Should I switch

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 7 months ago
  • Acknowledged
  • (Edited)
Hello all,

Here is my problem. The only internet I have
available is 1.5 mbps DSL service from AT&T. Now, I stumbled upon
Exede's website and found I am "qualified" for their "unlimited" plans. I realize it isn't really unlimited because HughsNet does the exact same thing: allow you to keep using your internet service even after you have gone over your monthly data allowance at an extremely reduced speed. However, assuming they are not lying (which is a disturbingly common thing these days, go government!), Exede allows you the full speed even after going over the 150mbps cap as long as there is not network congestion. So at the 12 mbps, the offer is attractive to me.

This is before I looked up reviews on Exede. I have stumbled upon reviews claiming extremely poor customer support to the company outright trying to steal from customers, taking money from their accounts that they have no right to. There are reviews of the company falsifying customer's data usage to hurry along their data usage to their cap. Some within days of it being reset.

I have stable 1.5 mbps DSL internet from AT&T. I pay $55/mo for it. They will probably not bring U-Verse to where I live simply for the fact that they are already charging me U-Verse price, so there is absolutely no reason to do it as they are literally our only internet provider that isn't satellite or dial-up.

So here are my questions:

1: What are the actual affects of having such a large ping beyond being bad for competitive multiplayer gaming?
2: Do the speeds stay consistent around what they advertise?
3: To anyone else who has the unlimited plans, how often do they tend to throttle you after you have gone over the 150gb cap?
4: I noticed that their recommended video streaming quality is 360p for the 12mbps unlimited plan. Why is this? I have absolutely no trouble streaming that right now with a 1.5mbps speed, assuming I am not using the internet for other things.
5: What has your experience been with your internet during weather?
6: How good/bad has your experience been with Exede?
7: Do you think it is worth it for me to switch?

I would ask a sales representative these questions, but there is a definite conflict of interest there for that. I trust them not to lie to me as much as your average politician.  Granted the same can be said for this forum, but I am posting this in other places too.

Thank you very much for your help!
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes

Posted 12 months ago

  • 2
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3076 Posts
  • 1291 Reply Likes
So much depends on your beam and, that is determined by where you live. A representative or install will be able to tell you what beam you are on or, you can look at the beam map here: https://d2r1vs3d9006ap.cloudfront.net/s3_images/1207572/RackMultipart20150519-32063-1cyf5pk-beam_pri...

High latency (ping) affects gaming the most. Some VPNs may not work with it and, some VOIP services work poorly with Exede.

Speeds can vary by time of day and, by beam, the busier the beam (higher congestion) the slower it is for everyone at the time. Personally, on my beam I do see at or near advertised speed ans, sometimes over the advertised speed 85-90% of the time. High congestion for my beam knocks me down to around 10 Mbps (I am on a 25 Mbps plan) and, rarely, like a couple of times a year) it gets bad enough to drop me to 4 Mbps for a few hours, but that is always short lived and, even that lets me surf and stream in SD just fine.

As for the Unlimited plans, yes, it's true you don't get slowed except for congestion even if you use more than 150 GB in a month. There are customers that have used close to double that and are still seeing top speeds off peak hours.
Photo of GabeU

GabeU, Champion

  • 973 Posts
  • 599 Reply Likes
That beam map is prohibitively tiny.  By the time you zoom in enough to be able to read anything the characters are too blurry to be able to make out.  

With that said, I understand that it is what it is and it's better than nothing.  

Found a clearer one...  https://www.northlc.com/_images/beam_priority_map.png
(Edited)
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Here is the one I looked at:

http://www.starcourse.com/pdf/exede-beams.pdf

2nd page.
(Edited)
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Thank you very much for your reply.

I have found which beam I would be on, though that does not really help much.  Searching around, it does not seem like there is a way to check before-hand what the traffic on it is like.
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3073 Posts
  • 1290 Reply Likes
Ask here, you will find other users on that beam and, a lot of us are somewhat familiar with what it's like on different beams.
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Looked like beam 349.  I have only found one comment about it on these forums about DNS issues.
Photo of BBwithdrawls

BBwithdrawls

  • 70 Posts
  • 21 Reply Likes
I am in the same boat , I currently have a T1 that gives me 1.5 mbps and costs me about 7 times as much as your paying per month . I have been watching and waiting on Exede for over a year now , They have made huge, huge  strides in the last year with their plans and offerings but its just not quite there yet for me to make the jump. If you read all the posts here you will see a common theme in the answers about poor performance and speed, all say it will get better when Vsat2 comes online. I actually do believe that but that's not an answer for someone who signed up now . As I said I have watched, I have seen them not allow new subscribers in my area to offering an unlimited plan in about a 3 month time period , Its my opinion right now they are close to or at capacity for their customers on the current satellite in most beams , I have someone that has a gold unlimited plan in my area and runs a test every 15 mins and its consistently 11 mbps down and 4 up and drops to 1-2 Mbps every evening from 5 pm until about 2 am. You will see most responses refer to a congested beam , again I believe that to be true . I do think Vsat2 will alleviate most of that when it comes online . I will tell you that if your connection is stable wait a couple months until Vsat2 comes online  in JAN/FEB and revisit then, that is what I'm going to do .........   satellite definitely has its downside, most VPN's don't perform well, it can be affected by weather. I do think that satellite will be the answer for most rural areas as both Verizon and ATT have just about stopped any copper buildouts and unless your in a metro or densely populated area fiber is out, and then there is wireless,the jury is still out on that.. What will happen to the satellite industry?  Its going to change drastically and quickly  , Best analogy I can give is remember those 10 ft dishes and what happened when Directv and Dish started offering those little dishes, now the 10 ft dishes are yard art     
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Thank you very much for your reply.

BBwithdrawls
If you read all the posts here you will see a common theme in the answers about poor performance and speed

That does seem the case.  I have also been around the forum and seen many complaints about terrible customer support.  I just finished reading the contract and did not see anything in there I did not expect, so I don't know what to think.

As for the ViaSat 2 satellites, It is true that it may help things a bit, but I think it will only be temporary.  I believe there are a lot of potential people stuck with slow internet that do not want to make the switch to satellite because of its reputation.  If the new satellites help smooth things out, it will probably attract an influx of new customers and soon they may be filled to capacity as well.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3483 Posts
  • 2019 Reply Likes
I don't believe 349 is as congested as other beams. However, you do need to take into account high latency, which will kill you on FPS games, non-HD video resolution, and more $$$$ per month if you want on an unlimited plan.

Another trick to check you beam congestion is look what Plans are offered. If Gold is offered and Silver is offered for $99/month, that isn't bad. If you see only Silver offered at $150/month, I would be wary at this time. Also keep in mind everything changes once Viasat-2 is in operation in the next 3 - 4 months. Personally, I would wait making the switch until then at least to see what is offered because there will be changes and you will need new equipment to get on Viasat-2.
Photo of Ken

Ken

  • 145 Posts
  • 71 Reply Likes
That doesn't sound too bad (for new customers) since they currently give you 3 months of EasyCare for free.

* I don't have Viasat internet yet, still researching.
Photo of Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

  • 3893 Posts
  • 3972 Reply Likes
As noted, it hasn't been made clear whether EasyCare would even cover it - nor has anything been made public regarding the overall upgrade process other than an installer visit will be required.

When moving from Wildblue to Exede there was a new 2 year commitment for me as well as an installation charge (despite the fact that both were Viasat offerings at the time). Installers (out side of a few in Colorado) don't work for Viasat - they're going to want to get paid in one way or another (regardless of how it's folded into the process or paid directly by the consumer). That advice offered by VeteranSatUser was from that perspective - avoiding any unforeseen charges a few months apart. 
Photo of Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

  • 3893 Posts
  • 3972 Reply Likes
FWIW, bith VeteranSatUser and I are technically not "Viasat" subscribers and subscribew through a wholesale channel (NRTC). As such, despite using the service we would need to become "new" subscribers in order to get the "unlimited" plans since they aren't offered through the wholesale channel. Both he and I are simp;ly waiting for ViaSat-2 service to launch before switching - to avoid any duplicate install charges or others.        
Photo of Ken

Ken

  • 145 Posts
  • 71 Reply Likes
I see, thanks.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3483 Posts
  • 2019 Reply Likes
I also am looking it from a basic resources prospective. Why use a new tria and modem for less than 6 months, then discard it. That is just a waste of supplies and materials.
Photo of Stephen Rice

Stephen Rice, Champion

  • 2240 Posts
  • 1112 Reply Likes
Unless you live in Louisiana, I would wait a few months for Viasat 2 to launch.  I'm on whatever beam covers Louisiana and its awesome.  So far this month I've downloaded 242 GB on a Liberty 12 plan.

People on other beams seem to complain a lot, even those on unlimited plans.  
Photo of Mark here

Mark here

  • 80 Posts
  • 23 Reply Likes
I have Liberty 25 and I used my data up in 3 days and that's watching video at 360..one person! The speed after that is so bad you can't even watch video period!
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Thank you for your reply.

This is another one of my big worries.  You should not be able to use up 25 GB in less than a week unless your internet is being used constantly.  That is beyond ridiculous.
Photo of Bradley

Bradley

  • 1087 Posts
  • 353 Reply Likes
I used 25gb this weekend. Updated Windows 10, installed office 365, installed IOS 11.2 on 5 devices, downloaded movies, streamed shows, and even surfed the web.
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
I stand corrected.

Casual use, such as watching videos, browsing the web, and social media things, should not let you use up that much in less than a week.

If you are downloading actual files, let alone entire operating systems, that is a different story.

I cannot remember if Windows 10 still has it as a "feature", but you should always keep the Metered option on if your internet has a data cap.
Photo of Bradley

Bradley

  • 1087 Posts
  • 353 Reply Likes
It does and you are correct. My data resets this week and I have 100GB more to burn. Xbox game pass, here I come....
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Thank you very much for your reply.

That was mostly what I was worried about.  That and the issue of weather.  Is simple cloud cover sufficient enough to interrupt internet service from the satellite?  What about light rain?  I live by the gulf.  We only have good weather about 50% of the time.  Is it safe to say that if our satellite tv is not getting a signal, neither would the internet?
Photo of J&J

J&J

  • 1687 Posts
  • 1003 Reply Likes
 
I have never had my Internet go out in a storm and last winter we had some good ones.  If you lived where there is snow, that's something that can pile up on your dish and make a chore for you to do as needed, cleaning off the dish.  If someone has a dish that is not pointed correctly but still able to function, a heavy rain will impact service.  Last winter we had so much rain that parts of San Jose flooded.  Look up how often that happens, it's rare, but all that rain here in the hills didn't phase my Internet.  I was home looking at the floods using my Internet and had to laugh at the news people that assured everyone that the worst was over... ha ha, they lied, often.
 
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3073 Posts
  • 1290 Reply Likes
In the last two months here, (just north of Texarkana) I have not lost service once due to weather and, being this close to you, that's pretty much the weather you've seen as well.

Over the last year, two outages for weather and, nether one lasted more than half an hour. The worst of the rain spinning off the hurricanes did get me for a few minutes, but, that was short lived.

I've had Exede, or WildBlue Internet since 2004 and, I've had less that 1% down time due to weather or, any other cause. (I do have a generator that powers my system in the event of a power outage.)
Photo of Bradley

Bradley

  • 1087 Posts
  • 353 Reply Likes
Heavy rain can drown both signals out, but I find my tv goes out way more than the internet.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3483 Posts
  • 2019 Reply Likes
All depends on your location to beam center on how you are impacted by weather. If you are in the beam's fringe, you will have a lower signal and there it can get drown out in the weather easier.
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Thank you all for your help.

I think I am going to wait for the new satellites to come online and browse around other forums about Exede in the meantime.  There is no real harm in waiting and doing extra research.

Again, thank you all for your assistance.  It was very much appreciated.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3483 Posts
  • 2019 Reply Likes
I concur with you. While I could upgrade now to the newer plans, I just can't justify doing it for just a few months before all the new stuff is available.
Photo of James

James

  • 333 Posts
  • 51 Reply Likes
only a fool with ditch dsl for satellite internet  sorry I wont sugar coat it.. if any doubts google exede and hughsnet 
Photo of fmj77

fmj77

  • 344 Posts
  • 192 Reply Likes
I guess you didn't read what kind of DSL service is available for Colton. Exede blows it out of the water.
Photo of James

James

  • 333 Posts
  • 51 Reply Likes
I would rather have 1.5 mbps dsl than 50 mbps satellite because of latency and data issues with satellite.
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Thank you for your reply.

I did google them both.  That is why I am on here as well as other forums trying to figure what is true and what is just people getting upset because they did not understand something.

I have found people upset that they were not home when the installation person came around for their install, and when they returned home they had new holes in their wall.  It said that in the contract they signed.  Some complain about the early termination fee.  Also says it in the contract.  There were people angry because they had to cut down trees or pay fees to have their dish setup in areas that was not attached to their house.  Again, in the contract.

Some vent that the customer service is terrible.  That is one of my worries.  But I have a few dealers around me to complain to, so I can always visit them if it becomes necessary.

Some do legitimately have complaints about speed and/or data issues.  That is also my worry.  But even then, those people complaining about the speeds they are getting still have a higher speed than me.  Though, I would be pretty upset if I were not getting around the service I was paying for most of the time too.

But yes, I am taking this slow.  I am certainly not giving up my DSL line until I am certain the internet service can hold up to my expectations, even if I have to pay for both for the first few months.  Though, that early termination fee is going to hurt should I decide satellite is not for me.
(Edited)
Photo of James

James

  • 333 Posts
  • 51 Reply Likes
also most providers are phaseing out dsl ,so once you get rid of it they most likely will not hook it back up, at least that is how centurylink,att and a few others do it.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3483 Posts
  • 2019 Reply Likes
Installation experiences are all over the map because so many different people and companies do them. If you have a local dealer to rely on, go through them. Perhaps they also have a trial system setup where you can give its test run too.

I think the thing you might struggle with most is the latency if you do much online gaming, and if you are a fan of streaming, it will be hard to get HD quality video. Some people think they are fine with 320 or 480p, but that is so 2004.
Photo of Brad

Brad, Viasat Employee

  • 3121 Posts
  • 1100 Reply Likes
We haven't made any solid plans for Viasat 2 yet. If we had they aren't saying anything to us. We're still taking feedback like this and believe me when I say that the feedback here is going to the right people. Again I unfortunately know probably as much as you guys right now since plans have not been established for the future.
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3076 Posts
  • 1291 Reply Likes
There I agree, plans need to be based on speed and/or priority data and, make that VDE that can be toggled off available to everyone, on all plans. U like having it on 99% of the time but there are a few occasions when streaming 1080 would be very nice.

Be even better if the VDE had a user consolable timer, set it to automatically turn back on after two, four or, six hours at our discretion, then an always off or manual only option for those that don't want to use it at all. Or, if plans only turned it on once you reached your priority cap, then video throttling would be forced at that point - a bit more penalty for going over the priority cap would tend to get people to watch their usage a bit and, not go hog wild too badly.

If that were the case and, I knew a stream I wanted to see were coming later in the month, I'd sure as heck mind the data to get it in HD.
Photo of Jim16

Jim16

  • 2253 Posts
  • 1955 Reply Likes

Since we are dreaming out load,  it would be nice to be able to pick what speed you want to run your plan at.  Set it at 3mbs if you want or what ever speed you like, up to your plan.  I would probably have mine at 3-4mbs for streaming on my big t.v.  But, I think the biggest issue will be these new unlimited plans that tank after the soft cap is reached.  They end up being worse than the Freedom plan. Video Being throttled until your 150gigs are up and then not usable after the soft cap is not going to go over well.  I hope we are in a "testing" phase with these new plans and this will improve.  Unlimited plans should never go below the throttled speeds for that plan, even after the soft cap.  1-1.5mbs for Silver and "whatever" for Gold.  (We need more input from Gold users as to their video speeds!)

(Edited)
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3483 Posts
  • 2019 Reply Likes
I like a lot of suggestions here! Like Bev, I want speed for my video to get at least 720. I know it will use more data. But I would take slower on surfing and downloading. People overrate the speed way, way too much. If you get fast enough to browse and stream in HD with no buffering, that is okay by me whether it is 1.5Mbps or 5 Mbps.
Photo of Marika

Marika

  • 135 Posts
  • 64 Reply Likes
Yeah, while faster speeds are nice for big file downloads, I primarily stream, so if I can reliably stream in HD without it buffering that'd be amazing. 
Photo of computer1949

computer1949

  • 224 Posts
  • 10 Reply Likes
Best Isp I ever had
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Hello again all,

When the new satellites came online and started dishing out service, I decided it would be wise to adopt a wait and see approach.  Most speculated that service would improve drastically once the new satellite could take some of the load.

Unfortunately, that is not what I have been seeing.  Quite the opposite actually.

Also I have noticed some pretty shady business with the plans available in my area.  Before the new satellite service that was supposed to make things better, I had access to the "Unlimited" plans with 12, 25, and 30 Mbps at $70, $100, and $150/month.  Of course these plans were not really "Unlimited" in the sense that after 150 GB of usage, they slowed your service down.  But 150GB is a pretty big chunk of data compared to competing satellite providers.

Now that the new satellite is live, I can only access the Liberty plans, all at 12 Mbps with the only difference being the amount of data allowance a month, being 12, 25, and 50 GB/month at $50, $75, and $100/month respectively.

That really does not seem like an improvement to me.  At all.  Opposite really.

So my final decision is that I will stay well away from Satellite internet in general and Viasat specifically.

I thank you all for your time in answering my questions and hope this post can prove insightful to all others in my situation.
(Edited)
Photo of Stephen Rice

Stephen Rice, Champion

  • 2240 Posts
  • 1112 Reply Likes
Liberty 12 is a tremendous value if you manage your data usage.  I used 280 GB of data on Liberty 12 last month and still had only used 10.5 GB of my 12 GB priority data.
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Unfortunately, the data is a big sale point for me.  As stated above, I have 1.5 Mbps internet with a 150GB monthly cap.  I approach that limit almost every single month and the only thing that keeps me from hitting it every single month is my slow speed.  Multiply my speed by even just 3 and there is no way I will not hit at least 200 GB a month.  I could have dealt with that if it were on the 150 GB/month "Unlimited" plans, but not paying twice as much as I do to get a third of the monthly allotment.

I see that they have the 3 hours morning free zone, and people will likely say that I could just do all my heavy downloading then.  But with everyone doing that, I can't imagine the speeds at those hours is very good if Viasat can't even keep up optimal speed during the day hours where people are likely not doing heavy downloading.

If the free zone hours DO give good speeds despite everyone doing their heavy downloading then, then I must call Viasat out for some shady things.  That makes no sense that they cannot give everyone optimal speed during the day, but can during those hours.

Finally, at this point I just don't trust the company with my internet or my money.  When it all comes down to it, it was more that the promise of things getting better actually made things worse.  For me anyway.
(Edited)
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3233 Posts
  • 1857 Reply Likes
The new satellite isn't active either, except for a few select locations.

But based on his usage habits, I wouldn't move to satellite. Yes, Stephen will go on about what he uses, but that is atypical for most using Liberty, at least on beams where there are a lot of subs.
Photo of Colton

Colton

  • 26 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
@Jim16

I apologize if I have insulted you if you have some personal stake in this company.  It was not my intention.  It was simply my opinion I have formed after a few months of observations that I could not overlook on these forums.

I also cannot overlook the change in plans for my area for the worse when it was supposed to be better with the new satellite.  I can only come to conclusions based on what I see.  And what I see is plans getting worse when they should have gotten better.

I am a customer.  I have to look out for myself, because companies must look after their profits, which often puts them at odds with their customers.  It makes no sense to purchase a product when reviews of said product are less than stellar.

Again, I apologize if I have offended you.
(Edited)
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3233 Posts
  • 1857 Reply Likes
The new satellite isn't active in your area yet, or you would be seeing more plan options than that.
Photo of Jim16

Jim16

  • 2113 Posts
  • 1847 Reply Likes
Colton

I have no issue with you deciding not to subscribe to Viasat.  But to read a handful of comments from a very small percentage of subscribers on a forum that in its vary nature is going to have negative comments and then concluding the company is shady and untrustworthy is just plain unfair.  There are hundreds of thousands of customers who are very happy Viasat is available to them.  Every product and every service will have a percentage of customers who will be unsatisfied, and some will rip them a new one, for whatever reason.  That does not make a company shady or untrustworthy.  All that means is you can never make everyone a happy customer, no matter who you are.  EVERY ISP has the exact same complaints from the same percentage of customers. That's just the way life is. 
(Edited)
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3233 Posts
  • 1857 Reply Likes
I am not sure hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers. There are under 600,000 subs now. I wouldn't say even 50% of that number is "very happy". I mean I have had the service for over 10 years, and wouldn't say I am "very" happy. I use it because of the two satellite services, which are the only two companies that can provide me internet, Viasat is the better one. But as an internet provider, I would probably rate them a B to a B-.

I just think you need to keep things in perspective a little here.
Photo of fmj77

fmj77

  • 347 Posts
  • 193 Reply Likes
Colton, If your ATT connection is stable then you are definitely better off sticking with that. Viasat's performance is not very good right now and I would not recommend it to anyone unless they have no other choice. My speeds with Viasat have suffered dramatically in the last couple of months, especially on weekends. Not sure if my beam is oversold or what, but it becomes pretty much useless except for a few hours during the early morning. Sometimes I wonder why I'm paying this much money for this type of service.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3483 Posts
  • 2019 Reply Likes
Speeds have definitely degraded over the last few weeks.  Something is going on...and not for the better.