Is Viasat satellite internet good?
Viasat Internet is a fantastic internet option for people in remote or rural areas. It offers the fastest satellite internet service available to residential customers.
With speeds fast enough to support HD video streaming, or several people streaming at once, you’ll love the internet experience you’ll get with Viasat. Just remember that faster Viasat plans with higher data caps are really expensive compared to HughesNet and DSL plans.
Viasat Internet plans and pricing
|Plan||Speed||Data Deprioritized After||Introductory Price||Price Increase|
|Unlimited Bronze 12||Up to 12 Mbps||40 GB||$50/mo.||$70/mo. after 3 mos.|
|Unlimited Silver 12||Up to 12 Mbps||60 GB||$65/mo.||$95/mo. after 3 mos.|
|Unlimited Gold 12||Up to 12 Mbps||100 GB||$95/mo.||$145/mo. after 3 mos.|
|Unlimited Bronze 25||Up to 25 Mbps||35 GB||$50/mo.||$70/mo. after 3 mos.|
|Unlimited Silver 25||Up to 25 Mbps||60 GB||$70/mo.||$100/mo. after 3 mos.|
|Unlimited Gold 30||Up to 30 Mbps||100 GB||$100/mo.||$150/mo. after 3 mos.|
|Unlimited Gold 50||Up to 50 Mbps||100 GB||$100/mo.||$150/mo. after 3 mos.|
|Unlimited Platinum 100||Up to 100 Mbps||150 GB||$150/mo.||$200/mo. after 3 mos.|
Data valid as of 01/30/2019. Speeds and pricing vary by area and are subject to change. Note that all Viasat plans have a price increase after three months.
Viasat Internet speed
Viasat (formerly Exede) Internet plans can reach up to 100 Mbps thanks to its newest ViaSat-2 satellite that launched in 2018. That speed is on par with most cable internet plans, so pardon us if we seem a little overexcited.
With four times the download speed of HughesNet, you can stream videos in HD instead of standard definition, or support multiple internet users at once instead of just a single user. Also, as Viasat plans get speedier, your picture quality gets better.
Here’s a breakdown of the max video streaming quality of each Viasat plan:
Viasat (formerly Exede) video streaming quality
- Unlimited Bronze 25: 360p
- Unlimited Silver 25: 480p
- Unlimited Gold 30: 720p
- Unlimited Gold 50: 720p
- Unlimited Platinum 100: 1080p
But value-conscious shoppers beware: Viasat prices jump by $20–$50 a month after your first three months. (The exact amount depends on the plan.) HughesNet, on the other hand, keeps your prices locked down for your entire two-year contract.
That said, for fast internet without cables or phone lines, get Viasat.
Viasat data thresholds
All Viasat plans technically have unlimited data, but they still have “data thresholds.” When you hit your data threshold, you don’t lose any download speed, but your internet activities are deprioritized. That means Viasat users who haven’t hit their data threshold will be served first.
If few other people are on the network, like in the wee hours of the morning, you probably won’t notice the deprioritization much. But when lots of people are online during evenings and weekends, always being put at the back of the line could get frustrating.
The best way to avoid this is to get a package with a high data threshold and keep an eye on your data usage. If you do end up going over and getting deprioritized, try to plan around the high-traffic times by downloading videos or games during off-peak hours.
Viasat installation and equipment
You’ll get free standard installation‡ with Viasat, which is really nice—especially since self-installation is out of the question with satellite technology.
As part of the service, you have to lease a gateway (modem/router combo) from Viasat. You’ll need the provided modem to interpret the satellite internet signal, but you can use a different router if you choose to.
You’ll still have to pay the full monthly lease of $9.99 per month regardless of which router you use, so you won’t save any money by using your own equipment. The only perk to using your own router is improving the performance of your home network by upgrading to fancier tech.
Viasat equipment fees
- Monthly lease: $9.99/mo.
- Lifetime lease: $299.99
If you plan on keeping your Viasat service for more than two years, we recommend the lifetime lease. At thirty months, you’d have paid $299.70 in monthly lease fees, making the lifetime lease cheaper for month 31 and beyond.
Remember: Get permission to install your satellite dish.
If you have an HOA or rent your home, make sure you 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 customer satisfaction
Viasat customers are generally satisfied with their service, especially in the speed department. According to SatelliteInternet.com’s independent survey, Viasat customers gave it 4.05 out of 5 stars for overall customer satisfaction. That’s really good.
And when it comes to speed, Viasat got the highest score with 4.27 out of 5.
In fact, Viasat led HughesNet, the other major satellite internet provider in America, in every category, which included speed, monthly bill, installation and setup, technical support and customer support, and reliability.
Based on these customer satisfaction scores, you should expect friendly, helpful customer service, and useful technical support along with your fast and reliable Viasat Internet. Great service and support is something we’ll always recommend.
For more about how these satellite internet providers stack up, check out our Viasat vs. HughesNet review.
Our verdict: Is Viasat satellite internet worth it?
If you’re enjoying country life but miss your internet connection, Viasat is a strong contender. Its speeds and data deprioritization thresholds outshine HughesNet, though you do end up paying extra for it. But a higher monthly bill is worth it if you love to stream or game.
About Viasat (formerly Exede)
Viasat is a huge satellite communications company, which is why it’s one of the top two providers of residential satellite internet in the United States. In addition to residential, it also provides satellite internet service to corporate and government clients. This includes providing in-flight Wi-Fi on major airlines like JetBlue, United Airlines, Virgin America, and more.
The company has long used the name Viasat for its overall business, but its residential internet service used to go by Exede Internet. After launching the massive Viasat 2 satellite, which can deliver faster speeds to more customers, the company stopped using the name Exede and rebranded its residential satellite internet service as Viasat Internet.