In a Nutshell
- Unlimited data usage and fast plans
- Bonus Zone
- SmartTechnologies compress content & save data
- Unlimited data gets slowed after cutoff point
- No fiber-optic plans
HughesNet at a Glance
Best for: Families, students
Starting Price: $49.99 per month
Connection Type: Satellite
Download Speeds: Up to 35 Mbps
Coverage: All 50 states, Puerto Rico
Money-back Guarantee: None
What Services and Features Does HughesNet Offer?
HughesNet has satellite internet with plans ranging from 10 GB of data up to 50GB. To keep you in line with your data usage, HughesNet has a convenient mobile app with text alerts to let you know when you’re approaching your data threshold. Speeds are fast too, at 25 Mbps for every plan. On top of that, HughesNet has some great features users are going to appreciate, including:
- Video data saver
HughesNet Gen5 has a neat feature that will adjust your data rates for optimized streaming. Essentially what this means is you will be able to watch the same amount of videos while using less data. That is the ultimate feature an ISP could offer.
- Bonus zones
The bonus zones actually give you more data than you sign up for. HughesNet will give you up to 50GB of data to be used during non-peak hours. That’s between 2am and 8am. While not ideal times to be doing your most productive work, this is still free data that you can use that won’t detract from your monthly usage threshold. So, if you’re a night owl, in the mood of a Friends binge, or need to get some extra hours in at work, the bonus zone is a great feature to have.
- Data compression/web optimizer
This might be the coolest feature of all, though. HughesNet uses SmartTechnologies that compress data and optimize web content. So pages load faster and actually use less data.
HughesNet also comes with built-in WiFi that lets you connect and even set up guest WiFi signals for guests or visitors you don’t want to give password access to.
Prices, Plans, and Value for Money
HughesNet has varying pricing plans depending on how much data you want. It starts as low as 10 GB and goes up to 50 GB. You can order online, call in for service, or visit a local dealer to get a plan. You’ll need to sign up for a 24-month contract, which isn’t great. But the prices are reasonable and service is top quality. So you’ll probably want to stick with it for that long anyway.
HughesNet has unlimited data usage, meaning you won’t ever get cut off if you go above your data usage plan. But if you do go over, you’ll be able to use the internet at a considerably slower bandwidth. This is still a lot better than being throttled completely.
What you’ll appreciate with every HughesNet Gen5 plan are the built-in features, including:
- Unlimited data
- Bonus zone
- Built-in WiFi
- Video data saver
One thing we really like about HughesNet is how helpful it is. The ISP has a ton of information right on the website that can help customers learn more about satellite internet, which plan is right for them, and what you can do with your data. For example, HughesNet has a chart that gives you exactly how many minutes or hours you’ll get out of a GB of data for the various activities, like web browsing (500 pages), social media (1 hour), and streaming audio (14 hours). That’s awfully handy to have. HughesNet gives you a larger chart with more information on how much usage you’ll get from the larger GB plans as well.
Ease of Use, Hardware, and Setup
HughesNet sends a technician to install your modem, satellite dish, and up to two devices. You can pay to have more devices connected. You can usually have an installation scheduled within five days of ordering.
If you cancel your contract before installation, you won’t be charged at all. If you cancel anytime within the first 30 days, you’ll be charged a hefty $400 equipment and installation fee, but you will be refunded $200 when you return the equipment. Now comes the big part. If you cancel after the first 30 days, you’ll be charged both $400 for the equipment and installation fee, and a $400 service termination fee. You’ll still get a $200 refund for the equipment return, but that’s a whopping $600 for early termination. That’s absurd.
HughesNet uses the latest in WiFi technology, including dual-band 802.11ac. This covers users in terms of security protocol, ensuring that your wireless connection is safe and secure. There is also a feature that lets you set up a separate WiFi signal for guest users. This way you don’t have to give out your real WiFi password to everyone who comes into your house.
HughesNet guarantees up to 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads for every plan. There is no guarantee that speeds will consistently be that high, but according to user reviews, this is the case the vast majority of the time. HughesNet is known for having reliable speeds and performance.
HughesNet Customer Service
HughesNet lets you get in touch via several methods. You can call a rep on the 844 number provided, or send a message online. You can also reach out through one of the social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. HughesNet also has a good FAQ section with a lot of answers to common questions.
Is HughesNet fast enough for Netflix?
Definitely. HughesNet has download speeds of 25 Mbps, making it adequate for Netflix, Hulu, and many other streaming services.
Does HughesNet work in bad weather?
Yes. However, the satellite coverage can be affected by heavy cloud cover, storms, or inclement weather.
How can I boost my HughesNet WiFi?
The easiest way to boost your internet is to check your router, restart your modem, and update your firmware.
HughesNet is one of the best satellite internet service providers in the country. While you won’t reach speeds anywhere near fiber internet, if satellite is your option, HughesNet delivers more for your money. With unlimited data usage, video data saver tool, and convenient mobile app, HughesNet definitely provides you with some cool features to make the package worth your while.