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How to Maximize Data Efficiency with Your Satellite Internet Plan

man using HughesNet bonus zone

Data; the fuel that drives every online activity. From working at home to posting on social media, online shopping to planning a trip, everything we do online uses data. So, when it comes to getting the most out of your satellite Internet plan, understanding how to maximize your data efficiency is crucial. In this blog we’ll cover important data-related terms used by satellite Internet providers and give you some helpful tips on how to improve your data efficiency.

Key Data Terms 

First, let’s run through some of the essential terminology you’ll need to know in order to fully understand satellite Internet data usage.

Data Speed - Data speed is represented by Megabits per second (Mbps) and measures how fast you upload or download data. The higher the Mbps, the faster the connection. All HughesNet plans come with the same fast speeds of 25 Mbps download and 3Mbps upload.1

Plan Data – Your plan data refers to the amount of data you have available to use the Internet at full speed each month. You will use more data with more connected devices, so choosing the plan that suits your needs is important. 

No Hard Data Limits - Unlike other Internet service providers, HughesNet offers satellite Internet with No Hard Data Limits. Even if you exceed your plan data, HughesNet won’t ever cut you off or charge you more, allowing you to stay connected at reduced speeds, typically 1-3 Mbps.2

Data Tokens - If you do exceed your plan data, HughesNet subscribers can purchase Data Tokens for additional data and restore your service to full speed.

Bonus Zone - The HughesNet Bonus Zone is 50 GB of extra data offered to all Residential customers during off-peak hours (2am-8am).

Making the Most of Your Data

The Bonus Zone is one of the best resources at your disposal to maximize data efficiency with your HughesNet plan. For online activity that requires a large amount of data like downloading movies, software updates, or any large file, scheduling the download to occur during Bonus Zone hours will keep it from eating into your base plan data. The Bonus zone can also be used for regular Internet use during off-peak hours and is available even after reaching your plan’s regular data.

In addition to the Bonus Zone, HughesNet subscribers also benefit from the Video Data Saver, which compensates for the intense data demands of video streaming. The Video Data Saver automatically adjusts the resolution for standard definition video streaming to DVD quality, allowing you to use less data without any action on your part.3 The Video Saver service is an optional feature and can be turned off at any time if desired.

Outside of HughesNet specific technologies meant to save your data, there are several practical steps that all subscribers can take to lower unnecessary data usage. These steps include things like disconnecting Wi-Fi-enabled devices that aren’t currently in use, limiting the resolution of video chat apps, and ending active web browser sessions before putting away devices.

Finally, for HughesNet subscribers that exceed their monthly data plan amounts, Data Tokens are a great way to stay online at the speed you need. Should you need to restore your service to normal speeds, Data Tokens can be easily purchased at any time online or in the HughesNet mobile app.

Stay Connected with HughesNet

With HughesNet high-speed Internet you can enjoy sharing photos, email, listening to music, watching video, working from home, and connecting your children to distance learning all from America’s #1 choice for satellite Internet.

* Free standard professional installation applies to new Lease subscribers only. Not valid with Purchase option. Limited-time offer.


1. The HughesNet Gen5 service plans are designed to deliver download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps, but individual customers may experience different speeds at different times of the day. Speeds and uninterrupted use are not guaranteed and may vary based on a variety of factors, including: the configuration of your computer, number of concurrent users, network or Internet congestion, capabilities and content of the websites you are accessing, network management practices as deemed necessary, and other factors. When you connect to the HughesNet service using Wi-Fi, your experience will vary based on your proximity to the Wi-Fi source and the strength of the signal.

2. If you exceed your monthly plan data, you will experience reduced data speeds, which are typically in the range of 1-3 Mbps, until your next billing period.

3. Assumes DVD-quality video streaming consumes data at a rate of 700 MB/hour, HD-quality video streaming consumes data at a rate of 2 GB/hour, streaming audio/radio consumes data at a rate of 75 MB/hour, an average web page is 2 MB, and social media pages consume data at a rate of 350 MB/hour. Please be advised that the values provided should only be used as a general estimation, as data usage may vary by device, by type and by quality of content.