Starlink vs. Viasat: Which Is A Reliable Option For Rural Areas?

If you had a split second to decide on Starlink vs. Viasat, which ISP would you pick? 

Starlink launched its first batch of internet satellites in 2019, while ViaSat’s satellites were already in deep space by 2006. 

Still, Starlink now provides 50-500 Mbps speeds compared to Viasat’s 12-300 Mbps. 

While Viasat’s $69.99-$299 plans are more cost-effective, Starlink offers uncapped data for $120-$500

These two providers have garnered a solid reputation. But which one comes out on top?

Is Starlink better than Viasat?

The superior ISP between Viasat vs. Starlink would have the potential to rival fiber internet on speed, latency, cost, and customer service. However, satellite internet lags behind fiber, judging by those key metrics. 

Starlink is arguably better than Viasat. Here’s a quick roundup of the factors to look at while choosing. 

Monthly cost$120 for Starlink Residential $69.99(for the first three months) then $99.99
One-time equipment cost$599 for a Residential kit. $2500 for other plans$299
Installation ease and costDIY. Fairly easy to install for Starlink Residential Free installation/DIY
DL/UL speed50-200/20-50 Mbps12-300/3 Mbps  
Latency20-40msUp to 800ms
Data capping/throttlingCurrently no data capsUp to 500 GB. Throttling down to 1-5 Mbps after monthly data limit
Customer supportTicketing system. No live support Currently, no data caps
Location coverageGlobalGlobal

In many aspects, Starlink is generally better, especially for home use. 

Speed-wise, Starlink performs better than Viasat. 

Viasat’s lowest tier, the Unlimited Bronze 12 Plan, offers 25 Mbps for up to 40 GB of data. It’s not lightning-fast, but it’ll serve most of your needs if you have a modest number of devices in the house. 

The Unlimited Gold 50 plan upgrades you to 75 Mbps for data up to 75 Mbps. Once your data needs exceed the plans above, You can upgrade to the top tier, Unlimited Platinum 150, which provides 300GB of data at 150 Mbps. 

Starlink speeds are more impressive, at least in theory. 

Starlink advertises peak speeds of up to 250 Mbps for its Residential and RV plans. The upload speeds can go up to 40 Mbps from the advertised range of 20-50. 

Is Starlink Better Than Viasat For Small Businesses?

Technician checking Starlink connection

Technician checking Starlink connection.

Ideally, any business would want affordable, high-speed, low-latency internet. However, satellite internet marginally satisfies those conditions. 

Running a small business needs you to keep operational costs low. 

This is where Viasat outshines Starlink. 

Although Viasat’s speeds are lower than Starlink’s, they are good enough to sustain a small business whose primary needs don’t depend on huge chunks of data. 

However, let’s look at other costs you may incur if you choose Viasat as the ideal ISP for your small business. 

Installation fee$99.99(or free for some locations)$300 for Viasat Business
Equipment fee$14.99 monthly lease or $299.99 for one-time purchase
RelocationOptional only once a year, $200
Cancelation of service$15 for every remaining month of a 24-month contract
Returned equipment charge$150 for unreturned dish, $150 for unreturned modem
Price hikeAfter three months, if you’re not under contract. After 24 months, if you’re locked in a contract.

Adding up all the hidden costs and others you incur for Viasat’s priority services might be too much for a small business. 

Starlink’s no-frills pricing model makes it better for a small business in the long run. 

Is Starlink Better than Viasat for Home Use?

A family uses the internet on multiple devices 

A family uses the internet on multiple devices. 

Day-to-day internet usage has become a necessity rather than a luxury. The ideal internet provider between Starlink and Viasat must always be reliable on multiple devices. 

Starlink Internet is better than Viasat for home use. 

Starlink has low latency and better upload speeds in uncongested locations. Furthermore, the Starlink RV plan is excellent for a family that likes to travel and camp outdoors in rural areas

Let’s break it down. 

Starlink’s download speeds(50-200 Mbps) can support seamless video streaming. 

A modest-sized household with multiple devices can have good internet speeds on all devices. 

Furthermore, you can still stream HD content without a heavy drop in speed. Starlink’s speeds support adding a different router if you want to create a mesh network to cover a large home and its dead zones. 

However, that’s not to say Viasat can’t support content streaming at home. 

Viasat’s 12-300 Mbps download speeds are decent for home use. Since both providers are preferable in rural areas, they are suitable for residential use. 

Starlink beats Viasat as a better option for home use since it has less latency and supports activities such as online gaming. 

Sure, online gaming works with modest speeds. However, Viasat’s 3 Mbps upload speed and 800 ms latency make it less desirable for in-home online gaming. 

Is Viasat Better Than Starlink For Remote Work?

A rural area with no internal coverage 

A rural area with no internal coverage 

Starlink is better than Viasat for remote work. 

Here’s why.

Viasat relies on its four satellites 22,000 miles above Earth for consistent connections. On the other hand, Starlink has its sights set on having more than 30,000 satellites in space. Currently, 5000 of Starlink’s satellites are in orbit. 

Furthermore, Starlink’s satellites are closer to Earth, reducing the time it takes for signals to reach the receiver devices(dishy). 

Traveling is an optional yet vital part of remote work. 

Starlink’s RV plan lets you move with your dish to various areas. Furthermore, you can upgrade the dish to a more effective Flat, High-Performance dish.

 Starlink has not limited how many times you can move with your equipment. Viasat only allows you to move once yearly with your equipment. Moreover, there is a $200 relocation fee. 

Starlink Vs. Viasat Security Features

Viasat is relatively safer than Starlink. 

Viasat’s Shield and Shield Premium are exclusive add-ons that protect your connection from external online attacks.

 They offer constant monitoring, pausing, resuming access, and blocking suspicious activity. 

While it’s a good add-on for home users and businesses, it attracts an $8.99 cost on top of Viasat’s other costs. Call it the cost of convenience. 

Starlink doesn’t exactly come with security features. However, it comes with CGNAT, which limits exterior traffic. You can still get extra security, such as a VPN, to cover your Starlink connection. 

Starlink Vs. Viasat Customer Support

Viasat performs better than Starlink in customer support. 

However, you can only get the best customer support if you subscribe to a premium Viasat customer care service. 

The Viasat EasyCare service upgrades you to getting free service calls where you can get technical assistance from real technicians from Viasat. 

The EasyCare package reduces your dish relocation charges to $95 from $200, making all service calls free from $95. It places you at a higher priority with customer service. 

On the other hand, Starlink uses a ticketing service for customer support. Although the system works, it is ineffective if you need urgent support. 

Starlink says your query could take up to 72 hours to be addressed. Also, you cannot speak to human customer support. 

Is Starlink More Reliable Than Viasat?

As it stands, Starlink is more reliable than Viasat, judging by technical parameters. 

Starlink has more satellites than Viasat (4,487 vs. 4). Starlink’s satellites are also closer to Earth than Viasat’s. 

That means Starlink can potentially connect faster to its satellites than Viasat and can maintain uptime longer. 

However, Viasat is more reliable in customer support and premium security features. 


As major satellite internet providers, Viasat and Starlink are at the forefront of changing internet coverage for many rural dwellers. 

However, Starlink’s progress has been tremendous so far. It is on course to increase satellite numbers to 40000. 

Also, Starlink is improving its satellites by launching anti-reflective satellites and upgrading to laser-enabled satellites. 

All the upgrades and improvements will elevate them to a top internet service provider in a short time.