How Fast Is Satellite Internet

How Fast Is Satellite Internet – Download Speed Comparison

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If you’re asking how fast is satellite internet, this write-up is for you. In the last couple of years, satellite internet has not only gotten to the least broadband speeds recommended by FEC, but they’ve scaled past the DOCSIS velocity.

Apart from that, satellite internet is now also faster than the majority of DSL service. At the moment, the best-selling point of any satellite internet service provider is the speed they offer in addition to their wider reach.

Once you’ve got the resources to pay for a broadband width being offered by any satellite internet service provider, you’ll be able to operate all your household internet without any restriction. To consider how fast satellite internet is, let’s consider some satellite ISPs.

HughesNet and Viasat

Viasat offers the fastest satellite internet speed when compared to HughesNet gen 5. Both offers satellite ISPs offer the same download speeds which vary from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps. You should also note that both providers have an upload speed of 3Mbps which cuts across all the plans.


Package Name Data Threshold Download Speed
Unlimited Bronze 12 40 GB > 12 Mbps
Unlimited Silver 12 60 GB > 12 Mbps
Unlimited Gold 12 100 GB > 12 Mbps
Unlimited Bronze 25 35 GB > 25 Mbps
Unlimited Silver 25 60 GB > 25 Mbps
Unlimited Gold 30 100 GB > 30 Mbps
Unlimited Gold 50 100 GB > 50 Mbps
Unlimited Platinum 100 150 GB > 100 Mbps


All four packages by HughesNet have the same 25 Mbps download speeds with a different data allowance.

Package Name Download Speed Data “Soft” Cap
Hughes 10 GB > 25 Mbps 10 GB
Hughes 20 GB > 25 Mbps 20 GB
Hughes 30 GB > 25 Mbps 30 GB
Hughes 50 GB > 25 Mbps 50 GB

Slow Download Speeds and Spotbeams

Some people might want to know the implications of receiving only 12 Mbps from let’s say Viasat. The meaning is that numerous customers make use of their services meaning Viasat can only offer subscribers living in that area the least speed available.

You should also remember that satellite internet providers split the spectrum footprint given to subscribers in “spot beams.” In a situation where all the bandwidth with a spot beam has been fully spent, there is no way users can receive the service.

In addition, it also implies that you’re not expected to receive the speed they advertised very often. This access is shared with DOCSIS: when there are more people, the slower the speed.

Difference between a “Data Cap” and “Data Threshold”

Both terms might be sharing the same linguistic similarity but they’re different. Their difference can be seen in their speed received by subscribers when they reach their threshold or allotted data cap.

For Viasat, their advert indicates “unlimited data” meaning they operate on “data thresholds”. The unique thing about them is that your data won’t be shut down but the speed will be “deprioritized”.

HughesNet on the other hand will throttle your data directly. This means a “soft cap” when you’ve exhausted your allowance. Their advert indicates subscribers won’t experience “hard caps” when they’ve used all their allocated plan.

By implication, the throttle data speed of HughesNet is 1Mbps when your data is depleted and it won’t reset until the following month for the new billing period.

NB: “hard cap” means “lights out” when an allocated data allowance has been consumed. This is a normal thing with many prepaid plans. The device will suddenly stop sending or receiving any data.

HughesNet bonus Zone

Subscribers enjoy a bonus Zone. This is a situation where 50GB extra is assigned to everyone from 2 am and 8 am. Web usages are exonerated during this window.

This bonus benefits especially those in HughesNet’s lesser plan. For full-time works, this arrangement will be uncomfortable. But if your schedule is well, this can be used for downloading heavy software.

While there is no technical thing you can do to enhance the satellite speed, you can follow this speed to optimize the performance:

  • Try and avoid any obstructions such as e.g., outlying buildings, foliage, etc. that might end up blocking the LOS (line of sight) between the geostationary satellite orbiting and the consumer’s dish.
  • When your speed is always lesser than what was advertised, reach out to the tech team of your ISP. They might likely come to cross-check if your dish is pointing to the right location. Also, there might be a need to redirect your dish, especially after a heavy weather event.
  • Endeavor to keep reduce the number of windows, tabs, and apps running whenever you’re surfing the web.

In Conclusion

Satellite internet service providers offer different multiple plans with a different speed that fits every individual. This cuts across speed with a faster download of about 25 Mbps.

In short, with satellite internet, you’re guaranteed to receive high internet speed to your home for streaming movies, playing games, and making use of multiple devices.

Frequently asked questions

Can the cable be compared with satellite internet in speed?

Satellite internet is extensively slower in speed than cable service. Also, it has a bigger latency interval. The download speed is usually from 1-15 Mbps with an upload speed of 1-2 Mbps.

What is actually the speed of satellite internet?

This service can be accessed in any rural area across the United States. The download speed is from 12-100 Mbps. According to FCC, any speed that offers above 25 Mbps is a broadband service.

Why is the cost of subscribing to satellite internet high?

The cost is actually high when compared to cellular service. The major reason is that the service is transmitted from more than 22,000 miles away with L-Band frequency.


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NEW WIFI & Cable TV Deals at $27
✅ High-Speed Internet
✅ Uncapped Data
✅ 175+ HD Cable Channels
Jill Burns
Jill Burns
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My internet and cable provider that shall not be named was raising my monthly bill. I later found out that there were were better discounts with no contracts. Now I'm only paying a fixed $92 dollars a month for cable and internet
John Hollaway
John Hollaway
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Without warning from the provider, I get a bill thats $30 more expensive than the last month. I had a word with the customer service about the constant drop outs My friend told me about your website Theme Scene and now im getting wifi for $29 per month
Marie Williams
Marie Williams
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If I called you earlier I would have saved myself 10 months of grief with my previous provider. Thank you

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