FAQ about Viasat Internet
Is Viasat satellite internet any good?
Yes, 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 that require infrastructure to be built out to homes and businesses. Viasat satellite internet doesn’t require lines or cables to be installed out to your home—you’ll just need a satellite dish and a clear view of the southern sky. If you have the option of getting cable internet, fixed wireless, or other options, we suggest you check out these internet services first because satellite tends to be more expensive than other internet options.
Does Viasat require a phone line?
No, Viasat does not require a phone line to get satellite internet service. All you need is the right Viasat equipment and a clear view of the southern sky.
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. If you use Viasat Voice, you won’t use any of your internet data for voice calls. To learn more about Viasat’s VoIP service, check out our Viasat VoIP review.
Can I stream video with Viasat satellite internet?
Yes, you can stream with Viasat. However, there’s a big difference between trying to stream Mad Max: Fury Road in 4K to your 70-inch TV and watching a how-to cooking video on YouTube via your smartphone. The latter is feasible, but the former is implausible using a basic satellite internet plan.
Viasat does offer streaming quality recommendations for its plans (see below), but keep in mind that they’re not guaranteed.
- 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, DIRECTV, or OrbyTV. Satellite TV requires a separate satellite dish. So, if you get Viasat Internet and DIRECTV, each company will have to install its own satellite dish.
Can I use 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 (which is $29.99 per month). Like its internet service, Viasat Voice is a monthly subscription service.
Does Viasat work with a VPN?
It’s possible to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with your Viasat Internet service, but it will probably 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 and can increase your data usage by about 5–15%.
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.
Can I get Viasat for my rural business?
Yes, Viasat offers a wide array of business internet solutions that are ideal for anything from small businesses to airlines.
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.
As a heads up, once your account has been set up, the credit card you have provided Viasat with will be billed automatically, so you won’t usually need to pay it manually.
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.
The plan with download speeds up to 100 Mbps is fast enough to compete with cable or DSL internet, but that speed is only on the Unlimited Platinum 100 plan. Nine of the ten possible Viasat plans (all subject to availability in your area) fall in the 12 to 50 Mbps download speed range (see Viasat plans table above).
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. Cheaper Viasat plans just aren’t worth it. Bargain plans may cost only $30.00 per month but will give you only a few days worth of data. Higher-priced, faster plans give you a much better satellite experience (up to 300 GB of data per month).
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.
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.
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.
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.
ViaSat-2 is the satellite launched by Viasat in 2017 that went live for service in 2018. 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.
Scheduled to launch in the first half of 2022, the ViaSat-3 satellites will add enormous capacity to the ViaSat system, which is currently overloaded. ViaSat-3 is a trio of satellites that will bring faster speeds to customers and expand internet coverage areas across the oceans and throughout the world.3
The three ViaSat-3 satellites will offer global, continuous satellite internet service to rural homes and businesses across the world as well as airlines, marine vessels, and military operations.8 The three satellites will be located in high Earth orbit and cover all regions of the world: NCSA (North, Central, and South America), APAC (Asia Pacific), and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa).
Viasat background and history
Viasat (formerly Exede) 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 (and before that, WildBlue). 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.
Viasat internet speeds will get another upgrade in 2022. 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.
In June 2021, the first of the new ViaSat-3 satellites finished performance testing and payload integration and was shipped to Boeing’s El Segundo, California, facility to await launch in early 2022.8 This particular satellite will deliver connectivity on land, sea, and air to the Americas and nearby oceans. Additional satellites are being built to serve EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) and APAC (Asia Pacific) regions.
- Henry, Caleb, “Supplier Issue Behind Delays with ViaSat-3 Launch,” Space News, June 2019. Accessed August 20, 2020.
- Dilley, John, “2018’s Best Internet Providers in Customer Satisfaction,” HighSpeedInternet.com, January 2018. Accessed August 20, 2020.
- Viasat, “Going Global” [undated]. Accessed August 20, 2020.
- Viasat, “Liberty High-Speed Internet Plans,” [undated]. Accessed November 16, 2020.
- Toledo, Rob, REPORT: “The Average Household’s Internet Data Usage Has Jumped 38x in 10 Years,” Decision Data, April 2020. Accessed November 17, 2020.
- The Space Hub, “SpaceX Enter Contract for a Future ViaSat-3 Satellite Launch,” [undated]. Accessed January 28, 2021.
- Viasat, “How to Buy More Data with My Viasat,” [undated]. Accessed March 30, 2021.
- Baumgartner, Jeff, “First ViaSat-3 Satellite Takes a Step Toward Launch,” Broadband World News, June 2021. Accessed June 9, 2021.
- Rizzo, Lillian, “Americans Working from Home Face Internet Usage Limits,” Wall Street Journal, October 2020. Accessed June 10, 2021.
- Dweck, Sophie, “Elon Musk Now Lives in a $50,000 Prefab Tiny House in Texas,” Architectural Digest, July 2021. Accessed July 14, 2021.
- Wallace, Rachel, “Robert Redford Lists 30-Acre Utah Ranch for $4.9 Million,” Architectural Digest, June 2021. Accessed July 14, 2021.
- Nalepinski, Kate, ”Renovated Orient Point lighthouse transformed into artist’s residency,” Northforker, December 2019. Accessed July 14, 2021.