by Marketing Agila

The best deals on satellite internet.

And DSL Internet For Rural Areas

The best rural internet providers of 2021


Actual speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. *Viasat prices listed are for the first three months only; after the introductory period, prices raise to $50–$200/mo.

Viasat (formerly Exede) and HughesNet deliver satellite internet with reasonable broadband speeds to most small towns and rural areas in the US. Although both providers have data restrictions, they do have the advantage of being available in areas where cable, fiber, and even phone lines don’t reach.

Viasat offers the fastest satellite internet speeds and the most generous data allowances. If your household streams video or has multiple devices, we recommend Viasat’s Unlimited Platinum 100 plan. Priced at $150 per month (and then $200 after the introductory period), this plan includes 300 gigabytes (GB) of priority data per month, and then unlimited data thereafter at reduced speeds.

Looking for reliable satellite internet on a budget?

If you’ve been looking for a rural internet provider, you might think it’s not possible to find a reliable connection that can fit into your budget. But there is a solution for you.

While both Viasat and Hughesnet offer great plans, most of our price conscious shoppers choose Hughesnet. What should you expect from them at an entry level price?

All of Hughesnet plans have the same download bandwidth speed of 25 Mbps. So the only question you need to ask yourself when you choose a plan is ‘How much data do I need?

For $60 per month you get the 25 Mbps with a data cap of 10 GB for the month and for just $10 more at $70 per month you can get the same speed and double the data cap up to 20 GB.

While Hughesnet is considered a reliable satellite internet provider and an affordable option, you might want more speed than they offer with no data caps.

Want high speed satellite internet with NO DATA CAPS?

Hughesnet is a great choice if you won’t need much data and if speed isn’t your highest priority when choosing satellite internet. But if you need high speed internet for work or some entertainment and if you don’t want to worry about a data cap then the solution is simple – Viasat.

Viasat offers satellite internet with bandwidth speeds up to 100 Mbps, which is four times the speed of Hughesnet. Plus none of their plans have a data cap – meaning you can stream entertainment to your heart’s desire, game or even stream content yourself.

What you need to keep in mind with Viasat is there is a higher price tag with the ‘no data cap’ feature on their plans and the higher speeds.

Their entry level plan starts at $40 for the first 3 months and then goes up to $70 per month, with a speed of 12 Mbps and like mentioned above – there is no data cap.

For the same price as the second tier Hughesnet plan at $70 per month, you can get the same speed as Hughesnet of 25 Mbps per month but with Viasat there is no data cap. If you decide you want to go with the higher speeds this starts at $100 for 50 Mbps.

One other aspect of Viasat to keep in mind, is that they will charge you in full upfront for their modem and you cannot pay this as you go. This means you will have to make a significant ‘down payment’ for equipment. With Hughesnet you have the option to pay this month as you go and in most cases,as long have you a good credit standing, you will not pay a ‘down payment’ with them to get started with their services.

Satellite Internet Plans, Pricing, Speeds & Data Caps

HughesNet Internet Plans

Plan Monthly Cost Connection Type Download Speed Upload Speed Data Cap Contract
10 GB Starting at $59.99 Satellite 25 Mbps 3 Mbps 10 GB 24 Months
20 GB Starting at $69.99 Satellite 25 Mbps 3 Mbps 20 GB 24 Months
30 GB Starting at $99.99 Satellite 25 Mbps 3 Mbps 30 GB 24 Months
40 GB N/A Satellite 25 Mbps 3 Mbps 40 GB 24 Months
50 GB Starting at $149.99 Satellite 25 Mbps 3 Mbps 50 GB 24 Months

Viasat Internet Plans

Plan Monthly Cost Connection Type Download Speed Upload Speed Data Cap Contract
Basic 12 Starting at $40 Satellite 12 Mbps 3 Mbps No Cap 24 Months
Unlimited Bronze 12 Starting at $50 Satellite 12 Mbps 3 Mbps No Cap 24 Months
Unlimited Silver 25 Starting at $70 Satellite 25 Mbps 3 Mbps 30 GB 24 Months
Unlimited Gold 50 Starting at $100 Satellite 50 Mbps 3 Mbps No Cap 24 Months
Unlimited Platinum 100 Starting at $150 Satellite 100 Mbps 3 Mbps No Cap 24 Months

While Viasat offers an introductory price that is much cheaper and higher bandwidth speeds, they do have additional equipment costs and installation fees that you may not want to pay.

Hughesnet offers plans without rate hikes, free installation and little to no additional equipment fees. But with them you do not have the higher bandwidth speeds offered with Viasat.

HughesNet Setup Fee: Currently FREE

***With HughesNet you pay a monthly fee for a satellite modem that is included in your monthly plan, which is necessary to access their internet connection

Viasat Setup Fee: $300

***With Viasat this is a fee for the satellite modem needed to access their internet connection

Let’s Check the Facts On Satellite Internet

You might be new to satellite internet or you might have heard a lot of discouraging feedback about this type of internet connection. We want to help you sort through the fiction and give you some facts, so you can have peace of mind and make a well informed decision.

Satellite internet can be cost effective : FACT

Actually in recents, with new technologies, satellite internet is more affordable than ever before. With our satellite internet providers you get an internet plan for under $65 per month with all equipment and installation included.

Satellite internet is not reliable : FICTION

Although there are situations where trees, mountains or extreme weather conditions can cause signal interference, in most cases satellite internet is very reliable not only within the USA but also across the globe.

Streaming Entertainment on demand is possible : FACT

With the right satellite internet plan, streaming entertainment is easy and enjoyable without lag or constant buffering. The only thing to keep in mind is the data cap for the plan you select. Whether you are watching live streaming content or entertainment on demand it is easier than ever.

Gaming is possible via satellite internet : FACT

This is a common misconception about satellite internet and the truth is that although the latency may not be blazing fast, in most cases gaming is still possible and a fun experience on a satellite connection.

Video conferencing will lag : FICTION

In most situations video conferencing will not lag via a satellite connection, unless you are experiencing weather signal interference because you don’t need more than 3.2Mbps even in large group calls that are 1080p. Below is a quick chart that explains the bandwidth needs for the most common video conferencing platforms

1:1 Calling-low resolution 1:1 Calling-HD video 720p
Zoom (Computer) 0.6 Mbps Up/0.6 Mbps Down 1.2 Mbps Up/1.2 Mbps Down
Zoom (on your mobile) 0.6 Mbps Up/0.6 Mbps Down 1.2 Mbps Up/1.2 Mbps Down
Microsoft Team 0.5 Mbps Up/0.5 Mbps Down 1.2 Mbps Up/1.2 Mbps Down
Google Hangouts Meet 0.3 Mbps Up/0.3 Mbps Down 3.2 Mbps Up/2.6 Mbps Down
Skype 0.4 Mbps Up/0.4 Mbps Down 1.5 Mbps Up/1.5 Mbps Down
Whatsapp 0.06 Mbps

All Bandwidth speeds at Mbps

Group-lowest Group-HD video 720p Group-HD video 1080p
Zoom (Computer) 0.6 Mbps Up/0.6 Mbps Down 1.2 Mbps Up/1.2 Mbps Down 2.5 Mbps Up/3 Mbps Down
Zoom (on your mobile) 0.6 Mbps Up/0.6 Mbps Down 1.2 Mbps Up/1.2 Mbps Down
Microsoft Team 0.5 Mbps Up/0.5 Mbps Down 1.2 Mbps Up/1.2 Mbps Down
Google Hangouts Meet 0.3 Mbps Up/0.3 Mbps Down 3.2 Mbps Up/2.6 Mbps Down 3.2 Mbps Up/3.2 Mbps Down
Skype 0.4 Mbps Up/0.4 Mbps Down 1.5 Mbps Up/1.5 Mbps Down 4 Mbps Up/0.5 Mbps Down(5+)

All Bandwidth speeds at Mbps

I can’t run my home business on satellite internet : FICTION
With the improved bandwidth speeds (especially upload speeds) you can now easily and reliably run a home business in a rural area with satellite internet. As mentioned above, satellite internet is very capable for video conferencing and provides the type of connectivity you need to work from your ranch, beach house, farm etc

FAQs about Satellite Internet

What is a data cap?

Also known as a bandwidth cap, a data cap is a limit on the amount of data transferred over a specific period of time (usually one month). While most home internet plans for metro areas don’t have data caps, satellite internet plans do have these caps and overage fees when you exceed them.

Even if there is a data cap, in some cases providers will not charge you but instead slow down and throttle your speed once you exceed the data limit on your plan.

What is latency?

Latency is the time it takes for a signal to travel to its end point and return. Your computer tests this by sending a “ping” of information to a remote server and then measures the amount of time it takes for the signal to return.

Every time you search for something on Google, check social media or any other type of ‘request’, it sends a signal to the server to gather this information and bring it back. This is measured in milliseconds, because it happens so quickly and therefore latency is measured in milliseconds.

What is satellite modem leasing?

While Hughesnet and Viasat are regarded as the nation’s premier satellite internet providers for rural areas, Earthlink provides DSL connection for many rural areas and covers 70% of all zip codes across the country. Earthlink is not a satellite internet provider, but with its growing network footprint it is becoming a more commonly accepted option outside of metropolitan areas.

Internet Options for Rural Areas

🗸 Satellite
🗸 Cable

Satellite is the most common solution for connecting to the internet in rural areas and has become more affordable in recent years. Now you can even find promotions under $50 per month with free installation and no additional set up fees.

But this isn’t the only option available across the country for those who live outside of metro areas. Cable and DSL internet options are also available across the Northeast, South, Midwest and West with strong reliability at very affordable price points. In recent years, DSL infrastructure has grown far beyond city limits and has proven to be a reliable and affordable internet option for many rural families.

What’s better for you? Satellite or DSL

Let’s break this down into a few key priority questions you will face as you make a well informed decision for your office or home internet:

Which options are available in my area?

How reliable are these internet options?

What speeds should I expect?

How much will this cost?

Question 1: Which options are available in my area?

Although you might assume your only option is satellite internet, the reality is that with growing infrastructures nationwide there may be a new service provider in your area that can provide you a fast and reliable connection at an affordable price. Assuming that satellite internet is your only option might be a costly decision with higher monthly rates and slower speeds than you want.

If DSL internet is not available in your area, then your only option may very well be satellite internet

Question 2: How reliable are these options?

The truth is that both satellite and DSL connections can provide strong reliable connections. And with each of these options there are PROs and CONs.

Day to day reliable internet connection If the physical line is damaged or taken out due to storm surge you will lose connection.
Overall very reliable but extreme situations may affect your connection

With DSL, you can expect a relatively reliable internet connection. But if the physical line is damaged or taken out due to a storm you will lose internet access. From day to day you can expect a more stable connection, but in extreme situations you could lose connectivity all together.

Satellite PROs CONs
Very reliable if you are not blocked by trees,mountains or extreme weather conditions If the signal is blocked causing interference due to your physical location, this may never improve.
Overall can be just as reliable as DSL, but signal interference can sometimes be out of your control

With Satellite, you will not run into signal interference from average storms or physical line damage, but you may experience reliability dependent on your location. This happens when trees, mountains, sun spots or even extreme weather (temporarily) can block satellite signal to your location.

Question 3: What speed should I expect?

So now you’ve already gone through questions 1 and 2 to understand what options are available and how reliable those connections would be – next up you want to understand the speeds you should expect in everyday use.

DSL will undoubtedly provide a faster speed and better latency when you compare it to satellite internet.

DSL Internet
Satellite Internet

When we compare the three best nationwide internet providers for rural areas:

Earthlink with it’s vast nationwide footprint that can reach many rural communities

Hughesnet with it’s affordable satellite plans

Viasat with it’s high speed satellite plans

We find that all providers offer speeds and prices that are very comparable for many lifestyles and budgets. Each of these ISPs has a unique value that you can take advantage based on your physical location and your daily usage needs.

Question 4: How much will this cost?

As we already mentioned, not checking your options can lead you to choose a plan that’s more expensive than you should be paying and that’s not truly meeting your needs.

Satellite is usually the first assumption for families and businesses in rural areas. But how much will that truly cost you and what are you getting in exchange for that monthly rate

DSL starts as low as $50 from some of that nation’s top providers and with Earthlink you find no hidden fees or rate hikes after an introductory period.

Satellite internet starts as low as $50 a month as well, but that may be a promotional offer for the first few months with Viasat. Hughesnet on the other hand starts at $60 per month without a rate hike.

Another key aspect of these types of internet plans for rural areas are data caps. If you are new to rural internet plans this is something you will want to really consider before you make a decision.

You might be asking ‘What is a data cap?’. This is when an internet provider will slow your speeds or may even charge overages if you use too much internet bandwidth.

Typically speaking, you will not see overage charges with DSL plans but satellite internet plans will have data caps depending on the plan you select. This is important to keep in mind if on a daily basis you are streaming entertainment, downloading large files or if you are gaming.

Choosing the right satellite internet plan for your budget and lifestyle

We offer satellite internet and DSL internet for rural areas from the nation’s leading providers. These plans start as low as $40 per month and go over $100.

Our focus is to help you find the best plan for your budget and lifestyle so that you can experience the bandwidth speeds and avoid overage fees

Step 1 to Find The Right Satellite Internet Plan

The first step is to count how many users will be sharing the same internet plan. If one of those users is a heavy user (IE – gamer, digital marketer, online education), than make sure to keep that in mind as you estimate the bandwidth usage.

Here’s a brief list of activities you can look at as you consider the normal daily usage of each user connected to you internet.

For example, we consider basic usage speeds between 5 to 12 Mbps. This speed can easily handle:

  • Checking email
  • Streaming music on one device
  • Searching on Google


These types of plans start at $60 per month with a reliable connection for rural areas.

After basic usage, we have a category for advanced usage which are speeds up to 25 Mbps These speeds can easily handle:

  • Streaming video on one device
  • Video calling with Skype or FaceTime
  • Online gaming for one player

These types of plans can also be as low as $60, but depending on how much data you need you might need to spend up to $80 per month to have a plan without data caps.

But if you have multiple devices all streaming videos or gaming at the same time this may cause a bottleneck in your network and this may not be enough bandwidth for you.

Then we have high-speed usage which are satellite internet speeds from 50 to +100 Mbps. These speeds can easily handle

  • Streaming HD video on a several devices
  • Multiplayer online gaming
  • Downloading large files
  • Stream video in UHD on multiple screens
  • Download multiple files quickly

Step 2

Consider how many devices in total will be using the same internet connection, whether via wi-fi or ethernet connection. What devices do you need to consider as you make this list:

+ Smart appliances like an Amazon Echo or Nest thermostat
+ Smart TVs, streaming devices or DVRs that will require internet usage
+ Security Systems for example ADT, Vivint, Ring etc
+ Computers, laptops and tablets
+ Cell phones
+ Gaming consoles

After you have considered how many devices will be connected to the internet, than you want a clear idea of the usage for all these connected devices.

Step 3

Here is a good list of online activities that will help you understand how much bandwidth you need for each activity and possibly for each user accessing the same connection:

User Activity
Recommended Bandwidth

A couple of special notes to keep in mind are:

1. If you have several users that will be gaming or streaming video at the same time you will need a higher bandwidth, even if you don’t many devices connected

2. If you are on a budget, remember you can always disconnect devices that are not essential when not in use. This will help you save on bandwidth and overall costs.

After you take the time to count total users, list devices and consider usage with this chart the you can easily identify the total bandwidth you need. At SmartConnect we always recommend plans and solutions that will help you with your budget and lifestyle.

Each one of our representatives is trained and focused on asking you questions, just like these. Our priority is to help you identify an internet plan that meets your needs and is affordable for your family budget.

Whether you are a casual internet browser, binge TV show streamer, hardcore gamer or you run a home office – we are confident we can help you find the right internet plan at the right price.

Our most affordable home internet plans start at $30 per month for rural areas and $40 for metro areas. In less than 10 minutes on a phone call with one of our representatives we can help you identify if you could be saving hundreds of dollars every year on your monthly plan. Our team is available from 9am to 9pm EST to answer your questions and help you find the right monthly plan for your budget and lifestyle.


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