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Hughesnet vs. Viasat Internet

Compare Hughesnet and Viasat internet service in 2024

3 Plans Available
HughesNet internet
price range
$49.99 - $94.99/month
*Prices may vary depending on the plan.

PROVIDER DETAILS

  • Download speeds up to: 100 Mbps
  • Satellite
  • $20 a month equipment fees
  • 200 GB
5 Plans Available
Viasat internet
price range
$69.99 - $199.99/month
*Prices may vary depending on the plan.

PROVIDER DETAILS

  • Download speeds up to: 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 used to provide more data, Viasat now offers both faster speeds and more data allotments than Hughesnet. In comparison, Hughesnet reaches more rural areas than Viasat, so each provider has strengths and weaknesses.

If you need the fastest speed that satellite internet can offer, Viasat is the best choice. Viasat offers faster speeds and better data caps (including no data caps with Viasat Unleashed plans) 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 basic uses like email, paying bills, and streaming.

While data is limited with satellite internet, Viasat’s data caps are twice the size of Hughesnet’s (or unlimited if you go with Viasat Unleashed). However, Hughesnet offers a bonus zone from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., where data expenditure is not calculated. Viasat has something similar called the free zone, where users can get unlimited data usage between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., or 3 a.m. and 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

Pros:

  • Ubiquitous availability
  • Soft data caps on all plans
  • Bonus zone data

Cons:

  • Costly fees for equipment
  • Expensive installation
  • Limited speed offerings

Pros:

  • Fastest traditional satellite internet provider
  • Multiple plan options
  • Free zone data
  • No hard data limits

Cons:

  • Plans vary by location
  • Some gaps in coverage
  • Free zone hours vary by plan

Viasat and Hughesnet bundles are limited, as neither provider offers TV service. Home phone bundles are available, as both providers offer discounts of $10 per month on 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.

Hughesnet usually runs a promotion that allows customers to save on installation costs throughout the year. Another typical deal 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 typically save up to $99 with Hughesnet, Viasat’s promotions offer the most savings since customers can save between $60 and $240.

Less to Fear With Viasat When It Comes to Fees

Contracts Are Better With Viasat

The minimum contract with both Hughesnet and Viasat starts at 24 months. And 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. Viasat, meanwhile, charges you $15 per month left on your contract if you cancel early. If you drop Viasat early into your contract, it can get costly, but not as expensive as Hughesnet.

That all said, Viasat’s newest Viasat Unleashed plans allow you to get satellite internet with no data caps or contracts. That means, you don’t have to worry about early termination fees and contract lengths.

Hughesnet Offers a Better Deal on Installation

Professional installation costs $99 with Hughesnet or 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 and Viasast both sometimes offer new customers free installation during promotions.

Get More Data With Viasat

While Hughesnet’s data plans can reach up to 200 GB, Viasat Unleashed plans come with no data caps at all. Some Viasat plans still have data caps, but Viasat’s newest option makes it much better than Hughesnet in this regard.

Viasat Excels in Customer Service

Our Hughesnet speed test showed an average of 43 Mbps. Customers’ main complaint about Hughesnet is the lack of speed, but many approve of their interactions with the customer service department. Most Viasat customers have shared that the service is reliable and customer service is helpful, while others have experienced trouble getting the maximum speeds. Viasat’s faster speeds make for a more satisfied user base than Hughesnet’s.

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 6318 for HughesNet. HughesNet earned an average score of 2.79 out of 5.

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

BroadbandNow readers submitted 2909 for Viasat. Viasat earned an average score of 3.10 out of 5.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hughesnet and Viasat Internet Services

  • Is Hughesnet or Viasat cheaper?

    Hughesnet and Visasat offer plans with a similar price range. Overall, Hughesnet is more affordable, with its internet-only plans starting at $49.99 per month compared to Viasat’s $69.99 per month.

  • Which has faster speeds? Hughesnet or Viasat?

    Viasat offers faster speeds than Hughesnet, with speeds up to 150 Mbps. Hughesnet’s speeds are much slower, with download speeds reaching only 100 Mbps.

  • Do Hughesnet and Viasat have unlimited data?

    Viasat Unleashed plans come with no data caps. Other Viasat plans and Hughesnet plans come feature soft data caps with technically unlimited data. When you go over your data cap, you’ll experience diminished speeds and throttling.

  • Do Hughesnet and Viasat require a contract?

    While both Hughesnet and Viasat have plans with contract requirements, only Viasat Unleashed plans allow you to get satellite internet with no contract at all.