Well, when it comes to TV, I'm sure that most people that have HughesNet, or any of many other services that have a soft or hard data cap, either don't watch a lot of TV or they have satellite TV, like DirecTV or Dish. I have the former. With streaming using so much data and HughesNet having a soft data cap, it's just not feasable to use it for one's sole source of TV, unless they don't watch much TV, that is.
The modem isolation test (with the picture and the numbered steps) is to determine whether there is any data being lost on HughesNet's end or whether it's being used by one or more of your devices connected to HughesNet. Basically if they're losing the data or you're using the data. Just make sure you don't unplug the modem itself while the test is running (its power needs to remain connected during the test). If your devices are all disconnected from the modem (nothing connected via LAN and the WiFi disabled) and the system logs no data usage it means that one of your devices are using the data, but if the system does show data usage it means that there is a legitimate data leak somewhere. I'll be honest, though: in the two years that I've been on this community I've never seen a legitimate example of data being lost on Hughes' end, which is why I am relatively sure something is using it on your end. That's not to say it's never happened before, nor to say that it's not possible, but just that I've not seen it in those two years on here. And, because anything is possible, they still recommend people run the test if they're losing data, but they don't know where it's being lost or used. It just pinpoints the direction of where to look.
And, those threads in the links I gave are definitely a lot to read and absorb, no doubt. And how the average person deals with it? Somewhat painfully. LOL. Sorry, just a little levity, but it's definitely a pain if you're new to it. Having to watch your data and trying to know how much each device uses, and what on that device is using it, is one of the drawbacks of a service with a data cap, or even a "soft" data cap, like HughesNet. It can take a while get used to all of the ins and outs of watching that data and how to control it as best you can, but it can be done.
But, if you list what devices you use with the service (not specifics, but "an iPhone, two Windows 10 laptops, a Chromebook, an Android tablet..." Like that), we may be able to help you make adjustments on them so that they don't use any more data than necessary and also try to limit what data is automatically used. With Windows computers, at least, there is also a program that can monitor every byte of data used on that computer. So there are things that can be done and ways that you can see what data is being used on specific devices.
With regard to your speed tests, do you have a device with which you can connect directly to the modem with a LAN cable? Using that kind of device is really the way the speed tests should be run, as it eliminates the problems WiFi itself can cause when it comes to speed (the WiFi in the modem should be disabled during the speed testing (as well as the modem isolation test)). Directly connecting with a LAN cable eliminates those possible issues. That's not to say that WiFi is causing any problems, but it eliminates them if it is. Also, make sure to use the manual 25MB test size for download tests and the manual 4MB test size for upload tests (I know the speed testing instructions was missing the size to use for upload tests).
Lastly, don't let it stress you. We're here to help with anything you need, whether it's figuring out what's using so much data or how to save data with your devices, and anything else. Any question you have, please feel free to ask. And always remember, the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.
Happy New Year!!!
Edit: I forgot to post your testmy.net Results URL, which will help when the reps or engineers, or even you, need to get a quick look at your test results, all in one place.
First, sorry for all of the reply notifications. Anytime I make an edit to my post it sends another notification. Again, sorry about that. You've probably gotten three or four by now. LOL.
But, this post is concerning testmy.net. If you ever look at your testmy.net results and you see test results in yellow, those aren't your results, but others on the same connection ID (HughesNet uses shared IP addresses). If you want to get rid of the test results that aren't yours so that you only see your own, scroll all the way to the bottom of the results table and, just under it, on the left, you'll see a button that says "Exclude tests taken on your connection ID that are not logged under Patticv". If you click this button it will get rid of all of the tests that aren't yours (the ones in yellow). Just thought I would let you know. Sometimes those other results being in your own can be very annoying. When we click on your test results link we only see your tests, but you might see others, and clicking that button will get rid of them for you.
The picture below is from my testmy.net results page, but the button for yours will be in the same place.
How can I get someone to believe me when I say I am not getting what I am paying for.
Do a search for Federal Communications Commission complaints and fill out the form for internet complaints and let HN get back to you.