HughesNet Tips & Tricks – Troubleshooting a Slow Connection

Check out a re-post and an updated version of this blog here!

We get e-mails and phone calls and see posts all of the time from HughesNet customers complaining about a slow connection!  Some are experiencing it off and on while others are experiencing slower than normal speeds all of the time!  We decided to put together a list of possible solutions for you!  It’s important to know that many speed tests do not work well and / or are not accurate with HughesNet, so we recommend using the speed tests at www.myhughesnet.com for the most accurate measurements!  Also, some anti-virus products can cause sporadic readings on many speed tests, so we recommend disabling your anti-virus temporarily prior to running a speed test!

FAP (Fair Access Policy) Violations will cause you to have limited speeds until your service is restored to normal speeds!  Believe it or not, this is the most common reason for people calling and complaining about slow speeds!  Every monthly service plan has a limit as to the amount of data you can download during a 24 hour period.  If you go over this limit your service is limited for 8 – 24 hours.  You can use or purchase a restore token at www.myhughesnet.com to get your service back up to speed, or it should return to normal after a day or so!  You can check your FAP status at http://192.168.0.1 or at www.myhughesnet.com !

Viruses, spyware, adware, malware, etc. are speed killers on any Internet Service! Make sure your computer has current updated anti-virus software and spyware utilities and regular scans to ensure it is not infected!

Router and Network / WiFi / Sharing issues can also affect speeds, so we recommend connecting directly to your HughesNet modem to make sure the speed issue isn’t the result of a router or network issue! Many people are using unsecured wireless routers or access points for connecting to the Internet.  If your wireless router or access point is not “secure” then other people could be using your connection which will result in poor speeds as well!  Router issues and poor quality or damaged network cables can also cause speed issues as well!  And remember… most HughesNet service plans are not intended to support more than 1 or 2 concurrent connections or users, so if you have more than 2 or 3 concurrent connections or users on your network, it will be slower than normal also!

Cabling and Connections can also affect your speed and performance!  If you have loose or corroded connections, or poor quality connectors or cable, or damaged cable  between the modem and the antenna, you will experience slow speeds!  Make sure your cable(s) have not been damaged and that your connectors are not corroded and are nice and tight at all connection points!  Also… your HughesNet system requires high-frequency (3 gig) cable and connectors!  If, for some reason, the proper cable, connectors, ground blocks and so on are not being used between your HughesNet modem and antenna,  this could easily result in slow or no speeds! We see this issue often when people are trying to extend a cable to reach a new modem location and use low-frequency couplers to do so!  Contact us or visit www.montanasatellitesupply.com to purchase the proper cable, connectors, fittings, couplers, ground blocks and more!

Grounding or a lack of grounding can cause speed issues as well and can also cause damage to your transmitter  / LNB assembly as well!  While we all know that grounding your antenna and transmitter isn’t REALLY going to protect you from a lightening strike… proper grounding DOES remove static electricity from the transmitter assembly which is important to keep the transmitter performing properly and protect it from static buildup that could damage the transmitter over time!  There should be a bare or coated copper wire running from the ground screw on your transmitter/LNB assembly to the antenna back plate and/or on to a common ground point!  If this ground wire is missing or damaged, it should be installed or replaced accordingly!

Antenna Pointing & Peaking can affect your speeds as well!  If your antenna is not pointed and peaked properly, the transmitter will have to struggle when it is sending information to the satellite.  If necessary it will slow down transmission rates in order to prevent errors in data transmission!  Having your antenna re-peaked for both receive signal AND, more importantly for crosspole (isolation) can greatly improve both speed and reliability!  With the DW7XXX, HN7XXX and HN9200 (Ku Band) modems… once your antenna is properly pointed and peaked and passing the crosspole tests, etc. you should “Force-Range” the system to make sure it is communicating with the satellite at the best possible data rates!  Click here to view instructions for “force-ranging” your HughesNet DW7XXX, HN7XXX and HN9200 (Ku Band) modems!

Feedhorn, Transmitter/LNB issues can also affect speed and performance!  After unplugging your HughesNet modem, check the feed horn on your antenna (the clear lens that faces the dish) for moisture, cracks, etc.  If the feedhorn lens shows signs of moisture or damage, you may need to have your feedhorn replaced or the O-ring seal between your feedhorn and LNB assembly replaced!  Moisture in the feedhorn means that moisture could have gotten into your LNB assembly as well, which can also cause issues!  Unfortunately, feedhorns have been known to crack and split, and HughesNet transmitter/LNB assemblies have been known to fail over time and replacements are available in our online store at www.montanasatellitesupply.com !

HughesNet issues and busy times can also cause slow speeds as well!  From time to time HughesNet experiences server issues that can cause slow speeds and even periods of down times. If you are only noticing slow speeds during prime times, chances are that the network is just busy!  After all it is a shared network and you will probably only see 70% – 80% of advertised speeds for your monthly service plan during these busy times!  However if your system is not communicating at all, you should contact HughesNet Customer Care to see if they are having issues at that time!

Power Source / Surge Protection Issues can also cause slow speeds!  Cheap inverters, generators, and other alternative power sources can cause slow speeds as can using cheap surge protectors on your modem!  Yes, no offense, but that $150 inverter or that $29 surge protector could be causing connectivity issues resulting in slow speeds!  HughesNet and most other electronic devices do not work well with “modified sine wave” inverters or generators and sometimes do not work at all with the cheaper “surge protectors” on the market today!  We recommend “true” or “pure” sine wave inverters and generators and the use of a good quality battery-backup (UPS) system to help protect your HughesNet modem and computer equipment from low-power or surge protection instead of the typical add-on surge protectors which seem to cause “noisy” power that results in slow speeds!

I hope this will give you some ideas anyway!  Feel free to contact HughesNet Customer Care at 866-347-3292 for more information, or contact us… Montana Satellite & Wireless at 888-608-2299 for additional assistance!

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