service is really good at the beginning of the month but is total trash by the end of the month Does anyone else have that problem?

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Also another question our service is really good at the beginning of the month but is total trash by the end of the month. I understand we reached and it should slow down but we cannot do anything. Does anyone else have that problem?
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Robin Shanks

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Posted 7 months ago

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ExSatUser

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A lot of people do. It is called running out of priority data.
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Joel LaPlount

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I went over my "unlimited data" limit and lost over 95% of my 25mb speed.  After 5pm my speeds dropped as low as 0.5mb and only got as high as 1.75mb.  Can't really do anything other than email at those speeds.  Called ViaSat customer support to see if there was a guaranteed minimum bandwidth and was told No.  I was basically told that other data on my satellite beam would be prioritized over mine since I was over my limit.  During the day I get 7 to 18mb, but as soon as 5pm rolls around, i drop to less than 2mb.  I was using my connection for streaming TV and burned through my data.  I figured I'd get dropped down a bit, but it has been dropped so low that my devices won't even connect at times, can't stream a 30 second video on my phone.  And my only option now is to wait for another 15 days until my limit resets. I contacted my reseller that installed it and they said they would take my scenario to the next board meeting.  I'm not expecting anything to change and unfortunately, I have no other internet options in my area. My current plan is to drop my Hulu Live TV subscription and install DirecTV so i'm not burning through my data streaming TV. In the end, it's going to cost me about $60 more every month to have internet access and TV.
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ExSatUser

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Viasat is definitely not intended for cord cutting. But glad you found a workable solution.
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Homeskillet

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It could be worse. You can't treat satellite internet like unlimited hard wired, that is just the nature of the beast. Having a bottom of 0.5 Mbps really isn't that bad. A member here named Voyager  frequently posts speeds that are in dial up territory. At least you are at late 90's DSL speeds.
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Joel LaPlount

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for $100 a month you should at least get some type of guaranteed minimum. 3gb over my limit and my speeds drop to 1mb? Really?  You'd think they could engineer a better algorithm than IF Data_Used is Greater than Limit, Priority = 0.

As a consumer, i don't really care how I get access.  I just care that I have reliable access with speeds that keep my devices connected and usable. A minimum of 5mb for a 25mb subscription doesn't seem unreasonable.
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Homeskillet

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Joel, I understand, but it is what it is. There are only two satellite internet providers and they both know that if an informed consumer has selected satellite internet they have done so due to the fact they don't have access to high speed hard wired internet, and other wireless options aren't very good either. They have a captive audience. All wireless internet isn't created equal, it depends on location, location, location. I always tell people to find out what their close neighbors are using and how happy they are.

I think it is sad when someone around me who hasn't lived here long and or isn't tech savy sees a Viasat commercial and gets all excited about it. The cold hard truth in my area pretty much all internet is bad, even the people in town complain about the cable being slow and unreliable. Satellite is terrible here, I have never heard a good word spoken about it. Cell wireless works for me here only because Viasat left me with very low expectations.
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Diana, Viasat Employee

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 Dueto the nature of satellite-based internet service, there are many variablesthat can affect speeds, including, weather, at Viasat  facilities or at the customer’s home, networkcongestion, a misconfigured home network or outdated computer equipment andsoftware. Because of these many variables, Viasat cannot guarantee anyparticular speed for you which we disclose at the time of sale.  


We do make everyeffort to fair share the bandwidth amongst our customers and are continuing towork on ways to improve the service at peak time.
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Joel LaPlount

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ok, let's not call it a guaranteed minimum.  But for 6 weeks my speeds were fine...all day, all night.  Then the day i hit my 60mb "limit" the speeds dropped...during the day they dropped down maybe 10mb on average. I don't really notice a drop like that. But during the peak times, they dropped to less than 2mb, consistently every day around 5pm.  The weather, my home network, my computer equipment and software didn't all suddenly change and become garbage after I hit 60mb at 5pm each day thereafter. That's Viasat and whatever algorithm is used to determine prioritization, not my home network, not my configuration, not even network congestion.  If it was network congestion, i'd have experienced the 95% reduction in bandwidth at some point in time prior to reaching my limit. 

My expectation in a nutshell is that my internet connection should not be so slow that my devices can't connect to the internet with a service sold as "unlimited data." I'm ok with lower prioritization when i go over the 60gb line, not getting my full 25mb download.  I understand that those speeds will naturally fluctuate. But i do expect the service to be usable and for most consumers a minimum of 5mb is where the usability line is drawn. When you get to 2 or 3mb, devices time out (like my Roku) and watching a 30 second video on FB takes 5 minutes.  That's not usable.
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Admiral Korbohuta

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Basically, don't go over priority data and you'll have way less headaches.
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ExSatUser

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Because it really isnt "unlimited" data.
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Admiral Korbohuta

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It isn't and they shouldn't be advertising it as such, but cell companies have done the same thing for years.
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Homeskillet

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When I had Viasat if I had 2 Mbps all the time I would have been happy as a pig in slop. I rarely went over my priority data. I just live in a black hole for wireless communications. I even went in with low expectations and those weren't met.
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Homeskillet

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My post was erased when I mentioned that when over priority data at least my cell wireless speed is as advertised and doesn't vary from 600 Kbps. The internet still functions except for more than low resolution video streaming. The rare time I had throttled Viasat even e-mail and online banking would timeout trying to sign in.
(Edited)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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What plan are you on and how much priority data have you used for your current billing cycle?
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ExSatUser

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Not enough and too much!
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GabeU, Champion

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I understand we reached and it should slow down but we cannot do anything.
Actually, Robin Shanks, what you can do is prioritize your online activities so you use less data.  It's VERY likely that the reason your service is getting slower at the end of the month is because you've hit your plan's prioritization level and your service is then being prioritized behind others who haven't yet hit that level with theirs.   Because of this, your service will be slower.   Or, if you have a plan with a finite level of high speed data, you've exhausted it, and you're throttled.  

A connected satellite TV receiver (Dish or DirecTV), streaming and cloud connections are probably the largest data hogs.  If the first instance applies, disconnect it from ViaSat, as there is no way to control a satellite TV receiver's data usage.  If the second applies, be conservative with your streaming.  If the third, it's very important to either regulate, or eliminate, the cloud connections.    
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Joel LaPlount

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I think this is all great for a service that is sold as a Limited amount of data product.  However, this is sold as Unlimited.  Prioritization is fine...unless it renders the service you are paying for unusable.  What if your Leased vehicle hit the max mileage and it suddenly only went 2mph and couldn't go faster until the lease expired?  Is that your expectation?  

My only issue with this service is their prioritization algorithm. If i'm over, prioritize others over my traffic.  Fine.  Just don't drop me to a level where my devices that i'm not even using can't keep a connection. Leave me at least 3-5mb out of my 25mb.  That's still only 20% of what i'm paying for.  I was getting .5mb.....that's a 98% decrease in my speed....and i could barely open their support page.
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Joel LaPlount

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ExSatUser

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That's really great speed actually. When I finally dropped Viasat I was getting 4 or 5 times lower speeds, during primetime on priority data.
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Old Labs

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Your lease analogy is flawed - as you've describe it that would be throttling not prioritization. It's permanent until the lease ends. Much slower speeds attributed to deprioritization are temporary and occur during peak utilization periods. As you've already noted you get better speeds during the day than in the evening hours. There's simply not enough capacity to handle everybody during peak periods - those who've not exceeded their data usage threshold get better speeds than those who have. Think of it as being two lines where one is for those under their data usage allowance and one for those over. As long as there are folks in the "under" line those in the "over" line aren't going anywhere and remember those lines keep getting longer during peak hours. It's called preemptive queuing. Actually that's fair to those who have not gone over - why should they be impacted by those who have gone over? Everybody suffers during peak hours, those who've gone over suffer more.

Your preaching to  the choir here and it's been debated here for well over two years since the intro of "unlimited" plans and won't change until there's more capacity as a result of subscriber attrition or a new satellite is launched and the overall load is balanced - the bottleneck is the satellites' capacities. 

Best thing you can do is not waste any of your priority data and stay in the "under" line- you'd be surprised at how much is actually being wasted on today's web.

As the Admiral said, don't go over your data. When you do you may need to shift your use to non-peak periods if you expect to get anything done.
(Edited)
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Joel LaPlount

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I'm bad at analogies apparently. :)  My beef is simply with the prioritization rendering the service unusable. Hoping that posting my experience will provide prospective customers with a better set of expectations than Viasat marketing and/or Viasat takes a better look at their algorithms and makes some adjustments so "the choir" can sing a better song.

To offset my data usage (primarily streaming live TV via Hulu) i'm dropping Hulu and adding satellite TV. Installation is tomorrow.  We'll see how my data usage changes over the coming weeks.  My expectation is that i will see a more consistent 20-25mb while I'm below my data usage during all hours.  If not, I'll be back.  :)
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ExSatUser

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We have stated for months on here Viasat is not intended for cord cutters and also once priority data is exhausted streaming will be questionable at best.

Do appreciate sharing your experience. Unfortunately those not familiar with satellite internet and its limitations find out what they are pretty quick!
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Old Labs

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The prioritization algorithm only got worse for those who acquired "unlimited" plans prior to February 2018 (as well as the legacy Freedom plans) - they are now subject to prioritization at any time regardless of how much data they have used. There's no better algorithm for prioritization - you're either subject to it or not. The only question is when. The only other option is strict throttling at your data limit - we've been there and done that - it's somewhere around 256 kbps for those still living on the classic plans.

Just don't let them connect the TV receiver (whether DIsh or DIrecTV) to your Viasat service - in that case you'll definitely be back sooner rather than later.

Your goal of 20-25 Mbps may be a bit on the high side during peak hours - like I said everyone suffers during peak depending on how heavily loaded your spot beam is with subscribers. It's really not a speed issue but a capacity issue that is reflected in slower speeds for all during peak usage periods.

There's much more that can be done to decrease your usage - just ask or look for the data saving techniques here that have long been forgotten except by those us who had to suffer through low data caps and strict 256 kbps throttling. Recommendations there really depend on what devices you have, operating systems, browsers, etc.

We all post here to counter the marketing hype with our experiences while we wait for better Internet alternatives - my wait is now 16+ years and counting but is my choice. Unlike some I don;t feel the need to move for better Internet access. So welcome to choir, one more doesn't hurt but the tune ain't changing.
(Edited)
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Homeskillet

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I haven't had satellite TV in close to 10 years, why does it hog data through Viasat. When I had satellite TV it was not connected to the internet. Does it need an internet connection now?
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Old Labs

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Yes, some features offered today require an internet connection - for example  video on demand, real time weather, etc. Both services currently offer other apps that run on their receivers that require internet access also - e.g Netflix. It's not just a receiver anymore - it's just another device that can be Internet enabled.

There have even been anecdotes here where folks have their receivers located next to the modems and the Dish/DirecTV installer has wired it via ethernet (doesn't require a password) to the Viasat modem without their knowledge and it drains their data in a flash. At least with WiFi they need to ask for the password to gain access and you should be aware of it or at least ask why they need it ;) 

My Dish installer asked for the password seeing the SSID was being broadcast - I simply said, don't even think abut it and explained data caps to him.          
(Edited)
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Homeskillet

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So the satellite will function like it did 10 years ago without an internet connection? I would probably mostly use it for watching live sports. It is just features that have been added since I had it that require internet use?
(Edited)
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Old Labs

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Yes. 
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Joel LaPlount

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my DirecTV installer said that he needs to connect so DirecTV gets a ping then he disconnects it.  Primary use is for people to subscribe to pay per view and stream other content they offer. If you're not doing that, you don't really need the internet connection.  years ago when i had DirectTV i didn't have a phone connection near the tv so I connected it once for the setup then removed the cord.
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Joel LaPlount

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@Dances with Woofs - I really appreciate your comments. With my DirecTV installation I think I'll be much better off in terms of consumption. My primary usage after 6pm is watching some TV...so DirecTV should take care of that consumption. During the day my wife and I both work from home and even with being over our limit, we get ample bandwidth to send/receive files, do email and even stream video conference calls.  The few times my daughter watches Netflix in the evening should be fine...and if not, she'll live. :)
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Joel LaPlount

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@Dances with Woofs - I really appreciate your comments. With my DirecTV installation I think I'll be much better off in terms of consumption. My primary usage after 6pm is watching some TV...so DirecTV should take care of that consumption. During the day my wife and I both work from home and even with being over our limit, we get ample bandwidth to send/receive files, do email and even stream video conference calls.  The few times my daughter watches Netflix in the evening should be fine...and if not, she'll live. :)
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ExSatUser

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Get Playon Cloud, pre record content in the cloud, then download it to the tablet when you go to McDonalds or Starbucks. Your daughter will have content to watch and you wont use one byte of Viasat data.
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GabeU, Champion

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my DirecTV installer said that he needs to connect so DirecTV gets a ping then he disconnects it.
Totally untrue.  Maybe the installer wanted to connect it for some specific reason, but it doesn't need to connect to the internet, including during setup.  

I made the mistake of temporarily connecting mine a couple of years ago, just to try it.  Not only did it constantly remind me to reconnect, it changed the search function, as in every time I tried to search the results would would include items that could only be accessed via the internet, and a lot of them.   It got to be so annoying that I decided to perform a factory reset, wiping out all that I had on my DVR, including a movie I hadn't seen in nearly 30 years and which I had just recorded, but hadn't had a chance to watch yet.  Still it was worth it.  I will NEVER connect that thing to the internet again, unless and until I get something fast and truly unlimited, which will likely be years from now.