TOP 5 REASONS TO CHOOSE HughesNet
- Unlimited Data with No Hard Data Limits*All plans have unlimited data with no hard data limits. You’ll never be cut off or charged more money if you go over the amount of data in your plan!
- Fast Speeds For Rural AmericaEvery HughesNet plan comes with 25 Mbps* download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds.
- Bonus ZoneNight owls and those who need a little more data will love Bonus Zone. You get an extra 50 GB of data usage per month, so long as you use it between 2 AM and 8 AM.
- Video Data-Saving FeaturesIf you’re streaming, HughesNet will use built-in SmartTechnologies to automatically compress and optimize your content so you use less data every month.
- Built-In Wi-FiEvery HughesNet plan comes with all in one built-in WiFi so you can easily connect all of your home’s devices without wrestling cords! Plus, the integrated modem includes a satellite modem and WiFi router so no bulky equipment in your home either.
Every Plan and Price for Every Internet Provider at Your Address.
HughesNet AT A GLANCE
- HughesNet is one of the leading satellite Internet providers in rural America.
- HughesNet can cover most of the U.S. with minimum speeds of 25 Mbps.
- Plans do not have a maximum data allowance with no hard data limits.
- Customers can purchase plans as low as $49.99 a month depending on area and availability.
HughesNet is one of two companies that provide nationwide coverage of Broadband internet services. Both Viasat and HughesNet have been pioneers in developing the technology to deliver satellite-based internet.
ABOUT SATELLITE INTERNET
Satellite Internet has been around since 1996. In rural America, the product rightfully earned a bit of a bad reputation with speeds not capable of keeping up with an ever-expanding internet. In the last two years, the product category has made dramatic improvements in performance. Today’s satellite-delivered internet is a very good product, the best option for millions of Americas. We recommend satellite internet, either HughesNet or Viasat, to consumers that do not have access to advanced terrestrial-based broadband such as Cable or Fiber, and where DSL speeds delivered are poor. Satellite Internet is available anywhere with a clear view of the Southern sky.
HughesNet products are incredibly reliable with over 99.99% signal reliability. That means in an entire year, the average customer will experience less than one hour of downtime. HughesNet is the largest satellite broadband provider in the US and is increasingly being used by the US military to deliver secure, reliable connections.
With the 2018 launch of their Gen 5 satellite, HughesNet was able to cover the entire U.S. with minimum speeds of 25 MBPS. From the Hughes December 2018 press release:
“Today’s satellite Internet is faster and more reliable than ever before. In fact, the latest FCC report found HughesNet consistently met or exceeded advertised speeds, delivering 180% of advertised download speeds and nearly 200% of advertised upload speeds. Moreover, compared to DSL providers, as shown in the FCC report, HughesNet is faster, provides a higher quality service and consistently delivers speeds that are better than advertised.”
HughesNet was able to achieve the honor of the #1 ISP in the US in over-delivering on speed vs their advertised speed. HughesNet is extremely cautious about protecting the quality of its service. Often promotional pricing will be less aggressive and sometimes they close down areas in which a spot-beam is nearing capacity.
You can see the exact plan specifications and options at your address here.
Is HughesNet fast enough for how you use the internet? Surfing, browsing, social media will perform well on HughesNet. All plans are fast enough for streaming video, but data limits will make HughesNet a poor choice if your intent is to use a streaming service provider as your primary video service; it’s not for “cord-cutters”.
LATENCY PERFORMANCE FROM HughesNet
HughesNet, by nature of the Geosynchronous Satellite product, has a design limitation, latency.
A lot is happening when you pull up your search bar and hit enter on your keyboard. When you ask your browser to “go to Facebook”, that command is up-linked from your computer, through your satellite dish, at the speed of light, to the satellite sitting 22,236 miles above the equator of the Earth. It takes milliseconds for your request to hit the satellite, whereupon the satellite sends the request to their gateway location on the ground, then back to the satellite, and milliseconds for it to get back to your computer. Quick as you can snap your fingers – Facebook!
The time it takes for a command to be delivered and returned is known as “ping speed”. The theoretically fastest possible ping time over a geostationary satellite would be 476 milliseconds or just under half a second; a bit longer if you are in Minnesota vs someone in Texas. In its most recent 2018 report, the FCC testing showed Hughes’s median latencies were 594 ms.
What does that mean for you? For normal surfing the internet, downloading or streaming, a ½ second of latency is hardly noticeable making HughesNet a viable option for your Internet needs.
HughesNet DATA PLANS AND LIMITS
HughesNet’s data service plans do not have a maximum monthly data allowance; there are no hard caps, but they do have limitations. Depending on the plan selected, you get a bucket of data usage each month where you will run as fast as the network can deliver, no throttling, up to your data allowance. Should you exceed the data usage threshold for your service plan, HughesNet will reduce your speed to approximately 3Mbps for the balance of the month.
You can purchase extra data, called “Data Tokens” to bring your speed back up to 25 Mbps should you find yourself over the plan limits.
Careful – video streaming in HD on popular channels like YouTube and Disney Plus can chomp through your plan in hours. The good news is you will still be able to stream, but the quality will go down and you’ll potentially buffer.
HOW DOES HughesNet DEAL WITH DATA LIMITS VS. VIASAT?
Viasat takes a somewhat different approach. Viasat plans typically have much higher thresholds before they implement any reductions in speed. Typically, the costs are higher for the larger Viasat plans.
Once you reach the limit of your plan’s data, Viasat will reduce your speed when the network is congested, but performance may not be impacted at all in non-peak times. Another measure Viasat uses to control data usage for their customers is to limit the resolution of video downloads to “small screen” quality on their lowest plans, or SD quality on mid-tier plans. For the occasional Netflix streamer, on their lowest-cost plan, this means the picture quality is poor if displaying on a regular TV.
Both Viasat and HughesNet users, even those on the lowest data plans, regularly use over 100 GB of data, far more than their base plan allows. Their approaches to how they control the data usages are different, the outcomes are similar.
HughesNet PLANS AND PRICING
How you use the internet has to be considered when evaluating HughesNet plans. Plan
HughesNet works great for general web browsing, social media, and light streaming, but you need to choose a plan that is appropriate for how much you’ll be streaming, and how many users. Remember, all the plans deliver the same speed, it’s the amount of data before any throttling that changes.
- If you are a light user in a 1-2-person household, occasionally streaming Netflix or similar, a few hours per week, the 10 GB plan should be OK. They start at $49.99 per month for the first 6 months depending on your specific area.
- An average household takes its most popular 20 GB plan. It doubles the data for only $10.
- Larger families or heavy users should consider the 30 GB or 50 GB plans.
HughesNet reports their customer retention for their higher-level plan users is far higher than when customers choose the 10 GB plans. While I’m sure that is the case, I would argue than when you completely understand the product strengths, limitations and plans you can make the decision on which plan best fits your budget as well as the demands you will place on the product!
You can see the exact plan specifications at your address here.
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Sources: Geostationary Orbit from Wikipedia