FAQ

01 What is HughesNet?
02 How fast is a HughesNet connection?
03 Forget optimal speeds – what kind of speed will I really get?
04 Is HughesNet service appropriate for my business?
05 Which HughesNet business solution is right for me?
06 What is the advantage of a business plan over a consumer plan?
07 I’m ready to buy HughesNet service. Now what?
08 What are the system requirements for HughesNet services?
09 Can I get HughesNet is I am on a Mac?
10 Can I connect more than one computer to my HughesNet broadband?
11 Can the HughesNet installer set up my home network?
12 My computer didn’t come with network access. Can I still get HughesNet?
13 Will a laptop PCMCI NIC work for my HughesNet connection?
14 Will I still need a telephone line or dial up connection?
15 I already have DIRECTV. Can I get HughesNet through my current satellite dish?
16 I’m pretty technically handy. Can’t I install my HughesNet service myself?
17 I’m already excited about my new fast internet. When will I be hooked up?
18 What is latency?
19 Can I run VPN connection over my HughesNet?
20 Why does VPN work poorly over a satellite connection?
21 Can I use HughesNet on my boat or RV?
22 How can I contact Customer Service when I have a problem with my residential connection?

01
What is HughesNet?

HughesNet is a satellite-based fast internet connection available to any home or business in the continental US that has a clear view of the southern sky. Since it uses satellite technology, it is not restricted by the geographic limitations of telephone and cable networks. This internet connection is always on and allows users to download and surf at amazing speeds that leave slow dialup connections in the dust.

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02
How fast is a HughesNet connection?

A HughesNet satellite connection is as fast as or faster than most DSL or cable internet options. If you are used to dialup then upgrading to a satellite connection is like trading in your tricycle for a high performance racer.

Although HughesNet is the best broadband choice for a most internet activity, there are a few applications that don’t function well due to the technical aspects of a satellite link. Access through a VPN connection will be very slow, possibly as slow as 25% of your normal speed. Any kind of fast-reaction online game, such as a first-person shooter, will not play well over a satellite connection.

A small amount of bandwidth is used for network overhead such as addressing so won’t be available for data transfer, but this only is a tiny fraction of your capacity.

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03
Forget optimal speeds – what kind of speed will I really get?

A satellite internet connection, like cable and DSL connections, is shared with other customers in your area. Note that you are sharing the connection only for traffic purposes; the other users can’t see your data or get access to your computer through this shared data pipeline. You are just “sharing the road᾿ on the way to your destination.

Any shared connection is going to see reduced speed during periods of high traffic. You may see a reduction in speed of about a third, both for uploads and downloads, during periods of high activity. However it is likely that you won’t even notice these slowdowns.

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04
Is HughesNet service appropriate for my business?

For most businesses, the HughesNet Business Service is a great solution, easily handling your needs for email, web surfing, or transferring large files. However to be fair, there are a small number of businesses that may have applications that do not work efficiently over a satellite connection. The high latency and disproportionate upload speed of a satellite connection may not accommodate applications as video conferencing or hosting a website on company servers. Solutions from providers other than HughesNet, such as a dedicated T-1 connection, are available though at a higher cost.

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05
Which HughesNet business solution is right for me?

Our home business customers often opt for the HughesNet ProPlus plan. A commercial office with up to 10 users is better served by either HughesNet Elite or HughesNet ElitePlus. All of these offerings provide reliable and fast internet services at a reasonable cost.

A satellite internet connection has technical limitations that may not make it the optimal choice for all businesses. Video conferencing, web site hosting, and VPN are a few of the applications that don’t function well on satellite connections.

To ensure that HughesNet is the right choice for your business, consult with one of our business specialists by clicking here or by calling our toll free number 1-800-515-2448.

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06
What is the advantage of a business plan over a consumer plan?

The most obvious benefit is greater speed. The more users your business has, the larger a data pipe you need to give each person the bandwidth necessary to get the work done.

However our business plans carry other advantages that include static IP addresses, more email accounts, and a larger antenna for faster throughput.

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07
I’m ready to buy HughesNet service. Now what?

You can start the order process online. If you have questions, you can talk to one of our Satellite Internet Specialists by calling toll free 1-800-515-2448 or get an online consultation.

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08
What are the system requirements for HughesNet service?

HughesNet has been designed with minimal system requirements to make it available to as many customers as possible. Your computer must be running Windows 98SE or higher, or be a Macintosh using Mac OS 10.1 or later. You must also have network capability (10/100 Ethernet). That’s it!

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09
Can I get HughesNet if I’m on a Mac?

Yes! As long as you are running Mac OS 10.1 or higher and have network capability (10/100 Ethernet) you can enjoy the benefits of a HughesNet connection.

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10
Can I connect more than one computer to my HughesNet broadband?

Sure! The high speed of a HughesNet connection allows several computers or laptops to share and benefit from fast access. You may need to buy additional networking equipment. Due to the many different possible configurations, Satellite Broadband and HughesNet can’t provide setup or troubleshooting help for your internal network. Try your network hardware manufacture for assistance.

The bandwidth available on your connection will be shared among all users so you may see a slowdown when several people access the internet simultaneously. The connection will still be subject to the limitations in HughesNet’s Fair Access policy.

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11
Can the HughesNet installer set up my home network?

A few of our independently contracted installers will provide this service but most do not. Even if the installer sets up your internal network, HughesNet cannot provide further technical assistance after that. Multiple users may cause a reduction in connection speed.

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12
My computer didn’t come with network access. Can I still get HughesNet?

Almost any computer can have a NIC (Network Interface Card) installed to provide Ethernet 10/100 network access. You have the option of three types of interfaces:

  • PCI NICs require you to open the computer and install the card into an expansion slot. This is a fairly easy self-install project if you are comfortable working inside your computer or you can have a computer store do it for a small fee.
  • USB NICs plug right into the USB slot and don’t require you to open the case or even turn off the computer to install. This is an excellent choice for a non-technical user.
  • PCMCIA NICs are available to fit into a slot commonly found in laptops. Like USB NICs, they are easy for the typical user to install.

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13
Will a laptop PCMCI NIC work for my HughesNet connection?

Yes. The included network cable allows you to connect your laptop’s PCMCIA network card right to the HughesNet modem and get connected to the internet instantly.

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14
Will I still need a telephone line or dialup connection?

No. All internet communication to and from the HughesNet system will occur through your satellite dish. Your computer won’t need to be connected to a phone line and won’t need a dialup modem anymore.

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15
I already have DIRECTV. Can I get HughesNet through my current satellite dish?

No. A DIRECTV dish can receive but cannot transmit signals to the HughesNet satellite. You will need the two-way satellite connection provided by the special HughesNet dish.

HughesNet and DIRECTV are affiliated for marketing purposes, but their respective satellite services are unique and each requires its own equipment.

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16
I’m pretty technically handy. Can’t I install my HughesNet service myself?

The requirement of professional installation doesn’t come from us. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regulations mandate that any two way satellite system must be installed by specially trained professionals.

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17
I’m already excited about my new fast internet. When will I be hooked up?

Once you place your order, your installation information will be provided to an independent HughesNet satellite installation professional who will contact you within 5 days to set up an installation appointment. Most of our customers are hooked up within two weeks of their order date.

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18
What is latency?

When you do something like click on a web link, a request goes to the remote computer and the information is sent back to you. The time between your request and the response is the latency.

On most internet connections, the signal travels no more than a couple thousand miles and latency is very small. With satellite, signals travel to and from a satellite for a round trip of nearly 100,000 miles which creates a latency of about a half second.

Most users won’t notice latency. Reading email or downloading files aren’t affected by an extra half-second. However any application requiring fast response won’t run efficiently on satellite. One example is a fast-paced online game such as a first-person shooter. Business applications affected by latency include video conferencing or real-time stock trading.

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19
Can I run a VPN connection over my HughesNet?

Technically the answer is yes, but realistically VPN does not run efficiently over any satellite connection. Your connection speed while VPN is active will be reduced to half or less. Normal transfer can be restored by disabling the VPN connection once you are through with it. In a multi-user environment, one person on VPN slows the connection down for everyone.

If you plan to run VPN often, opt for a faster plan to minimize the effect of a slowdown. An SSL-based VPN client will cause less speed loss than an IPSEC-based one.

Our Satellite Internet Specialists can help you choose a VPN option that will work best with your HughesNet connection. Although we can offer a product recommendation, we cannot offer support on set up or maintenance of a VPN client. You will need to contact the VPN software manufacturer for help.

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20
Why does VPN work poorly over a satellite connection?

In order to achieve the kind of speeds we can offer, HughesNet uses sophisticated network acceleration techniques which requires access to packet header information. IPSEC-based VPN products block that access to maintain security. The VPN process creates an encrypted tunnel through the internet that the HughesNet systems don’t have direct access to so cannot accelerate the data transmission.

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21
Can I use HughesNet on my boat or RV?

The HughesNet service offered by Satellite Broadband is designed only to be used from fixed locations. Mobile high-speed internet service is available from other vendors, but is not a product we provide at this time.

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22
How can I contact Customer Support when I have a problem with my residential connection?

For best results, log on to www.myHughesNet.com. There you can do things such as check your connection speed, monitor usage statistics, verify account status, and browse our library of help files. You can chat live with HughesNet technical support staff or, if you prefer telephone support, call toll-free at 1-800-515-2448.

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