PROS / WildBlue's email accounts have 7GB of storage each and users report faster upload speeds than what the service advertises.
CONS / With limited bandwidth, WildBlue may not be ideal if you're a heavy internet user who frequently streams and downloads media.
VERDICT / Although it is not as robust as competing satellite internet providers, WildBlue is a good option if you still use dial-up and mainly use the internet for browsing and email.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because ViaSat no longer sells service to the WildBlue satellite. You can still read our original review below, but TopTenREVIEWS is no longer updating this product’s information. Please check Exede's review, as this is ViaSat's latest service.
WildBlue is the predecessor of Exede, the latest generation of satellite internet by the satellite communications giant ViaSat. This satellite internet service is offered in rural areas of the country where the newer Exede service is not available. WildBlue isn't the fastest service on our lineup, but it is a drastic improvement over dial-up and has all the service features you'd expect with satellite broadband.
Because WildBlue utilizes older technology, it comes as no surprise that its speeds aren't quite as good in comparison to newer satellite internet providers. The service advertises speeds between 2.5 and 3Mbps downstream and up to 256Kbps upstream. This is noticeably slower than the maximum speeds of our higher-ranked satellite internet providers, but it is roughly five times faster than dial-up speeds. The service's actual download speeds tend to be lower, especially during peak usage hours but many users report upload speeds that exceed the promised 256Kbps.
WildBlue's bandwidth thresholds are likewise mediocre. Unlike its competitors, this service doesn't distinguish between daytime and nighttime bandwidth use; you get a 16GB total data allowance per month. This can be a good or bad thing depending on your internet habits. If you aren't a heavy user and you tend to just do light browsing and email at all hours, this data cap shouldn't be an issue. If you frequently stream media and download large files, you may need to opt for a provider with higher bandwidth thresholds.
Its speeds and bandwidth threshold may be second rate, but WildBlue makes up for these shortfalls (at least in part) with notable service features. You get 10 individual email accounts, each with 7GB of storage. This is more storage than most satellite internet services provide with their email accounts, and it gives you more than enough space to store thousands of messages. The service also offers discounts for bundling services, a customizable web portal, and spam and virus protection while you surf the web.
WildBlue also provides a download manager that allows you to schedule and automate large downloads and program updates in order to optimize your bandwidth usage. While it's convenient, a download manager isn't quite as useful with WildBlue because the service doesn't distinguish between daytime and nighttime bandwidth use.
With slower speeds and a lower bandwidth threshold than most of its competitors, WildBlue isn't the ideal option for satellite broadband. For now, though, it's a viable alternative if you live in the boonies because it offers a drastic improvement over a dial-up connection.