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Hughesnet vs Starlink

Hughesnet® vs Starlink

Hughesnet and Starlink are some of the most talked-about satellite internet providers in the country, so let’s compare them head-to-head!

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Hughesnet vs Starlink

Today’s world has become very dependent on online and digital services, which means that having a reliable high-speed internet connection is a must-have, no matter where you live. Whether you’re working from home, going to school, or just wanting to stay up to date with news and entertainment, just about everything needs an internet connection! Unfortunately, many traditional cable and fiber optic internet providers ignore customers in rural areas. They’re dependent upon networks of cables that they don’t want to build in isolated areas. Thankfully, there are some truly great satellite internet providers that have pushed the technology so far, and can deliver high-speed internet just about anywhere!

Two of those providers are Hughesnet and Starlink! Hughesnet has been a pioneer in the satellite internet industry since its advent, while Starlink just recently entered it! While both companies offer residential satellite internet, there is a ton that separates them both that really matter to a potential customer. That’s why today, we are walking through a direct comparison of Hughesnet and Starlink.

Features Hughesnet Starlink
Pricing Range


for first 12 months. Reg. $74.99. Monthly Fee reflects the applied $5 savings for ACH enrollment. Enroll before the 2nd billing cycle for continued savings.


Activation Fee Free Professional Installation4 One-Time Activation Fee
Equipment Fee

Modem Included

No Monthly Fee


One-Time Fee
Download Speed




Upload Speed




Anytime Monthly Data



Nationwide Coverage Yes Limited Speeds
Hard Data Limits No No

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Hughesnet vs Starlink Internet Speeds

If you’re looking for an internet provider of any kind, the first thing you’ll see advertised is the speed! Generally, it’s shown as “Mbps,” or megabytes per second. It’s a measure of how fast data can be transmitted and downloaded from the network, to your devices. The higher the number, the faster your connection is. The FCC defines “high-speed internet” as providers who can give customers speeds above 25 Mbps!

Hughesnet is able to provide customers with speeds up to 100 Mbps1, which is perfect for just about everything you could possibly want to do. From video streaming and online gaming, to connecting tons of devices and managing downloads; that’s a very snappy internet service.

Starlink’s consumer-grade “Standard” plan has speeds ranging from 25-100 Mbps, as well as a “Priority” plan that claims to reach speeds of 220 Mbps. While these speeds may sound very impressive, Starlink is still very much a developing service that comes with a variety of technical issues and a very high price tag, with prices even hitting $500/mo for the highest priority data.


Does Hughesnet or Starlink Have Hard Data Caps?

If you’re thinking about providing your home with a high-speed internet plan from a satellite internet provider, you should certainly be familiar with the concept of hard data cap. Some providers impose a hard-stop limit that completely disconnects your service when you reach your monthly limit, and they force you to purchase more data immediately. With so much relying on a constant connection, this can be a serious hassle – and cost you a lot more than you were expecting!

Hughesnet customers get to rest easy when it comes to hard data caps, because they have none! Hughesnet offers unlimited data8, and will never disconnect customers from their service for hitting a hard data cap. They also offer priority data that offers even faster speeds, if you’re looking for it, but you don’t have to worry about ever being cut off!

Starlink also offers unlimited data, with no hard data limits. They also give customers the ability to purchase additional priority data, but it is very expensive. Monthly Starlink service with 40GB of priority data is $140/mo, 1TB for $250/mo, and 2TB for $500/mo. While that is a very large amount of high-speed data, it comes at a very significant cost that many consumers won’t want to pay.


Hughesnet vs Starlink Coverage Availability

The first step in finding a satellite internet provider that works for you and your home, is making sure you can get full service coverage where you live! Thankfully, with both of these companies being satellite internet providers, the coverage areas are much greater than fiber or cable internet companies. However, it’s still important to check that full speeds are available in your area before you sign up with a new internet provider.

Hughesnet advertises and delivers upon truly nationwide coverage! Thanks to its huge network of satellites, customers from across the continental United States can access Hughesnet internet! The only thing you need to connect is a clear view of the southern sky to get speeds up to 100 Mbps!1

Starlink also advertises nationwide coverage, but there are a few restrictions to be aware of! While Starlink tells customers that you can access speeds up to 220 Mbps, there are many areas across the country that can’t receive those speeds. Many states, such as Texas, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, only have access to speeds closer to 25 Mbps. When you pair those reduced speeds with Starlinks high prices, it’s not necessarily the best combination for consumers.

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The Reliability of Hughesnet vs Starlink

Another huge factor when choosing home internet is reliability. It doesn’t matter how fast your connection is, if it’s constantly down! Tough weather conditions such as wind storms, tornados, and lightning, are realities of living in many parts of the United States, and they can wreak havoc on traditional cable internet networks. However, satellite internet doesn’t rely on cable networks, as data is transferred from your dish directly to an orbiting satellite. That means a downed tree can’t take out your network for days on end!

While both Hughesnet and Starlink are satellite internet providers, Hughesnet’s newest Fusion technology really gives it a huge leg up when it comes to reliability. Hughesnet’s new Fusion plans combine the best of satellite and wireless technology, which adds in a whole new layer of reliability and smoothness when it comes to using your internet. Fusion plans give customers a low latency experience that gives them ease of mind that they’ll stay connected when they need it most. Hughesnet is even known nationally for its Internet Continuity services, which keep businesses connected. With thousands of credit card transactions a day, it’s obvious some of the biggest businesses in the world trust Hughesnet. Hughesnet internet is even widely used by the United States military and government agencies.

Starlink is a satellite internet provider, so it does have all the standard reliability benefits over traditional cable and fiber internet options. However, it does not have any technology that combines satellite and wireless technology for added reliability. It does currently offer some business solutions, but nothing in the name of failover internet.


Can You Stream & Game Online with Hughesnet or Starlink?

A common question when it comes to satellite internet services, is if it can handle online gaming or streaming. Today’s entertainment is almost totally dependent upon having a high speed internet connection in your home, and it’s become a norm to have multiple devices using bandwidth at once.

Hughesnet can deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps1 to customers across the United States, which is more than enough for gaming or streaming online. It’s also a great option for connecting multiple devices at once, so someone can be streaming a show upstairs on a smart TV, while someone else is downloading pictures on their laptop downstairs. Plus, if gaming is more your speed, Hughesnet Fusion is a perfect option for you. It combines wireless and satellite technology, to deliver a low latency internet experience, that allows for smooth online gaming!

Starlink currently advertises speeds up to 220 Mbps, but that accuracy completely depends on where you live in the country. Some areas can receive speeds that fast, but others top at around 25 Mbps. So depending on where you live, you could be receiving speeds quick enough for a smooth streaming experience. On the gaming side, however, Starlink doesn’t offer a service that combines wireless and satellite technology, which means its connection will be high-latency, effectively stopping any chances of smooth online gaming.

Pricing Options for Hughesnet vs Starlink

Once you’ve found a satellite internet service that you think fits you and your family’s needs, it’s time to check out the pricing! Satellite internet technology has come a long way in the past few decades, so costs have dropped significantly. That means that no matter where you live, there are satellite internet providers that can provide high speed internet at a reasonable cost!

Hughesnet offers high-speed satellite internet plans starting at just $49.99/mo2, and Hughes Fusion plans start at just $79.99/mo2. The structure of Hughesnet internet plans are easy to understand, with no hidden fees. Plus, all of Hughesnet’s internet plans come with no hard data caps, so you never have to sweat about getting your connection cut off! Hughesnet, and their authorized retailers, are constantly running great promotions for new Hughesnet customers, so if you’re interested, be sure to check out

Starlink service plans start at $120/mo, and go all the way up to $500/mo. They have a huge array of different plan structures and models, including Standard, Priority, Mobile, and Mobile priority options for customers to choose from. While it can be great to have options, Starlink plans can be very convoluted to understand, and they come with an incredibly high cost when compared to their competitors – and that doesn’t include their one-time technology fees, which range from $599 to $2,500.

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Technology Comparison of Hughesnet vs Starlink

Satellite internet technology has undergone some very rapid improvement in the last few years. Both industry pioneers in their own rights, Hughesnet and Starlink have both made significant impacts on the industry and consumers.

Since 1996, Hughesnet has been innovating in the satellite internet marketplace. They’re lauded for constantly improving their services and technology to provide the best experiences and services for their customers. In 2023, they launched the new JUPITER 3 Ultra High Density Satellite, which greatly raised the speed and performance of Hughesnet internet across the country. It also allowed for the introduction of Hughesnet Fusion, which combines satellite and wireless technology to create a low-latency internet experience.

Starlink entered the satellite internet industry around 2019, and has been ramping up in coverage area and technology ever since. It’s an incredibly ambitious company, led by Elon Musk of SpaceX and PayPal fame, that has quickly tried to push the boundaries of the technology. While it does have some great innovation and results in many areas, its expensive cost keeps it out of the hands of many consumers.

Working From Home With Hughesnet & Starlink

With high-speed home internet available just about anywhere in the United States, working from home and going to school online has never been easier. Satellite internet ensures that no matter where you live, you can handle all of the tasks you need – from video calls to handling multiple downloads!

Thanks to speeds up to 100 Mbps1 on Hughesnet, you can be confident you can handle anything you need right from the comfort of your own home. It’s easy to connect all of your devices including laptops, smartphones, and tablets! Plus, plans start at just $49.99/mo2, so it’s a very reasonable price to pay to stay connected to work or school when you’re home!

In certain areas, Starlink is able to deliver speeds that are certainly more than enough to handle working from home or online schooling. However, in other areas, it can only deliver 25+ Mbps, which may struggle with other intensive tasks such as video chatting. Its pricing is also very prohibitive to people who don’t want to spend top dollar, with plans ranging from $120/mo to $500+/mo and technology fees from $599-$2500.


Extra Features on Hughesnet vs Starlink

Making sure you can get your home a high-speed internet connection for a reasonable price is obviously priority one, but there is more to picking the right provider! “Extra features” may sound like things that are thrown in, but they’re critical to making sure the internet provider you choose will work for you!

The most important feature that Hughesnet offers? Unlimited Data8. It may seem simple, but not all satellite internet providers offer it, and instead make you deal with convoluted data plans. Often, companies will even implement hard data caps that disconnect you the second you go over your data allotment – but not Hughesnet. Besides that, Hughesnet also offers some awesome features including a powerful mobile app that allows you to manage your entire account, as well as a video data saver that makes sure streaming videos is a breeze!

Starlink does offer unlimited data, but also includes priority data that needs to be managed. There is a smartphone app you can manage your account with, as well as a self-install guide for the DISH you have to purchase. Otherwise, Starlink is a pretty minimalistic satellite internet provider!

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The Wrap Up: Hughesnet vs Starlink

Satellite internet technology has really turned a corner over the past few years, and is able to provide high-speed internet to places and people who could’ve never dreamed of it! Its widespread availability makes it a great choice for people across the United States, and pioneers in the industry ensure its technology continues to rapidly improve. With so many providers in the space it can be tough to find the perfect one for you, but when it comes down to Hughesnet vs Starlink, how do they compare?

Hughesnet is the king of value, with speeds up to 100 Mbps1 starting at only $49.99/mo2. Its Fusion plan is also an impressive feat of technology, with a low latency internet experience perfect for online gaming, streaming and more. Starlink is certainly an incredibly ambitious company, with ever-improving services, but its sky-high cost really pushes us away, with plans ranging from $120/mo to $500+/mo.

Hughesnet’s proven track record of great service, impressive technology, and affordable prices are a combination that can’t currently be beat! That’s why we have to suggest Hughesnet as our pick for a high-speed satellite internet provider!

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