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HughesNet vs Viasat

Hughesnet® vs ViaSat

Compare some of the nation’s most popular satellite internet providers in Hughesnet and ViaSat!

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Compare Hughesnet® & ViaSat Internet

When it comes to getting high-speed internet directly to your home, especially in geographically remote areas, satellite internet is a fantastic option. Satellite internet technology has come a long way over the past few decades, and has become a great choice for many families across the country. Speeds have rapidly increased, making data-intensive tasks such as streaming, working from home, and online gaming a breeze no matter where you live.

That being said, there are a number of satellite internet providers across the country competing for your business. That’s why today, we wanted to break down the similarities and differences between Hughesnet & ViaSat; two of the biggest satellite internet providers today. We’ll overview everything both companies have to offer from pricing and internet speeds, to extra features and technology differences. So without any further delay, here is a head-to-head comparison of Hughesnet & ViaSat.

Features Hughesnet Viasat
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 $99.99
Equipment Fee

Free Modem Included

No Monthly Fee


Download Speed




Upload Speed




Anytime Monthly Data



Nationwide Coverage Yes No
Hard Data Limits No Yes

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Speed Comparison of Hughesnet & ViaSat

When it comes to picking a home internet provider, internet speeds are one of the most important aspects you have to consider. It affects everything from how fast you can download documents and files, how clear video streams will display, if your online game is smooth and playable, and much more. Internet speeds also matter a ton when you’re connecting more than one device in your home; which most Americans are! All of the devices share the same connection, and if you have multiple people using a few devices, a slow internet connection can become unusable.

Hughesnet can deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps1, which is more than enough for just about anything you need, including streaming, video chatting, gaming, and more. Hughesnet’s speeds of up to 100 Mbps1 are perfect for connecting multiple devices. That means you can have gaming devices, smart tvs, laptops, smartphones, and desktops all connected at once, without an issue.

ViaSat currently advertises speeds up to 150 Mbps in some locations at non-peak hours, which means the service will often slow down during hours when you want to use it most. Plus, the locations are relatively limited, so it’s very possible where you live isn’t eligible to receive those speeds. If you are able to get 150 Mbps speeds, that is certainly more than enough to handle most tasks you’d need, but it may be limited when you need it most.


Are There Data Caps With Hughesnet Or ViaSat?

Another huge factor in choosing the right satellite internet provider for you, is data caps. Many providers will put a cap amount that completely stops your connection, or slows your speeds significantly. That means if you opt for a company with a hard data cap, you can be effectively shut off from your service for using too much data.

Hughesnet customers can rest at ease with absolutely no hard data caps on their service, and truly unlimited data.8 That means you’ll never have to worry about being disconnected from your internet service when you need it the most. It’s very noticeable that Hughesnet goes out it’s way to keep their internet plans simple and easy-to-understand, with very few limitations that keep your internet connection restricted.

ViaSat offers a limited amount of “High Speed Data” depending on your plan, and then limits your speeds after you use that data amount. After you run through your High Speed Data, you either have to deal with lower quality internet, or purchase more data directly from them. ViaSat’s base plans offer High Speed data bracketed amounts of 40-60GB, 100-150GB, and 300-500GB, depending on your plan and home location. All in all, it’s a very convoluted way to manage your internet connection, and it frequently leaves customers questioning what’s going on with their plan details and billing.


Where are Hughesnet and ViaSat Available?

Before any of this head-to-head comparison information is even relevant, Hughesnet or ViaSat have to be available in your area. Satellite internet providers have a massive advantage over cable or fiber internet companies, as they can cover a huge area thanks to their orbiting satellites. That is why many people who live in geographically isolated areas opt to sign up for satellite internet!

When you first look at the coverage areas, it may seem like it’s pretty similar, but there are some key differences. You’ll see advertisements for “nationwide coverage” from both companies, which is completely true when it comes to Hughesnet. Hughesnet satellite internet service is available quite literally anywhere in the continental United States, as long as you have a clear view of the Southern Sky. Plus, the new Hughesnet Fusion plans are available in most areas in the United States.

On the flip side, ViaSat offers nationwide coverage, but only for its lower end plans. So, your home may be covered by ViaSat service, but not eligible to receive all of the upper end speeds. Not only are ViaSat speeds different in each location, but data caps vary based on your area. If you’re in a zone that has a lot of other ViaSat customers, you’ll get a reduced data cap size; meaning you’ll have to purchase extra data more frequently.

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The Reliability of Hughesnet vs ViaSat

Reliability is a huge player in the quality of your home internet service. You can get super fast speeds, but if your connection is constantly failing or your equipment breaks, it won’t matter very much. The very nature of satellite internet means both companies have an advantage over standard cable companies when it comes to internet service in bad weather conditions. With cable and fiber internet, a rough storm can take down your cable connection, and in some geographically remote areas it can take days or weeks to fix. Satellite internet performs much better when you need it most, because it doesn’t rely on any network of wires that stretch across the country. So long as your dish stays upright, and the satellite stays in orbit, your connection will be up and running.

However, when you compare Hughesnet and ViaSat, their reliability shows a marked difference. 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 can keep their whole home connected. Hughesnet even offers Internet Continuity services for businesses across the country, and 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.

ViaSat does not currently offer any wireless and satellite internet solutions beyond their standard satellite internet plans. They do offer business solutions, but no specific internet continuity product for homes or businesses.


Gaming & Streaming On Hughesnet & ViaSat

The world of entertainment has been completely changed by the internet, especially with the popularity of video streaming and online gaming. Both activities are relatively intensive tasks when it comes to data usage, and used to be next to impossible on many satellite internet services, making it inaccessible to people in most rural communities. Thanks to some serious advances in satellite internet technology both online gaming and streaming have become not only possible, but a breeze!

Hughesnet is able to deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps1, which is more than enough for streaming and online gaming. Whether you’re on a smart TV, laptop, or mobile devices, it’s incredibly easy to stream movies, watch live tv, or binge watch your favorite digital series. Hughesnet’s high-speed internet makes it possible to watch on multiple devices at once, without any noticeable slowdown or lag. When it comes to playing online gaming, Hughesnet’s new Fusion plans are a gamers dream. Hughesnet Fusion combines wireless and satellite technology to deliver a low latency internet experience that makes online gaming possible, no matter where you live.

ViaSat offers speeds in some areas up to 150 Mbps, which should handle video streaming; but it can slow down during peak hours leading to noticeable lag. Plus, the 150 Mbps speeds aren’t available in every location across the United States, so be sure to check you are eligible before making the switch and expecting smooth streaming. ViaSat lacks any type of wireless + satellite connectivity that Hughesnet Fusion brings to the table, which essentially limits online gaming to asynchronous games that don’t require high speed internet.

Pricing Options For Hughesnet & ViaSat

Another massive component of picking the right satellite internet provider for you is the price. With many satellite internet customers located in rural areas, their options for an internet provider may be limited, leading to some companies price gouging their own customers. With more competition launching in the satellite internet space, what does the pricing structure look like for Hughesnet & ViaSat? Let’s take a look, and see if these two companies show their true colors.

Hughesnet Internet starts at just $49.99/mo2, and offers customers a few different pricing options to explore, while Hughesnet Fusion plans serve up the unique combination of a high-speed, low-latency internet connection for only $79.99/mo. Plus, all of Hughesnet’s internet plans have no hard data cap so you’ll never have to worry about getting disconnected from your service. Hughesnet, and their authorized retailers, are constantly running great promotions for new Hughesnet customers, so if you’re interested, be sure to check out

ViaSat offers a wide variety of plans starting at $69.99/mo for their 25 Mbps plan, and going all the way up to $299.99/mo for their 100 Mbps plan. While ViaSat does offer a lot of different options, its pricing is significantly higher than Hughesnet and other satellite internet providers. $299.99/mo on a 2 year contract can be quite a difficult pill to swallow, especially when there are much cheaper options available from other providers.

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Technology Comparison of Hughesnet & ViaSat

Satellite home internet is an industry that has thrived on constantly pushing the boundaries of satellite technology. The best product has always come from the companies that really pushed the envelope, and honed their technology to provide a superior product for their customers.

Hughesnet has been an innovator in the satellite internet market since 1996. They provide some of the most frequent updates and upgrades to their networks, resulting in constantly improving service for their customers. Just recently in 2023, they launched the JUPITER 3 Ultra High Density Satellite, which greatly increases Hughesnet internet speeds across the country, as well as allowed for the introduction of Hughesnet Fusion plans, which combine satellite and wireless technology. This results in an incredibly low-latency experience, and opens new doors for satellite internet users that have never been seen before.

ViaSat successfully launched the first of its new ViaSat-3 satellites in May of 2023. Unfortunately, soon after being delivered into orbit, it suffered a massive antenna failure, leaving it with around 10% of its original intended data capabilities. ViaSat has come out publicly saying it will not replace the satellite, instead opting to continue its service with limited bandwidth.

Can You Work From Home on Hughesnet or ViaSat?

Working from home and attending digital classes have become very common in today’s digital world. That includes everything from video conferencing, live chatting, uploading & downloading large files, and much more. If you plan on doing any of these things, a reliable high-speed internet connection is a must-have; so how do Hughesnet and ViaSat stack up?

Hughesnet can provide speeds up to 100 Mbps1, which is certainly enough for any of the work from home and educational tasks we listed above, such as video calls, large downloads, and more. Not only is it enough to handle those tasks, but also multitask multiple tasks at once – which is very common in this setting! If you regularly find yourself in a video work call, while also uploading a document or chatting with someone on a messaging app, Hughesnet will suit you perfectly.

ViaSat also provides speeds suitable for working from home or attending virtual classes. The main downside is, if you’re paying for your own home connection; getting the 100 Mbps connection that you’ll want may cost you upwards of $200/mo, which is just unrealistic.


Who Has The Best Features? Hughesnet Or ViaSat

Delivering a high-speed internet connection directly to your home is one thing, but it’s how you use it that really matters; and that’s where the features come in. Satellite internet providers have gotten incredibly creative in designing ways to let their customers use their internet exactly the way they want, and making some previously difficult tasks even easier. So here’s a quick breakdown of some extra features from Hughesnet and ViaSat!

The #1 feature that Hughesnet offers is simple but powerful; unlimited Data.8 It’s not glitzy or glamorous, but not having to worry about getting disconnected from your connection due to hard data caps is a huge relief that many other providers will still hold over your head. Besides that, the Hughesnet mobile app is super handy on managing your plan and billing, its customer service line gets any potential issues solved quickly and effectively, and Hughesnet’s automatic video data saving features makes streaming an absolute breeze.

ViaSat also has a mobile application in which you can manage your account settings and manage your data – which is important with its data caps fluctuating based on where you live! ViaSat does also have some fairly robust security features in its ViaSat Shield & Shield Premium products, which are available at an additional cost.

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The Wrap Up: Hughesnet vs ViaSat

Satellite internet has come a far way since its humble beginnings, and it really has allowed for high-speed internet to be available just about anywhere you could imagine. Companies such as Hughesnet and ViaSat are readily available to millions of Americans, and provide great high-speed internet service. But when it comes down to it, you can only pick one provider for your home internet service, so how do Hughesnet and ViaSat really stack up?

Hughesnet provides an incredible value with speeds up to 100 Mbps1 and plans starting at only $49.99/mo. While ViaSat advertises faster speeds, it’s questionable if you can regularly access those speeds; and it’s behind an incredibly cost prohibitive wall with plans hitting $299.99/mo.

Hughesnet offers robust features, award-winning customer service, and ever-improving technologies that combine for a home internet service you just can’t beat. That’s why Hughesnet is our pick of the litter when it comes to satellite internet providers.

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