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Frequently Asked Questions


How Satellite Internet Works
  1. A web page request is sent from your computer to a satellite located in space.
  2. The satellite contacts the Hughes Network Operations Center to find the requested website.
  3. The website sends all information back through each channel (from the NOC, to the satellite, to the computer) through your HughesNet® dish and modem.

What can I expect during a standard installation?

Your installer mounts the dish to an approved structure at least 4 feet off the ground as required by FCC regulations, using Hughes standard roof and/or wall-mounting brackets. The installer then installs a coaxial cable jack in the room where the HughesNet System will be located, and routes two exterior RG-6 coaxial cables from the dish to the coaxial cable jack. HughesNet also provides and installs the hardware required to properly ground your HughesNet System. And lastly, the installer will verify the satellite signal strength and activate your HughesNet account.

How quickly will I be up and running?

Next-day installation is often available. When you place your order today, the sales representative can check the availability calendar for local installers in your area.

Can the HughesNet-certified installer set up my home network and wireless router?

If you'd like, you can inquire if this option is available at an additional cost through your installer when you set your installation appointment. However, home networks are not included or supported by Hughes technical support.

What’s not included in a standard installation?
  • Custom work, including moldings or cosmetic hardware to hide cables, and non-penetrating roof, pole or chimney mounts (Be sure to discuss complex installations with your installer prior to work beginning)
  • Removal or repair of previously mounted equipment (this work may be performed with a signed Waiver of Liability)
  • Mounting to a roof structure that exceeds one story in height
  • Pole mount for cosmetic purposes (the pole mount is only included in a standard installation if needed to gain a clear view of the Southern sky)
What do I need to know before my installation?

There are a few questions to ask in advance of your installation date.

  • Can you see the southern sky? Your satellite Internet service will need a clear path from the satellite antenna to the southern sky in order to receive an optimal signal. A weakened signal will result in less satisfactory performance. To guarantee the fastest speeds, clear any potential obstructions to make way for an uninhibited signal. Your installer will also check this for you before beginning the work.
  • Do you know the date and time of your scheduled installation? You must be over 18 years old and in your home during the installation process, so double-check to make sure you have no scheduling conflicts. The installation process may finish early, but you’ll still need to be available in case unforeseen questions arise.
  • Is your computer capable of connecting with HughesNet? HughesNet requires that your computer use Windows 2000 PE or higher, or Mac OS 10.1 or higher for Apple users. Your computer will also need network capability (10/100 Ethernet pre-equipped). Most computers purchased in recent years come standard with these prerequisites, though it’s best to be safe and find out for sure, so you aren’t left surprised come installation day.
  • Where do you plan to use your internet? As soon as your installation is complete, you’ll be good to go. But in order to access high-speed internet as soon as possible, your home computer set-up will need to be in place prior to your installation date. This also ensures your professional installer will be able to activate your modem and make sure the connection is working properly to safeguard against any post-installation headaches.
What kind of speed can I expect with HughesNet?

Upload and download speeds vary based on how your computer is configured, the number of people using your network, website speeds, and other factors. Stated speeds and uninterrupted use of service are not guaranteed. If you use the Internet during peak hours, your actual upload and download speed will likely be lower than speeds indicated.

Running a VPN over your satellite service can reduce speeds by as much as 50 to 75%. It’s also not recommended to run time-sensitive applications that require fractions-of-a-second user inputs like twitch gameplay or real-time equities trading.

Can I run a VPN over HughesNet?

If you choose to run VPN over satellite, your data speeds may be reduced by as much as 50 to 75%. You can restore your connection to full speed by simply disabling your VPN client when your session is over.

Note: HughesNet Technical Support does not provide help with configuring or troubleshooting problems associated with VPN clients.

What is transmission latency?

Latency refers to the amount of time it takes a packet of data to travel across a network. With satellite service, that data must travel up to the satellite and back (about 45,000 miles). This round trip adds about a half-second delay to the total time your computer takes to communicate with a Website or host server. Therefore, time-sensitive applications that require fractions-of-a-second user inputs (such as multi-player "twitch" games or real-time equities trading) are not recommended with HughesNet.

Can I use HughesNet to run a small network?

Yes, you can connect multiple home computers and laptops to a single HughesNet Internet connection. Home networking equipment may be required and is not included with your HughesNet system. For network setup, support and configuration, contact your network hardware manufacturer and/or operating system software developer (Hughes is not responsible for home network configuration or management).

Please understand that all computers on this network will be sharing a single connection. Simultaneous use of high-bandwidth applications by multiple users may result in degradation of speed and is subject to the HughesNet Fair Access Policy.

HughesNet Gen4 service plans will work with many features offered through gaming services such as Xbox LIVE® and the PlayStation Network. You will be able to download games and game updates, and use the streaming video and music services offered through your gaming system, such as Netflix® and Hulu. However, the majority of real-time, multi-player games that people play on Xbox Live and PlayStation will not work over any satellite Internet service. Strategy and “turn based” games will work but games requiring a rapid response such as “first person shooters” will be unplayable.

What are real-time games?

These are typically games in which one player is playing directly against multiple other users at the same time over the Internet. Another term for this is “online multi-player games.” Examples include sports games in which you play directly against other gaming system users such as in a football or soccer game, and “military simulation games” such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.

Why don’t real-time games work?

With satellite service, the data must travel up to the satellite and back (about 45,000 miles). This round trip adds about a half-second delay to the total time your computer takes to communicate with a Website or host server. That will prevent real-time, multi-player games from establishing or maintaining a reliable connection with the gaming server.

Playing real-time games is one of the main reasons I called to order HughesNet. Can’t I try it out to see if it works?

HughesNet is committed to providing a quality user experience to our customers. The HughesNet service is ideal for most Internet-based activities. However, the majority of real-time, multi-player games that people play on Xbox Live and PlayStation will not work on HughesNet or any satellite Internet service.

Can I play multi-player games that do not require real-time connections?

Yes, “turn-based” games, such as casino games and strategy games such as chess, will work fine via HughesNet satellite Internet service. Role-playing games, such as FarmVille, Angry Birds, and other popular Facebook games, will also work with HughesNet. You can use the Xbox and PlayStation consoles to download games to play offline, and use the streaming video and music services offered through your gaming system.

How do I use video and music services through a gaming system?

Many gaming systems are capable of connecting to video and music services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora®. You will need to refer to your gaming system owner’s manual to determine which services are supported with your particular console. In addition, these are often subscription-based services that require you to have an account or monthly subscription package directly with that video or music service provider. It is also important to note that streaming services often use high amounts of data, so be sure to set up your free HughesNet Status Meter to monitor your usage so you don’t unexpectedly exceed your monthly Data Allowance.

Is HughesNet compatible with Macs and PCs?

HughesNet lets you connect your computer to the Internet whether you are running a Windows or Macintosh operating system. In order to ensure you get the most out of your Internet experience, HughesNet has developed these minimum requirements:

  • Windows users: Any version that Microsoft supports: Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later (Windows Vista Service Pack 2, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, or Windows 8)
  • Apple users: Mac OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard and later
Can I use a PCMCIA card adapter for my laptop?

Yes. All you need to connect your computer to the HughesNet modem is either a 10/100 Ethernet Network Interface Card or a PCMCIA adapter with an Ethernet connector. The HughesNet system includes an Ethernet cable to connect your computer to the HughesNet modem.

What if my computer didn’t come with a Network Interface Card (NIC)? What can I do?

Many computers can be upgraded with a 10/100 Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC). If you are comfortable with opening your computer and installing hardware, most Ethernet NICs can be self-installed. Check with your computer manufacturer for more information on the right Ethernet NIC for your system. Make sure your NIC is configured for "auto-negotiate."

Also, if you have an available USB port on your computer, you can purchase a USB Ethernet adapter. This may be easier to install than a PCI card in your computer. For a laptop, you can purchase a standard PCMCIA card that provides an Ethernet connection, or you can purchase a USB Ethernet adapter as well. We recommend that you upgrade your computer to meet all of the requirements listed above to get the most out of your Internet experience.

How can I get mobile high-speed Internet service?

To receive mobile high-speed Internet service, please contact one of the following Value Added Service providers:

  • Ground Control,
  • MobilSat,
How can I contact Customer Support?

For HughesNet Technical Support or Customer Service, please log on to where you can chat with our technical support staff, check your usage, test your satellite speed, or browse our online help files. This site will also enable you to view your account status, online invoices, and activity history. Telephone Customer Service and technical support is also available toll-free at 1-866-347-3292.

What is the HughesNet return policy?

If you cancel your service within 30 days of activation, and return your HughesNet modem and radio (transmitter), you can receive a refund of $200. Installation charges and other fees are not refundable. The HughesNet modem and radio must be returned to Hughes in good condition in order to receive the equipment refund. Hughes will provide instructions on how to de-install and return your equipment. You are not required to return, and Hughes is not obligated to de-install or pay for the de-installation of the antenna, mount, or any cables.

Does HughesNet have an Early Termination Fee?

If you order HughesNet, we require a minimum service commitment of 24 months. If you terminated service before your commitment expires, you will owe, and your credit or debit card will be charged, the Early Termination Fees and/or Unreturned Equipment Fees as described below.

Cancel within 30 days


  • $200 refund for returned equipment
  • No service termination fee
  • No refund of installation fee


  • $99 Upfront Fee is forfeited.
  • $300 Unreturned Equipment Fee if equipment is not returned within 45 days of cancellation date.

Cancel AFTER 30 days


  • Service terminated within the term of your agreement, you will be charged a Service Termination Fee of up to $400 which will be prorated to cover the remaining period on the term.
  • Refunds are not applicable on purchase equipment for service cancellations after 30 days.


  • $400 service termination fee. $99 Upfront Fee is forfeited.
  • $300 Unreturned Equipment Fee if equipment is not returned within 45 days of cancellation date.

Cancel AFTER 24-month service commitment


  • $300 Unreturned Equipment Fee ($100 for the modem and power supply and $200 for the radio transmitter) if HughesNet modem, radio, and power supply are not returned.