Although fiber and cable are the two most popular internet choices, satellite internet is still widely available and is a great option for those who live in rural areas. Viasat is one of the more well-known providers that offer extensive internet coverage, allowing users to access the internet and even stream video (with some limitations). We took an extensive look at Viasat to see if it’s possible to cut the cord while using satellite internet.
A Quick Look at Viasat Internet
- # of states served: 50
- # of subscribers: 308.5 million
- Connection types: Satellite
- Maximum download speeds: 150 Mbps
- Maximum upload speeds: 3 Mbps
- Starting price: $49.99 per month
Viasat’s wide availability is perfect for residents living in rural areas. New customers will have to commit to contracts, but they can choose from a variety of plans without worrying about overage fees.
Viasat Internet Pros and Cons
- No fees for overusing data
- 98% nationwide U.S. coverage
- Locked-in rates for the contract period
- Fastest traditional satellite internet provider
- No hard data caps
- Relatively expensive
- Long contracts
- Early termination fees (ETFs)
Viasat Internet Availability
Our main concern was finding an internet service provider that offered coverage even if we moved out of state. Fortunately, Viasat’s satellite internet spans the entire country, including the area we were moving to. It’s not as fast as fiber internet, but it was much faster and more consistent than other internet providers we were considering in the area.
Viasat Internet Plans, Speeds, and Features
|Internet plan type||Starting price*||Maximum download speed||Maximum upload speed||Data Cap|
|Satellite||$49.99 per month||150 Mbps||3 Mbps||300 GB|
* Prices listed reflect the regular monthly rate.
Our household usually spends time browsing the web or answering emails, so we’d consider ourselves to be light internet users. However, we occasionally like to stream new movies that release on Netflix, so satellite internet worked out for us. It was on the pricey side at first, but we were glad to know that we could still use Viasat even when we were moving — especially in a more rural area. This also meant that we could keep our contract, avoiding the early termination fee.
Viasat Internet Contracts, Data Caps, and Equipment
While most internet plans nowadays are going contract-free, Viasat requires contracts for all of its plans. Customers can choose not to sign the dotted line, but they’ll have to pay a hefty fine to do so. We didn’t mind the contract as much, so we went ahead and signed it to avoid paying more than we needed to.
Viasat Data Caps
Because internet service providers have limited capacity to handle traffic on their network, they impose limits on the amount of data users can consume each month. This restriction is especially true for Viasat since expanding the size of its network requires more than laying new cables. All internet plans under Viasat come with a “soft” data cap — there are no overage fees for going past the limit, but you may experience slower internet speeds.
Streaming movies and TV shows already uses a lot of data very quickly, and heavy internet users will use even more if they decide to stream in 4K. Streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus use about 7 GB per hour, while Hulu eats up 16 Mbps anytime someone wants the full 4K experience. Our biggest priority was to connect to the internet while still having some room to watch something every now and then, so we didn’t need to worry about heavy data usage.
Our Experience With Viasat Internet: Customer Service
Of the few times we called Viasat for both installation and troubleshooting, we were given exceptional customer service. Once we moved into our new place, we were able to get the internet installed within days. Our preferred method of contact was through phone, but Viasat also allows you to talk to their customer service representatives through chat, email, and even text messages.
Viasat Internet vs. Competitors
When it comes to satellite internet providers, Viasat’s only real competition comes from HughesNet satellite internet. Viasat tends to offer higher data caps for a much lower price compared to HughesNet. Viasat’s slower packages are comparable to some of HughesNet’s, but if you want faster internet speeds, there’s no comparison: Viasat is your best option.
Overall Verdict on Viasat Internet
There’s no doubt about it: Viasat can’t compete with cable and fiber providers when it comes to price or quality of service. While Viasat won’t allow you to stream HD content all day, it’s a viable option for high-speed internet in underserved areas of the U.S. We recommend it for customers who want extensive internet coverage or live in rural areas.