Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet

  • pro
  • pro
  • pro
    Unlimited data (15–200GB high-speed)
T-Mobile Home Internet
  • pro
  • pro
  • pro
    Unlimited data

Dave Schafer
Mar 04, 2024
Icon Time To Read7 min read

Satellite internet has long been a rural internet staple, and Hughesnet is one of our favorite satellite internet providers. It’s the most affordable, and it offers consistent speeds from location to location.

Wireless 5G home internet is on the rise, though, and T-Mobile is our favorite 5G internet provider. It’s got fast speeds, unlimited data, and wide availability, even in rural spots. It’s also extremely affordable.

How do Hughesnet satellite internet and T-Mobile 5G Home Internet compare? Which one is right for you? Let’s find out.

Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet availability

HughesnetT-Mobile Home Internet
● Nationwide availability● Nearly nationwide
● 4G LTE service in some areas, depending on coverage

Hughesnet availability

Being a satellite internet provider, Hughesnet is available nationwide. As long as you have a clear view of the sky, you should be able to get Hughesnet service. Availability has always been the biggest benefit of satellite internet, and Hughesnet is no exception.

T-Mobile Home Internet availability

T-Mobile Home Internet is available nearly nationwide. There may be a few spots that don’t get great coverage—anyone who’s driven on the interstate knows this. However, T-Mobile’s 5G network has grown tremendously over the last few years, and the provider supplements this coverage with existing 4G LTE networks, so overall availability should be excellent.

If you want to check your specific location, T-Mobile has an interactive coverage map that shows 5G Ultra Capacity (faster speeds), 5G Extended Range (basic 5G with a longer range but slower speeds), and 4G LTE coverage. 

Overall recommendation

Hughesnet wins for availability, but T-Mobile is surprisingly close. That said, it’s likely that satellite will always be the most widely available type of service, simply because of how it’s delivered.

Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet reliability

HughesnetT-Mobile Home Internet
● Consistent speeds
● Susceptible to weather interference
● Speed and connection stability vary from one location to another

Hughesnet reliability

In our testing, Hughesnet is the most consistent satellite internet provider. Speeds and latency are both similar from one state to the next. The big knock for Hughesnet (and all satellite providers, really) is the potential for weather interference. With the signal being beamed through the atmosphere over such a long distance, snow and other weather conditions can cause slowdowns, outages, and similar issues.

T-Mobile Home Internet reliability

T-Mobile should generally be pretty reliable, although it depends a lot on the wireless network coverage in your area and the number of users on a given tower. Since T-Mobile Home Internet is the same 5G cellular internet your phone uses, signal strength and network congestion depend on the number of towers in your area and how close they are to your home. T-Mobile may give priority to mobile customers during heavy traffic, so you could see some slowdowns there, as well.

Overall recommendation

Overall, T-Mobile should be the more reliable service, although this can vary from location to location. In any case, we wouldn’t say there’s a big difference between them. Neither is necessarily unreliable, but, on the other hand, neither will be quite as reliable as a cable or fiber connection.

Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet prices and plans

HughesnetT-Mobile Home Internet
● $49.99–$94.99/mo.
● 50–100Mbps
● Unlimited data (15–200GB high-speed)
● $14.99–$19.99 monthly equipment fee
● $30.00–$50.00/mo.
● 72–245Mbps
● Unlimited data
● Equipment included in price

Hughesnet prices and plans

Hughesnet plans and pricing

Data plan
Select$49.99/mo for 12 mo.*Up to 50 Mbps
Elite$64.99/mo for 12 mo.*Up to 100 Mbps
Fusion$94.99/mo for 12 mo.*Up to 100 Mbps
* Offer for 12 months. Service plans require a 24-month commitment. Equipment Lease or Purchase fees extra. Service plans require a 24-month commitment. Equipment Lease or Purchase fees extra.

Data as of 01/2/2024 Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Offer for 12 months. Service plans require a 24-month commitment. Equipment Lease or Purchase fees extra. Service plans require a 24-month commitment. Equipment Lease or Purchase fees extra.

Hughesnet is the most budget-friendly major satellite internet provider. Plans start at just $49.99 per month, which is quite affordable for satellite. All plans offer unlimited data, although only a certain amount (dependent on the plan) is at full speed—once you use that up, you have to deal with throttled speeds for the rest of the month.

Some areas also have access to Hughesnet’s newer Fusion plans, which combine satellite internet with fixed wireless internet. These plans aim to reduce latency. They’re a bit more expensive, but that might be worth it if you want to use your satellite internet for gaming, video calls, or other applications where low latency is important.

Finally, be aware that Hughesnet packages do increase in price after 12 months. The increase is generally between $20.00 and $30.00 per month. This is pretty common in the internet world, although it’s maybe a little less common than it used to be (many providers have moved away from contracts and price locks).

T-Mobile Home Internet prices and plans

T-Mobile keeps its internet service pretty simple: There’s only one plan. The price starts at $50.00 per month, but if you have a cellular plan, it drops to $45.00 per month. If you have a top-tier cell plan (Magenta MAX, Go5G Plus, Go5G Next), it goes all the way down to just $30.00 per month.

That’s a steal for high-speed internet with unlimited data—only other 5G home internet services, like Verizon or AT&T, come anywhere close. The reason T-Mobile can offer service at this price is because it uses existing infrastructure—the cell towers are already there, it’s just giving users another way to access them.

Overall recommendation

In terms of speed, simplicity, and overall value for money, it’s T-Mobile all the way. Hughesnet definitely has its place as the affordable satellite internet service, but you just can’t beat T-Mobile’s value.

Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet data

HughesnetT-Mobile Home Internet
● 15–200GB high-speed data
● Unlimited standard data at reduced speeds
● Unlimited high-speed data

Hughesnet data

Hughesnet offers unlimited data—with a catch. There is a limit on high-speed data. Depending on which plan you choose, that limit is anywhere from 15–200GB per month. After that, you can continue to use your internet as much as you like, but with reduced speeds. The specific plans vary from location to location—for the author, there are 100GB and 200GB options.

T-Mobile Home Internet data

T-Mobile again keeps it simple: You get unlimited high-speed data. There are no caps and no throttling based on usage. This enables you to take full advantage of those 5G speeds.

Overall recommendation

If you need a lot of data, T-Mobile is the hands-down winner. Even Hughesnet’s largest data plans won’t get you near the high-speed data of T-Mobile.

Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet equipment

HughesnetT-Mobile Home Internet
● $14.99–$19.99/mo.
● Up to $449.99 to purchase outright
● Wireless gateway
● Included in monthly price

Hughesnet equipment

hughesnet satellite installed on top of roof

HughesNet equipment consists of a satellite dish and a wireless gateway. You can rent these on a monthly basis ($14.99 for regular Hughesnet, $19.99 for Hughesnet Fusion). You also have the option of a one-time payment of up to $449.99—this only really makes sense if you intend to keep the service for several years, though.

T-Mobile Home Internet equipment

T-Mobile wireless gateway image
T-Mobile wireless gateway image2
T-Mobile wireless gateway image

T-Mobile keeps it super-simple. All you need is a wireless gateway, which functions as a hotspot, picking up the 5G signal and turning it into a Wi-Fi network for your home. The gateway is included in the regular service price.

Overall recommendation

T-Mobile takes the win for equipment for two reasons: There’s less gear, and it’s included in the price. That said, we wouldn’t pick between these providers on the basis of equipment—they each give you what you need to get online.

Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet installation

HughesnetT-Mobile Home Internet
● $90.00 installation fee (can be waived)
● Professional install only
● No installation or activation fees
● Self-install only

Hughesnet installation

HughesNet offers professional installation—in fact, that’s your only option. The technician will take care of mounting the dish and getting it properly aligned, which is nice. There’s a $90.00 installation fee, but you can often get it waived when ordering online.

T-Mobile Home Internet installation

In contrast to Hughesnet, T-Mobile only offers a self-install option. Honestly, though, you shouldn’t need much help—the only thing you have to do is plug the gateway in and follow a couple easy steps. The company says the process should take about 15 minutes, but we’ve found that closer to 30 is more realistic. You may need a few minutes to find the best place in your home for maximum signal strength.

Overall recommendation

Hughesnet handles everything for you, but you have to wait for the technician. T-Mobile lets you install when it’s convenient for you, but you have to do it yourself. We’ll call this one a wash.

Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet customer service

HughesnetT-Mobile Home Internet
● Live chat
● Telephone support
● Email support
● Support articles
● Community support
● Live chat
● Telephone support
● Online FAQ
● Support articles

Hughesnet customer service

HughesNet has all the standard customer support options: 24/7 phone support, live chat, and email. There’s also an easy to use support site with articles on common issues. However, our favorite part of HughesNet’s customer support is the community forum. Here, you can ask questions and get insights from other Hughesnet customers, who can often be more helpful and even more knowledgeable than customer service agents.

T-Mobile Home Internet customer service

T-Mobile has similar customer service options: 24/7 telephone support, live chat, and in-app support using the T-Mobile app. The provider doesn’t have official support forums, but since it’s such a huge brand, there are tons of unofficial spots online for help and discussion with other users. The T-Mobile subreddit might be a good place to start.

Overall recommendation

Both providers offer solid customer service with plenty of options. The author has first-hand experience with T-Mobile support and has had nothing but positive interactions. Both also offer 24/7 phone support, which is fantastic if you rely on the service for work.

Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet customer reviews

We gather direct-from-customer opinions from our annual internet customer satisfaction survey and our customer interviews. Keep in mind the following reviews are from customers who had Hughesnet and T-Mobile 5G Home in 2022, which we compiled in 2023.

Hughesnet customer reviews

Happy customersSatisfied customersUnhappy customers
“I like that I have few outages. When I have outages, it is fixed in a timely matter. Price is fair for what I get. Customer is very friendly if I have to contact them.”“Overall, it's been good. Our major complaint is when we have ‘free time’ and we are not able to connect and videos won't play.”“I wish there was less buffering. Also wish they could be a little more helpful over the phone instead of always trying to sell new promotions.”

In general, customers appreciate Hughesnet for its availability, but the performance leaves something to be desired, particularly in the speed area. It’s definitely the slowest of the major satellite internet providers, and while it’s better than no internet, customers do seem to notice the slowness.

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet customer reviews

Happy customersSatisfied customersUnhappy customers
“When I started the service I was informed about everything that it was capable of. I have had zero issues with the service and would highly recommend it.”“My overall experience with T-Mobile 5G has been great. Sometimes it disconnects and we have outages, but overall a great service provider.”“T-Mobile has a great home internet service. However, my particular neighborhood has poor internet reliability. I don't think it's T-Mobile more or less. I believe it's my area where I live.”

T-Mobile Home Internet seems to have a positive reputation. Customers we’ve interviewed appreciate the low price and fast speeds, feeling that it shines as a backup option. As you can see, there are complaints about performance and outages, but this is heavily dependent on location.

Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet: Which one is right for you?

Assuming you have a choice between both providers, we’d go with T-Mobile all day, every day. It’s faster, offers unlimited data, and costs far less than any satellite provider. That’s almost a no-brainer.

Of course, if you’re considering Hughesnet, there’s a decent chance you don’t have many other options. If it’s between HughesNet and most other rural internet providers, we’d take HughesNet for sure.


At, we base our analyses on thorough research, including customer interviews, first-hand testing, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. We also dive deep to get all the details on plans, fees, and future developments. We then bring this info together in one place so you can find it easily. Finally, we use our satellite internet industry expertise to help you make the best decisions you can for your household. As always, thanks for reading!

Hughesnet vs. T-Mobile Home Internet FAQ

Is T-Mobile Home Internet any good?

Yes, T-Mobile Home Internet is actually very good. You get solid speeds and unlimited data for a competitive price. In fact, at a maximum of $50.00 per month, we think it’s one of the best deals in internet, especially in rural areas with few other options.

What are the disadvantages of Hughesnet?

There are three main disadvantages with Hughesnet. First, it’s pretty slow, even for satellite internet. Second, it doesn’t offer much high-speed data—a maximum of 200GB per month. Finally, it’s expensive, especially considering the former points. However, it is the most affordable of the satellite internet options, so in rural areas it can be a good choice.

Is Hughesnet fast enough for Netflix?

Hughesnet should be fast enough for Netflix. However, you may have to deal with a bit of buffering. Additionally, despite what Netflix claims about minimum speeds, we wouldn’t expect to do much HD streaming.

Dave Schafer
Written by
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).