HughesNet VS Viasat – Which Internet is Better in 2021

The Internet. By Markus Spiske @ Unsplash

Are you living in a rural area and looking for internet services? HughesNet and Viasat are the two options you might have come across.

Both of these are good internet service providers with coverage in almost every state of the US. In fact, these are the only two satellite internet options that are available nationwide from remote areas to big cities. 


The decision of choosing between these two is difficult because it requires you to choose between a possibility of good speed and more data or staying within your budget. So, the competition between both has always been nip and tuck to the extent that most people get stuck in making a choice. Moreover, things like no-hard data limits make it more complicated for everyone. 

If you are caught in this trap and have several questions in your mind, this guide is for you. While comparing both of these service providers, we will have a look at everything that they have to offer and points  


HughesNet VS Viasat

To get a holistic view, we will compare things like download speeds, data plans & prices, customer service, and important features offered by both service providers. Once you have an idea about these, that will help you in making a solid decision while keeping your needs in mind.

  1. Speed

Both of these are satellite internet providers, so as far as speed is concerned, both offer lower speeds compared to cable internet while better speeds than fixed wireless and most of the DSL connections.

Viasat advertises up to 100 Mbps as its top speed, which is not entirely true. That is because that top speed is available in very few areas while most of the customers are stuck with a download speed of up to 25 Mbps or lower. Viasat other speed options include 12 Mbps, 25 Mbps. 30 Mbps, 50 Mbps, and 100 Mbps.


On the other hand, HughesNet offers only one download speed that is up to 25 Mbps. There are no speed differences as all the plans from basic to premium offer the same speed. 

 So, if we compare both, Viasat certainly offers more options than HughesNet. However, to make a better choice, always verify the availability of speed before you sign up for the services.

  1. Data Plans & Pricing

HughesNet offers 4 data plans that offer 10 GB, 20 GB, 30 GB, and 50 GB data. For all these plans, the prices are $59.99 per month, $69.99 per month, $99.99 per month, and $149.99 per month. 

On the other hand, Viasat data plans start from 12 GB and go up to 300 GB per month with varying speeds. Similarly, the prices start from $30 per month where the highest price is $150 per month. In comparison to HughesNet, it sounds great? Isn’t it. 


However, that is a half-truth, to be honest. Because HughesNet plan prices are good for the next 2 years and you can get a discount of $10 on these prices if there is a promotion going on. Contrarily, Viasat prices are introductory and go up after the first three months. So, the plan that started at $150 might cost you around $200 after a short while.

  1. Customer Service

Customer service plays a very important role and should always be a consideration especially when you are getting internet services. That is because, whenever there is an issue, you will be calling your customer service rep and inquire about that.


A good customer service department would mean ease in reaching out to them and getting solutions asap. But if the customer service is poor, it might take hours for you to even get in touch with them. So, always put it on your priority list and consider it while deciding on any internet service provider.

In the comparison of the quality of customer service for HughesNet and Viasat, the competition is neck to neck. If hughesnet customer service team ranks above average, Viasat is not behind in any way. Both offer similar customer service and put in a lot of effort to assist their customers.

  1. Important Features

Now the most important part that actually makes a lot of difference, and that is the extra perks offered along with the services.

  • Adding More Data

Adding more data is a choice that is good to have for customers because not everyone likes to get their internet speed throttled. While HughesNet understands this and allows customers to add more data with all the plans, Viasat offers this option only with those plans that are not unlimited.


In addition to that, HughesNet data tokens (additional data) are very economical while Viasat costs an arm and leg for the same thing. To get an idea, HughesNet 5 GB data tokens cost $15 whereas Viasat charges $48 for the same data.

  • Bonus Data

Viasat used to offer a free data zone for customers but later on ended that. Now customers only get what they pay for. Contrarily, HughesNet customers can enjoy 50 GB of data every month through the HughesNet Bonus Zone of 2 am to 8 am.

  • Video Data Saving

HughesNet offers its customers the feature of a video data saver that automatically adjusts the video quality while streaming to offer more hours of usability and decrease data usage. While Viasat doesn’t offer the same feature, it has video quality limitations with its plans where customers can only stream in certain video qualities following their plans.

Final Verdict


HughesNet and Viasat are good internet options for rural areas, both with their perks and cons. HughesNet offers single-speed plans with different data options while Viasat has both speed and data variations. On the other hand, HughesNet allows customers to add more data and offers bonus data while Viasat only does that with certain plans.

So, if you are interested in saving money and getting a good speed with normal data, HughesNet is the best choice. However, if you are interested in more data and better speeds, Viasat is the one to call.

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