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HughesNet Internet Overview
HughesNet is operated by Hughes Network Systems, a telecommunications company that has been around since the late 1900s. However, HughesNet internet service only came into existence in 2012, when the company launched a satellite, EchoStar XVII. The satellite powering the new HughesNet Gen5 high-speed internet was launched only in 2016, and it provides high-speed internet coverage to all 50 U.S. states.
HughesNet works on satellite internet technology, where the data from and to the user's computer is transmitted through a satellite in space. So, every time you make a request for data on the internet (for example, when you try to open a webpage), the data signal is first sent to the satellite dish in space and through it, to HughesNet's hub or Network Operations Center. HughesNet then sends the requested data back to the satellite and then to your modem at home.
This process is long, so satellite internet is slower than cable or fiber internet, but it's often the best high-speed internet option available in rural and remote areas, where faster internet like DSL or cable internet is not available. Satellite internet, at speeds of up to 25 Mbps, is more than 100 times faster than a dial-up internet connection, whose maximum speed is only around 56 Kbps, so it's still a great option for a lot of homes.
One disadvantage of HughesNet is that its plans have data caps. That said, it's quite affordable, starting at $49.99/mo., and every plan provides internet connections at the same high speed of up to 25 Mbps. HughesNet also offers various deals depending on your location.
In addition, although HughesNet does not offer other services like TV, the company has partnered with DIRECTV and DISH to provide bundled packages of TV and internet services. There isn't much information about these deals online, so you can call HughesNet customer service to find out more about these deals and availability in your area.
Let's take a look at HughesNet internet speeds and plans in more detail.
HughesNet Internet Plans
HughesNet satellite internet offers four high-speed internet plans, which are different from other internet providers, as the plans are based on data rather than speed. All the plans provide download speeds of up to 25 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 3 Mbps. The following table describes the HughesNet high-speed internet plans in detail:
|Package||Speeds||Data Cap||Best For||Price|
|10 GB||25 Mbps download/|
3 Mbps upload
|10 GB||• Browsing||Check Availability|
|20 GB||25 Mbps download/|
3 Mbps upload
|20 GB||• Multiple casual users||Check Availability|
|30 GB||25 Mbps download/|
3 Mbps upload
|30 GB||• Streaming||Check Availability|
|50 GB||25 Mbps download/|
3 Mbps upload
|50 GB||• Some gaming|
• Multiple users
HughesNet Internet Deals
HughesNet currently offers four internet deals on their plans. These deals are available throughout the U.S., but they differ by location. HughesNet is offering deals that reduce the cost of the service and the cost of the equipment rental for the first six months.
You can check out the company’s “Get Started” page to see which deals are available in the desired location. Depending on the area, the deal could reduce the price of service by $10 or $20 for the first six months and the price of equipment rental by $5 for the first six months. Setup and installation fees are also waived in some cases.
HughesNet Data Caps
Aside from price, the main difference between the HughesNet internet packages is the data caps that come with them. The data caps on these plans are not absolute, and people will still be able to access the internet if they go over the limit, but the internet speed will be severely limited, or throttled, going down from 25 Mbps to 1 to 3 Mbps.
To avoid internet throttling when the monthly data cap is reached, HughesNet offers data tokens for sale that will increase the data cap for the month. As of February 2020, there are four data tokens available: 3 GB token ($9), 5 GB token ($15), 10 GB token ($30) and 25 GB token ($75).
HughesNet also provides what they call a “Bonus Zone” between 2 to 8 a.m. daily. During this time, all customers have access to 50 GB/mo. of additional data, no matter what plan you have. You can use this additional data to download large files like movies and software updates for your devices without depleting your plan data. HughesNet automatically switches to the additional data during those hours, so you don't have to worry about making the switch.
Pros and cons of HughesNet internet
- Available in most places in the U.S.
- Reliable connection for rural internet users
- Transparent plans that are easy to understand
- “Bonus Zone” with additional data during non-peak hours
- Slow connection speed
- Latency (lag) issues
- Costly setup
- 24-month contract required
HughesNet Customer Service
HughesNet internet provides customer support 24/7. You can call them for tech support, report an outage or make changes to your service. The customer service number is (866) 347-3292. You can also use their live chat to get an immediate reply or send them an email and they'll reply within 24 hours.
HughesNet Internet Frequently Asked Questions
HughesNet Internet is a great option if you live in a place with no access to DSL or cable internet. HughesNet's Gen5 internet has high download speeds of 25 Mbps compared to other satellite internet providers, which provide speeds of up to 10 Mbps. The Better Business Bureau has given an A+ rating to Hughes Network Systems, HughesNet's parent company, which shows that the company has a reputation for responding promptly to complaints and keeping its customers happy.
HughesNet internet provides four plans, each with a different data cap. You can choose between them depending on your budget and usage. The costs are $49.99 for 10 GB/mo., $59.99 for 20 GB/mo., $89.99 for 30 GB/mo. and $139.99 for 50 GB/mo. All plans come with download speeds of 25 Mbps.
HughesNet internet provides download speeds of up to 25 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 3 Mbps.
Yes, HughesNet internet provides coverage in all 50 states, including rural and remote areas that often don't have access to other high-speed internet options like DSL and cable internet.
HughesNet internet does not have hard data limits. After the monthly data cap of 10 GB, 20 GB, 30 GB or 50 GB (depending on your plan) is reached, you can use the internet at lower speeds of 1 to 3 Mbps. Also, between 2 to 8 a.m. daily, HughesNet offers a “Bonus Zone,” where you have access to an additional 50 GB of high-speed data per month, which you can use even if you have reached your monthly data cap.