Viasat 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.
The company has long used the name Viasat for its overall business, but its residential internet service used to go by Exede Internet. 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.
Download speeds will get another upgrade in 2021. 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.
Viasat offers five different speed tiers across eight different packages. The top download speeds for these packages range from 12 Mbps up to 100 Mbps. (Internet packages from HughesNet, the other leading satellite internet provider, top out at 25 Mbps.) Viasat’s fastest speeds are not available everywhere.
The Liberty 12 plan ($30 a month) is the cheapest Viasat plan. After three months, the price will go up on this plan to $50 per month. Viasat plans vary by location, so the Liberty 12 plan may not be available in your area. Also, prices for these plans can change at any time.
Installation and equipment
Viasat offers free installation, which is standard for residential satellite internet service
Viasat equipment fees
Viasat WiFi Gateway monthly lease: $10/mo.
Viasat WiFi Gateway purchase price: $300
As part of the service, you have to lease or purchase a Viasat WiFi Gateway (a modem/router combo) from Viasat. You’ll need the provided modem to interpret the satellite internet signal, but you can use a different router if you choose (more on that later).
You’ll have to pay the full monthly lease of $10 per month regardless of which router you use, so you won’t save any money by using your own equipment.
If you want to purchase the Viasat WiFi Gateway rather than rent it, you can buy it for $300, but we wouldn’t recommend doing that at this time (we’re expecting significant changes to satellite internet technology in the near future). 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 $60 cheaper than buying.
The internet signal is delivered via fiber to a large antenna (called an “earth station”) on the ground, which then moves the signal via radio waves up to our satellite.
Viasat satellite internet is available almost everywhere in the US. All you need is a clear view of the southern sky, so unless you live in a deep canyon, you can probably get a signal.
Are we happy paying subscriptions?
Guide to Internet Provider Installation
Easy tips on recycling your old computers and phones