I want to find the best internet plan for rural areas. That led me to gather all the information about Viasat’s internet plans. To help us figure out whether it’s worth getting.
I’ll cover these points:
- Pros & cons
- Plans & features
- Business internet packages
- How to reach their customer support
- Versus the competition
Countdown in 3…2…1—
Viasat Pros & Cons
- Amazing for folks in rural areas without access to other providers
- Regional pricing
- Requires a 24-month contract
Viasat Internet Plans & Features Compared
Viasat’s home internet plans are as follows:
|Tier||Starting Price *||Max. Download Speeds †||Max. Upload Speeds †||Best For|
|Choice 12||$49.99/mo.||12 Mbps||3.0 Mbps||Email checking & web browsing|
|Choice 25||$49–69.99/mo.||25 Mbps||3.0 Mbps||Social media|
|Choice 30||$99.99/mo.||30 Mbps||3.0 Mbps||480p video streaming|
|Choice 75||$99.99/mo.||75 Mbps||3.0 Mbps||480p video streaming|
|Choice 100||$149.99/mo.||100 Mbps||3.0 Mbps||Online gaming|
|Choice 150||$199/mo.||150 Mbps||3.0 Mbps||Online gaming on multiple devices|
- 2-year price lock
- Free professional installation
- Requires a 24-month contract, unless you want to pay $300
I recommend Viasat internet plans for those who live in rural areas without fiber, cable, fixed wireless access, and DSL plans. The 4 connection types cost less, have faster speeds, and have much lower latency.
All plans also include Data Extender. It’ll automatically stream all videos on your devices at 480p. While that sounds useless, it’s helpful if you forget to reduce your video quality. And you’ll fall in love with this feature regarding data management.
60 GB of data can handle 23 hours of 720p HD video streaming or 10 hours of 4K UHD video. But you’ll get 84 hours of 480p SD video out of this data . It makes a difference.
These are new customer prices. Upon passing month 3 of your bill, you’ll need to pay standard rates. I’ll talk about these in several sections.
Plan availability will vary by area. For instance, the 12–30 Mbps plans are available in Washington state.
These speeds aren’t much. But it’s better than having no internet access. Let’s see what the speeds will get you.
Viasat Average Latency & Speed
Viasat uses geostationary orbit satellites (GSO) that are 22,236 miles (35,786 km) above the Earth’s equator. Compare that to low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, which sit under 200 miles (321 kilometers) from the equator.
Bear with me. This information matters.
Satellites in space redirect the internet to your home from network operations centers (NOC) to your home. The further the satellites are from the NOC, the slower your internet. Learn more about how satellite internet works in a separate piece I wrote.
Viasat and HughesNet use GSO satellites. Starlink and Kuiper use LEO. Viasat seems shy to present its latency numbers, but Starlink promises around 40 milliseconds of latency (ping) . I’d imagine your ping will sit way more than 100 ms with Viasat.
You shouldn’t attend video conferences and engage in player vs. player (PVP) online gameplay.
Considering Viasat’s speed tiers, what could you do with their speeds?
Considering all Viasat plans have data caps removes a lot of typical online activities like 4K streaming, file downloads, and running home security cameras.
All their plans will support online mobile gaming, 480p video streaming, checking emails, social media scrolling, and web browsing.
As you’ll encounter a lot of lag.
Viasat Data Plans
All plans have unlimited data, meaning there’s no hard data cap. But packages have the following soft data caps:
|Tier||Premium Data Limit||What You Can Do|
|12–25 Mbps||40–60 GB||Checking emails, online gaming, social media scrolling, & music streaming|
|30–75 Mbps||100–150 GB||480p video streaming|
|75 Mbps+||300–500 GB||Some 720p HD streaming|
Viasat will throttle your download and upload speeds to 1.0–3.0 Mbps upon using all your data.
No matter the data limit, I wouldn’t download AAA games or 4K video files. The former usually requires around 100 gigabytes (GB), and the latter demands more than 100 GB for RAW footage.
Be careful when streaming 720p video. You’ll get 119 hours of streaming at this resolution before reaching the 300 GB data cap —199 hours for the 500 GB cap.
Viasat allows you to buy more data, though.
Viasat Data Top-up Prices
Viasat sells data tokens in the following increments:
- 5.0 GB for $9.99: best for checking emails or web browsing
- 10 GB for $14.99: best for endless social media scrolling (up to 1975 posts)
- 30 GB for $39.99: up to 42 hours of 480p video streaming
You’ll pay around $1.00–2.00 per GB.
But how do you add more data to your Viasat account?
Log in to your My Viasat online account, select “Plan & Usage,” and click the text “Buy More Data.”
Viasat Hidden Fees, Add-ons, & Equipment
Here are additional fees you’ll likely encounter with Viasat [4, 5]:
|Pole Mount Installation||$75|
|No Long-Term Contract Fee||$300|
|Cancellation fee||$15 per month you have remaining on your contract|
|Pay Your Bill Over The Phone||$5.00|
|Viasat modem unreturned fee||$50–$150|
|Viasat WIFI unreturned fee||$250|
|Voice termination fee||$10|
|Change your caller ID||$2.00 per occurrence|
|Viasat Shield Premium||$8.99/mo.|
The No Long-Term Contract Fee prevents you from engaging with a Viasat contract. You’d save $60 by paying the magical agreement waiving fee if you believe you’ll cancel your plan within 4 months.
Otherwise, save your money.
You’ll incur unreturned equipment fees if you don’t return within 30 days of discontinuing your service. Their site says you may still get a refund for the charges after 30 days. So long as you return the equipment .
EasyCare works best for anyone who believes they’ll frequently call technical support or technicians to relocate their satellites. The add-on removes the dish relocation and service charge fees ($95–$200). And gives you priority customer service.
Viasat Shield is an anti-malware app that doesn’t offer noteworthy features over other anti-virus applications.
Viasat Standard Pricing
Viasat’s plans’ prices raise to the following amounts after 3 months:
|Tier||Promo. Pricing *||Standard Pricing *||Percentage Increase|
Rates will increase up to 40% upon staying in your plan for 90 days. I’d usually tell people to call the retention department and say you’re considering switching providers. You may not have as much leverage, though.
Since you’re likely in a remote area and don’t have access to other plans.
Follow these steps:
- Research other ISPs in your area
- Call Viasat and request to speak to their retention department
- Tell the retention department you’re considering switching to “X” provider because your bill is too high
- See whether they offer discounts
- If not, call back another day & try again
The steps above won’t guarantee a discount, but it’s worth trying.
Viasat Business Internet Plans, Pricing, & Features
Viasat’s business products are as follows:
|Tier||Starting Price *||Max. Speed (DL) †||Data||Best For|
|Unlimited 35||$175||35 Mbps||75 GB §||Checking emails & VoIP|
|Unlimited 60||$300||60 Mbps||150 GB §||Checking emails & VoIP|
|Unlimited 100||$500||100 Mbps||200 GB §||Managing eCommerce sites|
|10 GB Metered||$80||35 Mbps||10 GB ¶||Checking emails|
|20 GB Metered||$100||35 Mbps||20 GB ¶||Checking emails|
|50 GB Metered||$150||35 Mbps||50 GB ¶||Checking emails|
§ Soft data cap: Viasat will lower your speeds to 1.0–3.0 Mbps upon using this data.
¶ Hard data cap: pay $3.00–$10 per gigabyte (GB) used after using this data.
- 2-year contract
- Includes a static IP address
- All plans have 3.0 Mbps upload speeds
- $300 installation fee
- $10 equipment lease fee
These plans work well for businesses who operate in remote areas and need to browse the internet, check emails, or operate Wi-Fi security cameras.
Online video cameras will use at least 60 GB a month . Meaning you’ll need to top up your data.
There’s not much else to cover in this area. All the information above should help you determine whether it’s worth getting. Let’s move on to availability.
Viasat offers coverage to more than 98% of the United States in these areas :
Alaska doesn’t have as much coverage, while Hawaii is a bit better:
Viasat’s also in these areas:
- Puerto Rico
- Central America
I couldn’t find coverage maps for these areas. If you live in one of these areas, you’ll need to contact Viasat’s sales department.
Viasat Deals & Promotions
Viasat offers the following discounts for customers during the first 3 months:
- Choice 12: $60 off
- Choice 25–50: $90 off
- Choice 30–150: $150 off
- Choice 30–150: $150 off
You won’t save those amounts per month. That’s the total amount you’ll save from the 3 months. Refer to the “Standard Pricing” section above for more information.
The regional pricing makes it confusing to present accurate numbers.They’ll usually offer $60 off for the lowest tier in your area. $90 off for the second lowest. $150 for the two plans greater than that. Then $300 off for the highest-tier plan.
Also try for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). It’s a government subsidy for internet plans of $30 a month—$75 if you live in Tribal Lands.
You’ll need to participate in at least one of these programs to receive the credit:
- Women, Infants, Children (WIC)
- School Breakfast Program (SBP)
- Head Start
- Food Stamps (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- VA Survivors or Veteran’s Pension
- Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Tribal TANF
- Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
- Federal Pell Grant
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
Visit affordableconnectivity.gov/how-to-apply and check whether you’re eligible. If so, call Viasat’s sales department at 800-590-4064 and have them apply the credit to your account.
How to Reach Viasat Customer Service
Here’s how to reach Viasat’s customer support:
- Sales: 1-833-703-0624
- Customer support:
- Residential: 855-463-9333
- Business: 855-313-4111
- Twitter: @ViasatInc
Let’s see how Viasat does against their competitors.
Viasat vs. the Competitors
Here’s how Viasat does against the competition:
|Plan||Starting Price *||Max. Speeds (DL) †||Installation Fee *||Monthly Data ‡|
|Viasat||$69.99–$299.99/mo.||30–150 Mbps||Free||40–300 GB|
|HughesNet||$64.99–$174.99/mo.||25 Mbps||Free||15–100 GB|
|Starlink||$110–$500/mo.||50–500 Mbps||$599||1.0 TB|
If possible, get cable, fixed wireless internet, fiber, and DSL internet plans over any satellite provider. If they’re not available, then consider Starlink, HughesNet, Kuiper, and Viasat.
I’ll compare Viasat to its satellite competitors (and a cable one) throughout the following sections.
Let the games begin.
Viasat vs. HughesNet
Choose Viasat because:
- Faster internet speeds
- More data
- Can pay to not trap yourself in a contract
Choose HughesNet because:
- More availability in Alaska
Viasat offers higher download speeds and more data for most regions. And if you’re not in one of those regions, HughesNet is your best bet.
Viasat vs. Starlink
Here’s why I like Viasat more:
- No installation fee
- Cheaper plans (but way less speed)
Choose Starlink because:
- Trial period
- Lower latency
- Much higher speed
- Way more data
- Boat, plane, & RV plans
Always choose Starlink over Viasat if you have the money. You don’t need to bind yourself to a contract, it has much lower latency (ideal for gaming), and offers a trial period. However, you don’t get free equipment installation.
Viasat does. And it’s more affordable for homes who can’t afford Starlink at the moment.
Viasat vs. Spectrum
Viasat’s better because:
- More availability
Choose Spectrum because:
- Unlimited data
- Higher download & upload speed
Don’t pick Viasat over Spectrum in any scenario. The latter’s much cheaper and offers more speeds. However. If you’re in a rural area, you likely won’t have access to Spectrum.
Check Spectrum’s availability before considering Viasat.
I’ll cover FAQs around Viasat to clear up additional questions you may have had.
How to Cancel Viasat?
Call Viasat’s customer service at 855-463-9333 to cancel your service.
Who Owns Viasat?
No other company owns Viasat.
Why is Viasat Slow?
Viasat is slow because the satellites it uses are more than 30,000 miles (48,280 kilometers) above the Earth’s equator. Meaning, it’ll take much longer for internet signals to reach your home.
Viasat isn’t the best satellite internet provider. But it’s a bit better than HughesNet and offers more affordable pricing for rural households who can’t afford Starlink.
Before considering Viasat, research other internet service providers in your area. Here’s the order of internet connection types I recommend: fiber, cable, fixed wireless access, then DSL.
We’ve compared all major providers who offer these connections throughout various guides. Check them out.
* Prices don’t account for taxes or additional fees.
† And the internet speed you get may change based on how you’re connected (Wi-Fi or Ethernet) and a few other factors.
‡ Customers must purchase data tokens upon using all the allotted data.