Should I switch from Centurylink Maximum 1.5 MBPS?

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Any help would be so much appreciated!

I currently have internet service through Centurylink with max 1.5 mbps. Both the internet service and customer service are completely unreliable and so, so frustrating (.1 upload speeds . . .  point.one.).

I have read similar threads from those with max 1.5 mpbs DSL considering switching to Viasat, but the advice was usually to wait for Viasat 2. I believe the "bronze, silver, gold" labels indicated Viasat 2 plans, but please correct me if I'm wrong. 

Unlimited Bronze, Silver, Gold is available in my area (at least upon entering my ZIP code). My area has a local company that is a Viasat dealer, so I'm going to test VPN/Google Meet there tomorrow 5PM central, as well as go over plans.

Before I make a decision, my question is: Is the increase in price worth the switch? I'm extremely frustrated with Centurylink, but I pay $35 / month. I don't mind paying more as long as the problems I'm having with my current service are alleviated, but I certainly don't want to pay more for an equally frustrating user experience. 

My biggest frustration is that I'm unable to reliably use Google Meet with my current service. I work from home and need to be able to facilitate meetings with Google Meet. Currently, it's a miracle if I'm not booted out when only using audio. Forget trying to have camera on or share my screen. If I was able to facilitate and attend meetings reliably, this alone would be worth the switch.

I know VPN can be an issue with satellite, but I don't work on VPN often (and save most of those tasks until back in the office). 

Work is my biggest concern, but we also use the internet for browsing, Netflix, and I run a website (I upload and work with large image files).

My biggest concern is paying more and getting a comparably poor (or worse) user experience. That being said, our household is currently very frustrated with the slow internet speeds (even just for browsing the internet).

Any help on the following would be great!

1. Does anyone with Viasat use Google Meet and do you have any issues?
2. Fine print says bronze, silver, gold plans are "40, 60, or 100 GB of data usage, respectively, we may prioritize your data behind other customers during network congestion." What are these speeds like during network congestion? I've read .2 on the threads here......... (insert horrified emoji). Is this true?
3. What negative effects do you experience from high ping other than gaming? Will this affect real-time video meetings?
4. Fine print also says there is a $10/month equipment lease fee. Do you have to use their equipment? 

Thanks for reading. I'm not exactly knowledgable in this area. Any help is appreciated!

Maggie
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Maggie

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Posted 8 months ago

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Jack Britton

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So if you read around the forum here you will see that your mileage may vary but my experience since signing up with Viasat a couple of months ago has been pretty good. Let me answer your four questions based on what I have experienced.  Let me start by saying I work from home as well and spend most of my days in online meetings.

1.  I don't use Google meet but I do use Bluejeans, WebEx, and Skype depending on who I am meeting and all three work fine on my Silver Unlimited plan.

2.  I got in when the limit was 150GB and I have not reached that during my month so I can't tell you what the slowdown is like but my guess based on past experience with other satellite providers that it probably really sucks.

3.  I don't game so I am not affected by the 600ms ping times.  Video works fine for me when video conferencing.

4.  I think you have to use their modem but I think you have the option to purchase it outright.

I hope that helps.
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Maggie

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Thanks, Jack! Very helpful :) Do you know how much you use when you spend most of your day in online meetings?
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Jack Britton

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I burn through a couple of GB a day but I also watch a fair amount of youtube during a day so I haven't faithfully tracked my usage as far as business goes.  I will be on video calls tomorrow and I will track an hour long one and give the numbers to you.  You can extrapolate from there.  I will post it in another reply to this post.
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Maggie

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Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I've been agonizing of this. 
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M.E.M.

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The above looks like spam. Follow the link at your own peril.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Your location could impact your satellite internet experience a lot, until Viasat-2 comes online.

You are going to have to pay more $$$$ for satellite internet. You will also be subject to a wide variety of speeds, and the high latency could also give you issues.

I have had satellite internet for over 20 years. I would think long and hard before giving up the hard wired internet you have for satellite based internet.
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Maggie

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Thank you.

If I could ask, why do you say I should think long and hard before giving up my current service?

At it's fastest, we're talking 1.5 mbps. I ran a test right now and these were the results:
1.08 Mbps download
0.07 Mbps upload
Latency: 139 ms

I wouldn't be considering satellite if my current service wasn't so slow. Any insight as to why you'd be hesitant to switch would be very helpful.
(Edited)
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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All depends on your location. Last week during primetime I was at 500kbps. And that was while still having priority data.

Latency is going to be 600+ ms. Upload will be better.

What is your general location?

Viasat-2 will perform better, but your monthly bill will be around 300% - 400% more.
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Maggie

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Western Wisconsin.

Thanks for the info . . . I do have concerns about slower speeds while still on priority data. 
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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If you are in an area that isn't too congested, and don't mind speeds around 256k at night, I would highly recommend signing up for a Liberty 12 plan if it is available.

The first 12 gb of data are up to 12 mbps.

After that you get good speeds up to 5 mbps before 5 pm. From 5 pm to midnight speeds are around 256k.

Of course, if you never use up your 12 gb of priority data, speeds will usually be at least 1 mbps in the evening.

That's just my two cents. You mentioned needing internet during the day for work so a Liberty plan could be just what you need.
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Maggie

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Thanks, Stephen! When I search my ZIP, I find Unlimited Bronze, Unlimited Silver, and Unlimited Gold and not the Liberty you reference. Perhaps this is due to the change in plans/satellites. I will ask tomorrow. 
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Viasat has been all over the place with different plans lately. It's hard to keep track of what is available.

Here is a pointer though. If Gold 50 is available take it. This plan is only on the new satellite. Gold 30 is on the old satellite.

After you have had Gold 50 for a month, drop down to a cheaper plan. You will remain on the newer satellite.
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Maggie

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I believe it. Thanks for the tip . . . much appreciated!
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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But regardless, you still need to visit a dealer to see if your stuff will work.
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Maggie

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Right on. Meeting "Gabby" at 5 tomorrow. Thanks for the helpful input. 
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Western Wisconsin is not an area known for a congested beam.. I think you could safely move to Viasat-1 and be okay. You could always upgrade to Viasat-2 later if you wanted.
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Maggie

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Good to know. Thanks again! I really appreciate all your help. 
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Keep us posted on what you decide. And feel free to ask more questions, even if you are a Badger :).
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Maggie

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And where is that?!
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J&J

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Maggie

I see in the post above that you will see a demonstration of Viasat today.  

Viasat is a decent company and I recognize their honor is beyond repute.

I cannot say the same for some independent dealers that are driven to make a sale, even through deception, with no remorse.

If the demonstration and the "sales pitch" seems too good to be true, it is possible that the dealer is actually showing realistic performance and you have a reasonable expectation of enjoying that same experience with your subscription.  However, one must be a wise shopper for this type of service.  A single question should be asked when everything works just a little too perfectly: Is the demonstration being presented using a residential account or a business account?  It is not beyond some less than totally honest dealers to present a business account and pass it off as a residential service.  This would be a classic mis-representation of fact so I advise asking the question if you have any suspicions about the demonstrated quality of service.
 
I offer this advice because we sometimes see new customers come here to post their experience that indicates a bad dealer has lied to them and Viasat is always blamed, although Viasat had nothing to do with the lie that was told to the customer.
 
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Keep in mind too that the service is a lot faster during the day than it is from 5 pm to midnight.

I am paying for up to 12 mbps. It isn't uncommon for me to get speeds beyond 12 mbps during the day.

At night, it isn't uncommon for me to have speeds around 1 mbps (Sometimes even lower) even when I still have priority data left.

I'm very happy with my service because I understood what I was signing up for. It sounds like you are doing more homework than most people. It's good to see someone who actually takes the time yo read the fine print.
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Maggie

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Thank you SO much for this tip. I wouldn't have thought to ask and now I certainly will. 
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Maggie

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Thanks, Stephen! That seems to be a common theme during prime hours. I don't love it, but to be able to work efficiently during the day is my top priority. And I barely get around 1 as it is (all the time).  
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Dan White

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I have the Freedom 125 and actually quite happy with the service.  My beam covers central Michigan and spreads out over some of the Great Lakes so it never seems to congested here. Even during prime time I seldom get less then 6 Mbps and testing with test my net during the day I get speeds into the 20 Mbps.  I feel so bad for the people that get such dismal speeds on congested sites. 
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Freedom is great plan...if you can get it.

I am on one of the worst congested beams. You can correct. It's no fun.
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Maggie

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Thanks, Dan. It's been eye opening to hear the wide variety of speeds people are getting.
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As a general rule, if the product is still available in your area right now, your beam is not one of the more congested ones.