How does satellite Internet work?

With an advanced network of high-capacity satellites and built-in SmartTechnologies™, HughesNet® delivers a secure, reliable high-speed connection that's always on—so you can enjoy more of what you love to do online.

Step 1

A request for a Web page is sent from your computer to a satellite about 22,000 miles out in space. At this altitude, the satellite's period of rotation (24 hours) matches the earth's, and the satellite always remains in the same spot over the earth (geosynchronous orbit). Because Internet via satellite is so technologically advanced, this distance hardly makes a difference, even with rural Internet connections.

Step 2

The satellite contacts the Hughes Network Operations Center (NOC) which locates the specific Website you have requested.

Step 3

The Website beams the information back along the same path to the NOC, then to the satellite, and then to your computer through your HughesNet dish and modem. Although the signal travels a great distance, there is only a fraction of a second delay during this transmission. This is similar to the delay you may have experienced when using a cell phone. In most cases, latency isn't apparent while surfing online. Once the technology is set up in your home, connecting to the Internet via satellite is simple.

It's available where you live

HughesNet is rural high-speed Internet service that's available to you no matter where you live in the United States, even where cable and DSL don't reach.

It's super-fast

With HughesNet Gen4, you'll be able to watch video clips, download music, shop, chat, and learn – all faster than ever.

It works with your computer

Use it with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

No dial-up necessary

Free up your phone – no missed calls, no dialing in, no extra phone line needed. You can even talk on the phone and surf the Web at the same time.

We install it, so you have nothing to worry about

After you select the right high-speed satellite Internet plan for you, a certified HughesNet installer will contact you to schedule your installation. We take care of everything, so you'll be surfing in no time.

It's secure

Once installed, the satellite dish sends and receives information over the Internet and delivers it to your computer through your satellite modem, giving you secure and fast Internet access.

We constantly monitor the network to ensure better service

Hughes operates several Network Operations Centers (NOCs) that are equipped to monitor networks at all times.

Excellent customer service

All Hughes Network Operations Centers are staffed with qualified engineers to provide professional and reliable customer support. If you have a question regarding your Internet access, contact Customer Care any time.

Hughes is the leader in the industry

With more than 2.5 million systems installed in more than 100 countries, Hughes has a proven track record of performance. No one understands your needs like Hughes.

Hughes is a trusted name and provider

For over 40 years, Hughes has been developing and implementing satellite technology. As the pioneer in the satellite industry, Hughes offers unparalleled satellite Internet services.

HughesNet Gen4 Explained

HughesNet Gen4 is your best choice in satellite Internet, with great speeds and download capacity – and now with built-in SmartTechnologies that make your Internet experience fast.

HughesNet Gen4 is our fourth-generation high-speed satellite Internet service, designed to give you more of what you need, including dramatically improved performance and support for high-bandwidth applications like social networking, watching videos and listening to music.

Why is everyone so excited?

All across America, HughesNet is helping people in rural and suburban area get high-speed Internet service. Listen to what our customers have to say...

The HughesNet Gen4 service we just installed is a major improvement for satellite Internet. It is about 15 times faster than the old service and has made my Internet use much more enjoyable. Thanks so much for providing such a great Internet service.
Mark - LA

...Everybody I dealt with in getting Internet set up was just fantastic and very professional and helpful. They made doing business with HughesNet a pleasure.
Enda - TN

I am very satisfied at this point with our overall experience and am delighted with ending dial-up.
Linda - PA

All my Internet needs have been met with this service, I'm hoping this is going to be good. Anything is better than dial-up, and your cost is great. Thank you for this service.
Marsha - NY

I'm very satisfied with my Internet, and think you're all doing a truly wonderful job!
Donald - MS

Overall I think that everything was perfect. I told them what I was trying to do and they told me what I needed. I received the service very quickly and am extremely satisfied. Thank you so much for your help!
Jennifer - AK

Just connected today – very happy with the speed and looking forward to discovering more online!
Nancy - MI

Just keep doing what you are doing. Excellent, knowledgeable and very professional employees. A treat to find a company that still takes pride in servicing the customer.
Russell – NY

I am very pleased with the speed of the service and the pricing of the service.
Dale – MI

We feel that we are back in the Real World now that we have HughesNet Gen4. Getting online has become a pleasure again. I'd recommend HughesNet Gen4 to anybody that lives in a rural area and wants a high-speed Internet service!
David - OH

Wow! I can have two computers, two cell phones and my Nook connected with little or no slow down. Keep up the improvement, it was worth the wait.
Susan - WV

Great company. I think I will enjoy doing business with you. I know several who have HughesNet and are pleased. Why I chose company. Appreciate doing business with you!
Doris - GA

Seeing is Believing

Watch these short videos to learn more about HughesNet Gen4 and the amazing technology that makes it all possible.


Built-in Hughes SmartTechnologies™ make HughesNet Gen4 fast, efficient, convenient and flexible. Discover how!

Live the Dream

With super-fast speeds and great download capacity, HughesNet Gen4 lets you do more of everything you want to do online.

Life. Connected.

Whether it's your home life, work life, or social life, HughesNet Gen4 helps you be more connected—no matter where you live!


Here's a look at how we put all the puzzle pieces together to bring you the best satellite Internet service you can get, anywhere in America.

Find plans and offers in your area now.

View plane

What plan is right for you?

No matter which plan you choose, you'll enjoy email, social media, posts, and web-page views.


Have more questions?

We're here to help; check out our frequently asked questions for more information on specific topics.

Locate dealer

Need to locate a dealer?

With over 600 dealers nationwide, getting HughesNet® service through a nearby dealer is easy and quick.

Existing customer

Are you a HughesNet customer?

For technical support call 1-866-347-3292  or visit the Support Center.

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Business owner

Are you a business owner?

HughesNet Business Internet offers a range of plans and options tailored to the size of your company – and your budget.

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