Starlink
Viasat

Starlink vs. Viasat

Starlink has 1 plans:

Starlink and Viasat Service in 2022:

Starlink has 1 plans:

View Starlink and Viasat Service in 2022:

It doesn’t get much more futuristic than Starlink. Backed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Starlink uses satellites orbiting our planet to connect its customers down on Earth with the internet — no wires, cables, or telephone lines required. As it happens, though, Starlink isn’t the only company offering this kind of cutting-edge solution. Elon Musk’s fast-growing company has a few rivals in the satellite internet space, including Viasat. In fact, Viasat has been doing this for longer than Starlink: It launched its satellite broadband option back in 2012. These are two of the top satellite internet options on the market, so you’ll want to carefully weigh the pros and cons of Viasat vs. Starlink before you make your final choice.

Starlink vs Viasat Overall Comparison

Starlink vs Viasat Overall Comparison

  • Speed

    250 Mbps

  • Pricing

    $110/mo.

  • Service Type

    Satellite

  • Equipment Fee

    $0 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

  • Speed

    12 Mbps -50 Mbps

  • Pricing

    $49.99-199.99/mo.

  • Service Type

    Satellite

  • Equipment Fee

    $13 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

Starlink and Viasat both operate under the same basic principle: They use satellites to beam information to and from their customers, which allows them to maintain an internet connection without using traditional internet infrastructure, like cables or phone lines. This makes these providers particularly appealing to customers looking for internet service in rural areas. This is because the best kinds of internet infrastructure (like fiber-optic cables) aren’t always available in less-populated areas.

Of the two, Starlink offers the highest speeds. Starlink advertises download speeds of 250 Mbps, while Viasat’s fastest advertised speed is 150 Mbps. Starlink’s 250 Mbps plan costs $110 per month. Viasat’s cheapest plans are more affordable than that, but the savings will cost you some speed. For example, Viasat’s $49.99-per-month plan offers 12 Mbps, which is fast enough for checking email but not a speed we’d recommend for users who want to stream HD video.

Starlink vs Viasat: Best Deals

Internet Deals

Starlink tends to focus on its simple, no-contract offers (when the company does offer discounts, you can find them in our guide to Starlink internet deals). Viasat can get a bit more creative with its discount deals. Its offers include bundling options (in partnership with pay-TV provider DISH) and long-term contract options.

Pros and Cons By Provider

Pros and Cons By Provider

Starlink Pros

  • Rural availability
  •  No contracts
  • Unlimited data
  • Relatively fast (for satellite) speeds

Starlink Cons

  • Satellite obstructions can disrupt service

Viasat Pros

  • Rural availability
  • Multiple plans and bundle options
  • Very low prices
  • Simple and free installation

Viasat Cons

  • Satellite obstructions can disrupt service
  • Speeds are slower than those of some competitors

If you’re deciding between Starlink and Viasat, then you’ve likely already considered the downsides of satellite internet in general. Still, it’s worth remembering that satellite internet connections are generally slower than wired options like cable and fiber. Satellite internet providers compare a little more favorably to other wireless internet options, like fixed wireless, but there are still a few quirks to watch out for. This includes the fact that obstructions, whether they be tall hills and buildings or lousy weather and clouds, can sometimes interrupt your satellite connection. (If you’re familiar with satellite TV, you may already have experienced this phenomenon.)

Starlink vs. Viasat: Packages Compared

When it comes to packages, Starlink keeps things simple. The company offers one plan, which costs $110 per month.

Viasat offers several plans, the cheapest of which is $49.99 per month. At 12 Mbps, that plan is relatively slow; to get faster service, you can upgrade to a plan that offers 50 Mbps. Viasat’s cheapest option for 50-Mbps service is $99.99 per month. Viasat also offers bundling options through partners like DISH.

Starlink vs. Viasat: Extra Fees and Contracts

Starlink’s only plan doesn’t require a contract. It does, however, require a one-time setup fee of $599.

Viasat’s offers require a contract agreement that runs for two years, and the company’s prices typically go up after a few months at the introductory rate.

Installation

Both Starlink and Viasat offer free installation, but Starlink charges a one-time equipment fee of $599.

Data Cap

Viasat has a “soft” data cap, meaning that it will slow down (but not cut off) your internet access after you consume a certain amount of data. The caps vary by plan; the entry-level $49.99-per-month plan, for example, has a 40 GB soft cap.

Starlink has no data cap, which is highly unusual for a satellite internet service.

Starlink vs. Viasat: Customer Satisfaction

Starlink is still a relatively new player in the satellite internet space, but the response from consumers so far has been very positive. Viasat’s customer reviews are more mixed, with some users complaining about the slow speeds in data caps.

Starlink vs. Viasat Internet Review

As of December 2022, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has not been able to survey enough Starlink customers to provide a comprehensive understanding of how this service is meeting customers’ needs or expectations.
As of December 2022, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has not been able to survey enough Viasat customers to provide a comprehensive understanding of how this service is meeting customers’ needs or expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Starlink and Viasat

  • Is Starlink cheaper than Viasat?

    Generally speaking, no, Starlink is not any cheaper than Viasat — in fact, Viasat offers the cheaper plans of the two. But the race is closer than it seems, because Starlink doesn’t use long-term contracts and introductory prices.

  • Who has faster speeds — Starlink or Viasat?

    There’s no question that Starlink offers higher speeds than Viasat. Starlink advertises download speeds of up to 250 Mbps, while Viasat plans top out at 50 Mbps.

  • Do Starlink and Viasat have unlimited data?

    Starlink offers unlimited data. Viasat has a soft data cap, which means that it will slow down your internet speed after you reach a certain data-use threshold.

  • Do Starlink and Viasat require a contract?

    Viasat requires a contract, but Starlink does not.