Josh and 6267jacqui,
I have both Hughesnet Gen4 and Directv.
My Hughesnet Internet connection WILL drop out somewhat before my Directv service but ......... It requires a TORRENTIAL RAIN, maybe somewhat less if their is a lot of electrical activity associated with the storm.
This brings us to the concepts of "Signal Strength", "Cut-Off" & "Headroom".
Your Hughesnet Signal Strength can be found by opening the Modems SCC (System Control Center) by entering 192.168.0.1 into your browsers address bar.
The "Main Page" looks like this for a Gen4 HT1000/1100 modem:
Clicking the icon I have marked as #2 at the top center of the page will open a more detailed "system information page:
Your systems Receive Signal Strength can be found in the lower right under the WAN Info header. I have it highlighted in yellow above.
This is a very "fluid" number ......
It is affected by, in part, the "quality" of your dish "aim", weather conditions between your dish and the satellite, weather conditions between the satellite and your assigned Gateway server facility. Thing that will cause moment to moment changes would include heavy cloud cover, electrical activity within those clouds, high humid ... including ....rain ... heavy rain, very heavy rain.
Now Max signal strength is a very slippery thing.
As a rule, the further north you go, generally the lower the Sig strength.
Example: I am in mid Michigan .... so somewhat far north.
My max SIg WAS about 102 .... in clear weather, both at my location AND that of my Gateway facility (FLZ .... Flagstaff AZ)
Now that being said ... there is a "Cut-Off" level. That is the point went my Sig strength to or below, I will lose my connection ... there may be a area just above Cut-Off when my system is "Impaired".
At my location, with a "great aim" and a Sig of 100-102, my "Cut-Off" is about .... 38
So the difference between 100-102 & 38 is my "headroom" This is the amount of signal strength "slack" I have for inclement weather, slight shift in my aim due do a number of factors ..... wind, heating of the dish/mount/mounting surface (my roof and underlying structure in my case), the "aim" really is that sensitive.
If for any reason, your max sig is a little on the low side, then you have less "headroom" to accommodate inclement weather.
If for some reason your systems "ggod sig" is barely above Cut-Off, it would work just fine, until the smallest cloud, light rain or hiccup.
Learn to use the modems SCC when things are "right" so that you have an idea as to what is going on when things go south.
In the eleven years I have had Hughesnet, I can almost give a weather report from just looking at the modems SCC.