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Internet connectivity has become a basic need for most Americans. While people in urban areas may have a range of internet options, many in rural or remote locales rely on satellite internet providers for reliable internet connections.
One well-known satellite internet service provider (ISP) in the US is HughesNet. Founded in 1971, the company launched an internet satellite service for individuals and small businesses in 1996. Today, HughesNet serves more than 1.5 million customers, making it one of the most successful satellite internet companies.
Is HughesNet right for you? Our experts have compiled a comprehensive analysis of HughesNet, including target customers, packages, plans, and reviews to help you decide.
- 1 Who is HughesNet internet for?
- 2 Key considerations
- 3 What others say about HughesNet internet
- 4 How does HughesNet internet compare to other providers?
Who is HughesNet internet for?
As a satellite ISP, HughesNet targets some specific customers, including:
Rural residents with limited internet options
The motto at HughesNet is that as long as you have a clear view of the sky above your head, the ISP can get you connected to their satellite internet. That means HughesNet is available in rural and remote locations that other ISPs don’t reach and/or service.
Light internet users with less than five devices per household
HughesNet works best for smaller households with a maximum of five devices connected simultaneously.
Customers with low internet speed requirements
As satellite internet is generally slower than cable or fiber, HughesNet does not offer blazing-fast internet speeds. It works best for users that perform basic internet tasks, like browsing or shopping online.
If you fall in these categories, HughesNet can be an excellent choice for your internet needs. However, you may not find HughesNet ideal if you engage in frequent streaming or gaming online, as the speeds offered may be too slow.
HughesNet plans and packages
HughesNet currently offers five plans. All the plans have same 25Mbps download speed and 3Mbps upload speed. The difference between the plans is the amount of data you get each month.
The first option is 15GB of data for $64.99/month and is ideal for light internet use with a little streaming. For $74.99/month, you can get 30GB of data, which is best for families with a maximum of three devices. Paying $109.99/month gives you 45GB of data to meet the needs of households with several devices and more streaming needs. A 75GB plan costs $159.99/month and accommodates some work-from-home and streaming of larger video content.
While pricing and packages are important, there are other factors to consider. You should learn about contracts, availability, additional fees, and customer support before signing on to an ISP.
Does HughesNet require a contract?
Yes, there is a 24-month contract when you sign up.
Where is HughesNet available?
HughesNet is available coast-to-coast in the US, including Alaska and Puerto Rico.
Are there additional fees?
With HughesNet, you may have to pay additional charges:
- One-time installation fee. You will pay a one-time $400 equipment and installation fee.
- Early termination fee. You may need to pay a service termination fee of up to $400 if you cancel before the end of your contract term.
Does HughesNet have reliable customer support?
HughesNet customers can reach the company via telephone, email, or social media. The company makes an effort to respond promptly to customer questions and issues.
What is the HughesNet bonus zone?
HughesNet bonus zone starts at 2:00 am and ends at 8:00 am, during which users get an extra 50GB that can only be utilized during these hours. These early morning hours present a better chance to run system updates or schedule movie downloads without using your monthly data.
What others say about HughesNet internet
One of the best ways to know if an ISP is a good fit is to read professional reviews and rankings.
CNET noted that HughesNet has been working hard to improve customer service to progress towards its goal of becoming the ISP of choice for people in remote and rural areas. One positive note is that HughesNet has experienced few service outages, which is rare for a satellite ISP.
ZDNet found HughesNet to be more affordable than comparable plans from other satellite providers. Also, HughesNet earned praise for consistently matching or exceeding advertised speeds.
U.S. News & World Report
HughesNet is the number one satellite service provider, according to a recent US News & World Report. It is ideal for areas with no cable, DSL, or fiber internet provider options.
How does HughesNet internet compare to other providers?
With its satellite capabilities, HughesNet can bring internet to areas that other ISPs—like Verizon Fios, Xfinity, Spectrum, and Frontier—can’t reach. HughesNet earned the #1 ranking as the best satellite ISP in 2022 in terms of speed and prices, beating out its chief rival Viasat. If you live in a remote or less densely populated area, you may find HughesNet is worth a look.