HughesNet may be your only option where you live, but it is not a good option for gaming, because of its high latency, low speed, and data caps.
Satellite internet is a great option for areas that do not have other types of internet, but it does require that the data has to travel to a satellite and back to Earth again.
This additional travel time and distance, as well as low speeds and data caps, are why HughesNet is not such a good option for gaming.
How does satellite internet work?
As with all things digital, satellite internet is by no means a new arrival on the market, but it has been receiving renewed interest in many rural communities and network providers as an alternative to cable and fibre internet.
Although satellite internet is widely available in regions where fibre and cable internet does not have established networks yet, it is also much slower than these newer, more advanced forms of internet.
This is because satellite internet is a type of internet whereby data is transferred to satellites orbiting the Earth and then back down again.
Is HughesNet good for gaming?
HughesNet is one of the most popular satellite internet providers and it may be your only or your best internet option if you live in a rural area.
However, because of the unique way that satellite internet works, the data will have to travel distances of up to 45000 miles to the satellite, and then back again, which is not ideal for gaming.
This is because when you are gaming, a faster and steadier internet connection can help your games to run smoothly and give you slight advantages over an opponent who has slower, unstable internet.
Unfortunately, if you are the opponent with the poor internet connection, you will be starting your game off with a considerable disadvantage.
The technical reasons for why HughesNet is not good for gaming can be quite complicated, but some of the most important factors to consider are the average latency that you will have with HughesNet, the speed that you will get, and the data caps that you will have to deal with.
Unfortunately, HughesNet rates low in all three of these important factors for gaming, each of which can be discussed in more detail as they relate to your gaming experience, as is illustrated in the table below:
|Consideration||What HughesNet offers|
|Average latency||About 594 milliseconds to 625 milliseconds|
|Speed||Regardless of the package you choose, this will be 25 Megabits per second|
|Data caps||Depending on the package that you have, this ranges from 10 to 50 gigabytes a month|
Why HughesNet’s average latency is too high to be good for gaming
Latency is the first difference that you will notice when you are playing on satellite internet as opposed to other types of internet.
Latency refers to the amount of time that it takes for the data to travel from Earth to the satellite and back down again.
With satellite internet, there will be a delay because of how far this distance is and while you may not notice this delay normally, it will be extremely noticeable during a game, where split-second decisions need to be made.
If you want to play games online, especially fast-paced and multi-player games like Fortnite, Valorant, Call of Duty, Counter Strike, and more, you need less than 100 milliseconds.
HughesNet’s average latency is about five to six times more than this, which is why it is not ideal for fast-paced and multiplayer games.
Why HughesNet’s speed is too low to be good for gaming
Although the 25 Megabits per second speed that HughesNet offers on all of their packages is technically higher than the four Megabits per second that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends for gaming, the fact that you cannot increase this speed if you need to makes it a bad choice.
A higher speed is always better for gaming and although HughesNet’s speed is enough to play the game, it may not be enough to compete against other players that have a much faster internet speed.
Why HughesNet’s data caps are not good for gaming
HughesNet supposedly has “unlimited” data plans. However, in reality, it is common for HughesNet to “throttle” or slow down your internet speed when you have reached a data cap of 10 to 50 gigabytes per month, depending on your package.
Most avid gamers use about 34 megabytes of data per hour, which can really add up over an entire month. This means that you may have to deal with slow speeds as well as a high latency, which is why HughesNet is really not good for gaming.