HughesNet keeps things simpler than Viasat. All HughesNet satellite internet plans offer the same download speed of up to 25 Mbps. The only difference between one HughesNet plan and another is how much high-speed data you get you each month.
Each HughesNet package tier has a different data limit. Once you reach that limit, your service will slow down. You can buy additional data if you still need full-speed data after that, and unlike with Viasat, unused HughesNet data you purchase will carry over into the next month. HughesNet plans also try to make up for their lower data allowances with Bonus Zone data that you can access between 2:00 a.m.–8:00 a.m.
HughestNet may have lower prices for extra data than Viasat does, but we'd can't deny that extra data anytime of the day is more convenient than extra data in the middle of the night. We’ll discuss more of the differences between how HughesNet slows your connection speed after you run out of data and how Viasat does the same in our data section.
As for HughesNet plans, you can get them in tiers of 15GB, 30GB, 100GB, or 200GB, and HughesNet even offers a 24-month price lock with its plans. Yeah, all HughesNet plans come with 2-year contracts, same as Viasat. We usually recommend the 30GB or 100GB internet plan from HughesNet.
And unlike with Viasat, HughesNet won’t make sudden, guaranteed price hikes in the third months of your contract (giving us DIRECTV flashbacks). So if you don't want to see your monthly price jump up $100 like your Viasat bill will, HughesNet is a good choice.
That said, the prices shown in our tables are HughesNet's current promotional price. After six months, this price will return to just $10 a month more. Saving $60 over the course of your contract isn't half bad, and going up $10 a month back to normal pricing isn't nearly as bad as Viasat's punching price hike.
Overall, you could end up saving money with HughesNet because its plans are cheaper overall, but only if you don't end up buying tons of data to compensate. So keep an eye on your data needs and decide what you most need from your satellite internet service: prices that treat you right, or high, high data caps.
For more specifics on HughesNet internet service, check out our HughesNet Review.