HughesNet Speed Test FAQ
HughesNet speed tests function by sending data from your home network to a remote server and back via the HughesNet Internet network. This allows the test to analyze the speed of data transit, the latency or “delay” before it finishes the journey, and how upload/download speeds compare for home users.
The average speeds shown above are “90th percentile” averages. We use 90th percentile averages because it helps eliminate “dud tests” that flood the HughesNet speed test database from customers trying to diagnose home network and WiFi issues.
HughesNet Download Speeds vs Upload Speeds
HughesNet prioritizes download speeds on their network. This is normal for Internet providers — only fiber providers and business-focused plans emphasize upload speed. Because download speed is most important for browsing the web and streaming Netflix or YouTube, HughesNet download speeds will usually be several times above hughesNet upload speeds.
HughesNet Latency Issues
HughesNet is known to face latency issues compared to wired “terrestrial” broadband providers like Comcast and Fios. The increased latency with HughesNet is due to the long journey data travels when transmitted via satellite rather than via undersea fiber cables. Additionally, HughesNet uses a single satellite to serve the entire country, so there are limitations on how much bandwidth that single piece of hardware can provider.
HughesNet Satellite Interent Speeds
HughesNet recently launched a new satellite called “Gen 5,” which has radically enhanced the speed and performance of their Internet plans. This new satellite allows for speeds in excess of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload, which meets the FCC definition of “broadband” Internet service.
However, there is a catch: data caps. Because HughesNet speeds are limited by the bandwidth of their satellite, they place limits on the amount of data customers can use each month. These caps make HughesNet a poor choice for “cord cutters” and video streamers, even though the speeds are often better than the DSL alternative in rural areas.
HughesNet Speeds Compared to Viasat
HughesNet speeds are overall comparable to Viasat. (Viasat is the other major satellite Internet provider in the US.) Viasat recently launched a new satellite that allowed them to raise the data caps on Viasat Internet plans, making them more attractive for active users and families. However, HughesNet still often wins on price and value. Regardless of advertised speeds, Viasat and HughesNet real-world results tend to be similar when network stress is taken into account.