HughesNet Gen5: The Next Evolution

HughesNet Gen5: The Next Evolution

When it comes to satellite internet, HughesNet is one of the dominating providers for this sub-category.

When it comes to satellite internet, HughesNet is one of the dominating providers for this sub-category. Their use of technology, as well as transparency, has put them in the lead when it comes to satellite internet.

It would be easy to liken them to the blockbuster franchise Transformers, but really, HughesNet goes above and beyond while Transformers merely entertains.

And here’s why…

What’s Happening with HughesNet?

HughesNet is a satellite internet provider based out of Germantown, MD. Their primary customer base is rural residents as well as remote customers. Since a great many ISPs (internet service providers) focus on specific towns and cities, customers outside of that coverage area are left without access to the internet. HughesNet fills this gap.

Usually, the main stipulation to installation is that the potential customer has a clear view of the southern sky.

HughesNet is also working to improve satellite internet’s reliability. And they’re not the only ones.

Recently, Elon Musk and Google, among other competitors, expressed interest in launching innovative technology to improve upon satellite connectivity. One such solution involved hot air balloons that would float up to a high altitude.

HughesNet is instead sticking with what it knows- satellites.

Echostar, HughesNet’s parent company, is working with Lockheed Martin to design another wave of satellites that will incorporate innovative technology to decrease latency and improve reliability.

Last year they launched their newest line of satellites, EchoStar XIX.

With this, HughesNet rolled out their Gen5 services. Gen5 (aptly named because it’s the fifth generation of satellites they’ve commissioned) will have built-in Wi-Fi. They’ve also increased most of their packages to include more data downloads and cut back on the data restrictions. Up until now, HughesNet, as well as other satellite internet providers, would throttle the download speed of a customer who had gone over their allotted download speed.

HughesNet is aiming to avoid this with Gen5.

As they work to improve the technology they incorporate into their satellite systems, HughesNet is evolving…in a sense.

It’s not as though the machines they’re using are getting upgraded and turned into more advanced devices. This isn’t Transformers. There are a few parallels though.

Transformers; The Next Sequel

Back in 2007, the very first Transformers film was a hit.

This was thanks to the big budget behind it, as well as the massive marketing campaign to get the word out.

But big budgets can be wasted if the right crew isn’t involved. Luckily, the smart decision was made to hire Michael Bay. With his penchant for explosions and high action (everything that would make the Transformers look cool), the movie did well in at the box office and dominated the summer blockbusters of 2007.

Transformers, based on toys from Japan, developed a mythos that grew and grew as more and more toys were created. As a result, there were cartoons and even an animated movie in 1986. While this film was just a continuation of the cartoon series, it could stand alone. It may have lacked the gleam and style of a Michael Bay film, but it’s pure 80s nostalgia for anyone who’s seen it.

Double the nostalgia points if you watched it before watching the recent Transformers incarnations.

Instead of relying on hand-drawn animation, the newer films use copious amounts of computer-generated imagery. When each one debuted, they symbolized the height of CGI filmmaking and technology.

Like all big films, however, Transformers didn’t age well.

To date, there have been five transformers movies, and the last one did not do well. Although it was considered a commercial success, this was in large part thanks to the younger demographic that enjoyed lots of explosions, robots, fighting, and a shallow story.

Steve Jablonsky, however, delivered a dynamic soundtrack for each film. While the subject matter may have been “sub-par,” his music is something to be heard though. That’s one aspect of the movie that hasn’t changed.

Each successive film, however, seemed to rewrite the history of the Transformers. Although the toys came without a backstory, Hasbro set about creating one. Readers of the original comic books and those who watched the original cartoons would have a better idea of how Transformers was “supposed” to go. This mythos, however, was largely ignored for the movies. The original narrative of the cartoons was cut out, and the Transformers franchise was turned into a money-making machine for the summer movie season.

Instead, the movies were formulaic. Each one could be boiled down to a simple equation like:

The equation was used again and again for each subsequent movie. There was a difference though as the equation for each new movie was multiplied by a factor of five to outdo the previous one. When that happens, each subsequent movie will suffer a loss of excitement and allure by a factor of ten. And while the author of this piece is not very good at math (he barely passed), he knows that that math will not hold up for long.

The last Transformers film was announced to be the last one directed by Bay. Although there is a standalone movie based on Bumblebee coming out soon, we have yet to see if this will revive the franchise.


While HughesNet is a real company and the Transformers films are a work of fiction, there are a few parallels between the two;

Sophisticated Technology
Yes (1-3 at least)
Here to Help
Autobots- Yes, Decepticaons- No
Improves with Time
Reliable Connection

By The Numbers

HughesNet, thanks to their capabilities as a satellite internet company, has availability in all fifty states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The only stipulation being that the customer must be able to see the southern sky clearly to receive a signal from the satellite passing overhead. Thanks to this capability, of the 42,000 zip codes in the United States, HughesNet has a presence in 33,131 of them. When the author utilizes some basic math skills, that turns out to be 79%.

HughesNet, being a satellite internet provider, may not be considered “fast” when compared with other providers. For example, Netflix keeps track of the download speeds of all the providers that support the streaming service. They track the rate at which providers can download content during peak hours. These peak hours are generally between 5 pm and 10 pm every day.

From September 2017 to September 2018, HughesNet averaged .67 Mbps.

That number may seem low.

On the upside, HughesNet advertises their speed “as is.” You won’t see “speeds up to” in their marketing. For this reason, the FCC ranked them first in advertised download speeds. This transparency has translated to higher than average customer service reviews.

Unlike Transformers, HughesNet is upfront about their technology and how it’s going to work in a typical situation.

HughesNet and the Future

There is one industry where satellites are the primary source of internet- travel.

With more and more people commuting for work and/or traveling, a satellite is the only option for providing internet connectivity. This will only help HughesNet.

As they work to improve satellite internet, either through their current equipment or by launching new material, HughesNet will be at the forefront of the industry for the foreseeable future.

If you’re interested in HughesNet, take a look at their internet deals and packages to see if they’re right for you and your home. They are considered one of the best ISPs when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Do you have HughesNet in your home? Do you like the service? What could be improved?

Are you a Transformers fan? What did you think of the newest movies? What about the Bumblebee film coming out later this year?

Post your answers in our comments section and keep reading On The Download!