Viasat Vs. Starlink: All You Need to Know

Starlink is a primary, widely available satellite internet provider, a game changer in remote and rural hardest-to-reach regions. However, Starlink internet is not the only player in the satellite internet market. In this article, we look at how Starlink compares to Viasat.

Table of Contents

What Is Viasat?

Viasat is a satellite internet connection service powered by Viasat-1 satellites positioned in geosynchronous orbit. It’s available in the US, and with the newly acquired Viasat-3 satellites, the company plans to enhance its network performance.

Starlink is an advanced broadband service powered by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Its satellite constellation positioning in the low earth orbit (LEO) makes the service superior due to the closer proximity to the earth.

Starlink satellite broadband services are available worldwide, improving with each satellite launch.

Below is a comparison of Viasat and Starlink.

How They Work

Both Viasat and Starlink are satellite internet services. That means they use satellites in space to deliver internet to users via satellite beams. 

Ground stations here on earth send the signals to the satellites. Then through satellite beams, the satellites transmit the internet data back to users.

Image of satellite beams transmitting data to earth

Image of satellite beams transmitting data to earth


Generally, satellite connection is less reliable than cable or fiber due to its susceptibility to obstructions from a clear line of sight and weather elements. Still, the positioning of Starlink’s satellites in the low earth orbit makes it more reliable than Viasat, whose satellites are much further away from the earth.


Viasat is available in the US, while Starlink serves the whole world. And as both Viasat and Starlink rely on satellites, not cables and favorable terrain, enabling internet access in remote and rural areas.


Starlink has a portability add-on, enabling users to enjoy the same high broadband speeds they have at home wherever they go. For users who live on the road, Starlink’s RV plan is ideal as you can pause and continue reuse as is convenient for your travel needs. 

User enjoying internet while on the road 

User enjoying internet while on the road 

In contrast, Viasat internet does not work while in motion as it’s not designed for that, making it unsuitable for use on the road. 


You need a professional to install Viasat, but installation is free. On the other hand, the Starlink kit includes all you need for a DIY installation and is preset to align itself automatically to the satellites. 

However, at an extra cost, you can have it installed by a professional, but you have to purchase the mount and any additional accessories required.

Example of a more complicated installation that may require a professional

Example of a more complicated installation that may require a professional

Because they use satellites, both Viasat and Starlink are vulnerable to interference caused by weather elements. Heavy rain and snow negatively impact the signal and can cause severe interruption.

Viasat users must sign a two-year contract. And should terminating the contract before the two years have lapsed will result in a penalty fee. On the other hand, Starlink users sign no contract and can discontinue use at any time.

Though relatively new, Starlink’s customer response has been positive for the most part. However, Viasat, despite being more established, has seen mixed consumer reviews. Some users have complained about slow speeds.


The following are some most-asked questions about Viasat versus Starlink:

No, Viasat and Starlink are independent companies. Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT), Sony Pictures, and Viasat World own Viasat, while Elon Musk’s SpaceX runs Starlink.

In terms of availability, Starlink is better than regular internet because it’s not dependent upon suitable terrain and cables. And compared to other satellite internet services, Starlink is superior as earth orbit satellites are more superior due to their closeness to the earth.

Still, though faster than other satellite internet services, it’s not as fast and reliable as fiber and cable internet.

As a service dependent on satellite, it’s not as fast as cable or fiber internet. But most importantly, it’s vulnerable to weather elements and obstructions like trees and buildings, which can cause severe signal interference. Thus it’s not as reliable as fiber and cable.


Now you understand better how Viasat compares to Starlink. While both serve hard-to-reach areas, Viasat is available in the US and Starlink worldwide. Starlink speed is also much faster. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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