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HughesNET Gen 5 – 1st Evaluation

Today I set up our HughesNet Gen 5 portable dish again, aimed it, and acquired the satellite (Echostar 19). My signal level was 121 which, according to Mobile Internet Satellite, is a good level.

Then I conducted a number of Internet speed tests using several speed test programs. I settled on three HTML5 programs. I discovered some glaring differences between speed testers. For example, a few always ended up with very high download values and one was just plain wrong. It came up with Ping values that indicated the program had somehow exceeded the speed of light.

As a comparison, I also ran speed tests on our campground WiFi system and our Suddenlink cable modem.

SPEED TEST RESULTS

REAL WORLD TESTS

Speed tests are one thing, but actual day-to-day use is where the rubber meets the road.

I tried three tests: YouTube, Netflix, and AppleTV.

YouTube Test

Blackpink in Your Area

I streamed a Blackpink music video using HughesNET, campground WiFI, and our Suddenlink cable modem.

  • Suddenlink – flawless 1080p HD. No buffering or sudden stops.
  • Campground WiFi – very good 720 HD. Again, no buffering or sudden stops.
  • HughesNET – ok to poor looking 360 SD. Buffering at first, then fine.

 

Netflix & AppleTV

I streamed a TV show on each service. Both Netflix and AppleTV have superb adaptive video engines.

  • Suddenlink, Campground WiFi, and HughesNET – each one served up good looking to great video. I was pretty sure HughesNET had to be SD, but I had a hard time telling the difference.

 

CONCLUSION

Would I get a HughesNET Gen 5 again? Definitely.

Though I expected higher download speeds, the “slower” (14 – 20 Mbps) speeds I’ve seen so far did not seem to impact day-to-day performance. Note that any satellite Internet system will have high Ping values. While it’s not an issue with streaming video, long Ping delays can make applications like VoIP (voice over Internet) problematic.

The Gen 5 dish was easier to set up and to aim than I expected. However, a HughesNET Gen 5 system does take up room and requires a 2-year commitment.

I’ll try to do another evaluation later this year or early in 2019.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Rob #

    Thanks, great info! Those long latencies will also probably not play well with VPN’s or highly interactive tools like VNC. I’m disappointed the upload speeds are so low.

    BTW on a related topic I’m not so sure Verizon LTE is still the king of data we all think it is. We have traveled the US from east coast to west the past two years in a row with both Verizon LTE (phones) and AT&T LTE (MiFi) equipment. Not everywhere, but fairly consistently, AT&T beats Verizon for download/upload performance, especially upload which is important to us. Both carriers are about equal in overall availability but surprisingly AT&T has worked in some isolated locations where there is no hint of Verizon. Even in some highly populated areas like our summer spot in RI where there is weak relatively slow Verizon, AT&T shines with a stronger signal and 25mbps up and down. Having equipment on more than one carrier has proven very beneficial. And that $20 month AT&T unlimited data “Mobley” plan that came out last year has turned out to be an extremely worthwhile acquisition. Unfortunately that plan is no longer available with unlimited data (but we are grandfathered in).

    June 28, 2018
  2. I am also disappointed in your download speeds. That is slower than most users are seeing, but highly populated areas tend to be slower, because there is so much demand. Even so, I’d double check all connections. The weatherproof barrel connectors are good, but sometimes they don’t seat fully. You should join the Facebook group and post a link to this blog. I think others there would also appreciate the info.

    June 28, 2018
  3. Ken #

    Tom, what data plan are you using?
    We’re using mobilesat its pricey, just wondering if I’ll get the same service with hughes….

    July 3, 2018
    • I’m using the lowest price plan ($89.99/mon). When we stop work camping in October, I’ll change to the Mobile 50 or 75. Here are all the plans:

      The Business Internet Mobile 35: 10 GB Anytime / 25 GB 8 am-6 pm . . . . $89.99/mon
      The Business Internet Mobile 50: 25 GB Anytime / 25 GB 8 am-6 pm . . . $119.99/mon
      The Business Internet Mobile 75: 50 GB Anytime / 25 GB 8 am-6 pm . . . $169.99/mon
      The Business Internet Mobile 100: 75 GB Anytime / 25 GB 8 am-6 pm . . . $219.99/mon
      The Business Internet Mobile 150: 100 GB Anytime / 50 GB 8 am-6 pm . . . $289.99/mon
      The Business Internet Mobile 200: 150 GB Anytime / 50 GB 8 am-6 pm . . . $389.99/mon

      July 3, 2018

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