What equipment will I need for satellite internet to work?
To use satellite internet, you’ll need an internet-ready device (like a computer, tablet, or gaming console), a modem/router, and a satellite dish. You probably already have internet-ready devices at home, and your satellite internet service provider can set you up with a modem/router and satellite dish.
How fast is satellite internet?
Download speeds for Viasat satellite internet range from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps, depending on the plan you choose. HughesNet plans all offer the same download speed of 25 Mbps. But keep in mind those are advertised speeds. The speeds you actually experience may be slower. Starlink speeds (as reported during the public beta test) range from 50 to 150 Mbps, so it’s faster than some plans but slower than others.
Is satellite internet faster than cable?
No, satellite internet is not faster than cable or fiber internet, although it can be faster than dial-up and some DSL providers. But, it’s fast enough for most online activities— satellite internet service can support email, streaming, social media, and video conferencing. Satellite internet is almost always slower than cable or fiber internet providers. Additionally, satellite service usually caps the amount of full speed data you can get each month, which leads to throttling and sluggish speeds.
When will Starlink satellite internet be available?
Currently Starlink is available in parts of the US, Canada, and the UK during the public beta. As new satellites are launched, additional areas will be added. It may take a year or more before Starlink is available globally. You can sign up on Starlink’s website and get a notification when Starlink internet is available in your area.
Who has the fastest satellite internet?
In many areas, Viasat offers download speeds up to 100 Mbps. Some beta testers of Starlink report slightly higher speeds for the new LEO service, with download speeds reaching up to 150 Mbps, although speeds vary widely since the Starlink constellation isn’t fully built out yet. Starlink’s advertised speeds are 50 to 150 Mbps.
Is satellite internet as fast as cable internet?
No, satellite internet is not as fast as cable internet. Satellite speeds top out at 150 Mbps while cable speeds can reach up to 1,000 Mbps. Some satellite internet plans technically offer download speeds as fast as cable internet in some areas, but it likely wouldn’t seem faster because of satellite internet’s higher latency.
Is satellite internet good enough for streaming (e.g., Netflix)?
Yes, you can stream with satellite internet, but there are a lot of factors to consider before you do—especially data caps. With satellite internet, you’ll be picking a data plan as well as a speed, and your data plan can make a big difference in your speed. If you use too much data, your speeds will be slowed for the rest of the month, which can impact the ability to stream video.
Since streaming can be tricky on satellite, we wrote two guides to help you get the most out of your internet connection: Your Guide to Streaming with Satellite Internet and How to Stop Buffering When Streaming with Satellite Internet.