It’s more expensive, but you get more too.
Exede costs more than other satellite internet providers, but its plans have high speeds and plenty of data.
What’s the real price?
Exede’s advertised price depends on the plan, and some plans are not available everywhere.
Its basic plan (Essential 10) starts at $49.99 a month (regularly $69.99 a month) , which is higher than HughesNet’s and dishNET’s basic plans; however, Exede’s basic plan has higher download and upload speeds and includes unlimited data (1–5 Mbps download speed after anytime data is used).
The regular price for Exede’s top plan (Liberty 30) is a whopping $149.99 a month. (Its promotional price is currently $99.99 a month, but that’s only for the first three months.) HughesNet and dishNET have much lower prices for their top plans, but neither has unlimited data of 1–5 Mbps.
As with most service providers that require contracts, Exede has an early termination fee (ETF). It’s $15 for every month remaining on the two-year contract, so if you cancel after a year, for example, you’d be stuck with a bill of $180. HughesNet and dishNET are no different; they have similar ETFs.
Exede equipment includes a satellite dish and modem, and the rental fee is $9.99 a month. Exede does give you the option to prepay for the equipment: $199.99 for 24 months (the length of the contract) or $299.99 for the life of the equipment. The first option will save you about $40 over two years. The second option will break even at two-and-a-half years, and it could save you quite a bit if you end up sticking with Exede for an extended period of time. If you kept the equipment for four years, for example, you could save $270.
Same speeds, different data
|Plan||Download Speed||Upload Speed|
|Liberty 12||12–25 Mbps||3 Mbps|
|Liberty 18||12–25 Mbps||3 Mbps|
|Liberty 30||12–25 Mbps||3 Mbps|
|Essential 10||12–25 Mbps||3 Mbps|
Exede has the same max download speed and upload speed across all its plans, which means its basic plan plan has higher speeds than the competition. The only differences between Exede’s plans are anytime data and the unlimited data feature.
Other satellite providers vary the data and speed of plans based on price, which can force consumers to make compromises, either by paying more for a faster speed and unneeded data, or sacrificing speed to avoid paying for that data.
Which plan is right for me?
To help you decide if a plan is right for you, you may want to look at the FCC’s Broadband Speed Guide. The guide provides minimum download speeds (emphasis on minimum) for various internet activities, but be aware that “internet speeds are not guaranteed.” So if you need 5 Mbps speed at bare minimum, we recommend erring on the side of caution and going with a 10 Mbps plan or higher.
More data than anywhere else
Exede lives up to its name with solid amounts of data and the industry-leading Liberty plans with unlimited (but slower) “bonus data” once you use your regular allotment.
An internet connection isn’t much good without a decent data allowance; Exede stays competitive here, with plans offering 10, 18, or 30 GB of data. This probably doesn’t seem like much if you’re used to cable internet, but it’s par for the course when it comes to satellite internet.
Now, if you happen to use all that data, you’re not left out in the cold. Most satellite providers will only allow you to use your connection during slower, off-peak hours once your data cap is reached. Exede does things a little differently: once you reach your data cap, you can still access the internet whenever you want, but the speed is slowed down from the usual 12 Mbps to between 1 and 5 Mbps (depending on the time of day). There is also no limit on how much of this bonus data you can use, whereas the competition typically still puts a data cap on it.
Delivering speed as advertised
Again, Exede really excels in this area. Regardless of which plan you choose, you get a respectable 12 Mbps download speed and an industry leading 3 Mbps upload speed.
Behind data allowances, connection speed is probably the most important thing to consider when choosing an internet provider. While some providers offer up to 15 Mbps download speeds on their top-tier packages (notably HughesNet), Exede gives you the same 12 Mbps across all of their packages, including the $59.99 base package. For comparison, HughesNet’s equivalently priced package gets you 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds, while dishNET’s base package shuffles along at just 5 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up.
More complaints, better grade
Exede has you covered with numerous ways to find answers to your questions or reach support staff if you still need help.
Exede offers a number of ways to get support, including the usual options: online chat, email, and phone support, with average wait times listed next to each option. Chats are said to start within one minute, email responses are promised within 24 hours, and there is a 2-minute average wait time for the good old telephone. There is also an online forum where you can chat with other customers and get questions answered, as well as a help center with guides and tutorials for a variety of topics.
Finally, tucked away at the bottom of the support page is an option you don’t see very often: a mailing address that you can use to have your complaints or issues (or praise!) viewed and addressed by the company’s executive leadership. There is even a promise that every letter received will be acted upon promptly. We find this very refreshing; it shows that the leadership is actively involved with their customers. Kudos to Exede for this.
When we reached out to have some questions answered for this review, we received prompt help and the staff was polite. Cable and internet companies tend to get a bad rap for customer service, and often this is deserved, but our experiences with Exede, while brief, were pleasant and didn’t throw up any red flags.
Exede delivers solid satellite internet
Exede is an excellent option for satellite internet, especially if you don’t mind spending a little more.
With high data caps and fast speeds across their range of plans, it’s hard to find a major fault with the service. Maybe the only issue is that they are expensive, at least once you move past the base package. That said, you do get more for your money, and we feel the higher-tier plans offer a better value despite the higher price, since at the highest tier you get three times the data for less than three times the price.