Difference between original WildBlue and Exede [explained]

Recently I had some people ask me what the differences are between the original WildBlue and Exede satellite internet plans.

The answer:

  • They utilize different satellites and offer vastly different speeds and usage experiences.
  • Exede utilizes ViaSat-1, the most capable commercial communications satellite in existence
    • Launched October 19, 2011 aboard a Proton rocket, it is the world’s highest capacity communications satellite with a total capacity in excess of 140 Gbit/s, more than all the satellites covering North America combined, at the time of its launch. -Source: Wikipedia
  • Original WildBlue utilizes a satellite launched in 2004
    • WildBlue and Telesat Ka band spot beam satellite internet service
      North America, USA: United States, 48 US states only + Canada.
      Direct 2-way satellite speed internet service for home or office.
      Advanced technology Ka band (20 and 30 GHz) using Anik F-2 at 111.1W
      The 5950 kg satellite was successfully launched 17th July 2004 by Ariane rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, South America and commercial service for the US and Canada started end June 2005. Source: Satsig.net

What does all that mean?

The end result is that Exede12 plans are drastically faster than any previous residential satellite service.  We are not talking a small difference, we are talking a huge difference. Whereas most satellite internet services would never be mistaken for broadband cable or DSL, Exede12 is actually preferable to many DSL installations IMHO.

What are you basing this on?

Experience: I used original WildBlue from 2006-2012 at three different locations (two in Missouri, one in Colorado). I have used Exede in 2012 at one location (in Missouri). I have also used Starband and Hughesnet at various locations.

As mentioned earlier, I have found the Exede12 service to be a huge upgrade. I can now:

  • Use remote desktop (RDP) connections to work on remote computers and the lag is acceptable (previously it was a painful experience).
  • Use Skype to make calls to land lines or cellphones (quality is good and people don’t realize I’m calling over satellite :-))
  • Watch Youtubeskyp videos easily
  • iTunes genius, iTunes match and iTunes store all load properly (whereas  before they often timed out)
  • The Google Play store loads correctly and consistently
  • VPN systems work well

Here is one more example, for the first month I had service Exede12 they had not implemented their data caps (FAP) yet. I utilized the Exede12 plan to backup one of my work servers and in one night I was able to download over 50GB of backup data over satellite. Hopefully that is a good illustration of how capable their system really is.

I have original WildBlue, should I upgrade to Exede12?

For me the definite answer was a YES. However, anytime you sign up for a new service there are things that can go wrong and their will be differences in the terms of the new plans vs the old. If you are happy with your current service then you may not want to mess with a good thing.

I cannot, nor do I want to, tell you what to do. My recommendation is for you to personally evaluate your options and determine what is best for you.  Along those lines, I hope that you have a wonderful experience on the net regardless of what you decide :-)

NOTE: some people refer to the new service as Exceed instead of Exede

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