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Satellite Internet vs. Cable Internet Download Speeds

A woman using satellite Internet on her laptop.

In a time where many Americans find themselves working from home, a fast and reliable internet connection is more important than ever. As technology continues to improve, the speed differences between satellite internet vs cable internet become more narrow.

Satellite Internet is a great choice for Internet services for many markets throughout America. There are many advantages to choosing satellite Internet with its highlight being a viable option for fast Internet connectivity regardless of your home’s location. Satellite ISPs can deliver top download speeds that can reach up to 100 Mbps, although average download speeds fall more within the range of 25 Mbps to 35 Mbps. Satellite Internet connections may experience more lagging as the way satellite ISPs provide their connections requires a bit of travel. Subscribers send an Internet signal from their computer to its modem and from there it is sent to its modem’s antenna. Once it arrives at the antenna, the signal is shot into space onto a satellite where it is then shot back down to Earth to the provider’s antenna. From there, the signal is shot back into space, transmitted from the satellite back down to your antenna, received by the modem, and then sent to your computer. It can be easy to see how due to this distance, latency levels are up, but again, a great advantage this method provides is its ability to send Internet signals in places other connections, such as cable, simply do not service.

Cable Internet speeds range heavily depending on your Internet service provider (ISP). Its top download speeds can reach up to 900 Mbps to 1000 Mbps, but most cable Internet customers can expect download speed performances of 25 Mbps to 200 Mbps. Cable Internet also provides subscribers with a connection type that is low in latency a great for activities such as gaming, streaming, and uploading content. This is due to cable’s ability to directly connect to homes via networks of millions of miles of underground cables that run throughout the nation.

Satellite Internet vs. Cable Internet- Why Location Matters

Comparing speeds in the debate of satellite Internet vs. cable Internet is important, however, equally important is their availability. Cable Internet is available to most of the country, but there are still thousands and thousands of underserved markets without access to the speeds cable could provide. Remember, for a home to connect, it must be connected to a network cable. This means that if ISPs do not have cables running to your home, such as the case for many homes within rural markets, you will not have access. In the most rural areas, cable internet systems may also lack investment in modern technology, so you could still be getting substandard speeds that make this a difficult choice.


On the other hand, satellite Internet is accessible nationwide so long as your home is capable of receiving a proper line of sight to exchange Internet signals. This means that homes that lack access to the Internet by other means can still stay connected through satellite providers. The speeds of cable Internet will typically surpass those of satellite providers, but if you are in a market without proper access to a wired connection, satellite Internet is a viable option for your home.

HughesNet and Viasat Are Great Satellite Internet Providers

When choosing a satellite Internet provider, it’s important to know your options and with both HughesNet and Viasat, you are in great hands.

Each provider is capable of supporting the same Internet functions we all know and love with a variety of packages to fit your service and budgetary needs. Both providers also offer built-in WiFi options, so you can easily connect all of your home’s devices without the hassle of cords. 

Take a look below at both HughesNet and Viasat’s highlights as well as their satellite Internet packages:

HughesNet:

  • All plans have unlimited data with no hard data limits. 
  • HughesNet offers a “Bonus Zone” for customers to get an extra 50 GB of data per month between the hours of 2 AM and 8 AM. 
  • Customers who stream will enjoy SmartTechnologies. HughesNet will automatically compress and optimize your content so you use less data every month. 
Plan Peak Download SpeedsMonthly PriceConnection Type Type of User # of DevicesMonthly Data 
HughesNet 1025 Mbps*Prices begin at $49.99 depending on areaSatelliteLight Internet users1-310 GB 
HughesNet 20 25 Mbps*Prices begin at $59.99 depending on areaSatelliteLight Internet users3-520 GB
HughesNet 3025 Mbps*Prices begin at $89.99 depending on areaSatelliteLight to Moderate users with multiple devices5-630 GB
HughesNet 50 25 Mbps*Prices begin at $139.99 depending on areaSatelliteModerate users with multiple devices 7-850 GB
*Prices accurate as of 7/29/2020

Viasat:

  • All plans come with a two-year price lock, so your rate is guaranteed for two years.
  • Viasat offers data service plans with no monthly data allowance, so you can do all of your favorite things without getting charged more or cut off. 
  • Customers can gain access to the fastest satellite Internet speeds available with plans ranging from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps. 
Plan Peak Download SpeedsMonthly PriceConnection Type Type of User # of PeopleMonthly Data 
Unlimited Basic 1212 Mbps$40.00SatelliteLight Internet users1-215 GB
Unlimited Bronze 1212 Mbps*Starts at $65.00/mo. depending on locationSatelliteLight Internet users1-235-40 GB/mo. depending on location
Unlimited Silver 1212 Mbps$100.00SatelliteLight Internet users1-345 GB
Unlimited Gold 1212 Mbps$200.00SatelliteLight Internet users1-465 GB 
Unlimited Silver 2525 Mbps$100.00SatelliteModerate users with multiple devices1-360 GB
Unlimited Gold 3030 Mbps$120.00SatelliteModerate users with multiple devices1-4100 GB
Unlimited Gold 5050 Mbps$100.00SatelliteModerate uses with multiple devices1-4100 GB
Unlimited Platinum 100100 Mbps$150.00SatelliteModerate to heavy users with a variety of devices1-5+150 GB 
*Prices accurate as of 7/29/2020

Bundling Satellite Internet With DISH is Simple

DISH Network has some of the best entertainment packages available and can be bundled with HughesNet or Viasat to help you save. The team at GoDish helps keep homes connected to reliable Internet services and find the best satellite television package that is right for their needs. Contact us today and get the best that satellite Internet and television has to offer.

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