HughesNet is one of the leading broadband providers in the US, and the number one choice when it comes to satellite internet. It’s a great option for anyone living in rural areas without fixed-line broadband, or where ADSL and fiber-optic speeds just aren’t up to scratch.
We’ve put together this guide with everything you need to know about HughesNet to help you figure out whether they’re the right provider for you. Let’s get started!
HughesNet Unlimited Plan
Every Hughesnet Internet plan comes with unlimited data with no hard data limits. By ‘hard data limits’, they mean that they’ll never completely cut off your data or charge you extra if you exceed your plan’s monthly limit.
Instead, if and when you exceed your basic monthly limit, they’ll throttle your internet speeds, but you’ll stay connected.
They just reduce the speeds down to around 1-3 Mbps until your package resets at the end of the month. The reduced speeds are pretty slow and might make it annoying to download big files, but it’s definitely still usable!
Still, it’s better to avoid going over your data limit wherever possible, and data limits differ depending on the plan you choose. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the different Hughesnet plans available.
Hughesnet offers four plans to choose from. These are:
- 10GB Data Plan – $59.99 per month
- 20GB Data Plan – $69.99 per month
- 30GB Data Plan – $99.99 per month
- 50GB Data Plan – $149.99 per month
The amount of gigabytes represents the ‘soft data’ limit, but every plan also comes with unlimited data at lower speeds once you exceed that limit. Compared to many other internet providers, that’s pretty good value for money.
You can click the button below to find out more about all the Hughesnet plans right now!
So, which plan is right for you? Well, it really depends on what you plan on using the internet for, how often you plan on using it, and the size of your household. Here’s what I’d recommend:
- 10 GB Plan should be sufficient for small apartments of 1-2 people who plan on streaming a few videos and browsing the internet
- 20 GB Plan is recommended for small households that stream a lot of HD movies or play a lot of video games.
- 30 GB Plan is best for larger homes with several connected devices. It’s also probably the best option for online teachers or anyone else who works online.
- 50 GB Plan is suitable for large homes that plan on streaming videos on multiple devices simultaneously
HughesNet Bonus Data
All of the Hughesnet plans also come with 50 GB free ‘Bonus Zone Data’ during off-peak hours. This means that, between 2 a.m and 8 a.m, you can use an extra 50 GB of data for no extra costs, and without eating into your soft data limit.
I’d recommend scheduling any big downloads (like movies, updates, and applications) for these hours to make the most of the extra data.
The Bonus Zone Data is also useful if you teach English online with a company like First Future, as many online teaching companies operate during these hours, so that’s when you’ll be teaching and using most of your data anyway.
HughesNet Speed Test
Every Hughesnet plan offers the same internet speeds: 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload. What’s great about Hughesnet is that, because it’s satellite internet, those speeds are pretty consistent up and down the country.
No matter where you live; no matter how rural the area is, you should be able to access 25Mbps download speeds – and 25Mbps is pretty good!
To put that into perspective, streaming HD shows on Netflix only uses around 5Mbps, so you could theoretically stream 5 shows at once without any problems.
Of course, it might not be the same for every user, and latency plays a part too, but it’s a good indication of how fast Hughesnet internet is.
Hughesnet speeds are also plenty fast enough to teach online. Most online teaching companies ask for 10Mbps download speeds and 2Mbps upload speeds, so Hughesnet checks out.
First Future, for example, only requires 5 Mbps or more. You can find out more about First Future below:
Like most internet providers, online reviews of Hughesnet are a bit of a mixed bag. Many users are happy with their experience, particularly the good value for money and bonus data zones, but not every review is positive.
When they do come up, the majority of negative reviews seemed to be from users that misunderstood the soft data limit and weren’t happy with the reduced speeds when they exceeded their limit. As long as you understand what you’re signing up for, this shouldn’t be a problem!
I’ve picked out a few more pros and cons that come up time and time again in Hughesnet reviews and listed them below.
- Automatic adjustment feature – Hughesnet adjusts streaming speeds in real-time to reduce data usage
- Fast loading speeds – Hughesnet Gen5 compresses web content to help pages load faster and use up less data
- Value for money – Hughesnet plans are significantly lower than many other providers
- Coverage – Hughesnet internet coverage area is huge
- Data Caps – many reviewers aren’t happy with the data caps on their monthly plan
- Latency – As Hughesnet works on satellite internet, latency can be higher than with fiber-optic connections
- High early contract termination fees
Other Broadband Internet Providers
If Hughesnet doesn’t seem like the right broadband internet provider for you, here are 3 other broadband internet providers to consider instead:
- Comcast XFinity
These companies all offer competitive plans and high download speeds, plus many of them come with ‘true’ unlimited data in case you don’t want to deal with soft data caps.
If you want to find out more about these companies, you can read an in-depth review of each of them in our article on the 4 Best Broadband Internet Providers in the USA. Check it out!
Final Thoughts on HughesNet
Overall, I definitely think Hughesnet is one of the best internet providers in the US right now, especially if you prefer satellite internet, so go ahead and sign up to their monthly plans and try them out!
Good luck, and happy browsing!