Off-the-grid techie blogs via Exede

We love hearing from Exede Internet subscribers from around the country who tell us what kind of things they do with our service. Recently we came across the blog of JD Hodges, who writes about tech stuff and other things at www.jdhodges.com. We noticed he’d written about Exede, so we asked if he’d be willing to answer a few questions about himself, his blog and how he uses Exede. As a very early adapter of satellite Internet, JD brings some interesting insight to the conversation about this technology.

Q: Where do you live and what’s your occupation?

A: I live off the grid, specifically an inholding within the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri.

My occupation involves managing web hosting and websites for a variety of customers around the globe, I also run a volunteer blog hosting company at http://weblogs.us

Fast Internet is essential for me to be able to do my job effectively.

Q: Tell us a little about your blog

I started my ‘blog’ while in high school as a way to learn HTML. It was a simple site that I used to lean HTML and web design. In college I switched from a static HTML based site to a database-driven site with custom software I built myself. It had some advanced features for its time (photo tagging of friends, etc. before Facebook was around) and it was a lot of fun for sharing college experiences. After college and during law school I switched to the open source WordPress.org software, as it’s extremely versatile and very open. From that point onward the site is pretty much as it is today, a place for sharing tech insights and how-to.

Q: How long have you been using satellite Internet? Exede?

A: First Starband in 2001. Then Wildblue from 2007 to 2012. Exede from May, 2012 to present.

Q: What’s been your experience so far with Exede?

A: My experience has been wonderful so far! Ordering was easy through a local dealer and the installer was prompt and courteous. Since then (over the past eight months) the satellite Internet speed has been exceptional and the reliability has been good.

For my work I travel a lot and utilize a variety of Internet connections around the country. Before Exede, it was always painful coming home to slow Internet; now I am just as happy working (or surfing) from home as from on the road. Likewise, my wife enjoys being able to chat, surf the web and watch videos (all simultaneously if she wants to with Exede.)

Q: Were there any surprises with the service in terms of things it can do you maybe thought satellite Internet wasn’t capable of?

A: Absolutely. There is a long list of things that I do every day with Exede that I didn’t think would be possible via satellite Internet:

RDP (remote desktop), SSH, large FTP uploads, VOiP calling to landlines/cellphones (using Skype), and even large downloads. Plus, everyday tasks like shopping on Amazon or eBay are much faster than my previous satellite Internet systems.

Q: Compared to other options in your area, how does Exede stack up?

A: Exede is actually an excellent option. At my house, of course, cable is not available, DSL is not available, and even cellular is not available (without a booster and a large antenna). So for me Exede is a perfect match, I can get the same high speed Exede as someone in an urban area that signs up for Exede.

However, even closer to town Exede also stacks up well.  In the two closest towns, cable internet is not available, DSL is fairly slow, and cellular is limited to 3G, so Exede is actually the fastest service available within about a 30-mile range. So even if I lived in one of the two closest towns, I would still choose Exede as my primary Internet, and I would supplement it with DSL for applications that require low-latency.

Q: Do you recommend Exede to others in your area and/or to your blog followers? Why?

A: Yes, I do recommend Exede because it is a perfect match for users in my area and similar areas that have been neglected by conventional Internet providers. For many people in rural areas there truly is nothing else as fast for raw downloading speed; and the Late Night Free Zone allows for more transfer a month than many conventional Internet options (compared to DSL, cable, and cellular providers that have monthly caps).

However, I do try to make it clear that there are a few areas where Exede is not a good match: online games that require low latency or any other use that hinges on <600ms ping times, as well as uses that require more than 25 GB a month of non-late night transfer (Netflix streaming in HD for example), or for people that absolutely have to have connectivity during very bad weather (heavy thunderstorms etc.)

Overall, Exede brings true high-speed Internet to areas that have never had access to it before. I am very thankful for the Exede service and I appreciate the opportunity to share my experience with others. Thank you. 🙂

Thanks JD, for taking the time to write. Any other Exede users have a story they’d like to tell us? Email us at exedeblog@viasat.com.

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