Exede satellite internet VPN performance review

NOTE: if you are looking for general (non-vpn) performance info about Exede, here is my Exede review. 🙂

Exede VPN Performance

If you are like me and sometimes need to use a VPN for work or privacy you may be interested in how VPN over Exede works. So here are a few results from testing a VPN connection over Exede.

Summary: It is not the ideal VPN solution, but it is reliable and can get the job done in a pinch.

Details:

DL speeds and ping times:

  • 80-120KB/s actual download speeds
  • 900-1400ms ping times (pinging yahoo)
  • Speedtest results
    • Speedtest.net results while connected to the VPN were not wholly indicative of real world performance IMHO, but here they are nonetheless for comparison purposes

Overall performance:

  • browsing the web over VPN = Fair
  • FTP over VPN = Fair
  • SSH etc. over VPN = Good
  • Remote desktop/VNC/Teamviewer/Logmein = Laggy
Despite the somewhat slow speeds and high latency, the connection was solid and did not drop/disconnect.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • This was using a PPTP VPN connection, I have been unable to get L2TP and IPSec connections to work
  • Exede non-VPN performance is MUCH better than these results, the VPN over satellite connection degrades speed and performance significantly.
  • VPN performance can be affected by the connection at the other end not just Exede
    • These results were from the Exede NOC to Washington DC, I will try other VPN connections in the future and add additional results

6 comments

  • Martin

    Maybe this isn’t a smart question, but you were using TCP on these tests right? I you’d used UDP wouldn’t it have worked better?

    • Hi Martin,
      Yes, most of these use scenarios were TCP based. If you have an application that can utilize UDP then yes I would imagine it would do quite a bit better 🙂

      Best regards,
      -JD

  • Martin

    Some VPNs, such as AirVPN, use UDP. For some applications it’s possible to encrypt prior to use, for instance if you were to have a sensitive file at work you could use openssl over SSH to encrypt it, then you would not need to use a VPN or any encryption during download.

  • Wendy

    Hello – I’m located in upstate NY and work primarily from home, in a rural area. My current set up is a Verizon 3G Pantech UM150 with a Cradlepoint CTR350 router. Although I currently have unlimited data, I can’t take the slow speeds and throttling anymore – I’m looking to upgrade my service, even though I’ll have a data cap. I have 4G LTE in my area, but Exede offers better data limits for less $$. Problem is – I need to use VPN. My VPN is Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client using clientless SSL-tunnel DTLS-tunnel. Any idea how this would perform on Exede12?

    • Hi Wendy,
      Thank you for your comment and for your great question. I did some reading about AnyConnect (see links at bottom of comment) and I am afraid it would not be a good match with Exede.

      I am not 100% sure it would work with a SSL-tunnel DTLS-tunnel, even if it did work would likely be too slow for anything except light web pages or reports. I say this because VPN over even low-latency connections can seem slow, and over an inherently high-latency (500ms+) satellite connection it would likely be too much of a hindrance for you. If there is any way for me to test it from here I would be happy to, but I understand if your IT person does not want to setup a test account etc!

      Depending on your usage scenario, you might want to investigate a combination of 4G LTE for work/VPN and Exede Evolution for personal and limited work use (unlimited web/email/photos, w/5GB data cap for file downloads) with unlimited data downloads from 3AM to 8AM (if you are an early riser like me you can get a lot of work done from 6AM to 8AM with that unlimited data). Unfortunately I know it is expensive to pay for TWO data services 🙁

      So, sorry to not have better news Wendy but hopefully this will at least give you a bit more information! 🙂

      Best regards,
      -JD

      AnyConnect links:
      https://supportforums.cisco.com/thread/2023948
      http://nmav.gnutls.org/2013/11/inside-ssl-vpn-protocol.html
      http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?t=40513

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