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Many who live in rural areas are presented with two internet options, satellite or DSL, each with their own advantages and shortcomings. Satellite internet is often the faster option, but comes with high latency and the risk of signal loss during bad weather. DSL internet is typically slower than satellite in many areas, but does not have the same level of latency and reliability issues as satellite internet.
In an effort to leverage the advantages of both technologies while lessening their shortcomings, Viasat created a new add-on service that uses a satellite and DSL connection: Viasat Flex.
How does Viasat Flex work?
Viasat Flex uses two separate networks and modems, one for your standard satellite connection and one for DSL. An Ethernet cord connects the two modems, allowing the Viasat software to communicate with both and adjust the connection from satellite to DSL as needed.
Your primary internet connection will be via satellite, but depending on factors such as signal strength and bandwidth demands, the Viasat software will switch to DSL or use both connections for a better experience.
For example, while viewing this page, Viasat Flex will likely use only satellite internet. If you were to start streaming music or a TV show, however, the DSL connection may step in partially or entirely to support the increased demand in bandwidth.
Less lag makes live streaming and online gaming possible
By combining satellite and DSL technology, Viasat Flex is capable of delivering a more reliable internet service with significantly less lag. Viasat Flex can potentially support streaming on multiple devices and real-time online gaming, activities that are commonly unfeasible with a lone satellite connection.
Viasat Flex service details
Other than the fact that Viasat Flex is available as an add-on to Viasat satellite plans, there is unfortunately still much to be revealed about the service, such as exact availability and pricing. Here’s what we know so far about Viasat Flex:
Viasat Flex is currently available in “select areas”
Not all Viasat service areas are eligible for Viasat Flex. While Viasat hasn’t explicitly stated where Viasat Flex is available, the service uses an AT&T DSL modem, so areas serviceable for AT&T internet are most likely to be eligible.
Areas serviceable for Viasat and AT&T internet include rural areas across the South and Midwest, as well as much of central and Southern California and parts of Nevada, especially the greater Reno area.
The Viasat Flex add-on is free, for a limited time
Viasat has made no mention of how much the add-on will cost, only that there is a free introductory period for new and existing Viasat customers.
Though there is no specific mention of when the introductory period ends or how much it will be, Viasat allows customers to cancel Viasat Flex free of charge, so you are free to cancel at the end of the introductory period without penalty if the service cost does not work with your budget.
Two installations are required
Since Viasat Flex essentially requires two internet networks, new customers will need two separate installation appointments. The first will include your satellite antenna and modem installation, followed by the DSL service installation which may come at a later date.
Current Viasat customers will only need installation for DSL service and self-install may be available. For more information about the installation process, view their Viasat Flex installation e-guide.
The good news is that, though two installations are necessary, Viasat is likely to not charge you for either, so it won’t add much, if any, to your initial service costs.
How to get Viasat Flex
Viasat Flex is an add-on available to new and existing Viasat internet customers.
To check availability and add Viasat Flex to your existing Viasat service, call Viasat customer service at (855) 810-1308.
If you’re not currently a Viasat customer, view our Viasat overview page for home internet plan and order details.
Written by:David Anders
Senior Writer, Broadband Content
David joined the Allconnect team in 2017, specializing in broadband and TV content. His work has been referenced by a variety of sources, including ArcGIS, DIRECTV and more. As a Senior Writer, David is motivate… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
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