Viasat Satellite Internet Review

Is Viasat the best satellite internet service for rural residents?
Viasat
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Check
    Wide availability
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    Speeds: 12–100 Mbps
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    $30.00–$150.00/mo.

Eric Chiu
Researcher & Writer
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Published on October 12, 2021

Best Viasat Internet plans

Internet plan
Data
Download speed
Intro price
Regular price (after 3 mos.)
Get it
300 GB/mo.Up to 100 Mbps$149.99/mo.$199.99/mo.
200 GB/mo.Up to 50 Mbps$99.99/mo.$149.99/mo.
80 GB/mo.Up to 12 Mbps$49.99/mo.$69.99/mo.

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 per month for the first three months and $199.99 thereafter. Viasat’s Unlimited Platinum 100 plan includes 300 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 200 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  80 GB per month. It costs $49.99 per month for the first three months and $69.99 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.

Check to see if Viasat is available in your area.

Compare all Viasat Internet plans

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

Best Viasat unlimited internet plans

Plans
Intro price (first 3 mos.)
Regular price
Download speed
Data limit
$49.99/mo.4$69.99/mo.Up to 12 Mbps80 GB
$100.00/mo.5$150.00/mo.Up to 12 Mpbs45 GB
$150.00/mo.6$200.00/mo.Up to 12 Mpbs65 GB
$69.99/mo.7$99.99/mo.Up to 25 Mbps120 GB
$99.99/mo.8$149.99/mo.Up to 30 Mbps100 GB
$99.99/mo.8$149.99/mo.Up to 50 Mbps200 GB
$149.99/mo.9$199.99/mo.Up to 100 Mbps300 GB

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

Viasat Internet plans with low data thresholds

Plans
Intro price (first 3 mos.)
Regular price
Download speed
Data limit
$40.00/mo.$50.00/mo.Up to 12 Mbps15 GB
$30.00/mo.$50.00/mo.Up to 12 Mpbs12 GB
$50.00/mo.$75.00/mo.Up to 12 Mpbs25 GB
$75.00/mo.$100.00/mo.Up to 12 Mbps50 GB

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

What can I do with Viasat’s internet speeds?

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 multiple devices (although this will eat up your data quickly).

But—that said—keep in mind that the fastest speeds aren’t available everywhere. Many rural areas still top out at 12 Mbps or 25 Mbps Viasat speeds. So you’ll want to find out which 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.

Faster speeds ahead for Viasat
Bullhorn

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 early 2022.

Viasat 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.

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 plans with the most data

Data valid as of 7/10/2021. Speeds and pricing vary by area and are subject to change.

Viasat’s best unlimited internet plans offer between 100–300 GB of data per month. The data caps on these plans will be enough for most households, although you might hit your cap if multiple people are doing activities like lengthy Spotify sessions, downloading large games, or streaming 4K video on a daily basis.

Unless you have very slim internet needs, we recommend avoiding Viasat’s plans with data caps of less than 100 GB. Most people on low data plans end up frustrated by extra data fees or slow speeds when the data allowance is reached. Your speed might not be throttled if fewer people are online (like in the wee hours of the morning). But for most households, it’ll be more practical to upgrade your data cap rather than exclusively use the internet after 2:00 a.m.

If you want to keep your satellite bill low but still have a usable amount of data, we recommend getting the Viasat Unlimited Silver 25 plan for $69.99 a month for the first three months. This plan offers 120 GB of full-speed data every month instead of just 12 GB on the Liberty Bronze plan.

The good news is that you can upgrade your Viasat Internet service to a plan with more data at any time. So, if you decide to start with a small plan and see how much data you really use, you can easily bump up to a bigger plan without altering your contract or incurring fees.

Use the Viasat browser to conserve data
Info

Anyone who wants to save monthly data can download the Viasat browser for free. It’s strategically built to minimize data usage by automatically streaming in lower definition, blocking ads, and preventing videos from playing automatically.

Viasat vs. HughesNet

Viasat Internet prices jump by $20–$50 a month after the first three months, while HughesNet keeps prices locked for the entire two-year contract. HughesNet also has its Bonus Zone data policy, which triples your data cap during the middle of the night to avoid network congestion.

But Viasat offers the fastest speeds and the largest data caps of any nationwide satellite internet provider. HughesNet’s best internet plan includes 25 Mbps download speeds and a 50 GB cap, while Viasat offers up to 100 Mbps download speeds and a 300 GB cap. You’ll be able to do more and have more data with Viasat than with HughesNet. Viasat offers up to six times more data than HughesNet for the same price.

Check out our full Viasat vs. HughesNet breakdown to learn more about each satellite internet provider.

Cost comparison of Viasat vs. other 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.

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. 

Know all your options first
Light Bulb

Since satellite internet is often more expensive than other types of high-speed internet, we always recommend checking out all available options before you sign up. Check out the Best High-Speed Internet for Rural Areas for more tips.

Satellite internet vs. other internet services

Internet type
Speeds
Data
Prices
Availability in US
Satellite12–100 Mbps12 GB–300 GB/mo.$50.00–$200.00/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.

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 if Viasat is available in your area.

Viasat installation and equipment

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 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 $300. 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.

Remember: Get permission to install your satellite dish.
Megaphone

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 customer service review

Viasat has a basic support hub for common problems like slow internet speeds and logging into your account. You can also contact Viasat via agent chat or phone at +1-855-463-9333.

Stay informed for better internet
Info

You can find out more about getting internet service in rural and hard to reach places with our informative guides and satellite news beat. Subscribe to our email newsletter for the latest news or check out one of our articles below.

More on Viasat

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 $49.99 per month and $150.00 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
  1. Henry, Caleb, “Supplier Issue Behind Delays with ViaSat-3 Launch,” Space News, June 2019. Accessed August 20, 2020.

  2. Viasat, “Going Global” [undated]. Accessed August 20, 2020.

  3. Viasat, “Liberty High-Speed Internet Plans,” [undated]. Accessed November 16, 2020.

  4. Toledo, Rob, REPORT: “The Average Household’s Internet Data Usage Has Jumped 38x in 10 Years,” Decision Data, April 2020. Accessed November 17, 2020.

  5. The Space Hub, “SpaceX Enter Contract for a Future ViaSat-3 Satellite Launch,” [undated]. Accessed January 28, 2021.

  6. Viasat, “How to Buy More Data with My Viasat,” [undated]. Accessed March 30, 2021.

  7. Baumgartner, Jeff, “First ViaSat-3 Satellite Takes a Step Toward Launch,” Broadband World News, June 2021. Accessed June 9, 2021.

  8. Rizzo, Lillian, “Americans Working from Home Face Internet Usage Limits,” Wall Street Journal, October 2020. Accessed June 10, 2021.

Eric Chiu
Written by
Eric Chiu
Eric Chiu is a senior writer at CableTV.com who covers subjects including internet providers and home internet hardware. He’s covered consumer technology for nearly a decade at outlets including Newsweek Media Group, TopTenReviews, and Laptop Mag.