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WildBlue Sucks!

I signed up for WildBlue Communications satellite Internet service on the last day of July, 2007. It was extremely hot, dry weather. The dealer assured me that it "almost takes a monsoon" to knock out the service due to raindrops interfering with the signal between satellite and the little dish receiver/transmitter. I found out just how wrong he was as soon as the first rain came.

WildBlue is unreliable

For 8 months, I complained to WildBlue and the dealer about service drop-outs. My Internet connection would fail every time the least bit of rain or snow fell. Sometimes it would drop without anything more than wind and clouds being in the area. After 8 months of complaining, the dealer finally shortened the cable run by attaching the dish to the side of the house and then replaced some part. Drop-outs for light rain ended; drop-outs for moderate to heavy rain and drop-outs after midnight continued.

WildBlue is clueless

Unencrypted email is sent from WildBlue's billing department with name, address, account number, and piles of insecure links to pages at a totally different domain (email comes from wildblue.net but links are to cl.exct.net). These email messages are in HTML format, which is the preferred format of spammers and phishers everywhere.

WildBlue is inconsistent

WildBlue advertises and charges for 24 hour connection, yet service drops during 'off-peak' hours without explanation. Bandwidth is cut in half during 'prime' hours.

WildBlue is slow

Nameserver response is terrible. The inherent lag of a satellite connection is worsened by waits for WildBlue's gateway server to respond, then the wait for WildBlue's nameserver to respond, and finally the gateway to respond again. This makes any secure connection a painfully long wait, due to the communication that must take place between the hosts to verify identities.

WildBlue is overpriced

Considering all of the above problems, WildBlue is simply not worth the prices they charge. A good dial-up account works better for everything except large file transfers -- anything requiring authentication, such as email, SSL, rsync and ssh, are much faster via dial-up. Web pages which require multiple nameserver access are faster via dial-up due to the maddeningly slow response of WildBlue nameservers. It seems obvious that WildBlue oversells their network capabilities.