PROS / WildBlue has the largest selection of service plans so you can find a plan for your needs.
CONS / It has significantly less premium anytime bandwidth compared to other providers.
VERDICT / WildBlue’s unlimited off-peak bandwidth, high premium upstream speeds and great customer service set them apart as a great satellite internet option.
If you live in a rural area, it may be difficult to find an internet provider that services your area. However WildBlue offers satellite internet coverage across the contiguous United States as well as Hawaii and Alaska. Though it lacks some premium bandwidth compared to other providers on our lineup and throttles your bandwidth once you've consumed your monthly allotted amount, its unlimited late-night bandwidth and large selection of plans make it an easy pick for our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
Speed & Performance
WildBlue offers seven plans you can choose from. Its basic plan is ideal for light internet users with one device, who mainly use the service to read email, check the news or occasionally visit social media sites. It gives you 5 Mbps for downstreaming and 1 Mbps for upstreaming, which is the standard basic rate for all satellite internet providers. Their premium plan gives you 12 Mbps, slightly less than the 15 Mbps most other providers supply with their premium plans. The higher the Mbps quantity, the more activities you can regularly enjoy, like streaming media and playing online games. As a sort of countermeasure, though, WildBlue’s premium users get an unprecedented 3 Mbps for upstreaming. Boosted upstreaming speeds make it easy to send lots of emails, upload photos and have Skype calls, all of which help you stay connected, no matter where you live.
Since WildBlue essentially provides you with Exede's service (also on our lineup), the same issues and stipulations apply here as with Exede. If you subscribe to the most basic plan, you have access to 10 GB of anytime bandwidth. This is the amount you can use during any time of day within each billing period. Customers with the premium plan have 30 GB of anytime bandwidth, which is considerably less than similar plans from other providers that generally give you anywhere from 50 to 60 GB.
To help balance out this limited quantity of bandwidth, WildBlue's satellite internet service gives you unlimited late-night bandwidth. Late-night hours, also known as off-peak hours, vary slightly by provider but are generally from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. If you need more anytime data, you can purchase small increments of overage data at a cost of $10 per GB. If you use up all your monthly and overage bandwidth, WildBlue throttles your internet until the billing period rolls over.
Account & Contract
WildBlue is among the best satellite internet providers, as they stack their outstanding customer support on Exede’s satellite service. Their contract lengths average two years, and, depending on where you live, they give you up to seven service plans to choose from – more than any other provider on our lineup.
They have a hibernation plan option, which lets you suspend your service without violating your contract terms. Though this can only be done for a few months at a time, you pay $10 per month the service is on hold, and you can easily turn service back on without having to sign up for service and installation again. This feature is great for those who split their time between two homes or those who travel extensively. Should you need to cancel service before your contract term expires, you'll need to pay an early termination fee, which may equal or exceed $15 per remaining contracted month.
Plans, pricing and additional fees vary by location, so be sure to call WildBlue to verify whether or not they service your area and see what plans are available.
Support & Resources
You have a few ways to reach WildBlue's customer support team. Whether you prefer email or telephone, their representatives can answer any questions you have or resolve any issues. It doesn't offer live-chat support on its web site.
All existing customers have exclusive access to a direct support portal where they can connect with representatives as well as view and manage their account. The company's website is also full of informational resources, including a vast knowledgebase that covers the most common questions and issues posed by users.
Despite having a few limitations on premium anytime bandwidth and downstreaming speeds, WildBlue is a great option. Depending on where you live, you have up to seven service plans to choose from as well as a few monthly plan customization options available, so you can get have the satellite internet service that's just right for you and your family.