Viasat Internet Review 2022: Is Viasat Your Best Option?

We tested Viasat Internet for 3 months—we 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
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    Nationwide availability
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    Speeds: 12–100 Mbps
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    $49.99–$199.99/mo.

Cara Haynes
Managing Editor
Read More
April 19, 2022

Is Viasat Internet right for you?

Viasat Internet provides some of the fastest satellite internet speeds and highest rural data caps you can get. Viasat internet is available nationwide, which makes it one of the better internet providers available to rural areas where broadband options are limited. We consider Viasat to be the best satellite internet provider overall, second only to Starlink.

That said, Viasat is not cheap. You'll be paying upwards of $200 per month for the fastest Viasat plan, which tops out at 100 Mbps with 150 GB of data each month. 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. What I found is that Viasat internet actually works really well—I just wouldn't want to pay for it. 

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.

Pros
Pro Bullet Speeds up to 100 Mbps
Pro Bullet Larger data caps and faster speeds than HughesNet
Pro Bullet Easy-to-use app and website
Pro Bullet Available nationwide in the US
Pro Bullet Excellent option for reliable rural Wi-Fi
Cons
Con Bullet Expensive for how much speed and data you're getting
Con Bullet Required 2-year contract with high early termination fees
Con Bullet More latency than cable, fiber, and DSL options
Is satellite internet your best option? See all the internet options in your area before you decide.

Viasat Internet plans and pricing

Viasat

Viasat plans and pricing

Plan
Promo Price
Speed
Data Cap
Regular Price
Unlimited Gold 12
$150
/mo
Up to 12 Mbps65 GB
$200
/mo
Unlimited Silver 25
$69.99
/mo
Up to 25 Mbps120 GB
$99.99
/mo
Unlimited Gold 30
$99.99
/mo
Up to 30 Mbps100 GB
$149.99
/mo
Unlimited Gold 50
$99.99
/mo
Up to 50 Mbps200 GB
$149.99
/mo
Unlimited Platinum 100
$149.99
/mo
Up to 100 Mbps300 GB
$199.99
/mo

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.

*Promotional price is for the first 3 months. Regular internet rate applies after 3 months.

The best Unlimited Viasat plan is the Unlimited Platinum 100, boasting download speeds up to 100 Mbps. It costs $149.99–$199.99 per month for the first three months and $249.99 thereafter. Viasat’s Unlimited Platinum 100 plan includes 150 GB of full-speed data per month, which is the most generous data allotment you’ll find anywhere with satellite service.

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.

We’ve separated unlimited Viasat’s unlimited plans from Viasat internet plans with low data thresholds into two separate tables below.

What can I do with Viasat’s internet speeds?

I tested the 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).

But—that said—keep in mind that the 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.

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.

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 system (the ViaSat-3) into geostationary orbit in the next few years, which will offer faster speeds and greater capacity.1 Viasat is projected to launch the new Viasat satellite internet system in mid 2022.

Viasat Internet data allowances

Most satellite internet plans have data restrictions, and Viasat plans are no different. Even Viasat plans that are advertised as unlimited will actually give you only a limited amount of full-speed data.

If you exceed your monthly data allotment, you’ll still have unlimited data but your speeds will be slowed down to 1–3 Mbps for the remainder of the month. These speeds won’t support most streaming video 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.

We don’t usually recommend plans like Viasat Liberty 12 because very few households will use this little data.

Viasat Liberty plans also 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. Buying extra data is priced at $10 for 1 GB, $48 for 5 GB, $67 for 7 GB, or $95 for 10 GB. The only instances where such a small data cap would work are in vacation homes where you visit periodically and need only a basic internet connection.

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.

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 vs. other satellite internet providers

Although Viasat’s 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
Satellite12–100 Mbps12 GB–300 GB/mo.$30.00–$169.99/mo.99%
DSL100 Mbps1 TB or unlimited data$30.00–$70.00/mo.87%
Cable1,000 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 internet25–50 Mbps250 GB or unlimited data$40.00–$249.00/mo.N/A
Fiber 2,000 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.

 

 

Find all the internet options available in your area.

Viasat Internet availability

You can get Viasat almost anywhere in the US, including some areas of Hawaii and Alaska. 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. Your home needs to have a clear view of the sky facing south because the satellite dish will be pointed in that direction.

Also, 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 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 modem/router and creating your satellite Wi-Fi network. It's certainly an ordeal, but you do what you have to so you can 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

You’ll also need a Viasat Wi-Fi Modem (a modem/router combo) from Viasat. A typical modem from the store won’t work with satellite internet—you need the Viasat Wi-Fi Modem 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, 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.

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.