Satellite internet speeds: 12 Mbps
A perfect satellite internet speed for the basics, 12 Mbps connects you in a way dial-up can’t.
How fast is 12 Mbps internet service?
Dial-up, an option still available in many rural communities, runs at <1 Mbps. A much faster 12 Mbps internet speed gives you enough bandwidth to support more activities, plus multiple people and devices.
What does 12 Mbps mean?
The abbreviation “Mbps” stands for “megabits per second,” and it defines how much data a given internet connection can send or receive every second.
With 12 Mbps, you finally have enough bandwidth to do the basic online tasks that most people take for granted: send and receive email, pay bills, deposit checks, and shop online.
Dial-up supports just one hardwired connection to a single computer. Satellite internet at 12 Mbps or higher supports multiple devices on a shared wireless network.
Light social media
Another common online activity, social media needs a little extra bandwidth to load photos and video in your feed. Use it sparingly to keep your speeds up through the month.
When you see a 12 Mbps plan advertised, the 12 almost always refers to the download speed. Every internet service has an upload speed too, but you tend to hear more about the download speeds because most internet activities require you to receive more data than you send.
Example: when you do a Google search, you download text and graphics on every page you click to, but you type in (upload) your search term only.
Is 12 Mbps a good download speed?
The FCC considers advanced, broadband, or high-speed internet any download speed at 25 Mbps or higher, which puts 12 Mbps under that range.
That said, 12 Mbps still counts as a good internet speed for Wi-Fi and daily tasks that you just can’t get done if you depend on dial-up as your internet service provider. And it’s not just in comparison to dial-up—even cable providers commonly offer 12 Mbps plans to urban homes.
Tip > If your speed seems slow for the plan you purchased, run this speed test. Call your provider to troubleshoot if your actual speeds run slower than you expected.
Is 12 Mbps a good upload speed?
The FCC considers 3 Mbps the starting upload speed for an advanced internet connection speed.
Upload speed ranges vary depending on the internet technology. Most satellite internet upload speeds clock in at 3 Mbps, offering great speeds for the activities typical to a 12 Mbps plan.
Tip > Sometimes, the upload speed appears after a slash in the advertised speed (e.g. 12/3 Mbps). If you don’t see an upload speed, check the fine print or call the provider.
Is 12 Mbps fast enough for streaming?
Yes! Keep these tips in mind to save data.
What to stream with 12 Mbps. Stream music and podcasts, the videos on your social media feeds, and occasional longer videos. Watching movies and TV on actual streaming services will use too much data, so you may want to subscribe to a separate satellite TV service.
Streaming quality. Music and podcasts should come through with clean audio, as should video at a resolution of 360p. You can try streaming at higher resolutions, but doing so will use your data faster.
Data considerations. Keep your audio and video streaming on the light side with a 12 Mbps plan. Too much streaming might put you over your priority data threshold too quickly, slowing your speeds for the rest of the month.
Tip > When possible, download music or video beforehand and play it from a local device. This tactic saves data and prevents latency (lag).
|Download speed||Recommended activities||Connected devices||Streaming resolution|
|12 Mbps||Email, banking, shopping, Wi-Fi, and light social media||1–2||360p|
|25 Mbps||Social media, music streaming, and occasional video streaming or video calls||1–3||480p|
|30 Mbps||Working from home, light HD video streaming, and light video calling||1–4||720p|
|50 Mbps||HD video streaming, video conferencing, and light mobile gaming||1–4||720p|
|100 Mbps||Household tasks, work, and entertainment on multiple devices||1–5+||1080p|
VoIP home phone
The internet-based home phone service Viasat Voice offers crackle-free voice quality and unlimited calling. Plus, service never counts towards your internet data use.
The Viasat Browser comes with presets and ad blockers to lower your data use and protect your privacy. Plus, load your content at faster speeds than other browsers.
The security add-on Viasat Shield Premium comes with antivirus and malware protection, for your Wi-Fi modem and every device connected to it.