HughesNet vs. Viasat Internet

Compare HughesNet and Viasat internet service in 2023

5 Plans Available
HughesNet internet
price range
$49.99 - $149.99/month
*Prices may vary depending on the plan.


  • 25 Mbps - 50 Mbps
  • Satellite
  • $20 a month equipment fees
  • 200 GB
5 Plans Available
Viasat internet
price range
$64.99 - $249.99/month
*Prices may vary depending on the plan.


  • 25 Mbps - 150 Mbps
  • Satellite
  • $15 a month equipment fees
  • Unlimited Data

Learn more about HughesNet and Viasat:

Learn more about HughesNet and Viasat

Satellite internet has come a long way from where it originally started and can now offer speeds that rival DSL in some areas. While HughesNet provides more data with their cheapest plan and waives the install fee in some cases, Viasat offers faster speeds ranging up to100 Mbps and plans without data caps.

If you need the fastest speed that satellite internet can offer, Viasat is the best choice. Viasat offers faster speeds and higher data caps than HughesNet. But fast satellite internet comes at a price. HughesNet offers cheaper plans than Viasat, which could be a better choice if your online activity is limited to mostly email, paying bills, and streaming.

While data is limited with satellite internet, Viasat’s data caps are twice the size of HughesNet’s. However, HughesNet offers a bonus zone during 2 a.m.-8 a.m., allowing an extra 50 GB of data for all customers. Viasat has something similar called the free zone, where users can get unlimited data usage between 12 a.m.-5 a.m., 3 a.m.-6 a.m., or 3 a.m.-8 a.m. (the time depends on your plan).

HughesNet vs Viasat: Best Deals

Internet Deals

Pros and Cons By Provider

Pros and Cons By Provider


  • Soft data caps on all plans
  • Bonus Zone: 50 GB of free data between 2 a.m.-8 a.m. per month
  • Free installation in select areas
  • Available in areas with limited internet options


  • Equipment fee is on the high end
  • Only offers one speed: up to 25 Mbps
  • Data cap on bonus zone usage


  • Fastest satellite internet provider
  • Provides a variety of plans and speeds
  • Unlimited data usage during free zone hours
  • No hard data limits


  • Fastest plan is not available nationwide
  • Free zone hours vary by plan

Viasat and HughesNet bundles are limited, as neither provider offers TV service. Home phone bundles are available – with both providers offering discounts of $10 a month off phone service. Each also offers additional security services. HughesNet offers a six-month discount on Norton 360 Deluxe, while Viasat offers its own cybersecurity software called Viasat Shield. Even after the discount ends, bundling satellite internet with cybersecurity is cheaper with HughesNet.

The top perk for both HughesNet and Viasat is the additional data each month. However, for those expecting to use more than 50 GB extra each month, Viasat’s free zone is the better option since there are no limits during the specified time.

HughesNet usually runs a promotion that allows customers to save on installation costs throughout the year. Another typical deal that each provider offers is a discount on the price of specific plans for the first three to six months, depending on the plan and provider.

While you can save up to $99 with HughesNet, Viasat promotions offer the most savings since customers can save between $60-$240.

HughesNet vs. Viasat Bundles

HughesNet partnership with DIRECTV gives them an edge when it comes to internet and TV bundles. DIRECTV offers more channels than Viasat’s partner, DISH. DIRECTV offers 330+ channels while DISH only has 290+. DIRECTV plans cost more than DISH, but the higher price is worth paying for NFL fans — DIRECTV is the only satellite TV provider that offers NFL Sunday Ticket.

HughesNet vs Viasat: Extra Fees and Contracts

The minimum contract with HughesNet and Viasat starts at 24 months. Both providers charge a $15-per-month early termination fee on your remaining contract if you cancel before your contract ends. However, HughesNet will charge up to $400 if you cancel your contract within the first 90 days.


Professional installation cost $99 with HughesNet or $99.99 with Viasat. You won’t have the option to self-install with either provider, but you’re more likely to get your installation fee waived with HughesNet. HughesNet sometimes offers new customers free installation during promotions.

Data Cap

HughesNet offers customers who use 10-50 GB of data per month with an extra 50 GB per month during off-peak hours. Viasat offers 40-150 GB depending on the plan, and customers have specific time slots, or free zones, to use high-speed data without it counting against their monthly allowance. You won’t face data overage fees with either provider since they have soft data caps. Once you run out of data, your internet speed will slow down (unless you browse during bonus or free zones).

HughesNet vs. Viasat Customer Satisfaction

Our HughesNet speed test showed an average of 22 Mbps. The main complaint customers share about HughesNet is the lack of speed, but many approve of their excellent customer service.

The Viasat speed test average was around 21 Mbps, with the highest speed just over 100 Mbps. Most Viasat customers have shared that the service is reliable and customer service is helpful, while others have experienced trouble getting the maximum speeds.

It’s important to note that while speeds do vary, location, weather, and time can also affect results.

HughesNet vs. Viasat Internet Review

We asked BroadbandNow users to review HughesNet based on four core attributes: Customer Service, Reliability, Speed, and Value.

BroadbandNow readers submitted 6043 for HughesNet. HughesNet earned an average score of 2.78 out of 5.

We asked BroadbandNow users to review Viasat based on four core attributes: Customer Service, Reliability, Speed, and Value.

BroadbandNow readers submitted 2725 for Viasat. Viasat earned an average score of 3.10 out of 5.

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.