When you want to install high-speed internet connections in your home, you can opt to go for a fiber connection or the old phone lines that line your house.
HughesNet offers high-tech alternatives to DSL internet connections like CenturyLink, although they share plenty of similarities in their quality of service and data management. It is always helpful to do a comparison between them, as this will help you make a more informed choice on what to go for – after all, they ultimately serve different needs and come at different prices.
What are the differences between CenturyLink and HughesNet?
Maximum of 100 Mbps (DSL), maximum of 940 Mbps (Fiber)
Maximum of 25 Mbps
Number of tiers
Pricing per month
Ranges from $50 monthly and $65 monthly
Ranges from $59.99 monthly to $149.99 monthly
Data caps (monthly)
Ranges from 10 GB to 50 GB
CenturyLink vs. HughesNet – How do they compare?
How they work
As we mentioned earlier, HughesNet and CenturyLink are different in their setup, with CenturyLink using the DSL (digital subscriber line) system, and HughesNet using the satellite setup.
DSL providers such as CenturyLink uses traditional phone lines to bring high-bandwidth internet to your home, while boosting the dial-up rates and connection speeds as a result. They achieve this through using signal splitters that send voice signals to lower frequencies in your phone lines while switching your internet connection to the higher frequencies, allowing for both internet and phone chats to happen.
On the other hand, HughesNet uses satellite connections to facilitate internet connections by using dishes on your home’s exterior to beam and receive information from satellites. However, this also means your internet connection is likely to experience instability, as the satellites are at great distances above the earth and the resulting connection gets high latency rates. The good news is that you will not notice the lags as much, unless you are doing a high-bandwidth activity like streaming or playing an online video game.
CenturyLink is the more efficient option due to its setup and overall stability in internet speeds, which allows you to do many more online activities.
HughesNet has various tiers that cost anywhere between $59.99 and $149.99 monthly, but you need to keep in mind that since it uses satellite internet, the data caps are significantly lower compared to CenturyLink. HughesNet will only give you a maximum data cap between 10 and 20 GB per month, and chances are high that your bill will spiral out of control if you are thinking of getting more.
The case is different with CenturyLink – even among DSL internet providers, their prices are among the lowest in the market today. However, the benefits you get will depend entirely on the internet speeds you have in your area – if you can only access the slower plans, there are cheaper ISPs you can consider, while the higher speed plans and fiber connections are more economical and will work very well if you can access them.
CenturyLink wins in this category due to their relatively lower pricing, compared to HughesNet.
Internet reliability and speeds
While you can get a maximum download speed of 25 Mbps on HughesNet, CenturyLink offers maximum download speeds of 100 Mbps.
Keep in mind that the speeds you get on a DSL ISP like CenturyLink will largely depend on where you live and the infrastructure available in your area. If you are using their fiber optic plan, expect the speeds to be even higher and going up to 940 Mbps, with better reliability even during bad weather.
When it comes to reliability of your internet connection, HughesNet is better compared to CenturyLink DSP lines due to improvements in the technology of satellite dishes over time.
It is a tough call deciding which of the two is better in this category, but we will pick CenturyLink as it offers both fiber and DSL connections that have high speeds and reliability.
CenturyLink vs. HughesNet – A comparison review
CenturyLink is popular for their lower pricing compared to their competitors, and they offer both fiber and digital subscriber line internet connections. Their DSL plan speeds range between 15 and 100 Mbps, while their Fiber option pushes this to a maximum of 940 Mbps. What makes them stand out from most ISPs is their unlimited data caps, which is a major bargain considering their relatively low prices – if you live in an area that has plenty of internet infrastructure, the situation is even better for you.
- All their plans offer unlimited data
- Select locations also get a Gig Fiber internet option
- No contracts
- You do not need to pay cancellation fees
- Download speeds are confusing in terms of availability
- Speed ratings are generally poor
If you need to get satellite internet in your home while remaining on a budget, HughesNet is among the options you should consider, despite the small data caps and low speeds. Since they rely on satellite connections, the costs of usage will be significantly higher than most options, but the transparency in pricing helps you to plan ahead for any costs you will need to pay in future.
Their internet plan costs will range between $59.99 monthly to get a 10 GB data cap and $149.99 monthly to get a 50 GB data cap, with various pricing plans in between.
- They do not impose mid-contract pricing hikes
- Pricing and plans are clear and transparent
- Allow you an option to add data
- Available in a wide range of places
- Low data caps
- Only offers one 25 Mbps speed option
- Charge high fees for low data and slow speeds
Conclusion: So, which is better? CenturyLink or HughesNet?
Comparing the two, they show strengths and weaknesses that make them better for some users than others. However, CenturyLink is the better choice between them, as it has higher overall speeds, better connectivity, more reliable connections, and lower pricing that works for those on a budget.
Can I get a discount when I bundle services on CenturyLink?
Yes, you can get a discount when you bundle specific services, which CenturyLink outlines on their website.
How can I monitor my data usage on HughesNet?
You can do so through the website at myHughesNet.com, or use the HughesNet smartphone app.