What Is HughesNet Gen5, and Is It Worth It? | SatelliteInternet.com (2024)

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Home » What Is HughesNet Gen5, and Is It Worth It?

By Dave Schafer

Aug 15, 2023

What Is HughesNet Gen5, and Is It Worth It? | SatelliteInternet.com (6)4 min read

HughesNet Gen5 is the latest evolution of HughesNet’s satellite internet technology. Released in 2017, it brought faster speeds, more data, and better Wi-Fi connectivity to the satellite provider’s network and customers.

With Gen5, HughesNet offers internet speeds of up to 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload—not particularly fast by cable or fiber standards, but faster than many other rural internet options, such as DSL. Even better, since satellite doesn’t require any local infrastructure, it’s available anywhere you can get a clear view of the sky.

Jump to:

  • HughesNet Gen5 features
  • HughesNet Gen5 plans and pricing
  • HughesNet Gen5 vs. the competition
  • HughesNet Gen5 FAQ

HughesNet Gen5 plans

Plan

Price

Speed

Data

Satellite-only 15GB$49.99/mo.15Mbps15GB
Satellite-only 50GB$74.99/mo.25Mbps50GB
Satellite-only 100GB$89.99/mo.25Mbps100GB
Fusion 100GB$99.99/mo.25Mbps100GB
Fusion 200GB$174.99/mo.50Mbps200GB

HughesNet Gen5 Features

Alongside enhanced speeds, HughesNet Gen5 technology introduced a couple of other interesting features that aim at helping alleviate the strict data caps on satellite plans: Bonus Zone and Video Data Saver.

  • Bonus Zone: HughesNet gives users a special allotment of data to use during non-peak hours. Customers can use an extra 100GB of monthly data between 2 a.m.–8 a.m. This is to encourage people to schedule and perform data-intensive activities when the network is the least stressed.
  • Video Data Saver: This automatically adjusts the quality of the videos you stream to use less data. HughesNet claims it allows you to watch up to three times the amount of video on a given data plan.

HughesNet also claims that Gen5 technology provides a more secure and reliable internet connection than its predecessor. Ultimately, that’s the most important thing!

Will there be a HughesNet Gen6?

Nothing has been announced as of this writing, but we assume there will be additional generations of HughesNet service, although whether they’ll be called “Gen6” or something else is unknown at this point.

That said, it wouldn’t be too surprising if something happened soon. HughesNet is on the slower side compared to Starlink, which seems to be all anyone in the satellite world talks about. Starlink isn’t just speedy, it has unlimited data, and data caps are one of the major downsides with HughesNet.

Is HughesNet Gen5 a good internet service?

Yes, HughesNet is a solid internet service overall, and it’s one of our favorite satellite internet services. It offers plans with up to 300GB of data per month with speeds ranging from 15Mbps to 50Mbps. It’s a great option for rural customers who need high-speed internet and don’t have access to affordable cable or fiber service. HughesNet also offers reliable customer service, so if you need help troubleshooting an issue, dealing with a service outage, or even installing your equipment, you’re in good hands.

That said, we do recommend shopping around, especially if you’re in a larger town or city. While we love satellite internet around here, it does have some drawbacks, like data limits, slower speeds, and pricing. If you can get cable or fiber internet, that may be more practical, faster, and less expensive. 5G home internet may also be worth looking into.

HughesNet Gen5 plans and pricing

HughesNet currently offers five plans, differing primarily by the amount of data you get each month.

Plan

Price

Speed

Data

Satellite-only 15GB$49.99/mo.15Mbps15GB
Satellite-only 50GB$74.99/mo.25Mbps50GB
Satellite-only 100GB$89.99/mo.25Mbps100GB
Fusion 100GB$99.99/mo.25Mbps100GB
Fusion 200GB$174.99/mo.50Mbps200GB

HughesNet’s satellite-only plans are straightforward. The Fusion plans, on the other hand, are a bit different: They’re supplemented with terrestrial (non-satellite) wireless signals to help combat satellite connections’ extremely high latency.

These Fusion plans are more expensive, but the extra performance can be worthwhile, especially if you use your connection for activities like video calls or gaming. The combination of satellite and wireless does seem to work. You can also get more data and faster speeds with these plans.

Note that sometimes you can find deals on HughesNet plans that can save you a lot of money. Make sure to shop around for the best offer—satellite is expensive enough, so there’s no reason to pay more than necessary!

HughesNet Gen5 vs. the competition

HughesNet isn’t the only satellite internet provider around: Viasat and Starlink both provide some stiff competition. Additionally, 5G home internet from providers like T-Mobile and Verizon is starting to become a major competitor. Let’s see how each compares.

HughesNet Gen5 vs. Viasat

To put it simply, HughesNet is more affordable than Viasat, whereas Viasat offers (potentially) faster speeds.

Viasat’s maximum speeds and data caps are nearly double what HughesNet offers, but you also pay nearly double to get them. Top-tier Viasat plans run around $300 per month, which is a lot to pay for internet.

HughesNet Gen5 vs. Starlink

Starlink has generated a lot of buzz for good reason: It offers the flexibility and freedom of satellite internet, but it can give you faster speeds than most other wireless providers and much more data to go along with it. That covers the two biggest issues that plague most satellite providers, so Starlink has an advantage right off the bat.

Unfortunately, Starlink isn’t perfect. The service is pricey, especially the hardware. While HughesNet and Viasat bundle the hardware into your monthly prices, Starlink requires a large payment on hardware up front—you can’t even split it out into your monthly service fees. And when we say large, we mean large: The equipment is either $599 or $2,500, depending on the plan you choose.

Additionally, despite the fact that it’s satellite (and should therefore be available nationwide), Starlink is notoriously hard to get. Waitlists are long, and some plans aren’t available in all areas. This kind of defeats the purpose of satellite internet, in our eyes.

Now, all that said, Starlink is still an excellent service. However, it’s not the immediate win that it might appear to be on paper. Definitely weigh your options here.

HughesNet Gen5 vs. 5G home internet

5G home internet is a more recent development in wireless, and it’s super promising. It uses the same 5G signals that provide internet to your phone.

Several providers offer 5G home internet: The two biggest are T-Mobile and Verizon. They both offer similar speeds (generally a few hundred Mbps, although this depends on your area) and unlimited data. They also have similar prices: Around $30 per month for customers with qualifying cell plans. For that reason, we recommend going with whatever provider you already have for cell service.

Compared to HughesNet, 5G home internet offers much better performance at a much better price. However, it’s not as widely available as satellite. There are still a lot of spots that can’t get 5G, whereas HughesNet and other satellite providers are available nearly anywhere.

FAQs about HughesNet Gen5

How much is HughesNet internet?

HughesNet plans range from $49.99–$174.99 per month. This is about average for satellite internet. HughesNet is more affordable than Viasat, but the highest-tier plans are more expensive than Starlink Residential.

Where is HughesNet available?

As a satellite internet provider, HughesNet is available nationwide. If you can get a clear view of the sky, you can pick up a HughesNet signal. This is the big advantage of satellite internet: Availability. No other service is able to match its widespread coverage. HughesNet also doesn’t suffer from the same availability restrictions as Starlink.

Is HughesNet fast enough to stream?

Yes, HughesNet is fast enough to stream Netflix (or any other platform you like). But there are two areas where you might run into issues: Data consumption and multiple users.

Video streaming can eat through several gigabytes of data per hour, and with the restrictive data caps on HughesNet plans, you can easily burn through your monthly allotment. Plus, you may not get enough bandwidth for multiple simultaneous streams in HD. However, a single user streaming occasionally should have no issues with HughesNet.

What Is HughesNet Gen5, and Is It Worth It? | SatelliteInternet.com (7)

Written by

Dave Schafer

Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at HighSpeedInternet.com get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).

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