Residing in a rural area and searching for high-speed internet? Viasat and HughesNet are currently the only two satellite internet providers available in the USA. That scenario is about to change as a new provider named “Starlink” is about to come into the ring as a new satellite internet provider in late 2020. Starlink is planning to change the way satellite internet works and according to sources, Starlink is planning to gradually grow the reach of satellite internet in the USA. However, Viasat and HughesNet already provide high-speed satellite internet service nationwide. That means you have to choose between these two providers if you are in the backwoods of the USA and in need of Satellite internet.
Earlier there used to be more Satellite internet options available in the market. But they all died out as they weren’t able to keep up with the every growing telecommunication technologies. Advancing satellite internet technology is tough as it is highly cost-consuming for internet providers. Fortunately, satellite internet providers like Viasat and HughesNet are still alive and kicking. If it weren’t for these providers, most of the rural households in the nation would have to live without internet connectivity. As these providers are most used, smaller satellite internet providers chose to merge with these giants. Let’s go through a detailed review of both Viasat and HughesNet and see which one is the best satellite internet provider in the USA.
Satellite Internet Service Providers Summary
To understand which service is best for you, first, you need to learn a little bit about old or upcoming satellite internet service providers. Here’s a detailed summary of Satellite ISPs.
- Viasat: Available nationwide
- HughesNet: Available nationwide
- Starlink: Supposed to be launched in late 2020 or early 2021
- OneWeb: Expected to launch in 2021
- DishNet: No longer available, but you can bundle Dish’s TV service with internet from other providers
- EarthLink: Stopped selling their own Satellite internet, now deal in HughesNet internet packages
- Exede: Changed Branding to Viasat
- WildBlue: Purchased by Exede in 2009
Should You Choose Viasat?
If you are in a rural area then chances are that you’ll get both the satellite internet provider for your home. So what makes one provider better than the other one?? Here are some deciding factors that should help you choose either one provider.
The biggest reason to choose Viasat internet packages over HughesNet is speed. Viasat offers to speed up to 100 MBPS in several locations. 100 MBPS download speed is 4 times the top speed that HughesNet offers. With this much speed, you can easily stream movies in HD or multiple people can easily use your internet connection without causing slow internet for anyone.
2. Free Installation
Another reason to choose Viasat is free installation. As you may already know, you can not install satellite internet service by yourself like Cable or DSL internet service. As the installation process is so complicated, satellite internet providers used to charge a hefty fee for installation. Viasat on the other hand offers free installation to consumers who qualify for the offer and the users also get a low equipment leasing fee of just $9.99/mo. To get a free installation from Viasat, customers need to have a high credit score. If your credit score isn’t up to the mark that Viasat has set, you will have to pay an installation fee of $99.99.
3. Wide Range of Plans
Viasat has a lot of plans to offer to consumers at different speeds, prices, and data limits. The term Viasat uses for data limit is “Data Thresholds” as your service won’t be cut-off completely if you hit the data ceiling.
If you reach your threshold before your month ends, Viasat will slow down your network. You will have no way other than to survive on slow data speeds for the rest of the month. So, choose a plan that will give you enough data to make you last until the end of your month.
Overall, the reason to choose Viasat is fast speed, free installation, and a variety of plans that are suitable for all kind of users. The thing you need to keep in mind is that Viasat raises their prices in the first 3 months of your contract. Let’s say you are paying $55 per month, once your 3rd month is over you will have to pay $75 for the same service.
Why Choose HughesNet?
Regardless of everything that Viasat offers to consumers, HughesNet has more consumers across the country. Why is that? Take a look at all the features that are offered by HughesNet.
1. Best Value For Money
One of the reasons why HughesNet is so popular among users is because it offers the best value on Satellite internet. HughesNet offers you the most speed for the lowest price, if that isn’t good news then what is? Viasat does offer one plan that is cheaper than HughesNet but the Download speed is just 12 MBPS. Whereas HughesNet offers 25 MBPS download speed on all its plan. If you compare satellite internet plans that meet the FCC’s Broadband requirement then you’ll see you are saving around $10 every month with HughesNet.
2. Data Bonus Zone
All the satellite internet plans offer low data limits to users. HughesNet follows the tradition as the data caps on HughesNet internet plans ranges from 10 GB to 50 GB per month. If you consume your data before your month ends, your speed will be reduced to somewhere around 3 MBPS. 3 MBPS isn’t enough speed if you wish to stream content on Netflix or any other streaming service.
HughesNet has a solution for this limited data problem. You can save your data by using data Bonus Zone. The Bonus zone is available to users during the hours of least internet usage. If you are a HughesNet consumer then you get 50 GB of bonus data every month. The time you can use your bonus data is between 2:00 AM & 8:00 AM.
3. Free Installation With Renting
Another reason to pick HughesNet over Viasat is that HughesNet offers free installation if you decide to rent the equipment. Instead of a WiFi router and Modem, HughesNet provides users with a wireless Gateway. The rent for WiFi gateway is $9.99 per month till 1 year and $14.99 after 1st year ends. If you compare that with the cost o purchasing a WiFi gateway and installation charges, you’ll understand that you are getting a better deal.
Pros and Cons of Satellite Internet
|Widely Available||Limited Data Allowance|
|Broadband Level Speed||High Latency and Ping|
|Suitable for almost all kind of usage||Costlier than DSL & Cable plans|
Conclusion: Which Satellite Internet Provider Should You Choose?
Let’s be honest, satellite internet service is no one’s first choice. So if you have to choose between the two providers, we suggest you pick HughesNet as the plans won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Plus you get 50 GB additional data over any plan you choose. Prices for satellite internet providers vary on location and your local internet providers. If you want to save some money then bargaining would help you do so.