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Internet speeds for streaming

How many Mbps you need, how much data you'll use, and how to balance satellite internet streaming with other needs.

The best internet speed for streaming

25 Mbps or higher

The best internet speed for streaming movies, TV, and music starts at 25 Mbps. With a good 25 Mbps of download speed, you’ll have enough bandwidth to stream clear audio and standard or even HD video.

Keep in mind, picture and sound quality often depend on what else is happening on your network at the time. Also, because streaming media uses more data than checking email or social media, you may want faster speeds and a higher priority data threshold for streaming on satellite internet more comfortably.

Check out our recommended speed chart for a better idea of how to balance satellite internet speeds for streaming with your other needs.

Satellite internet for streaming in rural America

With satellite internet, you can live almost anywhere you please in the continental United States without having to stream video on super slow internet—or skip streaming altogether.

Frequently asked questions

About satellite internet and Viasat streaming internet

How much data does streaming music use?

Your data use for streaming music depends mostly on sound quality. The higher the bit rate (kilobits per second or kbps), the clearer the sound, but the more data it takes to listen. Below are a few common bit rates used by streaming services, along with the approximate data each one uses per hour:

Sound qualityBit rateData used per hour
Low96 kbps43 MB
Normal160 kbps72 MB
High320 kbps115 MB

Most streaming services automatically optimize your bitrate to give you the best sound possible without running into buffering. But if you want to keep your data usage low as a rule, you can easily change the quality setting.

Note: Your data use also depends on which streaming service you use, since each streaming service may use different compression techniques and file types. If you aren’t loyal to a specific platform, you may want to experiment by tracking usage on your Viasat app with each platform.

How much data does streaming TV use?

Streaming TV, movies, and other videos uses different amounts of data depending on the picture quality. The higher the resolution, the better the video streaming quality, but the more data it takes to download. Below are the industry quality standards, along with the approximate data each one uses:

Video qualityResolutionData used per hour
Standard definition (SD)360p or 480p1 GB
High definition (HD)720p or 1080p3 GB
Ultra-high definition (UHD 4K)2160p7 GB

When you stream on Viasat for the first time, check your settings first for the default video quality. If you want to save data, you can select a lower default resolution. Or, you can let it auto-adjust to give you the best quality possible based on the current traffic on your network.

Is satellite internet good for streaming?

Like any modern internet service today, satellite internet service gives you the bandwidth you need for everyday activities—including streaming videos that randomly pop up in your news or social media feeds.

Keep in mind that even with enough internet speed for live streaming or binge-watching TV on streaming services, satellite internet networks manage data more carefully than land-based internet because of the satellite capacities. With metered plans that have hard data caps, you may see extra fees for streaming a lot, and with unlimited data plans, you might experience slower speeds after using your priority data.

With the right satellite internet plan speed and priority data level, you can find a sweet spot for streaming what you like most.

Is Viasat good for streaming?

Viasat internet for streaming tightly manages the network to help you watch videos at decent quality without eating too much into your priority data.

To help you save on data, Viasat streaming internet has several tools in place: default streaming quality for all devices, which you can change on the Viasat app; a personalized data meter, also available on the Viasat app; and the Viasat Browser, which blocks ads and preselects your streaming resolution.

Viasat internet planRecommended video quality
Unlimited Bronze 12360p (SD)
Unlimited Silver 25480p (SD)
Unlimited Gold 30720p (HD)
Unlimited Gold 50720p (HD)
Unlimited Platinum 1001080p (HD)

Can you stream Netflix with satellite internet?

With satellite internet plans at 25 Mbps or higher, you should be able to stream Netflix from time to time without accruing extra data fees or slowing your speeds.

To see exactly how streaming Netflix affects your data use, check the meter on your app after streaming a movie. If you need to, you can then adjust your Netflix habits to save bandwidth for the rest of the month.

Viasat internet plans for streaming

Viasat offers satellite internet for streaming. With download speeds at 25 Mbps and above, you can view higher video streaming qualities without disturbing other users on your home Wi-Fi. And with Viasat unlimited data plans, you’ll never pay extra fees for streaming video and music through the month.3

3Unlimited Data Plans: Depending on the specific unlimited data service plan available at your location, after you use the following amount of data, we may prioritize your data behind other customers during network congestion: Basic 12 (15 GB); Bronze 12 (35 GB, 40 GB or 80 GB, depending on your specific plan); Silver 12 (45 GB); Gold 12 (65 GB); Bronze 25 (35 GB); Silver 25 (60 GB, 100 GB or 120 GB, depending on your specific plan); Gold 30 (100 GB or 200 GB, depending on your specific plan); Gold 50 (100 GB or 200 GB, depending on your specific plan), and Platinum 100 (150 GB or 300 GB, depending on your specific plan). Streaming video quality is “up to,” will vary and is not guaranteed.

One-time setup fee may be charged at the time of sale. Minimum 24-month service term unless you select the no long-term contract option. No long-term contract option requires an upfront $500 nonrefundable payment. Monthly service fees and taxes apply. Equipment lease fee is $12.99 per month. Speeds are “up to,” are not guaranteed, and will vary. Service plans are subject to Viasat’s Unlimited Data Policy or Data Allowance Policy available at www.viasat.com/legal. Service is 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.

3Unlimited Data Plans: Depending on the specific unlimited data service plan available at your location, after you use the following amount of data, we may prioritize your data behind other customers during network congestion: Basic 12 (15 GB); Bronze 12 (35 GB, 40 GB or 80 GB, depending on your specific plan); Silver 12 (45 GB); Gold 12 (65 GB); Bronze 25 (35 GB); Silver 25 (60 GB, 100 GB or 120 GB, depending on your specific plan); Gold 30 (100 GB or 200 GB, depending on your specific plan); Gold 50 (100 GB or 200 GB, depending on your specific plan), and Platinum 100 (150 GB or 300 GB, depending on your specific plan). Streaming video quality is “up to,” will vary and is not guaranteed.

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