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Pen

If you have or had Exede internet satellite, please, please, please, tell me about it! Customer issues? Health dangers to humans or wildlife?

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Please do not quote.  Feel free to PM or to reply here. 

 

I am set to get Exede satellite internet on Monday, and was very excited to finally probably be moving from dial-up to something faster. My son has been looking forward to being able to do KhanAcademy and Duolingo from home also.

 

But I was just told there are tremendous problems with it such as listed here: http://www.complaintslist.com/internet-service-providers/viasat-inc/ (customer service, overcharge, wrong metering of Gig usage, and so on, complaints).

 

And dangers like to health of humans and wildlife--birds flying in path of the up-beam killed and that sort of thing. (My mom was told this by someone she knows and who supposedly has knowledge in this area, and she is now strongly opposing me getting the Exede service.) And maybe it is supposed to be related to this: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/01/15/how-cell-phones-are-killing-birds.aspx --but with my slow current dial-up only connection, I cannot even read that mercola article.

 

I have only tomorrow if I am going to call and cancel the installation. Any help, knowledge, experience, any of you could offer would be hugely appreciated!

 

Good experiences, bad experiences, neutral experiences... Or any related knowledge based on physics or having had a related company would be appreciated.

 

Also the problem is supposed to relate to the current quite powerful viasat satellite launched a few years ago that can give around 10megabits down and 5 megabits up per second data transmission, not to older less powerful satellites.

 

If there are serious problems in terms of human or wildlife dangers so that I cancel, I am also then concerned that I will run into problems with not being able to undo charges (they already took my credit card info)... such as mentioned in the complaintslist link.

 

I spoke to a few people who had Exede who expressed satisfaction.  However, all but one were names given to me as references by the dealer. In my area more people seem to have HughesNet, but I had decided to choose Exede because it was supposed to give better, faster service in terms of the internet connection itself.

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Something seems to be wrong with my posting right now, and I cannot edit. I had the above better organized and separated into paragraphs than it came out.

 

I also had put "Please Do Not Quote" which is missing entirely.  I plan to possibly delete the thread after receiving replies and or the time for action has come and gone.

 

 

And, if you feel more comfortable replying in  PM so as not to put a negative thing onto the public forum that too would be appreciated.

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I have no clue about the company. But, why would you choose a company that only provides 10/5 speed, when cable companies like Verizon offer 300/300?

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I don't know the company at all, but reading the complaints, I think I would shop around some more. Plus, a 24 month commitment? uggh. Is that normal?

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I have no clue about the company. But, why would you choose a company that only provides 10/5 speed, when cable companies like Verizon offer 300/300?

 

 

Our only options where we live are dial-up which offers speed in the kilobits, or satellite for which this 10/5 is the fastest offered for our area. We do not have cable, dsl, cell phone etc. in this area.

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Pen, can you temporarily cancel or move back the installation appointment, so you have more time to research and think?

 

I wouldn't make such a big decision in a rush.

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Just skimming very recent reviews from multiple sites this company sounds like a nightmare. Goodness that really stinks if this is your only other option. It sounds, though, like getting into a contract with these people may not actually net you faster access and it could potentially net you enormous, horrific, costly headaches. That really, really stinks. Based on what I am reading I would run, not walk away from this company.

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We have HughesNet and have been happy with them. Two of my kids take online classes and we haven't had any connection issues, including this past week with all the storms we've had.

 

I can't say anything about Exede as I've never even heard of them.

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And, can you call your credit card company and let them know not to accept any charges from them? It may not work to keep them from making charges, but you should be able to easily dispute any charges after the fact. Just keep meticulous records about canceling the appointment. Take names of whom you speak with and times of phone calls you make.

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We have Excede and I like it for the most part. Our only other option was for dial-up. My sister recommended this company because she didn't like a different one, but I don't know what the name was. We had cable internet at the previous place we lived... I was spoiled. I haven't had really any issues. We didn't have to sign into a contract because of some special sale at the time so we can cancel at any time. Maybe you can wait and see if a sale like that comes up. It's about as fast at cable but once you use up the amount of 'data' you purchase for the month, it runs at a slower speed instead of cancelling your service. I only wish we could get Netflix but that would eat about data within a couple hours... :(  I'm super paranoid about stray electrical current and wireless signals (we don't have a cordless phone or wifi and I won't carry my cell in my pocket) but I still got the satellite. I can't live without internet!! You can have it put on a post away from your house if you don't want to draw signals towards it. I've never heard of wildlife getting hurt. I live in a rural area and lots of people have them.

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I also do not have many options for internet.  We have Exede, and before that we had HughesNet.  Of the two companies we *MUCH* prefer Exede- great customer service, we've gotten a real English-speaking person each time we've called.  Our service is much more reliable with Exede than it was w/ HughesNet, but it will go out in heavy rain.  The main issue I would say is the download limit.  We have a higher-up plan, with the Liberty Pass.  It does cost more $#$, but we run out of allowance regularly by the last week before our monthly renewal.  WIth the Liberty Pass, I have no problem with my kids watching a few videos during school hours that last week.  As far as robbing allowance, HughesNet was *terrible* about that!  We watch our allowance at least once per day, and we shut off internet availability (disconnect router) anytime we are not actively using the Net.  Having both companies, and watching so close, I would strongly recommend Exede over HughesNet, even if the plan looks like it's better. 

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Pen, can you temporarily cancel or move back the installation appointment, so you have more time to research and think?

 

I wouldn't make such a big decision in a rush.

 

 

Yes.  I did that.  Now I have some more time!

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We have Exede. No complaints - it is exactly as advertised for us. My lRents have Hughes Net and their internet speeds. Are much slower than ours.

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Exede and Hughesnet are both ripoffs with horrible service. I was hostage to them for years.

 

Could you give more specifics?

 

And, bad enough that you would stick with dial-up as compared to them?

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I put off the installation to have more research time.  So I am bumping this in case anyone else has info to share. Thanks to everyone who has replied so far!

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Exede and Hughesnet are both ripoffs with horrible service. I was hostage to them for years.

 

 

Also, do you mean horrible service in terms of use of the internet, or customer service, or both?

 

If horrible service in terms of internet use, with regard to exede, were you being served by the ViaSat1 satellite or by the WildBlue satellite? 

 

And with regard to HughesNet were you with Gen4 or an earlier service?

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I have Exede and am very happy with them. In fact, I just upgraded to the Liberty 30 plan.

 

You do have to be aware of what you are getting, however. The latency (that is the round-trip time between your computer and the server with which you are communicating) will be much higher with any satellite service (the satellites are in geo-synchronous orbit above the equator). This is not a problem for watching videos, but may be an issue for online classes. Also, the while the Ka-band signals that Exede uses allow for higher speeds than the older WildBlue or HughesNet services, it is also (even more) susceptible to rain-fade, both at your home, and at the satellite uplink site.  

 

I telecommute to work via the internet, so my connection is very important to me. I also have AT&T wireless LTE service as well. I tend to use my AT&T connection for my work VPN and for online-classes and the like, and exede for everything else. Overages on AT&T are much more expensive than exede (where your speeds are just throttled somewhat if you use more than your monthly bandwidth allotment).

As far as the bird issues, satellite uplink is very low power. I just checked my modem, it is a very cloudy day, so the transmission lower level is just about as high as it ever gets. My current reading is (Tx RF Power: 23.8 dBm) which is about 0.2 watts. Sometimes (very rarely) it will burst as high as 30.7 dBm which is 1.2 watts.  That is not very much power at all especially when you consider that a commercial FM radio transmitter might be radiating 10000 or 20000 watts (not to mention that your local amateur radio operator is allowed up to 1500 watts). Unless a bird is actually building a nest on your dish, the power levels are so low as to be lost in the noise of solar radiation for them.

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Our only options where we live are dial-up which offers speed in the kilobits, or satellite for which this 10/5 is the fastest offered for our area. We do not have cable, dsl, cell phone etc. in this area.

Same for me. Maybe we could have a support group, lol. We had satellite internet, but it was extremely expensive and we went through data quickly. Hughes Net does not work well for the people I know here who have it.  Frontier is putting in new high speed cable at some point, but who knows when. A year ago they said it would be done in two weeks. They call and say it will be done next week every couple of months. It's very, very funny at this point.

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Could you give more specifics?

 

And, bad enough that you would stick with dial-up as compared to them?

Their meters will never be accurate, the speeds are never up to even what they say are minimal expected speeds, and half the time they don't even install it correctly. They give far too little bandwidth for the money. I bounced between them for 12 years. We were too tech dependent for dialup.

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Same for me. Maybe we could have a support group, lol. We had satellite internet, but it was extremely expensive and we went through data quickly. Hughes Net does not work well for the people I know here who have it.  Frontier is putting in new high speed cable at some point, but who knows when. A year ago they said it would be done in two weeks. They call and say it will be done next week every couple of months. It's very, very funny at this point.

 

 

Someone I know had bad experiences with Frontier.

 

We have a different phone co. here.  I kept hoping that eventually we'd get DSL or, dream on, fiberoptic.

 

But a phone co repairman who is experienced explained that it won't happen. We are too far from the nearest hub, and there is not enough population to justify putting in a new hub closer to us.  The maximum distance from hub that one can be was 3.5 miles, and the closest hub was around 9 miles, so, forget it was the message. Get satellite or stick with dial-up, but don't wait always hoping for other options. The repairman himself has HughesNet, he seemed to be happy with it, but a friend of my son's family has it and is not very happy with it.

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A couple of you mentioned Liberty plan, but that is not available in this area.  They had had one that was extremely expensive, but basically unlimited, but that was discontinued, and in general it looks like they are going down in GB allowances on plans. (We have 10, 20, or 150 GB as choices, and I chose the least (10GB per month).) My understanding from the dealer is that that is because they are getting close to their capacity and so are limiting what new subscribers can get to not cause a worse experience for everyone. That is supposed to be alleviated when ViaSat2 goes up, but I guess it has been delayed.

 

I gather that the plans in our area will go down again in what is offered on the 15th, but if I go through with it, I guess I am locked in for the 10GB plan.

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Could someone who has exede confirm for me that it can be unplugged and be completely off when unplugged?

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I also just clicked to see what upgrades for existing customers in my area would be in case I want to change. It looks like for a new customer, the 20GB plan would be $80 per month, but as an upgrade for an existing customer it would be $90 per month.  

 

Assuming I get it, I hope I am right that 10GB will do. It does have an unlimited use time before 8AM which I am hoping will help.  I used to dial-up where we cannot do much, but whatever we can do, there is no usage meter or limit.

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I also just clicked to see what upgrades for existing customers in my area would be in case I want to change. It looks like for a new customer, the 20GB plan would be $80 per month, but as an upgrade for an existing customer it would be $90 per month.

 

Assuming I get it, I hope I am right that 10GB will do. It does have an unlimited use time before 8AM which I am hoping will help. I used to dial-up where we cannot do much, but whatever we can do, there is no usage meter or limit.

I also live in the land of few internet options and 10gb does not last us a month. We have several schemes going in order to have enough data to last the month and I hate to even add up the true cost. dH has his own data on his iPad and phone, company provided. i have 5gb on my iPad. I share 15gb between my phone and our Mi-fi which is our whole-home device. And I mooch data while I'm at the office, where there is FiOs. It is the only way we can get by. We cannot stream anything or use FaceTime. I only watch short YouTubes on my Ipad, and even so, that is not something I do every day.

 

We turn our MiFi off when we are not using it, which is almost all of the time, except when the kids are doing homework.

 

It stinks. People don't even understand how we have data liits; for most people we know, it's un-heard-of. When DD had a party at our house, the girls were dumbfounded that we had Netflix DVDs. Our TV is a Smart TV, but it might as well not be, because we can't link or stream anything anyway.

 

We had Hughes Net before there was Gen 4. I don't know if that would be better than what we've got now, but the HN we had before was BAD. If it snowed, the dish would be misaligned and we would have to get tech support. Tech support is not in the US, I don't think, and - no offense meant to those who speak ESL - but very hard to understand. The DL meter was complete BS sometimes. We literally watched it run up and bust allowance right in front of our eyes for no apparent reason. Then we had to pay $10 to restore the data allowance in order to finish homework or whatever we were trying to complete.

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When we are not on-line, we go in the computer, to where network is listed, and disconnect from it.  This will stop random computer updates from stealing allowance.  If you have unlimited at night (which we once did, check the plans), you can set your computers to do all updates at like 2AM, so make sure you leave it connected if you do that.  If we aren't going to use internet for a while, we can disconnect it completely, or shut off power to the main unit. 

 

I agree that 10GB will not be enough.  We limit data- no on-line gaming at all, few videos- maybe a few clips here and there if approved buy mom or dad, kids get about 15-20 minutes per day- alternating, so only about an hour per day for the kids.  They go to my parents once a week and can do unlimited on the tablet while there.  This is why we paid more for the liberty pass.  Once we are on liberty pass (usually by the last week of the month), I let them watch Bill Nye or whatever on you-tube, and I'm much more lenient on what I allow.  This week it was 3 episodes of BN, plus I let them search for toys on Amazon everyday :)  I also limit Facebook or anything that streams.  You can also get ad-blockers if you have too many pop-ups or videos that start playing when you serf the net.  There are some sites I completely avoid b/c of excessive ads or scripts. 

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The plans available in our area are here: link  The one on the far left, as I see the page, Evolution, unlimited for web browsing and email, 10 GB for everything else.

 

I would be planning to keep our Netflix DVD service, and to do any downloading of, I dunno, things that might need to be downloaded, before 8AM.  

 

As well, someone I know with exede kept their Earthlink dial-up service also, which I had thought seemed silly, but now is starting to make sense.   I could keep my dial-up service t as a back up for less $$$ more than the 20GB/month plan is more than the 10GB plan--which could be used for most of what we now use computer for, like looking at this website, for example.  But the exede could be used for things like KhanAcademy, Duolingo... online banking ... at the moment, those specifically, is what I was thinking. Do you think that would work with just 10GB? KhanAcademy does have youtube videos as part of it.

 

My plan was to completely disconnect, turn off, unplug, the exede service when not being used for a specific task deemed worthy.  My idea is that this would both help avoid accidental going over data limits (to extent that would be real and not bogus from erroneous metering). And it would also keep the electricity bill down from even having some sleep mode activity on (speaking of Bill Nye, he says unplug appliances, don't just turn them off), and also decrease electric and EMF type pollution to whatever extent that would help.

 

I thought that might even result in less internet time over all if between 6AM and 8AM (if someone felt it important enough to get up and do it then) needed to be used for whatever higher speed purposes there might be other than the  homeschool sites that seem like they really help. And then one hour max daily for Duolingo, and one hour max daily for KhanAcademy.

 

And then too with the rain-fade issue, maybe keeping dial-up would also be helpful.

 

We don't use facebook.  Does searching on Amazon for something count as web browsing or does it use up the special allotment?

 

What do you think?

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Videos use a shocking amount of data, though. I use KhanAcademy only very judiciously. When I was in a college class and needed it daily, I went elsewhere to use it.

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I have Exede and am very happy with them. In fact, I just upgraded to the Liberty 30 plan.

 

You do have to be aware of what you are getting, however. The latency (that is the round-trip time between your computer and the server with which you are communicating) will be much higher with any satellite service (the satellites are in geo-synchronous orbit above the equator). This is not a problem for watching videos, but may be an issue for online classes. Also, the while the Ka-band signals that Exede uses allow for higher speeds than the older WildBlue or HughesNet services, it is also (even more) susceptible to rain-fade, both at your home, and at the satellite uplink site.  

 

I telecommute to work via the internet, so my connection is very important to me. I also have AT&T wireless LTE service as well. I tend to use my AT&T connection for my work VPN and for online-classes and the like, and exede for everything else. Overages on AT&T are much more expensive than exede (where your speeds are just throttled somewhat if you use more than your monthly bandwidth allotment).

 

As far as the bird issues, satellite uplink is very low power. I just checked my modem, it is a very cloudy day, so the transmission lower level is just about as high as it ever gets. My current reading is (Tx RF Power: 23.8 dBm) which is about 0.2 watts. Sometimes (very rarely) it will burst as high as 30.7 dBm which is 1.2 watts.  That is not very much power at all especially when you consider that a commercial FM radio transmitter might be radiating 10000 or 20000 watts (not to mention that your local amateur radio operator is allowed up to 1500 watts). Unless a bird is actually building a nest on your dish, the power levels are so low as to be lost in the noise of solar radiation for them.

 

 

Thank you, I have been returning to this reply as a big help with its specifics!

 

How did you figure out the uplink power? Where are you getting a reading, and how did you do a conversion to watts?

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We have Excede and I like it for the most part. Our only other option was for dial-up. My sister recommended this company because she didn't like a different one, but I don't know what the name was. We had cable internet at the previous place we lived... I was spoiled. I haven't had really any issues. We didn't have to sign into a contract because of some special sale at the time so we can cancel at any time. Maybe you can wait and see if a sale like that comes up. It's about as fast at cable but once you use up the amount of 'data' you purchase for the month, it runs at a slower speed instead of cancelling your service. I only wish we could get Netflix but that would eat about data within a couple hours... :(  I'm super paranoid about stray electrical current and wireless signals (we don't have a cordless phone or wifi and I won't carry my cell in my pocket) but I still got the satellite. I can't live without internet!! You can have it put on a post away from your house if you don't want to draw signals towards it. I've never heard of wildlife getting hurt. I live in a rural area and lots of people have them.

 

Thank you. It is helpful to hear from someone who also has concerns about wireless !

 

For us a post would be a  last ditch option because only place it could probably go and get Southern sky vantage is possibly too far in terms of feet of co-axial cable (which is supposed to reduce speed and quality, even if it just ekes in under the allowable footage), and would take lots of difficult trenching, as well as causing the modem to have to be in the kitchen or basement (because of the distance issue) with the rest of the way to point of use going by ethernet cable.  Extremely unideal, if possible at all.  It would be last ditch if they could not get a vantage to Southern sky other than by going to far away post. Renters before us had satellite TV with the post system far away, so it may be that that is the only vantage that actually exists. But maybe the house roof or garage roof would work.  

 

My hope is that I could cut down on electrical current issues by unplugging the modem so as to turn off the whole system and all its electric when it is not specifically being used.

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Videos use a shocking amount of data, though. I use KhanAcademy only very judiciously. When I was in a college class and needed it daily, I went elsewhere to use it.

 

 

Bummer.  But better to know now.

 

How much do you think could be done on Khan, if anything, with 10GB plan?  Problems download and upload without any videos? Or not even that?

 

Would a 20GB plan make much difference in this?

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