Viasat and HughesNet are the biggest names for satellite internet in the USA right now. At least before Starlink takes the top spot. As there are just two top names for satellite internet service currently, it means that you have to choose between the two.
That’s what we will be doing in this guide. We’ll be comparing Viasat vs HughesNet satellite internet service to see which one offers the best service.
If you want affordable plans then you should choose HughesNet. All the plans offer the same speed, I.e, 25 MBPS. With that speed, you’ll be able to browse the internet smoothly, and even stream TV.
If you want faster internet speeds, then Viasat should be your pick. But be ready to pay hefty prices for these speeds. You can expect up to 4 times the cost of HughesNet internet. But, the higher data caps and download speeds may be worth the cost.
Viasat vs HughesNet: Plans
|HughesNet||$54.99 – $149.99/mo.||15-75 GB/mo.||25 MBPS|
|Viasat||$30.00 – $169.99/mo||35-150 GB/mo.||12-100 MBPS|
This is the basic breakdown of the plans and prices offered by these providers. If you just want a basic idea of how much you’ll have to pay, then just look at the overview. If you want a little more details, then keep reading.
Viasat Internet Pricing and Plan Breakdown
Viasat allow you to choose a plan that fits your speed and data needs. There are so many plans to choose from. But, this huge list can get a bit confusing. Take a look for yourself:
|Basic 12||$40.00/mo.||12 MBPS||15 GB|
|Liberty 12||$30.00/mo.||12 MBPS||12 GB|
|Liberty 25||$50.00/mo.||12 MBPS||25 GB|
|Liberty 50||$75.00/mo.||12 MBPS||50 GB|
|Unlimited Silver 12||$99.99/mo.||12 MBPS||45 GB|
|Unlimited Gold 50||$149.99/mo.||12 MBPS||65 GB|
|Choice 25 MBPS/40 GB||$69.99/mo.||25 MBPS||40 GB|
|Choice 50 MBPS/60 GB||$99.99/mo.||50 MBPS||60 GB|
|Choice 75 MBPS/100 GB||$149.99/mo.||75 MBPS||100 GB|
|Choice 100 MBPS/150 GB||$199.99/mo.||100 MBPS||150 GB|
|Choice 100 MBPS/300 GB||$299.99/mo.||100 MBPS||300 GB|
See, as we said…. Viasat has so many plans to choose from. But, the good thing is that there’s variation in all the plans. If you just want to stay connected to the internet, then you can go with the most affordable plan. HughesNet’s cheapest plans cost you $54.99, so you get a steal here.
Although, Viasat is bound to increase your prices after their 3-month promotional period ends. On average, the price can increase between $20 – $100 per month. After the initial price hike, Viasat won’t change the price for 2 years. Compared to this HughesNet offers a price lock guarantee from the beginning.
While their pricing policy sucks, Viasat plans take the cake when it comes to downloading speeds. Plus, you get unlimited data on all the plans (well, kind of).
HughesNet Internet Pricing and Plan Breakdown
|15 GB||$54.99/mo.||25 MBPS|
|30 GB||$64.99/mo.||25 MBPS|
|45 GB||$99.99/mo.||25 MBPS|
|75 GB||$149.99/mo.||25 MBPS|
Now coming to the plans offered by HughesNet, the plans are simple and straightforward. You can choose how much data you want, and you can pay money for it. Also, all the HughesNet plans come with a 2-year price lock guarantee.
And unlike Viasat, you don’t have to sit through sudden price hikes. So, if you don’t want any price-related surprises, it’s better that you go with HughesNet internet service.
But, there’s a catch. HughesNet also has some price hikes. You’ll have to bear $10 as an additional cost on the plans after 6 months.
If you sit down and compare the prices over the course of 2 months, chances are you’ll end up saving some money with HughesNet. But, if you want high speeds and more data, then there’s no comparison to Viasat.
Pros and Cons of Viasat Internet Service
|Faster speeds compared to HughesNet.||2 year contract on all plans.|
|Free installation on all plans.||Extra purchased data will expire on the month’s end.|
|Built-in WiFi capabilities.||Unexpected price hike after 3 months.|
|Better data caps.|
Pros and Cons of HughesNet Internet Service
|More affordable plans compared to competitors.||2 year contract on all plans.|
|Built-in WiFi service.||Speeds get throttled after data allowance is consumed.|
|Video data saver.||Max 25 MBPS speeds.|
|Data add-on does not expire after one month.|
Viasat vs HughesNet: Equipment Installation
|Provider||Monthly Lease Price||Installation Fee||Lifetime Lease/Purchase Price|
Thoughts on Viasat Equipment Cost
Viasat new satellite can offer you better speeds and stronger services, but its no use if the equipment in your home isn’t compatible. So, you’ll have to rent the equipment from Viasat.
You have two lease options to choose from, you can either rent the equipment on monthly basis, or you can purchase it outright. A lifetime lease is a good option if you want to keep the same equipment for a long time.
If you’re sure that you’ll be using Viasat as your ISP for more than 2 years, then it makes sense to buy the equipment.
Thoughts on HughesNet Equipment Cost
HughesNet has multiple renting options and one purchasing option. The Monthly lease will cost you $14.99, and in some areas, it’s less than this. If you want to purchase the equipment, you’ll have to shell out $349.98.
As HughesNet’s purchasing cost is huge, it makes more sense to lease the equipment. Unless you’re planning to stick with them for 55 months (we did the math).
Things to Consider Before Purchasing
While having the fastest internet provider isn’t always the goal, you just need speeds that can handle your workflows.
Viasat offers a speed of up to 100 MBPS in selected areas and in some areas it’s 12 MBPS. So, if you just want the best speeds, then you’ll have to check how much speed is available in your area.
HughesNet offers 25 MBPS on all their internet plans so you know what you’re getting regardless of location. If you think you can make do with 25 MBPS, then go with HughesNet.
Technology matters a lot, and it can make all the difference. With Viasat’s new satellite, they’ll be able to offer far better speeds than HughesNet. Currently, both providers are looking forward to improving their satellite network.
HughesNet is investing in Low-Earth orbit satellites by partnering with OneWeb. This LEO technology can lead to a speed increase for HughesNet. This can also increase HughesNet’s speeds and it may be able to offer more generous data caps.
Data restrictions are one of the biggest differences when considering satellite internet service. Satellite internet services impose most restrictions, so you’ll have to take that into consideration.
HughesNet offers between 15-75 GB of data, and Viasat offers 15-150 GB of data. That makes Viasat the clear winner in terms of data.
If you buy add-on data from HughesNet, it won’t expire once your month ends. But the same is not with Viasat. Also, HughesNet’s data add-ons are much cheaper than Viasat.
Here’s a price breakdown of data add-ons offered by both providers:
|3 GB||5 GB||10 GB||25 GB|
Final Take: Viasat vs HughesNet
If you want affordable satellite internet plans HughesNet starter packages make all the sense. Plus, the bonus zone and data add-ons make it a great option to have if you want light internet streaming.
Viasat is for satellite internet users who want high-speed data, and better data caps. Do keep in mind that the costs will also increase as you increase speed and data.