Last updated on Aug 13, 2020

HughesNet Review

Satellite internet with reliable speeds and reasonable pricing ​
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HughesNet

  • Four data plans with speeds up to 25Mbps, ranging from $59.99 to $149.99
  • Consistently matches or exceeds advertised speeds
  • No hard data caps, with the option of accessing free off-peak data
  • More affordable than comparable satellite internet plans from competitors
Similar Products

Satellite internet provider HughesNet offers a curated selection of plans that help keep you connected just about anywhere in the United States. The service is available in all 50 states, even reaching remote areas where cable and fiber-optic internet are still nowhere to be found. If you’re looking for an affordable satellite internet plan and sky-high download speeds or data limits are not a necessity, HughesNet might be the right option for you.

Pros

✓ Affordable entry-level plans
✓ No data caps
✓ Actual speed often exceeds advertised speed

Cons

✗ Single plan offers no options
✗ Slower speeds than competitors

HughesNet Internet Plans and Prices

Price
Download/Upload Speeds
Connection Type
Best for
10 GB
$39.99
25 Mbps / 3 Mbps
Satellite
Light users
20 GB
$49.99
25 Mbps / 3 Mbps
Satellite
Average users
30 GB
$79.99
25 Mbps / 3 Mbps
Satellite
Families
50 GB
$129.99
25 Mbps / 3 Mbps
Satellite
Heavy users

Data effective 3/22/20

For more details on these plans click here to learn more from our partner site, Allconnect.

Estimated Speeds

Each of the four plans offered by HughesNet include the same download and upload speeds, advertised at 25 Mbps for the former and 3 Mbps the latter. This is fairly average for satellite internet providers. However, if you sign up for HughesNet and find that the speed is too slow for your needs, you won’t have the option to upgrade to a faster plan. The downside of their service is that you don’t get to choose your speed based on the plan as max speed for HughesNet is 25 Mbps. Each plan is differentiated only by the total amount of data for the month. 

On the other hand, some of their competitors, like Viasat, offer higher speeds in certain packages, whereas that option is not available with HughesNet. 

Pricing

At just $39.99 per month, HughesNet’s lowest data plan provides great value for what you get. The plan includes 10 GB of internet at 25 Mbps download speeds. However, the most expensive plan – which costs $129.99 per month – only includes 50 GB of data and is still capped at 25 Mbps download speeds. At this price, we’d like to see a bit more value.

Since HughesNet doesn’t enforce any hard data caps,  you’ll still be able to use the internet after you’ve used up your data for the month, just at a reduced speed. But if you need more high-speed data after your plan is up, HughesNet will allow you to purchase data tokens. These tokens start at $9 for 3 GB and go up to $75 for 25 GB.

Who is each plan best for?

  • 10 GB – Best for one person
  • 20 GB – Best for two people
  • 30 GB – Best for families with three people
  • 50 GB  – Best for families with four or more people, or heavy internet users

How Fast is HughesNet Internet?

While HughesNet advertises a slower download speed limit than its competitors, the provider excels in delivering on its promises. An FCC Fixed Broadband Report found that more than 80% of HughesNet customers were getting at least 95% of their advertised download speed, a higher percentage than any other satellite internet provider and among the best across all types of internet providers. In fact, the median download speed across all HughesNet customers was nearly twice the advertised speed of 25 Mbps.

Internet Availability

HughesNet is currently available in all 50 US states – even Hawaii and Alaska. The provider also offers service in Puerto Rico, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Brazil.

Other Factors to Consider

HughesNet satellite internet plans come with several features that might be of interest to potential customers. One is the Video Data Saver, a setting that can be turned on to optimize video content and reduce data usage. Since video streaming can easily eat up your data before you know it – HughesNet estimates that its highest-tier 50 GB plan covers just 72 hours of streaming – this feature is intended to let you enjoy more video content with your plan. One user reported speed tests showing that the Video Data Saver reduced data usage by an astounding 90% while streaming content.

If the data offered in HughesNet’s plans doesn’t seem like it will be enough for you, know that the provider offers all subscribers a bonus 50 GB of data per month. There’s just one catch: this data must be used between the hours of 2 AM and 8 AM. While this might not be ideal for browsing and streaming, you can schedule larger downloads and computer updates for late at night to take advantage of the deal.

One final thing to consider is that in order to get satellite service from HughesNet, you’ll need the appropriate equipment. The provider offers equipment rental for just $14.99 per month – but it’s still a cost to keep in mind.

HughesNet vs. Viasat

Starting Price
Availability
Download Speeds
Connections
Contract
HughesNet
$39.99
50 states
25 Mbps
Satellite
24 months
Viasat
$50
50 states
12 Mbps – 100 Mbps
Satellite
24 months

About the Authors

The Reviews.com staff is dedicated to providing you with all the deep-dive details. Our writers, researchers, and editors came together from Charlotte, Seattle, San Juan, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, and Chicago to put this review together.