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12 mbps

Satellite internet speeds: 12 Mbps

A perfect satellite internet speed for the basics, 12 Mbps connects you in a way dial-up can’t.

Is 12 Mbps fast?

Recommended activities for a 12 Mbps connection

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.

“Housekeeping” tasks

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.

Wi-Fi networking

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.

Don’t forget about upload speeds

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).

More satellite internet speeds

Compare 12 Mbps to faster internet speeds available from a satellite internet connection.

Download speedRecommended activitiesConnected devicesStreaming resolution
12 MbpsEmail, banking, shopping, Wi-Fi, and light social media1–2360p
25 MbpsSocial media, music streaming, and occasional video streaming or video calls1–3480p
30 MbpsWorking from home, light HD video streaming, and light video calling1–4720p
50 MbpsHD video streaming, video conferencing, and light mobile gaming1–4720p
100 MbpsHousehold tasks, work, and entertainment on multiple devices1–5+1080p

Is a 12 Mbps internet speed right for you?

Check prices and availability of 12 Mbps plans near you. Plus, consider rounding out your plan with extra satellite services, like the ones below.

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.

Data-saving browser

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.

Security software

The security add-on Viasat Shield Premium comes with antivirus and malware protection, for your Wi-Fi modem and every device connected to it.

*Viasat Shield application is available for iPhone with iOS v9.0 or higher and for Android with v4.1 or higher. Viasat Shield application is not supported on tablets. Your monthly service fee for Viasat Shield Premium is billed by and paid to Viasat. After you activate Viasat Shield Premium, it may take up to 40-hours for the premium features to be activated on your account. Optional antivirus service is provided by Bitdefender SRL and is subject to Bitdefender SRL’s license agreement, privacy policy and terms of use.

One-time standard installation fee may be charged at the time of the sale. Minimum 24-month service term. Equipment lease fee is $14.99/mo. Taxes apply. Speeds and streaming video quality are “up to,” are not guaranteed, and will vary. Service not available in all areas. Offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Viasat and the Viasat logo are trademarks of Viasat, Inc.

1The price lock guarantee applies only to the standard monthly internet service fee and the monthly equipment lease fee (in each case, before any promotional discounts) and excludes all taxes and surcharges.

2Cancellation of EasyCare within 90 days after purchase may result in charges for EasyCare services previously received. Re-enrollment in EasyCare may be restricted for up to 180 days after cancellation. EasyCare not available in Alaska or Hawaii.

3Depending on the specific unlimited data service plan available at your location, after you use the following amount of High-Speed Data, you will continue to receive unlimited data (referred to as “Standard Data”); however, Viasat may prioritize Standard Data behind other customers during network congestion, which will result in slower speeds: Basic 12 (15 GB); Bronze 12 (35 GB, 40 GB or 80 GB); Silver 12 (45 GB); Gold 12 (65 GB); Bronze 25 (35 GB); Silver 25 (60 GB, 100 GB or 120 GB); Gold 30 (100 GB or 200 GB); Gold 50 (100 GB or 200 GB), Platinum 30 (150 GB ), Platinum 50 (150 GB) and Platinum 100 (150 GB or 300 GB). Streaming video quality is “up to,” will vary and is not guaranteed. is an authorized retailer of Viasat. Viasat logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and/or service marks of Viasat. and/or its affiliate(s). The Viasat trademarks, registered trademarks and/or service marks are used under license of Viasat and/or its affiliate(s). 5202 W. Douglas Corrigan Way, Ste 300, Salt Lake City, UT 84116.

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