Long-Term Exede Internet Review (May 2012-July 2013)
NOTE: There is a huge amount of information in the comments below this review, feel free to ask your own Exede questions there or share your own satellite internet experiences! Thank you, -JD
Disclaimer: I do not work for Exede, nor do I make any money from them if you signup for their service. My only affiliation with them is that I ordered their service in May 2012 (when it first came out), shortly after that I wrote this review and have been using Exede ever since. In September 2012 I emailed their tech support for help with an issue related to the late night free zone, they resolved that issue. In January 2013 they read this review and asked if they could interview me and I said yes.
[START IMPORTANT NOTE]
These items have been addressed in the comments, but I would like to make these things abundantly clear:
#1 Please be aware that there is no 30-day trial period
#2 There is a monthly 30-day traffic limit (cap on usage) of 10GB, 15GB or 25GB depending on your plan. Beyond that cap speeds are slowed until the 30-day period is up (or you can buy more at $10 per GB)
#3 Furthermore, Exede speeds are fast enough that if you are not careful it is possible to use an entire month’s worth of traffic very quickly
#4 My personal recommendation is to not bundle Exede with another service like DirecTV etc. as it can make billing and support more difficult
With all that being said it may sound like I do not like Exede. Actually it is quite the contrary. I like Exede very much and my experience with the service has been excellent. I am aware of the contractual obligations and the nature of the service and I make sure to tailor my usage within those confines. I live in an area where DSL and cable are not an option and Exede gives me broadband speeds that I thought would never be possible.
[END IMPORTANT NOTE, BEGIN ORIGINAL REVIEW]
Satellite internet in general: it used to suck
If you have ever used satellite internet in the past then you know the drill: slow speeds, high costs, prohibitive transfer limits, excessive ping times... In other words, you only go with satellite internet if you have no other alternatives.
For the majority of the year my family lives off the grid with no phone lines, no power lines, no cable. It is all solar energy and wireless internet. Cell phone reception is non-existant so since 2001 we have used satellite internet. First Starband (2001-2006), then the original WildBlue (2006-2012), then Hugesnet (early 2012-now).
However, in May 2012 we purchased Exede satellite internet for our home and office. The results have been rather extraordinary. Specifically, the new ViaSat-1 satellite that Exede utilizes allows for some uses that were never really feasible before with satellite internet: remote desktop, large FTP uploads, VPN, torrents, etc. Likewise, comparatively extreme performance at a somewhat reasonable price are now a reality.
There are still some downsides, but for those without other options, at the time of this review Exede is definitely the fastest residential satellite internet solution available.
+Low ping compared to other satellite internet 600mbs vs 800ms-1200ms
+Videos (Youtube etc.) load quickly and buffer extremely fast
+Fairly rain/cloud resistant
+All plans have the same high speeds (only the monthly transfer limits vary)
+Remote Desktop Connections (RDP) and TeamViewer perform very well with minimal lag!
+FTP and file uploads are actually usable
-Low monthly transfer limits (
7.5GB 10GB, 15GB, 25GB) [the lowest plan has been upgraded to 10GB!]
UPDATE: Exede has addressed much of this last issue with their new ‘late night free zone’ (LNFZ), with the LNFZ you can download as much as you want from midnight to 5AM. With freely available download schedulers this allows you to get much more than 10GB/15GB/25.GB usage per month. You can find out more about this in the comments at the end of this article…
-Ping times are still high compared to cable/DSL etc. (600ms vs. 30ms-100ms)
-extreme rain/clouds can affect speeds
-not available in all parts of the US (specifically, much of the middle part of the country does not have coverage)
-speeds may decrease over time as more users are put on the same satellite (however, ViaSat-1 is supposed to have more bandwidth than ALL other satellites in the region combined)
More photos and additional information will be added later. But until such time feel free to comment if you have specific questions.
NEW! Additional screenshots showing Exede speeds (2012.October)
NEW! Screenshot showing router level monitoring of a 24 hour time period (including the late night free zone) (2013.Feb.8th)
- My experience: Exede is still working well for me. I use it as my primary internet connection for working in a totally off-the-grid setup (no high-voltage power lines, no telecommunications lines, no cellular reception).
+If you are in a similar situation or just live in a rural area then Exede may be a very viable option for you, however,
-if you live in an urban area or have good cable/DSL available, then Exede is likely not the right choice.
- Other Exede users share their experiences: Also, more reviews are being added in the comments, they seem to be divided between about 1/2 saying ‘works great’ and 1/2 saying ‘it sucks’. I suppose most people that are going to take the time to write a review probably either love Exede or hate Exede (if you’re just satisfied then there’s not much incentive to write a review!)