Hughesnet Installation Guide

Dave Schafer
Apr 14, 2023
Icon Time To Read3 min read

What to expect from Hughesnet installation including fees, equipment, and more

Hughesnet is an excellent overall satellite internet provider, even down to its installation process. Though satellite internet installation is more involved than most other types of internet, Hughesnet does a great job of simplifying things for the customer.

When you order your service, you’ll usually receive an installation date that’s within a few days. The technician will take care of setting up your satellite dish, Wi-Fi Modem, and your network and connected devices. The whole process is nice and smooth. In this article, we’ll dig into all the finer details.

Does Hughesnet charge for installation?

Hughesnet charges a $99 installation fee, though you can find promotions that often waive the fee—particularly if you lease your equipment. You’ll also have to choose whether to lease or purchase your equipment. You can lease the equipment for about $20 per month, or you can purchase it outright for $450.

Equipment fees$20 per month to lease or $450 up front to purchase
Installation fee$99 (often waived with promotions)

What to expect at Hughesnet installation

Because it involves mounting a satellite dish, the Hughesnet installation process is more complex than installs from many other internet service providers (ISPs), particularly cable providers.

Typically, your installation will be scheduled within a few days of ordering your service. When the day of installation arrives, the technician will go through the following steps:

  1. Install the satellite dish on your home. The installer carefully selects the dish’s location to ensure it’s at least four feet off the ground (for safety), away from power lines and other utilities, and aligned with the satellite (for maximum signal strength). The dish will be mounted in a place with a clear, unobstructed view of the southern sky. If there are any issues finding a suitable location, the technician will discuss them with you.
  2. The technician will then need to connect the satellite dish to a jack inside your home. This jack is where you’ll connect your modem and router, so it’s essential for functional internet. The tech will first drill a hole in an exterior wall and an adjacent interior wall. They’ll install a jack and faceplate at the interior hole and run a cable from the satellite dish through the holes to the jack. Don’t worry too much about the drilling—the tech will clean everything up and seal the holes to keep out water.
  3. Next, the technician will connect your modem and router and set up your Wi-Fi network. They will connect up to two of your devices for you and ensure you’re online and good to go.

At this point, your Hughesnet internet service is installed and functioning (see our Hughesnet troubleshooting guide if it’s not!), and the installation process is officially complete. The whole process should take a few hours, depending on the specifics of your home and setup needs.

How long does Hughesnet installation take?

The full installation process generally takes between four and six hours. If you’re having Hughesnet installed in a commercial location, it might take longer. The time frame includes the time it takes to find the right location for the dish, drill necessary holes, and clean up afterwards.

Can I install Hughesnet myself?

No, you can’t install Hughesnet internet yourself. The process involves mounting a satellite dish, aligning it properly, and drilling holes in your walls—in other words, it’s a lot. Even if you technically have the tools and know-how to DIY the installation, Hughesnet doesn’t offer a self-install kit—the only way to get the hardware you need is to have a professional come out and install it.

This is par for the course for most satellite services, including Viasat internet. The only notable exception is Starlink, which sends you a self-installation kit by default. However, even in that case, you may need help or additional hardware to get the dish in place—particularly if you want it mounted somewhere off the ground.

Hughesnet equipment

When you sign up for Hughesnet satellite internet service, you’ll receive two primary pieces of equipment: your satellite dish and your modem/router combo. You can pay about $20 per month to lease the equipment, or you can purchase it outright for $450.

Does Hughesnet use a modem or router?

Yes, Hughesnet uses both a modem and router—the company combines the two into a single unit called a Wi-Fi Modem. In terms of appearance, it’s a typical wireless gateway—a rectangular tower with a bunch of indicator lights on the front.

The Hughesnet Wi-Fi Modem is surprisingly capable—especially considering the relatively limited speeds of HughesNet internet. We think most customers will be quite happy with the Wi-Fi Modem.

hughesnet wifi modem
HughesNet Wi-Fi Modem
pro Good performance thanks to modern wireless standards
con A bit ugly (in our opinion, at least)
Price: About $20 per month (this price also includes the satellite dish)

Hughesnet Installation FAQ

Does Hughesnet require a phone line?

No, Hughesnet doesn’t interact with phone lines at all. Internet signals reach your satellite dish from space, and that data travels to your modem/router via coaxial cables. You don’t need a phone line to install satellite internet. If you do have a phone line, your internet use also won’t interfere with its operation.

Does Hughesnet take the dish back?

Yes and no. If you lease your equipment and cancel service, you’ll need to return that equipment. However, you don’t need to return the entire satellite dish—just the radio transmitter, which is a piece attached to the arm of the dish. Unfortunately, this means you may need to take down the satellite dish yourself. You can contact Hughesnet customer service for more details.

Is Hughesnet installation free?

There is a $99 installation fee for Hughesnet service. However, promotions often waive this fee, so there’s a good chance that you’ll get your internet installed and set up at no additional cost.

Dave Schafer
Written by
Dave Schafer
Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).