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HughesNet

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244 User Reviews

4.8

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: October 20th, 2021

HughesNet is an internet service provider committed to making its customers' internet experiences the best for more than 40 years. This long history of service has made HughesNet the largest satellite internet network in the country.

HughesNet internet offers download speeds up to 25 Mbps from a satellite network. It focuses on residential internet services.

HughesNet has a great reputation for customer service and has a high rate of customer retention. This reputation helps HughesNet stand out among their competition within the industry.

As a satellite internet provider, HughesNet is often contrasted with its competitor, Viasat (formerly known as Exede Internet).

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The Good

  • Satellite Network
  • Plan Options and Pricing
  • Nationwide Availability
  • Bonus Data

Satellite Network

The technology delivering high-speed internet plans is constantly improving. Consumers can choose several options from their internet providers, such as dial-up service, DSL, cable internet, and fiber-optic broadband.

HughesNet internet has introduced a new type of network using satellite technology. The HughesNet satellite is more than 22,000 miles in space and will receive a signal from the customer's computer.

However, some customers complain that satellite internet service has room for improvement, and they struggle to get a signal. Being at the forefront of internet evolution comes with the risk of service issues, so make sure that satellite internet is the best option for you.

Plan Options and Pricing

HughesNet has one consistent speed across all of its plans: 25 Mbps. The actual speed experienced may vary depending on other external factors. The rates vary based on how much monthly data is included and your area:

  • 10 GB – $49.99
  • 20 GB – $59.99
  • 30 GB – $89.99
  • 50 GB – $139.99

However, these rates don't include equipment, which customers pay a monthly fee to lease.

Nationwide Availability

Most broadband ISPs are smaller companies that offer their networks to a focalized region. They generally operate in a few states or in metropolitan areas. Few companies offer widespread service.

HughesNet's satellite service spans the entire country. No matter where you live, you can always access the network. This is a benefit for customers who may move often because they can be confident that their internet will travel with them.

Bonus Data

HughesNet has restrictive data caps, but the good news is customers have access to a bonus 50 GB of data per month when accessed between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. If you plan on surfing late in the evening or early in the morning, this could be beneficial.

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The Bad

  • Limited Internet Packages
  • Long Contract
  • Slower Speeds
  • Data Allowance
  • Equipment Purchase or Lease

Limited Internet Packages

Most ISPs offer their customers a large selection of internet plans. These packages have a variety of data speeds and features.

This is not the case for any HughesNet plan. They offer limited service plans depending on your area. Pricing also varies depending on your zip code and the data allowance you choose.

If you want to cancel your service contract with HughesNet after installation, expect a termination fee. You will have to return the equipment by mail.

Long Contract

HughesNet's internet service requires a two-year contract, as do some of its competitors in the satellite internet industry. If you want to test how it compares to other broadband internet providers, you'll be locked into a contract for years unless you would like to pay an early termination fee.

However, HughesNet guarantees its price for 12 months, which could be appealing for those who are wary of the notorious price hikes with many service plans.

If you're seeking a month-to-month contract, HughesNet isn't for you.

Slower Speeds

HughesNet's broadband speed is very slow in the industry. Some companies have higher speeds closer to 1 Gbps, but more commonly, the competitive speeds are lower: 75-300 Mbps. HughesNet only offers its customers 25 Mbps. This may be a deterrent if you need a higher download speed.

The upload speeds with HughesNet are not easy to find on their website. This is one of the most frequent customer complaints, and many say they switched from HughesNet to a high-speed internet plan.

The high latency of satellite internet has many users complaining that they struggle to get a signal to their devices. Others say that when they run a speed test they receive a slow speed much lower than their advertised plan. Your devices communicate with the satellite service with a brief half-second delay that makes real-time online gaming impossible.

If you are looking for faster speeds, you may need to look elsewhere.

Data Allowance

HughesNet's data cap could be another downside for potential customers. Other internet service providers also set a data limit for their customers in order to better control their network speeds, but these companies normally don't have limits that are set so low. Some companies provide their customers with unlimited data.

HughesNet's data caps are between 10-50 GB, which limits their customers significantly. However, once you use your data allowance, you can still stay connected at a slower speed free of additional charge. HughesNet only slows down data until the next billing cycle.

HughesNet also has data saver technology that moderates the amount of data used when streaming videos so that your data lasts for a longer period of time.

Equipment Purchase or Lease

If you choose one of HughesNet's internet plans, you can pay upfront to purchase the HughesNet gateway modem, which comes with built in Wi-Fi. Otherwise, you'll have to lease the modem for a monthly fee. The modem is required for HughesNet service. Customers living in rural areas might decide the modem is worth the upfront money.

When initially starting an internet service contract with HughesNet, customers will schedule a technician to install the equipment. Some deals include free installation. Others may charge an installation fee.

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The Bottom Line

HughesNet uses broadband satellite to bring its customers a connection. Its satellite network creates a pathway between the customer's computer and the HughesNet servers through a satellite that is thousands of miles up in space.

The speeds currently available through this network are very slow at only 25 Mbps. While this is low compared to high-speed internet, it is much faster than dial-up and may be your best option in a rural area.

Consumers interested in high speed may want to consider other internet options if available in their area, like cable or fiber-optic internet.

HughesNet service options also have little variety. HughesNet would be a good option for customers who live in remote locations, want a reliable connection, and don't mind slower internet speeds.

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Star Rating

1.5

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244 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

5%

4 grade

4%

3 grade

5%

2 grade

5%

1 grade

82%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Review Source

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Kate Gregory Pleasant Grove, UT

We got Hughesnet while we lived in Texas. We signed a 2 year contract and ended up moving shortly after. We lived in a short-term rental and they suspended our contract 6 months because internet was provided. We were not charged moving costs, but we paid for 3 months of unused internet because they would not suspend it any longer. When we set it up on a new state, they wanted to restart our contract. I refused, so they stayed with the original agreement. I felt that it was unethical trying to extend the contract when we had already been paying for nothing. Our internet was fine for 6 months, but apparently the dish was moved during a storm and the internet was slow. I called because it wasn't working well and customer service said that we would have to pay $125 for a technician to come out and make the internet work well again. I said that was too much money for something we didn't do so she waived the fee. Our internet is working well again, bit my overall experience had not been great.

2 years ago

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Nicholas Genes Los Angeles, CA

I would like to say it was terrible but living in the middle of nowhere with no other options, this got the job done. No other company had options for internet. Slow but still useable

1 year ago

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Jim

Good, once everything was started up. They could improve by being clearer up front on the cost, what was included and what was not included.

2 years ago

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Michael Monk Skidmore, MO

Makes installation on time. The tech new his job and did it well. He commented he did not like to work. for his supervisor and planned to quit.

3 years ago

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Paula Gaines

Download Speed of this satellite based provider isn't as good as a broadband provider but it is all I can get in the rural area I live in

3 years ago

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Linda Crusing Kempner, TX

Most of the time it is pretty fast but being a satellite dish it does have its drawbacks. It's not cheap either.

3 years ago

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Helen Buckhaulter Columbia, AL

Sometimes they are slow but usually the service is very good!

3 years ago

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Mrs. Follett

It takes so long to reach someone to talk to if you have questions or a problem

3 years ago

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michael Parrott

Best in our rural area we live in a very remote area

3 years ago

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