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Hello, from a frustrated Hughesnet customer.


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Living in the country, as I do, satellite internet is the only high speed option available.  I've been with Hughes for ten years more or less, and when their Gen4 service became available I was upgraded.  I found it outstanding . . . for a while.  But for the last few months I have been bedeviled by fluctuating speeds.  My internet connection goes from an excellent download speed of 20mbps to almost no speed at all, so slow that no pages load and email times out.  This happens at various times of the day, can last for two minutes or two hours, and then just as suddenly normal high speeds resume.  Sometimes during slow periods I use the hotspot utility on my ipad and get normal service.  


Lately another wrinkle has been added.  The Hughesnet status meter shows constantly--whether high speed is working or not--that no modem can be detected and/or that I have used up my allotment. 


I have been on the phone with Hughesnet for hours, doing tests, eliminating the airport, adding the airport, changing cables,  answering their question, etc., etc..  Finally when I threatened to cancel their service an account manager gave me six months of a higher service.  She insisted I had exceeded my allotment although I am quite certain I didn't.  And of course her solution did nothing to solve the problem.


So I have two questions for the forum--1. has anyone had similar problems with a satellite connection?  2. I've thought of using a Verizon hotspot, since the Ipad hotspot worked so well.  Are these hotspots reliable over the long haul?


Thanks in advance for your help.

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I feel for you.  Satellite isn't ideal unless you have no other options and even then all I ever hear is customer complaints.  But really, when you're performing well...... that's really nice speed for satellite.  Now if they could just perform at that level or higher consistently you might have something.  Usually issues like that happen at times when you need your connection the most.


If you have decent cell data coverage in your area I would totally take that over satellite.  Even 3G in some cases will perform better.  Obviously you need to have a pretty nice 4G connection to keep up with the 20 Mbps bar set... but even a consistent 15 Mbps is better than 20 Mbps one minute, 200 Kbps the next....  I don't know for sure but with all the complaints I hear across the board they may also be overselling their network capacity.  Whether it's on land or the satellites themselves, I have no idea.  The issues are often intermittent and seemingly affected by time of day which leads me to believe they're stretched thin during peak hours.  Only so much water can get through a garden hose at one time... same is true with network connections and data.


Since you're already on a quota based system you should already be aware of approximately how much data you use every month, right?  Just keep that in mind if you switch, your data draw could be higher if your hotspot runs much smoother and faster than the satellite.  Limited plans like Verizon can get expensive... but unlimited plans by providers like T-Mobile aren't really unlimited.  You get 4G until you hit your cap and then get throttled to unlimited 3G.  Prepurchase extra bandwidth blocks any time before your bill hits... even after you go over.  Just make sure you do it before your bill to get the cheaper price.


Are those hotspots reliable?  ... I have to say yes.  They're purpose built for the task, buy quality hardware and it should perform well over extended periods.  My little sister ran her house exclusively off a T-Mobile hotspot for a couple of years. ... not really a hotspot but a cellular USB stick.  It was connected and working every time I visited.  I don't know how hard you intend on taxing it but it's worth a shot.  I would love for you to come back later and let us know how it went and how hard you put one of the latest 4G hotspots through it's paces.


Hope this helps, good luck on the hunt for a clean connection!

(how fast are you getting with Verizon at your house?)

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Thanks for your response.  I have a good Verizon LTE connection here, although I haven't done a speed test to know how fast it is.  But it's faster and smoother than the Hughes connection.  In fact, just now, even though Hughes seemed to be running at speed, my email timed out.  When I switched to the ipad as a hot spot, all the emails loaded instantly, which makes me wonder whether it's a software problem of some sort, or a weird modem.  Another weird wrinkle: I ran your speed test every 30 minutes for the last 15 hours and it showed consistent excellent Hughesnet speed even though I was experiencing slow internet service.  Maybe I'm reading the speed test wrong.


Here's the id: Connection ID 635987585805



In fact this has been the problem all along in my discussion with Hughes--their tests show everything is fine, my subjective experience says it's not.  Even their status meter on my computer is inconsistent with my experience, telling me I've used my entire allowance (which is virtually impossible), while I continue at good speed.

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Sounds to me that your issue is more with response.  Probably timing out.  Try this...


I see you're on Mac but this is for everyone...


To ping a host... 

  • Windows Start > Run > type CMD [enter] > from the command prompt type ping google.com and/or ping testmy.net
  • Linux / Mac Under Applications/Utilities open 'Terminal' > type ping google.com and/or ping testmy.net

Let ping run, when you encounter those bumps watch what's happening in the terminal window.  Copy and paste the results here, include ~20 pings before and after the issue occurs.  I bet that your ping times spike up... then time out for a period... then gradually return to normal.

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