Viasat and HughesNet are the best satellite internet providers in the United States. However, satellite internet isn’t the ideal option for gaming, but when other connectivity options are unavailable, you can still game with the best satellite internet for gamers.
When gaming, you require fast internet speeds and a reliable connection. It will help to consider the bandwidth and the latency a provider offers when looking for the best gaming option.
Moreover, most satellite internet providers impose soft data caps, which you’ll need to consider. In other words, a soft cap means you won’t get charged for overutilization, but your provider will reduce your bandwidth once you attain your monthly limit.
Besides, your speed may get capped to as little as 1 Mbps, way less than the 25 Mbps broadband internet threshold. Thus, the best satellite internet for gaming should have more bandwidth, lower latency, and no data caps.
Notably, your specific needs depend on what type of gaming you plan to do. Alternatively, you can use the cheap internet services for home if satellite internet connectivity is unavailable in your home. A satellite internet connection is a suitable option in rural areas where broadband internet is out of reach.
Method To Get Better Satellite Internet for Gamers
The ideal speed recommended for seamless online gaming ranges from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps or more if possible. However, the gaming bandwidth recommended by the FCC is 4 Mbps minimum which is entirely possible to get from the satellite internet providers in the US like HughesNet and Viasat. These internet providers deliver up to 100 Mbps of bandwidth.
Perhaps, when gaming on a satellite internet connection, you need to avoid building up any extra lag. Also, you’ll want to maintain as much bandwidth as possible, more so if your internet service has relatively low bandwidth or you’re almost hitting your data cap.
However, you can’t physically move the satellite closer, but you can observe the following other steps.
- Change to a wired internet connection instead of using Wi-Fi
- Utilize a wired mouse and keyboard
- Stop all background downloads, such as automatic system updates
- Exit all other programs you are not using, especially internet browsers and streaming apps
- Restart your router often, especially when you observe extra latency
Most importantly, keenly lookout for data caps, most of which are between 10 and 100 GB. Some games typically use around 100 MB per hour of online data, and some consume even less. Therefore, you shouldn’t go beyond the cap from gaming alone at such rates.
On the other hand, Netflix consumes up to 3 GB per hour per device in HD streaming quality. Thus, you can easily hit the limit, exposing yourself to gaming at capped speed.
HughesNet provides plans with data caps as high as 75 GB, while on the other hand, Viasat’s plans go up to 150 GB. Interestingly, you can take advantage of HughesNet’s Bonus Zone.
This offer gives you 50 GB of extra data during off-peak hours. Even if you exceed your standard data cap, you will get full speeds from 2 to 8 a.m. in your time zone. If you’re a late-night gamer, the Bonus Zone is a cheaper option than upgrading to a plan with a higher data cap.
Best Satellite Internet Providers For Gamers
If you reside in a remote rural area, then satellite internet is often the only option to get connected. However, satellite internet is currently one of the available internet options in rural areas of all 50 states. Although it doesn’t match the internet speed delivered by fiber or cable connections, it can get used for light gaming purposes in remote areas.
HughesNet and Viasat represent two of America’s best and widely accessible internet providers that provide optimal speeds for particular types of gaming. Again, while it’s not the cheapest compared to cable or fiber internet, the following are the best satellite providers available in the US.
Viasat Internet, previously known as Exede, offers high-speed satellite internet service, although the data has to travel long distances. Consequently, this type of internet connection isn’t as fast or reliable as fiber optic or cable internet. Fortunately, the significant advantage of satellite-based internet is its wide availability, particularly in rural areas. Viasat’s internet service spreads to all 50 states and serves 98% of the US population.
However, Viasat prices start at $39.99 and go up to $149.99. Thus, Viasat tends to be a relatively cheap option at the lower tier, but plans with faster download speeds and higher bandwidth are the most expensive. Besides, you can select from plans with download speeds starting from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps and a data cap that starts from 40 GB to 150 GB. Notably, all plans feature 3 Mbps upload speeds, plus a 24-month contract.
Another perk for enrolling with Viasat is the benefit of the Free Zone times. Viasat’s plans feature time slots that enable customers to utilize data without counting towards their monthly limit. However, if you’re ready to watch a movie, you can download it during the Free Zone time, and it won’t affect your data usage.
Viasat needs specific equipment, including a satellite dish and modem to connect your home. You can either rent the dish monthly for $12.99 or enter into a lifetime lease for $299.
Summary of Viasat’s Internet Plans and Pricing
|Internet Plan||Monthly Cost||Download Speed||Data Cap||Upload Speed|
|Unlimited Basic 12||Starting at $39.99||Up to 12 Mbps||15GB||Up to 3 Mbps|
|Unlimited Bronze 12||Starting at $64.99||Up to 12 Mbps||35GB||Up to 3 Mbps|
|Unlimited Silver 25||Starting at $69.99||Up to 25 Mbps||60GB||Up to 3 Mbps|
|Unlimited Gold 50||Starting at $99.99||Up to 50 Mbps||100GB||Up to 3 Mbps|
|Unlimited Platinum 100||Starting at $149.99||Up to 100 Mbps||150GB||Up to 3 Mbps|
Viasat’s Best Plan For Gaming
Most importantly, the Unlimited Platinum 100 plan is the highest tier that Viasat provides. However, it features 150 GB of data and download speeds of 100 Mbps at $149.99 per month. This plan can support up to 5 medium and large devices, making it a good fit for gaming in larger households. Besides, it’s also the best plan if you decide to stream videos regularly or engage in other data-hungry activities.
HughesNet is the leading satellite internet provider in the United States in terms of coverage. Besides, it serves 1.5 million customers across North and South America, especially in areas without other options for internet service. HughesNet is an option for internet users looking for simple plans and comfortable with lower speeds.
On the other hand, if you depend on unlimited prepaid internet for home, for activities like playing games, streaming movies, or working from home, HughesNet may not meet your needs.
Interestingly, this Company also offers a Bonus Zone from 2 am to 8 am with access to up to 50 GB per month of additional data. You can download or upload large files and movies and do system updates during this time. HughesNet internet service features download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps for all plans. Besides, customers can buy plans ranging from 15 GB to 100 GB per month.
Moreover, HughesNet recommends the 15 GB plan for activities such as checking email and browsing the web. The 100 GB plan is ideal for households with multiple streaming and gaming devices. Hughesnet prices start from $64.99 to $149.99 based on the plan. Plus, all plans feature a standard 24 months contract.
Summary of HughesNet Internet Plans and Pricing
|Internet Plan||Monthly Cost||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Data Cap|
|15 GB||Starting at $64.99||25 Mbps||3 Mbps||10 GB|
|30 GB||Starting at $74.99||25 Mbps||3 Mbps||20 GB|
|45 GB||Starting at $109.99||25 Mbps||3 Mbps||30 GB|
|75 GB||Starting at 159.99||25 Mbps||3 Mbps||40 GB|
|100 GB||Starting at $149.99||25 Mbps||3 Mbps||50 GB|
HughesNet Best Plan For Gaming
The 100GB plan is the highest amount of data that HughesNet provides. However, it’s a perfect fit for large households having multiple devices that require to be connected to the internet. This ideal internet plan for gaming goes $149.99.
Additionally, HughesNet’s plans provide the same speeds, up to 25 Mbps. Regardless of your plan, you receive 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds. HughesNet 100 GB plan offers enough data for gamers to watch 150 hours of Netflix in standard definition or about 50 hours in high definition.
The best satellite internet for gaming depends on the type of game you want to play and your internet speed. However, not all games will go through on a satellite connection. If you understand your speed limits, you can very seamlessly enjoy gaming using a satellite connection.
Satellite internet service is slower than other internet connection types, but it can be the best internet option for gaming for many consumers, particularly those living in rural areas.