Viasat (Exede) Satellite Internet Review

Is the satellite internet service the best there is for rural internet?

Viasat logo
Overall Rating4 / 5
✔️ Plans starting at $30/mo.

✔️ Speeds up to 100 Mbps

❌ Long-term contract

How good is Viasat satellite internet?

Viasat Internet is a good internet option for people who live in the outskirts of the city or in remote or rural areas. In some areas, it offers the fastest satellite internet service available to residential customers.

With speeds fast enough to support video streaming or several people using the internet at the same time, Viasat satellite internet offers a decent internet experience. Just remember that faster Viasat plans with higher data caps are expensive compared to HughesNet and DSL plans, and they might not be available in your area.

Viasat internet plans and pricing

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Plans Price* Download speed Data caps
Liberty 12 $30/mo. Up to 12 Mbps 12 GB
Liberty 25 $50/mo. UP to 12 Mbps 25 GB
Liberty 50 $75/mo. Up to 12 Mbps 75 GB
Unlimited Bronze 12 $50/mo. Up to 12 Mbps 35 GB
Unlimited Silver 12 $100/mo. Up to 12 Mbps 45 GB
Unlimited Gold 12 $150/mo. Up to 12 Mbps 65 GB
Unlimited Silver 25 $70/mo. Up to 25 Mbps 60 GB
Unlimited Gold 30 $100/mo. Up to 30 Mbps 100 GB
Unlimited Gold 50 $100/mo. Up to 50 Mbps 100 GB
Unlimited Platinum 100 $150/mo. Up to 100 Mbps 150 GB

Data valid as of 1/6/2020. Speeds and pricing vary by area and are subject to change. 

*for the first three months. Price increases after 3 months.

Viasat pricing starts at $30 per month for a plan with 12 GB of data per month, with pricing going up to $50 per month after three months. But keep in mind that Viasat’s starter internet plan (Liberty 12) is for very light data users only. You could blow through half your data streaming just one movie per month in HD.

If you’re wondering what you can do with 12 GB of data per month, keep in mind that downloading or streaming one movie in HD requires 4 to 6 GB (1.5 GB for standard definition). So, with only 12 GB of data every month, you can watch a few movies, send and receive emails, and do occasional research online. Streaming video in low definition takes around 0.3 GB per hour, so you can definitely save data by sacrificing video quality.

If you live near a library with free internet access, downloading your weekly Netflix shows there will save data. Otherwise, we recommend getting satellite TV from DISH or DIRECTV, or installing an antenna.

Higher-priced plans deliver an increasing allotment of data—Unlimited Platinum 100 gives you 100 GB of data per month for $150 ($200 after the 3-month promotional period ends). But even that plan will barely deliver enough data for large households streaming Disney+ and Netflix all weekend.

Viasat Internet speeds

Viasat Internet plans can reach up to 100 Mbps in some areas thanks to its newest ViaSat-2 satellite that launched in 2018. That speed is fast enough to compete with cable or DSL internet, so pardon us if we seem a little overexcited.

With up to four times the download speed of HughesNet, Viasat offers the fastest satellite internet speeds in the industry. And faster speeds mean more than less buffering—it also means your video streaming 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.

Another tip for budget-minded streamers is to stretch your data by watching in lower quality video. Streaming a two-hour movie in HD video uses 6 GB of data, but only 1.4 GB in standard definition. If you adjust your streaming settings to SD, you can watch four movies using 5.6 GB of data.

Viasat data thresholds

All Viasat plans technically have unlimited data, but they still have “data thresholds.” All data you use (upload and download) counts toward the threshold. When you hit your monthly data threshold, your speeds may slow during periods of heavy congestion. The technical term for this is data deprioritization. At the start of the next billing period, your data use will reset to zero.

If there are few other people are on the network, like in the wee hours of the morning, you probably won’t notice the data deprioritization much. Your speed might stay the same as usual. But when lots of people are online during evenings and weekends, and your partner has maxed out the data binge-watching Jane the Virgin all month, you’ll have much slower speeds.

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. If you keep hitting the data threshold every month, add a DVD plan to your Netflix account for data-free binge-watching.

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 or purchase a Viasat WiFi Gateway (a 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.

If you want to purchase the Viasat WiFi Gateway, you can buy it for $299.99. If you’re not sure how long you’ll stay with Viasat, we recommend renting. At the end of a two year period, renting is $60 cheaper than buying.

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. Satellite internet plans are more expensive than internet options in urban areas, but a higher monthly internet bill is usually worth it to stay connected online from anywhere in the country.

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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 in 2018, 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.

Download speeds will get another upgrade in 2021. Viasat is currently building a new satellite system, called ViaSat-3. The ViaSat-3 will increase customer download speed tremendously, possibly up to 1 gigabit per second (1,000 Mbps). This new system will also expand Viasat’s coverage to include Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

More on Viasat

Viasat FAQ

What is Viasat?

Viasat is a satellite communications company. It provides satellite internet and phone services to government, corporate, and residential clients. Its residential internet service was formerly branded Exede Internet. After purchasing Wildblue, a smaller satellite internet provider, it also provided services in some areas under that brand name.

In 2017, Viasat dropped the brand names Exede and Wildblue and now offers all its residential internet service under the name Viasat Internet.

What happened to Exede Internet?

Viasat used to offer residential satellite internet service under the brand name Exede Internet. It dropped the name Exede in 2017. Now it uses the name Viasat Internet for all its residential internet services. While all new service plans are marketed as Viasat Internet plans, customers who were on existing Exede plans were grandfathered into the new brand, and most could keep their service agreement.

What is Viasat 2?

Viasat 2 is the satellite launched by Viasat in 2017. It has a huge throughput capacity that allows it to provide satellite internet service to airlines and other large corporate clients while still offering up to 100 Mbps download speeds to residential customers.

Can I get Viasat for my rural business?

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

How fast is Viasat Internet?

Viasat offers five different speed tiers across eight different packages. The top speeds for these packages range from 12 Mbps up to 100 Mbps. Internet packages from HughesNet, the other leading satellite internet provider, top out at 25 Mbps.

How do I get TV service with my Viasat Internet plan?

You can pair your Viasat Internet service with satellite TV from DISH or DIRECTV. Satellite TV requires a separate satellite dish. So, if you get Viasat Internet and DISH or DIRECTV, each company will have to install its own satellite dish.

Can I use a VoIP with my Viasat Internet service?

Yes, you can use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with Viasat, but it will use up your data unless you use Viasat’s own VoIP, called Viasat Voice. Like its internet service, Viasat Voice is a monthly subscription service.

Can I use a VPN on my Viasat Internet service?

It’s possible to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with your Viasat Internet service, but it may not perform well with one. Satellite internet, even from Viasat, is susceptible to high latency (lag). Because a VPN continually encrypts and decrypts information as it leaves or enters your network, every piece of data is like initiating a new download. This compounds the effects of high latency.

Can I play video games with Viasat Internet?

The short answer is yes, but online gaming with satellite internet can be problematic. Viasat is no exception. While you’ll get plenty of speed from Viasat, the lag associated with satellite internet can be frustrating. It has the biggest impact on real-time activities like online gaming. For some helpful tips about the best ways to play video games online using satellite internet, check out Your Guide to Gaming on Satellite Internet.

What’s the cheapest Viasat Internet plan?

Viasat has internet plans starting as low as $50 per month. Viasat Internet plans vary by location, so the $50 package may not be available in your area. Always check with your sales agent for the latest prices because they can change at any time.

How do I see my monthly Viasat bill?

To see your Viasat bill, just log into your Viasat account.

How do I pay my Viasat bill?

The easiest way to pay your Viasat bill is to log into your account using the link above, following the prompts to make a payment. You can pay your Viasat bill with a credit or debit card. Checks are not accepted.

Who do I contact with Viasat billing questions?

For questions about your Viasat bill, visit its Contact Us page to submit your question by chat or email. Or you can simply call 1-855-810-1308.

Does Viasat charge cancellation fees?

Yes. 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. For example, if you cancel after the first year, you’ll be charged $180.

Is Viasat available in my area?

Viasat satellite internet is available almost everywhere in the US.

Is Exede available in my area?

Exede Internet was the old brand name for Viasat residential internet services. In 2017, Viasat stopped using the Exede brand name. Now it markets all its residential internet services as Viasat Internet. While existing Exede customers were allowed to keep their service plans, no new Exede plans are available. However, Viasat Internet is available almost everywhere in North America.

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. Along with installing the dish, the installation technician will help you set up the connection on the main computer you’ll use on the internet. (The Viasat installation technician will need an adult (18 or older) to verify the credit card on the account and sign for the installation.)

What equipment do I need for Viasat Internet?

Viasat will provide all the equipment you need for a fast internet connection and home network. Most setups include the satellite dish and a 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. Also, Viasat charges a monthly equipment lease fee of $9.99. Viasat doesn’t offer an option to purchase your equipment.

Will Viasat Internet work with a wireless router?

Yes. In fact, the Viasat modem comes with a built-in wireless router. If you prefer a different router, you can use it, but you’ll still need to use Viasat’s modem and pay the monthly equipment fee.

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