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WildBlue page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 474 reviews (94 good) (264 bad)
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Review by dzm97 See Profile

  • Location: Napa,Napa,CA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Once bits are flowing - fairly fast"
Bad "Huge latency issues, frequent disconnects, bad admin interface"
Overall "Better than dial-up"
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Mail,DNS,News:
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I live in rural Bay Area, California. I suffered for a year with Multi-Link PPP over dirty phone lines. After that experience I thought that anything would be an improvement. Imagine my joy when WildBlue became available in my area.

For the first several months service was what one expects from teh Satellite ISPs. ~600ms latency, IP-SEC VPNs don't work, etc, but largely a real improvement. Unfortunately in March i began noticing that my Instant Messenger was frequently being logged out, and my SSH sessions were being abnormally terminated ("Connection Reset By Peer"). Investigation showed me that ping times had become terrible, averaging ~3,000 ms and sometimes spiking without warning to ~40,000ms (this was happening at least every forty-five minutes, and is somehow related to the dropped services as well).

Numerous calls to WB tech support got me sympathetic Southerners who agreed that the ping times and service drops were bad and promised that they would relay the information to their engineers. The only way I ever got a status update on the issue was to call again in several days - the promised call-backs never happened. The result was always the same - "Our engineers pinged your modem. It answered. They say there's not a problem." Despite copious ping, netstat, and other network diagnostic information forwarded, and offers to talk directly to the engineers if they needed more information or were unclear on what the issue is, the response was always "They say there's nothing wrong" or "The engineers don't talk to end users."

After numerous more conversations they finally agreed to send an installer back to check the equipment. He got lost, but did call me. When we discussed the problem he announced "That's a TRIA problem. I'll order another one for you."

The new TRIA has been in place for several weeks and the problem is just as bad as its ever been.

While initially promising, the service has become a grand disappointment to me. It's better than what I was using in the same way that poking hot needles into my eyes would be better than drinking melted lead. I continue to suffer from frequent disconnects, ping times that average 3,000ms, and a company that swears everything is working as expected. For $79/mo they should be doing a hell of a lot more to figure out what's wrong.

I would not recommend this service (or any satellite service, assuming this is the norm) to anybody unless they have absolutely no other options.

Note: While writing this review I've been PINGing Yahoo in the background. here are the stats:

705 packets transmitted, 703 received, 0% packet loss, time 709723ms

rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 597.767/1986.761/14072.681/2261.646 ms, pipe 15

Yes, that's a best PING time of 597ms, and an average of just under 2,000ms.

member for 8.4 years, 4 visits, last login: 6.1 years ago
lodged 8.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by jarad See Profile

  • Location: Jackson,Breathitt,KY
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Speeds as promised, MUCH better than dialup!"
Overall "Excellent service with promised speeds"
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After living with dialup for all of my life, and the hopes of DSL becoming available getting less and less evident, I got set up with Wildblue. Although I have only been with Wildblue less than a month, I can say that the service has been great and it is a great solution for anyone seeking to get out of the clutches of slow, sluggish dial-up.

The installers (Gearheart Communications/Mikrotec) were very kind and showed the utmost professionalism. You could tell they knew what they were doing, and they even took off their shoes so as not to track dirt or anything in the house.

I am currently on the Value Pak ($50/month) plan, with 512 kbps down and 128 kbps up, and I do regularly receive the speeds I'm signed up for. The service has only went out once or twice, and only for about 5 minutes. I have not had to deal with technical support, so I cannot say much about it yet. However, if I had any questions, I would probably ask the guys at the Wildblue forum here for help first.

I will occasionally update my review with how things are going, and if I'm as satisfied with the service as I am now, which I hope to be.

member for 9.8 years, 273 visits, last login: 141 days ago
lodged 8.4 years ago

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Review by Gundam_Toon See Profile

  • Location: Noblesville,Hamilton,IN
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "The Only Broadband I've Got!"
Overall "Right on speeds, good price"
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October 31, 2005

Situation: Insight Broadband is within 400ft of our current location, but the main problem is the price for the install. Insight's construction crew wants $2600 for 400ft which includes service on 3 cable jacks. We've been trying for years to get it installed for maybe $200 or $300 but we became desperate for high-speed internet service this summer because of my needs for the upcoming school year. I'm dealing with Adobe files that can range from large to colossal. Dial-up wasn't going to cut it. So we called up Insight and finally gave in to the original quote we had gotten last year for $1000. Then they switched on us and here I am. Welcome to the world of WildBlue!

We ordered our Wildblue service at 1Mbps/200kbps for $70.00 a month. We've had it for 3 months so far and the only problem has been the update-crazy modem. Everything is going nice and then one day its down for 2hrs for updates. Wish there was consistency to it. But the main point is the speeds are always 1024 or 1023 kbps/sec down and the install was very smooth. As expected there's around a 600ms ping time to just about anywhere. The most interesting thing about this service is the way it acts on ".edu" sites verses any other site. Seems to react instantly on those sites for some reason. I've pinged these places and there's only a 100ms difference between that and ".com's" As for my broadband dream of 50-70ms latency for FPS's maybe later but I've got this to aid me in my transfer of enormous InDesign and Photoshop files.

March 24, 2006

Everything seems to be going well now. We had our modem replaced for the above issue. It wasn't updates, which seems obvious now, but a freak problem with the modem itself. The dish and signal have withstood some excellent storms and nasty wind. Service has been much more reliable now that the new modem is doing its thing. Interestingly, some ping times have been in the low 500's now for sites across the board. Still happy with WB and would recommend it to anyone when they start installing again.

June 6th, 2006

That new modem is still holding out for us, I feel happy not to be with Insight this month and the last as they started the transfer of their network from ATT to their in house network. Got a new computer and the updates flew by compared to visiting Windows Update with Dial-up. I would never go back to dial up after that. Good Job Wildblue!

member for 10.1 years, 629 visits, last login: 1.5 years ago
updated 8.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by done999 See Profile

  • Location: Ewing,Holt,NE
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "It works"
Bad "none yet other than price"
Overall "only choice, better than dialup by far"
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I live in a very rural area, DSL works 7.5 miles from town (pop. about 300), I'm twice that. I don't know how fast the dsl is, but I'm almost positive it's less than 1Mbps, and it costs $50 per month. Got tired of waiting for them to upgrade the phone lines to fiber optic like neighboring towns, and aside from the steep initial cost, this is the same price pretty much, and from what I've used it, this value pack seems to be just as fast as the DSL in the area, aside from the latency. Only complaint is the price, especially when people in a town not more than 30 miles away are paying about $20 for faster DSL, but when it's the only choice, what can you do, and it seems to work well so far. I've had it almost a month. Took 3 weeks to get it installed from my order, they are swamped and no hurry, and they drove 70 miles for a free install. Dialup was being problematic, and connecting at no more than 33.6 Kbps on a good day.

I'm on value pack @ $50.

:::.. Download Stats ..:::
Connection is:: 633 Kbps about 0.63 Mbps (tested with 386 kB)
Download Speed is:: 77 kB/s
Tested From:: »testmy.net (Server 2)
Test Time:: 2006/05/29 - 7:34pm
Bottom Line:: 11X faster than 56K 1MB Download in 13.3 sec
Tested from a 386 kB file and took 5 seconds to complete
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.3) Gecko/20060426 Firefox/1.5.0.3
Diagnosis: May need help : running at only 42.74 % of your hosts average (32.37)
Validation Link:: »testmy.net/stats/id-YRT0QX1W7

:::.. Upload Stats ..:::
Connection is:: 103 Kbps about 0.1 Mbps (tested with 579 kB)
Upload Speed is:: 13 kB/s
Tested From:: »testmy.net (Server 2)
Test Time:: 2006/05/29 - 7:39pm
Bottom Line:: 2X faster than 56K 1MB Upload in 78.77 sec
Tested from a 579 kB file and took 45.99072 seconds to complete
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.3) Gecko/20060426 Firefox/1.5.0.3
Diagnosis: May need help : running at only 88.79 % of your hosts average (32.37)
Validation Link:: »testmy.net/stats/id-OX7HQ8CM0

member for 8.4 years, 111 visits, last login: 3.3 years ago
lodged 8.4 years ago

Comments:

Review by coltcomputer See Profile

  • Location: Pahrump,Nye,NV
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "None."
Bad "Just about everything."
Overall "WildBlue is in serious of help."
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They can do nothing right. At least not in Pahrump, Nevada.

Their installer need my help from the get go.

I had to drive 250 miles from L.A. to finish the job. Only to discover that the antenna was placed in the wrong location, I just could not believe it.

Now WildBlue is going to send another installer to correct the placement of the dish. I just hope the new installer knows something about networking, because the last one didn't know anything.

Who the hell hires these people?


member for 13 years, 181 visits, last login: 23 days ago
lodged 8.4 years ago

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Review by tvdxer8 See Profile

  • Location: Duluth,Saint Louis,MN
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Fast, brings affordable broadband to those who otherwise couldn't get it"
Bad "High (unavoidable) latency, relatively expensive, requires pro install"
Overall "Great for those in rural areas forced to have dial-up;"
Pre Sales information:
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I had my WildBlue system installed on April 20th, 2006. Since then, I have enjoyed something I had lost over two years ago: broadband internet access. While we do not live in the middle of nowhere, we are sufficiently rural to not have access to cable or DSL. A wireless ISP, Monet, operated here from late 2002 until March 2004, with decent bandwidth (500-700 kbps down) and prices ($39.95 / month), but they went out business, returning us to a wretched, often unreliable 20-25 kbps...sometimes less.

That's where WildBlue comes in. We had been having phone line problems for some time, and I finally decided to be more aggressive in pursuing my options...and I found WildBlue. Installation was originally schedule for Holy Thursday, but canceled by our local dealer due to "problems with the corporate office". Bummer...but we did reschedule it for the same day the following week, and on that day the installers arrived ready to put in our system. It was certainly no easy process, and lasted from about 3:00 PM to 7:30! After that ordeal I once again had home broadband access!

I am on the best plan, the "Pro Pack", $79.95 / month for a claimed 1.5 mbps down / 256 kbps. Downstream speeds are typically between about 1,400 and 1,700 kbps; if I have am downloading from a good server, I can expect 185 - 195 kb/s. Upstream ranges from about 200 to 250 kbps. I have no problem streaming 128 kbps audio to a friend. Ping times, which I doubt have any relation to the package one is on, are inavoidably slow; 500 ms is probably about the best one can get, and I typically get between 700 and 1,000+ ms. Don't expect to play high-action FPS games on this system (although slower ones should be OK). The latency is noticeable, though not THAT bad, and having a tabbed browser like Firefox really helps, as one can open the various pages they want to see at once, so they don't need to endure the short wait (~ 2s) before they start loading.

Short service interruptions sometimes occur, and on one day I had a major slowdown to about 480 kbps down. But these are not much of a problem for me. The dish operates on the Ka-band (24 GHz downlink) and therefore is quite immune to rain and poor weather conditions, but for most showers it pulls through.

The main concern for the WildBlue user is the FAP - Fair Access Policy. To offer a more "equitable" service to customers, as the company claims, it places download and upload limits on users. When one has downloaded or uploaded more than either over a rolling 30-day period, they are "fapped" and limited to 128 kbps downstream (and a lower upstream). For the Pro Pack, the current limits are 17 GB down and 5 GB up, which I don't consider much of a problem; those on the cheapest plan, the Value Pack, are limited to just 7.5 and 2.3 GB.

I have a dynamic IP - I'm not sure if they offer any option for a static one.

Overall, I am impressed with the service. While not perfect, it works well, and is a complete relief from dial-up. I should also mention that the included modem is connected to the computer via ethernet, so it should work with any OS.

member for 8.4 years, 3 visits, last login: 1 year ago
lodged 8.4 years ago

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Review by Krzy007 See Profile

  • Location: Dade City,Pasco,FL
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Fast, Bye Bye Diel up, Good Service, Priced less than Direcway"
Bad "500 ms ping playing BF2"
Overall "Where was WB when i used Diel up, WB take me out of the cave !!"
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Wow i checked Direcway but the price blow me away Wildblue price was just what i need. I play 2 games EQ2 and Battlefiled 2. Playing EQ2 cant tell if i get delay or not with 1/2 sec. But Playing BF2 and pings at 500 there is little slowdown but if i did play on diel up i would never be playing BF2 it would say there is connection problem. I love my Wildblue Thank you.

member for 8.4 years, 110 visits, last login: 6.6 years ago
lodged 8.4 years ago

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Review by NANA2TWO See Profile

  • Location: Muscle Shoals,Colbert,AL
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Great install, good job Digital Entertainment Plus, Rogersville, AL!"
Bad "Costs more than DSL for lesser speeds"
Overall "Beats Dial-up when you don't have any other choices"
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Had WB one week, no problems at all. The install was very smooth. No problems at all, installer recommended that the dish be installed on brick for stability, looks like it was a good recommendation. Have not had to fine tune signal since initial install. WB tech says my signal is great.

I still hate to pay $50 per month for lesser speed than friends that have DSL, but when you can't talk to a human at BellSouth, what can you do? All in all, I am very glad to be rid of dial-up!!

member for 9.5 years, 234 visits, last login: 165 days ago
lodged 8.4 years ago

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Review by K9DZD See Profile

  • Location: Channing,Dickinson,MI
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Great compared to slow dialup"
Overall "great alternative to dialup"
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I have had wildblue for 2 weeks,,absolutly NO problems,very professional installation,
All downloads as per adverstised,,
living in a remote area,of the Upper Pennisula of Michigan.It Is A real,Realistic option,to a 26.4 dialup .

member for 8.4 years, 89 visits, last login: 8.2 years ago
lodged 8.4 years ago

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Review by dsbarnette See Profile

  • Location: Ocoee,Polk,TN
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Bad "Horrible Install, Horrible Technical Support, No returned calls"
Overall "My dial up is more reliable and faster than Wild Blue"
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I would not reccomend or even let my worst enemy think about getting this service. I have had the dish on a pole, 3" pole that they bent the bracket to fit in my back yard right out of my bedroom window.

Installation started at 5:10pm Installer was late
Refused to install the dish to the house had to be a pole mount at $190.00
Did not have the pole had to wait on others to bring one and 20lbs of concrete
Did not have a shovel had to use mine
Ran the upload cable only 20' when over 30 is required
The pole they brought was 3" instead of the 1 5/8"
The pole was only place 1' in the ground. A passing bird makes it sway
I only have pathetic reception on perfect days with no wind.
I call the tech support to get a repair made daily and repair men never show up never call
I am now waiting to have a repairman show up that was scheduled from 1:00 to 5:00 today and it is 7:13pm

I want this company to get their damn dish off of my property and go away!!!



member for 8.4 years, 30 visits, last login: 5.9 years ago
lodged 8.4 years ago

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