Hughesnet Review Summary
Overall we found Hughesnet to be a good broadband solution for all, however it’s especially good for those who live in rural areas outside of the reach of cable internet or DSL.
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I live on an acreage where high speed internet access is not offered. My friends have DSL and cable, and while they are downloading music and watching streaming video my dial-up connection struggles to download compressed images and text documents. Surfing the internet with dial-up internet is a very frustrating experience, and it’s one that I hopefully won’t have to endure again.
I live on 18 acres of land. The south end of my home backs onto a rather large creek, and the west end encroaches on a forest that is rich in Fir and other pine trees. It is truly a picturesque environment, and when I bought the home I was entirely captivated by its natural splendor, and my internet access options were the absolute last thing that came to my mind until, of course, I left my job to pursue a career in internet marketing. Suddenly my dial-up internet connection was a choke point, and my business was the one to suffer.
I called multiple high speed providers to no avail, and I had finally reached the point where I was seriously considering moving so that I could gain access to an acceptable high speed internet connection. I had started looking at condo’s in the nearest city, but thankfully fate intervened before I decided to put my acreage – the estate that I’ve always dreamed about – up for sale.
Enter Hughesnet, a high speed internet provider that operates via an always on satellite connection. Their well timed advertisements offered me the kind of internet connection that I was looking for- one that had acceptable download capabilities and decent upload capabilities, was faster than dial-up, and was capable of running multiple internet applications before coming to a crawl. I was a little skeptical at first, but I determined that though my options were quite limited and anything was better than selling my home (especially after I had just spend $20,000 renovating the master bedroom and attached bathroom).
Upon contacting Hughesnet I was put through to a very well-versed domestic sales representative. She went over the plans, various points of interest, and what kind of performance I could expect. Pricing started at around $60 a month, though I actually got on the phone with someone in upper management and negotiated a custom plan based around my perceived needs.
You see, I was a bit turned off by some of the terms of service that Hughsnet imposed on their customers. A daily download/upload maximum remains in effect, and though that itself is not the source of my contention, the fact that I would be restricted to around 400 megabytes of total daily bandwidth was a hard pill for me to swallow. Considering that my work takes place entirely online, that limit was completely unacceptable. In fact, it almost brought be back to the point of moving into the city until one of the sales reps put me on the phone with their manager, who then agreed to discard of the daily maximums in exchange for me paying a premium on their top level service package, which already tipped the scales at a hefty $80 a month. However, when you’re desperate, beggars can’t be choosers can they?
After this period of negotiation and bartering I was delighted to see a Hughesnet installation professional arrived two days later, and after two hours of him tinkering around, the satellite dish, modem, and other appropriate equipment were installed. I could go into detail about the types of satellite equipment and modems that were installed, but it’s really irrelevant unless you’re a hardcore techie.
The satellite equipment, however, is two way, meaning that as a user I don’t need to maintain a dial-up internet connection in order to use the internet, which is much different than the satellite internet service offered a few years ago. A welcome update, and a large relief- dial-up internet connections rarely upload than 6 or 7 kilobytes per second, whereas the Hughesnet connection is capable of up to 200 kilobytes per second. A rather large difference, but then again, so is the price.
Usage Experience and Customer Service
Two weeks into my service and everything is going great. I have uploaded over 90 different websites, send thousands of megabytes of data to the world wide web, and downloaded thousands of megabytes more. My internet business was flourishing, and everything was going fantastic. Two weeks into my service, however, I’m disappointed to find that nothing unusual has happened. I know that you were expecting the usual descent into peril, but Hughesnet offered no such experience. In fact, everything was working exactly as I’d predicted it.
I called customer service to inquire about what their $90 per year blogging service entailed, and I was rather disappointed to find out what I had been routed to a customer service based agent that was located offshore. Annoying, but also pretty standard. Needless to say, I never did order the blogging service.
My experience with Hughesnet has been overwhelmingly positive. The pricing is rather competitive considering that you are sending a broadband connection to space and then receiving one in exchange. The daily download and upload caps are likely to go unnoticed by the average user, though someone who uses a lot of daily bandwidth will find the daily restrictions to be quite annoying- especially when the internet service is reduced to dial-up speeds while your account “readjusts”. Not exactly ideal, but again, it’s better than nothing.
The convenience that it offers is lifesaving, and everyone will enjoy high speed internet access. Hughesnet remains a viable option, and they certainly have my recommendation, even if they offer daily bandwidth caps.
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