HughesNet vs. Viasat

A Side-by-Side Comparison of HughesNet and Viasat Internet Service in 2021

Both HughesNet and Visasat are the two largest satellite providers in the U.S., supplying a satellite network to rural regions across the country. Each internet provider offers reliable satellite services in all 50 states to more than 300 million people, with the greatest coverage in California, Texas, and New York. Both have similar pricing, and each require two-year contracts. While HughesNet and Visasat are comparable in many ways there are some key differences noted below that can assist customers in selecting the best provider and plan for them.

HughesNet Info

Price Range


Viasat Info

Price Range


HughesNet vs. Viasat Comparison
Provider HughesNet Viasat
Speed 25 Mbps 12-50 Mbps
Pricing $59.99-149.99/mo. $49.99-149.99/mo.
Service Type Satellite Satellite
Provider HughesNet Viasat
High-Speed Plans No Yes
Unlimited Data No Yes
Contract-Free Plans No No
TV Service No No
Phone Service Yes Yes

HughesNet Internet Deals †

Last updated on 10/13/2021

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with HughesNet.

Viasat Internet Deals †

Last updated on 10/8/2021

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with Viasat.

HughesNet vs. Viasat Performance Overview

HughesNet offers satellite coverage across the U.S. with a variety of internet plans that provide speeds up to 25 Mbps. Currently, HughesNet’s satellite services include internet and phone. The price of each internet plan is based on the amount of data offered in a month. Although HughesNet does not offer unlimited data, they offer bonus data during off hours, 2-8 am.

As the second largest U.S. provider of satellite, Viasat—formerly known as Exede—offers coverage across the country with internet plans featuring speeds up to 25 Mbps. For lower monthly rates, customers can bundle internet with phone service. Viasat currently does not offer their own TV service but can partner with DirecTV or Dish Network to offer customers a TV option.

HughesNet Installation

HughesNet’s installation fees vary depending on your decision between purchasing a satellite dish and modem or leasing the equipment for a monthly fee.

HughesNet’s satellite process requires mounting a satellite dish to an outside wall or the roof of your home and running a cable to a modem or router. Professional installation is free of charge when customers lease equipment, although there is a $99 set-up fee. Alternatively, customers can purchase the equipment for $349.98 with an installation fee of $199.99. Installation fees may be reduced or waived for new HughesNet customers or with select plans. Customers have the option of renting the equipment for $9.99/month for the first year, and $14.99/month after that.

Viasat Installation

Professional installation is free of charge when Viasat customers sign a contract.

Similar to HughesNet, a satellite dish will need to be installed on your roof, wall, or on a pole. A cable will then be attached to a modem inside your home and your devices will be connected via an ethernet. Equipment fees will apply.

HughesNet Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

HughesNet requires a minimum contract commitment of 24 months.

If you cancel within the first 90 days of service, you will be charged an early termination fee of $400. This fee will be reduced by $15 for every month following. In regards to equipment fees, HughesNet customers have the option to either lease a satellite dish and modem for a monthly cost ranging from $9.99-14.99 or purchase the devices for a one-time charge of $349.98.

Viasat Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

Most of Viasat’s plans require a 24-month long contract commitment.

If you opt out of your agreement early, Viasat charges an early termination fee of $15/month for the remaining months of your contract. Viasat customers in select areas can choose to forgo a contract for an extra fee of $300. Customers can choose to lease a Viasat dish for the duration of their service for $9.99/month or purchase a lifetime lease for $299, which is a great option for long-time Viasat users. Equipment must be returned upon cancellation of service or you will be responsible for an unreturned equipment fee.

HughesNet Data Caps

HughesNet caps its monthly data anywhere from 10-50 GB depending on the internet plan chosen. If you go over the allotted data amount, you will still have internet access but at significantly slower speeds. Customers can, however, access additional data during the hours of 2-8 am.

Viasat Data Caps

Viasat offers internet plans equipped with unlimited data as well as plans with monthly data caps from 12-50 GB. If you exceed the amount of data in your plan, your data may be prioritized behind other customers during network congestion, which could result in slower speeds.

I LOVE Hughesnet!!

on April 04, 2019

Got my wifi installed in 2 days from the date I ordered it. Fabulous customer service, very courteous & polite technician. Fast speed. I'm very satisfied with my HughesNet!

Buffering problem

on February 10, 2021

I was experiencing buffering problems but the customer service representative solved the problem by switching channels and I appreciate his service as a representative. Thank you.

Very Pleased

on September 23, 2019

We installed Viasat one month ago at our cabin in northern AZ. We are using about 6GB per 24 hour period, which gives us 10 days a month or 120 days a year, for about $1200 per year, which equates to $10 per 24 hour period of usage. Since cable is not an option, I am pleased. Obviously, if we lived there full-time, we would run out of good speeds after the 10th day of the month and would have to look at a more expensive plan ( and still come up a little short). But for part-time use, I am very pleased. Our use includes streaming, heavy surfing, emails, and phone calls. I completely understand why full-timers are not happy but the options in remote areas are very limited. For us, it has been far better than dial-up or hot spots.


on June 07, 2021

I read all these reviews. So good, so not so good. It has been nothing but a pleasure to have their service. I have had to call a couple of times and have had nothing but excellent customer service each time and had no problem finding contact info online. Keep up the good work!

HughesNet vs. Viasat Coverage Availability

HughesNet Coverage & Availability

Viasat Coverage & Availability

Frequently Asked Questions about HughesNet & Viasat Internet Services

  • Is HughesNet cheaper than Viasat?

    HughesNet and Visasat offer plans with a similar pricing range. Overall, HughesNet is more affordable with its internet-only plans ranging from $39.99-149.99/month compared to Visasat’s at $50-150/month.

  • Who has faster speeds? HughesNet or Viasat?

    Both satellite providers offer internet plans with speeds up to 25 Mbps.

  • Do HughesNet and Viasat have unlimited data?

    Viasat offers unlimited data with select internet plans, whereas HughesNet has data caps on all plans. Although HughesNet and Visasat have data caps on most plans, neither will stop service if you go over. However, customers will have to endure slower speeds.

  • Do HughesNet and Viasat require a contract?

    Both providers require a 2-year contract agreement. However, Viasat offers an option to go contract-free for an additional fee of $300.