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Viasat Review 2020: Plans, Prices, and More

Viasat is the best internet you can get if you live outside of DSL and cable service areas.

Fastest satellite internet

Price: $30–$150/mo.
Internet speed: 12–100 Mbps

View plans
Unlimited Platinum 100
Unlimited Gold 50
Unlimited Silver 25
Intro price* Download speeds up to Upload speeds up to Data cap
$150/mo. 100 Mbps 3 Mbps 150 GB View plans
$100/mo. 50 Mbps 3 Mbps 100 GB View plans
$70/mo. 25 Mbps 3 Mbps 60 GB View plans

Data effective 07/29/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 3 months.

Is Viasat good?

Viasat (formerly Excede) is the best satellite internet option right now. It has faster speeds and higher data caps than HughesNet, so we recommend it if you’re looking for rural internet.

But if you need to replace your land-based internet, like Xfinity, AT&T, or CenturyLink, look elsewhere. Viasat has too many shortcomings to give you a good bang for your buck, and its latency is a total drag.

Viasat pros and cons

Pros

  • High-speed rural internet
  • Reliable service
  • Flexibility for leaves of absence

Cons

  • High latency
  • Max data cap of 150 GB
  • Misleading pricing

Best Viasat packages

Swipe Left to See All →
PackageIntro price*Download speeds up toData cap
Best for speed and data
Unlimited Platinum 100
$150/mo.100 Mbps150 GBView plans
Best alternative to HughesNet
Unlimited Silver 25
$70/mo.25 Mbps60 GBView plans

Data effective 07/29/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 3 months.

One of Viasat’s biggest problems is its data caps. Even the Viasat Unlimited plans, which give you “unlimited data,” slow your internet speeds dramatically once you hit your data cap.

The best way to avoid slowing is to choose a plan with a lot of data. Unlimited Platinum 100 comes with the most data usage and the fastest download speeds Viasat has to offer, so it’s the plan we recommend if you want Viasat’s best—and can handle the enormous monthly bills.

If you’re considering switching over from the one other satellite internet provider, HughesNet, you may want to take a look at Viasat’s Unlimited Silver 25 plan. It’s a close match to HughesNet’s 50 GB plan—same speeds, but more data and a lower price.

What can we say? Viasat is better than HughesNet.

Viasat internet plans and prices

Viasat prices, speeds, and data caps

Swipe Left to See All →
PackageIntro price*Price after 3 mos.Download speeds up toData cap
Liberty 12$30/mo.$50/mo.12 Mbps12 GBView plans
Liberty 25$50/mo.$75/mo.12 Mbps25 GBView plans
Liberty 50$75/mo.$100/mo.12 Mbps50 GBView plans
Unlimited Bronze 12$50/mo.$70/mo.12 Mbps35 GBView plans
Unlimited Silver 12$100/mo.$150/mo.12 Mbps45 GBView plans
Unlimited Gold 12$150/mo.$200/mo.12 Mbps65 GBView plans
Unlimited Silver 25$70/mo.$100/mo.25 Mbps60 GBView plans
Unlimited$100/mo.$150/mo.30 Mbps100 GBView plans
Unlimited Gold 50$100/mo.$150/mo.50 Mbps100 GBView plans
Unlimited Platinum 100$150/mo.$200/mo.100 Mbps150 GBView plans

Data effective 07/29/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 3 months.

The plans above are listed from worst to best—shoot for a plan with the most speed and data you can afford.

Unfortunately, Viasat plans vary by area, so you might only find some of the plans above near you, and their prices will likely differ depending on your area.

Liberty internet plans have slow speeds and small data caps. If you need more speed, and Liberty plans are all that’s available in your area, this would be the only time we’d recommend HughesNet over Viasat.

And while Viasat’s Unlimited plans offer higher speeds and data usage, keep in mind that all its internet prices rise after three months. Viasat’s cheaper plans don’t offer the amount of speed and data most people need. If you have the option, fork out the extra cash to avoid the headaches that come with slow internet.

Viasat internet deals and promotions

Viasat offers promotional pricing, but these deals last only for the first three months of your two-year contract. After that, your price could jump anywhere from $15 to $50 more per month depending on your plan. Gross.

However, we are fans of Viasat’s Hibernation Plan. After you’ve been a Viasat customer for one month, you can switch to the $9.99-per-month Hibernation Plan for two to six months. This leave of absence is a great way to save money if you live at your Viasat residence for only a few months out of the year.

Viasat internet deals

  • Three-month promotional pricing to save $15.00–$50.00 per month
  • Hibernation plans for only $9.99 per month while away from home

Viasat internet equipment

Unlike DSL and cable internet, satellite internet doesn’t have standardized technology for modems. That means you won’t be able to find a third-party modem—you have to use what Viasat provides.

You have to lease modems from Viasat for $9.99 per month or pre-pay your entire lifetime usage for $299.99 per month. Heads up—most Viasat plans don’t include a Wi-Fi modem in the price of the plan, so ask your rep about it when you call. Plus, adding a Wi-Fi modem may cost an extra $5 per month, depending on your plan and area.

These equipment rental prices are pretty typical for internet providers, but we’re extra bummed to see them from Viasat. Since there’s no option to buy this equipment elsewhere, we’d rather see it included in the Viasat internet cost from the get-go.

Final take: Is Viasat worth it?

Internet is an essential utility, so if your home doesn’t connect to land-based internet networks, we recommend Viasat’s satellite internet over dial-up internet. You’ll have access to the internet, home of the sum of human knowledge (and our friendly website).

But Viasat comes at a high price (monetarily), and the data caps mean significant slowing after you hit your limits. So if you’re thinking of getting Viasat for your weekend getaway cabin rather than a primary residence, consider if the cost is worth it. Maybe you should forfeit streaming capabilities for more time listening to the birds sing.

Before you make your final decision, be sure to double check for other internet providers near you. Cable and DSL services are your better bet for quality internet. If you enter your zip code below, we’ll pull up a list of all the providers in your area. Don’t worry—we don’t keep or share your information.

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Viasat FAQ

Why is Viasat internet so slow?

Viasat has remarkably improved its bandwidth technology, and it can now reach speeds as high as 100 Mbps. That’s plenty fast for most families.

But Viasat users still experience slowness in the form of latency—the round-trip time it takes for information to go from you to the internet and back to your computer.

Every time you click on a new web link, that request has to go to Viasat’s satellite in outer space, then down to its network operation center. The info you requested then has to go up to the satellite and down to your house.

This journey is an incredible undertaking, so it’s a massive feat of human ingenuity that your latency can be counted in only milliseconds. But with that much latency, we don’t recommend satellite internet for online gaming.

Is Viasat good for Netflix?

Viasat can be a good option for Netflix, but you have to be careful not to use all your data. Set your Netflix quality to Medium (this will look as good as a VHS), and you’ll use only 0.7 GB per hour. But if you want to watch lots of Netflix, pick a Viasat plan with plenty of data.

If you go with the smallest Viasat plan, Liberty 12, you’ll have 12 GB data each month, which means you could watch only 17 hours of Netflix before your internet speed slows dramatically.

But on Ultimate Platinum 100, you have 150 GB. Each month, you could watch 214 hours of Netflix before you see any slowing—about 7 hours a day.

Of course, if you do things on the internet other than watch Netflix, you could run out of data sooner. Viewing pictures, checking email, and visiting web pages uses your data too. With Viasat, you have to be as miserly with your data as Scrooge McDuck with his mountain of gold.

To learn more, check out our article on the best internet for watching Netflix.

Is Viasat really unlimited?

Because Viasat won’t charge you or cut off your internet usage entirely when you go over your allocated data, Viasat plans are considered unlimited. But once you hit your data cap, you’re likely to notice your download speeds become starkly slower.

Viasat won’t prioritize your internet usage again until the next month, so other users who haven’t hit their data caps will get to cut ahead of you. But slow internet is still internet, and it will be handy to have in an emergency. It just might not be as fun to stream TV while it spends a long time buffering.

Rachel has spent the past two years at CableTV.com writing articles that demystify hidden fees, DVRs, sound systems, and more. She makes door-to-door DISH and DIRECTV salespeople uncomfortable with her in-depth questions—but if that’s what it takes to get you the best TV experience, she’s happy to do it. In addition to writing for CableTV.com, Rachel’s work has been featured on Roku.com, TechGuySmartBuy.com, HowtoWatch.com, and SatelliteInternet.com.

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