HughesNet Internet Review: HughesNet Plans, Prices, and Bundles

HughesNet satellite internet offers low prices and is available practically everywhere, but is a HughesNet plan a good choice for you?
HughesNet internet overview
HughesNet
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
  • Price:$54.99/mo.–$149.99/mo.
  • Speed: 25 Mbps
  • Data: 15–75 GB
  • Internet type: Satellite
Plan
Price
Speed
Get it
Best value30 GB$64.99/mo.25 Mbps
Most data75 GB$149.99/mo.25 Mbps

*Data effective 2/15/22. Service plans require a 24-month commitment.


Cara Haynes
Managing Editor
Read More
July 28, 2022

HughesNet review: Residential and business satellite internet

Overall, we’d recommend HughesNet internet if you need an affordable satellite internet plan for browsing, email checking, and even limited TV streaming. 

HughesNet satellite internet plans offer up to 75 GB of data per month and download speeds up to 25 Mbps. That's slower than Viasat and Starlink speeds. But HughesNet’s prices and promotional deals keep it competitive.

So is HughesNet good? Yes, HughesNet is one of the best satellite internet providers if you’re looking for affordable rural internet that gets the job done.

HughesNet pros
pro 50% more data with new HughesNet plans
pro No price hikes (Viasat raises prices after 3 months)
pro Free installation
HughesNet cons
con Slower max internet speeds than Viasat and Starlink
con Lower max data caps than Viasat and Starlink
Not sure about HughesNet? Find all your internet provider options with one search.

HughesNet internet deals and promotions

  • Get a $300 prepaid card via rebate when you order HughesNet.* First-time customers only. Available June 30, 2022 through August 31, 2022.
  • All HughesNet plans are $10 off for the first six months after purchase for a total savings of $60.
  • Get $5 off your equipment leasing fee for the first six months.
  • Get $100 off if you purchase your equipment outright. 

*$300 Prepaid Card via rebate applies to new HughesNet residential subscribers. HughesNet equipment and  service much be purchased or leased between 6/30/22 and 8/31/22 and must remain active for a minimum of 31 days to qualify. Offer is not valid on the 15 GB, NYSB 20, NYSB 100 and NYSB 500 plans. Visit HughesNetRebates.com for details. Rebate submissions must be received by 12/1/22. Card expires 6 months from date issued. Restrictions may apply. Offer void where prohibited. Offer ends 8/31/2022.

HughesNet

HughesNet plans and pricing

Data plan
Price
Speed
15 GB
$54.99
/mo.
25 Mbps
30 GB
$64.99
/mo.
25 Mbps
45 GB
$99.99
/mo.
25 Mbps
75 GB
$149.99
/mo.
25 Mbps

*Data effective 2/23/2022. Service plans require a 24-month commitment. $10 off for 6 months. 24 mo. commitment required. Pricing not available in all areas. Offer valid 6/31/22-8/31/22

HughesNet is currently offering its internet plans at $10 less than usual for the first six months of service. That'll save you $60 overall, and if there's anything we like, it's saving money.

If residential satellite internet isn't what you're looking for, never fear. HughesNet also offers satellite business internet plans, if you're looking to support your small business. Rural areas and digital nomads rejoice!

HughesNet internet satellite dish installed on our roof

Our HughesNet tech first found a place on the roof with a clear view of the southern sky. Then he screwed the satellite down and calibrated it to capture the signal. You'll want to make sure you have a good spot on your home or in your yard before ordering satellite internet.

Our favorite HughesNet plan

If price isn’t an issue for you, the best HughesNet internet plan is the 75 GB plan for $149.99 a month. That’s the plan that we signed up for.

Data goes fast with satellite internet—especially if you like streaming—so it’s nice to have as much as you can get. But if you don’t want to pay $149.99 a month, the HughesNet 30 GB plan is more affordable. Plus, you can make those 30 GB last longer by downloading movies and shows during the Bonus Zone (2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.).

If you’ve explored HughesNet satellite internet plans before, you might notice their data caps just got 50% bigger! The HughesNet prices also went up by $5–$10 (depending on the plan), but that’s nothing to complain about since the data increased so dramatically. Way more data for just a little bit more money? Yes, please.

Plus, like we mentioned earlier, HughesNet's offering its plans for $10 cheaper for the first six months of new service, so that balances out in your favor. 

HughesNet internet speeds

Although HughesNet Gen5 data caps got bigger, HughesNet download speeds stayed the same: a humble 25 Mbps. An internet speed of 25 Mbps is plenty functional for internet basics like email and paying online bills, but it’s a little behind the times when satellite providers like Starlink offer satellite internet speeds up to 500 Mbps.

While we tested HughesNet, we noticed that 25 Mbps made video streaming choppier, and it sometimes led to slow load times for things like Zoom and YouTube. You also need to keep an eye on your data limit with HughesNet more than with other satellite internet service providers, though fortunately there are no longer hard data limits (your speeds just slow after you've reached your data cap).

If you're looking for a really high-speed experience from your internet service provider, Viasat or Starlink might be better satellite alternatives for you.

But you might consider our Best 4G LTE Home Internet Providers guide if you're in an area that has cell service without land-based internet providers. Fixed wireless internet could be for you. 

The truth about HughesNet

As part of our HughesNet review, we've tested the service ourselves for about six months so we could give you a peek into the behind-the-scenes process.

The prices on our order summary are a bit different than current (we didn't get the $10-less promotion running now). But take a look at the HughesNet fees and equipment setup prices for the 75 GB service plan on our order summary below.

HughesNet fees

HughesNet email order confirmation and HughesNet plan details

Here's what your confirmation email will look like once you order HughesNet. We ordered the biggest plan they had to offer to test—and we also got to take advantage of some current HughesNet deals that were automatically applied to our account.

If you're interested in more details about how HughesNet handles its customers and fees—or if you want to talk to a HughesNet customer service representative about your own—check out our HughesNet Customer Service advice page.

Now, on with the HughesNet review. You may be wondering whether HughesNet plays nice with TV. Read on to find out.

HughesNet TV and internet bundle deals

Best satellite TV plans
Price
Channels
Get it
DISH America's Top 120
Starts at
$69.99
/mo
190+
DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT All-Included
Starts at
$64.99
/mo
160+

for 24. months. Everyday Price $104.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.

Prices subject to change at any time. DIRECTV STREAM Device avail. for 12 mos. plus taxes and fees. w/ 24-mo agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill req'd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. Taxes due at sale. See details.

You can’t bundle your HughesNet internet with TV to get discounts. But you can get DISH or DIRECTV as your HughesNet internet TV option—you’ll just have to purchase it separately. They’re both available everywhere, just like HughesNet. You’ll just have two satellite dishes on top of your house.

Both satellite TV providers require a 2-year contract that comes with hefty early termination fees. Make sure you’re committed to your DISH or DIRECTV plan for the long haul before you sign the dotted line.

But what about streaming TV with HughesNet? It’s possible to stream on satellite internet, but streaming in HD requires about 3 GB of data per hour. That means you’ll get about 25 hours of HD streaming per month on HughesNet’s biggest plan (75 GB). That’s less than an hour of streaming per day. And let’s be honest, that’s not nearly enough TV—especially for weekend binge-watch sessions.

Info
Get more HughesNet streaming data.

You can use the Bonus Zone to squeeze an extra 50 GB out of your HughesNet satellite internet plan every month. Just download or stream your TV content between 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Our tip? Plan ahead by waking up early or staying up late to prep all your streaming content for the month. You can also schedule software updates to happen during that time.

If you don’t want to stress about budgeting your streaming time, go with a satellite TV plan. You can watch as much TV as you want with DISH or DIRECTV, no data caps attached. So, go ahead—have your HughesNet and your TV too.

HughesNet Voice and internet bundles

Base plan
Minutes
Price
Home VoiceUnlimited calls to US and Canada
$29.95
mo.
Add-on plans
Minutes
Price
International 200200 minutes to 60 countries
$9.95
mo.
International UnlimitedUnlimited calls to 60 countries
$22.95
mo.

HughesNet Voice offers satellite-based home phone service via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Although it uses your HughesNet satellite internet connection to make calls, HughesNet Voice won’t count toward your monthly data cap, which sets HughesNet Voice apart from other VoIP phone options that will happily devour your data. Even if you hit your HughesNet Internet data cap, you can still make VoIP calls.

You can easily add HughesNet Voice to your existing HughesNet Internet plan for an additional $29.95 per month. With that plan, you’ll get unlimited calls to the US and Canada. If you need to make international calls, HughesNet Voice offers the International 200 add-on plan for $9.95 per month or the International Unlimited add-on plan for $22.95 per month. It’s easy to bundle HughesNet Voice with your internet service when you buy HughesNet online.

Every HughesNet Voice plan allows you to keep your same phone number or get a new one. The plan also comes with free features such as call waiting, caller ID, call forwarding, voicemail, and more.​

HughesNet internet vs. the competition

Provider
Price
Monthly data
Installation
Speed
Details
$54.99–$149.99/mo.*15–75 GBFree25 Mbps
$64.99–$169.99/mo.†45–300 GBFree12–100 Mbps
$99.00–$500.00/mo.‡Unlimited$499.00–$2,500.00100–500 Mbps

Data effective 1/25/22.* Service plans require a 24-month commitment.†Promotional price is for the first 3 months. Regular internet rate applies after 3 months ($50–$200/mo.). ‡Service plans require a 24-month commitment.

HughesNet internet vs. Viasat

HughesNet Gen5 seems equally priced with Viasat internet initially, but that’s no longer the case after three months. Viasat raises prices from 30% to 50% after the three-month intro period. HughesNet prices stay the same. And since both HughesNet and Viasat require a 2-year contract, you’ll be stuck with the Viasat price hike for the majority of your service.

That said, Viasat does offer higher internet speeds and data caps than HughesNet. All that extra money you’ll be paying with Viasat isn’t for nothing. But if you want a satellite internet plan that starts out with an affordable price and stays that way, go with HughesNet by Hughes Network Systems.

HughesNet internet vs. Starlink

Starlink offers more data and faster internet speeds than HughesNet, but HughesNet is much more widely available and reliable—at least for now. Starlink’s network is still in the early stages and could surpass HughesNet in availability and consistency over the next few years, although that’s still up for debate.1 Even though getting Starlink is still a longshot, it’s hard to not be tempted by Starlink’s incredibly fast satellite internet download speeds (speeds go up to 500 Mbps with Starlink Premium) and unlimited data.2 Those are two hot commodities in the rural internet market.

But before you jump on the Starlink bandwagon, know that Starlink availability is still highly limited. Many customers are spending months on the waitlist.3 The installation fees are also much higher than Viasat and HughesNet ($2,500 for Starlink Premium!). With Starlink, you have to buy your equipment outright and then install it yourself—there’s no leasing option.

HughesNet also offers the Bonus Zone with all its satellite internet plans. It allows you to use an additional 50 GB of full-speed data between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Sure, it’s not the best time of day to plop on the couch and stream. But it can come in handy if you plan ahead. For example, you can download shows and movies in advance during that time.

Read our full reviews of HughesNet internet vs. its main internet competitors

Things we like about HughesNet internet

Pro: Bonus Zone HughesNet satellite internet plans offer the Bonus Zone, which is unlike anything offered by other satellite internet providers. You can get an extra 50 GB of data per month just by using the internet in the hours between 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. This makes HughesNet’s already affordable plans an even better bargain.

Pro: 50% more data HughesNet plans now offer 50% more data than its previous satellite internet plans for only $5–$10 more per month. This makes them more competitive with Viasat’s larger data caps and still the more affordable option overall.

Pro: No hefty installation fees HughesNet allows you to lease equipment rather than forcing you to buy it outright for a hefty price ($499 and up) like Starlink does. HughesNet also doesn’t raise its prices after 3 months like Viasat does.

Pro: Frequent deals and promotions. Unlike Starlink and even Viasat, HughesNet often offers deals on its plans or promotions to help sweeten the pot. These aren't reasons to get HughesNet on their own, but if you're pretty sure the plans are a good fit for you, it helps you save on your internet service. 

Things we don’t like about HughesNet internet

Con: Slow download speeds The fastest download speed HughesNet satellite internet offers is 25 Mbps. That’s slow even for satellite internet. While it’s certainly better than some of the 12 Mbps plans Viasat offers, Viasat also offers plans up to 100 Mbps. And when you compare 25 Mbps to Starlink’s potential for 500 Mbps with its Starlink Premium plans, it’s really hard to feel excited about HughesNet speeds.

Con: Lower data caps HughesNet data caps are generally lower than what you’ll get with Viasat and Starlink. Satellite internet plans with more data from Viasat and Starlink are a lot more expensive overall, but it’s still nice for satellite providers to at least offer the option.

HughesNet internet availability

One of the best things about HughesNet is that it’s available practically everywhere. As long as you have a clear view of the southern sky, you can get HughesNet internet service. HughesNet can offer such widespread availability because it’s based on a satellite internet network run by Hughes Network Systems.

Other internet providers rely on landlines that are expensive and time-intensive to install, which is why they often don’t reach rural cities. But with a giant satellite orbiting Earth, you can rain down that sweet satellite internet service to a much wider area. 

That said, if you have internet options available where you live other than satellite internet, we recommend going with one of those instead. HughesNet is a great solution when you don’t have any other options. But it’s low data caps and slower speeds can be a hassle if you have DSL internet, cable, or a 5G/4G LTE home internet service available that you could go with instead.

Find all the internet providers available where you live.

HughesNet internet fees

Fee
Cost
Data tokens$9.00/3 GB (see chart below for more pricing)
Installation FeeFree if you lease ($99.00 if you purchase your equipment outright)
Monthly lease fee$14.99/mo.
Equipment purchase$499.98
Early termination feeStarts at $400.00

HughesNet often runs promotions that either reduce or eliminate its fees. For example, you can usually get a free HughesNet installation if you sign up for an equipment lease.

Right now through 8/31/22, you can also get $5 off the monthly lease fee for six months, or $100 off if you choose to purchase it outright, depending on where you live.

HughesNet Router

The HughesNet router has to be close to wherever your HughesNet tech drills a hole in your wall for the cord to come in from the outside. For us, that ended up being in the kitchen, which is not ideal but it's what worked best.

Pro tip: Buy HughesNet online
Pricetag

When you purchase your HughesNet plan online, it’ll automatically apply any discounts you’re eligible for in your area.

HughesNet requires 2-year contracts. If you cancel your HughesNet Gen5 plan before then, you’ll be charged $400 if it happens within the first 90 days. Your fee will go down by $15 per every month you had service after the first 90 days. (Do you feel like a lawyer yet?)

Before you place your order, HughesNet will ask if you have a clear view of the southern sky and if you read the terms and conditions. Do yourself a favor and actually read the fine print (or at least skim it). It’s nice to know what to expect if you need to cancel your HughesNet satellite internet service early.

How much do HughesNet data tokens cost?

Data token
Price
3 GB
$9.00
5 GB
$15.00
10 GB
$30.00
25 GB
$75.00

HughesNet data tokens cost $9 for the first 3 GB and go up from there. Similar to what Viasat offers, HughesNet sells data tokens so you can add more full-speed data to HughesNet Gen5 plans once you hit your data cap.

This is a good option if you’ve exhausted all your 50 GB of Bonus Zone data and don’t want to deal with extremely slow speeds (1–3 Mbps) for the rest of the month. But if you find yourself buying data tokens every month, just upgrade to a bigger plan. It’ll be a better use of your money.

HughesNet internet contracts

HughesNet requires a 2-year contract for internet service as well as for HughesNet Voice. You’ll have to pay an early termination fee if you cancel service before your contract ends. HughesNet is not a good option for you if you know you’ll be moving soon or if you’re in a temporary housing situation. Installing the HughesNet equipment is a bit of an ordeal, so it’s not really the kind of thing you pick up and go with.

Do you need portable internet?
Location

If you need a more flexible internet solution for a rural area, check out the best portable internet options.

HughesNet internet data caps

HughesNet plans have data caps from 15–75 GB per month. HughesNet internet is technically unlimited, but your speeds will experience reduced speeds once you hit your data cap. If you need more full-speed data, you can use the 50 GB Bonus Zone from 2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Or you can buy data tokens.

Satellite internet data caps are much lower than what you’d get from a cable or fiber internet provider. And reduced speeds are incredibly slow. That’s why we recommend going with a landline internet option like DSL internet instead if it’s available. With how much we’re all online these days, dealing with a restrictive data cap is not something you want to face unless you have to.

See if you have internet providers without data caps in your area.

HughesNet internet installation

HughesNet by Hughes Network Systems requires a professional installation and typically charges $99 for it. But you can often get freeHughesNet installation if you lease your equipment. If you’re buying HughesNet online, you’ll see any installation deals reflected in your cart.

Once you place your HughesNet Gen5 order, HughesNet will connect you with a local installer. The installer will call or email you within the next couple of days to schedule a time. Plan for two hours. HughesNet customers have experienced mixed results, but we were happy with our tech when we had HughesNet installed. He was professional and got the job done in less than an hour.

HughesNet internet installation requires drilling a small hole in the exterior of your house for the cord.

Your HughesNet cord needs a place to enter your home so it can connect your modem/router to the signal coming from the satellite dish. Be prepared for a small hole and some extra cords on the outside of your house.

Is HughesNet internet right for you?

HughesNet satellite internet is a good choice if satellite internet is your best option and you want internet that’s affordable. HughesNet internet is reliable and available everywhere, and you can pair it with HughesNet Voice. HughesNet’s download speeds and max data caps may pale in comparison to Viasat and Starlink. But HughesNet offers extra data features and no price hikes, which make it a strong contender in the satellite internet race.

FAQ about HughesNet internet

How much does HughesNet internet cost per month?

HughesNet internet costs $64.99 per month for the cheapest plan and goes up to $159.99 per month for the best plan. The HughesNet monthly lease fee will cost you $14.99 per month. Unlike Viasat, HughesNet has no price hikes, so your monthly bill will stay the same throughout your 2-year contract. When you order HughesNet online, check for any promotions that might reduce your monthly HughesNet cost.

Is HughesNet fast enough for streaming?

Yes, HughesNet’s 25 Mbps download speeds are fast enough for streaming. You need at least 5 Mbps to stream most streaming services, like Netflix, in SD. So HughesNet Gen5 is more than fast enough for streaming.

Just keep an eye on your data cap—streaming Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other platforms can eat through internet data quickly, especially if you like to stream in HD or 4K.

Is HughesNet internet unlimited?

HughesNet internet is technically unlimited, but each HughesNet internet plan has only a limited amount of full-speed (25 Mbps) data.

Once you reach your data cap (15–75 GB per month), your internet speeds will be slowed. But you’ll have unlimited access to data at slower speeds (1–3 Mbps). If you want more full-speed data, you can either purchase a data token or use data from 2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

How fast is HughesNet internet?

HughesNet internet offers 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds on all its plans. Once you hit your data cap, your download speeds will be slowed to 1–3 Mbps until the next month—unless you purchase more data tokens.

What are the pros and cons of HughesNet?

The pros of HughesNet are that it’s the most affordable satellite internet provider and it has no price hikes. The cons of HughesNet are that its download speeds max out at 25 Mbps and its data caps are lower than what you can get from Viasat and Starlink.

Is Viasat better than HughesNet?

Viasat is better than HughesNet if you need faster speeds and more data from your satellite internet connection. But HughesNet is the better choice if you’d rather save money and not deal with Viasat’s price hikes.

What’s the best plan from HughesNet?

HughesNet’s best plan is the 75 GB plan, which gives you the most monthly data for $159.99 per month. In addition to 75 GB of full-speed data that you can use anytime, you also get 50 GB of Bonus Zone data that you can use from 2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. That’s a combined total of 125 GB of full-speed data each month.

How does the HughesNet Bonus Zone work?

The HughesNet Bonus Zone works by offering you an additional 50 GB of full-speed data to use during the hours of 2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. It's a good way to make your HughesNet data cap last longer by downloading files or streaming materials ahead of time and then watching them later.

Methodology

Our SatelliteInternet.com editorial team bases our analyses on hands-on testing, research, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. We dig deep to get hard-to-find information on internet plans, fees, and upcoming brand developments. We make this information easy for you to find in one place via our in-depth reviews, and we use our satellite internet industry expertise to analyze the options to help you make the most informed decision for your household.

Sources

  1. Farrar, Tim, Fierce Wireless, “Starlink’s Reach Won’t Be Enough to Solve Rural Broadband Dilemma,” January 2022. Accessed February 2022.
  2. Dent, Steve, Engadget, “SpaceX Reveals $500 Monthly 'Premium' Starlink Service with Speeds up to 500 Mbps,” February 2022. Accessed February 2022.
  3. Kan, Michael, PC Mag, “SpaceX Pushes Wait Times for Starlink to 'Late 2022, Early 2023' for More Areas,” October 2021. Accessed February 2022.
Cara Haynes
Written by
Cara Haynes
Cara Haynes is the managing editor for SatelliteInternet.com. She cares deeply about helping people choose rural internet solutions that are right for them. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University, and she has over 5 years of experience researching and writing about hundreds of rural and residential internet providers. She often daydreams about living and working from a cabin in Montana, close to Glacier National Park. Although still firmly anchored to suburbia, she’s committed to researching the best ways for rural Americans to get online—no matter where they live or play.