Best Satellite Internet Providers of 2022 (2023)

It's not breaking news that many in rural America lack adequate internet access. There's some disagreement on the exact numbers, but a growing chorus of voices agree the US has work to do to increase and expand its internet infrastructure. The good news? The White House has been taking steps to make our internet connections more inexpensive by partnering with internet service providers in conjunction with the government's Affordable Connectivity Program.

In the meantime, satellite internet is the one broadband connection type currently available to people in the rural areas of all 50 states. It doesn't match the internet speed capabilities of fiber or cable connections. Still, when internet access is absolutely vital (and thepandemic has shed light on just how critical it is), satellite broadband can play a key role. But which of the satellite internet providers is the best?

Frankly, there aren't many choices out there. But here's what you'll find when you start to explore satellite internet access, starting with a quick look at how the best satellite internet providers compare.

Read more:Best Rural Internet Providers of 2022

Satellite internet provider comparisons


HughesNet Starlink Viasat
Max speeds 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload 50-500Mbps download, 10-40Mbps upload 12-100Mbps download, 3Mbps upload
Lowest monthly cost $45-$140 $110 $70-$300
Regular monthly rate $65-$160 $110-$500 $100-$400
Contract 2 years None 2 years
Monthly equipment costs $15 or $450 one-time purchase $599 one-time purchase (or $2,500 for Premium) $13 or $299 one-time purchase
Data allowance 15-100GB Unlimited 40-300GB

Let's dig a little deeper to see what each of the satellite internet providers brings to the table.

Best Satellite Internet Providers of 2022 (1)

Sarah Tew/CNET

HughesNet scores strong points for its consistency of internet service regarding download speed. Whereas other satellite internet providers' speeds might vary from location to location, HughesNet's max download speed -- though not as fast on the top end as others -- are available to all customers in all remote areas. What's more, in 2018, aFederal Communications Commission report on broadbandnoted that HughesNet fared best among all participating providers for delivering actual median download speed at 150% or higher of the advertised speed.

Things to consider? While HughesNet has no hard data limits, you'll find its speeds reduced to 1 to 3 megabits per second once you hit your monthly data allowance. HughesNet also came up short in J.D. Power's 2021 US Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study, landing dead last in the South region for overall customer satisfaction.

Read our HughesNet review.

(Video) Best Satellite Internet Provider in 2022

HughesNet

HughesNet satellite internet plans and pricing


HughesNet Gen5 HughesNet Gen5 HughesNet Gen5 HughesNet Gen5
Max speeds 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload
Starting monthly cost $45 $55 $90 $140
Regular monthly rate $65 $75 $110 $160
Contract 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years
Data allowance 15GB 30GB 45GB 75GB
Best Satellite Internet Providers of 2022 (2)

Sarah Tew/CNET

Viasat satellite internet lets you choose an internet plan that best fits your needs. Those internet service plans include some slower than what you'll find with HughesNet and several faster. Packages also come with more data -- up to 300GB -- though, similar to HughesNet, you may find your data "deprioritized" if you go over your monthly data allowance.

(Video) Best Internet Providers in 2022 || Fastest Internet Provider Comparison

Viasat swerved last year when it comes to equipment. It used to be the case that Viasat didn't allow you to buy equipment. That might have seemed like a bonus when you consider that HughesNet charges $450 if you want to buy your gear (which includes installation costs) and Starlink devices currently cost $599. But that also meant you couldn't avoid the additional monthly equipment rental fee of $13. But now, you can buy your Viasat equipment for a one-time purchase of $299, which is cheaper than its rivals.

Read our Viasat review.

Viasat

Viasat satellite internet plans and pricing


Unlimited Bronze 12 Unlimited Silver 25 Unlimited Gold 50 Unlimited Platinum 100 Unlimited Diamond 100
Max speeds 12Mbps download, 3Mbps upload 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload 50Mbps download, 3Mbps upload 100Mbps download, 3Mbps upload 100Mbps download, 3Mbps upload
Starting monthly cost $70 $100 $150 $200 $300
Regular monthly rate (after 3 months) $100 $150 $200 $300 $400
Contract 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years
Data allowance 40GB 60GB 100GB 150GB 300GB
Best Satellite Internet Providers of 2022 (3)

Sarah Tew/CNET

Best potential among satellite internet providers

(Video) Best Home Internet Service Providers in 2022 | Satellite, Cable, Fiber, & Internet TV Ranked

When eccentric billionaire Elon Musk isn't garnering headlines as Time's Person of the Year for 2021or putting a pause on a potential Twitter buyout, he's making some noteworthy progress with his company SpaceX'sStarlink satellite internet project. Granted, this satellite provider is still in the early stages -- there's a waiting list at present and currently just over 145,000 active users -- but the early results, as shared by our own John Kim, are promising.

First, at 250Mbps, the max download speeds are higher than those offered by HughesNet and Viasat. It also features a latency of between 20 and 40 milliseconds, compared to the more typical range of 450-700ms for HughesNet and Viasat.

Second, Starlink keeps things simple by going with only two satellite internet plans -- Starlink and Starlink Premium. The newly announced Premium tier should be available this summer and offers a different satellite dish and equipment for higher download speeds, but also comes at a heftier price.

Lastly, while the equipment fee of $599 -- and a whopping $2,500 for Starlink Premium -- is steeper than those charged by either HughesNet or Viasat, Starlink does not require a two-year contract and features genuinely unlimited data. Once you consider the decent upload speed, these are pretty considerable upgrades for anyone stuck with satellite internet. Those facts could undoubtedly change as Starlink continues to grow, but they're intriguing aspects of the pitch that could help set it apart from the competition.

Read our hands-on experience with Starlink.

Starlink satellite internet plans and pricing

Plan Max speeds Starting monthly cost Regular monthly rate Contract Data allowance
Starlink 250Mbps download, 20Mbps upload $110 $110 None Unlimited
Starlink Premium 500Mbps download, 40Mbps upload $500 $500 None Unlimited

What's on the horizon for satellite internet providers?

Stay tuned to CNET for the latest developments with Starlink as it presses further into its plans and aims to expand its coverage.

According to Ookla speed test data from Q4 of 2021, Starlink was clearly the winner as the fastest satellite provider on average. Its median download speed in the US was just over 104Mbps, while Viasat was a distant second place with nearly 22Mbps download speed. HughesNet was closely behind Viasat at just shy of 21Mbps download speed. It's safe to say that Starlink is beginning to change expectations of how satellite internet can perform.

It should also be mentioned that further disruption may come from another multibillionaire, Jeff Bezos, as Amazon's Project Kuiper also aims to enter the field. While nowhere near the stage that Starlink has achieved thus far, Project Kuiper did turn some heads when its prototype delivered speeds up to 400Mbps in recent iterations.

Innovations from low Earth orbit satellites will be just one piece of the puzzle of better delivering the internet option to the millions of households still unable to find a reliable broadband source. We'll keep this post updated as your options (hopefully) improve.

(Video) Top Satellite Internet Provider 2022 | HughesNet Vs Viasat - (USA)

Best satellite internet providers FAQs

Is Starlink better than Viasat?

Potentially, yes. If you are one of the 145,000 or so current users of Starlink internet service, then you're experiencing a broadband connection with higher maximum download and upload speeds than Viasat (250Mbps/20Mbps compared to 100Mbps/3Mbps). Starlink also has lower latency than Viasat (20-50ms vs. 450-700ms), making gaming and other online activities that require fast response times much more feasible on Starlink than Viasat.

That said, there are more than 500,000 potential customers still waiting to try Starlink. If you hop on the site now and try to get in line, you'll be met with a message that "some orders may take 6 months or more to fulfill" and some parts of the country will not be serviceable until "late 2022." That's remarkably unhelpful for the 14 million or so Americans still without access to broadband service, per the FCC's most recent reports.

So, where Viasat wins is its availability to over 120 million households in the US, right now. Suppose you're in a rural or underserved area with few options for internet connectivity. In that case, Viasat can get you connected, whereas Starlink may be an option down the road, but it's not an immediate solution.

Do all satellite internet providers have data caps?

Technically, none of them do. Both HughesNet and Viasat claim to offer "unlimited data" -- mainly because neither charges overage fees -- but each has a set data limit for its plans. If you hit that data limit before the end of your monthly billing cycle, there won't be monetary penalties, but you will experience much slower, throttled speeds for the remainder of that month. So your data may not be capped, but I would certainly call that practice limiting.

On the other hand, Starlink offers truly unlimited data. There's no set data cap number after which it can begin to throttle or slow your internet speed. That's a significant advantage as more Americans work from home.

Yes. Starlink claims that customers can expect download speeds from 50 to 250Mbps. CNET's John Kim tested the service in May last year and experienced average download speeds of around 78Mbps. Starlink is also due to roll out its Starlink Premium service this summer, which will have expected download speeds between 150-500Mbps.

(Video) Best Internet Service Providers of 2022

HughesNet, which relies on satellites in a much higher orbit than that Starlink uses -- which means data takes a little longer to travel back and forth -- offers plans with maximum download speeds of 25Mbps. That's faster than some of the plans available with Viasat but no match for Starlink.

FAQs

What is the fastest internet 2022? ›

However, once the focus switches to mobile connectivity the list switches, with United Arab Emirates taking the top spot with 238.06 Mbps, followed by South Korea with 202.61 Mbps and Norway at 177.72 Mbps.

Which satellite service is best? ›

Recap: The best satellite TV and internet providers 2022
  • Viasat: Best satellite internet. With download speeds up to 100 Mbps and data caps up to 300 GB, Viasat outshines HughesNet.
  • DISH: Best satellite TV. ...
  • HughesNet: Satellite internet runner-up. ...
  • DIRECTV: Satellite TV runner-up.

Is there a better internet than HughesNet? ›

Generally, we say yes, Viasat is better than HughesNet. That's because it offers more data (300 GB vs. 75 GB) and faster max speeds (100 Mbps vs. 25 Mbps) than HughesNet.

What company has the fastest internet? ›

Google Fiber is the fastest internet provider in the United States, delivering the fastest average speeds to its customers on the most consistent basis. With maximum advertised speeds up to 2,000 Mbps and 12-month average download speeds of 167.1 Mbps, the fiber provider earns an integrated speed score (ISS) of 185.2.

Which service provider is best for internet? ›

  • 10 Best Internet Providers of 2022.
  • AT&T Internet.
  • T-Mobile Home Internet.
  • Cox Communications.
  • CenturyLink.
  • Comcast Xfinity.
  • Verizon Fios.
  • Google Fiber.
14 Sept 2022

What is NASA's internet speed? ›

The internet speed of NASA is exceptionally high thanks to the kinds of data they deal with. Their networks are capable of 91 gigabits per second, as they found out from an experiment they did in 2013.

How fast is Starlink internet? ›

In the US, Starlink's median download speed in Q2 hit just over 62 Mbps – that's more than sufficient for one or two people to stream videos or download games. However, a year prior, download speeds in the US were closer to 90 Mbps.

What is a good internet speed for home? ›

A good internet speed is anywhere between 25 and 100 Mbps. Speeds of 25 Mbps allow up to 2 devices to stream, surf the web and check emails. 50 to 100 Mbps allow a few more people to stream in HD or even 4K, stream music, game, browse social media, and work from home.

Is Starlink better than fiber? ›

When compared to Fiber there is absolutely no contest, and there will not be for a while. With the highest recorded Starlink download speeds topping out at just over 200 Mbps, Fiber-optics deliver consistent speeds capable of symmetrical gigabit speeds.

Can I get satellite Internet for free? ›

While it is possible to get free satellite Internet access for a short time, there is no way to keep it. Many Internet providers, including satellite Internet providers, will offer a combination of discounted or even free service, equipment and installation for a limited period only.

Who owns ViaSat? ›

Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman, ViaSat

Mark co-founded ViaSat with Mark Miller and Steve Hart in 1986 with less than $25,000 in capital. His partners served and continue to serve as the company's chief technical officers, while Mark became the company's CEO.

What is the problem with Viasat? ›

Other issues with Viasat internet
IssueKnown causes
Internet doesn't connect.Account in 'data restriction' mode, dish damaged/obstructed, or network outage.
Internet is slow.Account in 'data restriction' mode, bad weather, dish damaged/obstructed, too many devices connected, or browser issues.

Is Viasat owned by AT&T? ›

While Viasat is not owned by any other company, at this point it does have several co-owners. The co-owners are a swedish media group called Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) in the Nordic countries, Sony Pictures Television in Hungary and Viasat World internationally.

How does HughesNet compare to Viasat? ›

Viasat has faster coverage available in some areas, with speeds up to 100 Mbps with its most expensive plans, but HughesNet offers consistent 25 Mbps downloads regardless of plan. To see more options for ISPs visit the Best Internet Service Providers of 2022.

Why is ATT internet so slow? ›

Reasons for slow AT&T internet: Some of the well-known reasons for slow AT&T internet include router issues, running background apps, using devices with low-performance, or it could also be due to choosing an Internet plan that is not fast enough to support the daily tasks.

How can I get high speed Internet? ›

Now let's learn how to increase your internet speed.
  1. Get closer to your router or move the router closer to your computer. ...
  2. Close unnecessary background programs and applications. ...
  3. Clear your browser's cache and your browsing history. ...
  4. Update your computer, especially network drivers & router firmware.
3 Jun 2022

Where is the best internet in the world? ›

Ranked: Fixed Broadband Speeds
RankCountryMean download speed (Mbps)
1Jersey274.27
2Liechtenstein211.26
3Iceland191.83
4Andorra164.66
6 more rows
29 Sept 2021

Which is perhaps the fastest and highly preferred internet service? ›

Fiber-optic connectivity is perhaps the fastest and highly preferred Internet service type ISPs provide today.

What's the fastest internet speed? ›

Need for speed: Internet speed is typically measured by how much data can be transmitted between two devices in one second. The new record is 319 terabits per second (Tb/s).

Who has the best WIFI in the world? ›

Switzerland's citizens have an average connectivity speed of 21.7 Mbps, a 16 percent year-over-year growth. Switzerland, which has placed first in the Best Countries rankings, centers its economy on highly developed financial services and high-tech manufacturing sectors.

Is 1tb internet speed possible? ›

Researchers at the University of Surrey in England have achieved 5G speeds of 1 Terabit per second (Tbps) over 100 metres in the lab - by far the fastest wireless connection to date.

How can I buy NASA WIFI? ›

Click on the appropriate link below according to your center.
...
BYOD Network
  1. Select the "nasabyod" wireless network from your personal devices's list of available networks.
  2. When prompted, enter your NDC User ID and Password.
  3. To access internal sites, you will need to connect to JSC's Virtual Private Network (VPN)
7 Mar 2022

Is there 7G in Japan? ›

It is a fact that at present there is no country in the world where 7G or 8G network is being provided. Yes, internet speed may be higher than you think, but it does not mean that there is a 7G or 8G network in that country.

Will Starlink be unlimited data? ›

Starlink internet is unlimited and has no data caps.

Does rain affect Starlink? ›

Rain. Rain can interrupt the Starlink satellite signal. Light rain doesn't usually cause issues, but heavy downpours can knock out your signal until the rain eases up. Whether or not rain affects the connection is based on how dense the moisture is.

What internet speed do I need for Netflix? ›

To watch Netflix in HD, you need:

A Standard or Premium Netflix plan. A connection speed of at least 5 megabits per second. Video quality set to Auto or High.

Why is my internet so slow but speed test is fast? ›

“Up to” speeds

Your ISP can't control your overall internet experience because your speed is only going to be as fast as the slowest segment between you and the site you're trying to visit. Think of your rated internet speed the same way you think of a speed limit sign.

Is it worth getting 1000 Mbps internet? ›

With a 1000 Mbps download speed, a family or small workplace will be able to enjoy simultaneous heavy usage. This includes as many as 40 4K streams, video calls, and downloads. 1000 Mbps is substantially faster than average across the world [1]. In fact, it's typically as fast as it gets in most countries.

What is the average Internet speed in 2022? ›

Our internet speed test shows the national average internet speed in 2022 is 119.03 Mbps.

What is best type of broadband in UK? ›

The UK's best broadband providers 2022
  1. Plusnet: The best all-round broadband provider. ...
  2. BT: The most reliable broadband provider. ...
  3. Virgin Media: The best broadband provider for speed. ...
  4. Vodafone: The best broadband provider for value deals. ...
  5. EE: Excellent speeds and customer service.
22 Sept 2022

How much is internet monthly? ›

Average costs for internet service in 2022 range from around $36 to $58 per month, depending on speed. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us.

How much is internet monthly UK? ›

In 2021, UK households paid an average of £44.21 a month for basic broadband options. This rose to £56.99 a month for a superfast package and £79.40 for an ultrafast package.

What internet speed do I need living alone? ›

To make sure your internet speeds are fast enough, consider ordering an internet package that sets aside 25 Mbps for each person living in your household. If you're living alone, then 25 Mbps may be enough. But if you're living with three others, then 100 Mbps will be right on the money.

Which US state has the fastest internet? ›

According to August 2018 data, New Jersey was the U.S. state with the fastest internet connection with an average connection speed of 52 Mbps.

What is a good internet speed for home? ›

A good internet speed is anywhere between 25 and 100 Mbps. Speeds of 25 Mbps allow up to 2 devices to stream, surf the web and check emails. 50 to 100 Mbps allow a few more people to stream in HD or even 4K, stream music, game, browse social media, and work from home.

What is the fastest internet in the UK? ›

The fastest internet widely available in the UK is 1Gigabit per second (1Gbps), which is 1000 Megabits per second (1000Mbps). This is often referred to as Gigabit internet. Airband currently offer fibre broadband packages up to 900Mbps.

Is Sky any good? ›

Sky's a very good choice. You get decent broadband, a good router and some attractive extras to sweeten the deal. Its broadband doesn't have the low prices of TalkTalk, or the blazingly fast speeds of Virgin Media, but it'll serve you well. For TV, Sky is one of the best you can get.

Is Sky Fibre the same as virgin? ›

Sky and Virgin are very closely matched as broadband providers, with both offering top-quality routers and good extras such as free WiFi and online security packages. In terms of the broadband packages on offer from each, Sky offers standard and fibre broadband and you have to pay extra for any calls you want to make.

How much does the average American spend on internet a month? ›

According to the most recent Broadband Pricing Index report, the average monthly cost of internet service is $36.33. At this price point, you can expect basic internet with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps. But you'll pay slightly more for the highest speeds, with averages closer to $58.12, according to the report.

How much does the average American spend on internet per month? ›

How much does internet cost per month? We compared prices across 22 different internet providers and found the average internet plan costs around $61 per month. If that seems high, it's not just you. That average cost is up from $57 a month in December 2020.

Is Wi-Fi and internet the same? ›

Comparison between WiFi and Internet

WiFi is a wireless network to connect nearby devices with each other and share the Internet via hotspots. Internet is a global network of networks where computers communicate with each other via Internet Protocol. WiFi uses radio frequency waves to transmit data.

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