HughesNet home internet review
HughesNet is one of the best internet options available to residents of rural areas where a cable or fiber optic connection isn’t available. Satellite internet from HughesNet is also faster than DSL, another popular rural internet choice, in many areas, but is likely to be higher priced than most DSL plans.
Availability is the biggest advantage of HughesNet service, but it also comes with other perks such as broadband speeds, Wi-Fi capabilities and flexible data options. Check out our review of HughesNet to discover if the service is right for your home.
HughesNet internet rating
2.74 / out of 5 stars
This score is based off of the 4 plans HughesNet has available
2.96 / 5
1.85 / 5
3.6 / 5
1.16 / 5
What we like
Available anywhere – HughesNet is available in all 50 states.
Bonus Zone data – Enjoy an extra 50 GB of data each month available between the hours of 2-8 a.m.
Actual vs. advertised speeds – In a 2018 broadband report, the FCC scored HughesNet among the highest for actual vs. advertised speed performance.
Things to consider
Limited speed options – HughesNet plans all feature one speed tier: 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.
Two-year contract – HughesNet requires a two-year service agreement, and changing or canceling service before it’s up can result in early termination fees.
High latency – Satellite internet has high latency, which makes online gaming impractical.
Unlimited data allowance
AT&T consumer home internet or Fixed Wireless Internet customers can use unlimited internet data through September 30, 2020.
Self-installation is the default installation option when available for customers.
Temporary speed upgrade
Get a temporary speed upgrade to 50 Mbps when you order Cox 10 & 30 Mbps internet plans. Offers valid through June 30, 2020.
Self-installation encouraged. Select your desired installation date, and a Cox representative will call to confirm or reschedule your appointment.
Safety-first Installation: A Frontier technician will perform your installation with appropriate safety protocols including wearing protective equipment and maintaining social distancing. In taking these precautions, it’s recommended that Frontier customers wear a face mask or face covering for the safety of technicians.
New TV plan
Introducing a new “Local 50” video plan to support contactless installation.
Contactless installation: Mediacom will send an installation kit and a technician to set up a single high-speed data connection, phone, or one local TV channel plan with the help of someone in your home.
Self-installation is encouraged. For professional installation, contact-free delivery is available for work done outside of the home. For customers moving more than 7 days from the date the order is placed, professional installation is available.
Free Contactless Delivery: An Xfinity technician will drop-off your equipment with installation instructions, then perform any outside work. Get your installation fees back in a customer credit for a no-charge installation.
HughesNet internet plans and pricing
|Plan name||Best for||Starting price*||Download speeds**||Monthly data allowance|
|Gen5 10GB||Single-subscriber homes who browse||$59.99/mo.||25 Mbps||10GB|
|Gen5 20GB||Small households who work remotely||$69.99/mo.||25 Mbps||20GB|
|Gen5 30GB||Moderate-sized households who work remotely||$99.99/mo.||25 Mbps||30GB|
|Gen5 50GB||Larger households who work and learn from home||$149.99/mo.||25 Mbps||50GB|
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Last updated 07/09/21.
All HughesNet Gen5 Plans come with equal max speed
HughesNet Gen5 plans all come with max download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps. Gen5 speeds meet the minimum requirement to be considered broadband internet and may offer a faster connection than DSL, especially in rural areas.
Choosing a HughesNet data plan
Your best HughesNet internet plan depends on the type of internet activities you enjoy and the amount of time you spend online. HughesNet Gen5 internet plans are categorized by monthly data allotment. Here’s what you can do with each HughesNet internet plan:
With 10 GB of data per month, you can:
- Stream 140 hours of audio
- Stream 15 hours of DVD-quality video
- Stream five hours of HD-quality video
- Browse 5,000 web pages
- Enjoy 30 hours of social media
With 20 GB of data per month, you can:
- Stream 280 hours of audio
- Stream 30 hours of DVD-quality video
- Stream 10 hours of HD-quality video
- Browse 10,000 web pages
- Enjoy 60 hours of social media
With 30 GB of data per month, you can:
- Stream 420 hours of audio
- Stream 45 hours of DVD-quality video
- Stream 15 hours of HD-quality video
- Browse 15,000 web pages
- Enjoy 90 hours of social media
With 50 GB of data per month, you can:
- Stream 720 hours of audio
- Stream 75 hours of DVD-quality video
- Stream 25 hours of HD-quality video
- Browse 25,000 web pages
- Enjoy 150 hours of social media
Make the most of your Bonus Zone data
HughesNet plans come with “Bonus Zone” data, which is an additional 50GB of data included at no extra cost each month available between the hours of 2-8 a.m. Obviously, this isn’t the most convenient time to be shopping online or streaming a TV show, but strategically setting a movie or large file to download during this time is a smart way to take advantage of the extra free data.
What if I go over my data limit?
HughesNet plans are “unlimited” in that they won’t cut your connection or charge you extra for going over your monthly data allowance. They will, however, reduce your speeds to somewhere in the range of 1-3 Mbps for the remainder of the billing period.
If you don’t want to wait until the next billing period to bring your speeds back up, consider purchasing Data Tokens. These extra blocks of data do not expire and are available until you have used them in full.
HughesNet Wi-Fi equipment and fees
HughesNet equipment comes with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, so you can connect Wi-Fi-enabled devices to your network. Your HughesNet plan includes a modem and router in one device, available for purchase or rental. The tradeoff between purchasing and renting your equipment is that you get access to free equipment upgrades when you rent; however, you can save $14 if you buy your equipment.
- HughesNet monthly equipment rental fee: $14.99/mo. for 24 months ($359.76 total)
- HughesNet equipment purchase fee: $449.99 ($99 activation waived when you purchase your equipment; totals $345.99)
Is HughesNet’s equipment good?
HughesNet offers top-notch Wi-Fi equipment, featuring 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Its modem and router are as fast and advanced as any equipment you’ll find from most other providers, so it’s worth using and it’s probably worth sticking with their equipment instead of buying your own equipment.
Other HughesNet internet fees
Aside from equipment fees, taxes and various government fees for service, there aren’t many extra fees you’ll have to worry about with HughesNet. Even though there are data limits with every HughesNet plan, you will never receive an overage fee since HughesNet will just slow your internet speeds to 1-3 Mbps until the month is over. Therefore, HughesNet is one of the better providers when it comes to straightforward pricing.
- Standard installation: Included with your order
- Activation fee: $99 (unless you buy your equipment)
- Data tokens: Starting at $9
- Early termination fee: $400 if you cancel within the first 90 days, fee decreases by $15 for each month of active service thereafter
How does HughesNet internet service compare to Viasat?
HughesNet is an option for internet in your area, but it may not be the only one. Find out which providers are in your area and compare pricing, speeds and more with Allconnect.
|Starting price at|
|25-25 Mbps||12 Mbps – 100 Mbps|
|No hard data caps||Unlimited|
|Two years||2-year contract|
- Starting price at
- Internet Speeds
- 25-25 Mbps
- 12 Mbps – 100 Mbps
- Data cap
- No hard data caps
- Two years
- 2-year contract
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 07/09/21. **Actual speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. ***If you exceed your monthly plan data, you will experience reduced data speeds, which are typically in the range of 1-3 Mbps, until your next billing period.
Overall, HughesNet offers the cheapest satellite internet plan available with HughesNet’s 25 Mbps plan for $59.99/mo. If 25 Mbps is not fast enough for you, you will need to go with Viasat since Viasat offers plans all the way up to 100 Mbps, just expect to pay over $100/mo. for your service.
Satellite internet is seen as a last-resort option in the internet service world, but as Starlink internet continues to grow in availability, there may be better options for satellite internet service in your area to come.
HughesNet internet FAQs
Yes! HughesNet is available coast to coast in the U.S. All you need is a clear view of the southern sky.
All HughesNet plans have no hard data limits. That means if you reach your data limit, you can still use the internet at reduced speeds of 1 to 3 Mbps. You also have the option to purchase extra data, called Data Tokens, to bring your speed back up to 25 Mbps.
HughesNet service can support “turn-based” strategy games and apps like chess or Candy Crush. However, real-time, multiplayer games like Destiny and Overwatch will not work with satellite internet service. This is due to the half-second delay that occurs when your computer communicates with the satellite, making it difficult to maintain a continuous connection with the gaming server.
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 07/09/21.
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Written by:Ari Howard
Associate Writer, Broadband & Wireless Content
Ari is an Associate Writer for the Allconnect team, focusing on broadband and wireless news, as well as broadband and TV provider deals. She recently graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree in… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
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