HughesNet vs Viasat: War of the Two Satellite Internet Giants

Satellite internet is usually the best and the only option for people living in rural and underserved areas. But even though it has a reputation for not being the greatest internet on Earth, it can still deliver enough speeds to accomplish your work, participate in video conferences, and even play online games. So, if you were to compare satellite internet to cable or fiber internet, it still lags behind when it comes to speed. Nonetheless, it’s still the most accessible internet type in the country.

Two major satellite internet providers, HughesNet and Viasat, have been going head to head to be the best satellite internet provider. Unfortunately, even with SpaceX’s Starlink, these two still stayed on top of the list. Choosing between HughesNet and Viasat can be challenging, especially since they both have unique differences that benefit the consumers. So, let’s dive into the two satellite internet giants and hopefully make the decision-making easier for you.

HughesNet vs Viasat: A Quick Overview

Before we go into the details of the HughesNet vs Viasat battle, let’s take a quick look and compare their download speeds, upload speeds, data allowances, promo costs, and more.

Max Download Speeds12-100Mbps25Mbps
Max Upload Speeds3Mbps3Mbps
Promo Cost$70-$200$45-$140
Regular Monthly Fee$100-300$65-$160
Monthly Equipment Fee$13 or $299 one-time purchase$15 or $450 one-time purchase
Data Allowance40-150GB15-100GB
Contract TermsTwo yearsTwo years

HughesNet Satellite Internet

HughesNet has built its reputation for being the most consistent satellite internet. This internet provider keeps things simple by offering similar download and upload speeds, regardless of the internet plan you choose. The only thing that changes between plans is the data allowance you will get. So the more data you get, the higher your monthly plan would be. However, promotional rates may also be offered to specific areas.

Currently, new subscribers can save up to $20 per month on all HughesNet internet plans for the first six months of the two-year contract. Its equipment fee rental is priced at $15 per month, including a $99 lease setup fee. But if you want to purchase the equipment, you can do so by paying $450 upfront. The installation fee is already included in your one-time purchase fee. Check out HughesNet’s internet plans below.

HughesNet Satellite Internet Plans

Plan  Max Download SpeedMax Upload SpeedPromo monthly feeMonthly fee after 6 monthsData allowanceEquipment costsContract terms
Gen 525Mbps3Mbps$45$6515GB$15/month or $450 one-time purchase2 Years
Gen 525Mbps3Mbps$55$7530GB$15/month or $450 one-time purchase2 Years
Gen 525Mbps3Mbps$90$11045GB$15/month or $450 one-time purchase2 Years
Gen 525Mbps3Mbps$140$16075GB$15/month or $450 one-time purchase2 Years

HughesNet also offers a 100GB data plan in some areas for $150 per month. But still, you will have the same maximum 25Mbps and 3Mbps download and upload speeds. The consistency and reliability HughesNet provides paved the way for it to set itself apart from its competitors. Additionally, all the plans are unlimited, meaning you don’t have to worry about overage fees when you exceed your limit. However, you’ll have to work with lower speeds or pay for more data.

Viasat Satellite Internet

Viasat’s satellite internet plans are a bit pricier than HughesNet, but they offer more comprehensive internet plans. Viasat offers more data and more speeds in specific areas, and its current maximum speeds range from 12Mbps to 100Mbs with data allowances from 40GB to 150GB. Choosing Viasat means you have to brace yourself for a hefty price increase after three months, compared to HughesNet’s six months.

With Viasat, your monthly bill could go as high as $100 after three months. Remember that you will also be subjected to a two-year contract, so you could be stuck with hefty fees for the next 21 months.

Viasat Satellite Internet Plans

Plan  Max Download SpeedsMax Upload SpeedsPromo monthly feeMonthly fee after 3 monthsData allowanceEquipment costsContract terms
Unlimited Bronze 1212Mbps3Mbps$70$10040GB$13/month or $299 one-time purchase2 Years
Unlimited Silver 2525Mbps3Mbps$100$15060GB$13/month or $299 one-time purchase2 Years
Unlimited Gold 5050Mbps3Mbps$150$200100GB$13/month or $299 one-time purchase2 Years
Unlimited Platinum 100100Mbps3Mbps$200$300150GB$13/month or $299 one-time purchase2 Years

Viasat gives you more options when it comes to speeds and data. However, even though Viasat’s maximum download speeds are much higher than HughesNet, most of its service areas will only see 12Mbps max speeds. Also, its starting plan is significantly more expensive than most satellite internet providers. Viasat also offers unlimited satellite internet plans, but it’s also the same with HughesNet. Once you reach your limit, expect them to throttle your speeds.

Pricing and Availability

HughesNet and Viasat are both available across all 50 states in the United States, making them the most accessible internet provider in the country. Most locations are eligible for satellite internet as long as your home has a clear view of the southern sky. For the pricing, it’s no doubt that Viasat is more expensive than HughesNet. However, Viasat also provides more speeds and data allowances compared to HughesNet. So, choosing between them is basically depending on your needs and your budget.

Early Termination Fees

With the two-year contract terms the satellite internet giants offer, you can expect many subscribers not to finish the contract. With HughesNet, you can expect an early termination fee as steep as $400 if you cancel within the first three months of your subscription. For Viasat, you’ll need to pay around $15 for every month that’s left on your contract. You can also forgo the early termination fee of Viasat by paying $300 upfront. However, you can only save around $45 if you cancel your internet plan after a month of your service.

Which Is Better for You?

Choosing between HughesNet and Viasat might feel like choosing between Coke and Pepsi. If you’re in a remote area in the US, you will likely have to choose between the two. With HughesNet’s consistency and reliability across its service areas and Viasat’s more comprehensive internet plans, it’s just a matter of preference and how stable their connection is in your area.


  • Bilal Akbar

    I am Bilal Akbar, the founder of TechTaalk. I am an expert web designer, graphic designer, SEO, and professional blogger. My specialty is WordPress, and I have spent the past few years in website development, blogging, search engine optimization, and digital marketing.
    I am passionate about helping people learn about technology and how to use it to their advantage. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to use technology to improve their lives, and I am committed to providing that opportunity through TechTaalk.

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