Viasat vs. HughesNet: Comparing Rural Internet Options

Living in rural areas has many perks, but it often comes with limited internet options. Fortunately, consumers without access to cable or DSL internet can find a solution from satellite internet services providers like Viasat and HughesNet. However, choosing the ideal option to meet your demands can be difficult with only two big providers on the market.

In this article, you’ll see the battle between Viasat vs. Hughesnet, focusing on coverage, technology, streaming and gaming, data prioritization, and installation. Upon reading this article, you will get a more thorough knowledge of the benefits and drawbacks of each provider. This will give you a better idea of which service ideally suits your demands by enabling you to make an informed and secure choice.

  1. Coverage

Coverage is an important factor to take into account when deciding between Viasat and HughesNet. Although both providers provide countrywide coverage, there could be variances in the regions they cover. Viasat’s coverage of the entire United States includes Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. They give internet speeds up to 100 Mbps, which is quicker than other satellite internet providers. But, considering where you are, the service level may vary.

HughesNet also offers nationwide coverage, with the exception of a few areas in Alaska. They provide 25 Mbps download and upload rates, which is less than Viasat. Yet, as they employ numerous satellites, HughesNet’s service might be more reliable in some places.

  1. Technology

Technology has a big impact on how well rural internet services are provided. Viasat and HughesNet use multiple satellite technologies to deliver internet connectivity. Viasat uses the 2017-launched ViaSat-2 satellite. With the most recent high-throughput technology installed on the ViaSat-2 satellite, Viasat is able to provide quicker speeds and a wider selection of data plans.

On the other hand, HughesNet uses the EchoStar XIX satellite, which was launched in 2016. HughesNet is able to offer quicker speeds and more dependable service owing to the EchoStar XIX satellite, one of the biggest and most powerful satellites ever launched.

  1. Streaming and Gaming

It’s crucial to think about how each provider handles activities like streaming videos or playing online games if you want to do either of those things. Playing online games and streaming high-definition videos are both made much easier by Viasat’s faster internet connections. However, Viasat’s data caps may limit how much streaming and gaming you can do each month. 

HughesNet offers slower internet speeds, which may make it more difficult to stream high-quality videos and play online games. Even so, HughesNet’s Bonus Zone time permits users to consume more data during off-peak hours without counting under their monthly data allotment, which could help mitigate these issues.

  1. Data Prioritization

Customers’ ability to utilize a certain amount of data before their speeds start to drop down is governed by data prioritization regulations from both HughesNet and Viasat. Data prioritization is when an internet provider gives favor to certain types of data over others. 

Viasat prioritizes customers who use fewer data during peak hours, which may cause slower speeds for customers who consume more data during these hours. On the other hand, HughesNet gives priority service to users who have not surpassed their monthly data cap and gives them higher speeds. However, customers who exceed their data limit may experience slower speeds. 

  1. Installation

Installation should also be taken into account when deciding between Viasat and HughesNet. Although both providers offer professional installation, there can be variations in the installation procedure. Installation of a dish for Viasat is normally necessary on the roof or side of the home. Drilling holes in your house can be required during the installation process, which can take many hours. Those who choose to install the service themselves can also get a self-installation kit from Viasat.

Similar to Viasat, HughesNet requires a dish placement on the roof or side of the house for the installation process. Yet, depending on the region, HughesNet’s installation procedure can be quicker and less invasive than Viasat’s.

Final Thoughts

There are several important factors to consider when choosing between Viasat and HughesNet for rural internet service. While Viasat may offer advantages in terms of coverage and installation, HughesNet has a lot to offer as well. HughesNet is a big contender in the satellite internet industry owing to its cutting-edge technology, data prioritization options, and commitment to offering dependable service. 

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your unique needs and priorities. That’s why it’s crucial to carefully evaluate and compare all available options before deciding on one. Taking the time to conduct thorough consideration ensures you make an informed choice that aligns with your goals. So, don’t rush into a decision; take the important steps to compare and analyze each option to find the perfect fit for you.

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Simon Costanza
Features Editor


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