowell

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I have generally had decent luck with the std Customer Support people.  Not sayin' it couldn't be better!  My son lives nearby and has been getting along with an old Hughes Gen3 system.  He could get Exede Bronze unlimited now for less that what the Hughesnet is costing. However, I advised him to wait a few more months to see what will be available on Viasat-2. 
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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Once ViaSat 2 is commissioned, there will be many people jumping to ViaSat 2 from ViaSat 1. I think that Exede will be offering some great plans on ViaSat 1 as the subscriber base is lower after people make the switch. I do not expect to move to ViaSat 2 as I am getting good speeds and have 150 GB now, and expect that Exede has some good offers after the new bird is in service. I have had Wildblue and Exede for over 9 years and have never had any trouble with their customer service.
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Joshua Serra

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Honestly, if you have a DSL provider you're probably better off staying where you are at. You'll spend a lot more for a lot less internet. The one exception is Exede can probably beat your DSL speeds if that's important to you. My inlaws have DSL and it's next to impossible to stream anything with the speeds they have. That might be worth the extra money depending on what you use the internet for. As far as satellite internet goes? Exede has been decent and I haven't really had any major complaints. I pay A LOT but they have mostly delivered. 

Before you switch do some reading on how much data the activities you use consume. You might be surprised and that's usually people's number one complaint, the low data caps. 
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Anna Morgan

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I have to agree with the others that said stick with your DSL.  I've always experienced great customer service, speeds and reliability from Exede, but it's satellite internet.  You pay premium prices for a fraction of the data that you would be getting through DSL.  Unfortunately satellite is the only option where I live so I have no other choice.

But if you are willing to pay for it, make sure you know how much data you think you'll use.  Networx is freeware that will track your usage.  And a lot of the usage won't even be when you are actively using--automatic updates and backups will use up a huge portion of your data allowance if you aren't careful.  I manage by carefully tracking my usage and avoiding streaming, keeping the WiFi turned off on all of my devices unless I'm currently using them, going to the library to download updates, etc, but it's a pain to deal with.  
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Bradley

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I use to wear out the local McDonald’s WiFi with my update needs lol.
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The biggest thing to look at before switching to Exede on Viasat 1 is whether or not you would end up on a congested beam.  I live close to Baton Rouge, LA and the beam that covers me is awesome.  I consistently get speeds higher than what I am paying for.

If you can get a Liberty plan on a beam that isn't congested I say go for it.  I'm on a Liberty 12 plan.  From the hours of 2am to 4pm, I consistently get speeds of at least 5 mpbs.  Sometimes I even see speeds in excess of 14 mbps.  My speeds are supposed to be between 1 to 5 mpbs during the day.

From 5 pm until around midnight, my speeds drop.  Sometimes speeds are as low as 256k and other times I get speeds past 1 mpbs.  It really just depends on congestion.  I don't do any streaming during prime time and only use Exede to browse the web and troll forums such as this during prime time.  It works awesome for those things even when the network is slow. 

Outside of the prime time hours, I use the Playon software to download/cache video from Netflix that I am interested in watching.  So far I have downloaded over 100 GB of data this month on a Liberty 12 plan.  I do all of my downloads outside of primetime when the Liberty Pass is fast.  I then simply then watch my pre-downloaded videos on my Roku using a program called Plex.  I have a 4 TB external hard drive that I am slowly filling up with content.

If your beam is congested, you are better off waiting a few months for Viasat 2 to go into service.  If your beam isn't congested, you may actually prefer the Liberty plan instead of an "unlimited" plan.  I know I'm very happy and I have no desire to switch to Viasat 2.  I'm paying $60.99 for a Liberty 12 plan.  Thats a whole lot cheaper than the unlimited plans people are racing to and for me it does the exact same thing.
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briman

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Stephen,
I just checked and what is offered in my zip is basic 12 for $50.00, bronze 12 unlimited for $70.00 , silver 25 for $100 and gold 30 for $150.00
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I'm not familiar with Basic 12.  Does it say anything about a Liberty Pass with speeds of 1 to 5 mbps during the day after you use priority data?  And does it mention a free zone from 3 am to 6 am?  that is what I have and I'm very happy.
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briman

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Stephen
It's says up to 12 Mbps 10 GB priority data, free zone from 3am to 8am + video data extender
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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It sounds like the Liberty Pass isn't available to you.  I would wait until Viasat 2 is live and see what they offer then.  Thats just my two cents though.
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briman

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Stephen
What is the liberty pass?

I was thinking bronze 12 unlimited
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Bronze 12 is unlimited but they restrict your video quality.  Some complain that 480p video is bad, well the Bronze plan is 360p video.  Its more suitable for viewing video on small screens.

The Liberty Pass technically isn't an unlimited plan.  For example, a Liberty 12 plan gives you 12 GB of high speed data.  After you use your 12 GB of high speed data you a restricted to lower speeds. 

When the network isn't busy you are supposed to get speeds ranging from 1 mbps to 5 mpbs.  For me, this is typically from midnight to 5 pm.  When the network is busy, you get speeds as low as 256k.  These times are during prime time, typically from 5 pm to midnight.  My speed usually stays below 1 mbps, and often times stays near 256k.  256k is fine for web browsing, but you won't have much luck viewing video with it.

Liberty 12 works perfect for me.  I could care less about the 12 GB of high speed data since I'm happy with the speeds when the network isn't congested.

Hopefully what I said makes sense.  Unfortunately you don't have the option for a Liberty plan.

And keep in mind, these are my results on a good beam.  If you are on a congested beam, your results could be drastically different.
(Edited)
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briman

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Stephen
Yes your replies make sense to me and I appreciate the time you have taken to reply
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Rique

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briman, there are a lot of great answers here already, with a lot of great advice.

Here's my perspective:

First, on the question of DSL vs Satellite. The vacation house that we used last summer had DSL - and I have to say, it was nowhere near as good as our satellite access with Exede. The speed was kind of abysmal, and the connection was not reliable. We placed a couple of service calls and were never really happy with it. So I would differ with a blanket statement that DSL > Exede. I would say that some DSL, perhaps even most DSL > Exede - but I wouldn't say that all DSL beats Exede. And as others have said, Exede will be faster than DSL.

Second, on the Bronze unlimited. If you intend to stream, I doubt you'd care for the experience (unless you are only streaming to a small screen, such as a tablet). Bronze is "optimized" to 360p streaming and I expect the experience would not be so hot with 360p video on a big screen. If you don't care about streaming, then Bronze is a good deal. If you do care about streaming and you can afford it, then Gold for 150 (although too expensive, IMO) is a good option - just don't go for gold if you won't be streaming - there's not enough benefit to justify that high of a price (again, just MHO).

Most importantly, your satisfaction (or lack) will come from your perspective and your expectations.

If you are reading speeds posted and because of that, you are expecting something akin to cable or FIOS or even fast wireless (such as with a WISP or LTE), put those expectations aside. Satellite can be fast, but it also can (and will) experience drop-offs. Understand that the reliability will not necessarily be consistently great. Satellite suffers from "lag" or latency (basically, delays because it's a long round-trip for data). While that doesn't necessarily hurt speeds, it absolutely impacts anything that is "chatty" (lots of two-way traffic). For example, online gaming, Voice over IP, VPN connections, even access to secure (https) sites will all suffer due to lag. Expect that - it will happen. Although your DSL might be slow, lag is not an issue with DSL. DSL is usually good for secure connections, VPN, VoIP. It conceivably can be a bit compromised for online gaming, but that's more due to speed than it is due to lag. Enough about expectations.

And then there is your perspective, meaning where are you coming from? Much has been made of your mention that you have DSL - and yeah, that could mean that your perspective is that you are coming from a place where, although slow, your connection is fairly reliable and frustrations (other than with speed) are rare. My perspective is 20+ years of access via satellite. Cable, DSL, WISP, even LTE access have not been available to me because of where we live. Satellite is my only option. Coming from that perspective, my expectations are realistic and I'm ready and willing to deal with the inherent frustrations that can crop up from time to time with satellite access. Given that perspective, I have a fairly high opinion of the ViaSat technology. Not only is it better than any other option I've used, it has improved over the years. Indications are that it is about to take a big leap forward with ViaSat-2, so it's possible that the technology, already good if coming from the perspective of satellite access, will get measurably better.

Additionally, you should be prepared to be an activated consumer. For the most part, satellite is not so "turn-key". You're going to want to learn as much as you can about dealing with technical challenges and even dealing with business challenges (the customer care division of ViaSat). Your best overall experience will come if you stay actively involved in ensuring that you have the best experience - far more so than with pretty much any internet access technology.

I have found that the Exede tech is good. I've also found that I'm not 100% thrilled with the business arm of Exede. I find the pricing to be higher than it should be (as alluded to already), I am not at all happy with their policy of unequal pricing (there are exaggerated price differences, depending on geographical location), I've had some issues with their billing department and so forth.

On the other hand (and there is another hand), their offerings have improved over the last year. In that time. I've been able to go from an 18Gb plan to a 50Gb plan to a 150Gb plan, and with only a modest increase in pricing. That's a good thing. So while I have a couple of big qualms with the business arm of ViaSat, in fairness I'd have to say it has not been all bad. I don't have expectations that ViaSat-2 is going to bring major improvements in plan offerings or pricing, but perhaps it will. If it doesn't, at least my expectations are not unrealistic. 

And getting back to the technology, I came to ViaSat from Hughes. My experience with the tech is that it's faster, more reliable and has less lag than I had with Hughes. Getting back to the question of perspective  - from my perspective, ViaSat's tech rules the satellite access world. 

Finally, as to your concerns about the contract and so forth... while it is true that you'd be "locked in" for two years, bear in mind that ViaSat lets you change plans anytime you like (increasing or decreasing data caps and speed) without penalty. If a plan doesn't work for you, change it - increase, decrease, whatever. When ViaSat-2 becomes available, there's nothing that says you have to jump on that. You may find that ViaSat-1 is all that you need - and the ViaSat-1 beams are bound to get less crowded once 2 becomes available in Q1 of 2018.

TLDR; ViaSat satellite tech is the reference standard for satellite, business could use improvements in pricing, plans, procedure and policy. Your satisfaction will in large part stem from your perspective and you should temper your expectations - the tech is not perfect, expect delays and uneven availability. Be an involved and activated user of the tech and remember that changing plans is easy.

HTH
Rique
(Edited)
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Joshua Serra

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There's a lot of good stuff mentioned here. 
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briman

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Rique

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed reply (and thanks to everyone else who replied)

My dsl has only gotten worse over the last couple of years since Verizon sold the copper land lines to frontier. I get on good days 3-4 Mbps down but capped on .5 Mbps up and for me upload is important also. I'm not a gamer at all so that latency does not bother me as much. I've been trying to learn all I can about satellite internet and have been asking as many questions as I can here and I'm impressed with the user community and even seeing excede employees writing and commenting here.

I don't stream much but maybe 1-2 movies a weekend with my Amazon prime membership and I'm not so die hard on seeing 1080p ....i watch the movies on my 28" monitor and that's good enough for me.
Understand that there will be slower times and maybe some outage glitches but really want to cut the land line cord and go satellite.....yes there is also cable here where I'm at and I know I'm weird but there is no way I'm dealing with them again.
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Rique

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briman, you're welcome!

Looking at the upload speeds from the last few times I have used testmy.net, they are 3.4, .7 and .2 - that's obviously a small sample size, but 1/3 of the time I was well under your .5 requirement - once again, getting back to my point about expectations - you should not expect that you will always be at (or even close to) .5 for uploads.

There's no way to reconcile your differences with your cable company? If I had that option, I'd put up with a lot of nonsense from the business arm of the cable co. just to have access to it (that is, unless it suffered from hopelessly unreliable connections and terribly compromised speed). Cable suffers from no lag, upload speeds are generally great, data caps are huge or non-existent, speeds tend to be terrific. 

As I said, I think Exede is the standard for satellite internet. However, if I could get cable, I'd take advantage of that in half a heart-beat!

Rique
(Edited)
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briman

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Rique

I know I sound weird wanting (or investigating) satellite internet when cable is also available. I actually did look at the cable option again in my area and just the internet at the cheapest plan was 70.00 a month and that is 25/10 up down.

I just want to cut the land line ties and for what I do...casual surfing , a movie or 2 on my Amazon prime a weekend, small downloads and uploads I'm still interested in excede. I would keep my dsl for a couple months just as a backup before canceling
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Mr.Anderson

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Just get Exede then... and be done with it.  

Just like other people have said though, I would try and make up with the Cable company and just use their internet service.  I have felt the same way about my cable company (when I was in the service area).  4 miles down the road I could have Charter or whoever they are owned by now and get 60Mbps for $70. 

In the next couple years, I will probably have internet service from my power company.  They already have fiber connections to the local substations.
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briman

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If I could go 5 miles up the road I could get charter cable for 49.99 50/25 but I'm in the Comcast are so :/

I'm probably going excede