Viasat Vs. Hughesnet: My Experience

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  • Updated 4 months ago
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So I just took the leap and signed up for Viasat after 2 years with Hughesnet. The last thing I wanted to do was sign another 2-year satellite internet contract but I still can't get other service and I tested out a neighbor's Viasat service and was impressed. Long story short, I'm happy with my new service so far.

Hughesnet was horrible. They lied to me about throttled speeds on the Gen5 sales call. Told me it would be up to 3 Mbps. Wrong. It never exceeded 1.4 Mbps and browsing during peak congestion (5pm - 12am) was like dialup or worse due to the ping and jitter lagging (whether throttled or full speed). I was throttled during the day, when I do most of my work from home and there is no congestion. Customer service refused to acknowledge that degradation of service was due to congestion and always required ridiculous procedures of testing speeds on a 3rd party platform and connected via ethernet. If you were throttled, forget getting help with your service's performance. Blaming my equipment when hundreds of customers complain about the exact same issues. Besides, downloading files was never the issue. It was website load times, constant delays with net handshakes, etc. 

Rant over. Viasat is consistently delivering more than the bandwidth allocated by my plan (Bronze is supposed to be 12Mbps, but usually tests around 17Mbps). Even during peak usage hours, it is delivering 10+Mbps. Streaming works better (although initial picture quality is lower than HN was but it soon clears up into good watchable quality). Websites load faster. Everything works like it seems it should and so far, the wifi router hasn't had any weird issues like the HN one did (random resets, loss of connection, DNS errors, web acceleration errors).

I'm paying $15/mo more than I was with Hughesnet but it is worth having usable internet all the time. Thanks Viasat. And to those who have complaints about Viasat-2 service: If your internet is working like mine, you don't know how good you have it until you've spent 2 years with Hughesnet! @GabeU and any other Hughesnet ppl on this forum, try out your competition and maybe you will stop evangelizing an inferior service and belittling upset HN customers over on that forum. Your awesome speed test results with HN are not the norm and I genuinely wonder if as evangelists, your traffic is prioritized like mine seemed to be anytime I complained enough.
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Ian

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Posted 1 year ago

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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hello Ian,  It is refreshing and great to get a positive review of how Viasat-2 service is working for our customers.  Thank you so much for sharing your experience!  Diana
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deb dour

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that's great, I have had horrible service with Viasat...I am telling everyone not to use them.  It starts out ok, but it will get bad...just wait.  It is a warning.
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Casual Observer

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We have achieved parity.
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Anniem05

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Question do I need a router with Viasat or is it built in?
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Casual Observer

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All plans are currently being marketed as having built-in WiFi - therefore built-in router.

Many long time subscribers however have opted to extend it with their own third party router since the Viasat modem/router only offers basic features.
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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Elizabeth,

Sorry the issue couldn't be resolved, but I'm glad that you have ViaSat as an alternative.  Another HughesNet user just switched and, thus far, appears to be very pleased.  
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GabeU, Champion

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I don't belittle customers.  I refute nonsense.  Big difference.  I do, however, react to rants, raves and false accusations. 

If a customer needs help, or asks for help, I give it to the best of my ability, and reps pick up when and where I can't or don't have that ability.     

I have no reason to try the competition when my service works just fine for me.  
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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Jim16

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Now for the serious stuff.  Pineapple should NEVER be anywhere near a pizza.  Ever.
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GabeU, Champion

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Eh.  It's not that bad when the pizza has a sweeter type of sauce and when it has ham on it, as well.  And I would take pineapple on my pizza any day before BBQ sauce.  Now THAT'S a travesty!  But, to each his/her own.  People put just about anything you can think of on pizza these days, and the major chains often acquiesce to the more popular, but non-traditional, toppings.
(Edited)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I get the crust smothered with garlic stuff to compliment the BBQ sauce and pineapple.

I just wish Pizza hut had an oregano topping to put on the pineapple. Domino's does but I like pizza hut better.
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GabeU, Champion

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I really liked Pizza Hut for a while.  When I lived in Hagerstown, MD I had one right down the street, and it was right around the time they they had come out with their "bigger, fresher toppings" campaign (late 90s to early 00s).  It was good.  But after a few years they went back to the same ole, same ole, and I lost interest.  The nearest Pizza Hut to me now is 20 miles away.  
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fmj77

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A couple of my co-workers switched to Viasat recently after being with HN for years. They are both very satisfied with their decision.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I was registered in the Hughesnet board at one time, but haven't been on there in years!
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GabeU, Champion

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Unfortunately, with the new boards, you have to be a customer to be able to create an account and post.  The advantage is that it cuts WAY down on trolling and spamming, but it's unfortunate in that prospective customers can't sign in and ask questions, which I think they should be able to do.  

I think we all feel nearly the same about GetSat, but anyone can get on this board and ask questions about ViaSat, which is good.

Edit:  I should add that I was only acknowledging the limitations of the HughesNet board and not at all suggesting that's the reason you haven't been on there in years.  LOL.  
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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Of course.  The difference in the two sat. services are probably not really worth arguing over.  The plans and data and free zones are just a personnel preference. 
Agreed.  And the way I look at it, the better both services are the better the competition, and that's great for all of us.  
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fmj77

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The folks I know who have switched to Viasat from HN are mainly satisfied because of more data being available to them for a similar price. None of them have mentioned that performance is any different.
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Danielle Brennan

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I was with Hughesnet for several years before switching to Viasat 3 years ago. My HN service was OK, but had slow speeds in the evenings, and not great data packages at the time. When I switched to Viasat, things were really nice, higher data package and more consistent speeds. Customer service at HN was horrible, since I am just a cute one armed farm girl, later turned science teacher, couldn't understand the Indian speaking folks on the phone. When I first switched to Viasat, their customer service was still located in the USA with agents that spoke my language. That later changed, but I never called CS, but used the emails to Viasat listens for the very few problems I had. My satisfaction with Viasat changed when they changed their data policy to slow down speeds even if I hadn't used all my priority data yet. 


Times change, companies change, and one must keep on top of these changes for their best service.
(Edited)
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Ronald Stricklin

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Hughesnet customer service sucks. Viasat customer service sucks. As far as the service it will depend on the area you are in. Hughesnet uses more powerful compression technology. Viasat has more powerful satellites. Congestion can be and is a problem is some areas on both. Is this now the church of Viasat?
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fmj77

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I'm sort of kidding. She's an old friend who happens to be a dancer and we hung out tonight after not seeing each other for a while. Totally off topic, but oh well.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Was she one of Mudd's women?
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fmj77

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I wish, though she does look like one of the girls on the new Star Trek Discovery series.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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The trouble with tribbles!
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Jim16

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"Totally off topic, but oh well."

I don't understand what you mean?....   :-)
(Edited)
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Ian

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I would delete the above praise if I could. When I ran out of data my average speed was around 264kbps and rarely higher than 1 Mbps. The marketing language is thus misleading: "Once you exceed your data allotment we MAY prioritize other traffic over yours." Yeah right, more like "we'll throttle you to 200Kbps most of the time and 1 Mb for the rest." It also says that daytime speeds will not usually be affected. Again, yeah right they were most certainly affected. I learned my lesson. 40GB is a pretty large amount and if I'm careful, I can stay under it.

However, I'm now in my second month with a fresh 40GB of data to use and I haven't seen speeds improve much at all over the "de-prioritized" period. I just tested at 250Kbps (granted it is during peak time) but last month before I used up my data, I was getting 5 Mbps during peak hours. I haven't even seen that during the day since my data refreshed. What gives? 
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Dina Hess

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I'm frustrated as well. 350 kbps for me, right at the beginning of a new billing cycle with plenty of priority data left. 

I understand that it's 8:30pm, but service shouldn't be so slow that web pages time out instead of loading for someone with priority data remaining, not even during primetime.

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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Using up your priority data makes a huge difference. I am on Liberty 12. I'm paying for 12 Gb of speeds up to 12 mbps. My current speed is 13 mbps.

I rarely go over my 12 gb of priority data thanks to the late night free zone. If I were out of data, my speed would be around 256 kbps tonight and up to 5 mbps during the early morning and day.
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Dina Hess

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Yes, we know that.

As Ian and I both said, neither of us is out of priority data.
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Ian

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@VeteranSatUser, to be fair, Deliverance was Georgia... a few hours away. 

@fmj77, 9 miles into the woods from where I-26 crosses into Tenn. Technically the town of Marshall, north of Asheville. I'm in the back of a 200 acre cove, a 20 minute drive to civilization. I go to Avery county somewhat frequently. That's the true high country up your way.
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fmj77

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Your area is pretty nice as well, although I tend to avoid Asheville these days. It's become a little too "progressive" for my taste.
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Ian

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Lol, fmj, I thought you liked freedom! But for real, the new age hippy thing is out of hand and part of the reason I moved from Asheville 45 minutes into the country.
(Edited)
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Boone is nothing like it use to be either. But I agree about Asheville.

Beautiful country though. In another month there will be fantastic scenery.
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fmj77

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Yeah. Boone has lost that small town atmosphere in the last 20 years or so. The growth of ASU is mostly to blame for that. But you can still drive a few miles from town and be in some pretty backwoods country.
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DavidBrowserGuy, Browser Expert

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Hi Ian, Glad to hear that you are happy with the web browsing speeds.  Are you using the Viasat Browser?  If not, give it a go.  Your web browsing will be even faster and it will be more private and use less data.  You can download it here:  https://browser.viasat.com 
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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hello Elizabeth,  Gabe is correct about the DSS as being your account number.   I have removed that post as this is a public forum.  Have you resolved your issue? 
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GabeU, Champion

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Thanks, Diana.  :)   
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Anniem05

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Thank you, forgot all about that in the heat of this situation. I’m having both computers wiped as we speak. Down to base factory and reloaded. Viasat is being installed Monday afternoon. Funny when I got to Best Buy I told them Office 365 hadn’t been installed correctly either and gave samples of what it was doing. They opened the software on their WiFi and it worked perfectly. Features were blocked here at house for me. This has been happening for a while as well. I would like to add that with Gen 5 the routers, 2 to be exact, are built into the box a 2 ghz and a 5 ghz. My PCs have a WiFi ready card or board in them that enable them to talk to the hughesnet router. When we upgraded to Gen5 we packed our router away. It was all hughesnet until you try to get their support because someone hacked or is using your time etc.....the guy last night needs to remember several things that he is in no position to make assumptions about someone’s financial status, he shouldn’t assume he is smarter than everyone else he might learn something sometimes, that the public he deals with are people’s spouses, mothers, fathers, grandparents, etc I would never go back to Hughesnet just because of his treatment of me. I would go dialup first. That bad. I was a loyal customer for a long time. Hughesnet has many fine employees they do not need that to represent them.
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Kelly Warczinsky

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Hughes net before running out... Never above 4 Mbps download I've never seen even 1 Mbps upload always kbps
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Ian

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Just a few more years and rural folks should have more and much better options. What with the Low Earth Orbit internet constellations approved by FCC and going up now. HN is building the SpaceX ground/gateway network for 12,000 satellites. Apparently we'll be able to get 100 Mbps with low ping rates since the constellations will be a few hundred miles up rather than. 22,000 miles and over the equator. I'm quite hopeful.
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Voyager

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I hope things get better. This is my performance this evening. Can’t get much worse.
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ExSatUser

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That's what the guy that has Hughesnet said :)
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Ian

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A few years is a long time to wait with poor internet service. Fiber through the power company is a few miles away to my east and west... But they say it costs up to $40k to connect each customer so it will probably be a few years yet. Too deep in a valley for fixed wireless. They'd probably have to put a relay on my mountain and that's apparently not worth it since there isn't much line of site to homes. Cellular is pretty much the same.

So it looks like I'll be suffering with you all until the Low Earth satellites are up and running. Fiber sounds like a dream though. Their customers are getting 1Gbps download for less than $100/month.
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Voyager

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Yes, a few years is a long time to wait. My cooperative has created a subsidiary to provide broadband and we have nearly completed the engineering phase. We are now doing “make ready” work on ROWs and poles and hope to break ground on the actual fiber installation in October. However, full system deployment is estimated at 6 years (3,500 miles of line and 16,000+ members) and I expect at my location it will be at best 3 years before they get fiber to me. So, I will have at least one more year after my 2 year contract expires with Viasat. At this point, I have to say that Viasat performance is as bad as, and often worse, than was Frontier DSL and that was really bad. The big difference is that poor DSL performance costs less than $50/month vs. $100/month for Viasat. So, may plan is to send back the hardware at the end of the contract and swallow hard and move back to DSL to bridge the gap until fiber arrives.

Given that the lowest service level my co-op plans to offer is 100 Mbps, it will be heaven on earth.
(Edited)

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