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There is no denying the fact rural America lacks adequate internet access in spite of the FCC initiatives to help bridge the digital divide. While the country has a lot of work to do in order to expand the broadband network infrastructure, and reach more rural communities with viable wired options, satellite internet is the only internet connection type that is available everywhere across the United States. In areas where no copper phone line infrastructure exists, wireless access to the internet becomes the only option. Be it satellite internet, fixed wireless or mobile broadband.

Both DSL and Cable infrastructures leave about 10% of the US out of their reach, and in these regions residents must resort to any wireless form. While mobile broadband is the last resort for those who cannot afford to subscribe to a pricey satellite internet plan, it can become inconvenient to access the internet for work, school, and play in this manner. It is anticipated in due time 5G services will be able to fill the gap and reach out to rural America introducing 5G home internet plans. But, until such time rural communities with access to one wired option or none at all, have a worthy option in the top satellite service provider in the U.S., i.e. HughesNet

Is HughesNet Internet Worth It?

When it comes to satellite internet, HughesNet Gen 5 is a worthy choice for people living in areas removed from the reach of wired broadband. Yes. It is pricey when relative to wired internet and fixed wireless. But the fact it is available coast-to-coast and gets you online when no other provider does, makes it a fair bargain.

The speed capabilities of this connection may not be as impressive as Fiber, Cable or even high-speed DSL connections. But, the 25/3 Mbps benchmark set by the FCC for broadband internet is met with, and to be fair, for a family which does not indulge in extravagant use of the internet, it works well. In this fast-paced world, we cannot afford to lose connectivity at any cost so satellite internet is the only solution if you don’t have a viable wired alternative.

If you are still wondering about choosing HughesNet satellite internet as your connectivity partner, perhaps knowing how it works will help convince you that it can deliver.  

How Does HughesNet Satellite Internet Work?

HughesNet satellite internet uses an orbiting satellite to establish a connection with the terrestrial broadband infrastructure via the HughesNet network operations center (NOC) on earth. Data travels back and forth between space and earth in the process, and you are able to connect to the internet.

Now let’s elaborate on that summarized statement for a better understanding of the process involved.

Step 1

A request for a web page is sent out from your end, and the signal is relayed to the satellite orbiting in the geosynchronous orbit about 22,000 miles out in space. This satellite always remains in the same spot over the earth because its 24-hour period of rotation matches that of the earth.

The communication which occurs via satellite internet is so technologically advanced that the thousands of miles in between barely make a difference to the delivered speed. As long as you get a view of the clear southern sky, you can establish a 2-way communication with the HughesNet satellite in space. 

Step 2

The request for a web page from your end reaches the satellite, and is transmitted to HughesNet network operations center on earth. Here a connection with the terrestrial broadband infrastructure is established. And, your request is sent out. 

Step 3

Once a response is received, the information is beamed back to the satellite from the NOC, and follows its path back to your satellite dish and modem. While you may think a journey that is thousands of miles long must take a good time to complete, fact is only a fraction of a second delay occurs in this process. It is more like the lag or delay you sometimes experience when communicating via your cellular service, and is not apparent while surfing online. 

HughesNet Gen5 Internet: The Pros 

Fast Speeds

With HughesNet satellite internet, you get 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed. And, HughesNet carries a good repute for delivering the advertised speeds in its service locations. In Southfield, Missouri, the top speed of 438 Mbps is on record, albeit in regions like San Antonio, Texas, users have experienced speeds as low as 14 Mbps. But, here it must be remembered factors other than those at the provider’s end also play a key role in speeds experienced by users.

Soft Data Limit

No matter what you choose, every HughesNet data-based plan comes with the same speeds. While for some users the idea of capped internet is to their dislike, the big plus with HughesNet is the Bonus Zone data which gets you 50 GB on top of the monthly allowance. You can use this perk to conduct heavy online activities, and schedule big downloads during the off peak hours from 2 am to 8 am. In any case HughesNet does not charge you an overage fee for exceeding your data limit. It is a soft data cap, and you stay connected, albeit at throttled speeds, until the next billing cycle kicks in. You can also purchase additional data if needed.

HughesNet Secure WiFi

Your HughesNet Internet subscription includes a satellite modem with built-in WiFi, which features the latest WiFi standards and tech, and is able to support multiple connected devices. The connection is secure, and you can even use the guest feature to avoid risking the safety of your in-home network. 

HughesNet Gen5 Internet: The Cons 

Bandwidth Limitation

HughesNet Gen5 is delivered via the EchoStar XIX which is the world’s highest capacity broadband satellite and connects households and businesses with high speed internet from coast to coast. However, with one satellite providing coverage over such a large swath of land, bandwidth limitation is a consequence.

Latency

Also, satellite internet by default suffers from a latency problem given how it works, and that is something which you just have to live with. With that said, the lag does not become too apparent unless you are gaming online, and experience half a second or so delay between you pulling the trigger and shot getting fired.

Satellite Internet Vs Other Rural Connection Types

Satellite Internet Vs DSL

To be straightforward, satellite internet makes sense for users who do not have access to a wireline service in their area, and if they do, they must put up with slow speeds of traditional DSL internet.

While many providers use the pre-existing copper phone lines to deliver data services to rural communities, the speed you get via DSL is largely dependent on your distance from the provider’s hub, besides the capabilities of the provider’s DSL network in the region. High-speed DSL services are usually made available in densely populated urban or suburban areas, where providers find it profitable to invest in upgrading the existing broadband infrastructures. So if you are stuck with just a slow DSL connection, that does not get anywhere near the 25/3 Mbps FCC benchmark set for broadband internet, HughesNet Gen5 Internet makes for a wise choice.

Satellite Internet Vs Fixed Wireless

In a remote and rural setting where access to wired broadband is limited to DSL or unavailable altogether, Fixed Wireless can also be a viable alternative.

Fixed wireless broadband does not require a wireline infrastructure to deliver the signal to the subscriber’s location. Instead the radio signal from the backhaul tower is carried via the air over a terrestrial microwave platform. And, you establish a  connection with a provider access point in the vicinity which essentially broadcasts the signal in the direction of your antenna. With point to point wireless devices used to rebroadcast the signal, fixed wireless tech is able to deliver fast and reliable speeds with lower latency relative to satellite internet.

While fixed wireless presents a good option in the absence of wired services, and can help you dodge a pricier satellite internet subscription, at this point in time fixed wireless availability in the US is limited to 45%. So in order to subscribe to a fixed wireless service you must be located in the right region, otherwise a satellite service like HughesNet Gen5 is the surest bet.  

The Endnote

While rural life away from the hubbub of urban centers is a dream come true for many, running your everyday tasks in an increasingly digitized world can become difficult in the absence of worthy internet options.

HughesNet brilliantly fills in this gap for rural America, and gets you online at broadband speeds no matter where in the U.S. you are located. Based on how it works, there are some inherent characteristics of the service, but overall HughesNet Gen5 makes for a decent choice. And, if you are lucky you never know the provider maybe running a promotion that gets you a significant discount for the promo term. To check current offers and deals, call at 1-855-349-9309, and allow HughesNet Customer Service representatives to fill you in on what is new.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How many states have access to HughesNet internet?

HughesNet Internet is available in the U.S. from coast to coast. If  you can catch a clear view of the southern sky, you can connect via HughesNet.

How much download and upload speed does HughesNet offer?

HughesNet offers up to 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds across all its plans. HughesNet Internet plans are data based instead. Each comes with a different data allowance, albeit the same speeds.