Satellite internet technology is revolutionizing the telecommunication industry due to all the new advancements, happened in recent years. The most well-known internet service providers in the USA are those who offer internet connections over terrestrial networks. It is because of the stability and the price of the plans that these ISPs are offering.
However, these internet service providers do not offer services throughout the United States. Almost 19.3% of the population resides in rural areas. All those people have no access to any fixed or wired networks, except for a select few that can choose DSL or dial-up services. Satellite is their only available option for connectivity.
The year 2024 is all about better digital services and advanced tech solutions. There are two major satellite provides in the USA, offering broadband internet over satellite connections. One is HughesNet, and the other is Viasat. They both offer various plans and deals that you can check now. We are going to highlight some of their basic services, including the prices and terms. It will give you a clearer idea about both these providers if you’re in the market, searching for a reliable internet connection.
The maximum download speed offered by HughesNet is 25 Mbps. According to the FCC rules, it is the least speed that an ISP should provide if it wants to stand among the list of broadband providers. If you were living in an urban city then this speed may not mean much to you. However, a consistent download speed of 25 Mbps is usually enough for most kinds of internet usage. Satellite internet is more expensive than all other connections. There is less high-speed data available per month in comparison with terrestrial connections.
HughesNet data caps
HughesNet offers soft data caps to its customers. Every internet plan comes with its own set data limit. They start from 10 GB, then 20 GB, 30 GB, and the last one is the 50 GB plan. Once these set limits are crossed during the billing month, the customers will not face termination of services. They will rather get reduced speeds, ranging between 1 to 3 Mbps. In case more high-speed data is required, then the customers can buy data tokens and get up to 50 GB more data per month.
HughesNet Bonus Zone
Another huge perk that all internet customers can enjoy is the Bonus Zone data every month. An additional 50 GB of data is available per month, between 2 am, and 8 am. If you want to save up on your monthly high-speed data, then you simply limit all your high-end usage to the bonus zone. HughesNet also provides a Video Data Saver feature to all its customers. The video quality is reduced to Standard Definition to save up on data so that more of it is available during the billing month.
HughesNet offers only four internet plans to its customers. There are no hidden charges or any additional fees when you sign the subscription for two years. The plan prices start from $59.99 per month and go up to $149.99 for the 50 GB plan.
HughesNet as well as Viasat, both use satellite dish antenna for the transmission of signals. It is hoisted outside the house at a higher point, with a clear view of the southern sky. There is a modem/router on the inside for the signals that the dish antenna receives.
HughesNet offers a free satellite dish antenna with every internet connection. They offer a built-in Wi-Fi modem/router at a monthly leasing cost of $14.99 per month. If you rent the equipment, then you get free standard installation. If you buy the equipment for $449, there will be an activation fee of $99.
Viasat offers a maximum download speed of around 100 Mbps with its data plans. The lowest download speed available is 12 Mbps. What the customers need to realize is, that all of Viasat’s prices will go up after the end of the promotion time. It is a downside as you are not confident about buying a connection where the prices do not come with a guarantee. However, Viasat is a good option for people residing in rural locations. Especially, for those who are not too concerned about the price and want a good download speed.
Viasat data caps
Viasat offers multiple plans, and each comes with its own data limit. These limits are again not set in stone. They will not cancel the service if the limit is exceeded at any point during the service. Customers will only face a reduction in the download speed, which is up to 1 to 5 Mbps. You can not add more high-speed data in case you go above your monthly allowance. The data limit available with the internet plan ranges from as low as 12 GB to 300 GB per month.
The prices start at $30 and go as high as $150 for the 300 GB data plan. However, there is something that the customers need to consider. This price will see a hike after the promotion time of three months is over. There will be an increase of about $15 to $50, depending upon the plan that you choose. It means that you will be paying around $200 for the highest internet plan.
Customers may feel a little confused by Viasat plans. One reason behind it is that there are just too many of them with a few variations here and there. Most internet plans offer a download speed of up to 12 Mbps, which is not really good. It is not even close to the FCCs lowest limit for a broadband connection. The rest of the plans come with speeds ranging between 25 Mbps to 100 Mbps. A little less in terms of variation would have been much better. Moreover, the early contract price hike is definitely a major turn down.
While there are some downsides and upsides to both the ISPs, they are still the only viable internet connection providers that are offering services to even the remotest of places in the United States. If you are on a tight budget and want consistent connectivity, then HughesNet is the obvious choice. However, if high-speed is a major attraction for you, and you simply cannot compromise on the speed, then Viasat will be perfect for you.