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What Will Put You Over your HughesNet Gen4 Data Limit

Updated on October 2, 2012

What Will Put You Over Your Data Limit?

HughesNet Gen4 offers three monthly plans, the Power, Power Pro and Power Max. Each plan has a restriction on how much "data" you can download within a month. The data usage limits are divided into "Anytime Allowance "and "Bonus Bytes". Generally speaking, the "Anytime Allowance "is a limit on data usage during the daytime and the "Bonus Bytes" are your limit on data usage between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. However, if you exceed your "Bonus Byte" limit between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8a.m., that usage will be deducted from your "Anytime Allowance".

How Much Data Is It?

It is said that 90% of all bandwidth usage is consumed by 5% of the users. The average household with one or two computers will find that the Power plan with 20 GB of monthly usage (10 GB Anytime and 10 Bonus Bytes) should offer more than enough bandwidth to suit their needs. Of course if you have teenagers in the house that spend hours every day keeping up with their friends latest YouTube videos, or hooking up their Xbox, this theory goes right out the window.

There are many variables in trying to estimate just how much “Data Usage” is right for you. Below, to assist you in trying to calculate what your usage needs are, I have given my estimates of what you can do with your 10 GB “Anytime Allowance” in a month. Again, these are my estimates only, based on my research, and the size and type of file, photo or videos that you download will ultimately determine how much you will use.

1 GB = 20 Hours of Web Browsing

1 GB = 1500 emails

1 GB = 12 Hours on Facebook

1 GB = Download 120 Photographs

1 GB = Download 150 Text Files

1 GB = 30 Hours of music (MP3)

1 GB = 2.5 Hours on YouTube (low resolution)

1 GB = 2 Hours Video Chat

1 GB = 1.25 Hours of SD TV or Movies

1 GB = ½ Hour of a HD Movie

As I stated earlier, there are many variables in my estimates, and your actual usage will depend on the size of files that you download. A good rule to follow is to keep an eye on your usage meter located on the HughesNet Gen4 home page to determine your actual usage., If you find that a particular activity is using a lot of your “Anytime Allowance” you may be able to schedule that activity to download during the “Bonus Bytes” time using the Download Manager tool offered with HughesNet. You can schedule large downloads such as Microsoft software updates to take place during the night so they only use Bonus Bytes” and have no impact on your “Anytime” Data Allowance. I will write more about the Download Manager later.

YouTube Resolution INstructions
YouTube Resolution INstructions

Top 4 Gen4 Bandwidth Hogs!

Hughesnet's 3 packages offer 10GB/mo, 15GB/mo, and 20GB/mo. This sounded like a lot of data, and it is! But there is still a chance you could run over your month data limit. You have 3 options when this happens.

1) Take advantage of the free download hours and use the download scheduler. We'll write more about this later.

2) Purchase additional bandwidth.

3) Avoid the biggest bandwidth hogs!

And that brings me to my top 4 things that might eat up your Gen4 bandwidth!

1) YouTube

OK, really any video sharing site just destroys your bandwidth limit. This includes MetaCafe, Vimeo, Break, and any other similar clip sharing site. The average video on these sites are about 10MB. While this sounds like a small number think about the last time you watched just 1 video on YouTube!

The biggest thing you can do to make this better is to reduce the resolution on the videos. Watching the latest Lady Gaga video in HD is going to take up at least 50MB of your bandwidth. If you reduce the video resolution to 240p it will cut the size down 10 fold.

How to change the resolution of a YouTube video.

2) Netflix

There is no way around this. Netflix is the fastest way to use up your monthly quota . A movie is going to eat up over 0.5 to 1.5 GB of your monthly limit. You'll also hit your daily limits with files these size. In general, using the Netflix DVD delivery service is a better option for you.

3) Torrents

If you leave a torrent client on it will continually upload content from your computer. Even if all of your current files are downloaded. This is a perpetual bandwidth hog. We recommend turning off your torrent client if you aren't actively using it. The other thing to be aware of is that if you download large files it will use up your bandwidth. Every Torrent tells you its size, but you also need to take into account that you are both uploading and downloading that file.

4) Viruses

Some viruses constantly stream data from or to your computer. Like a dripping faucet this can eat away are your bandwidth limits. We strongly recommend that you use an antivirus and keep it up to date. If you don't have one, AVG Free is among the many free antivirus programs available.

Stay tuned. In a later post I'll tell you the top programs that are NOT eating up your bandwidth.

Let's Chat about HughesNet Gen4

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    • profile image


      21 months ago

      We got Gen 4 about a year ago. It has been fine, but I download things on Netflix but tonight it will not let me download these things. Is this because we are out of data or because maybe a lot of people are on the Internet right now.

    • profile image

      paul squires 

      2 years ago

      Ive had hughsnet for a little over a yr. I Had 10 gigs disappear in 4 hrs when I wasnt home and everything was turned off. They tell me my phone did it or my smart tv did it or ive been hacked.You can get free wifi 6 miles from here why would you hack someone. My smart phone isnt on wifi . How could my tv us 10 gigs in 4 hrs.It did this one other time. I made it 28 days last month,5 days this month. They wouldnt even give me a token on christmas so my wife could download a game her kid gave Merry christmas Hughsnet

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I'm really glad Frontier put a monitor on my computer, can't understand how we're using up so many GB's. We don't do anything except read Free Republic or Drudge. We seldom use facebook or e-mail. We got WiFi because we're country and while I didn't want Windows 10 I couldn't stop it from coming onto my computer. I simply took a look see, I hated Windows 8 and thought W10 had to be better, it's been a nightmare ever since. Our server put a monitor on my computer, sure hope they can find what's going on.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      i have a very important question. i signed up for hughesnet on the 15th of this month with a 10 gb anytime and 50 bonus time. every since i signed up i have kept up my meter so i can look at it every time i turn around. here is the kicker, every day, every time i watch a movie or show, the meter hardly ever goes down. and when it does, it goes back up to the original 10 gb remaining. why is this? i dont know what to do ?

    • profile image

      Johnnie Mc 

      2 years ago

      We've had Hughesnet since 2013. We had 2 computers & my husband had a part time home job that used Hughesnet interent on the same router. We never went over our data allowance & I never worried about going over. In fact the rep said, I could watch movies as much as I wanted with our plan. Well, this year, 2016, my husband is not on Hughesnet & it's just me. I have gone over my daily allowance twice, but I haven't watched movies or played games either. When I called, they gave me the run around. I told them I can't believe I used 3 GB of date twice this month, because I wasn't online many days as I was away. It didn't matter to them, but the rep did give me an update & didn't charge any thing. I'm not happy because, now, I'm afraid I'm going to use my 3 GB date allowance again. Something isn't right after all these years not ever going over my allowance. The internet is slow also, so I'm on my email longer than ususal. We do live in a rural area without many choices, so I'm still researching. Thanks for the chance to complain.

    • profile image

      Martha Ferguson 

      2 years ago

      Add DropBox to the data hogs. I used the whole month's worth of data in one week until I quit syncing DropBox.

    • profile image

      keith watson 

      3 years ago

      hughesnet sucks we got coned into up grading to gen4 well it's no faster than it was before certain times of the day they slow it down when my contract is up we are going to att. good bye hughesnet.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      @anonymous: I agree Hughesnet has become a giant scam. When I signed up 3 years ago 2am-8am was listed and sold as an incentive as FREE time, with unlimited download. They kept sending us flyers about upgrading to Gen4 last year. They sent us so many flyers they may as well have single handedly destroyed the rain forest. We refused to upgrade, until all of a sudden out old modem stopped working. We had to wait a week before they sent someone out, then they told us we HAD to upgrade to Gen4. As soon as we did they took away the unlimited FREE download allowance time and added the bonus bytes. I would also suggest keeping a very close eye on your meter. I have noticed a pattern. I could watch 2 episodes (45min per ep) and the meter would drop .1, once it drops below 7.5 one episode drops it over 1GB and loading a simple web page drops it a minimum of .1. It's ridiculous and don't waste your time calling customer service because they give you the run around and try to talk in circles, like you're some kind of idiot. I have meters on every computer we own and when we add up the amount of MB-GB we use a month it is nowhere near what Hughesnet claims we use! It'[s a farce and it's only a matter of time before they get slapped with a lawsuit or lose all their customers.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I think Hughes Net is working like a con artist. Their advertisements all pertain to "speed". Any satellite system is faster than "Dial-Up" and once that speed is reached it is not a big issue. However other companies (wireless) are learning to charge based on amount of usage. Eventually it will be cheaper to download a high definition movie to your cell phone, store it in the cloud, and watch it on your computer or TV. An hour and one-half movie downloaded through Gen 4 means you have used two and one-half gigs of your allowance. Since I wasn't disappointed in the old Hughes Net Satellite's speed I don't see any advantage to moving up to Gen4. I do resent that the speed on Hughes Net is good at 8:00 AM and then slows down at 3:00 PM even when you are still within your allowance.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We have Dish Exede. I am very upset with them. Apparently they are not honering the Late Night Free Zone that Exede customers are getting if you order from them directly. Now I hear that they have new plans. They started them on October 1. On the forums it says all customers will eventually be switched to the new plans even if you ordered before October 1. So that means the plans will go from 10, 15, 25 to the new 5, 10, or 15. This really upsets me. I am on the plan 1 of 10GB, which means I will get 5GB if they decide to switch me with no free zone. As of now I am saving $500 so I can cancel them and go directly with Exede.


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