Viasat vs HughesNet Satellite Internet: Which Provider is Right for You?

If you are in the market for satellite internet providers, it's essential to compare your options to make an informed decision. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at two prominent players in the industry – Viasat and HughesNet.

Both Viasat and HughesNet offer satellite internet services, but understanding the differences between the two can help interested consumers choose the right provider for their specific needs.

Viasat is known for its high-speed internet plans, reliable coverage, and wide availability across the United States. With Viasat, you can enjoy faster speeds even in rural or remote areas where other providers struggle to deliver reliable internet connections.

On the other hand, HughesNet is a trusted name in the satellite internet industry, specializing in delivering internet services to rural customers. HughesNet provides a range of plans that offer generous data allowances and consistent speeds, ensuring a seamless online experience for its users.

By comparing Viasat and HughesNet, prospective consumers can evaluate factors such as pricing, data limits, speeds, and customer satisfaction. This comparison will allow you to choose the provider that best aligns with your internet needs and budget.

Whether you require high-speed internet for online gaming, streaming, or simply staying connected with loved ones, this article will help you determine whether Viasat or HughesNet is the right choice for you.

Viasat and HughesNet as Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

Viasat and HughesNet are both leading providers of internet services, serving a wide range of customers across the United States. As prominent ISPs, they offer reliable connectivity and a range of plans to meet different needs.

Comparison of their services and offerings

Both Viasat and HughesNet ensure that their customers have access to fast and reliable internet connections, regardless of their location. They understand the importance of staying connected in today's digital age and strive to provide consistent performance and customer satisfaction.

Rural Internet Access and Coverage

In rural areas with limited wired connections, satellite internet can be a game-changer. Unlike traditional broadband options that rely on physical infrastructure, satellite internet uses orbiting satellites to beam internet signals directly to your home.

This means that even in remote locations, where DSL or cable connections aren't available, you can still enjoy high-speed internet access.

When it comes to rural internet access, both Viasat and HughesNet offer reliable options. However, there are some differences in terms of performance and availability.

Performance and Availability in Rural Locations

Viasat's satellite internet service provides robust coverage in rural areas. Their advanced satellite technology enables them to reach even the most remote locations, making it a top choice for customers living in underserved areas. With Viasat, you can expect reliable internet access, regardless of your location.

HughesNet also offers extensive coverage in rural areas, with a wide network that spans across the country. They have been serving customers in remote locations for years, earning a reputation for their reliable performance and consistency.

Both Viasat and HughesNet understand the unique challenges faced by rural communities and strive to provide reliable internet access to those areas.

When comparing performance, it's important to consider factors such as download speeds, latency, and data plans. Viasat's plans offer faster download speeds than HughesNet, which can be beneficial if you have high bandwidth requirements or multiple users in your household. HughesNet, on the other hand, may provide more consistent speeds during peak hours due to their optimized network infrastructure.

Ultimately, the choice between Viasat and HughesNet will depend on your specific needs and location. It's worth comparing the coverage maps and plans of both providers to determine which one offers the best solution for your rural internet needs.

Speed and Performance Comparison

When choosing an internet service provider, one of the most important factors to consider is the speed and performance of their service. In this section, we will evaluate the download and upload speeds provided by Viasat and HughesNet, as well as analyze the latency, reliability, and real-world user experiences with both services.

Evaluation of Download and Upload Speeds

Both Viasat and HughesNet offer high-speed internet services, but there are differences in the download and upload speeds they provide. Viasat promises download speeds up to 100 Mbps, while HughesNet offers speeds up to 25 Mbps. However, it is important to note that these speeds may vary depending on various factors such as location and network congestion.

Analysis of Latency, Reliability, and User Experiences

Latency refers to the time it takes for data to travel from your device to the internet and back. Viasat's satellite internet service generally has higher latency compared to HughesNet, mainly because the distance the data has to travel is greater. This can result in slightly slower response times when browsing the web or playing online games. On the other hand, HughesNet's network is known for its lower latency, making it a better option for activities that require real-time communication.

When it comes to reliability, both Viasat and HughesNet have established themselves as reputable providers. Their satellite internet services are designed to withstand adverse weather conditions and offer consistent performance. However, it is important to note that during peak hours or when the network is congested, users may experience slower speeds or decreased performance.

Real-world user experiences play a crucial role in determining the speed and performance of an internet service. While Viasat and HughesNet have their own strengths and weaknesses, it is advisable to read reviews and testimonials from actual customers to get a better understanding of their experiences with both services.

In conclusion, Viasat and HughesNet both offer high-speed internet services, but there are differences in their download and upload speeds. Viasat has higher download speeds, while HughesNet offers lower latency and better real-time communication capabilities. Considering factors such as location, usage requirements, and user experiences can help make an informed decision when choosing between Viasat and HughesNet for your internet needs.

Pricing and Plans

When considering Viasat vs HughesNet Internet, it's crucial to understand the pricing and plans offered by both providers. Let's take a closer look at what each ISP has to offer.

Overview of Plans

Viasat offers a range of plans to suit different needs and budgets. Their plans include the Unlimited Bronze, Unlimited Silver, and Unlimited Gold options. Each plan comes with varying download speeds and data allowances, allowing customers to choose the one that best fits their internet usage requirements.

HughesNet also provides a selection of plans, such as the 10 GB, 20 GB, and 30 GB plans. These plans offer different data caps, ensuring customers have options based on their data consumption preferences.

Cost-effectiveness and Value

When it comes to cost-effectiveness, Viasat and HughesNet both offer competitive pricing. However, it's essential to consider the value you're getting for your money. Viasat plans tend to offer higher speeds and larger data allowances compared to HughesNet, making them a more suitable choice for customers who require fast and reliable internet access.

Data Caps and Additional Fees

Data caps can significantly impact your internet experience. Viasat typically has higher data allowances before reaching their prioritization threshold, allowing customers to enjoy faster speeds for a more extended period. On the other hand, HughesNet plans have lower data caps, which can lead to slower speeds once the threshold is exceeded.

It's also crucial to consider any additional fees associated with the plans. While both providers may have installation and equipment fees, it's necessary to compare the costs and terms associated with each ISP before making a decision.

Comparison of Pricing and Plans

Make sure to assess your internet usage requirements and budget when choosing between Viasat and HughesNet. Consider factors such as data caps, speed, and pricing to determine which provider offers the best plan for your needs.

Equipment and Installation

When it comes to choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP), getting reliable equipment and a seamless installation experience are crucial factors to consider. Let's compare the offerings of Viasat and HughesNet in terms of hardware and installation.

Comparison of the hardware and equipment provided by Viasat and HughesNet

Both Viasat and HughesNet offer their customers a range of equipment to ensure a smooth and consistent internet connection. Viasat provides their customers with cutting-edge satellite dishes and modems, specially designed to maximize signal strength and minimize downtime.

HughesNet, on the other hand, also offers a similar suite of equipment, including their own satellite dishes and modems. Their hardware is known for its reliability and durability, ensuring a stable internet connection even in harsh weather conditions.

Evaluation of installation experiences and ease of setup

When it comes to installation, both Viasat and HughesNet strive to provide a hassle-free experience for their customers. Viasat's installation process is known for its efficiency and professionalism. Their technicians are well-trained and ensure that the satellite dish is positioned correctly for optimal signal reception.

HughesNet also boasts a streamlined installation process. Their technicians are skilled in quickly setting up the satellite dish and modem while ensuring minimal disruption to your property.

Overall, both Viasat and HughesNet prioritize providing their customers with reliable equipment and a seamless installation process to ensure a hassle-free internet experience. Whether you choose Viasat or HughesNet, you can expect to receive top-notch hardware and professional installation services.

Customer Service and Support

Assessment of the quality of customer service and technical support offered by Viasat and HughesNet

When it comes to choosing an internet service provider, customer service and support play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience. Both Viasat and HughesNet prioritize providing excellent customer service to their users.

Viasat takes pride in its customer-centric approach and has built a strong reputation for its responsive and helpful customer support. Their team is available round-the-clock to address any technical issues or queries that users may have. Whether you require assistance with installation, troubleshooting, or billing, Viasat's customer service representatives are known for their expertise and willingness to go the extra mile to assist you.

HughesNet also places a great emphasis on customer satisfaction and support. Their customer service team is readily available to answer any questions and provide solutions to technical problems. With a reputation for being helpful and dedicated, HughesNet's support staff ensures that users have a positive experience throughout their journey with the company.

Consideration of factors like responsiveness, helpfulness, and overall customer satisfaction

When it comes to comparing the customer service and support provided by Viasat and HughesNet, factors like responsiveness, helpfulness, and overall customer satisfaction are crucial.

Viasat's customer service team is widely praised for their quick response times and ability to resolve issues efficiently. Users appreciate their commitment to resolving queries promptly, helping them get back to enjoying a seamless internet experience. With a high level of helpfulness and friendly customer interactions, Viasat sets a high bar for customer satisfaction.

HughesNet also prioritizes being responsive to user needs, ensuring that customers feel heard and valued. Their support team is known for providing helpful guidance, going above and beyond to assist users in resolving their concerns. With a strong focus on customer satisfaction, HughesNet aims to create a positive and supportive customer experience.

Overall, both Viasat and HughesNet place great importance on customer service and support, striving to deliver exceptional assistance to their users. Whether you choose Viasat or HughesNet, you can expect responsive support, helpful guidance, and a dedication to ensuring your satisfaction.

Data Caps and Fair Usage Policies

When it comes to satellite internet providers like Viasat and HughesNet, one important aspect to consider is their data caps and fair usage policies. These policies determine how much data you can use within a given time period before experiencing any penalties or speed reductions.

Both Viasat and HughesNet have data caps in place to manage the usage of their satellite internet service. These caps restrict the amount of data you can consume, typically on a monthly basis. Going over these data limits can result in various consequences, depending on the provider.

Viasat's data caps and fair usage policy are implemented in the form of their Priority Data and Data Thresholds. With Viasat, you have a set amount of Priority Data each month, which is the amount of high-speed data you can consume without any significant speed reductions. Once you exceed this limit, Viasat may prioritize other customers with lower data usage, leading to possible speed reductions during peak times. This restriction aims to ensure that all users receive a fair share of bandwidth.

Similarly, HughesNet has its own fair usage policy known as the Data Allowance Policy. Like Viasat, HughesNet offers a certain amount of data allowance each month that allows for high-speed internet access. However, when you exceed this limit, HughesNet applies a Fair Access Policy (FAP) which temporarily reduces your internet speeds during periods of high congestion. Once the congestion subsides, your speeds return to normal.

Both Viasat and HughesNet prioritize providing a fair and reliable internet experience to all their customers. While data caps and fair usage policies may seem restrictive, they are necessary to manage the finite resources of satellite internet and ensure reasonable access for all users. Additionally, these policies encourage responsible internet usage and discourage excessive data consumption.

It's important to note that the specific details of data caps and fair usage policies may vary based on the plan and package you choose. It's recommended to carefully review the terms and conditions provided by each provider to understand the limitations and potential consequences of exceeding data caps.

Coverage and Availability

When comparing Viasat and HughesNet internet services, one crucial factor to consider is their coverage and availability. Both providers aim to offer internet access to rural areas, where traditional broadband options are limited.

Detailed information about the availability of Viasat and HughesNet internet services in specific areas or regions

Viasat and HughesNet have extensive coverage areas across the United States, ensuring that customers in remote or underserved locations can access reliable internet connections. Viasat's satellite technology allows them to provide coverage in even the most remote areas of the country.

HughesNet, on the other hand, utilizes geostationary satellites to deliver internet services to customers outside the reach of terrestrial internet providers. Their coverage area extends to many rural regions across the US.

Exploration of which provider offers service in a particular location

Before making a decision between Viasat and HughesNet, it is essential to check whether both providers offer service in your specific location. Availability can vary depending on factors such as satellite coverage, infrastructure, and geographical constraints.

Fortunately, Viasat and HughesNet both have online tools that enable potential customers to enter their zip code or address to check service availability. These tools provide accurate information on whether each provider can offer internet services in a particular area.

User Reviews and Experiences

When it comes to choosing an internet service provider, hearing from actual users can be incredibly helpful. Here, we have compiled a variety of user reviews and personal experiences with Viasat and HughesNet internet services. By analyzing factors such as installation experiences, speed consistency, customer support interactions, and overall satisfaction, we can provide you with a comprehensive picture of what you can expect from these providers.

Installation Experiences

Speed Consistency

Customer Support Interactions

Overall Satisfaction

Keep in mind that user experiences can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances and location. It's always essential to consider multiple perspectives and prioritize factors that are most important to you when making a decision between Viasat and HughesNet.

Viasat's Innovative Satellite Technology

Viasat is at the forefront of satellite internet technology, offering customers a reliable and high-speed internet connection in even the most remote areas. Their advanced satellite technology enables them to deliver fast and uninterrupted internet access to users across the country.

One of Viasat's key technological advancements is their utilization of high-capacity satellites that operate in Ka-band frequency. This allows for faster data transmission and improved signal strength, resulting in a more stable and consistent internet connection.

Moreover, Viasat's satellites are equipped with advanced beamforming technology, which allows for more precise and targeted transmission of signals. This minimizes interference and maximizes efficiency, ensuring that customers receive the best possible internet performance.

Another notable feature of Viasat's satellite technology is its ability to adapt to changing user demands. With their flexible satellite architecture, Viasat can allocate bandwidth dynamically based on customer needs. This means that during peak usage periods, when multiple users are accessing the internet simultaneously, Viasat can prioritize and allocate more bandwidth to ensure consistent speeds and reliable performance for all users.

Furthermore, Viasat's satellites are constantly monitored and maintained by a team of skilled engineers, ensuring operational excellence and reliable service. Any potential issues or technical difficulties are promptly identified and addressed, minimizing downtime and ensuring a seamless internet experience for customers.

In summary, Viasat's innovative satellite technology sets them apart from other ISPs. Their high-capacity satellites, beamforming technology, and dynamic bandwidth allocation enable them to provide customers with a fast, reliable, and uninterrupted internet connection. Whether you're in a rural area or a bustling city, Viasat's satellite technology ensures that you can stay connected and enjoy a superior internet experience.

HughesNet's Reliability and Network Infrastructure

When it comes to reliability and network infrastructure, HughesNet has made significant advancements in its satellite internet technology. With a strong and robust network, HughesNet ensures that its customers have a reliable and uninterrupted internet experience.

Stable Connections

HughesNet's satellite internet employs advanced technology to establish stable connections, even in remote and rural areas. This means that regardless of your location, you can rely on HughesNet to provide you with a consistent and reliable internet connection.

Redundancy and Backup Systems

One of the key aspects of HughesNet's network infrastructure is the redundancy and backup systems it has in place. These systems are designed to ensure that if one satellite experiences any technical issues, another satellite immediately takes over the connection, minimizing downtime and interruptions for customers.

Advanced Network Management

HughesNet utilizes sophisticated network management techniques to optimize bandwidth allocation and prioritize internet traffic. This means that even during peak usage times, HughesNet can maintain a reliable connection and ensure consistent speeds for its customers.

Quality of Service (QoS)

HughesNet provides a reliable Quality of Service (QoS) to its customers, which means that it prioritizes the delivery of time-sensitive applications such as video streaming or voice calls. This ensures that you can enjoy a seamless online experience without any lag or buffering issues.

Proven Track Record

HughesNet has a proven track record of reliability, serving millions of customers across the United States. This extensive experience and expertise in delivering satellite internet services further reinforce the reliability and network infrastructure of HughesNet.

In summary, HughesNet has invested in advanced network infrastructure and technology to ensure a reliable and stable internet connection for its customers. With redundancy systems, advanced network management, and a strong track record, HughesNet stands out as a reliable choice for your internet needs.

Bundling Options and Additional Services

When it comes to bundling options and additional services, both Viasat and HughesNet offer a range of choices to enhance your internet experience. Let's take a closer look at what each provider has to offer:


Viasat understands that you may want more than just internet access. That's why they provide customers with the option to bundle their internet service with TV packages. With Viasat's partnership with DIRECTV, you can enjoy a wide range of channels and entertainment options, all conveniently available in one bill.

In addition to TV packages, Viasat also offers phone services through their Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. This allows you to make high-quality voice calls using your internet connection, providing a cost-effective alternative to traditional landline services.

Whether you want to relax and watch your favorite shows or need a reliable phone service, Viasat gives you the flexibility to meet your needs with their bundling options.


HughesNet understands that bundling can simplify your life. While they don't offer TV packages directly, they do partner with DISH to provide customers with the option to bundle their internet service with satellite TV. This allows you to enjoy a variety of channels and on-demand content, all from the comfort of your home.

Moreover, HughesNet offers a range of home phone services through their Voice over IP (VoIP) technology. With their affordable phone plans, you can stay connected with loved ones and enjoy features like call waiting, caller ID, and voicemail.

With HughesNet's bundling options, you can bring together your entertainment and communication needs, all in one convenient package.

In conclusion, both Viasat and HughesNet offer bundling options to enhance your internet experience. Whether you're looking for TV packages or phone services, both providers have you covered. Consider your specific needs and preferences to decide which bundling option suits you best.

Contract Terms and Flexibility

When it comes to contract terms and flexibility, both Viasat and HughesNet offer different options to suit the unique needs of their customers.



Ultimately, the choice between Viasat and HughesNet contract terms depends on your personal preference and circumstances. Consider factors such as how long you plan to use the service, your budget, and the level of flexibility you require.

Plans for Future Expansion and Upgrades

As technology continues to advance and the demand for reliable internet access grows, both Viasat and HughesNet have plans for future expansion and upgrades to meet the evolving needs of their customers.


Viasat is committed to expanding its satellite network and increasing coverage in rural and underserved areas. With their latest satellite, Viasat-3, they plan to provide faster speeds and greater capacity, enabling more households and businesses to access high-speed internet.

In addition to expanding coverage, Viasat is continuously working on improving its technology and services. They are investing in research and development to enhance their satellite internet technology, aiming to deliver even higher speeds, lower latency, and an improved overall internet experience for their customers.


HughesNet also has plans for future expansion and upgrades. They are working on launching the HughesNet Gen5 satellite, which will further improve their internet service. This upgrade will bring faster speeds and more data capacity to their customers, allowing for a better online experience.

Additionally, HughesNet is actively exploring new technologies and partnerships to expand their coverage and reach more customers. They understand the importance of staying at the forefront of internet connectivity and are dedicated to providing reliable service to rural and remote areas.

In summary, both Viasat and HughesNet are committed to expanding their coverage and investing in technology upgrades. Their plans for future expansion and upgrades demonstrate their dedication to providing high-quality internet services to their customers, ensuring they have access to the latest advancements in satellite internet technology.

Factors to Consider in Choosing Between Viasat and HughesNet

Choosing between Viasat and HughesNet internet services can be a tough decision. Both companies offer reliable internet options, but there are several factors to consider when making your choice:

By carefully considering these factors, you'll be able to make an informed decision and choose the internet service provider that best suits your needs and preferences.


After carefully examining and comparing Viasat and HughesNet internet services, it is evident that both providers offer viable options for those in need of rural internet access. However, there are important factors to consider when making a decision.

Recap of key points comparing Viasat and HughesNet internet services:

Considering these key points, it is recommended that you carefully review and compare your specific needs with the offerings of Viasat and HughesNet. Assessing factors such as location, speed requirements, budget, and customer support preferences will help you make an informed decision.

Ultimately, the choice between Viasat and HughesNet will depend on your unique circumstances and priorities. Each provider has its strengths and weaknesses, and understanding how they align with your requirements will lead you towards the ideal choice for your rural internet needs.

About Hughesnet Internet

When comparing internet service providers, it is important to consider all the available options. One such option is Hughesnet Internet, a leading provider that offers reliable connectivity across the United States. With a wide coverage area, Hughesnet Internet is an ideal choice for individuals and businesses in rural and remote locations.

One of the key advantages that Hughesnet Internet offers is its robust data plans. Understanding the need for sufficient data allowance, Hughesnet provides various options to cater to different user requirements. Whether you are a light internet user or if your activities demand heavy data usage, Hughesnet has plans to suit a range of needs. This flexibility allows users to choose a plan that best aligns with their online usage habits.

Besides comprehensive data plans, Hughesnet Internet also boasts impressive speeds. By employing advanced satellite technology, Hughesnet ensures fast and reliable internet connectivity. This allows users to experience smoother browsing, seamless video streaming, faster downloads, and improved online gaming experiences.

In addition to its competitive data plans and speeds, Hughesnet Internet guarantees excellent customer service and support. With a team of dedicated professionals ready to assist customers with any queries or issues, Hughesnet ensures a smooth and hassle-free internet experience for its users.

If you are in search of a reliable internet service provider, consider Hughesnet as a viable option. With its diverse range of data plans, fast speeds, and excellent customer support, Hughesnet Internet provides a strong alternative to other providers such as Viasat.

It is important to note that both providers may have additional fees, such as installation or equipment charges, which could affect the overall pricing. Therefore, it is advisable to carefully review the terms and conditions of each provider before making a decision.

When comparing prices between Viasat and Hughesnet, it is recommended to consider factors like data allowances, speeds, and any promotional offers available at the time. This will help ensure that you choose an internet package that best meets your requirements, both in terms of affordability and service quality.

Viasat vs Hughesnet Internet


When it comes to choosing an internet service provider, one of the key factors to consider is pricing. Both Viasat and Hughesnet offer competitive and affordable prices for their internet services.

Viasat provides a range of data plans designed to fit various users' needs and budgets. Whether you are a light internet user or require a significant amount of data for streaming and online gaming, Viasat has packages to suit different requirements.

Hughesnet, on the other hand, also offers cost-effective plans to meet your internet needs. They have plan options for different data requirements, ensuring you have access to the internet even with a limited budget.

Having affordable prices is important, but it's also crucial to consider the internet speeds offered by each provider. Viasat and Hughesnet both deliver high-quality internet connections, but the actual speeds may vary depending on your location.

With Viasat, you can expect reliable internet speeds that allow you to stream movies, browse the web, and connect with friends and family. They strive to ensure their customers have a consistently fast and enjoyable online experience.

When it comes to internet speeds, Hughesnet is no exception. They offer reliable and speedy connections to keep you connected to the digital world without interruptions.

In conclusion, both Viasat and Hughesnet offer affordable prices for their internet services. Additionally, they deliver reliable internet speeds to meet your online needs. It's important to carefully review the available data plans and compare the services offered in your area to make an informed decision about which provider suits you best.


When it comes to choosing an internet service provider, having access to reliable and high-quality equipment is an essential factor to consider. Both Viasat and HughesNet offer equipment designed to enhance your internet experience.

Viasat Equipment

Viasat offers state-of-the-art satellite internet equipment that delivers fast and efficient internet speeds right to your home. Their equipment includes a satellite dish that is mounted on your property, along with a modem and a router. This equipment works together to provide a seamless internet connection, ensuring that you can enjoy high-speed internet access in even the most remote locations.

With Viasat's cutting-edge equipment, you can experience fast internet speeds and reliable connectivity for all your online activities.

HughesNet Equipment

HughesNet also offers a comprehensive range of equipment to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted internet experience. Their equipment package includes a satellite dish and a modem. With this equipment, HughesNet provides reliable internet access even in areas where other traditional providers may not reach.

With HughesNet's reliable and quality equipment, you can enjoy high-speed internet no matter where you live.

Both Viasat and HughesNet offer top-notch equipment that ensures reliable internet connectivity. Whether you choose Viasat or HughesNet, you can count on their advanced equipment to deliver fast internet speeds and reliable data transmission at affordable prices.


When considering internet service providers, it's crucial to compare Viasat and Hughesnet to make an informed decision based on your specific needs.

Viasat vs Hughesnet

When it comes to internet providers, Viasat and Hughesnet are two popular choices. One of the key factors to consider while making a decision is the availability and reliability of internet service based on your location.

Viasat and Hughesnet offer various data plans and speeds, allowing you to select the one that suits your usage requirements. However, it's essential to examine their different plans and compare them side by side to determine which provider offers the most suitable options for your internet needs.

Both Viasat and Hughesnet emphasize providing internet access to rural and remote areas where alternative broadband options might be limited. By utilizing advanced satellite technology, their services reach customers who might not have access to traditional wired internet connections.

Speed Comparison: Viasat vs Hughesnet Internet

When it comes to choosing the right internet service provider, speed plays a vital role in ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted online experience. In this article, we will be comparing the internet speeds offered by Viasat and Hughesnet, two popular providers in the market.


With Viasat Internet, users can enjoy lightning-fast speeds that enable them to stream videos, browse websites, and download files quickly. The company utilizes advanced technology to deliver high-speed internet to both residential and business customers.

Viasat offers different data plans to cater to users with varying internet usage needs. From light users to heavy streamers, there is a package suitable for everyone. The unlimited data plans ensure that you never have to worry about running out of data or experiencing speed throttling.

Comparing the speed of Viasat Internet to other providers, it consistently ranks among the top options for fast and reliable internet connections. Additionally, their affordable prices make it an attractive choice for those looking for both great performance and value.


Hughesnet is another well-known internet service provider that offers reliable internet connectivity to rural areas. While they also provide high-speed internet, it is important to note that Hughesnet's speeds may vary based on the specific plan and location.

Similar to Viasat, Hughesnet offers different data plans to cater to users' needs. However, it is essential to consider the Fair Access Policy (FAP) enforced by Hughesnet, which may restrict user speeds after exceeding a certain data threshold during peak hours.

While Hughesnet remains a strong contender in rural areas where other options are limited, some users may experience slower speeds, especially during busy periods. It is advisable to carefully compare the available plans and consider your internet requirements before making a decision.


In summary, both Viasat and Hughesnet provide internet services with varying speeds and data plans. Viasat is renowned for its consistently fast speeds, unlimited data options, and affordable prices. On the other hand, Hughesnet offers reliable connectivity in rural areas, but some users may experience reduced speeds during busy times due to their Fair Access Policy.

Ultimately, it is important to consider factors such as location, internet usage, and specific needs before making a choice between Viasat and Hughesnet.


When it comes to choosing an internet service provider, two names often stand out - Viasat and HughesNet. These providers offer reliable internet connections to customers across the country, but they have distinct features and differences that make them unique.

Let's take a closer look at what makes each provider special:


Viasat is a well-known satellite internet provider that offers high-speed connections to even the most remote areas. With their advanced technology and extensive coverage, Viasat ensures that you can access the internet no matter where you live.

One of the key advantages of Viasat is its lightning-fast speeds. Whether you're streaming HD videos, playing online games, or working from home, Viasat's reliable internet connection keeps you connected without any frustrating lag times.

In addition to its impressive speed, Viasat also offers a variety of plans to cater to different needs. From basic browsing to heavy usage, Viasat has packages that can be tailored to fit your specific requirements.


If you're looking for a reliable internet provider with consistent speeds, HughesNet might be the perfect choice for you. As a leader in the satellite internet industry, HughesNet boasts a reputation for offering dependable connections with nationwide coverage.

HughesNet understands that data usage is a crucial factor for many customers, which is why they have implemented their exclusive Data Tokens system. This feature allows users to continue enjoying high speeds even after exceeding their monthly data allowance.

With HughesNet, you can stay connected to all your favorite online activities, including streaming, browsing, and video calls, without interruptions or frustrating slowdowns.


Both Viasat and HughesNet offer impressive internet services, but they have their own unique features that make them stand out. Whether you prioritize high speeds or consistent connections, both providers have plans to suit your needs. Ultimately, it's essential to consider factors such as coverage, speed, and pricing to determine which internet service provider is the best fit for you.


When it comes to internet usage, data plays a crucial role in determining the overall experience. Both Viasat and Hughesnet offer various data plans to cater to different needs and requirements of their customers.

One of the key factors to consider while comparing Viasat and Hughesnet is the data threshold or data cap. The data threshold refers to the maximum amount of data that can be used within a specific period, typically a month. Exceeding this threshold might result in reduced speeds or additional charges.

Viasat offers a range of data plans, allowing users to choose the one that best fits their internet usage. With Viasat, you can select from plans ranging from 12GB to 150GB of data per month. These plans are designed to accommodate various online activities, such as web browsing, streaming movies, online gaming, and more.

Hughesnet, on the other hand, provides different data options depending on the plan you choose. Their plans typically offer between 10GB and 50GB of data per month. It's important to note that Hughesnet also offers a bonus zone that allows users to take advantage of additional data during off-peak hours. This can be beneficial for those who require more data for specific activities during specific times.

While both Viasat and Hughesnet offer data plans, it's essential to consider your specific internet usage requirements. If you are a heavy internet user who frequently streams HD videos or plays online games, you may need a higher data threshold to ensure uninterrupted service.

Ultimately, the decision between Viasat and Hughesnet for data plans will depend on factors such as your budget, internet usage patterns, and the availability of plans in your area.

By thoroughly examining the data plans offered by Viasat and Hughesnet, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and ensures a seamless internet experience.


When it comes to getting internet service, the installation process can make or break the overall experience. Both Viasat and Hughesnet have their own unique approaches to installation, ensuring that customers can access high-speed internet in their homes or offices.

Viasat Installation

Viasat offers professional installation services to ensure a smooth and hassle-free setup for their customers. Once you've chosen a suitable internet plan, a Viasat technician will contact you to schedule an installation appointment.

During the installation process, the technician will visit your location and assess the best spot to mount the satellite dish. They will also properly align it to receive a strong signal, considering factors such as obstructions and optimal signal strength. The technician will also connect the dish to your modem/router and set up the necessary connections.

It's important to note that Viasat installation requires a clear line of sight to the satellite in the southern sky. If your location has any obstructions, such as tall trees or buildings, it might affect the signal quality and installation feasibility.

Hughesnet Installation

Hughesnet, similar to Viasat, provides professional installation services to their customers. After selecting a suitable plan, you can schedule an installation appointment with a Hughesnet technician.

During the installation process, the technician will inspect your property to identify the best location for the satellite dish. They will then mount and align the dish to ensure optimal signal reception. The technician will also connect the dish to your modem/router and configure the necessary settings.

Like Viasat, Hughesnet installation requires a clear line of sight to the southern sky where their satellites are located. Obstructions such as trees, buildings, or other structures may affect signal quality.

Overall, both Viasat and Hughesnet prioritize professional installation to ensure their customers receive reliable and high-speed internet service. It's important to consider factors such as obstructions and line of sight when determining which provider is the best fit for your installation needs.

Satellite Internet: Viasat vs Hughesnet

When it comes to reliable internet connectivity in rural and remote areas, satellite internet has emerged as a viable solution. In this comparison article, we will delve into the pros and cons of two popular satellite internet providers: Viasat and Hughesnet.


When it comes to internet service, availability is one of the key factors to consider. Both Viasat and Hughesnet offer internet services in various locations across the United States. However, the availability of their services may differ based on your specific location.

Viasat, a satellite internet provider, operates through a network of satellites in space. This allows them to extend their services to remote and rural areas where traditional wired connections may not be feasible. As a result, Viasat can provide internet access in many parts of the country that may otherwise have limited options.

Hughesnet, another major player in the satellite internet industry, also utilizes a similar approach with their network of satellites. By leveraging their satellite infrastructure, Hughesnet can offer internet services to customers in areas without access to cable or fiber optic connections.

It is important to note that while both Viasat and Hughesnet strive to provide their services to as many areas as possible, there might still be certain regions or individual households where their internet service is unavailable. Factors such as geographical constraints or line-of-sight obstructions can impact the availability of both providers' services.

Before deciding on a provider, it is recommended to check the availability in your specific location. Both Viasat and Hughesnet have online tools that allow you to enter your address and check if their services are available in your area.

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Viasat and HughesNet: America’s Top Two Satellite Internet Providers

Yeah, it’s basically just these two for now. If you want satellite internet in the United States, your choice is going to be either Viasat or HughesNet.

Viasat and HughesNet both offer their services to most places in all 50 states, so chances are you’re going to have to make a choice. There is SpaceX’s Starlink to consider, but it’s only in its infancy right now and not easy to get your hands on yet, so we’ll have to wait on comparing that one.

HughesNet and Viasat are very strong competitors in the race to be the best satellite internet provider in the United States. Viasat does boast the highest download speeds and data allowances (as we’ll discuss more in depth later), but these top plans aren’t available everywhere. Where you live, the plans offered by these two companies might be much closer in quality of performance.

Thus more information is needed. Read below to learn what you need to know to choose between America’s top satellite internet providers.

Viasat vs HughesNet: plans

If you want to save money on internet and are looking for a basic plan, at first glance you’ll choose Viasat easily. Viasat’s lowest plan, which gives you 12 Mbps, comes in at $30, which is half the price of HughesNet’s cheapest plan, which gives you 25 Mbps for $60. If your goal is to save money on your monthly internet bill, Viasat seems like the best solution. However, when you realize that $30 is the promotional price that only lasts three months and that the price after that goes up to $50, you might consider paying the extra $10 per month for the higher download speed of the HughesNet plan.

This is normal for all Viasat plans. The price is discounted by $20-$50 per month for the first three months, and then the price goes back up to normal. This is a great deal, but it’s important to be aware of it when comparing prices. After the three months, the price will remain locked for the rest of the 24-month contract. HughesNet prices will remain the same for the entire 24 months.

That comparison is a good place to start, but it’s only looking at the smallest plan of each provider. There are a lot of other factors that need to be considered. Possibly one of the biggest differences between the two is data allowances. Satellite internet is pretty limited by the total amount of data its satellites can transfer at one time, so satellite internet providers usually balance this limitation by giving their customers data allowances, the amount of data you can use each month before experiencing slower speeds. When it comes to data, Viasat is king. You can use more internet for longer without fear of running out before the end of the month. With both providers you can purchase extra data at the end of the month. HughesNet’s extra data packages are cheaper than Viasat’s and HughesNet comes with the benefit of having bonus data that can be used in its Bonus Zone between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., which is really helpful, but having more base data with Viasat means you can use your data any time you want and for no extra cost.

Depending on where you live, your choice could be even easier. Viasat’s best internet plans aren’t available everywhere, but where they are available, they offer up to 100 Mbps download speeds and many times more data than the best HughesNet plans. If you live in one of these areas, Viasat is the easy choice. If your area only has access to Viasat’s slowest plan, it’s a tougher decision.

Provider Prices Download Speed Phone Number
Viasat $30-$150/mo for first 3 months
$50-$200/mo after first 3 months
12-100 Mbps 866-951-2781
HughesNet $59.99–$149.99/mo 25 Mbps 855-849-8799

Who’s Plans Are Better?

Are you looking for performance? Viasat’s plans are better. Viasat’s fastest plans leave HughesNet in the dust. On top of that, those top plans can come with up to six times the data of HughesNet’s top plans, and for comparable prices. If you live in a location with access to Viasat’s fastest services and you need satellite internet that can keep up with your high-speed online activities, Viasat is the easy choice.

Are you looking for affordable low-performance internet? HughesNet is slightly better. Though Viasat’s cheapest plan is still $10 cheaper per month than HughesNet’s, is that really worth operating at only half the speed? You might think so, but we’re going to choose the extra 13 Mbps for just a few bucks more. If you want the best plan available for $60 or less, HughesNet is the winner.

These choices are based on just a few factors. Let’s take a look at some more information so we can make a more informed decision.

More About Viasat

Where HughesNet offers only a few different plans, all with the same download speed, Viasat offers a variety of plans to meet each customer’s specific needs. Take a look at the Viasat plans in the table below.

Plan Price (for first 3 months) Speed Data Allowance
Basic 12 $40/mo. Up to 12 Mbps 15 GB
Liberty 12 $30/mo. Up to 12 Mbps 12 GB
Liberty 25 $50/mo. Up to 12 Mbps 25 GB
Liberty 50 $75/mo. Up to 12 Mbps 50 GB
Unlimited Bronze 12 $50/mo. Up to 12 Mbps up to 80 GB
Unlimited Bronze 25 $70/mo. Up to 25 Mbps 35 GB
Unlimited Silver 25 $70/mo. Up to 25 Mbps up to 120 GB
Unlimited Gold 12 $150/mo. Up to 12 Mbps 65 GB
Unlimited Gold 30 $100/mo. Up to 30 Mbps up to 100 GB
Unlimited Gold 50 $100/mo. Up to 50 Mbps up to 200 GB
Unlimited Platinum 100 $150/mo. Up to 100 Mbps up to 300 GB

Viasat’s wide variety of offerings means there’s something for everyone. Visit the Viasat website to see which plans are available in your area. These prices are the initial price for the first three months of service. After the three-month promotional period, prices will go up by $20 to $50. All plans come with a 24-month contract unless you pay an upfront No Long-Term Contract fee.

The data caps listed are the highest available for those plans. Many of the plans come with a choice of data allowance so you can choose the amount that will make your data last all month long. All Viasat plans come with unlimited data, in a sense, but if you use up your data cap, your data will be deprioritized behind users who are still below their monthly data cap. This will result in slower speeds when network traffic is heavy.

If you run out of data, you can purchase extra to keep your internet running at full speed. Unfortunately, when you end a monthly billing cycle with leftover data, it doesn’t carry over into the next month. We’ll discuss this more in a later section.

Each Unlimited Plan above limits your video streaming quality to help you save your data allowance through the month.

By upgrading to a better package, not only do you get faster speeds and more data, but you unlock the ability to stream at higher qualities. Just be careful not to use your data up too quickly with all your HD streaming!

More About HughesNet

HughesNet’s plans all come with a 25Mbps download speed but with different data allowances.

Plan Price Speed Data Allowance
10 GB Data Plan $59.99/mo. 25 Mbps 10 GB
20 GB Data Plan $69.99/mo. 25 Mbps 20 GB
30 GB Data Plan $99.99/mo. 25 Mbps 30 GB
50 GB Data Plan $149.99/mo. 25 Mbps 50 GB

As you can see, HughesNet doesn’t have as many options as Viasat nor does it offer the same max speeds. HughesNet’s 25 Mbps download speed meets the minimum requirement to classify as broadband internet.

HughesNet’s low data allowances are one of the first things that stand out. These numbers are much lower than Viasat’s. However, this is improved slightly by the fact that every plan comes with 50 GB of bonus data that can only be used during the Bonus Zone, 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. If you’re willing to do some of your downloading and surfing early in the morning, you can help your monthly data allowance last a little bit longer.

Like Viasat, once you pass your monthly data cap, your internet speeds will slow down. HughesNet says post-data-cap speeds are usually around 1 to 3 Mbps, not quite enough for a decent streaming experience but enough to browse the internet and check email. HughesNet also offers additional data for purchase to keep your priority speed going a little longer. This purchased data can carry over into the next month.

HughesNet plans don’t come with a discount the first three months, but their prices are already a bit lower than Viasat’s. You will pay the same price for the entire 24 months of your contract. But the low data allowances still means you're getting less for your money. When considering per GB prices, Viasat comes out to be the better deal.

What about Starlink?

Okay, let’s take a brief moment to talk about SpaceX’s Starlink and other upcoming satellite internet providers. We’re as excited as you are to see what is going to be offered, but because Starlink is so new, it’s hard to say exactly what it will look like in the future. So far, Starlink is providing high speeds and very low latency (for satellite internet), but it’s currently unavailable to the masses. Signing up for Starlink now will put you on a list that could have you waiting months before getting to try out the current beta version.

There are currently about 1,500 Starlink satellites in low earth orbit that make up the Starlink constellation and SpaceX has plans to increase this number up to potentially 42,000. Services are still not widely available but they are expanding. During the beta phase, Starlink costs $99 and provides unlimited data at over 100 Mbps, but this could change as the number of users increases.

Okay, Back to Viasat and HughesNet: Pros and Cons

Viasat HughesNet
  • More data
  • Faster speeds
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Discount for first three month
  • Lower long-term price
  • Purchased data tokens carry into next month
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Bonus Zone
  • No data carryover
  • 2-year contract required
  • Speed limited to 25 Mbps
  • Low data limits
  • 2-year contract required

A Closer Look

Download Speeds
Even though Viasat offers a 100Mbps plan and a few others that surpass HughesNet’s standard 25 Mbps, that doesn’t mean Viasat is necessarily your fastest option. Because different satellite beams service different areas, it’s possible you will only have access to Viasat’s slowest plans, or less likely, no plan at all. Because of this, you will need to check with both Viasat and HughesNet customer service, or check their websites, to see which plans service your location.

But the download speed isn’t the only stat that will affect your internet’s performance. If your data allowance is too low, you will pass it early in your billing cycle, leaving you with a measly few Mbps. Having a plan with a higher download speed won’t help you in that situation. Therefore it’s important to choose a plan with enough data to last you all month long.

Latency is the time it takes for a signal to arrive at its destination and then receive a response. Satellite internet is known for having high latency. With the signal traveling all the way up into space and back, and then taking the same route again on the way back, it’s no surprise that HughesNet and Viasat both have latency around 600 milliseconds. With their satellites 22,000 miles above the earth, it’s impressive that the message is getting to its destination and back in less than a second, but it’s still much higher than other internet types. When it comes to latency, HughesNet and Viasat are pretty equal.

If you are looking for low-latency satellite internet, keep your eyes out for Starlink. As it develops, it will become more and more available.

Satellite internet isn’t limited by the need to build infrastructure wherever you want to provide service. Land-based internet services require network stations and wires reaching all their customers. With satellite internet, the infrastructure is already installed, 22,000 miles in space. This means it can reach pretty much any location under its vast reach. Both HughesNet and Viasat offer this vast reach that provides internet service to most places in all 50 states. However, different locations will have access to different satellite beams and thus have access to different service plans.

As it stands, Viasat is considered the more technologically advanced between the two satellite internet providers. HughesNet’s latest addition to its team of satellites was EchoStar XIX, launched in 2016. But it is surpassed by the state-of-the-art Viasat-2 launched by Viasat in 2017. But this balance could easily be shifting as both companies are investing in great technological advances in the coming years.

HughesNet is now in partnership with OneWeb, a company aiming at providing broadband satellite internet to every corner of the globe. Together they hope to use low-Earth orbit satellites to bring higher speeds and lower latencies to rural internet users. Satellite internet usually has latencies around 600 milliseconds. This is much higher than the latencies of land-based internets, which are often under 30 milliseconds, but low-Earth orbit satellites will be able to significantly improve satellite internet latency, potentially bringing it as low as many cable or fiber services.

Additionally, HughesNet hopes to launch a new satellite, Jupiter-3, in 2022. With this new technology HughesNet will be able to provide more coverage and faster speeds.

But Viasat is also growing. Viasat has plans to launch their newest satellite constellation, Viasat-3, in 2022. This trio of satellites will improve performance and increase reach, providing satellite internet coverage to all 7 continents and even the oceans!

With both companies making such large investments in improving their technology, it’s hard to say who will be on top in the future. We’ll have to keep watching and see how they grow in the coming years.

Most internet services have no data caps. Use as much data as you want with no extra charges and no throttling. But satellite internet is unique in that data allowances are the norm. Both Viasat and HughesNet come with unlimited data, but your speeds will suffer if you surpass your plans data cap.

Both Viasat and HughesNet offer the chance to purchase extra data on top of your plan’s base monthly data. Though HughesNet typically comes with less data than Viasat, it’s easier to purchase and use the extra data that HughesNet offers. HughesNet’s Data Tokens are cheaper than the bonus data offered by Viasat. Additionally, extra purchased data from HughesNet will rollover into the next month. Not so with extra data purchased from Viasat.

Viasat Data Allowances
Viasat comes with internet plans that offer very large amounts of data. It should be enough for all your internet needs in the month. But if you do go over your limit, your internet speeds will be prioritized behind customers who haven’t used their monthly data allowance yet. This will result in slower speeds during heavy internet congestion.

Some Viasat plans offer the ability to purchase extra data (unfortunately not the Unlimited Plans). If you need more data before your next billing cycle begins, just visit the Viasat website or use the Viasat app. Here you can buy more data that will give you back the speeds you originally signed up for. But be careful not to buy too much. This data won’t carry over into the next month, so make sure to only buy what you need. Below are Viasat’s extra data prices:

HughesNet Data Allowances
Data allowance is the only difference between the HughesNet plans. They vary from 10 GB per month up to 50 GB per month. Once you pass this data allowance, you’re going to be dealing with speeds between 1 and 3 Mbps until the next month.

But HughesNet also offers the ability to purchase extra data for all of its accounts. This extra data is purchased in the form of Data Tokens. The prices are reasonable, and definitely better than Viasat. 10 GB of HughesNet data is going to cost you $30, where as with Viasat you’ll be dropping $95 for the same amount. That’s over triple the price! And as a bonus, the extra data you purchase will rollover into the next month!

Let’s take a look at HugheNet’s data tokens:

How Do HughesNet and Viasat Help Us Make the Most of Our Data?

Both companies know that staying under the data cap is really important to their customers. This is why they both provide tools to help your internet keep going strong all month long.

HughesNet’s Bonus Zone
Every HughesNet plan comes with 50 GB of bonus data that can only be used during the Bonus zone, 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. Any data you use during this time (up to 50 GB) will not be added to your monthly data usage.

If you have large downloads or other data-heavy activities, doing them during the Bonus Zone is a great way to save your data. A great tip is to download shows during this time to watch offline later.

Viasat’s free zone
The newest Viasat plans come with larger amounts of data, and therefore don’t offer a free zone anymore. When Viasat was under the name Exede, plans included a free zone early in the morning where customers could use as much data as they wanted without adding to their monthly data total.

HughesNet’s Video Data Saver
Because video streaming is one of the easiest ways to use up all your monthly data, HughesNet provides a builtin Video Data Saver. The Video Data Saver automatically adjusts the quality of incoming video streams down to 480p, which is DVD quality. This will save loads of GBs to make sure your internet lasts all month long.

If you do want to occasionally stream in HD, you can always disable the Video Data Saver in your account settings.

Viasat’s Video Data Extender
The Video Data Extender was a tool for limiting the amount of data used for streaming. Like the Free Zone, new plans don’t offer this anymore. However, Viasat has taken a different approach with newer plans. Depending on the level of plan you choose, video quality will automatically be limited in order to save data. You can always further limit video quality manually by changing the settings in whatever streaming tool you use.

HughesNet vs. Viasat: Equipment

Both HughesNet and Viasat will send a professional technician to install all the necessary equipment for your satellite internet service. Each comes with a few options for how to pay for the equipment.

Viasat equipment fees
You will have to use the equipment Viasat provides in order to use its service. That’s not a problem, though, as they will provide everything you need. Viasat’s equipment is optimized to work with its satellites to give you the best satellite internet possible.

Viasat does not offer an option for buying their equipment, but gives you two leasing options. The first option is to pay $12.99 per month. The second option is to pay a lifetime leasing fee of $299.99. This option allows you to use the equipment for no extra fee as long as you need it, but you will still need to return it when you cancel your account.

The total cost of leasing by the month for an entire 24-month contract is $239.76. This is cheaper than the lifetime lease fee. But if you plan on using the Viasat service for at least six months longer than the original contract, you’ll save money in the long run by choosing the upfront lifetime leasing fee.

As long as you have approved credit, all installation is free with Viasat.

HughesNet equipment fees
HughesNet offers you the option of purchasing the equipment. This is an option worth considering, but it does carry a large upfront cost.

If you want to lease the equipment, you will pay a one time lease activation fee of $99.99. You will then pay $14.99 per month for as long as you use HughesNet internet. Installation is free with this option. If you choose to purchase your equipment, the price of equipment plus the cost of installation will set you back $449.99. That sounds like a ton! But with the leasing option, you’ll be paying a total of $459.75. Not only does the buying option save you money in your two years of use, you also get to keep the equipment afterward. If you have the money handy, we recommend the buying option.

The Comparison
Leasing Viasat equipment is $12.99 per month. Leasing HughesNet equipment is an upfront $99.99 plus $14.99 per month.

Lifetime use of Viasat equipment costs $299.99. Purchasing HughesNet equipment costs $449.99.

This difference is enough to tip the scales on the lower-end plans. If you lease your equipment, your 2-year total price (equipment plus service) with Viasat will be $1,379.76. With HughesNet, you’ll be dropping $1,899.51. That’s more than a $500 difference.

HughesNet vs. Viasat: Business Internet

Businesses have different internet needs than homes. If you have a business in a rural area, you’re probably looking for fast, reliable satellite internet solutions that provide extra layers of security beyond what home internet can offer.

Viasat has business internet plans that range from 12 to 100 Mbps and $50 to $500 per month. HughesNet’s business internet services offer the standard 25 Mbps at prices of $49.99 to $149.99 per month for the first six months and then $69.99 to $199.99 thereafter.

Do HughesNet or Viasat Offer Satellite TV?

Viasat and HughesNet both focus the entirety of their bandwidth on providing quality internet to their customers. This means their satellite dishes won’t be able to get you satellite TV. But we still encourage it. Installing satellite TV through a satellite TV provider is a great way to reduce the data used from streaming on your Viasat or HughesNet internet.

HughesNet doesn’t offer any internet/TV bundling deals at the moment, but if you bundle Viasat with DIRECTV, you can pay for them in one easy bill each month and get a $10 monthly discount on the total.

Let’s compare the two biggest satellite TV providers, DISH and DIRECTV.

Price: $42.99 - $99.99
Channels: 190-290, with options to add additional channels
DVR Storage: 125-500 HD hours (500 with the Hopper 3 DVR)

DISH comes in with less channels than DIRECTV, but at a lower price. It’s channels may be fewer but many consider DISH to be the better provider of children’s programming. If you have little ones, that’s an important consideration.

DISH also provides the Hopper 3 DVR, which boasts 2TB of storage space and 4K HD video quality. This is better than DIRECTV’s DVR offering, but will set you back an extra $15 per month.

Price: $64.99 - $134.99
Channels: 160-330, with options to add additional channels
DVR Storage: 200 HD hours

If you want more channels, then DIRECTV is the option for you, especially if what you’re looking for is sports. But extra channels come at a price. DIRECTV comes in at a higher price than DISH and increases after just one year of use (DISH prices are subject to change after 2 years).

DIRECTV’s DVR game is decent, but can’t compare with the one offered by DISH. DIRECTV comes with a Genie DVR that holds 200 hours of HD content. The plus side to Genie is that it’s free.

HughesNet vs. Viasat: the Verdict

As we’ve seen today, both have some great things going for them. They’re bringing tough competition, which doesn’t make our decision easy, but if we had to choose, we’re going with Viasat.

Though HughesNet might be close when considering the smaller plans, Viasat offers greater overall performance for comparable prices. Their download speeds and large data allowances make Viasat services a solution more suitable for the modern internet user.

What Are the Benefits of Viasat Internet vs HughesNet Satellite Internet?

Call:  1-855-690-9884

Satellite internet makes the impossible, possible. Satellite internet brings high speed internet to those living in even the most remote areas. New technology and more sophisticated satellites have recently made satellite internet competitive to DSL and cable internet in both speed and price. HughesNet and Exede (recently rebranded as Viasat) are currently the two biggest satellite internet providers. By comparing HughesNet internet packages with Exede internet packages, we will help you decide which provider fits your needs best. HughesNet satellite internet customer service was rated equal to Exede's-some customers were dissatisfied with each. Let's compare HughesNet and Exede satellite internet service on speed, data and price.

Call and Get $250 Off  Satellite Internet! 1-855-690-9884

One of the biggest differences between HughesNet satellite internet plans and Exede internet plans is speed vs. data. All eligible new HughesNet plans come with up to 25 Mbps download speeds. Recently HughesNet upgraded its satellite, now the Gen5 instead of the Gen4. HughesNet plans are priced based on data usage per month. Exede's newest internet packages offer the opposite deal, unlimited data for all customers. Viasat internet plan prices are based on internet speeds.

How does HughesNet satellite internet work?

HughesNet Gen4 satellite internet service works the same as the Gen5 and Exede. It uses a small satellite that is installed outside of the home. This small satellite sends signals to one of the satellites orbiting in space. The signal is sent from the orbiting satellite to the satellite hub located at the HughesNet provider, where the connection is made, and then sent back the same way that it came.

How fast is HughesNet satellite internet?

HughesNet speeds increased dramatically with the launch of the Gen5 satellite, which gives 25 Mbps internet to all new customers, and those who upgraded. HughfaesNet Gen4 satellite internet offered speeds from 5 to 15 Mbps. HughesNet Gen4 satellite internet plans were less desirable than the Gen5. Customers complained about slow speeds. The launch of the Gen5 gave customers the speeds they desired at reasonable prices that are competitive with Exede's latest plans.

How much is HughesNet satellite internet?

HughesNet plans start at $49.99/month for 10 GB of data. All new plans are for a 24-month contract, and include up to 25 Mbps download speeds, around 3 Mbps upload speeds. If data limits are exceeded during the month, speeds are reduced (typically to around 1-3 Mbps) until the next billing period. Customers are given an extra 50 GB/month of data to use during "off peak" hours from 2 a.m.- 8 a.m.


10 GB data for $49.99/month
20 GB data for $69.99/month (current offer reduces price to $59.99 for 24 months)
30 GB data for $99.99/month (current offer reduces price to $79.99 for 24 months)
50 GB data for $129.99/month (current offer reduces price to $99.99 for 24 months)

How does Exede compare?

Exede satellite internet packages appeal to those who use large amounts of data. All Exede internet data plans are unlimited for new customers, which is very appealing for customers who plan to use more than 30 GB of data per month during peak hours. HughesNet does not offer an unlimited plan. If you go over data, your speed will be reduced.

Exede internet plans and pricing:

12 Mbps Download speeds for $70/month (50$/month for the first three months)
25 Mbps Download speeds for $100/month (70$/month for the first three months)
35 Mbps Download speeds for $150/month (100$/month for the first three months)

Exede internet and bundle packages make the plans even more attractive for customers who also want TV. Customers save $10/month when building with Direct TV, which is $29.99/month for 12 months or $39.99 for the Sunday ticket.

Exede is being rebranded as Viasat, the parent company. It will not change customer's service. In early 2018, Viasat will be launching a new satellite which will increase speeds and coverage. Viasat Exede internet reviews were positive, but the FCC found speeds to be on average lower than advertised, while HughesNet was found to be faster than advertised.

Viasat internet reviews were positive about the data plans. The unlimited data is ideal for heavy internet users, especially those streaming. The 12 Mbps plan is slower than the starting plan for HughesNet, and only supports streaming for small screens, like smartphones. Viasat satellite internet reviews were positive for the larger data plans and their speeds for unlimited internet. Customers can use large amounts of data without worrying about speed throttling.

Viasat internet service reviews can vary based on location, as with HughesNet. Viasat satellite internet reviews should be more positive once the new satellite is launched. This will give higher speeds to more customers, and increase reliability. New unlimited data plans are not available to all customers. Where the unlimited plans aren't offered, customers can choose the Liberty. Viasat Liberty internet reviews are positive for customers who use the data during the day, not during peak hours from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Customers are given set amounts of "priority data" to use, and then once the data limit is reached, speeds are reduced. It is very similar to HughesNet plans, but the speeds vary from 12 Mbps to 25 Mbps.

HughesNet Vs. Exede

HughesNet is the best provider for those eligible for the Gen5 plan who do not use large amounts of data. Exede is the best provider for customers who use large amounts of data (more than 30 GB of data per month), if they can choose the faster download plans.

Comparing HughesNet and Viasat

For a long time these two have been at the top of the satellite internet competition in rural America. Which one is the better choice?

Land-based internet services have all but forgotten internet users living in remote areas, leaving many of these people with satellite internet as their only option. Satellite internet has long been viewed as a slower, less reliable, more expensive option when compared to fiber and cable. Even modern DSL providers can sometimes top satellite internet’s performance.

However, satellite internet has come a long way in the past two decades. It may not have caught up with cable or fiber internet, but its improved performance, along with its unparalleled ability to reach customers pretty much anywhere, make satellite internet a decent choice. If you are looking at satellite internet, your options are basically Viasat or HughesNet. (SpaceX’s Starlink is up-and-coming, but it’s only in its beta phase and not fully available to the public.) Choosing between Viasat and HughesNet is more than just a preference. There are key differences between the two that are worth looking at in detail. With a little more information, the decision could be much easier than before.

HughesNet vs. Viasat: Availability

Both of these providers are available basically everywhere in the United States. These are the only two internet service providers who can make this claim. Wire-based internet service providers rely on miles of connected infrastructure to connect to all of their customers. Satellite internet on the other hand already has all the necessary infrastructure installed... 22,000 miles above the earth. The only thing needed to receive the signals from the satellites is a dish installed at your home or office. As long as your dish can find a clear view of the southern sky, you won’t have a problem getting satellite internet basically anywhere in the 50 states.

HughesNet vs. Viasat: Plans and Pricing

With both providers you can customize your service by selecting the plan that fits your internet needs. Let’s take a look at what’s available and how much it’s going to cost.

HughesNet Plans

Plan Max speeds Starting price Price after 6 months Data allowance
Gen5 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $40/mo. $60/mo. 10GB
Gen5 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $50/mo. $70/mo. 20GB
Gen5 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $80/mo. $100/mo. 30GB
Gen5 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $130/mo. $150/mo. 50GB

Viasat Plans

Plan Max speeds Starting price Price after 3 months Data allowance
Unlimited Bronze 12 12Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $50/mo. $70/mo. 15-80GB
Unlimited Bronze 25 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $70/mo. $100/mo. 35GB
Unlimited Silver 25 25Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $70/mo. $100/mo. 60-120 GB
Unlimited Gold 30 30Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $100/mo. $150/mo. 100-200 GB
Unlimited Gold 50 50Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $100/mo. $150/mo. 100-200 GB
Unlimited Platinum 100 100Mbps download, 3Mbps upload $150/mo. $200/mo. 150-300GB

As you’ll notice, promotional pricing doesn’t last long for either provider. HughesNet’s discount only lasts 6 months, and Viasat’s is even worse at only 3 months. You’ll also notice that Viasat offers a wider variety of plans. There are even plans not listed here that could be available depending on your location. HughesNet has 4 plans, all with the same speeds, just different amounts of data. All plans above require a 2-year contract.

Comparing prices also requires us to look at additional fees, though we’ll take a closer look later. HughesNet starts with a $99.99 lease activation fee, plus $14.99 per month for equipment. Viasat on the other hand is just $9.99 per month to rent the equipment. With HughesNet you can also opt to purchase the equipment, which will cost $449.99 including installation. With Viasat, you can’t purchase the equipment but you can lease it for life for $299.99.

Viasat Offers Speed

If speed is what you’re looking for, Viasat is the best option. HughesNet doesn’t have any plans that pass 25Mbps. Even its most expensive plan has the same speed cap, just with a few extra GBs of data allowance. Viasat has several plans over 25 Mbps, including its Unlimited Gold 50, which offers 50Mbps download speeds, and its Unlimited Platinum 100, which at 100 Mbps is the fastest satellite internet plan widely available today.

But not all Viasat plans will be available in your area. Depending on your location, you may not have access to the Unlimited Platinum 100 plan or the Unlimited Gold 50 plan. It’s possible the 25 Mbps offered by HughesNet is the best option for you in your location. You can input your address into the Viasat website to see what plans are available to you.

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) defines broadband as at least 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds. This was a decent internet speed several years ago when the definition was created, but it is no longer that impressive. HughesNet plans technically are classified as broadband, but modern internet speeds typically surpass that benchmark.

HughesNet vs. Viasat: Unlimited Data

While both internet providers boast of giving their customers unlimited data, you may have noticed that all the plans listed above have a “data allowance”. So what’s up with that?

The truth is that both providers do indeed provide unlimited data, but it’s not the kind you want most. You can’t just stream 4K movies all day every day with no consequences. What both companies mean by unlimited data is two things. First, your internet will never stop. When you reach your monthly data allowance, your connection to the internet will not suddenly be broken. Second, you won’t be surprised by any overage fees. If you go over your data allowance, whatever you use after that will still be included in your plan and you won’t receive any extra charges.

But the downside of HughesNet’s and Viasat’s versions of unlimited data is that your speeds will be slowed after you pass your plan's data allowance. For HughesNet, that means 1 to 3 Mbps until the beginning of your next billing cycle, when it will go back up to 25 Mbps. For Viasat, that means internet speeds will be prioritized for those who haven’t passed their data allowance, meaning slower speeds for those who have, especially during heavier network traffic.

Looking at the chart, Viasat has the clear advantage when it comes to data allowance. HughesNet’s most expensive plan maxes out at only 50 GB. That’s measly compared to modern internet demand. Viasat offers up to 300 GB, which is much more respectable. These top Viasat plans may not be available where you live, but even the lower level plans have data options that are higher than HughesNet’s best option.

However, there are a couple things that help HughesNet out a little here. First, HughesNet plans come with Bonus Data that can be used during the Bonus Zone. Every HughesNet plan comes with an additional 50 GB of data that can only be used in the morning between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. If you’re an early riser or are able to schedule large downloads for morning hours, that 50 GB could be really helpful at keeping you below your monthly limit. In addition, you can also purchase bonus data with HughesNet. If you are approaching your monthly limit and don’t want the throttled speeds, you can purchase extra GBs to maintain your plan’s performance. Doing this every month can get expensive, but it’s nice to have the option. These features give HughesNet a small boost, but we’d still rather just have a plan with more data to begin with.

A Closer Look at Additional Fees

Satellite internet pretty much always comes with higher equipment and installation fees. This is unavoidable, as satellite equipment is very expensive and must be fine-tuned to most efficiently communicate with the satellites. You also don’t have the option to use your own equipment with Viasat or HughesNet as you might have with other internet providers.

Installation Fees

Signing up for satellite internet is going to be much more expensive the first month. That’s because there are some additional fees that come with setting up your equipment. With Viasat, installation will cost $99.99. In some locations, it is possible to apply for free installation with an accompanying credit check, but this option isn’t available to everyone.

With HughesNet, installation fees depend on whether you buy or lease the equipment. If you lease, installation is free, but you will have to pay a $99.99 lease activation fee. If you buy, installation will cost $199.99.

Monthly Equipment Fees

You will have to use the modem, router, and satellite dish provided by Viasat or HughesNet. This is going to add to your cost. With Viasat, you can pay $12.99 per month to lease the equipment on a monthly basis, or you can pay $299.99 up front to lease the equipment for life, but you will still have to return it whenever you cancel your service. Every plan requires a 2-year contract, so as long as you plan on using your equipment for at least 6 months past the contract time, you’ll save money by choosing the lifetime leasing option.

With HughesNet, you can choose to lease the equipment for $14.99 per month (plus the $99.99 lease activation fee), or you can purchase the equipment for $249.99 (plus the $199.99 installation fee). Though purchasing the equipment costs a lot of money, it will actually be cheaper than leasing, even if you only use HughesNet for the 24 months that are required.

Early Termination Fees

As we’ve discussed, both Viasat and HughesNet plans require you to sign up for 2 years. You may terminate the contract early, but it could be costly. With Viasat, this will cost you $15 for every month remaining in your contract. If you have the full 24 months left, that’s $360. If you have 12 months left, that’s $180.

With HughesNet, your early termination fee will be $400 if you cancel within the first 90 days and $15 less for every month after that. If you cancel with 12 months left, that will cost you $265.

Viasat offers the option of a no-contract service, but this will cost you $300 up front. This will save you $60 if you cancel your service immediately after starting, but most likely it will end up costing you extra.

HughesNet vs. Viasat: Customer Satisfaction

The American Customer Satisfaction Index helps rank the ways customers feel about different businesses and industries. Unfortunately, while Viasat and HughesNet were both included in the data, the 2021 rankings do not show separate information for the two ISPs. However, numbers for the satellite internet industry were pretty low.

This performance holds consistent with previous years. In 2020, the J.D. Power US Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study did include HughesNet in its comparison of ISPs in the south. Unfortunately, it only came out with a score of 620 on a scale that goes up to 1,000, which put it in last place.

But all of this needs to be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of customer dissatisfaction comes from unrealistic expectations toward the satellite internet industry. Satellite internet has the plus side of being able to reach pretty much any individual, but shooting internet signals into and out of space affects the speeds, data limits, and latency of the services. Many are unhappy that the performance doesn’t match their experience with cable or fiber internet, which isn’t a realistic expectation.

Aware of these shortcomings, innovative tech giants like Elon Musk’s SpaceX are looking to low-earth orbit satellites. These satellites stay much closer to earth with an altitude of around 340 miles instead of 22,000 miles. This will significantly increase speed and decrease latency. While SpaceX’s Starlink is partially functional already, it has limited availability for now.

The Verdict

While both have their pluses and their minuses, we lean a little toward Viasat here. With its higher speeds and much higher data allowances, we are going to be more satisfied using a Viasat internet service. Not all Viasat plans are going to be available in your location, though, so it’s possible HughesNet could be your best option, and that option isn’t going to be that bad. The best way to decide is to visit their websites, put in your address, and see what plans each has to offer in your location.

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