Review by JuanDeaux
Good "Better than dialup"
- Location: Bone Gap,Edwards,IL
- Cost Contract price not specified.
Bad "Better than dialup, but that's not saying too much"
Overall "Only for those who have no better choice"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
- Retired and enjoying it.
- 37+ years working with computers; from programmer/analyst to system administrator, to member of virtual corporate administration team to technical writer for a multi-national Fortune Top 50 company.
- Dialup access spanning 13 years, first to company network and subsequently to the internet.
- Starband satellite subscriber for 6+ years.
- Wildblue satellite (Pro Pak) subscriber for 4+ years.
- Typically have 7 or 8 PCs running/networked at home, plus a laptop or 2.
- Scheduled to have wire buried for DSL service next week, weather permitting.
- Its always (usually) on.
- Superior to dialup for most general internet uses.
- The hardware has been 100% reliable for >4 years.
- Very middling bandwidth allowance.
- Quite sensitive to weather and atmospheric disturbances; expect no service prior to, during and for a time after any kind of storm. My experience is that satellite internet is affected a lot more often and for longer time periods than satellite TV.
- It is sort of pricey when compared to land-based internet.
- Did I mention the measly bandwidth allowance?
- Inherent latency makes on-line gaming and voice-over-IP pretty much no-gos.
- Streaming audio works smoothly, but can gobble up a lot of bandwidth.
- Streaming video is not so good, but it will still use a lot of that precious bandwidth.
- No kids at home now, but before the last one left the nest I had to periodically shutdown the satellitemodem to avoid exceeding the usage limit and the dreaded throttling.
- Oh yeah, the stingy bandwidth allowance makes for a generally mediocre internet experience.
- Dialup was a better option for me to work remotely, even though I could only ever get a 26.6kbps connection. I installed software, managed users, administered clusters, administered corporate email server, etc., via dialup on systems from US to Europe to Africa. Satellite was hit or miss, evidently due to latency, which isnt very reassuring when doing that type of work.
I realize the new Exede service will probably take a slight edge off a few of my Cons. But, the bottom line for me has always been the bandwidth restrictions. Continually checking the bandwidth usage on Wildblues website (which until recently seemed to be about the slowest site on the internet), was no fun and of course the act of checking it used additional bandwidth. I am fortunate in that I never exceeded the usage cap, but that is only due to my vigilance. And Exede, as available today, would not change that one iota. Actually, having the increased speed would only exacerbate the low bandwidth limitations.
I would only recommend satellite internet service for the following situations:
- No access to cable or DSL
- Inferior cable or DSL service, with no prospects for improvement
- Inferior cable or DSL is available, but speed is more important than volume of use
- No access to cell service, or if cell access is available, but would require a more burdensome contract
I am not making the switch to Exede because I have the option to get DSL. Its a 3.0Mbps service, but Im not expecting much more than 1.5Mbps due to the distance from the DSLAM. Its costing me >$1000 to have the wire buried and installed, but I consider that a reasonable price. In addition, I am required to pay for a land line phone, but even with the upfront cost and the phone charge, I figure it will be a wash within a couple of years or so versus moving to the top tier Exede package. If did not have the DSL option, I would have tried to stay with the existing Wildblue Pro Pak (and its cheaper bandwidth) for as long as possible instead of moving to Exede. For my money, choosing between Wildblues 22GB for $79.95/mo. versus Exedes 25GB for $130/mo. + lease cost/mo. + $150 upgrade cost is a no brainer.
member for 2 years, 143 visits, last login: 180 days ago
updated 2 years ago
| || |said by pprimmer:Yes, I was aware of their monthly lease fee, which to me was just adding insult to injury. I can't complain too much about WildBlue, because I really haven't had very many problems. But due to the bandwidth limitations, I always considered it a stopgap service until I could get something better.
I too was on WB and when the announced their ridiculous new Exede service...
The DSL service does not have a cap at present, and the phone co-op doesn't have any plans to implement one. The co-op has 500 some customers, with 350 subscribed to DSL. There are only 2 guys who do everything from laying cable to managing the DSLAMs, so it's nice to be able to talk face-to-face with the provider. They ran the cable today and plan to have me connected on Monday. They told me that they have a long-range plan to run fiber to all customers, but I am not expecting that to come about for at least 5 years, maybe even 10. But you never know, a couple of months ago I wasn't even considering having DSL access. Regardless, now I'm just tickled pink with the prospect of having it (even if it's around 1.5) while living in the middle of my 40-acre woods.
If Exede had offered a much more generous bandwidth allowance along with the 12.5 speed, I would have had to think about it. But there would still be the latency issue and weather-related outages, so after thinking things through I am actually glad that they forced my hand.
Exede may eventually offer more attractive plans, but they will have lost me for good. I don't understand their line of thinking, unless they are primarily focused on revenue from businesses and government, and consider any money they are able to squeeze out of individual consumers as gravy. Stayed tuned, I have a feeling that there are going to be quite a few disgruntled Exede users.
I hope your switch to wireless works out satisfactorily.