View Full Version : Wildblue Satellite Internet

02-13-2008, 12:34 PM
Any opinions on Wildblue? Thinking on going with them, just want to ask anyone's experiences good or bad before taking that damn 18 month contract! I wish they didn't do that.

02-13-2008, 12:42 PM
I have no personal experience with them, but I am a system administrator in an IT department at a university. I had one of our users I know well ask me what I thought of it and I had no experience to go on. He got the service and called me to let me know that he is quite pleased....other than the fact that its really pricey.


02-13-2008, 01:47 PM
I can't comment on wildblue service directly, but I had the old direcway now hughesnet for a couple years. The one thing I would warn you of is the lag you get with satellite up & down link. The satellites are in a geosynchronous orbit, about 22,000 miles from earth, so when you click the button the speed of light takes about 0.4 seconds total round trip to go from your house to the sat then sat to ground station, then onto the internet, then ground to sat and sat to house. Not a problem for casual surfing, and once the stream is established things are fine, but if you are doing something that requires constant interaction it gets old very quickly.

My advice is if there is any terrestrial solution available use that ( I now have sprint wireless with an antenna on a 30 foot mast on the roof ) but if your only option is satellite wild blue is probably your best choice.

If I sound a bit technical I apologize, my company builds satellite modems ;) (at least I didn't get into Reed Solomon & Viterbi :p )...

Good Luck,


02-13-2008, 02:17 PM
I'm a Wildblue user. I'm also a prior Direcway/Hughes user.

Wildblue is the superior service between the two, but it does have all the downsides of Satellite internet service.

Latency is a pain in the ass and there is a limit on the amount of data you can download/upload in a running 30 day period. Heavy rains and snow will cause signal issues. Sometimes ice/snow builds up on the dishes and cause issues (install them where you can get to them without the need of a ladder).

The hardware and install wasn't cheap nor is the monthly service bill. I'm about 2000 feet from the end of the cable line on my road and I need broadband server for business reasons, so satellite was the only choice. There has been enough building down the road from me that I'm betting I'll see the cable line run down past my house in the next few years. Once that happens I'll get cable just for the internet (I'm very happy with my Directv service).

02-13-2008, 04:26 PM
Another happy wildblue user here.

I don't have the link, but there is a wildblue forum somewhere, and you'll hear a lot of complaints on that forum.

Apparently, the quality of your signal can depend on exactly where you are at. Some users in marginal locations report a lot of downtime. Maybe I'm lucky, but my uptime has been excellent.

The tranceivers have a significant failure rate. I had to replace one, but fortunately it was covered by warranty at the time.

"Tuning" the dish is very important, as is having a sturdy mount. If the dish is not well tuned, you may lose the signal frequently, and the upload speed may be abnormally slow.

I used to have a problem with signal loss in bad weather, but then I relocated the dish and retuned it, and since then have only dropped the signal one time -- because of wet snow on the dish. Swept the snow off and all was good.

I have had problems with the bandwidth limit. I have to be very careful about downloading music, CDs, and movies. Teenagers are hard on your bandwidth budget, too.

If you can get DSL or cable, do so. If you live in the sticks, satellite may be your only broadband option.

02-13-2008, 05:36 PM
I'm on Barret Xplornet which is the same thing as Wild Blue here in Canada. Same satellite and same service considerations.

It's faster than dialup
It's almost always on. Well, most of the time.
It's a Canadian Satellite so it's in a good location.

It's slower than dialup (I'll explain)
It's not always on.
It is highly subject to rain fade.
It's oversubscribed
It costs too much for what you get.
You get "fapped" for no reason.
Support is variable, sometimes good and sometimes poor.
Useless for online action games, latency is too long
No good for video conferencing
Too much lag for good VOIP.
Too slow (basic package) for most streaming video to play as a stream.
Upload (outgoing) rate is only slightly faster than dialup.

First is the latency issue. Latency means "response time". The satellite is 40,000 km away in orbit and by the time the signal makes two round trips and has the usual delays as well it takes about 1 full second on average for anything at all to happen when you click the mouse button on a link or anything else that requires more net data. That applies to every time you make a move of any sort that is online. No exceptions and no way out. Light only travels so fast.

Slowness: If a web page has a lot of outside off site data to pull in (advertisements especially, web counters, etc) to display everything then it can take as much as 5 times longer than dialup to load the page. There are some adjustments that can be made to speed up the web browser but only so much. The reason is the latency because every single outside link has to be requested from your machine as the page is filled in. An example is a post here with photos. Those photos don't come from Village Press but from elsewhere and must be requested in order to display them.

More slowness: Satellite internet has a limited bandwidth and they can't pull in extra resources to handle busy periods. The busier it is the slower it becomes. Sometime it's too slow and your connection will time out regularly.

Even more slowness: E-mail sucks if you get a lot of mail. The e-mail protocol requires your machine to do a handshake sequence of several back and forth transmission for each and every piece of mail. The latency problem kicks in here big time. E-mail downloads are slow because of the handshakes. Worse is the sending of attachments such as photos. Outgoing speeds are limited to around 2 times dialup so sending a large file can take almost forever.

Yet more slowness: YOU HAVE BEEN FAPPED. This means that you have been subjected to the limits imposed by the Fair Access Policy. This means that you have been downloading too much and your speed has been automatically throttled down, sometimes to near dialup speed. Once you have been fapped it takes time for your speed to recover which it does at a certain rate on a minute by minute basis. The limits and any other information about what it takes to get fapped are secret. They won't tell when, how much or why or even if you will be, have been or may have been fapped.

They claim that the FAP limits have nothing to do with controlling access during busy periods, only your personal use habits. BULL. I repeatedly see my download speed start out at 60k and then after perhaps 10 to 15 megs have been pulled down it suddenly drops to around 20k. Yet, during the early morning from 1am to 4am when I do most of my data intensive internet usage there is no reduction in speed no matter how much you download.

I don't like satellite internet. But, it's better than dialup and I have no other alternative.

but then I relocated the dish and retuned it

It isn't legal to do that yourself, here or in the US. They are afraid you might end up pointing your dish at a military satellite or something and interfere with it.

mister honey
02-13-2008, 07:26 PM
I had Wildblue for 2+ years as nothing other than dial-up was available here. It worked well and was superior to dial-up. Any problems were just like my satellite TV service.

About 5 months ago, ADSL became available through the phone company and I made the change.

I'd recommend Wildblue.


02-13-2008, 07:58 PM
We had to get satellite service at the shop, no choice, Hughes and somebody else were incredibly expensive. Wild blue was the cheapest.

For setup, it cost $690, but that included the "special" roof mount, a wireless router and 4 access points, and the guy set them all up.

We opted for the highest service, with the fastest speeds and the largest limits, 1.5meg on the download speed and 15gigs in a rolling 30 day period on the down load limit, 5gigs up I think. Go over these and they throttle you back to 256k until your rolling 30 day total comes down. About $80 a ,month.

Your totals before you get FAPped are on their website, I keep it bookmarked and check my totals every couple of days.

Service down here in sunny southern NM has been rock steady. I only time out when I try to open a million pages at once. I have learned tab browsing with a satellite is the way to do it.

I keep several things open, so the delay doesn't bother me, you just have to surf a little differently.