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Best Rural and Satellite Internet Providers of 2020

Best Rural and Satellite Internet Providers of 2020

You may feel somewhat intimidated when picking up the right satellite service. This guide below has the purpose to help you make a more informed decision when you discuss between two major US companies, Viasat and HughesNet, in order to explain what kind of fees, limitations and cost of equipment you can incur before signing up a contract.

Are there really only two big satellite services operated in the United States?

If you have ever stayed in a place or a state (like Hawaii) with little Internet choices, you must be quite familiar with the satellite systems or a broadband provider like Spectrum Hawaii being your only option. Usually the satellite internet market always has just two wired providers operating over the last decade or so. There was at one point, five or six options for satellite providers. 

Best satellite Internet Providers of 2020?

What are the options available to you for satellite internet in 2020? There are not many companies in the area who are fighting for your money, but here you can see how two important options — HughesNet and Viasat — stack up. In order to evaluate which satellite company provides the best overall value, we have analyzed many variables such as speeds, data limits and prices.

  • Internet speeds

When considering the best satellite internet providers in your area in order to pick the best service for your needs, the downloading speed is very important. A good speed can save a lot of time in having a file in minutes, and not hours. The quality of any videos that you choose to stream or the number of persons who can use your connection immediately without any noticeable usability can be affected. In daily use, there are many other things you will notice with high-speed internet.

  • Data Limit

Data caps and limits are often to be taken into consideration. If you surpass a certain volume of data, all major providers will slower down the speeds, just as the wireless networks have been practicing throttling. These limits are certainly very important to be kept in mind if you are a download a lot.

  • Prices

As far as your money is concerned, satellite internet access is almost always more costly than land-based Internet. The challenge is to choose the plan that fits best wisely, when maintaining your budget.

 Best Rural and Satellite Internet Providers of 2020

Viasat vs HughesNet

For most customers, Viasat actually has the highest value for money. The company provides a broad variety of bandwidth choices varying from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps, which is even higher than other cable connections. Viasat also uses thresholds compared to data caps, which are essentially the same but rather more generous. The price is a little bit more costly than what you will find with HughesNet, but ultimately less restrictive. 

HughesNet, on the other hand, is more consistent. It offers the same standard packages everywhere — 25 Mbps — to assure that you’ll get the same downloading speed limit irrespective of the package you order. And frankly, 25 Mbps is fast enough for many things that most individual users will do. What HughesNet offers may only be adequate if you are the only user of the internet services. 

However, there is no doubt that the satellite Internet Company, Viasat has the highest speeds available. You may order a service at speed of up to 12 Mbps or go could as high as 100 Mbps. At the top, the service of Viasat is in fact faster than some cable and fiber optic Internet plans when it comes to downloads, which is pretty impressive.

You will definitely want to consider the higher speed ranges of Viasat if you are a multitasker — running Netflix behind you while you download huge files, or if you have a full house of people who use their connections all at once. If someone is playing online games in another room, while you’re downloading a movie, you’d be shocked at just how quickly your data can be consumed.

Data limits are one of the most frustrating elements of the entire satellite network. File sizes are increasing, and the quality of videos are improving. In turn, the service is subject to a data limit that slows down the link to an absolute crawl when a certain level is reached. Also, simple activities such as web surfing and checking emails will transform into pain once the level is reached. Viasat has taken steps to improve the number of options it offers over several price points. The provider does not use conventional data limits, but has thresholds which prioritize your web traffic as soon as they are reached.


Viasat can deliver speeds for whatever you want and no matter how much data you use. Companies constantly change their offers and HughesNet may at some point storm back with more competitive packages. That said, Viasat is the best option for most consumers today.