What is HughesNet?
HughesNet Internet service is a type of broadband that uses a satellite network to deliver Internet service to its’ subscribers.
There are many pros and cons to this service, with the main ‘pro’ being that the service is available anywhere in the continental United States and Alaska (as long as you have unobstructed access to the southern sky).
This means that HughesNet (or other satellite-based Internet services) can reach subscribers located in areas where other broadband technologies are unavailable.
Since traditional wireline providers (fiber, cable, or DSL) incur a lot of expenses with the installation and management of a broadband network, ISP’s will generally only build out their network in semi-populated areas. Often times, this leaves people that live in rural areas lacking any options for high speed internet access.
Sometimes, there are other choices available, such as T-1, fixed wireless, cellular/mobile data, and even dial-up. However, these solutions are not always available and can sometimes be quite expensive. This is where Satellite Internet comes in.
HughesNet’s current service tier, dubbed ‘Gen5’ and served by their epic new “EchoStar XIX Satellite”, boasts speeds up to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up. While impressive compared to their previous offerings, Gen5 service just barely meets (not exceeds!) the FCC’s definition of Broadband.
When looking for a router to use with HughsNet, the requirements are a bit different compared to someone looking for a router to be used on a higher speed broadband service, such as cable or DSL. Given that HughsNet tops out at 25Mbps, the bandwidth requirements are fairly low.
Even Wireless-N and Wireless-G routers are capable of pushing 25Mbps of traffic sustained. Does this mean that you should dig out that old Wireless-G router from 2005 (WRT54G, anyone)? No!
Selecting a router to use with HughesNet Satellite Internet
New 802.11AC routers provide several benefits beyond increased speed. For HughesNet subscribers, the main benefit of choosing a newer AC router would be range. 802.11AC technologies such as beamforming and MIMO result in better coverage than routers built on previous Wi-Fi standards.
You may only have 25Mbps to work with, but with the right router, you can ensure that you get those speeds in all areas of your home, not just when you’re sitting right next to the router.
Our recommendation: Netgear R6700
- Fast Wi-Fi performance: Get up to 1500 square feet wireless coverage with AC1750 speed (Dual band up to 450 plus 1300 Mbps)
- Recommended for up to 25 devices: Reliably stream videos, play games, surf the internet, and connect smart home devices
- Wired Ethernet ports: Plug in computers, game consoles, streaming players, and other nearby wired devices with 4 x 1 gigabit Ethernet ports
- Loaded with advanced technology: Designed with a 1GHz dual core processor, 3 amplified antennas, Beamforming plus, Dynamic QoS, Smart Connect, and more
- USB connections: Share a storage drive or printer with any connected device or create a personal cloud storage to access from anywhere, using the 1 x 3.0 USB port
We like the R6700 because it features the speed and range improvements of the 802.11AC wireless standard at an affordable price point. Given that Hughesnet service tops out at 25Mbps, this router can easily handle those meager bandwidth demands.
This Tri-band router provides excellent speeds, even at long range. It also supports Quality of Service, which if configured, can prioritize certain traffic types over other types. Have a large download running that you don’t want interfering your Netflix streaming? Quality of Service can handle that.
Designed to provide excellent range when used in small to medium sized homes, the R6700 also features parental controls to help you keep your kids safer online.
It is also a stable router – it doesn’t need to be rebooted frequently like lots of other consumer-grade routers. It also features four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, to keep your local network running at high speeds.
It includes a USB 3.0 port, which you can use to optionally connect a USB hard drive to the router. This allows you to easily share files with other devices on your network through the router.
Any Router Will Work
Speaking Frankly, most any router will work with HughsNet Internet Service, but for the best experience, you should choose one with excellent range and reliability.
We chose to recommend an economical choice in this case, because high throughput is unnecessary, given the relatively low bitrate of the Hughesnet service. The R6700 should fit the bill for most any HughsNet subscriber.
Andrew Namder is an experienced Network Engineer with 20+ years of experience in IT. He loves technology in general, but is truly passionate about computer networking and sharing his knowledge with others. He is a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and is working towards achieving the coveted CCIE certification. He can be reached at email@example.com.