Slow Download Speed, Poor Service and "Magic" Reconnection

I have had your service for years and keep it only because there is no better solution. I have never been able to consistently get enough bandwidth to stream video content. I have lost track of how many times I’ve had to not watch streamed content especially in the evening or on the weekend.
This last week though your poor service has reached new lows.
I totally lost connection Wednesday 3/6 (Wifi working but Modem flashing white and no Internet.) I spent some time on the phone with tech support during which time I was told that they were updating my firmware but that the connection was slow. The whole time I was being told this I still had no Internet and flashing white light. I kept asking about the upgrade and was told 80%, 92%, etc. I now believe I should have unplugged my unit and asked how the upgrade was progressing as I don’t see how you could have been upgrading me if I had no connectivity.
In any event, Tech support did not fix my problem so I was given a support visit for the following day 3/7. I subsequently realized I would not be home so I rescheduled for 8-11AM Friday 3/8. I received numerous calls to confirm the appointment, which I did. On service day Friday 3/8 I waited and waited for a Tech to arrive, then got a call at 10:30 to say he would be late due to an issue with another customer. I got no more updates until I called at around 2PM only to be told they had no idea where the Tech was and that they called “the tech service company” but could only leave a voicemail. I was also given that phone number which I tried which seemed to me to be a private/individual cell number as there was no company introduction or name and it went directly to voicemail. I was then told at around 4 PM that the Tech had a vehicle problem and that I needed to reschedule.
On Wednesday 3/5 when I first lost service I had already tried multiple times to reset the modem AND had gone on my roof to check the satellite dish. I also disconnected and checked all coax connections. I was pretty much convinced that either my Modem or the satellite horn receiver electronics was bad. This is why I scheduled a tech visit (and still have one for Monday 3/11).
Imagine my shock when having had three days of no connection for three days all of a sudden as if by magic, at around 5 PM Friday (just after the all day no service Tech debacle) my connection returned and has been working ever since. I am a very experienced Engineer and handyman and find it very difficult to believe this is an equipment intermittent problem and not just an outage that Viasat does not want to admit to.
They are installing fiber high speed in my area now and I can’t wait to get off Viasat.

PS: In addition, for the years that I’ve used Exede/Viasat even the slightest misting of rain resulted in loss of signal. Yet another example of false advertising of this should be a “rare” occurence!

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Hi @lufkin56

I apologize for this whole situation. I’m taking a look at your account to check if there’s any underlying issue for that offline period in your modem.

I see that your latest tech visit is scheduled for tomorrow at noon, so I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

Satellite internet connections use radio frequencies that travel in straight paths and cannot penetrate solid objects, and because weather affects the air between the dish and the satellite, most weather events can affect your connection, unfortunately. Your signal can be disrupted even if it isn’t raining in your area, as the signal might pass through a distant storm. The same goes for snow/wind.

However, it’s also possible that your dish or antenna are mispointed, due to the ease at which the connection drops when any weather event occurs. Can you tell if there’s any foliage or tree branches directly in the line of sight of your antenna?

By the way, we have been rolling out software updates this week to all modems, so it’s possible that yours was disconnected for longer than it should when entering the software update reboot. The flashing white lights mean the modem was attempting a network re-entry.

I’m escalating this issue with the team who’s doing the upgrades, to verify whether that was the cause of your offline period.

Hi @lufkin56

It looks like your service call was completed successfully yesterday :tada:

How has your connection been since then?

The Tech was very surprised when I told him I usually got only 3-10 mbps. He showed me at the end of the visit that I was getting 25-35 mbps which I have never seen before. However. this was at around 12 lunchtime. I sat back down at my computer at 2PM and was right back at my long term typical 3-4 mbps. As a matter of fact I just took a test:

As you can see, no 25-35 mbps. This is at 9AM EST. Usually I get 3-4 mbps. In the evenings when I would like to stream video I typically get 3 mbps or less with blurriness, buffering or no connection at all. In my experience, Viasat promises a lot but does not deliver as advertised. In addition, given the new satellite failure last year, I believe the bandwidth you actually supply is severely limited by customer load/available satellite ratio. What good is it for a technician to get you to what he thinks is a good signal during a low volume non-peak period, only to have it quickly degrade once he leaves and you enter more typical higher use periods. Obviously I am using the Internet now, but it is not fast. Even when searching the web with Google I frequently get a blank pop up saying “site cannot be reached” and I have to wait until it finally loads.

I would have to summarize that Viasat “works” but not nearly as well as advertised.

Your advertising greatly exaggerates real world experience.

Hi @lufkin56

Thanks for the feedback. I understand your frustration.

I believe the speeds the technician tested would be your modem speeds, not your device speeds.

Are you able to run the modem test when you use speedcheck.viasat.com? I can see some of your results, but neither has the modem speed test – even though the results show you’re using Viasat Browser.

Did you get any errors when the modem test began?

For reference, your modem speeds right now look great (close to the time you sent the 12 Mbps device speed test from OOKLA):

The distance between your devices and the modem may be causing a significant decrease in signal quality. Are you running the speed tests at the same spot where the modem is located?

Hi @lufkin56

We identified some possible fixes for your internet setup and made a change in your network configuration.

This fix will go into effect one hour from now.

After that, could you please run more speed checks whenever possible, to confirm if your speeds during the day and evening have gotten better?

Thank you!

I’m waiting on your "fix:. I just finished some tests using suggested Viasat Browser:

Test1:

Test2: Timed out/Locked up/did not complete

Test3:

Test 4:

Even getting the tests to run is slow!

[admin’s notes: edited to hide private data]

Hi @lufkin56

As I mentioned, the fix will only go into effect one hour from that message – so we still have about 30 minutes to go. :slight_smile:

Please run a few more tests when that period of time is over.

Thanks!

I got done working at 6:30, saw this message and ran tests.

This is what I usually see and is the reason for my long standing dissatisfaction. 3-4 mbps MAYBE.

Once again, I guess I won’t be streaming anything tonight.

It’s really not a great experience to have a Tech visit and show you 25-35 mbps during a low traffic window and claim everything is good.

When you are done working for the day you want to relax and use the internet; not at 3AM or in the middle of the day.

[admin’s notes: edited to hide private data]

Hi @lufkin56

I can see that your first 3 tests yesterday evening had quite low results (the ones you attached to the previous reply):

However, it seems that only 1 hour later the modem speeds were quite good:

Your device was not getting even 50% of the modem speed in most of those tests though, which is concerning.

Did you run all the tests from the same distance to the modem?

The modem is and has always been 10ft from where I am. I have no control over the modem…this is your equipment and the tech was just here Monday and said nothing about it. He said everything was ok

I can’t believe your last email said my slow wifi signal was disturbing. The modem is your equipment and the tech was just here and said everything was ok.
I realize that next you are going to want to blame my laptop.
That’s not going to work as my true measure of speed is whether or not I can stream with my Roku, which has absolutely no software or cache or other things to blame the signal on.
I’m not impressed with you sending me one good speed test result. I have have always been able to get occasional good results. The vast majority of the time I get 3-4mbps and sometimes 10.
I’m actually going to see if I can come up with a 24 hr a day signal tracker to prove what I’ve been experiencing since Excede days.
Also, none of what has occurred to me recently explains how I had no internet for 3 days and then as if by magic, it came back last Friday evening with absolutely no change to equipment or reset.
As I told the technician who came the following Monday, I had the modem on and as warm as it could get all the time. He found nothing wrong with the modem.
Personally, I would be thrilled if I could get 5-10 Mbps consistently, which has never happened. You really need to stop advertising up to 50mbps when you can’t even guarantee 5!

I am tire of running speed tests but here’s my latest historical recap:

These are not good results…they always drop off in the evenings when normal people are relaxing and want to use the internet. ISP’s love to blame wifi when they are not providing good service…I don’t really see any issues with mine from this data…more often than not it is a factor of 5-10 times higher than ISP throughput.

As a retired engineer well acquainted with different ways data can be made to look good or bad I noticed how the graph Y-axis is scaled to 24 Max…why don’t you scale it to “up to 150 mbps” like you advertise with your unleashed ads?

I saw 25-30mbps ONE time when your tech was on site.

I know this is never going to happen, but just once it would be great to hear Viasat just keeps signing up as many paying customers as possible when they really don’t have the infrastructure to provide the service. If you had adequate infrastructure, you never would have spent the money to send up the new satellite last year that subsequently failed.

Even though it is nowhere near what is advertised, I would be happy with what I pay if I could just get a solid, consistent 10mbps! Is that really asking much? That’s 20% of 50mbps and 7% of 150mbps.

Viasat is like buying a car with an EPA estimated 20 mpg and actually not even getting 1.4 to 4 mpg.

Viasat Speed Check_ Results History.pdf (587 KB)

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I agree with you here. I signed up for the unleashed last night and the average speed is like 8mpbs. I’m betting that’s what it’s always going to be, and there will only be like maybe a 10 minute period in each day where we can reach 20mbps. I think we were lied to.

Just walked in from the store, checked my Email, ran a test:

Great, huh? Note they were starting to accuse Wifi as a culprit…looks alot higher than needed!

they will always blame it on the wi-fi. They will say try connecting your device with an ethernet cable and try again. I guarantee it won’t get any better, probably worse. I think they are lying to us. They are blocking the speed from the modem reaching our devices.

Hi @lufkin56

The graphs are related to each customer’s plan – in your case, your Plan is “Unlimited Silver 25Mbps”, so the max is 25Mbps.

The Unleashed plans have a max of 100Mbps, but we don’t create graphs based on 1 single plan as we have many different ones with lower/higher speeds than that.