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LAST UPDATED: May 19th, 2023

Viasat is a satellite Internet service brand formerly known as Exede. The company claims that they use one of the most advanced and high-capacity satellite networks in the world. There are more than 600,000 customers using Viasat. The company tries to target residential customers. 

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The Good

  • Variety of plans
  • Competitive pricing
  • Liberty Pass and Boost 25
  • Viasat's Freedom plan
  • Partnership for bundling with DirecTV
  • Transparency on website

Viasat offers a few different plans for their customers and pricing ultimately depends on where you live. The biggest difference you will notice between each plan is the data allowance and price. The great thing about Viasat is that all of their plans come with a 12 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed. Their upload speed is on the higher end of the industry where competing satellite internet providers offer only 1 or 2 Mbps. With Viasat's Essential 10 plan, you get 10 GB of priority data which is data that you can use 24 hours a day. With the Essential 10 plan, there is an early bird free zone giving you unmetered access from 3 am to 8 am. Viasat offers three other plans, Liberty 12, Liberty 18, and Liberty 30 which feature 12 GB, 18 GB, and 30 GB, respectively. Each one of these plans features the Liberty Pass and Boost 25. Viasat's Liberty Pass allows you to continue using the internet even if you've gone over your monthly data allowance. However, your download speed will be limited to only 1 - 5 Mbps. Using Boost 25 is dependent upon where you live. It can boost your download speed to a whopping 25 Mbps which is unheard of in this industry. Viasat offers a Freedom Plan that is very limited in its service area right now but gives customers a monthly data allowance of 150 GB! Viasat is the first in the industry to offer any data plan that large. We like to see companies offer flexibility to their customers and remove barriers of entry for them. You are required to rent your satellite equipment. Viasat gives its customers two different options, which are, rent the equipment for $9.99 per month or prepay for 24 months at $199.99. These prices may seem steep, but we like the flexibility Viasat offers. We also liked Viasat's availability in all 50 states. There is access to Viasat even in Alaska and Hawaii. Viasat has access to high-powered satellites, which are billed as being the best in the industry. While the prices for Viasat's metered Internet service is somewhat high, we felt like the different service levels are a great fit for the customer to select the subscription that is right for them. Viasat has a page that provides information about selecting your ideal subscription. After inputting your data, a usage calculator predicts your monthly Internet usage. Also, if you ever end up needing more data, you can purchase each additional GB for $9.99.


The Bad

  • Low data cap except for the Freedom plan
  • Slightly slower download speeds
  • Read the fine print on pricing

Viasat has its Freedom Plan which gives customers access to 150 GB of  data for the month, however, the service area for this plan is very limited. Customers that live in areas that don't have that many people around them using Viasat will have access to the Freedom Plan because of the available capacity. There are plans for it to become available in 2017 and hopefully it is available to more areas then. If you aren't living in an area where Viasat offers the Freedom Plan then you are going to find lower data caps than what we find in this industry. a competing satellite internet provider offers data caps of at least 50 - 70 GB whereas Viasat's max besides the Freedom Plan is only 30 GB. With that in mind, if you plan on downloading tons of things during any given month, you'll have to be careful that you don't go over your data allowance. Viasat has a Boost 25 feature that increases a user's download speed up to 25 Mbps but, this feature is limited to certain areas. If you don't live in an area where Boost 25 is offered then you will only be able to get download speeds up to 12 Mbps which is lower than the fastest download speeds that competitors offer. The prices listed on Viasat's website (depending on where you live) are shown as the price per month for only the first three months. They do offer a 3-year price lock guarantee, but it only applies before any promotions are set in place. So if you started out at $49.99 per month and then went to $59.99 per month after the first three months, the price lock guarantee would guarantee the $59.99 price per month for your 24-month commitment.


The Bottom Line

We recommend Viasat for customers that are looking for an entry-level satellite Internet subscription. We like that they offer different plans depending on how much data you need as well as the monthly Internet usage calculator on their website. Those that live in specific areas will have options available whether it is to have the Freedom Plan for higher data allowance, take advantage of SpeedBoost or user their Liberty Pass to have download speeds between 1 to 5 Mbps even after they've used up all their data. If you are living in areas that don't offer some of the features listed above then, you will be limited to Viasat's more basic packages. The max download speed you might see is limited to 12 Mbps and the maximum data allowance available will be only 30 GB. Also, we don't know how  much it will cost for additional GBs of data if you go over your monthly allotment. It would be wise for you to gauge how much data you think you are using each month in order to choose an appropriate plan. Overall, we recommend Viasat as a viable solution for your internet needs in a rural area.

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14 Reviews

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Jimmy Glen Allan, MS

I've had the service for a week. So far it's worked fine for me. I have the 10gb plus Liberty pass. I used up my data in 2 days. I watch a lot of Netflix. But even during the daytime the Liberty pass is fast enough to stream HD on 1 device. Don't be fooled tho if you have more than 1 device and your using the liberty pass Netflix will buffer every few minutes or so. But I'm very happy with my service. I don't like that it goes out in the rain or bad weather. But for where I live this is so much better than Hughes net which I could not wait to get rid of so I can have the liberty pass with exede.

7 years ago

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Glenna Bedias, TX

I started w Hughes net then Wildblue then Excede and now Viastat. I have been very satisfied with the service. There have been a few times over the years when service was slow but it was the exception and not the norm. I am wait on a new box for the new unlimited data plan. Can t wait to get started w it. 50 gbs is not enough for me.

6 years ago

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Michael Cahill Bradford, PA

Horrible sales and product. I have had an exede account for over 6 years. When speeds were decent we burned up data. Joined the Freedom 25 Plan eight months ago, and have never gotten the service advertised, I am lucky to download emails. The only reason I gave them two stars is for the technical people that answer the phone spend an hour on the phone testing your equipment and tell you the answer is network conjestion. I have spent $880.00 in eight months and tonight I got a 20.00 credit. If it wasn't the only option in rural America I would have given up long ago.

5 years ago

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David May Florissant, CO

Hooked up Exede at my house (this is March 2018) -- "up to" 30 mbps download. "up to" 4 mbps upload. Promised that I would be connected to the new Viasat-2 satellite, where it would take "at least 2 years" before the satellite became saturated with users. I also hooked up CenturyLink at 1.5 mbps download and 0.7 mbps upload. To date, the fastest average download speed I get from Exede is 4 mbps. Upload speed averages 0.8 mbps. And many days the slow CenturyLink connection is faster than the Exede connection. Viasat always claims "network congestion" as the reason for the poor speed. No doubt that's true, since they also informed me that I can't get onto the new satellite from my location. So, Viasat lied ("you'll be on the new satellite") to get me to agree to the account and they never come close to the "up to" speed they sold me. As soon as I'm able to find a replacement provider I'll be doing so. And I would NOT recommend Viasat unless that's absolutely all you can get (and I would not recommend them even if they clean up their act -- lying to their customers is unforgivable). Keep an eye on Elon Musk's satellite internet system that's being developed. If it ever gets going, sign up for that one instead of Viasat.

6 years ago Edited September 14, 2021

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Martin Paule CA

I've had Exel Freedom Plan since mid-2015. Until last February we were completely satisfied. Speeds were at or above the advertised 12mbps most of the time. Recently we've seen enormous slowdowns starting around 6-7 pm every evening, and continuing through the early hours of the morning. Speeds so slow they won't support audio, let alone video streams. Exede reps admit that the network is overloaded but offer little immediate hope for improvement. Exede had planned to launch another satellite earlier this year that would have eased congestion but it's been delayed. In the meanwhile, some suspect that Exede is intentionally throttling Freedom Plan users because we get a better rate per GB than their other current plans. Supposedly they are also throttling us in favor of bandwidth sold to airlines like Lufthansa whose passengers pay dearly for airborne internet. We got the Freedom Plan because we wanted to stream movies and not sweat data caps. Unfortunately, the cap is meaningless if the service too slow to use your 150GM/month allowance. I get it that internet ISPs have more complicated and expensive challenges than terrestrial ISPs. But I rate Exede (actually Via-Sat) poorly for failing to come clean with its customers and give us some reason to stick around. I suppose they know they've got most of us by the short hairs since the local competition (Hughes) is pitiful too and don't offer anything as generous as the Freedom Plan-if that really still worked when we actually want to watch.)

7 years ago

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Rachel Asheville, NC

DO NOT GET THIS INTERNET. The company is full of liars and cheats. They lied to us about the products and services, didn't listen to our easy fixable problems with it, made no attempt to solve the issues, refused to let us cancel our service (we had it for literally 4 days and we wanted to cancel because they wouldn't help us fix it) without charging us a $350 fee, wouldn't waive the fee, the manager hung up on my husband when he was trying to resolve the issues, wouldn't let us get in contact with corporate for the issues and completely horrible customer service we have been receiving. IT IS A HORRIBLE COMPANY AND THE SERVICE IS ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. The internet barely loads anything, much less videos. We cannot stress enough how horrible the customer service is. Do not waste your time or money on this crappy company.

7 years ago

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Kimberlee Matlack Dobbs Wimberley, TX

First of all this was the only service that we were able to obtain due to living so far out of town so we had no choice. I was so excited when we moved to a different city and had more options. I called December 31, moving day, to cancel service and have a box sent to us to return the equipment. I called 2/7 when I had not received my box. They had shipped the box to the old address. I had been very careful in telling them the new address to prevent this but it didn't. I called again on 2/9 to make sure the box was shipped and it had not been. I called again on 2/20 and 2/22, no box. On top of repeatedly calling and getting no box they took $324 out of my bank account for failure to return equipment I had not received a box for. I called again on 3/3 and found out UPS had apparently lost the box (not Exede's fault but icing on the cake). I called 3/8 to have them send a new box. 3/14 still no box and I was told they won't send a third box and after 2 1/2 months of calling every few weeks to get a box I'm told I will have to pay the full shipping price back. After all "it's only a courtesy that they send a box. They don't HAVE to send me a box and pay shipping". I've never been so frustrated with a company in my life. I am so glad the bad internet and poor customer service with them are in the past.

7 years ago

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Fred H Honore II Saranac, MI

I couldn't be more unhappy with the service I have. The internet is terrible. It is soooooooo slow. I run out of my 10GB so fast I know only use it for email and a little internet searching and still cant make it through the month. I use my phone as a hot spot more than anything and dont seem to use hardly any GB's The process started with a terrible installation person putting the system where I didnt want it. Plus a terrible install. I have asked for help, asked for it to be moved and my house repaired and not reply, I called your office and complained and again nothing. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO DEAL WITH THIS, TERRIBLE BUSINESS. Please get this off my house and pay for the repairs. I truly wish I would have never purchased this with your company. I hope for your sake others have better success with your product, I will, as I have time, make all the negative comments I can to help others not have the same problems I have had. Please take care of this problem!

7 years ago

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Laura Roberts GA

Excede service can get extremely slow. I called and complained and was told their current satellite is overtaxed but they are putting up a new one this year. Since I complained my service miraculously got faster. My guess is they can choose a priority to put you on. I was thinking about looking for something better, but after research it doesn't look like there is better when you live where you can't get fiber optic service.

7 years ago

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Chilli Joshua Kuehn Fletcher Houston, TX

the data Last of Me about a week 12 gigs then I moved into the Liberty plan which is almost the same speed as dial up at night my bill is around $93 because of all the taxes it started out at $69 then there's the $5.99 customer care charge but you can turn off but I saw on another review if you do customer service is horrible and if you're like me you're going to be talking to them quite a lot then there's the taxes which are almost $20 one is $9 and the other is $10 so if you like to spend lots of money the service will work for you or if you like super slow internet in the evening hours this is definitely for you or if you just miss dial up internet on the plus side you can use magicJack on thisso if you have around an extra three hundred or so dollars to buy more data each month this is definitely the service for you I give it 1 out of 5 because I like the look of the dish

7 years ago

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Michele Dezuzio St Louis, MO

We have alot of devices in our household, our plan is reasonable for the service we have. There are limited companies that offer service in our area.

1 year ago

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Andrew Porle Brockport, NY

Use of the Exede support website is subject to their data caps and extreme slow downs when you exceed the monthly cap. . Their support website is a javascript monstrosity that consumes a large amount of data in it's own right making checking your limits or even purchasing excess capacity when you run out an extremely painful chore. I find this behavior dishonest

7 years ago

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Nathan Sykes

Whatever you do don't get this internet. It is so terrible you would be better off with no internet. I have an unlimited data plan right now that gives me 12 gbs of 6-12mbps of high speed and when I use that up I get the rest of the month with 1-5mbps. It is so terrible though my speeds are always under 1mbps and I can barely use it. Please don't mess up and get this internet. Oh and to make matters worse, any rain or wind knocks your internet out to where u can't use it.

7 years ago

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Margie E.

Excede continues to disappoint me over the years. Unfortunately I live in a very rural area and have limited choices, or I would use a different provider. On a positive note, their customer service representatives are very friendly and helpful when I call with questions. I like that.

8 years ago