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HughesNet Satellite Internet Service

"Does It Deliver As Advertised?"

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HughesNet satellite internet service offers you a different option for high speed internet access. And, ...

it doesn't matter if you live beyond the service area for cable or dsl internet networks.

Anyone in the continental United States, with a clear view of the Southern horizon, can have broadband Internet service via satellite from HughesNet. But ...

Is this service as good as advertised? Does it fulfill consumer expectations?

I will give you my observation and recommendation at the end of this page. In the meantime, I'll present you with some information about HughesNet satellite internet service to help you become more familiar. So ...

What is HughesNet?

HughesNet is a broadband service that uses a two-way satellite system to deliver Internet access at speeds comparable to dsl, without the need of a telephone line.

It's not a substitute for fiber optic or cable internet service. Certainly, those networks offer faster service speeds and support advanced communications services.

Instead, it's a consumer-grade broadband service that's most beneficial for areas where traditional landline internet services are not available.

At the present time, HughesNet satellite internet service can deliver broadband speed of up to 3 Mbps through its Home and Small Business service plans. This is pretty decent speed that's actually faster than competitors, WildBlue or StarBand.

More About HughesNet

Connecting to the Internet via HughesNet is simple. There's no software to load or upgrades to download. Thanks to built-in technology, the systems automatically self update via satellite. This makes accessibility smoother. In addition ...

HughesNet satellite internet service comes with a Fair Access Policy. It's designed to provide equitable access to the Internet and ensure more consistent service speeds for all subscribers.

Each service plan comes with a maximum download threshold to prevent abuse of the system by over-downloading.

Download maximums are set above what HughesNet has determined typical users for each service level will usually download during a 24 hour period.

Will the HughesNet FAP Affect You?

Possibly. It really depends upon your service requirements. If you regularly watch YouTube or other videos online, then you probably will exceed HughesNet's FAP download maximum of 200Mb in a 24 hr period with either the Home or Professional service plans.

You may be able to avoid the FAP slap on the wrist, if you invest in the Pro Plus or faster service plans which include more than double the download limits.

In any event, if you exceed the download threshold for any HughesNet service plan, your internet service will be throttled back (restricted by slower service speed) considerably for a period of approximately 24 hours following the infraction. Some subscribers have compared the restricted service speed to that of ordinary dial-up. But, ...

Can HughesNet Help You?

Yes, if you are located in an area not served by landline networks and you want broadband internet access and you are willing to accept slower throughput speeds at peak service hours. [usually between 4pm and 12am local time]

Slow speeds may be the result of HughesNet's use of flow control to meet heightened Internet demand during peak hours. This mechanism helps to ensure bandwidth availability by temporarily limiting service speed on all plan levels.

HughesNet Service Plans

now include three levels aimed at home use -

Home, Professional, and Professional Plus,

and two plans designed for small office/business use -

Elite and Elite Plus plans.

Here's a closer look at the features, limitations, and bandwidth service speeds of Hughesnet satellite internet service plans.

HughesNet Equipment - Purchase Option

Currently, the upfront cost of a HughesNet satellite system (in the continental US) is $399.98 before a $199. mail-in rebate. This price includes standard installation. (valued at $199.) The HN9000S satellite system (introduced in June 2008) is now used to deliver HughesNet satellite internet service for most US locations and comes with a 24 month warranty.

The HN9000S system includes an all-in-one router unit with built-in transmit and receive modems, required cables, and for most residential installations, a .74 meter (approx. 2.4 ft. diameter) satellite dish.

The same system is employed for Elite and Elite Plus - small business level services with one exception. A slightly larger, .89 meter satellite dish (approx. 35 in. diameter) is used in order to accomodate larger transmission resources and faster service speeds.

In addition to equipment and installation, a monthly subscription charge for the internet service plan you select applies. At the present time, prices start at $59.99 per month for the Home service package up to $189.99 per month for Elite Plus service.

Keep in mind ...
HughesNet satellite internet service requires a 24 month commitment
(early termination fees apply).

The service also offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you're not happy, HughesNet advertises that you may cancel service without a penalty within 30 days of service activation.

For those not interested in buying equipment; or, who are looking for a cheaper alternative, HughesNet also offers an ...

Equipment Lease Option ...

that makes it inexpensive for you to receive satellite internet service. All that's required is a $99.00 upfront fee. Satellite system installation is included free.

The only additional charges will be $9.99 per month to lease the satellite system equipment plus the monthly subscription cost for the internet service package you select. All service packages require a 24 month commitment, and early termination charges also apply.

Take note that ...
if you decide to lease HughesNet equipment, be aware that the $99.00 upfront fee is non-refundable, even if you are not satisfied with the service and cancel within 30 days of service activation.

Compare HughesNet service speeds with dial-up, and read about frequently asked questions regarding this service, including the minimum computer configuration requirements to receive service.

Important Facts

Satellite latency has an obvious effect on time sensitive applications when used over most satellite links.

Even though faster speeds are advertised for all of their service plans, HughesNet satellite internet service is not recommended for video streaming, as well as, sub-second, time sensitive internet uses.

Some time sensitive applications include - internet phone (VOIP service), real-time equities trading, online gaming, collaboration or conferencing events, such as, NetMeeting, video conferencing, and Virtual Private Networks.


Ideally, Internet access should be available when consumers need it, at or near advertised service speeds. The problem is that most consumer-grade broadband services do not guarantee speed with shared bandwidth connectivity. It's presented as a best effort service.

This leaves little recourse for consumers but to avoid a service that does not live up to expectations. Is this how Hughesnet service can be characterized?

After visiting several forums online, where frustrated HughesNet subscribers have been venting their displeasure, it's apparent that the consensus among those subscribers is that HughesNet satellite internet service is frustratingly slow at peak service times.

Additionally, HughesNet subscribers are saying customer service is less than satisfactory because it's outsourced to foreign representatives who are not especially sensitive to subscriber needs. The number of dissatisfied customers is eye opening.

See for yourself

A visit to popular consumer complaint forums -
RipOff Report, Rate It All, and Consumer Affairs was enough to convince me that improvements need to be made with HughesNet service.


Until changes are made that will result in consistent speed and reliable service at all times, I do not recommend HughesNet Broadband Service. Actually, ...

HughesNet satellite internet service may not be for you, especially if you require consistent, fast bandwidth speed and need to use time sensitive applications via satellite (i.e. internet phone, VPNs, video conferencing, etc.) from remote locations. If this is your situation, there are other satellite services available today which support these applications and offer faster speed.

One outstanding solution comes from iDirect, whose satellite systems deliver a service that minimizes the effects of satellite latency. Through the use of TCP acceleration and QoS technologies, this service can support all of the above mentioned applications without compromising speed and efficiency.

iDirect satellite service offers low service contention ratios. Many satellite providers also now include a small amount of dedicated CIR bandwidth along with shared BIR connectivity solutions to ensure that service is available when you need it.

In comparison, iDirect equipment and service costs more than HughesNet or WildBlue, but it delivers a very dependable, satellite link. Learn more about iDirect satellite systems and dealers offering these services worldwide.

iDirect Service Info

You need to know that iDirect satellite service performs very well because it is designed to meet virtually any business level communications need. As a result, it is considerably more expensive than consumer-grade satellite services. For those who have these service requirements, iDirect is well worth the investment.

If you are interested in iDirect satellite service for your location in North, South or Central America and the Caribbean, contact me for details on required satellite equipment, bandwidth service packages, and pricing information.

For additional information on satellite communications services outside of the Western hemisphere, visit my worldwide satellite dsl providers page.

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