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What are The Top Internet and TV Satellite Providers in the US Market?

Compare satellite internet providers. 4 best satellite TV and internet providers 2022

Written by Niel Patel · 5 min read >
top internet and TV Satellite providers

In places that aren’t covered by a variety of connection types, such as rural and suburban areas, satellite broadband connection is likely to be available. Compare the internet and TV providers below.

What internet providers are available the US?

While doing your research for buying a satellite top internet provider, you will come across HughesNet, ViaSat, and the rapidly growing Starlink. The fastest option will depend on where you are. HughesNet might be faster in selected areas, while ViaSat works better in others. Starlink offers the fastest speed wherever you live, but its price starts at $99/mo., so if saving money is a concern, it is not the best deal. 

Is the Satellite Internet Fast?

It is important to note, though, that while all three providers offer high-speed internet, satellite isn’t as fast as fiber or cable connections, due to its high latency. However, it’s available nationwide, so even remote areas are able to have an internet connection. 

Which internet provider should I choose?

It all depends upon you will have an internet connection for. Below is an average estimate of the amount of data you need for some activities.

  • Browsing the web for 200 hours – 3GB
  • 40 social media posts with photos – 0.20GB
  • Streaming 200 hours of music – 0.8GB
  • Streaming 50 hours of SD video – 35GB
  • Streaming 20 hours of HD video – 50GB
  • Streaming 20 hours of 4K video – 117GB
  • Downloading a SD movie – 4GB
  • Downloading a HD movie – 10GB
  • Downloading a video game – 40+GB

Best Satellite TV and Internet Providers 2022

  1. Viasat: Best satellite internet
  2. DISH: Best satellite TV
  3. HughesNet: Satellite internet runner-up
  4. DIRECTV: Satellite TV runner-up
ProviderBest forMonthly priceDownload speedsData capLearn more
Viasat Satellite InternetBest satellite internet$30–$169.99*12–100 Mbps12–300 GBView Plans
DISHSatellite internet runner-up$59.99–$149.99†25 Mbps10–50 GBView Plans

Top Satellite Internet Providers in USA

HughesNet

PlanBest forStarting price/mo*.Download speed**Data cap (per month)***
Gen5 10GBCasual browsers; single-subscriber homes$59.9925 Mbps10GB
Gen5 20GBSmall households with remote workers $69.9925 Mbps20GB
Gen5 30GBMedium-sized households with remote workers$99.9925 Mbps30GB
Gen5 50GBLarge households who work and learn remotely$149.9925 Mbps50GB

*As of 11/10/21. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time.

**Speed may vary by location.

***If you exceed your data allowance, you will experience reduced speed, usually in the range of 1-3 Mbps, until your next billing period.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Prices and reliability: HughNet prices are standard and don’t change according to your location. Another plus is that its speeds are consistent, which means it is reliable and less likely to lag. 
  • “Bonus Zone” data: this provider offers extra 50GB of data/mo. from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Cheap equipment fees: HughNet’s fees for leasing their modem start at $10/mo
  • Faster speed than what it advertises: according to FCC broadband reports, HughesNet’s advertised 25 Mbps download speed plan actually provides 31.27 Mbps.

Cons:

  • Low speed after data allowance: the internet speed will get throttled down to 1 Mbps if you exceed their data cap, outside of “Bonus Zone” hours. This makes even simple tasks a bit harder to achieve, although you can buy more data if you want to.
  • 2-year contract: HughesNet offers a 2-year contract, meaning if you terminate your signature earlier than that, you will be obligated to pay a fee. This is especially troublesome for people who move around a lot or want the liberty to switch providers whenever they want.
  • No other download speed options: if you’re looking for a higher download speed to your household, HughesNet is not the provider for you, since all their plans offer up to 25 Mbps.

ViaSat

PlanNew costumer price*Price after 3 months*Download speed**Data cap
Unlimited Bronze 12$69.99/mo.$99.99/mo.12 Mbps40GB
Unlimited Silver 25$99.99/mo.$149.99/mo.25 Mbps60GB
Unlimited Gold 30$149.99/mo.$199.99/mo.25 Mbps100GB
Unlimited Platinum 30$199.99/mo.$299.99/mo.30 Mbps150GB

*As of 11/10/21. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time.

**Speed may vary by location.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Internet speeds up to 100 Mbps: but only to selected areas. If you are fortunate enough to get this speed, it is four times faster than what HughesNet provides.
  • Higher data allowances: this provider offers plans with ranges from 40-150GB data caps, meaning you can browse the internet for longer without exceeding your allowance.
  • Two-year price lock: although ViaSat also has a two-year contract, the good part is that you are guaranteed do pay the same amount for that period of time, after the three-month new customer price ends.

Cons

  • Slightly slower speed than what it advertises: according to FCC, ViaSat provides a slightly slower speed that what they actually sell: the average download speed for their 12 Mbps plan is 10.75 Mbps (89.6% of the advertised speed).
  • Not the best option for games and streaming services: due to its latency and its unavailability of faster internet for some areas, ViaSat isn’t the most reliable for these consumers.

Starlink

PlanStarting priceDownload speedsLatencyData capEquipment cost
Starlink beta plan$99.00/mo.50 – 150 Mbps40 – 60 msUnlimited$499

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Internet speeds up to 150 Mbps: although Starlink has only one plan, the speed range from 50-150 Mbps refers to what you can expect from this service. Also, with more satellites entering this network, speeds are expected to go up to 300 Mbps, making a promising top satellite internet provider in the near future.
  • Unlimited data: Starlink is the only satellite provider with this feature, although it is unclear if it will remain like that.
  • Lower latency: this provider has lower latency than its competitors, so you will be able to browse the internet with fewer problems.

Cons:

  • Price: at a salty price, Starlink is not an option for those who prioritize saving money. Expect to get charged $99 deposit for a sign-up.
  • Availability: for now, this provider is only available in the Northwest region of the US.

Satellite TV providers

The most popular alternative for cable TV is is readily available throughout all 50 states, including more remote locations where other types of TV don’t arrive, such as rural or suburban areas.

Should I get a satellite TV provider?

Take a look at the pros and cons of this type of service to make sure you get what you are looking for.

Pros:

  • Availability – Available nearly everywhere, it is an ideal choice for suburban and rural areas.
  • Package options – Satellite TV has a number of package options with add-ons for sports, premium channel, children’s networks and more.
  • Picture quality – This service supports higher bandwidth, so you’re likely to get HD and 4k images on your TV

Cons:

  • Signal interference – extreme weather conditions, such as snow and heavy cloud cover can result in signal loss.
  • Contract obligations – Satellite TV often starts with a two-year service agreement, which is longer than cable TV, for example.

What are the most popular satellite TV providers?

DIRECTV and DISH are widely available in the US, covering nearly 100% of the country. 

  • DIRECTV – Starting at $64.99/mo. for 160-330+ channels
  • DISH – Starting at $64.99/mo. for 190-290+

DIRECTV packages

  • ENTERTAINMENT: You’ll have all of your family’s favorites like Disney Channel, HGTV, and CNN. Not available: TeenNick and TV Land.  But you get ESPN and Lifetime Movie Network.
  • CHOICE: Ideal to sports-watching families. You get the main channels like NFL Network, but football fans will also a free subscription to NFL SUNDAY TICKET for a season if you get CHOICE or above. 
  • ULTIMATE: Channels for movie lovers, such as ENCORE Action and ENCORE Drama. Also available: Tennis Channel, Boomerang and PBS Kids.
  • PREMIER: Ideal for movie buffs: 45+ premium channels, including HBO, CINEMAX, STARZ, and SHOWTIME.  International sports fans get the PREMIER with Fox Deportes and Fox Soccer Channel.

Pros:

  • More channel options
  • Includes NFL SUNDAY TICKET and premium channels like HBO and SHOWTIME.
  • Free installation and DVR service

Cons:

  • Second-year price hike
  • Two-year contract with early termination fees.
  • Monthly fee for regional sports coverage
FeePrice a month
DVR serviceIncluded
Installation costIncluded
Additional receiver$7/mo. + $99 installation fee
Regional sports coverageUp to $9.99/mo

DISH packages

  • America’s Top 120: Offers a variety of popular channels, such as CNN, Disney Channel, HGTV, Food Network, and Lifetime.
  • America’s Top 120+: More sports channels, such as NFL Network, PAC-12 Network, and the SEC Network.
  • America’s Top 200: On top of the three sports channels mentioned above, you’ll get CBS Sports Network, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network, and the Tennis Channel.
  • America’s Top 250: Movie buffs get FX Movie Channel, MoviePlex, EPIX Drive-In, STARZ Encore, STARZ Encore Action, STARZ Encore Family, and The Movie Channel.

Pros:

  • Competitive price, good for those looking for saving money
  • No second-year price hikes
  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility

Cons:

  • Not as many channels as DIRECTV
  • No NFL SUNDAY TICKET
  • Early termination fee
FeePrice a month
Installation feeIncluded
Set-top box fee$5.00–$10.00/mo.
Additional set-top box fee$5.00/mo.
Late payment fee$7.00
Early termination fee$20.00 for every month left on your contract

Compare the best satellite internet providers in 2022

ProviderViasatHughesNetStarlink (beta)
Download speeds12–100 MbpsUp to 25 Mbps100–200 Mbps
Data50–300 GB/mo.10–50 GB/mo.Unlimited
Price$30.00–$169.99/mo.*$59.99–$149.99/mo.$99.00/mo.
Installation feeFreeFree$499.00

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