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What is satellite internet?

Satellite internet providers offer a reliable, “always on” internet connection that doesn't tie up your phone line, so you’re able to talk and surf at the same time. Since satellite internet does not need wires to connect to your house, satellite internet is available in rural areas far from cable's reach. Find available satellite internet providers in your area with Allconnect®.

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Pros and cons of satellite internet

  • Faster speeds than a standard dial-up connection with speeds comparable to DSL internet.
  • Satellite internet providers are perfect for rural areas where DSL and cable internet is not available.
  • Service usually has enough bandwidth to support light to moderate usage and browsing habits like web browsing and streaming movies and music.
  • Prone to weather-related disruptions or lags in speed.
  • Service can be more expensive than cable or DSL service.
  • Many satellite internet providers place monthly data caps on how much data a user may download or upload.
  • High latency makes playing real-time online gaming impractical.

Best satellite internet providers of 2018

  • HughesNet - Best satellite internet provider overall
  • Viasat - Best satellite internet provider for high speeds

HughesNet offers the best overall satellite internet in 2018 with HughesNet Gen5, while Viasat offers the fastest speeds among satellite internet providers. However, speed availability is limited by location. In select areas, only speeds up to 12 Mbps are available. 

As ranked by Reviews.com as of 8/22/18.

HughesNet - Best satellite internet provider overall

  • Available in 50 states
  • Up to 25 Mbps available with every plan
  • Data allowance varies by plan
  • Bonus data times included with all plans
  • Built-in Wi-Fi included
  • HughesNet App lets you monitor data usage, buy extra data and pay your bill

Viasat - Best satellite internet provider for high speeds

  • Available in 50 states
  • Speeds vary from up to 12 to 100 Mbps
  • Data allowance varies by plan
  • Bonus data times not included with all plans
  • Built-in Wi-Fi included
  • Viasat App lets you monitor data usage, buy extra data and pay your bill

Where faster speeds are available, you’ll likely choose a plan based on download speeds, and your monthly data allowance will be standard across plans. However, satellite internet providers like HughesNet let you choose plans based on monthly data allowance with standard speeds across satellite internet plans. Call now to learn more about what’s available in your area today.

Selecting your satellite internet provider

Keep a few things in mind when you’re choosing the satellite internet provider and plan that’s best for you. 

  • Price: Basic plans from major satellite providers like HughesNet and Viasat will often start around the same price point. Packages with faster data speeds (best for streaming and gaming) will come with higher monthly costs.
  • Data speeds: Consider speed options and your browsing habits, or the quality of your favorite online activities may dip without compatible speeds.
  • Customer service reviews: Online reviews help gauge a satellite internet provider’s customer service performance and quality of services. Current customers will often use reviews and online forums to applaud outstanding customer service or sound off when it’s lacking.
  • Contracts: Read through the terms of your potential plan carefully to know the details of your service and for how long you’re signing up. If you wish to cancel service later, you may encounter a cancellation fee.
  • Data caps: Depending on your plan, providers will cap your data at a certain amount and then slow your speeds for the remainder of the month. The higher your data cap, the longer your speeds stay as fast as you’re used to.

Find out which satellite internet providers are available near you when you call Allconnect today.

Bundle your satellite internet service

Satellite internet providers like HughesNet and Viasat partner with TV service providers to offer bundle deals that save you money on your monthly bill. Check out two similar plans from both providers to see what you could save with a satellite internet bundle.

HughesNet

    • Internet 25 Mbps - $49.99/mo.* standalone
    • DIRECTV Select™ 155+ channels - $35/mo.* standalone
    • Phone - $29.95/mo.*
    • Internet, TV and phone - about $110/mo.* bundled

Bundled savings: $5/mo.*

  • Viasat
    • Internet 12 Mbps - $70/mo.* standalone for first 3 mos.
    • DIRECTV Select™ 155+ channels - $35/mo.* standalone
    • Phone - $19.99/mo.* when bundled with internet
    • Internet, TV and phone - $115/mo.* bundled

Bundled savings: $10/mo.*

On average, you’ll save more money per month by bundling Viasat and DIRECTV services. However, after your first 3 months of service, your monthly internet price will increase to almost twice the initial price of HughesNet internet. Even with your $10 monthly savings with Viasat, you’ll pay less for more speed in the long term with HughesNet.

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Customer satisfaction with satellite internet

In self-reporting surveys like the Consumer Affairs overall satisfaction rating, satellite internet providers like HughesNet and Viasat (formerly Exede) both receive one out of five stars based on almost 620 consumer ratings in the last year. For more consumer insights on service from prospective satellite internet providers, visit Consumer Affairs

Common satellite internet questions

Satellite internet providers like HughesNet are available nationwide and often cater to those in rural areas where internet access is limited. Call us to find providers and plans near you.

This internet connection type is best for those living in rural areas who want a broadband connection with moderate speeds. Satellite internet is ideal for those who casually surf for news, media and weather updates or stream movies and music.

Satellite internet providers use a satellite orbiting in space to transmit internet signals from your satellite dish to your computer. Your satellite dish sends data to the orbiting satellite, which then relays that data to a dish connected to the internet.

Latency refers to a lag or disruption in your service. To minimize, ensure your satellite dish is properly placed and that there are no trees or buildings obstructing the space between the dish and sky. Also, make sure your router is out in the open and close to where your service is primarily used.

No, some satellite internet providers, like Viasat, offer plans with unlimited data options. Viasat won’t charge you extra for going over a certain amount of gigabytes, but they may throttle your speeds if you go over a certain amount of data per month.

Since a satellite internet connection is wireless, satellite internet providers are able to provide high-speed internet service to almost anywhere. This connection is especially popular in less populated areas.

Due to the way the satellite signal is transmitted, you won’t be able to game and stream as usual with satellite internet service. You may experience latency issues that will decrease the quality of internet activities that require a different type of connection.

Yes, broadband internet options include satellite, DSL, cable and fiber internet. Broadband speeds are a minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Last updated 8/31/18.

Get satellite internet near you.

Whether you’re moving or just want to find a better deal on satellite internet at your current address, Allconnect can help. We make it easy to find and compare available internet providers and plans near you. Call now.

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