Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


HughesNet Internet review: Leading satellite provider

We review an internet provider more affordable than comparable satellite internet plans from competitors and one that consistently matching or exceeding advertised speeds.
Written by Erin Gobler, Contributor

HughesNet is a leading satellite internet provider available across all 50 states. To determine if HughesNet is a good option for internet service, we considered factors such as customer satisfaction, download speeds, number of plans, data caps, and customer support.

HughesNet excels by exceeding its promised download speeds, but it doesn't offer the speeds that its competitors do, and its pricing and customer satisfaction leave room for improvement.

HughesNet is one of just a couple of satellite internet providers, but the internet provider's crucial standout feature is its download speeds. While HughesNet advertises a download speed of 25Mbps, an FCC Fixed Broadband report found that customers often experience anywhere from 125% to 223% faster speeds.

Unfortunately, HughesNet also has some downsides. The company has less than stellar customer ratings on J.D. Power and the Better Business Bureau. And if you're shopping purely based on price, HughesNet probably won't be your first choice. Its starting price of $59.99 is higher than most of the other best internet providers.

*J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study average rating across all regions. Based on a 1,000-point scale.


  • Exceptional download speeds: Download speed often exceeds the advertised speed of 25Mbps, according to an FCC Fixed Broadband report.
  • Available in all 50 states: No matter what state you live in, HughesNet can connect your home to satellite internet.
  • Extra data cap allowances: Customers can enjoy an extra 50 GB per month of full-speed data during the "Bonus Zone" of 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.


  • Locked-in contract terms: Service plans require a 24-month contract.
  • Higher cost: Expensive starting price compared to competitors.
  • Poor customer satisfaction: Both J.D. Power and the Better Business Bureau report low customer satisfaction ratings.

HughesNet internet highlights

Customer experience

HughesNet has mostly poor customer service ratings. It has a rating of 620/1,000 in customer satisfaction from J.D. Power, and though the Better Business Bureau gives the company an A+, it has a customer rating of just 1.01 out of 5 stars.

Plans and Pricing

  • 10GB for $59.99/mo.
  • 20GB for $69.99/mo.
  • 30GB for $99.00/mo.
  • 50GB for $149.99/mo.

All plans include download speeds of 25Mbps and upload speeds of 3Mbps, with 50GB of data during off-peak hours.

Connection type

HughesNet provides satellite internet, which is transmitted using satellites, similar to satellite television. The signal is [picked up by a dish and transmitted to your home. Satellite internet is most often used in rural areas where more common internet connections may not be available. 

Data caps

HughesNet has data caps from 10GB to 50GB for its plans. There are no fees for surpassing your data cap, but speeds will be reduced once you reach your cap. All plans also include 50GB of additional full-speed data per month during off-peak hours -- from 2am to 8am local time.

HughesNet vs The competition 



J.D. Power*

Starting price

Download speed

Data caps






10GB - 50GB





10Mbps - 1000Mbps


Verizon Fios




200Mbps - 940Mbps






25Mbps - 1000Mbps


Information accurate as of March 2021.

*J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study average rating across all regions. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

HughesNet vs AT&T

AT&T is one of the leading internet providers in the nation, providing both DSL and fiber optic internet service, depending on your location. AT&T has lower starting prices than HughesNet, and most of its plans offer equal or faster download speeds.

AT&T also shines when it comes to customer service. The company has consistently high customer satisfaction ratings across the country, according to J.D. Power.

Provider Plan

Download Speed / Price

AT&T Internet 10

10Mbps: $45/mo.

AT&T Internet 18

18Mbps: $45/mo.

AT&T Internet 25

25Mbps: $45/mo.

AT&T Internet 50

50Mbps: $45/mo.

AT&T Internet 100

100Mbps: $35/mo.

AT&T Internet 300

300Mbps: $45/mo.

AT&T Internet 1,000

1000Mbps: $60/mo

AT&T Internet Basic 768

0.8Mbps: $45/mo.

AT&T Internet Basic 1.5

1.5Mbps: $45/mo.

AT&T Internet Basic 5

5Mbps: $45/mo.

HughesNet vs Verizon Fios

Verizon Fios is only available in a handful of states in the Northeast, but it's a favorite for those who have it. It has consistently high customer satisfaction ratings, according to J.D. Power. Verizon is also the most highly-rated internet provider by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, while HughesNet is not rated by ACSI.

Verizon Fios has low starting costs, especially when you consider what you get for your money. The most affordable internet plan is just $39.99 per month and comes with considerably higher download speeds when compared to HughesNet and no data caps at all.

Provider Plan

Download Speed / Price

Verizon Fios 200

200Mbps: $39.99/mo.

Verizon Fios 400

400Mbps: $59.99/mo.

Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection

940/880Mbps: $79.99/mo.

HughesNet vs Xfinity

Xfinity, formerly known as Comcast, is a leading internet provider for customers across most of the nation. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the company has overall high customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power and is the second most highly-rated internet provider.

Xfinity offers a variety of internet plans to fit every all budgets and needs. Prices start as low as $19.99 per month for the same download speed that HughesNet boasts.

Provider Plan

Download Speed / Price

Xfinity 25

25Mbps: $19.99/mo.

Xfinity 100

100Mbps: $34.99/mo.

Xfinity 200

200Mbps: $49.99/mo.

Xfinity 400

400Mbps / $64.99/mo.

Xfinity 600

600Mbps: $60/mo.

Xfinity 1,000

1000Mbps: $70/mo.

HughesNet FAQ

How much does HughesNet cost per month?

HughesNet's internet prices range from $59.99 to $149.99 a month, depending on your chosen plan.

Is HughesNet a good internet provider?

HughesNet can be a great option for many customers, especially those in rural or isolated areas who don't have access to many alternatives.

Is HughesNet fast enough for Netflix?

According to HughesNet, its internet service is fast enough for streaming Netflix and other video streaming services. That being said, it's recommended that you leave the Netflix application on its default automatic resolution setting.

Does HughesNet work in bad weather?

Because it's satellite internet, your HughesNet service could be impacted by heavy storms and unusually dense clouds, according to the company's FAQ page.


We evaluated HughesNet based on customer satisfaction, data caps, download speed, plans, and customer support to determine our scores and create our best internet service provider reviews. To compare internet service providers with other brands across the board, we calculate each score based on the following:

  • Customer Satisfaction: We used J.D. Power's 2020 Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study to calculate an average rating of internet providers across all applicable regions.
  • Top Download Speeds: We awarded higher scores to internet providers with higher download speeds.
  • Number of Plans: Internet providers with more plan options to choose from scored higher in our methodology.
  • Data Caps: No one wants to be left without internet for the rest of the month, so we awarded internet providers with higher scores if they had high or no data caps. 
  • Customer Support: We reviewed and compared the number of channels that customers could reach each provider's customer support representatives. The more channels of contact available, the higher the score.
Editorial standards