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HughesNet internet reviews

HughesNet brand
Staff rating
Customer rating
Price: $49.99 - $124.99/moSpeed: 25 Mbps
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Researched by
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Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 2/12/23

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Slow speeds, but more affordable satellite plans for casual users

HughesNet has the cheapest broadband satellite internet plans, with speeds up to 25 Mbps and data limits up to 100 GB. You'll pay a lot of money for not a lot of speed and not much data, but it's a workable way to connect for folks in rural areas. Where available, consider other connection types or satellite internet providers if you don’t want to be held back.

What we like

  • Affordable plans for satellite
  • Wide availability
  • Bonus data during off-peak hours
What we dislike

  • Slow speed
  • Price hike after six months
  • Two-year contract required

Our expert assessment

The most affordable broadband satellite internet plans out there, but limited speed

With any HughesNet plan, you get the same 25 Mbps download speed, and you'll pay around double the national benchmark for similar non-satellite internet plans (1). This meets the minimum definition of broadband, but it’s still relatively slow, even for satellite internet. You’ll be able to check email and do basic web browsing, but it’s not ideal for more intensive use. HughesNet simply can’t compete in areas where cable or fiber connections are available.

HughesNet’s plans differ based on how much high-speed data you get and range from 15 GB to 100 GB. Like with Viasat, you won’t get any overage charges for going over your plan’s high-speed data limit with Hughesnet, but your speeds will get throttled to a nearly unusable 1–3 Mbps. There are a couple of unique ways to get extra data with HughesNet. During the off-peak Bonus Zone hours of 2:00 am to 8:00 am, you get 50 GB of extra data. If you run out of high-speed data during a billing cycle, you can also get back up to speed by purchasing Data Tokens, which start at $9 for 3 GB and don’t expire.

The best HughesNet plan is the Fusion 100 GB plan, which improves latency by tapping into wireless networks for some online activities.

You’ll want to steer clear of lower data cap plans, as you’re likely to blow through a 15 to 30 GB high-speed data allowance within days, especially if you do any streaming.

HughesNet plans start out at about $20 less than Viasat plans, but jump up after six months. They're still slightly more affordable when standard pricing kicks in, considering that Viasat has its own price hike after three months. But if you want a satellite internet plan with higher download speeds or more than 100 GB of data, compare your options with Viasat and Starlink.

HughesNet’s 25 Mbps of speed does the basics, but don’t expect much more

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 20.92 Mbps (2). That’s not too far off from its advertised top speed of 25 Mbps. According to this data, its upload speed and latency are just a bit lower than Viasat’s. And, although Starlink seems to outperform both HughesNet and Viasat on each of those points, Starlink seems to have more issues with reliability and isn’t as widely available. Common complaints about HughesNet’s service on Downdetector include slow speeds and some outages, sometimes for days in a row (3).

Equipment and installation
Easy professional installation and reasonable 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, and it doesn't require a credit check.

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, 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.

Customer experience
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 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.

We stand by the validity of our reviews and are committed to transparency: Our team uses consumer sentiment software to source customer reviews, which are entirely unique to this website. Reviewers attest to being current customers of the providers they review and are not incentivized to speak positively or negatively about their experience. We do not alter the reviews in any way. Learn more about how we source reviews.

HughesNet customer ratings overview

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Our reviews come from real customers who weren't incentivized to leave a review. The rating distribution typically shows a range of experiences and opinions that helps you get a sense for the average customer experience, not just extremes.

Top reviews from HughesNet customers

Brian from Narrows, VA
HughesNet Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-12-06
Good value for the money. Better reception in rural areas
Linzy Failsfrom Copeland, FL
HughesNet Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-11-26
Not a great value , somewhat reliable & not fast enough
Cletafrom Garrison, TX
HughesNet Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-10-09
First of all, the price is very high for what we get. Our internet goes out from time to time and I have to troubleshoot it. The speed could be better too. They could improve by lowering the cost and being more reliable.
Sebastian from Toccoa, GA
HughesNet Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-10-01
It' good. It' not the best. But pretty good. It' mid.
Nathanfrom Crossville , TN
HughesNet Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-09-03
They currently keep good rates and great coverage as well as customer service. They could do a little better on the time it takes them to do service calls.
Chrystinafrom Sayre, OK
HughesNet Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-09-01
its expensive but I can't watch a YouTube video without constantly stopping
Victoria from Calabash , NC
HughesNet Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-08-30
So far everything is good. My only issue would be that it will randomly turn off but we're happy with it
Amberfrom Glen St Mary , FL
HughesNet Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-08-29
Their customer service agents are absolutely amazing. I've not had any issues arise from them personally only issue with the amount of people using my services. They're extravagant!
Delisa from Lockney , TX
HughesNet Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-08-22
When the weather changes we lose signal
Garyfrom Rapidan, VA
HughesNet Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-08-17
Poor response time, expensive, poor customer servicer do well, (nothing) improve ( lower prices, have people who know the system, not people who read from a computer screen )
Coreyfrom Mauk, GA
HughesNet Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-08-07
It's alright could be better
Ingo from Priest Lake , ID
HughesNet Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-08-04
The are to slow what iam paying for every Month !
Carlos from Mojave, CA
HughesNet Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-08-03
It’s slow and sometimes nothing will even load when we supposedly have 30 gb a day
Debfrom West Jefferson, OH
HughesNet Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-07-31
We live in a rural area and Hughes Net is the only option for us
Pennyfrom Hayesville, NC
HughesNet Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-07-16
I am in a rural area and they are great at keeping me connected at a affordable price
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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.