The cost of satellite internet is determined by the satellite internet plans available to you through the two satellite internet service providers in the United States—Viasat and HughesNet. Both companies offer plan tiers based on download speeds and/or data thresholds with internet plan prices ranging from $50 to $150 per month, plus equipment rental charges.
Identifying Options for Affordable Broadband Internet Service
As you explore the cost of satellite internet plans, you may want to look at other possible options for getting internet service at a rural address. For example, dial-up internet is probably an option, but very slow internet speeds will significantly limit your use. You may also find that legacy copper DSL from the phone company is available, but this too tends to be slow with download speeds of 5 Mbps or less. Rural internet options seldom include ISPs with fixed infrastructure requirements, such as cable internet or fiber internet, but sometimes include fixed wireless internet for very limited areas. Some rural internet users may elect to use a hot spot from a cellular internet provider, but the cost may be higher than for other wireless options, such as satellite internet.
Most rural residents will find Viasat satellite internet or HughesNet satellite internet to be their most cost-effective option for internet with speeds that meet today’s needs. After all, who wants an internet plan that won’t support streaming videos, efficient web surfing and smart home devices, such as home security systems and computer-controlled thermostats.
A Warning About Latency
An inherent part of using satellite internet is dealing with latency, a slight delay in downloads and uploads caused by the long distance signals must travel between the satellite and the internet user’s location—it’s 22,000 miles each way and data has to make the round trip with a pass through a ground hub. Each internet request begins a new trip for a data packet.
Latency or ping may not even be noticeable with most applications, but latency will be an issue for online gaming requiring heavy interaction between players. Fast-paced games based on racing and shooting will be affected by high ping rates, so if online gaming is your primary use for the internet, satellite internet may not be your best option.
Geography Determines Satellite Internet Plan Availability
Urban dwellers frequently have an array of ISPs offering high-speed internet service, sometimes at amazingly low prices, but rural internet options tend to be much more limited. Satellite internet has been particularly effective at bringing access to the internet to even the most remote locations. With the launch of the ViaSat-2 satellite in 2017, rural internet users gained access to internet plans with download speeds up to 100 Mbps with unlimited data. After years of top rural internet speeds of 25 Mbps, the ViaSat-2 plans represented a significant step towards closing the digital divide in the United States.
Satellite internet beams serve a limited geographical area. The beams serving your address will determine which satellite internet plans will be open to you today. (Beams open and close and plan availability changes regularly.) Call the phone number on your screen to determine exactly which satellite internet plan is available at your address.
If you want to compare Viasat and HughesNet, the sales rep can help you evaluate plan availability and help you find the best internet plan for your home based on your internet usage habits and needs. If you look at HughesNet vs. Viasat, be sure to look at data caps, download speeds and internet plan prices because Viasat typically offers higher data thresholds for priority data than HughesNet. On the flipside, HughesNet may offer higher download speeds in your area. To get the most cost-effective internet plan, you really need to look at both providers and see how Viasat compares to HughesNet.
How Much Does Satellite Internet Cost at My Location?
Call today to find out what satellite internet plan is best for your home or business. A rep will explain which satellite internet plans are available and let you know the cost to get satellite internet installed. The rep will also detail your satellite internet costs on a monthly basis.