THE BOTTOM LINE: dishNET is a good offering not only for current DISH TV customers, but also prospective remote and rural customers. Its plans are offered at a discount when bundled with TV service, plus you won’t have to pay an activation fee. dishNET won’t charge you for exceeding your data cap, and you can always pay more in a single month if you need more bandwidth.
- Speeds above dial-up
- Discounts when bundled
- No overage fees
- Slower than DSL, fiber, or cable
- Time restrictions on data
dishNET prices are fair, but better when bundled
Compared with HughesNet and Exede, dishNET’s pricing falls in the middle of the pack. The promotional pricing saves you $10 per month for the first year ($120 total savings).
To get the promotional pricing, you must bundle your internet service plan with a qualifying satellite television package. Fortunately, DISH’s TV service received the highest ranking in our 2016 Buyers Guide.The following plans or higher will get you the discount: America’s Top 120, dishLATINO Clásico, or DISH America. Both services require a two-year contract, which is good for locking in a price, but less favorable if you’re uncertain of your renting or living conditions for the next while.
With the recent trend of cord cutting, we expect to see more companies bundling the internet and TV services together for a rate slightly higher than either service individually.
What’s the real price?
The equipment lease fee is $10 per month, with no option available for purchase.
DISH states there is a $99 activation fee; however, that fee will be waived if you subscribe to DISH video service or are a current DISH customer.
dishNET’s pricing is straightforward. Luckily, it doesn’t charge data overages if you surpass their cap, which we’ll discuss later.
Of course, if you terminate your contract before the two years is up, you’ll be faced with up to $420 in early termination fees. That’s a fairly high risk, but we’re assuming most people plan on sticking to their contracts. Your fees are calculated by multiplying $17.50 by the number of months remaining in your term commitment.
If for any reason you fail to return your equipment after 30 days of disconnection of services, then you could face Unreturned Equipment Charges of $99 for the modem and $99 for the transceiver.
dishNET will provide your satellite dish and modem. Unfortunately, it does not include a wireless router for Wi-Fi use at home. dishNET neither sells nor recommends a particular router.
Three plans to cover a small range of use.
dishNET might not have as many plans as HughesNet and Exede, but its tier system makes enough sense. It essentially has a basic, average, and premium package to cover the range of internet use.
Although the 15 GB plan could be seen as a great value with 55 GB total between anytime and bonus data, it’s important to note bonus data can only be used between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., so unless you’re a night owl, we don’t recommend this plan.
What plan is right for me?
The FCC’s Broadband Speed Guide gives you a baseline of what speeds are the minimum for certain activities. Because internet speeds are not guaranteed, we recommend going a plan with 10 Mbps if you think 5 Mbps is just enough rather than more than enough. Take note: HD video requires 4 Mbps.
Anytime data is more valuable than bonus data
It’s important to know the difference between anytime data and bonus data. Anytime data makes sense: you can use it whenever you want; bonus data is only available between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Tip: dishNET offers a download manager that allows you to set start times. That way, you can manage your data use when it comes to larger files that aren’t urgent, such as system and software updates.
You’ll receive an email alert when you have used 80% of your monthly data limit. You can also check your data usage at www.mydish.com
What if I hit the limit?
Although there’s no overage fee, your internet speed will be “throttled” down when you exceed your data limit, which is to say it will run at a slow rate of about 128 kbps (dial-up speeds). You’ll have access to everything, but your streaming quality will diminish, if it works at all.
You are able to purchase tokens for $25 that allow 3 GB of additional data, which isn’t very cost effective. Be wary as the data does not roll over into the next month.
Reliable speeds take care of most needs.
By nature, satellite is slower than DSL and cable internet, but it definitely outdoes dial-up speeds by a longshot. With dishNET, download speeds range from 5 to 10 Mbps depending on your plan and location. Upload speeds range from 1 to 2 Mbps, but this is relatively unimportant, unless you’re the type to upload high-quality photos and videos often.
Remember: your internet speed is affected by multiple users on the same network, type of content, etc., so you may want to purchase a plan with higher speeds to avoid lagging or drop-outs.
DISH’s award-winning TV service spills over into its satellite internet.
DISH Network LLC received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). While this doesn’t reflect dishNET individually, we expect that its customer service across various services won’t differ widely.
The majority of complaints (4,089 of 10,126 as of this writing) received by the Better Business Bureau were regarding advertising/sales issues. We recommend verifying your contract and pricing terms before and after purchasing, checking the advertised price against your first and second bills, and contacting customer support with any questions.
Due to the nature of customer service, the negative voices are often the ones expressed publicly. Rarely will consumers reach out with positive feedback.
With all that in mind, we’ll say that our email received no response within the 48-hour time frame and the website layout could use a facelift for a more enjoyable and clear customer experience.
dishNET is a great option for rural and remote users
For $50 a month, you’ll get all the data and speed you need (assuming you’re not an HD stream fiend or hardcore gamer). While the 15 GB plan might be appealing for the extra data, it’s hard for us to justify a $20 rate hike for 5 GB without any increase in speed. Of course, it definitely beats the $25 token to get 3 GB of extra data. Schedule your downloads accordingly and keep track of your usage; you can always upgrade if needed.