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Exede vs. dishNET vs. HughesNet Review

Exede vs. HughesNet vs. dishNET

In the battle of the big three in satellite internet—Exede, HughesNet, and dishNET—there’s only one question: who’s the best? We’ve compared all three and declared a winner for price, speed, and data.

ProviderHughesNet logoExede internet logoDishNET logo
Monthly Price$29.99 - $89.99$49.99 - $149.99$39.99 - $79.99
Download Speed5-15 Mbps12-25 Mbps5-10 Mbps
Upload Speed1-2 Mbps3 Mbps1-2 Mbps
Anytime Data5-50 GB10-30 GB5-15 GB
Bonus Data5–50 GBUnlimited5–15 GB
24/7 Support
Customer Support
Email Support
Online Chat
HughesNet logo
$29.99 - $89.99
5-15 Mbps
1-2 Mbps
5-50 GB
5–50 GB
Exede internet logo
$49.99 - $149.99
12-25 Mbps
3 Mbps
10-30 GB
DishNET logo
$39.99 - $79.99
5-10 Mbps
1-2 Mbps
5-15 GB
5–15 GB

In the battle of the big three in satellite internet—Exede, HughesNet, and dishNET—there’s only one question: who’s the best? We’ve compared all three and declared a winner for price, speed, and data.


The Choice plan from HughesNet for $29.99/mo

  • Pricing $29.99-89.99
  • Anytime Data 5-50 GB
  • Max Download 5-15 Mbps
  • Max Upload 1-2 Mbps
  • Equipment Fee $9.99 Mo
View Plans Read Review

The Liberty 12 plan from Exede for $49.99/mo

  • Pricing $49.99-149.99
  • Anytime Data 10-30 GB
  • Max Download 12-25 Mbps
  • Max Upload 3 Mbps
  • Equipment Fee $9.99 Mo
View Plans Read Review

The 5GB Internet plan from dishNET for $39.99/mo

  • Pricing $39.99-79.99
  • Anytime Data 5-19 Mbps
  • Max Upload 1-2 Mbps
  • Equipment Fee $9.99 Mo
View Plans Read Review


The fastest download speeds

Exede internet logoHughesNet logoDishNET logo
Max Download Speed25 Mbps15 Mbps10 Mbps

It’s no contest—Exede is the fastest satellite internet provider. Its max download speed is 25 Mbps. Though the 25 Mbps option costs an extra $10 a month, that kind of speed isn’t available anywhere else. Also, Exede’s basic plan has a max download speed of 12 Mbps, whereas HughesNet and dishNET start at 5 Mbps.
HughesNet’s download speeds max out at 15 Mbps, which is only available with its top two plans. As for dishNET, its highest download speed is 10 Mbps, and like HughesNet, it’s only available with the top two plans.


The most data for the best price

HughesNet logoExede internet logoDishNET logo
Anytime Data50 GB30 GB15 GB
Bonus Data (Max)50 GBUnlimited15 GB

HughesNet gets you the most data for what you pay. For example, HughesNet’s Ultra plan has 50 GB of anytime data for $79.99 a month. In comparison, Exede’s Liberty 30 plan has 30 GB of anytime data and costs $149.99 a month (regular price, not promotional price). That’s almost twice the price, and you get 20 GB less!
As for dishNET, its top plan only has 15 GB of anytime data for $69.99 a month (it jumps to $79.99 a month after a year). That’s almost the same price as HughesNet’s Ultra plan which has 50 GB of anytime data.

What do you think?

Do you agree with our rankings? Is there something we missed? We want to know what you think. Leave us a comment below, and be sure to ask us any question you’d like answered about satellite internet.


Disclaimer: The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing. All information is subject to change. Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the customer’s location, package chosen, added features and equipment, the purchaser’s credit score, etc. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative. Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase.

Our mission is to help consumers make informed purchase decisions. All content remains unbiased and uninfluenced by external compensation including, but not related to, ratings, rankings, and opinions. Our affiliate compensation allows us to maintain an ad-free website and provide a free service to our readers. For more information, please see our disclosures page.

  • Ron Villamaria

    In my part of the Midwest US, DishNet is little more than a rebranded reseller of either the HughesNet or Exede services (but with in-house tech support). I was told the actual provider Dish selects is based on available capacity in my area. My plan is $79.99/mo for 50GB anytime + 50GB 2am-8am. I routinely pull down 15 up to 20MBps download speeds (variable). My specific account is provided by HughesNet. This is not a service for anyone that has access to cable, DSL, or fixed wireless or wants to stream video every day, but for people that need Internet in the sticks, it works.

    • Jenn Diffley

      Hey Ron,
      Thanks for that info. Interesting to hear that DishNET is acting as more of a reseller, but great to see that you’re getting pretty stellar speeds with HughesNet. Have you had any issues with your service?

      • Marisa Moon

        You get a lot more GB offered than I do with Hughes. We are in NW indiana in the middle of the woods and can’t get DSL because it’s all used up in our area. It’s been rough!

        • Jenn Diffley

          That sounds brutal, but it’s cool you get to live in the woods! One tactic you may try is calling up Exede and telling them your current plan with Hughes. See if they can beat your current data plan for the same price. It’s worth a shot!

      • Ron Villamaria

        I’ve had 2 service calls within 2 years – 1 was to re-aim the dish after a winter storm (fee waived) and another to replace a failed modem (~$70 fee – I don’t pay for the maintenance plan). Other than that it’s been trouble free. Occasionally it slows down but I figure it’s network congestion on my beam at peak times. I like the usage notices that you can set up to warn you as you approach your cap as well. Best thing they could improve would be to increase the anytime cap to a more Netflix-friendly level, maybe 150-200 GB per month?

        • Jenn Diffley

          Hey, that’s not bad at all. I’ve had two service calls with my Comcast XFINITY internet in the five months I’ve had it (because, according to them, the “new technicians keep disconnecting the old service lines”). But yes, I’m with you on increasing the caps–we’re in the age of streaming and they need to keep up.

    • Tom Barto

      Doesn’t Dish own HughesNet? I thought they merged 5 years or so ago.

      • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

        No…but we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that. Exede owns Wildblue, HughesNet owns Earthlink, and we’ve heard from some customers that their dishNET service is basically resold HughesNet service (see top comment).

        It can be a little hard to keep straight, but that’s why we stick with the big three (HughesNet, Exede, dishNET) when it comes to satellite internet.

  • Marisa Moon

    Hi there, I am a hughes net user, and I do not the see anytime data packages that you speak of. Here is a screenshot of the plans they offer. We have the largest package available (ours is called “Max”, and i don’t see one called “Ultra”) and it only includes 20G anytime data and 50G bonus bytes which are only offered between 2am and 8am…when most people are sleeping.

    • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

      Thanks for sharing this! Yes, HughesNet plans vary by location. We’ll include these plans in our review. We listed all the plans in three different areas, but it looks like we still missed one or two variations.

      We agree that the Bonus Bytes are not useful for some (if not most) users because of the time restrictions. Are you looking for something with more anytime data? If you are, Exede’s plans with the Free Zone feature might be worth a look. Exede’s unlimited data isn’t as fast as its anytime data, but the Free Zone has a decent speed of 1–5 Mbps.

      BTW, we couldn’t remove your screenshot without deleting your comment, but it includes personal information. You might want to remove the image.

      • Marisa Moon

        I don’t think there’s anything on the screenshot that’s useful to anyone is there? Thanks for looking out.

        I just learned about Exede today which led me to your site. It seems we would get more anytime data (10 more GB a month) and faster anytime speed than we’re getting now. I don’t see anything about “Free Zone”. These are the plans I’m offered…

        • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

          Their website only lists basic order information (like HughesNet, plans vary by area). We’d recommend asking a representative. We’re not a fan of making phone calls, but it’s the surest way to check service availability in your area.

          If you do call, please tell us about the experience.

  • Mr Man

    Exede is a rip off they over charge (I had to call and wait for a refund) and they steal data and make fake excuses for over limit data use. 2 months in a row they said that I went over my limit(when I was not even home) My time will be up in DEC and will leave them

  • Lela Kluck

    Exede was Horrible!! Turned them into BBB.. The installer left before he completed the job, stated he was “HUNGRY”!! I had to finish getting my service up and running myself that night….The Beam was coming from such a distance Canada (we live in Ohio) that we couldn’t even get a strong enough connection most times to even do a speed test. We had the to call every day to get re-booted I called and complained and their “representive” disconnected me (i was on hold) while Only called to “ask” how to get out of the contract, but could not be happier! she made my decision for me, Now im pursing legal matters if they think im gonna pay for more than the 12 awful days of service I had with them. We ask many questions before switching to this company as well, I also supplied them a list of games that my son plays “live” on X-Box and their rep says that thoses game were compatiable and he should have NO problems, NOT the case! we were lied to right from the beginning, I also shared my concerns about the BBB reports and the rep told me the is only 1% of their customers well I guess I’m in that 1% now?

    • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

      Holy cow! That is terrible. Hope you find another way to get internet.

      BTW, no satellite internet provider will give you enough speed to play online video games, especially for the XBOX. You might be able to download games (it will take a while), but you won’t be able to play live and online.

  • Jim Tripp

    I’m writing this to warn anyone thinking about using Hughes Internet service to STAY AWAY FROM IT. I was introduced to Hughes in a package deal with DirecTV (who is doing a wonderful job). They brought in a third-party contractor to install the dish and without any hesitation he put it where DirecTV told me a dish should be avoided which was pointed directly into my roof with tree and leaf background. The contractor told me the Internet dish works differently and not to worry. The Internet was extremely slow then stopped working altogether when the leaves started budding. I asked Hughes politely to come fix the problem and to send a contractor who might actually do a good job. Sure enough, the same guy shows up annoyed by the inconvenience. After asking him politely several times to move the dish he finally concedes and tacks it on to the cottage next door, again in a half assed fashion that this man is obviously accustomed to. Starts out for a few weeks medium to slow speed before losing alignment with the satellite altogether. Puzzled, I asked a friend who used to install dishes and he said the dish was hanging there with no support and was bound to lose alignment eventually. I called Hughes and was connected to someone whose first language obviously wasn’t English. She told me I would have to pay $125. I told her I would not pay that money for substandard work, she conceded and was arranging to have a technician to come fix the problem when our phone conversation was mysteriously disconnected. Like Groundhog Day, had a similar conversation the next four times I called to arrange tech support. Could never get a time to have the technician come to fix the problem, until I finally became the irate customer that no company wants to deal with, undoubtedly being labeled as a troublemaker. My foreign friend told me again I would need to pay the $125 in again I refused. She asked me if I wanted to cancel the service and I told her I just wanted the service TO WORK. To her credit she did make the arrangement and gave me a time that the technician will arrive, this time of course during my regular work hours in the emergency room for which I had to rearrange my schedule. She explained that this was the only time the tech would be able to work on the dish for any foreseeable future appointment. She also said she would credit me the two weeks which the service was not working. OK. Sounds reasonable. This time I made very clear that there would need to be a different technician than the one who had visited twice previously. So take a wild guess who shows up? … the same idiot. At this point it’s almost funny. So he realigns the dish, puts up a support bracket that he should’ve placed on the second visit, and is about to bid me good day. “Just a moment please. I’m not getting a connection signal”. Mr. sunshine then informs me that if my modem hasn’t been used in sometime it probably needs to be connected directly to a computer for a software update. And then says “it’s working on my end”. The anger which was rising nearly uncontrollably in my heart stayed in check as I invited him to leave, while he was standing there obviously expecting some sort of tip. I then called Hughes. Lots of apologies, and disbelief that he would leave without making sure the service was working correctly. Who doesn’t love some good lip service, right? So while Mr. Empathy is on the phone and putting me on hold to do who knows what, I started tinkering with the modem and accidentally fix it myself. All is well that ends well, so they say. Until the next day when the $125 service fee is charged to my account. So of course when I called and told them I specifically said I would not pay the fee, they told me I had agreed to it and that it could not be refunded. THE END

    This review will be copied and sent to DirecTV corporate Hughes net, the Better Business Bureau, everyone I know in the surrounding counties, Facebook friends, Angie’s list, and to any other entities I can find that may have some impact on these crooks business. Hope the $125 was worth it, jack off’s. Welcome to the information age.

    • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

      We’d definitely recommend filing with the BBB. If you ever do get it resolved, let us know. Also, we’ve been thinking of doing an article on how to deal with bad customer service. Do you think that would be useful?

      • Jim Tripp

        Scott I work as a provider at a Native American facility located in the middle of nowhere with a local populace of 13,000 plus. When we have shit bags that come here thinking they’re going to do whatever it was they did at the place they came from, they get replaced quickly. All of this is because of word of mouth and having a media platform on the internet where they can express their problems. Sometimes in the cases where begrudging patrons don’t get the opiates or benzos they want, people get black balled unfairly. But it’s one of the 21st century’s checks and balances. Express it in enough places, and these huge corporations will have to start paying attention to more than the money that pads their wallets. So yes, the more exposure the better. If they won’t do the basic things to serve the people they take money from, let’s make them go extinct. They will be replaced by smaller businesses that will undoubtedly be more expensive, but I bet those businesses would try a hell of a lot harder to make sure their patrons are happy with the service.

        • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

          Thanks for sharing your experience … even if it was terrible. If we can help you find a better service, let us know. (We’re also open to suggestions or feedback if you have any.)

  • Latisha Chevallier

    who did you switch to?