Viasat Internet Review 2022: Is Viasat Satellite Internet Your Best Option?

We tested Viasat Internet for 3 months and liked everything but the price. Here's what to know about one of the best satellite internet providers before you sign up.
Viasat
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2
  • pro
    Nationwide availability
  • pro
    Speeds: 12–100 Mbps
  • pro
    $69.99–$299.99/mo.

Cara Haynes
Managing Editor
Read More
July 29, 2022

Is Viasat Internet right for you?

We consider Viasat to be one of the best satellite internet providers, with speeds second only to Starlink.

Viasat Internet provides some of the fastest satellite internet speeds and highest rural data caps you can get. Viasat (formerly Exede internet) is also available nationwide like most satellite providers, which makes it an excellent rural internet option, where broadband options are often limited.

That said, Viasat Internet is expensive. You'll pay upwards of $300 per month for the fastest Viasat plan. Is it worth the cost? Well, even though I live in a suburban area, I tested the Viasat Platinum 100 plan for three months—using it along with my Xfinity cable internet plan to compare. And I found that Viasat internet actually works really well—I just wouldn't want to pay for it. 

Viasat internet pros
pro Speeds up to 100 Mbps
pro Larger data caps and faster speeds than HughesNet
pro Available nationwide in the US
Viasat internet cons
con Expensive for how much speed and data you're getting
con Required 2-year contract with high early termination fees
con More latency than cable, fiber, and DSL options

Viasat Internet plans and pricing

The best Unlimited Viasat plan is the Unlimited Platinum 100, boasting download speeds up to 100 Mbps. Viasat’s Unlimited Platinum 100 plan includes 150 GB of full-speed data per month. It also costs a whopping $149.99–$199.99 per month for the first three months and $249.99 thereafter. That's a lot, but it's also one of the best unlimited high speed internet options for rural areas.

Plan
Promo Price
Speed
Data Cap
Regular Price
Choice 25 Mbps/40 GB
$49.99
/mo
Up to 25 Mbps40 GB
$69.99
/mo
Choice 50 Mbps/60 GB
$69.99
/mo
Up to 50 Mbps60 GB
$99.99
/mo
Choice 75 Mbps/100 GB
$99.99
/mo
Up to 75 Mbps100 GB
$150.05
/mo
Choice 100 Mbps/150 GB
$149.99
/mo
Up to 100 Mbps150 GB
$199.99
/mo
Choice 100 Mbps/300 GB
$199.99
/mo
Up to 100 Mbps300 GB
$300.00
/mo
Viasat

Viasat plans and pricing

Data as of 2/23/2022. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. 

*Promotional price is for the first 3 months. Regular internet rate applies after 3 months. One-time installation fee may apply. Equipment lease fee is $12.99/mo. Taxes apply. Minimum 24 month service term required.

If your household needs a plan that balances performance and cost, we’d recommend Unlimited Gold 50. With a sizable 100 GB data cap and download speeds of up to 50 Mbps, it’s fast enough to support multiple users at once.

By comparison, Viasat’s entry-level plan is the Unlimited Bronze 12 plan, which isn’t considered high-speed internet. This plan gives you speeds up to 12 Mbps and  35–40 GB per month. It costs $49.99–$69.99 per month for the first three months and $84.99 thereafter. It’s far from the fastest Viasat plan, but it’s a good value if you simply need basic and affordable satellite internet service.

Viasat dish installed on roof

Viasat satellite internet is a bit more intrusive than cable or fiber options—you'll have to have a large satellite dish drilled into the roof of your house by a professional.

Is satellite internet your best option? See all the internet options in your area before you decide.

What can I do with Viasat’s internet speeds?

I tested the Viasat Unlimited Platinum 100 plan and was more than happy with the speeds. I also have a 100 Mbps Xfinity cable internet plan at my house, and the two plans performed similarly when it came to loading email or streaming video. The only noticeable difference was it took content just a little longer to load on the Viasat connection than on my Xfinity connection.

For example, while streaming a movie on Prime Video on my phone, the playback was fine unless I wanted to rewind or fast forward. Whenever I did that, it just took a little longer to load than I was used to on my Xfinity connection, which we can attribute to the latency inherent to satellite internet.

If you pick a Viasat plan with speeds of 25 Mbps, 50 Mbps, or 100 Mbps, your Viasat internet service can support video streaming (as long as you don’t run out of data). Speeds over 25 Mbps can even support several people browsing the internet at the same time or streaming on a few devices (although this will eat up your data quickly).

That all said—keep in mind that Viasat's fastest speeds aren’t available everywhere. So you’ll want to find out which Viasat speeds are available in your area before you sign a 2-year contract.

Recommended Viasat speed

For most households, we’d recommend getting at least a 25 Mbps internet plan. Viasat’s 12 Mbps plans can be serviceable if you just need the internet for basic tasks like emails, but they can’t handle more than several internet users at the same time. And Hughesnet's cheapest 25 Mbps plan give you more speed for around the same price, so Viasat's 12 Mbps just aren't usually worth it.

Check out our recommended download speeds for more tips on figuring out how much internet speed and data your household needs.

Bullhorn
Faster speeds ahead for Viasat

Viasat will be launching a new satellite (the ViaSat-3) into geostationary orbit, which will offer faster speeds and greater network capacity.1 ViaSat-3 was originally meant to launch in 2022, but due to pandemic-related delays, the new satellite internet system should reach orbit in early 2023.

Viasat Internet data allowances

Viasat unlimited data plans

Most satellite internet plans have data restrictions, and Viasat plans are no different. You'll find that while Viasat offers satellite internet with no data cap, there's a catch. Even its plans that are advertised as unlimited will actually give you only a limited amount of full-speed data.

If you exceed that monthly data allowance, you’ll still have unlimited data technically, but your speeds will slow down to 1–3 Mbps for the remainder of the month. These speeds won’t support most streaming TV services, but you’ll still be able to check your email and browse the web (albeit slowly). You can also sometimes stream music at lower quality settings.

Viasat internet plans with data caps

It's hard to get truly unlimited internet from satellite providers, but those "unlimited" plans as described above are still better than the ones with hard data caps, like Viasat Liberty plans. 

Viasat Liberty plans have a hard data cap, which means that if you exceed your data limit, your service will stop for the rest of the billing period unless you pay for more data. And considering plans like Viasat Liberty 12 come with only 12 GB of data to begin with, we don't recommend them because very few households will use this little data.

The only instances where such a small data cap might work would be in vacation homes where you visit periodically and need only a basic internet connection. Even then, if you want to relax on your vacay and steam TV, you'll chew through that 12 GB of data fast.

How to buy more Viasat data

Fortunately, you can buy more full-speed Viasat data if you've blown through your monthly data allotment. But like with most things with Viasat, it'll cost you.

Viasat extra data prices

  • 5 GB for $9.99
  • 10 GB for $14.99

Data allowances and streaming with satellite internet

For folks who like video or music streaming, opt for the Viasat Internet plan with the largest data cap you can afford. Streaming video content can eat up 1–7 GB of data per hour, depending on video quality. (Yikes!)

That’s why we recommend getting most of your entertainment with a satellite TV service like DIRECTV or watching free local stations with a TV antenna.

Viasat dish in truck

The Viasat installation process is highly involved, requiring the tech to prepare your equipment in his truck before he can start mounting it on your home.

Viasat vs. other satellite internet providers

Although Viasat internet plans are pricier than HughesNet’s, you’ll get larger data caps and faster speeds with Viasat that’ll let you regularly download files or watch online videos. Learn more about whether you should pick Viasat or HughesNet.

But when it comes to price and performance, satellite internet providers can’t help but be a step behind other internet options like cable and fiber. 

Satellite internet vs. other internet services

Internet type
Speeds
Data
Prices
Availability in US
Satellite12–500 Mbps12 GB–Unlimited$30.00–$299.99/mo.99%
DSL1–100 Mbps1 TB or unlimited data$30.00–$70.00/mo.87%
CableUp to 2,000 Mbps1 TB or unlimited data$20.00–$125.00/mo.88%
Fixed wireless100 Mbps160 GB or unlimited data$40.00–$70.00/mo.45%
LTE home internet25–182 Mbps250 GB or unlimited data$40.00–$249.00/mo.N/A
Fiber Up to 5,000 Mbps1 TB or unlimited data$65.00–$300.00/mo.59%

*Data is estimated from currently offered plans from popular providers and subject to change. †Availability percentages as reported in FCC Fixed Broadband Deployment.

Viasat Internet coverage

You can get Viasat almost anywhere in the US, including some areas of Hawaii and Alaska. But Viasat’s available plans vary by location due to satellite capacity limitations, but most areas of the country will have at least two or three Viasat plans to choose from. All your home needs is a clear view of the southern sky because the satellite dish will be pointed in that direction.

You can check out Viasat's coverage map to see exactly what availability Viasat has world-wide and what countries might have unlimited internet via satellite in the near future.

Another important note on Viasat internet coverage: your home needs to be stationary in order to get a residential Viasat service plan. So, if you travel in an RV, you can’t get Viasat residential service—although portable internet might be coming with the ViaSat-3 constellation launch next year.

To find out which Viasat plans are available in your area, enter your address below.

Check to see which Viasat plans are available in your area.

Viasat Internet installation and equipment

After having Viasat Internet installed on my house, I feel like there are two main things to know: the first is that Viasat installation takes a few hours, and the second is that the technician will drill multiple holes into your home.

Once the satellite dish is in the right place on your home, your technician will spend several minutes calibrating your satellite dish to receive the Viasat signal. After that, you'll have to spend more time setting up the Viasat Internet modem/router and creating your satellite Wi-Fi network. It's certainly an ordeal, but you do what you have to do to get connected in remote areas.

Viasat offers free installation, which is helpful since self-installation is not recommended with satellite internet. You do not need phone wiring to get Viasat satellite internet, since your installation technician will install a small satellite dish on your house and run wiring from the dish to a modem and router combination device inside your home.

Viasat tech installs dish on roof

Once your Viasat satellite dish is installed, your technician will have to spend several minutes calibrating your dish so it can receive the signal from the Viasat satellite in space.

Viasat equipment fees

  • Viasat Wi-Fi Modem monthly lease: $5.00/mo.
  • Viasat Wi-Fi Modem purchase price: $299.00
  • Viasat installation: Free

Viasat Wi-Fi Modem compatibility

A typical modem from the store won’t work with satellite internet—you need the Viasat Wi-Fi Modem (a modem/router combo) to connect to Viasat’s satellite internet signal. The modem/router will broadcast a Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, but you can use your own router to customize your home network if you choose.

If you want to purchase the Viasat Wi-Fi Gateway rather than rent it, you can buy it for $299. If you’re not sure how long you’ll stay with Viasat Internet, we recommend renting. Plus, at the end of a two-year period (the length of a Viasat contract), renting is cheaper than buying.

Viasat modem/router

The final step of the installation process is setting up your modem/router to create your Wi-Fi network. You'll also have to choose a network name and password, so be ready with all your clever ideas.

Megaphone
Get permission to install your satellite dish.

If you have an HOA or rent your home, get permission to install a satellite dish first. The last thing you want is to install your dish and get a notice in the mail a week later telling you to take it down.

Viasat Browser

It's true—Viasat has its own browser to pair with its satellite internet, unlimited data plans and limited data plans included.

The Viasat browser is made with satellite internet in mind, so it claims to make the most use of your Viasat data and be the fastest browser you can use on Viasat internet.

Here's a few pros of the Viasat browser:

  • Privacy protections to keep your connection private and information protected
  • Data Saver mode that turns off unwanted ads and HTML5 streams to save you data
  • Compatibility with Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS  

You can download the Viasat browser for free from Viasat's website.  

Viasat EasyCare

Viasat EasyCare is an add-on service Viasat offers to its internet customers free for the first three months and then $8.99 a month thereafter. Think of it as AppleCare, but for your satellite internet service.

Viasat EasyCare's best perks:

  • Pay nothing for service calls (these can usually cost up to $95 each).
  • Once a year, you can have Viasat come and relocate your satellite dish at the same service address for $95 instead of $200. Yay? 
  • Skip the always-crammed customer service phone waitlist with EasyCare's dedicated support line. We hate being on hold too.

Viasat Shield and Viasat Shield Premium

The Viasat Shield app

With all of its plans, Viasat offers Viasat Shield, a free app that monitors your internet to block basic suspicious activity and alert you to cyberattacks. Think of it as a free, low-level antivirus software that Viasat's gifting you via an easy-to-setup app. 

Viasat Shield offers more than just basic internet protection, though. With the app, you can also monitor your own Wi-Fi connected devices, the amount of data each device is using up, and your overall data usage. That'll help you always know how close to your data cap you are.

Viasat Shield Premium service

Viasat Shield Premium costs $8.99 a month and offers an upgraded level of anti-virus protection, including removing viruses that the program detects on up to seven devices and special preventative measures around your private data so browsing is safer.

Viasat Shield Premium also lets you not only view which devices are connected to the internet (and sucking up data), but also turn them off if you so please. So when you tell your teen it's time for bed, you can make sure there's nothing to do but sleep.

Should you get Viasat Internet?

You should get Viasat if satellite internet is your best option. It offers way more data and much faster speeds than HughesNet and it's more widely available than Starlink. It is a bummer that you'll have to have holes drilled into your house to get Viasat installed (I certainly didn't enjoy it), but it's worth it for fast and reliable rural internet. 

We still don't love Viasat's prices—they can be pretty difficult to swallow for the average American. And those prices can get even uglier if you cancel before the end of your 2-year contract. That said, most rural internet plans are expensive and Viasat is by far one of the better options.

FAQ about Viasat Internet

Is Viasat satellite internet any good?

Viasat satellite internet is a good option for people who live in rural areas and don’t have access to cable, fiber, and other internet options. Viasat satellite internet is available to 99% of the US and offers speeds up to 100 Mbps.

Does Viasat require a phone line?

Viasat does not require a phone line to get satellite internet service.

Can I add a phone line to my Viasat internet plan?

You can get Viasat Voice as an add-on service to your internet plan for $29.99 per month (and $39.99 per month thereafter). Viasat Voice is a VoIP service that lets you use your internet connection for phone service. To learn more about Viasat’s VoIP service, check out our Viasat VoIP review.

Can I stream video with Viasat satellite internet?

You can stream with Viasat satellite internet but your video quality will depend on your plan’s download speed.

Viasat does offer general streaming quality recommendations for its plans:

  • Unlimited Bronze 25: 360p
  • Unlimited Silver 25: 480p
  • Unlimited Gold 30: 720p
  • Unlimited Gold 50: 720p
  • Unlimited Platinum 100: 1080p

How do I get TV service with my Viasat (Exede) internet plan?

You can pair your Viasat Internet service with satellite TV from DISH or DIRECTV. But, satellite TV requires its own satellite dish.

Can I use VoIP with my Viasat Internet service?

You can use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with Viasat, but it will use up your data unless you use Viasat Voice ($29.99 per month).

Does Viasat work with a VPN?

It’s possible to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with Viasat, but it will probably not perform well. Satellite internet is susceptible to high latency (lag) and VPNs work best on low-latency services like cable and fiber internet

Can I play video games with Viasat Internet?

You can play online games with Viasat, but your performance will depend on the type of games you’re playing. Satellite internet comes with a delay time that makes it difficult to play games like first-person shooters that require real-time reactions. For tips about playing video games online using satellite internet, check out our guide to online gaming on satellite internet.

Can I get Viasat for my rural business?

Viasat offers a wide array of rural business internet solutions that are ideal for anything from small businesses to airlines.

How fast is Viasat Internet?

Viasat plans offer maximum download speeds of 12 Mbps all the way up to 100 Mbps. All Viasat plans advertise 3 Mbps upload speeds.

How much does Viasat cost?

The best Viasat plans cost between $50.00 per month and $169.99 per month and include at least 80 GB of monthly data. Bargain plans may cost only $30.00 per month but will give you only a few days worth of data.

Does Viasat charge cancellation fees?

Viasat Internet services require a two-year agreement. If you cancel your service before the end of that two-year period, Viasat will charge $15 for every month remaining on the contract.

How do I install Viasat satellite internet?

Viasat Internet requires professional installation to mount and align the satellite dish that receives the signal. There is no self-installation option. You’ll schedule an installation time when you order your service and the technician will also help set up your computer.

What equipment do I need for Viasat Internet?

Viasat will provide a satellite dish and modem with a built-in Wi-Fi router. You can also use a third-party router if you prefer, but you must use the modem issued by Viasat. Viasat charges a monthly equipment lease fee of $9.99.

Check out our Viasat customer service guide for more help with Viasat billing and payment questions.

Will Viasat Internet work with a wireless router?

You can use your own Wi-Fi router with your Viasat internet. But you’ll still need to use Viasat’s modem and pay the monthly equipment fee.

What happened to Exede Internet?

Viasat used to offer satellite internet service under the name Exede Internet. But it dropped the name Exede in 2017 and now uses the name Viasat Internet for all its residential internet services.

What is ViaSat-2?

ViaSat-2 is the satellite launched by Viasat in 2017 that went live for service in 2018. It allows Viasat to provide satellite internet service to airlines and other large corporate clients while still offering up to 100 Mbps download speeds to residential customers

What is ViaSat-3?

Scheduled to launch in the first half of 2022, the ViaSat-3 satellites will bring faster speeds to customers and expand internet coverage areas for Viasat customers.3

Sources
Cara Haynes
Written by
Cara Haynes
Cara Haynes is the managing editor for SatelliteInternet.com. She cares deeply about helping people choose rural internet solutions that are right for them. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University, and she has over 5 years of experience researching and writing about hundreds of rural and residential internet providers. She often daydreams about living and working from a cabin in Montana, close to Glacier National Park. Although still firmly anchored to suburbia, she’s committed to researching the best ways for rural Americans to get online—no matter where they live or play.