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Best Satellite Internet Providers for 2024

Our experts have studied satellite internet service providers for years—here’s everything you need to know.

Best overall


Prices: $99.99–$119.99/mo.

Download speed: Up to 150 Mbps

Data allowance: Unlimited


Prices: $99.99–$119.99/mo.

Download speed: Up to 150 Mbps

Data allowance: Unlimited



Price: $49.99–$94.99/mo.

Download speed: 50–100 Mbps

Data allowances: 100–200 GB


Price: $49.99–$94.99/mo.

Download speed: 50–100 Mbps

Data allowances: 100–200 GB

Best data allowance


Prices: $110.00/mo.

Download speed: 50–250 Mbps

Data allowance: Unlimited


Prices: $110.00/mo.

Download speed: 50–250 Mbps

Data allowance: Unlimited

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

If you live in a rural area, you may be considering satellite internet service as a way to stay connected to the world. Although satellite internet isn’t as fast or affordable as landline internet connections, it’s better than no internet at all.

The best satellite internet provider is Viasat because it’s widely available and gives you the best bang for your buck. But if you’re interested in long-time competitor Hughesnet or the up-and-coming Starlink internet, we can help you determine if they’re the best services for you.

Best satellite internet providers

If you want fast download speeds at relatively affordable rates, Viasat will take care of you. Its plans come with more significant data allowances than Hughesnet, and it’s more readily available than Starlink.

But if you want the internet only for emergencies, Hughesnet can get you connected for less money. And if you live in an area where Starlink currently offers service, you might be able to snag satellite internet with no data throttling.

Satellite internet near me

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Compare the best satellite internet providers plans and pricing

Package Price Download speeds Data allowance Details
Viasat $99.99–$119.99/mo. Up to 150 Mbps Unlimited
Hughesnet $49.99–$94.99/mo.* 50–100 Mbps 100–200 GB
Starlink $110.00/mo. 50–250 Mbps Unlimited

*For 12 mos.
Data effective as of post date. Not all offers available in all areas. See full disclaimer regarding pricing and features for more information.

While satellite technology can readily provide internet service to rural areas, it comes with higher prices, slower internet speeds, and stricter data allowances than you’ll see with most land-based services.

Every Hughesnet plan comes with a data allowance. Once you reach that cap, you may notice your internet speeds drop as your provider prioritizes other customers’ internet usage over yours. Viasat’s plan has unlimited data, but once you hit a certain speed your internet could slow down.

However, Starlink doesn’t throttle data (for now—this writer would be surprised if it stays that way forever). If you can snatch up Starlink service in your area, you won’t have to worry about your internet slowing down even if you use it a bunch. But you will have to worry about your internet service dropping as Starlink sorts out the bugs in its service.

Best overall: Viasat

Download speeds:
Up to 150 Mbps
Data allowances:
  • High speeds
  • High data allowances
  • Good bang-for-your-buck
  • Prices vary by area
  • Data throttling

In 2018, Viasat (formerly known as Exede) made news by establishing a satellite internet download speed of 100 Mbps. It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s more than double what had been previously available from any satellite internet provider.

Viasat is in the process of raising the bar again with three ultra-high-capacity satellites that will provide internet service across most of the planet. We’re excited to see if this move can help it compete against the upstart Starlink in the long run.

As you’re looking into getting a Viasat plan, keep in mind that they cost more than double a comparably speed-rated cable or DSL plan. Plus, the satellite’s signal strength to your home will determine whether you actually get that full 150 Mbps.

And while Viasat’s satellite tech is nothing to sneeze at, data transfer remains satellite internet’s biggest frustration—and Viasat’s not immune. Since data travels out of the stratosphere and back, there’s latency, or lag. Streaming HD movies or gaming over satellite internet can make you feel like you’re in the dial-up ’90s (ask your parents—or go watch Captain Marvel again).

Viasat’s one plan has unlimited data, but once you hit 850GB of data in a month, they reserve the right to throttle your data and slow your internet down in high-traffic periods.

Viasat Unleashed’s prices and speeds vary by area, so the only way to know the actual speeds you’ll get is by entering your address on Viasat’s website. If you can get more than 100 Mbps where you live, you’ll be in good shape.

Still, we’ve selected Viasat for best overall because it beats out Hughesnet for speed and bang-for-your buck. And unlike Starlink, Viasat is a well-established, fully-functional satellite internet provider, and you can get it almost anywhere in the US.

Cheapest: Hughesnet

$49.99–$94.99/mo. for 12 mos.
Download speed:
50–100 Mbps
Data allowances:
100–200 GB
  • Simple pricing structure
  • Transparent plans
  • Low download speed
  • Data overage throttling

If you’re looking to spend the least amount of money on just a smidge of internet capability, Hughesnet is the way to go. They won’t get you as much speed or data as most of Viasat’s plans, but Hughesnet’s cheapest plan is less than Viasat’s.

Hughesnet has another advantage over Viasat: transparent pricing. Hughesnet’s satellite internet plans aren’t fantastic, but they at least spell out what you’re getting more clearly.

As mentioned earlier, allotted GBs of data will affect your internet speed at least as much as Mbps. Also, the download speed Hughesnet offers across its plans is between 50–100 Mbps—there’s no way to slap a “Gold” or “Platinum” moniker on that.

Hughesnet states plainly in its basic 100 GB data plan that if you go over 100 GB within the billing month, it will throttle down your internet speed from 50 Mbps to 1–3 Mbps.

For perspective, you could run through 50 GB in around 16.5 hours of streaming HD videos, which isn’t hard to do on a TV binge. Then you’re stuck with 1–3 Mbps, which . . . is . . . too . . . slow . . . to . . . comprehend . . . in . . . 2024.

Watch out: Unlimited data isn’t really unlimited—that’s how satellite internet providers get away with the claim of “unlimited” data—it’s not a data “cap” if they don’t shut you off completely or charge a penalty.

Hughesnet’s plans have price guarantees for one year, with no surprise price bumps after three months like Viasat. That’s one more small but positive check in the Hughesnet column.

So if you don’t need fast internet—or even a lot of data—Hughesnet’s 50 GB Select plan is an affordable way to get internet service in rural areas. It might be nice to have some connection for your cabin in the woods, huh?

Best data allowance: Starlink

Download speed:
50–250 Mbps
Data allowance:
  • No data caps or throttling
  • Low latency for satellite internet
  • Expensive equipment
  • Limited availability

Just look at Starlink’s specs! Flat rate pricing? Fast download speeds? No data caps—ergo, no speed throttling? It’s a thing of beauty.

The problem here is Starlink isn’t a fully up-and-running internet service. It’s not yet available across the US—some areas aren’t planned to go live until 2023.

Plus, Starlink is prone to outages. It’s always crummy when your internet drops out from under you, so Starlink isn’t ideal if you’re looking for a reliable internet connection.

But Starlink’s speeds are impressive, even if they vary a bit from area to area. Plus, it has much lower latency than most satellite internet providers (although it still drags compared to land-based internet services).

But if you’re interested in Starlink’s coverage map, just search the Starlink website to find out whether it’s available near you. Even if you can’t get service right now, you can prepay $99 to get on Starlink’s waitlist, and that amount will go towards the purchase of your Starlink equipment.

Starlink’s satellite dish costs $599, plus shipping and tax. That’s a big chunk of cash compared to Viasat’s ($299.99 one-time or $12.99 per month) and Hughesnet’s equipment ($299.99–$449.99 one-time or $14.99–$19.99 per month).

Overall, Starlink is a good option, and we’re excited about its potential. You just might want to wait a bit longer for things to really get off the ground. (It’s a space joke. Get it?)

What to look for in satellite internet packages and deals

While satellite internet is different from your average DSL, cable, and fiber internet, price and download speeds are still the most important features to consider when you’re looking for a satellite internet package. You’ll also want to think about how much data you need each month.


Satellite internet costs an average of about $85 per month—more expensive than most land-based internet services, which usually run about $50 per month.

In the case of satellite internet, your costs will often go up based on both the internet speeds and the data allowance you select. So when considering satellite internet coverage, factor in your budget along with what type of tasks (answering emails, watching movies) you’ll need internet access for.

Download speeds

Download speeds, or bandwidth, affect how quickly you can download online content. The listed download speed for an internet package gets split among every user in your home, so make sure to invest in a bigger package if multiple people use your internet. A 25 Mbps connection will be fast for one person but slow for a five-person house.

No matter how much bandwidth you pay for, satellite internet is usually slower than land-based internet services because of latency. Bandwidth is how much information your internet transfers at once, while latency is how long that info takes to travel from a server to your computer. Check out our latency vs. bandwidth article to learn more.

Since data sent over satellite information has to go to space and back, satellite internet always comes with a lot of latency. High latency is why satellite internet isn’t an ideal choice for online gaming—the data packets just can’t travel fast enough to stay competitive in real-time.

Data allowances

Data allowances are how much data you can use per month before the carrier slows down your internet. While regular internet browsing requires little data, you can quickly hit a low cap with activities like regularly streaming movies.

You might be able to get away with a small data package if you use your internet only to check your email. But even scrolling through Instagram takes a bunch of data, so with satellite internet, you browse at your own risk.

Final take

Despite Starlink’s potential, Viasat is still the best choice for reliable, high-speed satellite internet. We recommend it over Hughesnet, which won’t get you the same bang for your buck.

Satellite internet FAQ

Is satellite internet any good?

Because data takes so long to transfer with satellite internet (it has to go to space and back, after all), it isn’t a good option for video calls or online gaming.

But satellite internet works fine for streaming TV and browsing the internet—though it may still require some patience. You’ll also have to keep track of your usage to ensure you don’t go over your monthly data allowance.

Overall, satellite internet is better than no internet, but it’s not in the same league as fiber internet or other land-based services.

How much does Starlink cost per month?

Starlink internet costs $110 per month. You’ll also have to pay $599 for your Starlink satellite dish—plus shipping and tax—when you sign up. Estimated shipping and handling came out to $50 and tax was $66.85 for this writer, but I’ve got that high Washington state sales tax, so it might be different for you.

Can I watch Netflix with satellite internet?

Your satellite internet will handle Netflix’s 3 Mbps requirement for standard definition video—no problem. But streaming will gobble up your data caps, so we don’t recommend streaming on satellite internet. For more information, check out our full guide “Is Satellite Internet Good for Streaming?”


Our experts ranked Viasat, Hughesnet, and Starlink based on bang for your buck, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then we matched up your satellite internet options head to head for a clearer picture of their strengths and weaknesses.

For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.


*Viasat: Prices and availability vary by location. Installation fees, monthly equipment lease fees, and taxes may apply. After 100 GB of High-Speed Data usage, you still have unlimited access to Standard Data, which may result in slower speed.

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