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What are the best satellite internet providers?
Satellite Internet Providers Available in Your Area
Summary of the Best Satellite Internet Providers
While there are a lot of internet providers out there, satellite internet requires specialized technology that only a couple of providers have. If you’re looking for internet via satellite, Viasat—formerly Exede Internet—and HughesNet are your two best (and only) choices.
In the near future, you’ll also be able to check out satellite internet offers from Starlink (from SpaceX). But for now, Starlink internet is still in the beta testing phase.
Viasat offers a wide range of speeds and prices. While its smallest package has less speed than HughesNet’s standard packages, it still comes with a large data allowance. The rest of its packages are as fast as or faster than HughesNet packages with even larger data allowances.
HughesNet has the lowest satellite prices. While its smallest package costs about the same as Viasat’s, it comes with faster download speeds. All HughesNet packages come with 25 Mbps, and although that’s slower than most of Viasat’s offerings, it’s still a reliable rate.
Choose HughesNet if you want affordable, high-speed satellite internet and don’t need much data.
Both providers technically offer unlimited satellite internet, but after you reach your allotted data for the month, your download speeds will drop. With Viasat’s higher data allowances, you won’t run into a slowed internet experience as quickly as with a HughesNet plan. But if you don’t use the internet a lot, HughesNet’s low prices may be too good to pass up.
Satellite internet and TV service
Why get satellite TV when you can just stream everything online? Well, streaming isn’t as easy in rural areas as it is in the city. If you have satellite internet, your data will be limited (not to mention pricey!).
Streaming a few movies or episodes a month is okay, but if you want to stream videos every night, you’ll max out your data limit early in the month, which will cause slow speeds for the rest of the month. Because of satellite internet’s data restrictions, many satellite customers choose to pair satellite TV service with their internet so they can save on data.
Best Satellite TV Providers
Summary of the Best Satellite TV Providers
When you need satellite TV to go with your satellite internet, your choices are DISH and DIRECTV.
DISH’s Hopper 3 DVR comes with plenty of storage, so you can record the shows you want without wasting data on streaming TV from your satellite internet provider.
DISH offers four TV packages. That’s not as many as DIRECTV, but they all come with a two-year price lock guarantee, which means your price won’t jump after the first year of service.
DIRECTV has a reputation for great sports offerings, like NFL SUNDAY TICKET. Every plan comes with an included Genie DVR, which isn’t as powerful as the Hopper 3, but still gets the job done.
Although DIRECTV’s prices are lower at first, they rise after one year, so they can be more expensive than DISH plans over a two-year contract.
FAQ about satellite internet and TV providers
Can I get satellite internet and TV together?
You can’t purchase satellite internet and TV together in a single package, but you can certainly get both services separately. We recommend pairing DIRECTV service with Viasat satellite internet for the best experience in rural areas.
Does HughesNet offer satellite TV?
No, HughesNet does not offer satellite TV service, but you can get satellite TV service to complement your internet package. You will need to have two separate dishes installed, though, since neither satellite internet company offers TV service.
Can you stream TV with satellite internet service?
Yes, it’s possible to stream with satellite internet, but we don’t recommend streaming video all day with satellite service. Satellite internet speeds are fast enough to support streaming, but the problem is the high amount of data that video streaming uses.
All satellite internet service plans have data restrictions. So, if you stream video frequently, you’ll max out your data limit for the month and could end up paying extra for more data or hobbling along at reduced speeds for the rest of the month. This is why many satellite internet customers also get satellite TV service in rural areas, so they don’t have to rely on video streaming services for entertainment.