Starlink Best Effort vs. HughesNet – A Side-By-Side Comparison

Welcome to this Starlink Best Effort vs HughesNet guide to learn which service is better. We’ll cover the latest developments in Starlink’s Best Effort offering in detail. In addition, you will learn the benefits/downsides of Hughesnet over Best Effort. Let’s get started. 

Starlink Best Effort vs HughesNet: Definition

What is Starlink’s Best Effort? 

Starlink’s best effort ensured access to internet services even for those on the waitlist. 

Starlink’s Best Effort ended on January 18th, 2024, after the company announced the waitlist removal. Today, you will directly enroll in Starlink Residential if you’re in the US, so you shouldn’t worry about the waitlist. 

What is HughesNet?

A Huge Satellite. 

A Huge Satellite. 

HughesNet is among Starlink’s biggest satellite internet competitors in the US. But unlike Starlink, it utilizes Geostationary orbit satellites to distribute internet signals to its customers. 

Hence, you must position your receiver strategically to tap into the signal from above. 

The main difference between HughesNet and your Starlink service is that the satellites in the former are immobile. Hence, you’re not guaranteed excellent internet at all times with HughesNet as you’d expect with Starlink. 

Starlink Best Effort vs HughesNet: Performance


A Huge Satellite. 

The US. 

Earlier, HughesNet had better coverage in the US than Starlink, but that is no longer true. Today, you can access Starlink Residential from virtually anywhere in the country after the elimination of the waitlist. 

Also, Starlink is better in this parameter because you’ll find it on all continents. Conversely, you can only access HughesNet in the US and other select locations such as the following: 

  • India
  • Puerto Rico
  • Brazil

Therefore, Starlink is a more usable service since you can access it even in remote Africa. Also, the company is continually launching more satellites to boost availability in underserved locations. 

Winner: Starlink

Speed and Latency

Using the Internet 

Using the Internet 

You’re guaranteed top download speeds of at least 50Mbps and a high of 200Mbps while on the Starlink residential plan.

A counterpart on HughesNet will access service at an average of 25Mbps. But the speed will wane to as low as 1Mbps after the user hits the data cap. 

How about the latency? You’ll experience a relatively lower lag with Starlink Internet compared to Starlink. 

Winner: Starlink

Plans and Price

An Internet Bill.

An Internet Bill.

It will cost you $599 to buy a Starlink kit for the residential plan and between $90 to $120 for the monthly charges. The investment will allow unlimited data access with guaranteed top speeds of between 20 and 200 Mbps. 

Also, you can opt for the business plan, but the kit is more expensive at $2,500. It is ideal for businesses and enterprises with many users. Finally, other specialty packages exist, such as Starlink RV (for those on the move), Starlink Maritime, and Starlink Aviation. 

HughesNet also has attractive packages, especially if operating on a lean budget. Below are some of them and the perks you gain. 

HughesNet PlanKey FeaturesData Cap
SelectYou’ll have access speeds of 50 Mbps for this package. It’s available at a $49.99 monthly fee. No Data Cap
EliteIt is excellent for your basic browsing and gaming, with a speed of up to 100 Mbps. You need a $ 64.99 monthly fee. No Data Cap
FusionIf you want an upgraded version of the elite plan, the Fusion package is the best.It’s more stable and available but quite pricey at a $ 79.99 access fee. No Data Cap

HughesNet packages offer you the best budget option based on the above breakdown. Nonetheless, you’ll obtain better value with Starlink despite the high cost. 

Moreover, you don’t require a long-term contract with Starlink as it is with HughesNet. The latter requires you to commit to using the services for at least two years. 

Winner: In Regards to Cost- HughesNet

             In Regards to Value for Money- Starlink


Installing a HughesNet Receiver. 

Installing a HughesNet Receiver. 

You can install Starlink without involving a professional. After paying the kit fee, the package you will receive will have all the components you need for the installation. Also, your dish will self-align to find the nearest satellite if you pick a perfect spot. 

But with HughesNet, you must have a professional install the receiver. Why? Earlier, we mentioned that its satellites are few and stationary. Hence, you need a professional to align your receiver with the satellites. 

Also, you must ensure that the receiver dish doesn’t change position to prevent signal distortion. 

Winner: Starlink

Customer Service

Customer Service Agent. 

Customer Service Agent. 

HughesNet will give you better customer service than Starlink primarily because you can reach them via the following: 

With Starlink, it’s hectic to reach their customer support. You must create an online ticket, and the response is not prompt. 

Winner: HughesNet

Starlink Best Effort vs HughesNet: Stream Video

You will need a strong internet connection with low latency to stream videos and play online games effectively. Therefore, Starlink is the best bet over HughesNet because it guarantees low latency. 

Starlink Best Effort vs HughesNet: Which One Should You Use?

Video Streaming. 

Video Streaming. 

Here are our recommendations: 

  • Opt for Starlink if you can comfortably shoulder the kit and monthly costs. The Internet service is continually improving, and now that it’s readily available in the US, they’ll connect you instantly. 
  • Also, as we highlighted before, you will need Starlink over HughesNet for video streaming and online gaming.
  • If you are looking for an internet service on your camping expeditions, opt for Starlink. We recommend HughesNet only when considering the Starlink costs as excessive; otherwise, Starlink is the better service.


Our discussion perfectly settles the Starlink Best Effort vs HughesNet debate. Without a doubt, Starlink is the better internet service, especially if you don’t mind the equipment cost.