ViaSat internet vs Fixed Wireless

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 4 weeks ago
  • Acknowledged
I wanted to get more information about ViaSat internet. I just recently moved to a rural area and there are not many internet providers in Lodi, Ca. I spoke with a rep and they had a great deal going on. 100mbps @ $50 a month for the first 3 months and then $70 thereafter wish I believe 150 GB before deprioritization. If I go over that data usage, should I expect my Mbps to drop down to like 1-5 Mbps? I stream Netflix, play Xbox one online, etc a good amount and want to make sure I'm making the best decision. My only other option is fixed wireless internet that would provide me at best 6 Mbps and an overpriced bill. I appreciate any and all input! Thanks guys!
Photo of nick paul

nick paul

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 4 weeks ago

  • 1
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3078 Posts
  • 1293 Reply Likes
Depending on the games you play, latency (ping) may be a bigger issue for you than speed. Average is 800 ms, that's a 3/4 second lag in games. FPS games or other fast twitch games don't work well. MMOs like Rift, Aion, Wow, those with turn based or modified turn based combat do fine but FPS and MOBA/Battle Royale games are going to be problematic.

I do play SCUM, Smite, Battlefield 1 a 4 as well as Rift, Aion, Bless, Terra and a few others but, it takes a bit to adapt your rotation to the lag. With games like Aion, you have to weave with autoattack to compensate for the lag, making keypresses about 1 second apart and, that means your DPS is lower and, you are handicapped in PvP. You can be one of the best but, it takes practice and, adjusting your rotation and skills to suit the lag.

As for speeds after you use all of your priority data on what I assume is an "Unlimited" plan, that totally depends on congestion. Prime time you may see speeds below 1 Mbps but, off peak you might have normal speed even after using all of your data. I can't promise you will be able to stream after you use the 150 GB. Gaming really isn't affected unless you need to download a patch, then that might be a bit slow when you're deprioritized. As I said, the bigger issue with gaming is latency and, that's the laws of physics, no ping reducing proxy or trick is going to change your ping, it's 600-800 at BEST and can lag down to over 1000 in raids and such.

The call is yours to make, but, I'd go with Viasat unless you prefer MOBA/Battle Royal and FPS games greatly and can't be happy without them, in which case fixed wireless would be the only hope of playing those games.

Maybe a low cost fixed wireless, small plan for those and Viasat for everything else would work for you.
Photo of Oliver

Oliver

  • 212 Posts
  • 68 Reply Likes
get sat to hold you over while you build out your own wireless link to a place with internet, I built up a solar powered 25mile wireless link for under $500 in hardware. keeping viasat as a backup.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3616 Posts
  • 2112 Reply Likes
Like Bev said, if you play a lot of first person shooter games, go with fixed wireless. If high latency doesn't bother you, go with Viasat.
Photo of nick paul

nick paul

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks for all the info guys! I appreciate it! I will definitely look into possibly doing both if I can get a good enough price. Hopefully so, but if not that is definitely a tough choice. I love FPS. I play mostly battlefield and halo online by other than that, just offline games like NBA2k, madden, etc.

Bev, so we may not be able to stream after 150GB? That would suck cause we love to stream Netflix, etc, and do not have cable so that's our go to.

Oliver, unfortunately I wouldn't even know where to start in building my own wireless link lol.. thanks for all the info thus far! A lot to think about.

As for the fixed wireless, there is no priortization or data caps which is good, justa. It more expensive with slower mbps, up to 6mbps which is kinda crappy, or so I think so
Photo of Martin Seebach

Martin Seebach

  • 36 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Nick,
To build your own setup you first need to find a home or business in area covered by cable, dsl, local high speed carrier and purchase for that location. You don't want to tell provider you'll be sending the signal elsewhere. For reasons unknown they really dislike the idea.  Next you need a modem to port from carrier to a satellite dish (ubiquity is a go to). That dish will beam line of sight up to about 26 miles where your home dish is set. Receive signal on matching dish, drop into a router and spread it out at your place. On your end you'll want an ethernet setup with a power over ether attachment to carry signal and send it to your equipment. Shop hard and you should be able to set it up for minimum of $500usd. Add bells and whistles like cams, surveillance of ingress/egress routes like a driveway, prize petunia/peone/pot bed and the hay burning horse stall with a nose or neigh call feature, then double more hardware needed and it all has costs.

Pre plan this on paper and know what you want vs what is available. The more input/output devices the more complicated setup gets. Once you get it dialed, print or draw a color coded map listing parts where placed and service unit descriptions with model numbers so others can fix if/when it goes sideways and you are off skiing for the day. Plainly label in visible place with arrows pointing at power switches and reset buttons so they can find and fix quickly.

If you have any other options explore them. Satellite internet is for we who have NO OTHER choice due to location/cost of installing phone or cable. (In my case PacBell or GTE haven't decided who gets to nail me on install. Last guesstimate was 85,000usd to run a phone cable a bit over 6 miles on same poles that bring electricity to literally the end of the line. Last electric drop is my water pump and picnic grounds. In my electricity scenario it has been better after cajoling PGE into shifting transformers around to spread meters over different line sets. That allows one or more to keep power when outages occur. Not always but enough to make it worth while. Hope my random methodology gives you a start.

It isn't as complex as you think. Primarily you need somewhere in providers service area to get service then a 2 way link to your house. Very Small Aperture Telecomm (VSAT) is usually least expensive and most reliable. During heavy weather especially lightning there will be speed degradation. A cloudburst will slow it down. During May and October there is high solar flare activity which also impacts satellite service. At times, depending on location and direction you are shipping signals, outages can go from negligible to complete outage. Be sure to have approximate costs you will be covering when trying to find a place and offer an incentive such as cash, yardwork, some of that pot :) or whatever will help. Also try to make your equipment at their place as inconspicuous as you can. An example is cellular repeater towers; along Highway 50 between Folsom and Lake Tahoe you'll see perfectly symmetrical trees along the road that look too perfect. (cell towers) Sometimes it will be a water tower with pump house at bottom or an over large area light. The repeater may be as small as a boot box but the camouflage can be as large as a windmill tower. In a windy area you could have your setup generating its own and spare electricity. Solar panels on a pole is good too.
Photo of Bill Ross

Bill Ross

  • 42 Posts
  • 12 Reply Likes
Fixed wireless. Why?


1. Viasat is different in some areas. So you could have fast or slow internet depending on where you live and you can’t take a chance with that.

2. More data for cheaper.

3. More reliable speeds, there is no “peak” on fixed wireless internet like Viasat.

4. When you run out of data on Viasat you $10 for 1gig (which is stupid if you ask me but whatever). With AT&T fixed wireless you get 50 gigs for $10. Hm.


5. Low latency on fixed wireless.

That’s all I can think of.
(Edited)
Photo of Bill Ross

Bill Ross

  • 42 Posts
  • 12 Reply Likes
Gabe, most viasat plans in, you can buy more data.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3596 Posts
  • 2101 Reply Likes
Most? Only ones I know of were the Classic ones which are not sold anymore are they?
Photo of GabeU

GabeU, Champion

  • 1035 Posts
  • 631 Reply Likes
Gabe, most viasat plans in, you can buy more data.
For the OP, that's a moot point.  The OP is looking at an Unlimited plan vs Fixed Wireless.  One cannot buy additional data for an Unlimited plan.   
Photo of Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314

Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

  • 2821 Posts
  • 1782 Reply Likes
I am an existing customer of Viasat, have been for better than 10 years now. I can fin plans available on the Viasat account page, sometimes referred to the Customer Porthole.

Martin appears to be on his relaxation meds already and the weekend isn't quite here yet.
Photo of GabeU

GabeU, Champion

  • 1035 Posts
  • 631 Reply Likes
So Gabe, just what is on the other side of far edge of the universe? ;))
There is no edge.  But, if there were, I suspect it would be nothing but an endless fudge brownie.  :)
Photo of nick paul

nick paul

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Since when does viasat charge $10 per gig? I have the unlimited data plan so I wouldn't pay for going over. I would just get deprioritized.

High latency of viasat is definitely a downside but much faster speed, but that doesn't really matter if I am lagging haha.

Would I be able to stream on fixed wireless though even though the max mbps is 6. That seems pretty low for both wanting to stream and game (wouldn't do streaming and gaming at the same time)
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3596 Posts
  • 2101 Reply Likes
You wont get HD on an unlimited Viasat plan unless you buy a Gold Plan, which typically is north of $150/month.

I question the plan prices the OP posted. Might want to double check them.
Photo of barg_

barg_

  • 102 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
I used the first zip code I saw for Lodi, CA. Viasat lists 150GB and 1080p for $200. 35GB and 360p for $70.
(Edited)
Photo of GabeU

GabeU, Champion

  • 1035 Posts
  • 631 Reply Likes
The only thing I've been able to find for the Platinum 100 plan is $150 for the first three months, then $200 thereafter.  If the price listed by the OP is correct, that's one heck of a steal.  
Photo of barg_

barg_

  • 102 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
Got the $50 jetpack today. Second line so it's $45 per month ($5 off for auto pay, $20 for second line). Initial testing just before 7PM local, about 14 meg down, 4 up, 29ms pings. Fast.com said about 9 meg. That's with 3 bars showing on the device (didn't look at the dbm). Cell booster, gain not set very high (mine is an old adjustable model), 10 miles from the tower, through a thick grove of trees right by the house, zip code average about 3 people per square mile. I could point at the new tower, 13 miles away, but direct line of sight, average about 1 person per square mile there. I shut off the booster, put the device in a window with the 13 mile away tower visible, got about 9 meg down, pretty sure pulling off that tower and not the closer one, because signal was much lower before the new tower with other devices.

I have a VZ smart hub coming. Not a great device, but it's a router (possibly poor one), and has an ethernet port. So it would always be on which is better for home use. They are relatively cheap on eBay. Might work with this plan, might not, just thought I'd try it. "They" say it should work.
Photo of barg_

barg_

  • 102 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
One last update, Smart Hub set up, might tweak the antenna a bit, had it optimized for the regional carrier. HD works great. 8:30 pm..., https://www.speedtest.net/android/443...
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3078 Posts
  • 1293 Reply Likes
Battlefield online can be played, just have to use only rifles for the longer range with decent accuracy. Halo is more or less a fail at 700+ ms ping.

Of course always make sure your squad/group know you're running unavoidable high ping so, might need a little extra defending/protecting/healing until you get the hang of playing that way.

Me, being a Wildblue/Exede/Viasat customer and a gamer for 15 years, well yeah in non FPS games (Rift, Aion, etc...) I'm in the top 25 PvP but I've had years to work out how to do that. Hint for gamers: ranged classes are your mains and ranged with DPS and Control skills are the best. You know, root, DPS, bind, DPS, slow, DPS so they can't run away for your lag happy character LOL.

Photo of nick paul

nick paul

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Yes. I rely on streaming for everything. Netflix, Hulu,hbo, amazon prime, etc. I think I probably will chew up more than 150+ GB a month. Or at least I think so. My bro said him and his fiancé have used over 800GB per month for the last 3 months but they have 1 TB for data cap.

VeteransatUser: I will double check them in the morning but they said it was a deal going on. Could be true, but maybe not. I was surprised "the deal" was 100 mbps for that price I listed above. (50 first 3 months, then 70 thereafter)

Either way, I guess I am thinking that fixed wireless may be better for me then. Although it is more money for less mbps, it provides less latency, and a true unlimited data plan with no prioritization
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3596 Posts
  • 2101 Reply Likes
Dont focus on the Mbps. If you get a constant 6Mbps truly unlimited with no latency, that should meet your needs fine.

Eating 800GB/month on Viasat? The system is not designed for individual customers to use that much.
Photo of nick paul

nick paul

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Oh no, my brother doesn't have viasat. He has xfinity with a data cap at 1 TB. I don't know how much I'll use though but I would assume more than 150 GB
Photo of fmj77

fmj77

  • 361 Posts
  • 198 Reply Likes
Do NOT go with Viasat if you rely on streaming. You WILL be very disappointed.
Photo of nick paul

nick paul

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Where a true unlimited plan is important because we rely on streaming everything we watch. The fixed wireless plan also has 3 towers within like 5 miles from me so I'm sure connection will be consistent.

Barg_: I looked into the verizon jet pack plan, it looks great but they also said they don't provide service in the area. What a shock
Photo of barg_

barg_

  • 102 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
Possibly local variations like trees, terrain, buildings, but Verizon prepaid map shows very solid prepaid coverage over most of your area, solid well beyond other towns, except over in the mountains. I know maps don't tell the whole story. But your area is possibly congested though as dense as the population average is.

Viasat.com/internet , put in your zip code. Those are the plans in your area. I highly doubt 150GB at $70 (plus lease fee). Especially long term. If a dealer is saying that, I'd be skeptical. I'd also get it in signed writing. And I'd state it here again because I still would doubt it....
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3596 Posts
  • 2101 Reply Likes
Salespeople saying anything to get a sale? Say it ain't so!
Photo of nick paul

nick paul

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Veteransat: you're absolutely right! People will say anything to get a sale and do whatever it takes. So I'll probably just call ViaSat back and cancel the order. With ViaSat, do you get locked into a super long contract as well?

Like if I were to go with Viasat, then 3 months down the line, I don't like the service/coverage, will they hit me with penalties and whatnot if I try to cancel?
Photo of Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

  • 3919 Posts
  • 4006 Reply Likes
Yes, the agreement is for a minimum two years. If you cancel prior to that there is a $15 early termination fee for each month remaining.

Apparently there is now a way to cancel without an early termination fee by prepaying up front for no long term contract service (see early termination fees):

https://help.viasat.com/articles/Denver_FAQ/Fees-and-instructions-for-returning-equipment-for-discon... 

Regardless, be sure to read the customer agreement and unlimited data policy before install (you're not locked in until you accept the agreement at install time) over at:

https://www.exede.com/legal/


(Edited)
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3616 Posts
  • 2112 Reply Likes
Definitely a 24 month agreement unless you pay the install up front.

Given your usage parameters, I would go with the fixed wireless.
Photo of johnny c

johnny c

  • 320 Posts
  • 131 Reply Likes
First Steve, I have to call a number to see what plans are available, use to show them all, anyway with my Silver 25, 150 plan at my price there is nothing that V has that i'd be interested in.  Speeds are really dependent on where you are and the time of day.  I just checked my iphone and one of my lap tops wifi, 39 mbps, even during peak hours i don't drop below 3 mbps and usually 7 or 8, and 95 percent of the time streaming u tube at 480 with no buffering.

So i can't complain about our service.

We have a much too big home and wifi connection in certain locations sucked, the viasat modem router combo doesn't give you the best wifi, so i recently purchased a linksys triband router (looks like a porcupine, 6 antennas) what a difference, i get 25 mbps in the basement and outside by the pool.

I was encouraged by V2 because i thought many would migrate over freeing up V1 and it has taken some time but i think that has happened.

So bring on V3 it will be good for all.

Martin, pretty ingenious, i remember my cousins in Jersey the inside joke was none of them paid for HBO, they pulled some wires from a neighbors home or something.

Hats off for your technological savy, as long as is legal no worries.

It is a shame that we have to do all the things we do just to do what 85 percent of the country takes for granted, reasonable/low prices, blistering speeds, cloud, and no data limits.

But i do enjoy my clean air, privacy, quiet, and country living.
(Edited)
Photo of Ronald Stricklin

Ronald Stricklin

  • 288 Posts
  • 106 Reply Likes
You can't be a serious gamer on Viasat. 
Photo of Hfcomms

Hfcomms

  • 107 Posts
  • 145 Reply Likes
This is the kind of potential customer that more people need to be.  Instead of blindly signing up for it and then complaining bitterly that it didn't meet their expectations he is doing the legwork by asking questions beforehand to see whether or not it would meet his needs before he pulls the trigger.  If more people were like him they would find out before they make a potentially costly mistake as to whether or not Satellite Internet is going to meet their needs.

Good on him!!
Photo of Ronald Stricklin

Ronald Stricklin

  • 288 Posts
  • 106 Reply Likes
Not alot of people would think to ask questions directly to other customers. And if you ask the questions to viasat customer service you never get the correct information.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3606 Posts
  • 2106 Reply Likes
Agreed. Best to ask people that use the service everyday versus talking to people who never used the service.
Photo of nick paul

nick paul

  • 8 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Thanks Hf Comms and thank you to everyone else for your knowledge and input.

Barg, Bev, VeteranSat: you guys were right, I called back and there was a whole miscommunication between the 2 reps I spoke with. I got an email saying that for that price in my area I would get the bronze package. I knew the deal sounded too goo to be true. I cancelled the installation appointment and am going with fixed wireless now. Im praying all goes well with that and have no issues there, so fingers crossed!

But thanks again for everyone's knowledge and input on my questions
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3596 Posts
  • 2101 Reply Likes
Yea. Given your usage parameters, I wouldn't think you would be happy with the Bronze plan at all. Bad video resolution, low amount of priority data. I think you made a good decision.
Photo of barg_

barg_

  • 102 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
Hopefully they are a good carrier. If you get half that speed most HD should work just fine. It's so much nicer not thinking about caps and thresholds.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3596 Posts
  • 2101 Reply Likes
And low latency for game play!