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HughesNet Satellite Broadband page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

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Review by bill672 See Profile

  • Location: Cambridge,Washington,NY
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Always on, download speed O.K., 5 hr. cap-free period in early a.m."
Bad "evening slowdown, latency, download caps, cost"
Overall "When dial-up is only alternative- much better than that"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I have $80/month service which is the minimum acceptable level, in my opinion. I have the HN9000 service, which was an improvement over the HN7000. Hughes is still only a good choice when dial-up is the only alternative. But it's much better than that: always on, can be networked so multiple users can be on at same time.

The actual download speed about 1.5 megabits is not bad, even compared with standard DSL. So downloading a large file might be just as good as standard DSL. But the latency makes browsing the web significantly more sluggish than DSL. It's still much bette than dial-up, but not as good as DSL. Speed also suffers in evening when a lot of others are on. That can be worse some nights than others and can be very annoying.

We also have a cap on downloads, 425 mb a day for me. You can keep track of it easily, but you can download a lot of music, podcasts, etc. without coming close. If you spend hours looking at Youtube or other videos, you might go over. Or, I imagine streaming a movie from Netflix might be a problem, also. So, some of what other people do on the net is not possible for us, which is bad considering how much we're paying. Cell phone broadband has a cap also, usually 5GB a month. My cap over a month totals over 12 GB, but very large files, such as system upgrades, have to be done between 2am and 7am, when there is a cap-free period. (Which the cell phone broadband companies don't have.}

I have found it possible to use Skype video conferencing, but the video stream is choppy.

There are a number of very dissatisfied Hughes customers who post regularly on this site. I have been among them when I have had problems. Customer service is pretty bad. Hughes never warns or informs its customers when there are system-wide problems. When you do call you have to start with techs in India. I have actually found them helpful, though. When I have had a technical problem they have eventually sent a technician to my house who was able to fix it.

Earlier this year I had a failing transmitter in my dish which, in retrospect, was causing a lot of intermittent outages with my service and a general degradation in speed and reliability. I had come to accept that as normal for Hughes. But these problems all went away when I got a new dish and receiver (HN9000). I wonder if a lot of the complaints on this board might be due to something like that.

To sum up, if you have dial-up now, Hughes would, IMO, be a big improvement. If there is another alternative, such as cellular broadband, your daily web browsing would be better with that. But consider the monthly cap versus the daily cap when you make your decision.

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