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HughesNet vs. MaxxSouth Broadband vs. Optimum Internet plan comparison


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Researched by
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Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 6/24/24

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HughesNet brand
Staff rating
3.8
Customer rating
3.1
(13)

  • Plans starting at $49.99
  • Download speeds up to 25 Mbps
MaxxSouth Broadband
Staff rating
3.6
Customer rating
0.0
(0)

  • Plans starting at $14.99
  • Download speeds up to 1000 Mbps
Optimum brand
Staff rating
4.1
Customer rating
3.8
(70)

  • Plans starting at $15.00
  • Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
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See what providers service your area.
HughesNet brand
Staff rating
3.8

Affordable, high-quality satellite internet in remote areas

HughesNet has the cheapest broadband satellite internet plans, with speeds up to 100 Mbps and unlimited data. HughesNet is powered by Jupiter 3, which it touts as the world's largest and most advanced communications satellite. HughesNet offers affordable, high-quality satellite internet, perfect for households and rural areas. HughesNet is available in small towns and places off the beaten path. You can usually sign up for HughesNet in areas where cable and fiber internet aren't available.

What we like

  • Affordable satellite internet
  • Wide availability
  • Unlimited data available
What we dislike

  • Price may increase
  • Two-year contract
Savings tip: HughesNet often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
MaxxSouth Broadband
Staff rating
3.6

Budget-friendly internet in Mississippi and Alabama

MaxxSouth Broadband delivers fast, reliable cable and fiber internet to much of Mississippi and some of Alabama. The internet service provider (ISP) packs a ton of value in its plans, especially for smaller households. But if you want top-notch customer service, this might not be the company for you.

What we like

  • Low prices
  • Fast, reliable plans
  • Inexpensive professional installation
What we dislike

  • Poor customer service
  • No self-setup option
  • Limited availability
Savings tip: MaxxSouth Broadband often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Optimum brand
Staff rating
4.1

Optimum offers fast internet speeds at reasonable prices

If you can get fiber internet from Optimum, you'll get great all-around service, amazing introductory prices, and fast, reliable internet. If you order online, you'll get free installation and equipment included when you sign up for a new internet plan. If Optimum's fiber internet isn't available in your area, you may be able to sign up for one of its cable plans instead. The best part is Optimum offers a 60-day, money-back guarantee.

What we like

  • Affordable prices
  • No data caps or contracts
  • Cable and fiber offerings
What we dislike

  • Limited availability
Savings tip: Optimum often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
HughesNet brand
Value
3.5
Affordable satellite internet plans with speeds up to 100 Mbps

HughesNet offers fast speeds at an affordable price. In some areas, HughesNet offers up to 100 Mbps download speeds and unlimited standard data.

HughesNet offers three satellite internet plans, all with unlimited data: Select, Elite, and Fusion:

  • HughesNet Select is a great choice for small households. Get speeds up to 50 Mbps, depending on the area you're in. You'll receive 100 GB of Priority Data. This should be enough for a small household to browse the internet, listen to music, stream podcasts, and stream HD video.
  • HughesNet Elite is a good choice for households who get online a lot. You get speeds up to 100 Mbps, depending on availability in your area. You also get 200 GB of Priority Data. This is perfect for doing video conferencing or doing light, turn-based video games online.
  • HughesNet Fusion is the fastest and most responsive internet that HughesNet offers. You get speeds up to Mbps and 200 GB of Priority Data. You should be able to stream HD video and play multi-player online video games in real-time.

If you regularly get online and use the internet for work or gaming, we highly recommend the HughesNet Fusion. With this plan, you get more reliable, constant internet because it taps into wireless networks for some online activities.

We love that when you sign up for a HughesNet plan, you get mesh Wi-Fi nodes to help eliminate internet dead zones in your home and ensure your household can get online at the same time. You can get these professionally installed with your HughesNet system, so they're placed in the best possible places to maximize their effectiveness.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
HughesNet's website
or call 1-833-804-4974 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
MaxxSouth Broadband
Value
3.0
Low prices for the speed you can actually use

MaxxSouth offers plans ranging from 150 Mbps to an incredible 10 gigs. However, anything above 1 gig isn't yet widely available, and for good reason. Most households don't need near those speeds, and current devices can't use it anyway. So stick with MaxxSouth's 1 gig plans or lower. In fact, the slower your plan, the better the deal you get with MaxxSouth. A 150 Mbps plan costs just 28% of the national benchmark, while a 1 gig plan runs about 67% of the national benchmark (which is still a good deal). (1)

Plans come with unlimited data, decent upload speeds, and inexpensive equipment and installation—all with no contract. That’s a ton of value!

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
MaxxSouth Broadband's website
or call 1-844-719-0032 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
Optimum brand
Value
4.0
Great value for your money

Optimum offers quality internet and great value for your money. Optimum's fiber and cable internet plans start at 300–500 Mbps, with very competitive prices that tends to beat competitors and be way less than national benchmarks (1).

For most households, 300–500 Mbps is enough for online gaming and work-from-home needs. But you can also get internet as fast as 1 gig (or 1,000 Mbps) if your household is comprised of several heavy internet users. In some areas, Optimum even offers up to 8 gig fiber internet.

If you bundle with a mobile plan, you can get even cheaper internet prices from Optimum. Here are the starting prices for Optimum's most popular internet plans, without a mobile plan:

  • 300 Mbps Fiber: $40 a month
  • 500 Mbps Fiber: $60 a month
  • 1 Gig Fiber: $80 a month

Compared to the competition, the two lower-tier plans almost always offer more speed for the money. And while you can sometimes find cheaper gig plans, Optimum still tends to be the most affordable in its markets. If you qualify only for cable internet with Optimum, you'll still get reliable, fast internet, but your speeds will be slower than the fiber offerings.

We love Optimum's low starting prices, 2-year price lock, and 60-day money back guarantee. You get free installation when you order online with equipment included. Plus, Optimum regularly offers bonus perks with its more premium plans, such as a $50 or $200 Optimum Prepaid Mastercard with qualifying orders in certain areas.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
Optimum's website
or call 1-844-719-8066 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
HughesNet brand
Performance
4.0
100 Mbps speed is great, but performance depends on many factors

With any satellite internet provider, performance will depend on individual factors, including your location and how well your dish is positioned. There are also factors beyond your control, such as bad weather and occasional outages. Cable or fiber connections tend to be faster and more dependable, while satellite connections have slower speeds and higher latency due to the long distance between your home and the satellite overhead.

According to data from Ookla, HughesNet’s median download speed in Q4 of 2021 was almost exactly accurate with speeds advertised.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-833-804-4974 to speak with a HughesNet rep or
go to its website.
MaxxSouth Broadband
Performance
5.0
High-performance cable and fiber internet plans

MaxxSouth Broadband offers cable and fiber internet plans, both of which are highly reliable. MaxxSouth’s cable plans range from 150 Mbps to 1 gig download speeds, with upload speeds from 5 Mbps to 15 Mbps, which is better than a lot of other providers.

Some MaxxSouth fiber plans boast a whopping 10 gigs (holy cannoli!) with symmetrical connections (meaning the upload speeds match the download speeds). However, it's more realistic to see actual speeds max out at around 1 gig, even if you buy a faster plan. With 10 gigs, you could host the mother of all LAN parties (can we join?) and still have mountains of leftover bandwidth.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-844-719-0032 to speak with a MaxxSouth Broadband rep or
go to its website.
Optimum brand
Performance
5.0
Optimum internet is fast and reliable

Optimum performance is solid. With speeds up to 2 Gbps (12000 Mbps) in some states, there’s enough bandwidth available for even the heaviest of streaming households. Even the lowest-tier plans offer plenty of speed for most use cases. The cable service is generally very reliable, as well, and usually even faster than advertised, with better latency than any cable competitor. (2)

Optimum offers fiber internet service in some of its coverage areas, which offers extra reliability and symmetrical speeds. That’s an excellent feature for content creators and anyone who shares a lot of large media files. Recently, it started offering home internet plans up to 5 Gbps, a speed that’s nearly impossible to beat.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-844-719-8066 to speak with a Optimum rep or
go to its website.
HughesNet brand
Equipment and installation
4.0
Easy professional installation and good equipment prices

When you sign up for HughesNet, you can decide to either lease or purchase equipment from the company. Usually, the cost for leasing equipment is around $20 per month and purchasing is around $450. Purchasing equipment is a good deal if you think you’ll continue your service beyond the two-year contract term.

Depending on current promotions, you can sometimes get discounts for leasing or purchasing and have the $99 installation fee waived. You may also be able to score a $100 prepaid gift card, even if you're using your ACP benefit.

Ordering online can sometimes save you up to $50, but the address system on the site is clunky. If you enter yours and Hughesnet says it can't find your address, you may need to call in.

HughesNet’s equipment costs and installation process are about the same as Viasat. Starlink, on the other hand, requires you to purchase the equipment up front for a higher cost and install it yourself.

HughesNet will send a technician to professionally install your equipment, which includes a satellite dish, Wi-Fi modem, router, mesh nodes to boost your Wi-Fi signal in your home, and everything else you need. Installation typically happens within five days of signup, and service windows are about 3 hours long.

The technician will put the dish on your house, or on a pole mount in the ground for $25 extra, and ensure a clear line of sight to the satellite. A hole will be drilled into your home for the cable to connect to the modem inside. Once the system is active and tested, the technician will also connect up to two devices to the network for you.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
HughesNet plans
available in your area.
View plans
MaxxSouth Broadband
Equipment and installation
4.0
Low-cost installation and quality gear

MaxxSouth has minimal equipment and installation costs. A router/modem combo is included in your plan’s pricing, which is a rare find indeed. If you have a large home or a big family, though, you probably want to spring for this provider’s eero TrueMesh Wi-Fi, which uses multiple signal extenders placed throughout your home for the best coverage. At a reasonable $15 per month, this Wi-Fi package also includes an app that helps you find and eliminate dead spots, set parental controls, and even gives you access to remote support.

MaxxSouth’s professional installation will cost you around $20 in most cases, though if your home isn’t quite internet ready, this cost could go up. Since professional installation usually costs $70–$100 even for plug-and-play homes, that’s a sweet deal. The downside is that there’s no free self-install option, which means you’ll have to schedule an appointment. But there are worse trade-offs.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
MaxxSouth Broadband plans
available in your area.
View plans
Optimum brand
Equipment and installation
4.5
Free professional and self-installation

Optimum offers a fairly standard wireless gateway with most of its fiber and cable plans. The combined modem and router are usually free, but may cost you $10 per month in some areas. You can also add Wi-Fi extenders for $3 each per month, which is handy for larger homes and offices (and not a bad price, either).

If you sign up for 1 gig fiber internet, you'll get a free WiFi 6E included to help ensure you get the fastest WiFi speeds. This WiFi technology will help your entire household get great WiFi coverage. This technology is perfect for busy households and provides amazing internet performance and minimal lag. In fact, you can connect over 100 devices to your WiFi!

If you want to use your own equipment instead of Optimum's free gear, you may run into difficulties. Optimum doesn't list compatible equipment and requires at least some third-party modems to be purchased from its stores.

With Optimum installation, you can do it yourself or have a pro help, and either way is free. If you order online, you can opt for a free standard professional installation or pay $59 for a premium installation, where the tech will configure Wi-Fi on up to six devices for you. While other providers may offer to set up your main device during installation, we haven’t seen such an extensive guarantee elsewhere. This could be a selling point for less tech-savvy customers.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
Optimum plans
available in your area.
View plans
HughesNet brand
Customer experience
4.0
Plenty of support resources, and you can get actual human help

Customer experience with HughesNet is comparable to its primary satellite internet competitor, Viasat. For billing and tech support questions, the company gives you several ways to contact customer support: by phone, live chat, or email. HughesNet also has an online forum for customers to ask and answer each other’s questions, as well as FAQs and help articles. You can easily manage your account through the website or mobile app.

HughesNet also offers Home Voice, a VoIP phone service that uses your satellite internet connection, plus an internet security package. Both are free for the first month, but you'll be charged starting in your second month, so set yourself a reminder to call and cancel the extras if you're not sure you need them.

Visit HughesNet's website
or call 1-833-804-4974 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
MaxxSouth Broadband
Customer Experience
2.5
Decent self-help options, but customer service needs improvement

We love that installation is just $20 in most cases and that you can call into MaxxSouth customer service 24/7/365. However, some of the customer reviews suggest that the low price and availability aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Multiple reviews cite technicians leaving holes in walls, unsightly cables, or non-functioning internet in their wake, while others say it’s hard to get a person on the phone when they call in.

MaxxSouth has some decent self-help content on its website to help you troubleshoot issues on your own, but not all issues can be solved this way. We’d love to see MaxxSouth’s customer service rise to the level of its value in other areas.

Visit MaxxSouth Broadband's website
or call 1-844-719-0032 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
Optimum brand
Customer experience
3.0
Good customer experience overall

Optimum provides a good customer experience overall. Both types—cable and fiber—are fast and stable. We haven’t seen any major complaints about Optimum's reliability, which is impressive. We think the day-to-day experience with Optimum is pretty great.

Optimum does have some customer service complaints, with one of the lowest ratings of all providers, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) (3). Most of the complaints we’ve seen involve a poor experience dealing with customer service reps. Optimum does offer solid online support options, so you may be able to get around these issues. And, of course, not everyone has a poor experience.

Visit Optimum's website
or call 1-844-719-8066 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
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HughesNet
3.0
(13)
5 Star
7%
4 Star
31%
3 Star
31%
2 Star
23%
1 Star
8%
C
Carlos from Mojave, CA
HughesNet Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 6-24-2022
It’s slow and sometimes nothing will even load when we supposedly have 30 gb a day
A
Amberly from Canisteo , NY
HughesNet Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 6-22-2022
I think this company provides very good service for the price I like that the price does not change it's a set set price every month their customer support team is great the response time is amazing and I like most everything about this company I do wish that their speeds would be a little faster but they aren't that bad.
M
Mauleenfrom Hemphill, TX
HughesNet Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
The internet service is not worth what’s being charged. If there were more options for internet in this area, I would definitely switch to a better service. No competition in this rural area.
D
Debfrom West Jefferson, OH
HughesNet Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
We live in a rural area and Hughes Net is the only option for us
MaxxSouth Broadband
0.0
(0)
5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Optimum
3.8
(70)
5 Star
26%
4 Star
46%
3 Star
16%
2 Star
8%
1 Star
4%
D
Debbiefrom Cullowhee, NC
Optimum Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
Reliable with few issues. Just wish the cost wasn’t so much.
B
Bobbifrom Bridgeport, CT
Optimum Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
I am very satisfy with my service .I been a customer for years.They are a good value and very reliable.
L
Lyndafrom Sod, WV
Optimum Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
Optimum currently provides a fast and mostly reliable internet connection. However, the price is not a value at all.
J
Janetfrom Bronx, NY
Optimum Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
very good service. always available in my area. a sure deal
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Endnotes and sources
1. “2022 Urban Rate Survey – Fixed Broadband Service,” FCC. Accessed 17 June 2022.2. “Starlink Hits 100+ Mbps Download Speed in 15 Countries During Q4 2021,” Ookla. Accessed 6 June 2022.3. “HughesNet outage or service down,” Downdetector. Accessed 6 June 2022.
Endnotes and sources
1. “2022 Urban Rate Survey – Fixed Broadband Service,” FCC. Accessed 1 February 2023.
Endnotes and sources
1. “2022 Urban Rate Survey – Fixed Broadband Service,” FCC. Accessed 20 October 2022.2. "Measuring Broadband America," FCC. Retreieved Dec. 10, 2022.3. “Internet Service Providers,” American Customer Satisfaction Index. Accessed 15 June 2022.