top of page
  • Writer's pictureSamiksha Jain

Starlink vs. HughesNet Battle: Who Wins the Satellite Internet Race?

starlink vs hughesnet

High-Speed Internet, High in the Sky: Comparing Starlink and HughesNet for Your Home

In the quest for the best satellite internet, two giants stand out: Starlink and HughesNet. This blog post aims to unravel the mystery behind these two popular choices, helping you make an informed decision. Whether you're nestled in the remote countryside or just outside the bustling cityscape, our comparison of Starlink and HughesNet will guide you through the essentials of satellite internet, offering insights into what makes each provider unique. Get ready to discover the perfect internet match for your needs!

A Detailed Look at Starlink vs. HughesNet

Starlink and HughesNet are like two different paths in the satellite internet world. Starlink is like the fancy, high-end option with its top-notch tech and higher prices, aiming at those who want the latest and fastest. HughesNet, however, is more about offering reliable and affordable internet, especially in rural areas. Their HughesNet Fusion is a simpler fix for slow connections, but the catch is, that it can cost as much as the fancier Starlink.

Advantages & Drawbacks: Starlink vs. HughesNet

In the Starlink vs. HughesNet battle, let's break down their strengths and weaknesses to see who might come out on top in the satellite internet race:



Advanced Technology: Using newer tech, it promises lower lag, and faster speeds meaning smoother video calls and online gaming.

Portable Options: Starlink's portable options offer a flexible, on-the-go internet solution, perfect for travelers, remote workers, and temporary setups. With its easy setup and consistent service, you can enjoy fast internet wherever your travels take you, as long as there's a clear view of the sky.

Unlimited Data: There are no data caps, giving users the freedom to use the internet extensively without worrying about overages.


Higher Costs: Starlink is pricier, both for monthly plans and upfront equipment costs.

Limited Availability: As of now, it's not available everywhere, so some might have to wait for service.



Nationwide Availability: HughesNet is pretty much everywhere in the U.S., especially in rural areas.

Affordable Plans: It offers a range of plans that can fit different budgets and needs.


Slower Speeds: Compared to Starlink, HughesNet is slower, which might not be ideal for high-speed needs.

Data Caps: There are limits on how much data you can use each month.

Higher Latency: Being a traditional satellite service, it might have higher lag times affecting real-time online activities.

In summary, Starlink shines with its speed and technology but at a higher cost and limited availability. HughesNet offers widespread, reliable service at more affordable rates but with slower speeds and data caps. The winner in this race depends on what you value more: cutting-edge speed or reliable, budget-friendly service.

Budgeting for the Sky: Understanding Starlink and HughesNet Plans






  • Best for households

  • Unlimited high-speed, low-latency, unlimited standard data

  • 20-150 Mbps


$150/mo. for Regional plan, $200 per month for Global plan; plus $599 for portable hardware or $2,500 for in-motion hardware

  • Tailored for individuals who frequently travel in RVs, campers, or explore remote areas where traditional internet connectivity options are scarce.


​Mobile Priority - 50GB for $250, Mobile Priority - 1TB for


  • Boat owners, commercial fishing vessels, research expeditions, cruise ships, offshore oil rigs, and emergency services use Starlink's Boat Plan for internet connectivity in remote maritime areas.

For the most accurate and updated information, it is recommended to visit Starlink's official website.




​Satellite only 15 GB


  • Good for basic internet browsing and email

  • 15 GB data cap

  • 15-25 Mbps

Satellite only 100 GB


  • Good for social media, streaming, music

  • 100 GB data cap

  • 25Mbps

HughesNet Fusion 100GB


  • Combined satellite and wireless technology

  • Good for some video streaming and video games.

  • 200 GB data cap

  • 25Mbps

HughesNet Fusion 200GB


  • Combined satellite and wireless technology

  • Good for some video streaming and video games.

  • 200 GB data cap

  • 50 Mbps

For the most accurate and updated information, it is recommended to visit Hughesnet's official website.

Beyond the Monthly Bill: Unpacking Starlink and HughesNet’s Additional Charges

Equipment Cost: The Starlink Kit, which includes a satellite dish, mounting tripod, and Wi-Fi router, typically costs several hundred dollars. This is a one-time purchase necessary to set up the service. The Starlink Kit, which includes the satellite dish, mounting tripod, and Wi-Fi router, was priced at approximately $599.

Specialized Mounts: For customers needing specialized mounting options (like roof mounts), Starlink offers these at an additional cost, which varies depending on the type of mount.

Shipping Fee: There is a shipping fee for delivering the equipment to your location. This fee can vary based on your region.

Self-Installation: Starlink encourages self-installation, which is relatively straightforward and doesn't incur additional costs. Professional installation services, if needed, might be available through third parties at extra charges.

No Data Overage Fees: Starlink plans typically do not include data caps, so users won't incur data overage fees.


Equipment Lease or Purchase: HughesNet offers the option to either lease the equipment for a monthly fee or purchase it outright. The lease option adds a monthly cost to your bill, while purchasing requires an upfront payment, which could be several hundred dollars. The modem lease fee is around $14.99 per month. If you prefer to buy HughesNet equipment, the cost is $449.98.

Installation Fee: Standard installation is often included, but there might be situations where additional installation fees are applicable, especially for non-standard setups.

Data Tokens: If you exceed your plan's data cap, HughesNet allows you to purchase additional data tokens to maintain higher speeds. The cost of these tokens varies based on the amount of data you need.

Early Termination Fee: If you cancel your HughesNet service before your contract ends, you may be subject to an early termination fee, which can be a significant expense.

Both Starlink and HughesNet have their own set of additional costs beyond the monthly service fees. With Starlink, the primary extra expense is the equipment cost, while HughesNet offers more flexibility in equipment leasing but may include other fees like for additional data or early termination. It's important to factor in these costs when deciding which provider better suits your budget and internet needs. For the most current pricing and fee structure, it's best to check the latest information directly from the providers.

A Simple Look at Starlink vs. HughesNet Contracts

No Long-Term Contracts: Starlink typically does not require customers to commit to a long-term contract. This flexibility allows users to start or cancel their service at any time without incurring early termination fees.

Pay-as-You-Go Model: The service operates on a monthly subscription basis. You pay for each month you use, giving you the freedom to opt-out whenever you choose without additional costs.

Customer-Friendly Policy: This approach is particularly appealing for those who prefer not to be tied down by long-term commitments or who may need satellite internet service for a short period.


Fixed-Term Contracts: HughesNet usually requires customers to enter into a contract, often for 24 months.

Early Termination Fees: If you decide to cancel the service before the contract term ends, you may be subject to early termination fees. These fees can be a significant expense and are typically based on the remaining length of your contract.

Commitment-Oriented: This approach is more traditional for satellite internet providers and might be suitable for users who are sure of their long-term internet needs and prefer a stable, predictable billing arrangement.

In summary, Starlink offers a more flexible, no-commitment approach, appealing to those who prefer a month-to-month arrangement. HughesNet, with its fixed-term contracts, may suit users looking for a consistent, long-term service but comes with the caveat of potential early termination fees. When choosing between the two, consider how long you plan to use the service and whether you're comfortable committing to a contract. For the most current contract terms and conditions, it's best to consult directly with each provider.

Starlink vs. HughesNet: Breaking Down Data Caps

No Data Caps: One of the biggest perks of Starlink is that it offers unlimited data usage. This means you can use the internet as much as you like, for activities like streaming, gaming, or large downloads, without worrying about hitting a data limit.

Unthrottled Service: Since there are no data caps, your internet speed stays consistent, regardless of how much data you've used in a month.

Data Limits: HughesNet plans have specific data caps, which vary based on the plan you choose. Exceeding these limits results in reduced internet speeds.

Bonus Zone Data: HughesNet offers an additional 50GB of data known as Bonus Zone data, usable during off-peak hours (2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.). This extra data is ideal for tasks like system updates or downloading large files like games and videos, which won't impact your regular data allowance.

Data Tokens for More Data: If you need more data after reaching your cap, HughesNet allows you to buy extra data tokens to restore faster speeds.

In summary, Starlink's approach offers a hassle-free experience with no data limits, suitable for heavy internet users. HughesNet, while having data caps, tries to offset this limitation with Bonus Zone data and the option to purchase additional data, making it a more structured but flexible option. Your choice depends on how you use the internet and whether unlimited data or a plan with a data cap better suits your needs.

Satellite Internet Availability: Starlink vs. HughesNet

When it comes to availability, Starlink and HughesNet have distinct coverage areas:

Expanding Reach: Starlink is rapidly expanding its service but isn't yet available everywhere. Its coverage is growing as more satellites are launched.

Focused on Remote Areas: Particularly aims to serve regions with limited or no internet options, including rural and remote locations.


Nationwide Coverage: HughesNet boasts widespread availability across the United States, making it a reliable choice for most locations, especially in rural areas.

Established Network: With its long-standing presence, HughesNet offers consistent service in many areas where other providers aren’t available.

In essence, if you're in a more remote or underserved area, Starlink might be your future go-to as it expands. But for now, HughesNet is the more widely available option, especially in rural parts of the U.S. The choice depends on your location and the current service reach of each provider.

Starlink vs. HughesNet – Your Decision Time

In the satellite internet race, both Starlink and HughesNet cater to different customer needs. If speed is your top priority and you're willing to invest in it, Starlink is the clear choice. On the other hand, if you're looking for a budget-friendly option that covers essential internet needs, HughesNet fits the bill.

Consider your location, internet usage habits, and budget to make the best decision.


Q1. What is the speed offered by Starlink?

Starlink offers varying speeds, typically between 25 to 220 Mbps, depending on the plan and location.

Q2. How much does Starlink cost?

Starlink's pricing varies per plan, ranging from $90 to $5,000 per month, with equipment costs starting from $599 to $2,500.

Q3. Can I use Starlink while traveling?

Yes, Starlink offers mobile plans like the Roam and Mobility plans, specifically designed for traveling and roaming.

Q4. Is Starlink available globally?

Starlink is rapidly expanding its coverage but isn't available everywhere yet. Availability depends on the region and local regulatory approvals.

Q5. What are the speed offerings of HughesNet?

HughesNet generally offers speeds up to 25 Mbps for all its plans.

Q6. Does HughesNet have data caps?

Yes, HughesNet plans come with data caps, ranging from 15 GB to 200 GB per month, depending on the plan.

Q7. Can I use HughesNet for heavy internet usage?

While HughesNet can support moderate internet usage, its data caps and speeds might be limiting for heavy usage, like extensive streaming or large downloads.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page