Viasat Vs. Hughesnet: My Experience

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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 5 months 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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Mark Davis

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Ian i have the same plan you have and it has been great i have been on it for about 1 month now i was with HN also they was no good i have been a Exede VIASAT Customer since 2008 i think and i have like this services all the time and since i got on VIASAT 2 now it is even better.
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Dontrellz Page

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Hello Diana
I wish we could get on the new satellite Viasat 2 in Mississippi all we knew for is poor service
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Regina

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When will the beam open in NC again?
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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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Jim16

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It's the same old story.  A person has a bad experience with a provider and assumes everyone has a bad experience.  Most people have good service with both isp's.
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Regina

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HN told me they could not get a line of site in VA. A supervisor came out said same thing! Guess what my neighbor had them come out, and right where I told them was a clear line of site, they installed his. When the supervisor realized it was me he turned down. Shrugged his shoulders said oh well and walked away. Terrible customer service. Never again.
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David Keith

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I had HughesNet for a 2 year contract. I had trouble from the first day.
I have been a tech for a long time. I started installing TV antennas and then we got the huge dish for Satellite TV. Now? They are very small.
Hopefully all internet will be good as fiber optics expands.

HughesNet is not what they advertise. Sure you get a fast download. You get it for 12 days and then it slows to a crawl.
Then, to get streaming, I had to wait until the next month started and 12 days of high speed streaming again.

I could not ever get tech service to call back when my service died. I finally found the installer and he came and got it going, They told him that it was my equipment.

He got aggressive with them and told them that he installed this system and told them that he was their serviceman and I know you have a problem on your end!
They finally did what the serviceman told them and he got it going.

If you can’t believe your own techs, then someone needs a little training in human relations.

I can give a lot more facts about them but if you want a bad experience and you stream all the time, go get HughesNet.
Don’t believe me? Go get HughesNet and see for yourself.
I don’t really care for you that say their service is good,
It is if you don’t use it but once or twice a week,
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GabeU, Champion

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HughesNet is not what they advertise. Sure you get a fast download. You get it for 12 days and then it slows to a crawl. Then, to get streaming, I had to wait until the next month started and 12 days of high speed streaming again. 
That's YOUR experience.  My off peak speeds average in the high 40s and my peak speeds average in the high 20s to mid 30s.  I can stream without issue.  My speed on the last day of the month is the same as on the first day of the month.  That's MY experience.  

Just like is seen on these boards, the majority of the posts you read are not good because people that are satisfied with a product or service don't tend to go out of their way to say so, whereas those unhappy with a product or service often do.  And I wouldn't expect anything different on a support community.  

Edit:  I should add that no ISP is perfect.  And I firmly believe that both my own and ViaSat strive to provide the best service possible.  
(Edited)
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Jim16

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"I had to wait until the next month started and 12 days of high speed streaming again."

Again, another person who uses all of his priority data up and then complains. Doesn't matter if it's Hughes, Viasat, Verizon,....
(Edited)
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David Keith

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You don’t tell the full truth and you lie and deceive in your answers. I have made statements about HughesNet abd you answer with deception. Priority only means that you don’t get any more streaming.
Don’t lie and deceive. Viasat may not be any better. I just know that Hughes bet is good for only 12-14 days no matter what you say. I uploaded a photo and it shows the data drops to 0 after 13 days.

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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Maybe you should have taken advantage of that 38.4 GB of Bonus Zone data you had left to preserve some of that 50 GB anytime data - probably could have stretched it to 21 days at the rate you were burning it.
(Edited)
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Jim16

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I'm confused.
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GabeU, Champion

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David Keith,

Lies and deception?  You mean like claiming that HughesNet throttles people after thirteen days while inadvertently revealing in your next post that the reason you were being throttled, at least in that picture, which is from nearly a year ago, is because you burned through all of your Anytime Data?  Like that kind of deception?  HughesNet didn't burn through all of your Anytime Data in thirteen days.  YOU did.  They aren't responsible for how you use your data, nor how quickly you exhaust it.  

One thing people will never be able to accuse me of, with any truth, is telling lies and being deceptive.  I don't do so, and never have.  I give people my experience.  And any answer that I give that is of the definitive type is something that can be answered definitively, not something that is unique to the customer, like speed or how long data will last.  As I state very often, a customer's experience is unique to them.

You accuse me of lies and deception.  Give examples to support your allegations.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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I'm confused.
So am I, I could swear Macintosh has a screen capture capability and it's no longer a requirement to take a selfie of your monitor. Maybe not and  Apple isn't as advanced as we're led to believe... 

I really don't know, the last time I considered using an Apple product was when I installed a TV antenna on my roof as a prerequisite to a networking certification.
(Edited)
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Jim16

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No, I'm confused about if Stephan had garlic or onions on his pizza.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Gabe says it was pineapple, but I think he's trying to deceive us. If Stephen verifies it's garlic/onion then we've got him! 
(Edited)
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Jim16

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I have heard that Gabe knows his pineapples!
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Thin crust with BBQ sauce, cheese, pineapple and buttery garlic stuff on the edge of the crust.
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GabeU, Champion

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AH HA!!!  See, I know my pineapples.  LMAO!  
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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My apologies... you shall ever be known as Dances with Pineapples.
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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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Jim16

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Yes, and there are those that have switched from Viasat to HN that are very satisfied.  We see it here once in a while. 
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Which begs the question, who has dumped Viasat for Hughesnet? Anybody?
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fmj77

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I have yet to meet anyone in my area who has switched to HN from Viasat.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I guess y'all forgot about Fred G Sanford.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Some posters are never forgotten. Others we want to quickly forget!
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Dontrellz Page

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Don’t go to Hughesnet because they service is sucks Viasat is the best !!!
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GabeU, Champion

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Which begs the question, who has dumped Viasat for Hughesnet? Anybody?
I imagine it's not the best place to ask that question.  With that said, I've seen some.  
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Jim16

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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. 
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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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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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GabeU, Champion

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Hughesnet uses more powerful compression technology.
Actually, at least in my experience and some others, while Gen4's compression was fantastic, Gen5's isn't, or in my case, it's seemingly nonexistent.  

When I had Gen4, I would see data usage comparisons that were always in my favor with Glasswire and my router vs HughesNet.  When Glasswire and my router would say 8GB, HughesNet would say 3.5GB or 4GB, as an example.  Now, with Gen5, the tallies are  virtually even.  

Unfortunately, for some of the people that don't have the tools to make the comparisons that I do, when seeing the difference after an upgrade to Gen5 they automatically assume that HughesNet is "stealing" their data, never realizing that Gen4 just had great data compression.  

I don't know if they had to forego the compression for Gen5 or what, but there's definitely a difference, at least for me and those who have mentioned it.  

Luckily, when I upgraded from Gen4 to Gen5 I went up from my 15GB Gen4 plan instead of down, though I certainly contemplated doing the latter.  With 20GB I'm fine, but I would be having a hard time with 10GB.  Still, the price I pay is actually a few bucks less than I was with Gen4, so getting the higher data package works out in the end.  
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Jim16

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"Hughesnet customer service sucks. Viasat customer service sucks."

Well, at least Ronald is consistent!
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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He should try Spectrum. They have a call center near me. Yes, they provide customer support. But they are also pressured to sell plan upgrades and more services while doing it. Very annoying.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I just wish my freaking treadmill would work. I need to lose 20 pounds by September 21st.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Have a new subordinate to stress about. I have lost 20 pounds this summer dealing with that. One never knows if a millennial new hire will work out. Lol
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Limiting ones self to 750 calories a day can work wonders for weight loss. I was hoping to do 2 miles a day on the treadmill too but the motor keeps stopping.
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GabeU, Champion

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Heck, I wouldn't mind gaining 20 pounds.  
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fmj77

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Ronald is correct. Most company's customer service does suck.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Diet is going pretty well. I was at 190 lbs this past Sunday. This morning I weighed in at 181.8 lbs.

Only 12 more pounds to go.
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GabeU, Champion

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That's a lot of weight to lose in six days.  But, congrats!  
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I could lose that much in a hot day!

Of course, I got a lot more to lose. Lol
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I had iHop for lunch today.
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fmj77

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I partied with a pole dancer tonight.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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It appears Captain Kirk has us all beat. It's time for me to turn in my internets card.
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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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Right, it's like we're still de-prioritized (throttled) after the billing and data reset. Chat customer service says to call tech support because "everything appears to be working as it should." Ugh... been through that with Hughes plenty. Is this also your second month or have you had the service for longer and it doesn't usually do this? Or does it do this every month if you use up your data in the prior month? 
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Dina Hess

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I've had it for longer -- about 6 months -- and it's often (not always, but very very very often) this bad in the evenings.  De-prioritized seems to be the difference between 100 kbps (after) and 250-350 kbps (with priority data remaining).  It's so bad that we are routinely driving an hour round trip nearly every weeknight so my high schooler can do his homework in the county library, for lack of usable internet at home.

I don't think Stephen grasps that some beams are insanely congested and this is our normal, *even with priority data.*
(Edited)
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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He doesnt. Then he likes to think his experience is typical, when it is really atypical for many of us on congested beams.

It is not unusual during primetime to see my speed with priority data hover around 300 - 500kbps

Just wait until the holidays....
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Ian

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Oh man... I don't want to hear that... But unfortunately I'm used to that with Hughesnet.

Well I called tech support and it was a pretty long call but better experience than HN. They tested their throughput to the modem and it said it should be 7 Mbps. We did a hard modem reset but let it sit unplugged for more than 2 minutes. Since it rebooted, speeds have been creeping back up to normal. It appears to have helped considerably but the test will be daytime. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

Data reset was 12:01 AM, 9/24/18. Long modem reboot was just before the 11:04 PM speed test of 2.2 Mbps.




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Wasn't there someone a month or two ago who was still being "prioritized", even though their data had reset the day before?  I'm trying to find the thread, but I'm not having luck.  
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Dont you mean deprioritzed?
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Prioritized simply means to place in order by importance - "deprioritized" isn't a word although commonly accepted as one (probably why it's showing a spellcheck error for me). Really depends which dictionary is used - I tend to rely on Webster or Cambridge for Scrabble challenges - but just about anything is a word in Urban and on the Interweb we get to make up our own - so next time playing suggest use of the Urban Dictionary for word challenges ;)

Technically, prioritized must be qualified with where something is placed in that order which is probably why Viasat states:
 
...we may prioritize your data behind other customers during network congestion."
Must be a purist among their technical writers or marketing staff or more likely the spell checker kept flagging deprioritized as an error and were simply trying to avoid it  and we haven't even started the debate over the use of may in that statement ;)

Prioritized in and of itself doesn't imply receiving priority - although generally accepted nowadays as meaning it.     

But yeah regardless of preference, I do recall that thread Gabe and yes it was a failure to fully reset - usage count did but speeds didn't until some time after the reset date - my guess is the modem missed a wake up call to fully restore speed.  
 
The bigger problem besides definition is that few seem to know what it entails or even that it exists after all this time.
(Edited)
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Old Labs. You sure Jab hasn't taken over your account? Lol

Why dont we just say you are put at the back of the line!
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Nope Jab is elsewhere arguing with himself, words matter - but yeah put at the back of the line and others who haven't exceeded their usage threshold even get to cut in front of you when they arrive - you may stay at the end of the line.

But that doesn't explain the complaint raised here - that they are still being "prioritized" after data reset. But the "speed test" (speed doesn't mean speed either, and unlimited doesn;t mean unlimited so apparently words don't matter), suggests normal congestion on an overly crowded beam given the date/times posted in the test results.
(Edited)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Y'all need to move to Louisiana and get on my beam.
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Dina Hess

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If we all do that, Stephen, you won't have an uncongested beam anymore :)

Though we could all at least take comfort in the truly excellent food and scenery down there.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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I would but appears it I would have to give up my Liberty Plan and VeteranSatUser would clearly need to give up his Freedom Plan,
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Only maybe to move where one of those mythical high density spot beams reside. They are sort of like bigfoot. Rumored to exist, but difficult if not impossible to find.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Not that hard to find in LA.

Baton Rouge - Platinum 100, 1080p, 150GB - $200/mo. 

Of course probably better choices than satellite in Baton Rouge ;)
(Edited)
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Dont you mean deprioritzed?
You know what I mean.  :)  
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I guess I could always contact one of those random links that get posted on here about HP or Epson or whatever the support line of the hour is. I am sure they would explain it!
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Ian

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Old Labs, yeah, the time spread in those results isn't optimal. My schedule is all over the place... So, I'll definitely run some more next time I can during the daytime.

My thoughts also went to the normal speed changes as one enters, exists in, and exits the peak usage timeframe. So I wasn't entirely convinced that the 2-minute power down caused the speed increase. But my gut tells me it did because immediately after the reset, web pages loaded within a few seconds rather than 30 seconds to a minute like when I was out of data. I reiterate that before I ran out of data in the prior month, I was getting 5-10 Mbps throughout peak usage hours. 

I get that download speed tests only give us an average picture of the service over time. Web page load times are probably longer for the same amount of data vs a download test due to the large amount of querying and responses on modern web pages and long satellite ping times.

This isn't meant to be a knock on any specific satellite provider but the next time I move, terrestrial or wireless internet service will be a requirement, not an afterthought. Stephen, your comment that we should move for a better beam almost made me ROFL. But yeah, I do like Louisiana.
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Louisiana is a free country unlike some parts of the USA. We've got lots of freedom and plenty of seafood.
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Ian

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I'm in Western NC. The coast is 5 hours away but perhaps medium freedom (not sure exactly what you mean), deep forested mountains and super clean water with trout. And Bluegrass music. Can you hear the banjos?
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I saw Deliverance. I dont want to hear the banjos!!!
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fmj77

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Ian, I'm in Western NC as well, close to Blowing Rock. Where are you?
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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