HughesNet Review

You may also qualify for Free standard installation in select locations. Limited-time offer valid to new Lease subscribers only. Not valid with Purchase option. Please, contact Hughes to see if you qualify.
HughesNet: Free standard installation
Customers with SmartBrowsing-enabled plans who have exceeded their monthly Anytime allowance can still send and receive email and browse the Internet. It is important to note, however, that uploading or downloading large files, including video and audio embedded in web pages or attached to emails, will reduce speeds. Visit legal.HughesNet.com for complete details.
SmartBrowsing
What is included with a professional installation?
  • The HughesNet satellite modem (Indoor Unit or IDU) with power supply will be connected to your computer with a HughesNet-supplied LAN cable.
  • A HughesNet satellite antenna (dish), radio, and mount will be located:
    • With a clear line of sight to the southern sky.
    • At least 4 feet off the ground so that it is out of reach of small children.
    • So that it is accessible with a 24- to 25-foot ladder for quick and easy servicing should it ever be required. This is usually on the first level of the residence.
  • Up to 125 feet of dual RG-6 cable will be run from the antenna outside to the computer inside through a single exterior wall penetration to an adjacent interior wall. It will be terminated on the inside wall with a two-connector faceplate.
  • A grounding block is provided and the entire system is grounded to an NEC-approved bonding point.
  • All outdoor penetrations and water-resistant compression fitting are thoroughly weather-sealed.
These service protection plans are designed to assure you that your HughesNet service will be restored in a quick and efficient manner in the event a problem occurs. You can select Basic or Premium service for repairs that require onsite attention. Both services offer live technical phone support (toll-free), and if needed, a certified HughesNet technician will come to your home or business to restore service for only a $29.95 co-pay after the 30-day vesting period.
What is the vesting period?

Both Express Repair plans include a 30-day vesting period for existing HughesNet subscribers. Onsite service within the first 30 days of enrolling in a plan results in a higher co-pay than after the vesting period.

During the vesting period: $99 co-pay
If an onsite visit is required within the 30-day vesting period and you choose to start a new 24-month service commitment, the co-pay fee will be $99.
During the vesting period: $199 co-pay
If an onsite visit is required within the 30-day vesting period and you choose not to start a new 24-month service commitment, the co-pay fee will be $199.
After the vesting period: $29.95 co-pay
If you require onsite service after the 30-day vesting period, the onsite service co-pay will be $29.95.
HughesNet Gen4 Fair Access Policy

To ensure fair Internet access for all HughesNet® Gen4 subscribers, Hughes maintains a special Fair Access Policy for these subscribers. This policy establishes an equitable balance in Internet access for all HughesNet subscribers. Hughes assigns a Data Allowance to each service plan that limits the amount of data that may be downloaded or uploaded within a one-month period. Subscribers who exceed this limit will experience a temporary reduction of speed.

Home Plans:
EchoStar XVII
Anytime Allowance
(per month)
Monthly Bonus Bytes*
(2 a.m. to 8 a.m.,
local time)
     
   Choice 5 GB 50 GB
   Prime 10 GB 50 GB
   Prime Plus** 10 GB 50 GB
   Pro 15 GB 50 GB
   Pro Plus** 15 GB 50 GB
   Max** 20 GB 50 GB
   Ultra** 50 GB 50 GB
     
* Speeds are not guaranteed. Monthly Data Allowance is the sum of the Anytime and Bonus Bytes. Actual speeds during the Bonus Byte period will likely be lower than speeds indicated.

** Customers with SmartBrowsing™-enabled plans who have exceeded their monthly Anytime Allowance can still send and receive email and browse the Internet. It is important to note, however, that uploading or downloading large files, including video and audio embedded in web pages or attached to emails, will reduce speeds. SmartBrowsing is not available to all households and is dependent upon physical address. Certain geographical areas are not eligible. Visit legal.HughesNet.com for complete details.
     
Home Plans:
SPACEWAY
Anytime Allowance
(per month)
Monthly Bonus Bytes
(2 a.m. to 8 a.m.,
local time)
     
   Connect 5 GB 5 GB
   Connect Pro 10 GB 10 GB

How does the Fair Access Policy work?

HughesNet Gen4 service plans allow unlimited downloading and uploading. However, to ensure consistent performance for all users, a Fair Access Policy provides for a limit, based on your service plan as described above, on the amount of data which can be used before your service performance is reduced. The policy is implemented automatically by monitoring your usage, including data which is sent from or to your HughesNet terminal. Each HughesNet Gen4 service plan is assigned an Anytime Allowance. The Anytime Allowance is the amount of data, in bytes, which can be uploaded or downloaded within the month at full speed. If your data usage exceeds the allowance for your plan, the throughput (speed) of your service will be reduced.

When is my Data Allowance refilled?

Each HughesNet Gen4 terminal is assigned a Data Allowance cycle, based upon the date of activation. The refill cycles are based upon a 28-day month (1-28), and the cycle day matches your activation day. If your service is activated on the 29th, 30th, or 31st day of a month, your cycle will be set to the first day of the month. As an example, if you activate service on October 3, your cycle day is 3, and your Data Allowance will be refilled overnight on the third day of each month. If you activate your service on October 30, your cycle day is 1, and your Data Allowance will be refilled overnight on the first day of each month.

How is my usage calculated?

HughesNet counts each byte of data sent from, or to, your terminal. This includes packet headers, re-transmissions, and other standard overhead which is part of any IP communications. However, when HughesNet is able to apply compression and reduce the size of the data you send or receive, only the compressed (smaller) data is counted against your usage.

What happens if I don’t use all of my Data Allowance?

Any unused Data Allowance at the end of your cycle is lost, and your Data Allowance is reset to the normal monthly amount assigned to your service plan.

How do Bonus Bytes or the Business Period work?

Many HughesNet Gen4 service plans are assigned a separate allocation of Bonus Bytes (for consumers) or Business Period (for business), and a corresponding Bonus Period. The Bonus Period is a time of day during which you have access to your Bonus Bytes. During the Bonus Period, your usage is first deducted from your Bonus Bytes allowance, if available, for full-speed service. If your Bonus Bytes allowance is empty, then your usage is deducted from your Anytime Allowance, if available, for full-speed service. In other words, your Bonus Bytes provide a special pool which is used automatically during the Bonus Period, giving you access to more usage at full speed. The Bonus Period for Consumer plans is 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., local time; for Business plans it is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., local time.

If I exceed my Data Allowance, when will my speeds be reduced?

During the Bonus Period, your service will operate without restrictions if you have Data Allowance available in either your Bonus Bytes or Anytime Allowance. Outside the Bonus Period, your service will operate without restrictions if you have Data Allowance available in your Anytime Allowance. If you do not have bytes available in the period, your speed will be reduced to approximately 150kbps. As an example, consider the following scenarios:

1. Your plan provides a 10 GB Anytime Allowance, a 10 GB Bonus Data Allowance, and a Bonus Period of 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., local time. You have used all 10 GB of your Anytime Allowance by sending and receiving data outside of 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., so you have 0 bytes remaining. Outside the Bonus Period, from 8 a.m. to 1:59 a.m. local time, your service performance is reduced. During the Bonus Period, your service performance is not restricted and your usage will be deducted from your Bonus Bytes.

2. Your plan provides a 10 GB Anytime Allowance, a 10GB Bonus Data Allowance, and a Bonus Period of 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., local time. You have used all 10 GB of your Bonus Data Allowance by sending and receiving data overnight from the hours of 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., so you have 0 Bonus Bytes remaining, but you still have 5GB of Anytime Allowance remaining. Outside the Bonus Period, from 8 a.m. to 1:59 a.m., local time, your service performance is not reduced, and your usage is deducted from your Anytime Allowance. During the Bonus Period, your service performance is not restricted, because your usage will be deducted from your Anytime Allowance.

Who is affected by the Fair Access Policy?

Some users consume much more bandwidth than the average user, and they will experience reduced download speeds as a result of exceeding their Download Allowance. You may be surprised to find that the top one percent (1%) of users download 9 times more the average user. By providing a Data Allowance, more of the shared bandwidth is made available for everyone to use. Most users will have a better experience as a result of the Fair Access Policy.Online activities such as viewing Websites, checking email, watching video clips or similar short streaming media, and automatic software updates are unlikely to cause you to exceed your monthly Data Allowance.

Typically, on the Prime or Prime Plus plan, to reach your Data Allowance in a one-month period, you would have to download any of the following:

  • Over 5,500 photos (at 3 MB each)
  • Over 4,125 songs (at 4 MB each)
  • Over 825 video clips (at 20 MB each)

What will my Internet access be like if I exceed my Data Allowance?

When your Data Allowance has been exceeded, you will experience reduced download speeds throughout the balance of the month. During this period, your HughesNet service can still be used for activities such as Web browsing and viewing emails, but speeds will be significantly slower than your standard plan rate.

If I exceed my Data Allowance, what should I do?

You might consider upgrading your service plan.

How do I verify whether I have exceeded my Data Allowance?

You can track your past usage and Fair Access Policy status by going to www.myHughesNet.com, clicking on Customer Care, then clicking on the Check My Usage link in the Resources section.

What do you recommend I do during the Bonus Bytes period (2 a.m. to 8 a.m., local time for consumer; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., local time for business)?

We recommend that you automatically schedule your system updates during this period. If you install HughesNet Tools, your Windows Updates will automatically be scheduled for this period. You can also use a download manager software application to automatically schedule large file downloads to occur during these hours.

How do Restore Tokens work?

Restore Tokens allow you to purchase additional Data Allowance to use during your current cycle. Tokens are a great way to restore your service performance until your next monthly refill. Note that once you apply a Restore Token to your account, any speed restrictions are immediately removed, and your Token Bandwidth balance will be shown on your Status Meter, System Control Center, and Support Center usage displays. If you have both Bonus Allowance and Token Bandwidth available, then your Bonus Bandwidth will be used first during the Bonus Period. Your Token Bandwidth balance carries forward from month to month, so any leftover capacity will not be lost or forfeited.

HughesNet Summary

HughesNet’s satellite internet service may be a good choice for your rural household.
Most plans are currently offered with a discount and you may take advantage of free installation also.

PRICING

HughesNet’s has plans for any budget. Each level up will get you more anytime data and/or connection speed.
It make sense to go with Ultra plan that has 50 Gb of anytime + 50 Gb of bonus data, if you can afford it.

Plan Anytime Data Price
Choice 5 GB $49.99/Mo
Prime Plus 10 GB $59.99/Mo
Pro Plus 10 GB $79.99/Mo
Ultra 15 GB $89.99/Mo

Prices listed are regular prices. Check out current promotions on HughesNet site

Installation

$99.99 is the cost of standard installation.
Currently offered for free. Limited time offer.

Under standard installation expect satellite antenna to be attached to the roof or the side of your home. For additional fee pole mount may be installed by the installer. If line of site to the satellite has obstructions from the house, pole mount may be the only option to have service installed.
Read this prior to ordering pole mount. This article was written originally on Wildblue but it is valid for all providers.

And this article as well. Both articles have valuable first hand information regarding installation. You don't need to follow it but being prepared will minimize your chances of ending up with less then perfectly working system.

Equipment

Equipment you will receive consist of two major components: IDU and ODU.

The rental fee for the equipment is $9.99 per month and with that you get free installation.
You have an option to purchase your equipment and own it for life. $399.98 will cover the cost of standard installation and equipment.

Contract

HughesNet Service Plans require a minimum service commitment of 24 months.

If you disconnect your service before the end of your 24-month commitment, you will be charged a Service Termination Fee of up to $400.

The exact amount of the Service Termination Fee will be $400 for the first ninety (90) days after activation of the HughesNet Service.
Thereafter, the amount will decrease by $15 per month for each month of active Service.

If you lease the equipment, you must return it within 45 days from the date you cancelled the service.
There is a $300 Unreturned Equipment Fee ($100 for the modem and power supply and $200 for the radio transmitter).
If service is terminated after commitment expired, you are still obligated to return the equipment back to provider.

This is standard industry practice. Both Exede and dishNET have similar early termination policies.

Other fees

HughesNet offers a minimum 24-month limited service warranty for modem or IDU. Other components of a system may be covered also but you should check with the company.
Service calls are very expensive when you need a technician to come out. HughesNet has 2 service protection plans called Express Repair that may help you save money on service calls. Both plans: Express Repair and Express Repair Premium require a 1-year term and a $29.95 co-pay for a technician visit.
A higher co-pay will be charged during the 30-day vesting period.
Express Repair will add $7.95 to your monthly bill and Express Repair Premium is only $11.95 per month.

PLANS

HughesNet has several plans to offer with various speeds, data allowance and price. Note, that start up 'Choice' plan does not have SmartBrowsing, only night-time Bonus data is available on this plan. Download Manager tool will be provided and you can schedule large downloads during the night so they only use Bonus Bytes and have no impact on your anytime Data Allowance.

HughesNet offers plenty of bonus data on all plans but it may only be used primary during late night hours and makes sense for scheduled downloads of large files.

Plan/Details Choice Prime Plus Pro Plus Ultra
Advertised Price $39.99/Mo $39.99/Mo $69.99/Mo $79.99/Mo
Regular Price $49.99/Mo $59.99/Mo $79.99/Mo $89.99/Mo
Max Download Speed 5 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 15 Mbps
Max Upload Speed 1 Mbps 1 Mbps 2 Mbps 2 Mbps
Anytime Data Allowance 5 GB 10 GB 15 GB 50 GB
Bonus Data Allowance 50 GB
(2am - 8am)
50 GB
(2am - 8am)
50 GB
(2am - 8am)
50 GB
(2am - 8am)
Options Description
Free Installation Free standard installation applies to new Lease subscribers only. Not valid with Purchase option. Limited-time offer.
SmartBrowsing All plans except 'Choice' come with SmartBrowsing, allowing you to continue using service even after Anytime data allowance is exceeded.
Choice
Advertised Price $39.99/Mo
Regular Price $49.99/Mo
Max Down Speed 5 Mbps
Max Upload Speed 1 Mbps
Anytime Data 5 GB
Bonus Data 50 GB
(2am - 8am)
Prime Plus
Advertised Price $39.99/Mo
Regular Price $59.99/Mo
Max Down Speed 10 Mbps
Max Upload Speed 1 Mbps
Anytime Data 10 GB
Bonus Data 50 GB
(2am - 8am)
Pro Plus
Advertised Price $69.99/Mo
Regular Price $79.99/Mo
Max Down Speed 10 Mbps
Max Upload Speed 2 Mbps
Anytime Data 15 GB
Bonus Data 50 GB
(2am - 8am)
Ultra
Advertised Price $79.99/Mo
Regular Price $89.99/Mo
Max Down Speed 15 Mbps
Max Upload Speed 2 Mbps
Anytime Data 50 GB
Bonus Data 50 GB
(2am - 8am)
HughesNet Options
Free Installation
SmartBrowsing

DATA & CAPS

Advertised total data allowance is a sum of Anytime and Bonus data.

Anytime data is measured during high-peak hours between 8:00 am and 2:00 am. And you get it according to the plan chosen (5, 10, 15 or 50 Gb for a billing cycle).
Bonus data may only be utilized during off-peak hours between 2:00 am and 8:00 am. You get 50 Gb across all plans.

If all of anytime or day time data is gone, plans with active SmartBrowsing can get online during the day at 128 Kbps speeds, good enough for browsing web and check emails.
Note, Choice plan is the only plan without SmartBrowsing.

Just as other providers HughesNet has a Fair Access Policy.

SPEEDS

Even though speeds are not guaranteed, HughesNet demonstrates consistency at advertised speeds.
Expect to have 5–15 Mbps download speeds and 1-2 Mbps for upload but most likely your results will vary and be slower.

There is only one competitor that can deliver even higher download and upload speeds - Exede

Bottom line

HughesNet is definitely worth considering. This provider may not suite everybody but it could be a good pick with good promotion.

Visit hughesnet.com to discover latest deals and promotions in satellite broadband internet service.

Who do you think is the best satellite internet service provider?

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