HughesNet, Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions


What is HughesNet?

HughesNet® is the high-speed Internet solution that’s available to everyone in the contiguous United States with a clear view of the southern sky. HughesNet uses satellite technology, not your phone line, to give you a super-fast, always-on Internet connection. HughesNet gets you online instantly, lets you surf and open pages faster, and allows you to download files in a fraction of the time it takes on a dial-up modem.

Do I still need a dial-up modem and telephone line?

No. There is no phone line or dial-up data modem required to use your HughesNet service.

Are there activities that are not recommended for use with a satellite connection?

  1. VPNs. Since your home is approximately 22,000 miles away from the HughesNet satellite in space, VPN usage for residential customers is generally not recommended as you may see overall speed reduced by 50–70% because of data encryption. Therefore, you may not be able to perform the activities you would like to do online. However, your normal speeds will return once you disconnect from a VPN if you choose to use it with HughesNet. Note: HughesNet Technical Support does not provide help with configuring or troubleshooting problems associated with VPN clients.
  2. Heavy downloading. HughesNet offers a number of service plans to meet your online and browsing needs. For general web browsing and staying connected with friends, we recommend the entry-level plan. If your needs require more bandwidth, we suggest one of the higher plans with more bandwidth allocation.
  3. Third-party VoIP Services. Hughes offers HughesNet Voice, a premium, feature-rich home phone service. HughesNet Voice is optimized to work over your satellite connection and does not impact your Internet plan’s Data Allowance. Other third-party VoIP services are not optimized to work over satellite connections. With third-party VoIP services your call quality may be inferior and your Data Allowance will be impacted. HughesNet members who opt to use a third-party VoIP service are advised to carefully monitor their data usage via the free HughesNet Status Meter.

Streaming Video
Netflix works with Gen4 service plans. You’ll be able to enjoy about 15 hours of standard-definition movies a month with our most popular service plan and 23 hours with the mid-tier plan. It is also important to note that streaming services often use high amounts of data, so be sure to set up your free HughesNet Status Meter to monitor your monthly Data Allowance to ensure you get the most out of your online activities. Streaming video is bandwidth-intensive. If you intend to watch videos you may exceed your download threshold. Check your current plan or consider upgrading to a higher bandwidth plan.

  1. Why is there a limit on the number of TV shows and movies I can watch?
    To ensure fair Internet access for all HughesNet subscribers, Hughes maintains a Fair Access Policy that establishes an equitable balance of Internet usage for all customers. Hughes assigns a Data Allowance to each service plan, which limits the amount of data that may be downloaded or uploaded within a one-month period. Subscribers who exceed this limit will experience a temporary reduction of speed.
  2. I like to watch TV shows and movies in high definition (HD). Can I watch HD on Netflix with my HughesNet service?
    Yes, you can watch your shows and movies using high definition over HughesNet. Keep in mind that high definition uses higher amounts of data than the standard-definition shows do. So be sure to set up your free HughesNet Status Meter to monitor your monthly Data Allowance to ensure you get the most from your online activities.
  3. I typically watch more than 30 hours of TV shows and movies in a month. What if I need to use more?
    There are a couple of things you can do if you’d like to watch more shows. First, the popular video services like Netflix and Hulu allow you to manage the amount of data you use by adjusting your video quality setting. You can go to your account settings online for these services and select different player setting options to manage the amount of data you use when playing movies and TV shows on Netflix. This change alone can double your viewing hours from 23 hours of standard-definition viewing to 46 hours with our mid-tier plan. Or you can purchase additional bandwidth on an as-needed basis with HughesNet Tokens. An extra gigabyte of usage can be purchased for only $9.
  4. I don’t use Netflix for watching movies. Can I use HughesNet with Hulu, HBO Go®, Crackle®, etc., instead?
    Yes, HughesNet will work with most major Internet streaming video providers. Just be sure to monitor your monthly download allowance using the HughesNet Status Meter.

Static IP
Static IPs are not available with residential service. If a static IP is needed, we recommend that you contact the Hughes business services group at 1-866-674-4406. If you plan to use HughesNet for remote home devices that allow you to control your lights or thermostat from a phone or for a security device that allows you to watch video remotely, we recommend that you check your device’s user manual to see if a static IP is required.

Videoconferencing (Skype™, Google Chat™, FaceTime™)
You can use videoconferencing with Gen4 plans, but we encourage users to monitor their Data Allowance when videoconferencing. Free tools, such as our Status Meter, will help you with tracking Data Allowance in order to get the most out of your online activities.

Why choose HughesNet as the satellite Internet service for your home?

Hughes is the leader in satellite Internet services and networks, with over 1.5 million systems installed in more than 100 countries. For over 40 years, Hughes has been developing and implementing satellite technology. As the pioneer in the satellite industry, Hughes is able to offer unparalleled satellite Internet services. Hughes offers satellite service globally under the HughesNet brand.

HughesNet is a satellite Internet service which provides Internet access to customers no matter where they live in the contiguous United States. Dedicated to the individual consumer and their satellite Internet service needs, Hughes provides high-speed Internet to both rural and urban customers, offering high-speed satellite Internet access. This satellite Internet service is particularly revolutionary to rural customers who have had limited or no access to high-speed Internet in the past.

Whether you are an individual looking to access the Internet at home or a major multi-national company needing to provide Internet access to hundreds of employees, there is a HughesNet service plan that can deliver satellite Internet directly to you.

Satellite Internet Service Provider

Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes operates sales and support offices worldwide, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), a premier global provider of satellite operations and digital TV solutions.

Hughes operates several Network Operations Centers (NOCs) that are equipped to monitor customer networks at all times. These are the same centers that receive information from your home computers and transmit that data to Hughes satellites.

All of Hughes’ Network Operations Centers are staffed by qualified engineers to provide professional and reliable customer support. Any disruptions to your satellite Internet access are handled by our Customer Care and Technical Support staff through our Customer Care Website.

Learn more about HughesNet Business Solutions and Hughes Worldwide or sign up today for high-speed satellite Internet service for your home.


At Hughes, quality is our first concern. We make it our mission to:

  • Set the standard for excellence in our industry.
  • Earn the respect of our customers and suppliers throughout the world.
  • Satisfy customers by meeting their needs and exceeding their expectations.
  • Deliver error-free, competitive products on time and services second to none.
  • Ensure that every job is done right the first time, every time.

Is HughesNet a solution for rural satellite Internet service?

A recently published Pew Internet & American Life Project memo states that “70% of Americans have broadband connections at home. The survey was completed in September 2013... In June 2000, when about half of adults were online, only 3% of American households had broadband access.”

Learn more about rural high-speed satellite Internet service.

What is broadband satellite Internet for the home?

With HughesNet you can have broadband satellite Internet access in your home regardless of where you live and without tying up your phone lines. Order HughesNet and a certified HughesNet installer will visit your home to install a satellite dish and modem. This will give you broadband satellite Internet access from your home computer.

Learn more about broadband Internet access via satellite.

What are my options for high-speed satellite Internet?

For the home user, there are various high-speed Internet options with HughesNet. All of the satellite Internet plans come with an always-on connection, super-fast downloads, 24/7 technical support, a minimum of five email accounts, and email spam and virus filtering.

Determine what plan you need at home based on your Internet needs. If you like to download videos and often visit Websites that contain many graphics, then our fastest plan may be the best option for you with its high-speed Internet download speed of up to 15 Mbps. On the other hand, if you use the Internet mainly for checking and sending email, then our most basic plans may meet your needs with a download speed of 5 Mbps. For more details on satellite Internet pricing and plan descriptions, visit the Plans & Pricing page. Once you’ve decided what meets your high-speed Internet connection needs, get started with HughesNet by signing up today.

Satellite Internet Connection Technology

In order to have a satellite Internet connection in your home, you will need to have a satellite dish (antenna) attached to the roof of your home and a satellite modem connected to your home computer.

The satellite dish and modem technology is provided to you by Hughes and is installed by a certified HughesNet installer at a time that is convenient for you. Inside your home, the installer needs to connect the satellite modem to your personal computer. The connection enables you to have that fast satellite Internet speed that won’t tie up your phone lines.

To learn more about satellite Internet speed or sign up for a satellite Internet connection, visit the Plans and Pricing page to place your satellite Internet order.

What is Internet via satellite?

Hughes is able to offer high-speed Internet service via satellite for homes all over the country, including those in rural areas. This is thanks to satellite technology that is much like the satellite systems used for televisions.

Learn more about Internet via satellite.

What are the most common myths about satellite broadband providers?

Some people may be hesitant to subscribe to satellite Internet because of myths they’ve heard – or because they are unaware of the convenience and quality offered by satellite broadband providers.

Read about 5 satellite Internet myths.

Is high-speed Internet from HughesNet always available?

One of the greatest benefits of being a satellite high-speed Internet customer through HughesNet is that the Internet is always on.

In addition to round-the-clock high-speed Internet availability, HughesNet customers receive other benefits as well. By signing up for a satellite high-speed Internet plan, customers receive:

  • Five or more email accounts each with up to 2 GBs of storage space.
  • Spam and virus protection.
  • Blog creation tools.
  • A customizable Web portal where you can access news, information, and all your favorite Websites in one place.
  • Online account management.
  • 24/7 Technical and Customer Care support.

Benefits of choosing HughesNet as your high-speed satellite Internet service

The HughesNet Website provides a convenient set of tools for customers to use. After signing up for satellite high-speed Internet, it’s easy to create an online account. With an account, you can change your billing information, manage email accounts, upgrade your service, and more.

In addition to these account management tools, the Hughes Website provides a comprehensive list of troubleshooting articles, frequently asked questions, and other high-speed satellite Internet service help. If there ever comes a time you need to speak with Hughes about your service, the HughesNet user-friendly customer portal allows you to contact the HughesNet Customer Care and Technical Support staff 24/7. There are three easy ways to contact us:
  • Via live chat and with a support representative.
  • Email HughesNet and receive a response within 24 hours.
  • Call us at 1-866-293-8945.
Whichever method of contact you choose, a Hughes team member is always available – just like our high-speed satellite Internet service.

Does Hughes provide high-speed Internet options to everyone in the United States?

Because of advancements in technology, Hughes is able to offer high-speed Internet via satellite to almost anyone in the United States. As a satellite ISP, Hughes is dedicated to supplying reliable satellite Internet connections for customers. Since many Hughes customers live in rural areas where cable and DSL are not available, HughesNet is one of the only high-speed Internet options available. Hughes takes pride in offering reliable high-speed Internet to those who wouldn't normally have this option.

Definition of terms for high-speed & satellite Internet

As a satellite ISP, Hughes strives to offer a reliable high-speed Internet option with a customer-friendly and easy-to-use service. This list of glossary terms is meant to familiarize you with satellite Internet and answer questions you may have.

56K line – Most dial-up Internet connections use a telephone line that allows transfer of data at 56,000 bits per second. 56K line refers to this type of Internet connection.

Bandwidth – This term describes the amount of data that can be sent through a particular Internet connection or network. High-bandwidth Internet connections (faster than 768 kilobits per second) are often called “broadband” or “high-speed Internet.”

Bit – A single binary value; a bit is the smallest piece of computer data. Many bits are needed to transmit even the simplest file.

Broadband – Broadband refers to an Internet connection with download speed in excess of 768 kilobits per second.

Dial-up – This term refers to an Internet connection through a home telephone line.

DSL (digital subscriber line) – Allows user to access the Internet by way of existing telephone lines.

Ethernet – A commonly used local area network (LAN) that connects computers to one another and/or connects a computer to the Internet.

Firewall – Software that protects your computer network from outside users.

High-speed Internet option – An ISP (that is, satellite, cable, or DSL) offers an Internet service option that provides enough bandwidth for high-speed Internet use.

IP (Internet protocol) – Programming language that serves as the backbone of the Internet. “IP” is short for “IP address.”

IP Address – Every computer has its own IP number, which acts as the computer’s identification. IP addresses are unique for each computer connected to the Internet. They are much like a physical address.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) – Each ISP offers service options to customers that range in bandwidth, type of connection, and other options such as email, storage space, and virus protection.

Kilobit – 1024 bits of data. Internet speeds are often measured in kilobits per second (kbps).

Megabit – One million bits

Modem – A modem connects your computer to a phone line, cable, or satellite. The modem acts as an interpreter between the two devices so that digital messages can be sent from your computer to another computer or to a satellite dish.

Satellite dish – An antenna affixed to a structure that sends and receives data. Home satellite users typically receive Internet access or television via satellite.

Satellite Internet – Using a modem, coaxial cables, and a satellite dish, computer users are able to access high-speed broadband Internet.

Satellite ISP – An Internet Service Provider that offers a satellite Internet connection to homes or businesses. A satellite ISP is particularly beneficial for rural residents.

What kind of satellite Internet rates does Hughes offer?

Hughes is a quality satellite ISP (Internet Service Provider). Hughes offers many affordable satellite Internet plans to the home user – both rural and urban residents.

Home satellite Internet rates using HughesNet service range in price and speed, but one thing remains consistent for all home satellite Internet plans (regardless of the rates) – they’re all faster than dial-up service.

For more information on HughesNet home satellite Internet rates, contact Hughes today at 1-866-293-8945.

How does a satellite Internet connection work?

HughesNet customers only need an antenna and a modem to access the Internet via satellite. Satellite Internet connections are easy with HughesNet.

It doesn’t matter if your home computer is a laptop or a desktop or whether you operate on a Windows or Macintosh system. Satellite Internet connections are available to HughesNet home users no matter where you live in the contiguous United States. The only piece of equipment you need to provide is your own computer.

You can choose to buy or lease your equipment when you sign up for Internet access via satellite. The equipment is necessary because it interprets messages from your computer to the satellite.

A certified HughesNet installer will bring the equipment to your home and install the device with a power supply near your computer.

As a standard part of HughesNet installation, Hughes will install two 100-foot coaxial cables to allow your home Internet service to be connected. These cables are used to connect the computer to the modem and to the satellite dish.

The satellite dish, also called an antenna, will be installed on the roof of your home or on your property using mounting brackets. A radio will also be installed near the satellite dish.

Internet access via satellite

Hughes provides reliable Internet access via satellite to customers all across the U.S. Learn more about how satellite Internet works or call us with any questions at 1-866-293-8945.

Can I get high-speed Internet in my area?

Hughes is pleased to offer service in all states in the contiguous U.S.; we've written a little about them below:

HughesNet works very well as a broadband alternative in states with a high percentage of rural households. Many states are largely rural with very little broadband connectivity outside of urban areas. Other states have a higher percentage of households with cable or DSL, but still lack broadband connectivity in certain unserved areas. Read about how HughesNet Internet by satellite works.

For information on HughesNet in Alaska, call Alaska Satellite at

For information on HughesNet in Hawaii, call Dish Hawaii at

What is your upload/download allowance policy (Fair Access Policy)?

What is the Fair Access Policy?
To ensure fair Internet access for all HughesNet Gen4 subscribers, Hughes maintains a special Fair Access Policy for these subscribers. This policy establishes an equitable balance in Internet access for all HughesNet subscribers. Hughes assigns a Data Allowance to each service plan that limits the amount of data that may be downloaded or uploaded within a one-month period. Subscribers who exceed this limit will experience a temporary reduction of speed.

Learn more about the HughesNet Fair Access Policy.

Do you have any articles or other web pages I could check out to learn more about Internet via satellite and HughesNet?

We’ve provided some interesting articles and web pages if you have questions about HughesNet satellite Internet service. Take a look!