Viasat (Exede) Satellite Internet Review

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

Kristin Cooke
Researcher & Writer
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Published on July 16, 2021

About Viasat

For over 30 years, Viasat has delivered high-speed internet via satellite to rural homes and businesses in the US.

  • Availability: 50 states
    Viasat offers service to 98% of the US population (exceptions include inner Alaska and some rugged mountain areas).
  • Download speeds: 12–100 Mbps
    Viasat internet is faster than dial-up and HughesNet but slower than cable and fiber internet.
  • Data caps: 12 GB–300 GB/mo.
    Like other satellite internet solutions, Viasat limits the amount of full-speed data you can use each month. You can add more, but it’ll cost you.
  • Price: $$$$
    For a good plan with ample data, you’ll pay more for satellite internet than you would for cable, fiber, or DSL internet. Viasat competitor HughesNet is a little cheaper than Viasat, but offers ⅙ as much data.

Viasat satellite internet for rural Americans

We recommend Viasat to folks who don’t have big city internet options. If you live in an area where cable lines don’t reach you, Viasat satellite internet might be your best option. Viasat delivers internet service to 590,000 rural subscribers in the US.

Do I need a phone line or cable hookups to get internet service?
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Viasat satellite internet service is wireless internet connectivity that’s transmitted from satellites orbiting the Earth, so you don’t need to have your home hooked up to city infrastructure like cable, fiber, phone lines, or other hard-wiring. To get Viasat internet at your property, you just need a small satellite dish and a clear view of the southern sky.

Viasat offers the fastest speeds and the most data of any nationwide satellite internet provider. So if you rely on the internet for entertainment, news, work, or education, you will be able to do more and probably have more data with Viasat than with HughesNet, Viasat’s main competitor. But, on the flip side, Viasat has weighty price hikes after the first three months of “promotional” pricing has ended, so be prepared to pay well for all that extra data and speed.

In general, HughesNet is cheaper but offers lower data caps, and the biggest complaint people have about rural internet is running out of data. Depending on your plan, Viasat can deliver up to six times as much data as HughesNet satellite internet service. And if you’re living in the countryside, internet data really determines how consistent your service speeds will be day after day.

Comparing best and worst Viasat vs. HughesNet internet plans

Internet plan
Data
Download speed
Intro price
Regular price (after 3 mos.)
Get it
Viasat Unlimited Platinum 100300 GB/mo.Up to 100 Mbps$149.99/mo.$199.99/mo.
Viasat Unlimited Bronze 1280 GB/mo.Up to 12 Mbps$49.99/mo.$69.99/mo.
HughesNet 1010 GB/mo.Up to 25 Mbps$59.99/mo.*$59.99/mo. (no price hike)
HughesNet 5050 GB/mo. Up to 25 Mbps$149.99/mo.*$149.99/mo. (no price hike)

*For the first 12 months. Plus, activation, installation and monthly modem rental fees.
Data valid as of 7/15/2021. Speeds and pricing vary by area and are subject to change. Requires 24-month agreement. 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.

Best Viasat plans

Internet plan
Data
Download speed
Intro price
Regular price (after 3 mos.)
Get it
Unlimited Platinum 100300 GB/mo.Up to 100 Mbps$149.99/mo.$199.99/mo.
Unlimited Gold 50200 GB/mo.Up to 50 Mbps$99.99/mo.$149.99/mo.
Unlimited Bronze 1280 GB/mo.Up to 12 Mbps$49.99/mo.$69.99/mo.

Data valid as of 7/8/2021. Speeds and pricing vary by area 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.

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.

By comparison, the smallest Viasat plan (listed in the comprehensive table below ) is the Basic 12 plan, which isn’t considered high-speed internet. This plan gives you speeds up to 12 Mbps and just 30 GB per month. It costs $49.99 per month for the first three months and $69.99 thereafter.

The price difference between satellite internet plans is primarily tied to the amount of full-speed data you get each month. Remember, you’ll get a set amount of full-speed data (up to the speeds advertised), but if you exceed that amount, your data will be slowed down to 1–3 Mbps.

Insider tip: it’s not all about speed with satellite internet
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Satellite internet plans can look pretty confusing. With other types of internet, you’ll be choosing your plan based on download speed, but satellite internet service is different. Viasat satellite internet plans vary in price based on both speed and how much data they offer. The more inexpensive plans might look good at first but usually don’t deliver enough data to work, stream, or learn from home.

With satellite service, you get what you pay for.

Our advice: skip over the cheaper, low budget Viasat Liberty plans and get an unlimited Viasat plan with enough data. (You can thank us later.) And if Viasat’s big data plans look too pricey, that doesn’t mean you can’t get good internet access in the country.

Discover more flexible internet options by checking out these resources:

Viasat Internet review

If you need high-speed internet service in a rural area, Viasat is a good option. Viasat internet speeds outshine fellow satellite provider HughesNet—Viasat has faster download and upload speeds. Plus, Viasat plans offer more full-speed data each month.

So, just remember that although HughesNet may offer some cheaper plans, Viasat offers all-around faster plans with more data that you can use anytime (up to 300 GB per month on some plans). HughesNet’s largest plan delivers ⅙ of the data that Viasat’s largest plan offers, but keep in mind that HughesNet also offers Bonus Zone data where Viasat doesn't. With HugesNet’s Bonus Zone, you can get triple the data during the middle of the night. So, if you play your cards right and do your downloads in the middle of the night, that can make up for some of their lower data caps.

We often hear feedback from customers who buy the cheapest satellite internet plan and then they run out of data early in the month. After that, they get stuck with slow speeds and a lot of frustration. We can’t emphasize this enough: get a satellite internet plan with enough data.

Cost comparison of Viasat vs other internet prices

Satellite internet plans are usually more expensive than internet options in urban areas since it’s relatively cheap for utility companies to install cable and other infrastructure in a cost-effective way in dense urban areas. But installing cable infrastructure out to sparsely populated farming areas or small towns costs much more per customer, so most companies don’t invest in rural areas.

Insider tip
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Since satellite internet is often more expensive than other types of 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.

How Viasat satellite internet compares to 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$30.00–$70.00/mo.87%
Cable1,000 Mbps1 TB or unlimited$20.00–$125.00/mo.88%
Fixed wireless100 Mbps160 GB or unlimited$40.00–$70.00/mo.45%
LTE home internet25–50 Mbps250 GB or unlimited$40.00–$249.00/mo.N/A
Fiber2,000 Mbps1 TB or unlimited$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.

How does Viasat satellite internet work?
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Find out what equipment you’ll need and how the service works by checking out our guide to how satellite internet works.

How to pick the right Viasat plan

Viasat plans vary based on how much speed and data you want each month. Although Viasat offers a variety of service plans—10 in total—some may not be available in your area. You can check your address below to see which plans are available where you live.

Check to see if Viasat is available in your area.

For more tips on figuring out how much internet speed and data your household needs, check out our recommended download speeds section on our Viasat Speed Test.

Viasat speed

Some Viasat plans deliver up to 100 Mbps download speeds, while others top out at a wimpy 12 Mbps (which isn’t fast enough to be considered broadband speeds by the FCC).

If you pick a 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—so don’t go on a Netflix binge and say we didn’t warn you).

If you run out of full-speed data before the end of the month, your speed will drop down to 1–3 Mbps, which won’t support most streaming services. But even slower speeds will support basic email and web browsing (albeit slowly). You can also sometimes stream music at slower speeds.

Viasat data allowances

Viasat’s top-tier plan offers 300 GB of data per month. For comparison, that’s six times more data than the top plan from HughesNet (Viasat’s main competitor).

For folks who like video or music streaming or use social media, opt for the plan with the largest data allotment 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.

The smallest Viasat plan—called Viasat Liberty 12—is super cheap ($30/mo.) but offers a paltry 12 GB of data per month, which most people will blow through in a day or two. We don’t usually recommend the Viasat Liberty 12 plan because very few households will use this little data. The only instances where such a small data allotment would work are in vacation homes where you visit periodically and want some sort of internet connection, but you need only minimal data.

Viasat plans with the most data

Unlimited Platinum 100300 GB
Unlimited Gold 50200 GB
Unlimited Silver 25120 GB
Unlimited Gold 30100 GB

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

As far as unlimited data plans go, keep in mind that most satellite internet plans have some sort of data restrictions. 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 and an unlimited amount of much slower data thereafter. So, it’s technically unlimited, but it might not feel like that when you run out of data and can’t watch Netflix without a lot of starts and stops.

Viasat unlimited satellite internet plans give you 30 to 300 GB of data per month, depending on the plan you choose. With an unlimited Viasat plan, you will be able to use a specified amount of data at full speeds. After that, you can keep using the internet without paying anything extra, but your speeds may be reduced during times of congestion (which seems to be most of the time).

Other Viasat satellite plans (called “Liberty plans”) aren’t unlimited. Liberty plans 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.

Plus, Liberty plans have such low data caps that nearly any twenty-first century American will use up all the data before the end of the month. With a Liberty plan, you’ll be purchasing 12–50 GB of data per month. And since the average American household uses over 380 GB of data per month, you can see that even 50 GB just won’t cut it.1

Luckily, most Viasat satellite plans don’t have a hard data cap. Compared to unlimited plans, Liberty plans are cheaper ($30–$75 per month), but we don’t recommend them since most people run out of data early and end up paying as much as they would with an unlimited plan.

Overall, satellite internet can provide a reliable connection for most internet activities like checking email, the news, and social media. But we encourage satellite customers to limit video streaming. Also, remember that many online games do not work well with satellite internet because of high latency rates (or delay). And downloading a video game update could cost you 1–20 GB of data in one shot.

Unless you are a world-class budgeter with very slim internet needs, we recommend avoiding the least expensive satellite plans with low data allowances. Most people on low data plans end up frustrated by slow speeds when the data allowance is reached, or they end up paying a lot in extra data fees. If you want to keep your satellite bill low but still have a usable amount of data, we recommend getting the Viasat Unlimited Bronze plan for $50 a month. This plan offers 80 GB of full-speed data every month instead of just 12 GB on the Liberty Bronze plan.

Did you know?
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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. The Viasat browser can be downloaded and used on all your devices.

You can learn more by checking out our Viasat Browser Review.

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

All Unlimited Viasat internet plans and pricing

Plans
Intro price (first 3 mos.)
Regular price
Download speed
Data limit
Get it
Unlimited Bronze 12$49.99/mo.4$69.99/mo.Up to 12 Mbps80 GB
Unlimited Silver 12$100.00/mo.5$150.00/mo.Up to 12 Mpbs45 GB
Unlimited Gold 12$150.00/mo.6$200.00/mo.Up to 12 Mbps65 GB
Unlimited Silver 25$69.99/mo.7$99.99/mo.Up to 25 Mbps120 GB
Unlimited Gold 30$99.99/mo.8$149.99/mo.Up to 30 Mbps100 GB
Unlimited Gold 50$99.99/mo.8$149.99/mo.Up to 50 Mbps200 GB
Unlimited Platinum 100$149.99/mo.9$199.99/mo.Up to 100 Mbps300 GB

Data valid as of 6/10/2021. Speeds and pricing vary by area 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.

Not recommended: Viasat internet plans with low data thresholds

Plans
Intro price (first 3 mos.)
Regular price
Download speed
Data limit
Get it
Basic 12$40.00/mo.$50.00/mo.Up to 12 Mbps15 GB
Liberty 12$30.00/mo.$50.00/mo.Up to 12 Mbps12 GB
Liberty 25$50.00/mo.$75.00/mo.Up to 12 Mbps25 GB
Liberty 50$75.00/mo.$100.00/mo.Up to 12 Mbps50 GB

Data valid as of 6/9/2021. Speeds and pricing vary by area 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.

Viasat Internet availability

The best thing about Viasat satellite internet is its availability—you can get Viasat almost anywhere in the US. Your home needs to have a clear view of the southern sky because the satellite dish will be pointed in that direction. Homes and cabins located in deep canyons or in densely forested areas may not be able to get satellite internet.

Also, your home needs to be stationary in order to get a residential Viasat service plan. So, if you travel in an RV or you sail the seven seas in a yacht, you can’t get Viasat residential service—although portable internet might be coming with the ViaSat-3 constellation launch next year.

For now, as long as you stay put and you don’t live in a cave or a deep canyon, you can probably get Viasat satellite internet service at your home. This is true for a variety of scenarios—like if you live in a prefab tiny house like Elon Musk, a 30-acre ranch in Utah like Robert Redford (hey, it’s for sale), or a renovated lighthouse like sculptor Randy Polumbo. According to the FCC, over 99% of the US population can get satellite internet.

There are many plans, but not all are available in every location due to satellite capacity limitations. Most areas of the country have at least two or three Viasat plans to choose from.

To find out which plans are available in your area, type your address or zip code into our internet search page.

Find which plans are available in your area.

The good news is that you can upgrade your Viasat Internet 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. It won’t alter your contract or incur any additional fees.

You likely noticed already, but it’s worth repeating: Viasat prices jump by $20–$50 a month after the first three months. (HughesNet, Viasat’s direct competitor, keeps prices locked for the entire two-year contract.)

How much data do I need?

If most American households use 344 GB of data per month, you might wonde r what you can do with 12 GB of data per month, or even 300 GB.5 Checking email and browsing the web don’t take much data (reading 100,000 emails uses about 1.5 GB of data), but downloading email attachments or loading sites with animation will use more.

Video streaming is the most data-intensive activity—streaming in HD uses 3 GB of data per hour (or 1 GB for low definition). So, with only 12 GB of data every month, you can watch a movie or two, send and receive emails, and do occasional research online.

If you’re a low data user, Viasat’s Unlimited Bronze 12 could keep you comfortably connected all month. But if you want more (or faster) full-speed data, you’ll need to pay more. You can upgrade your monthly plan (see plans table above)  or buy extra data. Buying extra data is priced at $10 for 1 GB, $48 for 5 GB, $67 for 7 GB, or $95 for 10 GB.

Viasat internet speeds

Viasat Internet plans can reach up to 100 Mbps in some areas, thanks to the ViaSat-2 satellite that launched in 2018. Plus, Viasat increased data allotments in 2020, giving you up to twice as much data on many plans. Viasat’s Unlimited Platinum 100 plan used to include 150 GB of data per month, but it now includes 300 GB—and the price stayed the same! So pardon us if we seem a little excited.

With up to four times the download speed of HughesNet, Viasat offers superfast satellite internet speeds. And faster speeds mean more than less buffering—it also means your video streaming picture quality gets better.

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. So you’ll want to find out what speeds are available in your area before you sign a two-year contract.

And you also need to keep an eye on data usage. If you exceed your monthly data allotment, your speeds will be slowed way down for the remainder of the month. Regular speeds will resume at the start of the next billing cycle.

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 The first satellites launched in this terabit-per-second satellite system will cover the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.2 The second launch will cover the Asia Pacific region. Viasat is projected to launch the new Viasat satellite system in early 2022.

How much data do I get?

All Viasat plans technically have unlimited data. We say “technically” because you still have “data thresholds.” All data you use (upload and download) counts toward that threshold. When you hit your monthly data threshold, your speeds can slow down 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.

Viasat offers much more generous data allowances than its competitor, HughesNet—up to six times as much data for the same price. For maximum value, we recommend that you choose your plan based on how much data you need each month rather than speed alone. 

If you use up your data allowance before the end of the month, you may not always experience slowing. If there are fewer people using the Viasat network, like in the wee hours of the morning, you probably won’t notice the data deprioritization much. Your speed might even 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 Netflix or Hulu all month, you’ll experience much slower speeds.

If you exceed your data threshold before the end of the billing cycle on any unlimited Viasat plan, you may experience slow speeds for the rest of the month (with typical speeds ranging from 1 Mbs to 3 Mbps). In addition, customers who have a Liberty or Basic plan, will have even slower speeds every evening from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Viasat tells customers that if there is a lot of internet traffic during these hours, you will experience speeds that could be less than 1 Mbps.

Because of the additional slowing that can occur on the Liberty and Basic plans, we recommend avoiding these lower-priced satellite internet plans and opting for the Unlimited Bronze or higher plans instead.4

Pro tip: How to keep an eye on data usage
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The best way to avoid data deprioritization is to get a package with a high data threshold and keep an eye on your data usage. If you use the Viasat browser, it will keep track of your monthly 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 when your speeds will be faster. 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

Viasat offers free installation, which minimizes the cost of getting started with a new internet service provider and it’s helpful since self-installation is complicated and not recommended. (Viasat recommends having a Viasat certified technician to install the satellite dish—and since installation is free, it’s a win-win.)

As part of the service, you need a Viasat Wi-Fi Modem (a modem/router combo) from Viasat. A typical modem from Amazon or Best Buy won’t work with satellite internet—you need the Viasat Wi-Fi Modem to interpret the satellite internet signal. The modem/router will broadcast a Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, but you can use your own router if you choose (more on that later).

Viasat Wi-Fi Modem capability

The Viasat Wi-Fi Modem includes the following features:

  • Modem (connects to your satellite dish with coaxial cable)
  • 4 Ethernet ports
  • Dual-band frequency (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz)
  • Voice adapter (used if you have landline phone service through Viasat)
  • Router for creating a home Wi-Fi network
  • Supports WPS, WEP and WPA security standards
  • Guest network and parental controls

Viasat equipment fees

  • Viasat Wi-Fi Modem monthly lease: $5.00/
  • Viasat Wi-Fi Modem purchase price: $300.00

You’ll have to use the Viasat modem to interpret the satellite signal from your dish, so using your own router won’t save you any money.

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, renting is cheaper than buying.

You do not need a phone line or phone line wiring to get Viasat satellite internet in your home or business. You will have a small satellite dish installed on your roof or the side of your house, which needs a clear, unobstructed view of the southern sky. Your installation technician will run some wiring from the dish to a modem and router combination device that you’ll keep somewhere inside your home.

Remember: Get permission to install your satellite dish.
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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

Internet service providers have long struggled with making customers happy, and the same issues that plague big-name ISPs (lack of competition, slower than advertised speeds, and more) are magnified with satellite ISPs. That doesn’t mean you won’t be happy with your service—it just means that internet ratings tend to land in the mediocre range, so keep that context in mind.

Negative Viasat reviews are a dime a dozen, but most can be boiled down to unrealistic expectations around satellite service or choosing a cheaper plan than you really need.

If your household uses data at the same rate as the typical American household (about 344 GB per month), you will run out of data before the end of the month with all satellite internet plans.5

About 99% of the time, satellite internet is not a good choice if you have other options. If you can get cable internet, or high-speed DSL internet service, or a 4G LTE home internet plan, check those out first because you’ll probably get a better experience with any of these than with satellite internet service.

Still, Viasat beats out HughesNet, the other major satellite internet provider, in just about every service category, which includes actual download/upload speeds, data limits, and customer support. Viasat Internet reviews reveal that Viasat customers are happier with their service than HughesNet customers.2

Viasat is the better option for satellite internet service, but it also costs more than HughesNet, the second-place option.

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You can find out more about getting the internet 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.

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.

What is ViaSat-2?

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.

What is ViaSat-3?

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.

Sources

  1. Henry, Caleb, “Supplier Issue Behind Delays with ViaSat-3 Launch,” Space News, June 2019. Accessed August 20, 2020.
  2. Dilley, John, “2018’s Best Internet Providers in Customer Satisfaction,” HighSpeedInternet.com, January 2018. Accessed August 20, 2020.
  3. Viasat, “Going Global” [undated]. Accessed August 20, 2020.
  4. Viasat, “Liberty High-Speed Internet Plans,” [undated]. Accessed November 16, 2020.
  5. Toledo, Rob, REPORT: “The Average Household’s Internet Data Usage Has Jumped 38x in 10 Years,” Decision Data, April 2020. Accessed November 17, 2020.
  6. The Space Hub, “SpaceX Enter Contract for a Future ViaSat-3 Satellite Launch,” [undated]. Accessed January 28, 2021.
  7. Viasat, “How to Buy More Data with My Viasat,” [undated]. Accessed March 30, 2021.
  8. Baumgartner, Jeff, “First ViaSat-3 Satellite Takes a Step Toward Launch,” Broadband World News, June 2021. Accessed June 9, 2021.
  9. Rizzo, Lillian, “Americans Working from Home Face Internet Usage Limits,” Wall Street Journal, October 2020. Accessed June 10, 2021.
  10. Dweck, Sophie, “Elon Musk Now Lives in a $50,000 Prefab Tiny House in Texas,” Architectural Digest, July 2021. Accessed July 14, 2021.
  11. Wallace, Rachel, “Robert Redford Lists 30-Acre Utah Ranch for $4.9 Million,” Architectural Digest, June 2021. Accessed July 14, 2021.
  12. Nalepinski, Kate, ”Renovated Orient Point lighthouse transformed into artist’s residency,” Northforker, December 2019. Accessed July 14, 2021.
Kristin Cooke
Written by
Kristin Cooke
After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Utah, Kristin learned to geek speak while working as a technical recruiter, interviewing software developers and tech companies. For over 20 years, she has created award-winning content for technology, health, and finance companies. Kristin is an advocate for affordable internet for all and writes about rural internet solutions, satellite internet news, and tech products at SatelliteInternet.com. Her work has been featured in New York Post, PCMag, Forbes, Business Insider, Telecompetitor, Space.com, and The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society.