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HughesNet Satellite Broadband page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 1086 reviews (161 good) (612 bad)
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Review by JustinMM1 See Profile

  • Location: Jennings,Jefferson Davis,LA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Download speeds are as advertised..."
Bad "FAP (Fair Access Policy)..."
Overall "If your only choice is between dial-up or satellite, satellite with HughesNet is the better choice..."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Mail,DNS,News:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I live in a rural area in south Louisiana where my only choice for internet service is between dial-up or satellite. I have been using dial-up for over ten years, and then finally decided to get satellite internet. I gave HughesNet a call on a Thursday and placed my order for the "HOME" service using the HN7000s modem. The next day (Friday) I received a call from the installer to set up an appointment for installation. He was at my home the Monday. It took him under two hours to install the pole mount, place the dish, and get me online. The first night after I received the service, I immediately went to YouTube.com. I was fully aware of the FAP (Fair Access Policy) but didn't mind it much. I continuously downloaded plenty video clips for almost four hours, then, all of a sudden, my streaming video was no longer streaming. At that point I knew what happened, I was FAPPED. Once I was fapped, the download and upload speeds were horrible. The speeds were at or below the 28.8k speeds. I had to go through with these horrible speeds for a full 24 hours before my FAP penalty was lifted. The next night I called HughesNet to upgrade from the "HOME" ($59.99 monthly for 200MB download threshold) service to the "PROPLUS" ($79.99 monthly for 425 MB download threshold) service. I figured it was a good deal to pay $20.00 more a month for twice as much of the download and upload speed and double the download threshold as compared to the "HOME" service. I have had the HughesNet service for almost two weeks now. See below on more information for each...

Download Speed - Download speeds are almost always as advertised. I'm currently on the ProPlus plan with advertised download speeds of up to 1500 kbps. I have run a speed test almost daily for two weeks, with each coming close to the advertised download speed. I ran a speed test a few minutes ago (7:00 p.m. Central Time), with a registered download speed of 1.49 Mbps (approx 1490 kbps).

Upload Speed - Upload speeds on the other hand, have never come close to the advertised max upload speed. The ProPlus plan has an advertised upload speed of up to 200 kbps. When I ran the speed test (7:00 p.m. Central Time), it registered an upload speed of 83.1 kbps. (Be advised however, this is a "peak hour", so upload speeds may be slightly better during non peak hours.)

FAP (Fair Access Policy) - In my opinion, this is probably the biggest dis-advantage of satellite internet. There is no way around it, I do not know of any satellite internet provider today, which does not enforce a download threshold. These download thresholds are enforced for good reason, so it does not pay to complain about it. The day after I upgraded my service to ProPlus, I once again was fapped. I once again downloaded too many video clips within a few hours. The main thing you want to avoid with satellite internet is being fapped, because it takes up to 24 hours for your FAP penalty to be lifted, which you have to surf the internet at or below the 28.8 kbps speeds within this time period. The day after I was fapped on my ProPlus plan, I did some research and found a small program called the "hnFAPMon". This is without a doubt, a must-have for anyone that has the HughesNet service. It monitors your total downloads and shows you the percentage of which you have left on your download threshold within a given time period. It continuously recalculates your threshold, so you are never guessing what you have left. Since I have downloaded this small program, I have not yet exceeded my download threshold. It can be downloaded for free at »hnfapmon.sourceforge.net/. IT'S A MUST HAVE!!!

Signal Strength (connection reliability) - Depending on where you live, this may a disadvantage of satellite internet. Since I live in south Louisiana, (no snow storms, rain time to time, clear skies most of the time) this is not a problem for me. My satellite signal strength on a clear day runs at about 76 to 78. On a rainy day it runs from 40 to 50. It normally takes the signal strength to get below 30, before it starts to cause connection problems. I have however, had the signal strength get below the 15 mark a couple of times due to heavy rain, in turn losing the satellite signal. These periods were brief (approx. 10 to 20 minutes). It works fine in light rain, but if you have a heavy rain shower overhead, your dish will lose the satellite signal.

Tech Support - I only had to contact tech-support once. The reason was to re-run my setup, when I upgraded my service from "HOME" to "ProPlus". I hear allot of bad things about tech-support, but so far my experience was good.

"Ghost" Downloads - I see allot of subscribers to HughesNet complaining about the "ghost" downloads (i.e. downloads in the middle of the night when computer is off) they are experiencing. So far (almost two weeks), I have not had any of these ghost download problems (not saying I will never experience this activity). I do however, disable my modem every time I am not working online.

Bottom line, if you can get any other broadband service other than satellite (i.e. DSL, cable, etc.) in your area get it, don't settle for the satellite internet service. If your only choice is between dial-up and satellite, and you would like to download at speeds much faster than dial-up, I would recommend satellite over dial-up. Just to give an example to the difference in speed, a 1 MB file on dial-up would take me approx. 4 minutes or longer to download. A 1 MB file on HughesNet "ProPlus" plan takes me approx. 6 seconds. If you do decide to go with HughesNet satellite internet service, take my advice; download the "hnFAPMon" at »hnfapmon.sourceforge.net/. It will save you allot of headache!!!

(I'll update this review as needed)

member for 7 years, 49 visits, last login: 6 years ago
updated 7 years ago

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