HughesNet satellite internet review: Is it right for you? | finder.com
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HughesNet broadband internet | Is satellite internet service right for you?

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While it boasts lightning-fast speeds at a low price, watch out for billing and connectivity complaints

Depending on where you live, satellite service could be the only way to get Internet into where you live or work. Major carriers just haven’t (yet) infiltrated every square inch of space in the nation. HughesNet broadband satellite markets itself as a top contender for Internet connectivity in comparison to other satellite providers, offering bundles that appear to be affordable. But you’ll want to weigh this against the warnings from many users about billing discrepancies, stiff cancellation fees and penalties and slower speeds than promised.

What is HughesNet broadband satellite service?

HughesNet is a brand that offers broadband satellite services through high-speed Gen4 and Gen5. Introduced in March 2017, Gen5 claims download speeds of 25Mbps and upload speeds of 3Mbps, with 50 gigs of “bonus zone” data for all customers between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. It also offers services specifically for businesses.

What bundles does HughesNet broadband satellite service offer?

HughesNet broadband satellite service doesn’t offer the typical “bundles” you may be used to seeing — which means no discounts if you bundle in DirecTV, Dish Network or other services. While broadband satellite options depend on your location, here’s what we found for a metropolitan area:

  • 10GB — $49.99 a month. Ideal for one to two users, offering 25/3Mbps speeds, free 50GB “bonus zone” data from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.
  • 20GB — $59.99 a month. 25/3Mbps speeds, free 50GB “bonus zone” data from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., capable of uploading larger files.
  • 30GB — $89.99 a month. 25/3Mbps speeds, free 50GB “bonus zone” data from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., capable of uploading larger files.
  • 50GB — $129.99 a month. Better for multiple users and online gaming, offering 25/3Mbps speeds, 3Mbps upload speeds, free 50GB “bonus zone” data from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Does HughesNet broadband satellite service offer business plans?

Yes, HughesNet broadband satellite service offers its Gen5 services to business locations anywhere in the contiguous United States, offering download speeds of 25Mbps and upload speeds of 3Mbps. Find a plan and pricing in your area online with your business ZIP code.

Are there any other features I should know about?

HughesNet can be installed in nearly every state (sorry, Hawaii) and comes with a few other benefits to consider.

  • Dedicated landline not necessary. Installation requires no wires or cables, so users don’t need a dedicated phone line to get service.
  • Express repair available. For a fee, you can sign up for express 24/7 technical support that includes a repair technician to your house, if needed.

What’s hidden in the fine print?

There’s always a bit of fine print with any offer, pricing advertisement or package deal. HughesNet is no exception.

  • Contract required. To get advertised pricing, you’re locked in to services for 24 months.
  • Varying speeds. While it’s designed to deliver top download and upload speeds, individual customers may experience different speeds — evident in many online user reviews.
  • Services not guaranteed. The company protects itself by noting that speeds and uninterrupted service can vary depending computer configurations, the number of users, network or Internet congestion, web content, network management practices and more.
  • Spotty Wi-Fi. When connected via Wi-Fi, your experience will vary depending on your proximity to the Wi-Fi source and strength of your signal.

How do I sign up with HughesNet broadband satellite service?

To sign up for HughesNet, go to its site to determine service availability and pricing in your ZIP code . HughesNet

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Install anywhere. As long as you have a view of the southern sky, you can get HughesNet Internet installed.
  • Fast downloads. Speedy downloads of 25Mbps and uploads of 3Mbps.

Cons

  • Two-year obligation. HughesNet doesn’t say anything about a contract specifically, but you’re required to keep your services for a minimum of two years to get advertised pricing.
  • Unreliable service. The company guarantees nothing — including your download speed, your upload speed, Wi-Fi use or Internet availability when you need it.
  • Many user complaints. Out of 188 ratings on Trustpilot, HughesNet is rated an abysmal 0.7 out of 10.

Compare other internet service providers

Name Product Prices Starting At Speeds Minimum Contract Bundles Unlimited Data
$39.99 Monthly
100/100 - 940/880 MBPS
No Contract
Internet
Phone
TV
No
Upload, download and stream superfast on Verizon's 100% fiber-optic network. All bundles come with a 2-year price guarantee and $200 Visa prepaid gift card.
$29.99 Monthly
10/1 - 1GB/35 MBPS
0 - 12 months
Internet
Phone
TV
Yes
Basic internet plans with a 1-year contract start at $29.99/month with download speeds of 10Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps. Upgrade to Panoramic Wi-Fi and get wall-to-wall internet coverage at home — prices vary.
$50 Monthly
100 - 1000 MBPS
12 months
Internet
TV
Yes
Fiber optic plans start at $50 for the first year, waive the rental fee for the Wi-Fi router and come with a $100 AT&T Reward Card when you order online.
$29.99 Monthly
15 - 1000 MBPS
13 months
Internet
Phone
TV
No
Internet plans start at $29.99/month and come with a 30-day money back guarantee. Internet and TV bundles start at $39.99/month and come with free installation.
$44.99 Monthly
100 MBPS
12 months
Internet
Phone
TV
Yes
No data caps, free modem and free antivirus software for internet plans starting at $44.99/month. Customers who switch from another provider and get a Spectrum bundle qualify for a $500 contract buyout.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

HughesNet is not a dream Internet service provider — it’s left behind many users who are unhappy with its services. But if it’s difficult to get high-speed Internet where you live, see if HughesNet might be a viable option.

Common questions about HughesNet broadband satellite service bundles

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DavisJuly 30, 2018

    Would like tv services and internet

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloJuly 31, 2018

      Hi Davis,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      To sign up for HughesNet, go to its site to determine service availability and pricing in your ZIP code .

      If you need further help, please send me a message anytime.

      Cheers,
      Joel

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