|$49.99 - $129.99||Monthly Price||$50 - $100|
|$49.99 - $99.99 for the first year||Promotional Price||$10/month for 6 month with Internet and Voice Bundle|
HughesNet offers the Next Plan Up Promotion where you can save up to $30 on the first 12 months of your internet service. For example, the 10GB plan starts at $49.99 but if you upgrade to the 20GB plan, you can get that plan for $49.99 for 12 months and then $69.99 after the promotional period. Viasat offers a $10/month discount when you choose to bundle internet and voice together. However, the discount only lasts for 6 months.
HughesNet total discount comes to $360 ($30 x 12) in savings for the first year whereas Viasat's is only $60 ($10 x 6) for the first 6 months.
When comparing plans, both HughesNet's and Viasat's basic plan start at $49.99. Viasat's basic plan gives customers 12GB of data per month compared to 10GB of data with HughesNet. You get 2GB extra for the same price when you choose basic Viasat plan but overall, HughesNet has better long term promotions and prices.
Consumer Tip: Understand your contract terms
HughesNet and Viasat have early termination fees (ETF) if customers decide to end their service before the two year contract is up. If you think you could be moving in 6-months to a year make sure you watch out for these ETFs. You might be getting a good promotion now, but could end paying as much as $360 to get out of your service.
|25 Mbps||Download speeds||12 Mbps - 100 Mbps|
|3 Mbps||Upload speeds||3 Mbps|
HughesNet advertises nationwide speeds starting at 25 Mbps. ViaSat's website states that they are able to deliver up to 12 Mbps nationwide with select areas having access up to 100 Mbps. If you are looking for reliability, HughesNet is the best pick. They have been recognized for two consecutive years by the FCC for delivering advertised speeds to customer. HughesNet was able to deliver over 150% of their advertised to customers whereas ViaSat only delivers 71% of their advertised speeds.
Consumer Tip: Understand what advertised speed means
When you are reading about a provider plans, it is important to notice that they say up to a certain download speed. The speeds HughesNet and ViaSat are able to deliver vary based on your individual location.
|10GB - 50GB||Data cap||12GB - 50GB|
|50GB/month to use between 2am and 8ams||Bonus Data||Unmetered data between 3am and 6am|
|Reduced speeds between 1 Mbps and 5 Mbps||Overage Penalty||Reduced speeds between 1 Mbps and 5 Mbps|
Viasat's lowest level data plan offers more data than HughesNet for the same price. This is anytime data that you can use to browse, stream and download. If you reach your monthly limit, HughesNet and Viasat both reduce your speeds to between 1 Mbps and 5 Mbps. These speeds only allow for basic web use like browsing and emailing. HughesNet gives customers 50GB of data each month to use during off-peak hours between 2am and 8am. Viasat's free zone is unmetered data use between 3am and 6am.
Because Viasat has slightly more data with their basic plan and offers completely unmetered data during the free zone, it barely beats HughesNet in the data cap category.
Consumer Tip: Use your free data zone
Free data zones are not at the most convenient time, but they are great for large downloads and computer updates. Find a download scheduler so that these data hogging activities can be done during these off peak hours.
|Basic Express Repair- $7.95/month||Additional Support||EasyCare- $5.99/month|
|Premium Express Repair- $11.95/month|
Both Viasat and HughesNet have subpar customer support. We seem to believe it is because they know most satellite internet customers do not have any other option for internet so customer service falls to the bottom of the list. They do give customers the option to purchase premium customer support for a monthly fee. HughesNet has two options: basic for $7.95/month and premium for $11.95/month. Customers get faster response times for service issues and 24/7 technical support. Viasat's EasyCare is $5.99/month and gives customers a priority service number, complimentary service calls, and annual dish relocation.
Consumer Tip: The best places to look for help
HughesNet and Viasat have extensive FAQs that can answer your question without having to wait on hold. You can also call on of our representatives to answer your satellite internet questions.
After putting in the research for both HughesNet and Viasat, the clear winner is HughesNet. Viasat falls just behind but in the end could not beat HughesNets promotions and internet speeds. The new HughesNet Gen5 plans have speeds up to 25 Mbps starting at just $49.99/month.
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