Review of Viasat (Exede) Satellite Internet: Is it Good For your Business

Review of Viasat (Exede) Satellite Internet: Is it Good For your Business

2023-01-26 06:52:15

There aren't many rural internet choices, but Viasat is the better of your two high-speed satellite internet options.

If cable and fiber internet seems like a pipe dream, Viasat satellite internet could be your best bet for staying connected while living in the region. It offers a range of options (depending on where you live), and it offers better speeds at a lower price than the competition.

Viasat Internet Review

Pros
More than one-speed option
Lower price per Mbps per month than HughesNet

Cons
Three-month price hike
Low data limit compared to DSL, cable, and fiber
Limited availability for cheaper Liberty plans

Plans and Pricing

Viasat is a bargain as compared to HughesNet's price for the pace you get. As a consequence, it has won the title of Editor's Choice for satellite internet.

If you're going from a cable or fiber internet plan to Viasat, be prepared for some sticker shock. Viasat internet plans are expensive, particularly considering the speeds they provide. But, to be frank, those rates aren't out of the ordinary for satellite internet.

That's why, if you have the option of choosing between satellite and other forms of internet connections, we almost always choose the latter (unless you're on dial-up).

***Note:

The Liberty plan satellite beams are almost all complete at the moment, with just two beams welcoming new customers. Customers who live in the area protected by the open beams are the only ones who will sign up for a new Liberty contract.

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viasat pricing

We understand—that seems to be a lot of plans. However, the type of package you can get—and how much you'll pay—is entirely dependent on where you live.

Viasat's Liberty plans, for example, are available in a smaller portion of the United States than its Unlimited plans.

So, depending on where you live, you can only be able to choose from a few Viasat internet speeds—and you may not be able to pick a Liberty plan.

You may be wondering what the other gaps between Viasat's Liberty and Unlimited plans are. In general, the Liberty plans have far less data than the majority of the Unlimited data plans. If you want to skip ahead, we go through this in more depth when we talk about Viasat data limits.

So what's the cost after 3 months?

You'll want to keep an eye out for Viasat's three-month price hike, regardless of the plan you chose.

After the first three months of operations, Viasat significantly raises the price of most (but not all) of its plans. After that, the price stays set for the duration of your two-year deal, but the initial rise is a financial pain.

***Note
“However, even with the sudden price hike, Viasat's rates are still lower than HughesNet's. HughesNet plans are often more costly than Viasat plans, despite the fact that HughesNet provides a slower speed (25 Mbps) than Viasat (100 Mbps).”

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viasat liberty

But we have to offer Viasat credit for this—we don't like it when companies entice you with lower rates just to lift them after a few months. We assume it is deceptive.

Comparing Viasat to HughesNet Price

Viasat is always the better deal unless you're set on HughesNet's low-data-cap plans.

Sure, 25 Mbps appears to be adequate for streaming in HD, but that does not account for any other connected devices or people who might use your internet. We're talking about tablets for kids, home surveillance devices, dad checking the latest football scores on his computer, or your partner streaming The Walking Dead as you watch Schitt's Creek in the other room.

You'll need more data and higher speeds if you have more devices and people using your internet.

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Which one is the best?

Some of Viasat's internet plans could be a better offer than others depending on how much you use the internet and what you do online. Here's why we think each Viasat plan is best for you, and we've included a few more tips below.

12 Mbps: Enough for one person to use the internet to send emails and access social media.

25–30 Mbps: Enough for two to three people to surf the internet, stream videos on occasion, and play role-playing games on the side. This pace is also capable of helping a home protection device without the use of cameras.

50 Mbps: Enough for three to four people to surf the web, download video, work from home, and/or play online games. These speeds are also capable of supporting a simple protection system without cameras.

100 Mbps: Enough for up to five users to surf the internet, watch videos, work from home, and/or play online games. For a home protection system with cameras, this pace is ideal.

Viasat Internet Speed

Viasat is our Editor's Choice for rural internet because it has the fastest satellite internet speeds.

Viasat speeds vary depending on where you live, just like every other satellite internet service. It's likely that you'll get 12 Mbps or 100 Mbps.

However, even with those high-speed plans, Viasat is still not a good choice for gamers. Satellite internet has a high latency (measured in milliseconds, or ms) that makes it unsuitable for gaming, video conferencing, or VPNs.

Because of the way satellite internet operates, this is the unfortunate truth. It will take time for your signal to move 22,200 miles to a satellite 22,200 miles above your home.

On the plus side, for slower-speed internet tasks like scrolling via Instagram, you won't experience lag as much. Just don't try to play Fortnite when linked to Viasat.

The fastest ping, or latency, they got with satellite internet was “just under 500 ms” and the slowest was 750 ms, according to a Viasat customer who goes by the username aerosick. “A buddy on a wired service is normally (sitting at) around 25 ms,” says aerosick. I'm still waiting for a link, no matter what my (upload and) download speeds are.”

Satellite internet isn't known for its lightning-fast upload speeds. In reality, Viasat's plans all have a maximum upload speed of 3 Mbps. As a result, if you want to use your Viasat internet to upload huge files or Livestream, expect a painfully slow experience.

How fast is Viasat?

In terms of real speeds, Viasat—or every other satellite internet provider—doesn't do well. In our most recent ranking of the fastest internet service providers, Viasat was ranked 37th out of 38 providers. HughesNet, the only other satellite provider, was ranked 36th.

These low rankings are most likely due to how our ratings were weighted. For each ISP, we consider download speeds, upload speeds, and latency. As opposed to DSL, cable, and fiber internet, satellite internet has a significant drawback due to its slow download and upload speeds as well as high latency.

HughesNet, on the other hand, was ranked 36th out of 38 ISPs in our report. 6 However, some of the speed variations between these two satellite ISPs may be due to the fact that some Viasat plans offer 12 Mbps download speeds, while HughesNet only provides 25 Mbps download speeds.

Based on what we've heard and what we know about the technology, we believe it's best to keep your satellite internet speed standards in check. If your satellite internet connection keeps sputtering out, try some of these tricks to speed it up before calling customer service.

Data Cap

The Liberty plans from Viasat include 12 to 50 GB of data. And some of its Unlimited plans recently received a data upgrade, so if you select an Unlimited plan, you'll now get between 45 and 300 GB of "high-speed" data.

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If you run out of data on a Liberty contract, you have two options: buy more or suffer through a 1990s-style web browsing experience with download speeds of 1 to 5 Mbps.

You theoretically get unlimited bandwidth with Viasat's Unlimited plans, but that doesn't mean you get unlimited high-speed data. You'll get 45 to 300 GB of data depending on your plan, allowing you to connect to the internet at the download speed your plan advertises.

However, if you reach your data limit, your speeds can drop to 1 to 5 Mbps during periods of heavy internet traffic.

We don't blame you if this all sounds a bit overwhelming. That's why we built a detailed guide to Viasat data limits, which includes information on data caps on Liberty and Unrestricted plans, how to purchase additional Viasat data, and how much data you need per month.

How to keep an eye on your Viasat data

You can use less data by streaming in standard definition (SD) or using Viasat's own web browser if you want to save data.

You can also keep track of your data use by downloading Viasat's software from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

Contracts, equipment, and fees

The job is done for you by Viasat's experienced installers, so put your ladder and duct tape aside.

At long last! A contract-free satellite internet service provider. Every plan with Viasat used to require you to sign a 24-month contract, but that has changed.

But hold off on getting too excited just yet—skipping the contract will cost you money. If you want to avoid the investment, Viasat charges a $300 no-long-term-contract fee. 3

We recommend going with the contract if you intend on maintaining your internet for at least two years. There's no need to pay $300 upfront to escape legal repercussions if you plan to cancel your service.

Equipment
A satellite dish and a modem are used for our Viasat internet. Both of these items must be installed by a skilled technician, who will most likely be employed by a third-party contractor.

Expect the installation to take two to three hours. Because the technician's exact arrival time can be unpredictable, we suggest taking the whole day off if possible.

When the technician arrives, they'll install the satellite dish on your roof (or a wall) to make sure it's pointing in the right direction so it can interact with the orbiting satellite. You'll be able to go once they've finished installing the dish and modem.

The cost of the equipment is determined by whether you opt for a monthly lease or a lifetime lease.

The monthly lease fee is $9.99 a month.
$299 one-time fee for a lifetime lease
The cost of the lifetime lease will take 30 months to make the one-time investment worthwhile.

However, if you can afford the initial outlay, it's generally worthwhile. The lifetime lease will save you a lot of money if you hold your service for more than two and a half years.

Viasat modem or gateway
With Viasat, you can use your own router or use the ISP's Wi-Fi gateway modem. The gateway serves as a modem and router, making it perfect for connecting multiple devices to the internet through Wi-Fi or Ethernet cables.

The gateway from Viasat also serves as a speech adapter. As a consequence, if you have Viasat voice service, you won't need to connect an external adapter to your phone. Is it time to declutter? Marie Kondo will be extremely pleased.

Operation costs
What good is the internet if you don't have to pay for it? Here's a short rundown of the fees Viasat could charge you.

Installation fees are $99.95, but if you're a new Viasat client, you can inquire about the installation fee discount scheme, which effectively removes the cost of installation.

When you cancel your Viasat service, there are one-time penalties of $300 for late or unreturned equipment.
Fees for early termination: $15 a month for each month remaining on your contract.

If a technician is required to visit your house, service calls are $95 each (unless you enroll in EasyCare)
Dish relocation costs $200 and must be performed at the same venue.

Customer Support

Although Viasat's speeds are superior to those of other satellite internet providers, the company's customer support is lacking. That is to say, internet service providers as a whole need to do a better job of looking after us, the customers.

If you look up Viasat or even Exede internet feedback (since most of us still call it "Exide"), you'll find that many Viasat customers aren't pleased. Many people complain that, among other things, they don't get the pace they paid for.

On game night, Jeff from Dubuque, Iowa, was stuck with sluggish internet. He was annoyed, to say the least. He said, "I'm trying to watch some college football tonight and I can't even link to Hulu." “I ran an Internet speed test, and my download speeds are 0.23 Mbps. I've tried it many times and the best I've gotten is 0.38 Mbps.” 2

If your Viasat internet is still stuttering, there are a few things you can do before calling customer support to speed things up.

The new American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) study did not give Viasat a particular ranking. However, we can use the report's "All Others" ranking to get a general idea of Viasat's customer service level (or lack thereof).

Is Viasat Good?

Viasat increases satellite internet speed, but it comes at a high cost. Nonetheless, the price per Mbps is lower than HughesNet, the other satellite provider. Viasat is your best choice if you have no other internet choices and want quick download speeds (up to 100 Mbps) and larger data caps.

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