Satellite Internet: The Best Providers 2018

If you need internet access in the country, satellite internet might be your best bet—but there aren’t many options for it.
BEST OVERALL
Viasat
Advertised Price
$50$150
Sales Phone
Learn more
RUNNER UP
HughesNet
Advertised Price
$59.99$129.99
Sales Phone
Learn more
Recent Updates: More than 6 months
We've updated our rankings to account for major changes with Exede, which is now Viasat. With its improved speeds, data, and plan structure, we've made it our top pick for satellite internet. Read our analysis to learn more.
More than 6 months
Viasat (formerly called Exede) recently announced that its ViaSat-2 satellite is “ready for service”. The new satellite should help increase Viasat Internet speeds up to 100 Mbps downstream, as well as launch new unlimited data plans. We will reevaluate the information in this article once this is available. Also, SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private aerospace company, is reportedly planning a full-scale invasion on satellite internet with intentions to launch 4,425 low-orbit satellites as early as 2019. We’ll keep an eye on both companies and update this post in full when more information is available.

If you’ve done even a casual search for high-speed satellite internet, you’ve probably discovered there aren’t many providers out there. And if you’ve seen the prices and data limits that often come with satellite, you probably also know it’s not the best internet option.

But if you live in a rural area, a satellite provider might be your only option. Fortunately for you, satellite internet access has come a long way in the last few years and you now have two options: Viasat (formerly known as Exede) and HughesNet.

Advertised PriceDownload speedsLearn more
Viasat$50$150*12100 MbpsView Plans
HughesNet$59.99$129.9925 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 3 months.
Requires 24 month agreement.

*Viasat lists all its plans as unlimited, but there are some data guidelines in the fine print.

HughesNet used to be the best satellite internet service provider (ISP) out there, but now it falls flat next to Viasat’s new and improved plans, speeds, and prices. If you need high-speed internet in the middle of nowhere, we recommend Viasat over HughesNet.

Why are there only two satellite internet providers?

Here’s what happened: you used to be able to choose from five major satellite internet service providers (ISPs). But since then, three of the five have either closed up shop or been bought up. Now only Viasat (formerly Exede) and HughesNet offer satellite internet.

  • HughesNet: Still offers satellite internet
  • Exede Internet: Changed its name to Viasat
  • WildBlue satellite internet: Bought by Exede in 2009
  • dishNET: Discontinued, but DISH customers can get satellite internet service through a third party
  • EarthLink: Discontinued its satellite internet service

Viasat has seriously stepped up its game this year. Last year, it was easy to rule it out thanks to HughesNet’s standardized pricing and higher speeds—but things have changed since then. Viasat now gives you faster speeds for less money (depending on where you live), and it has unlimited data (sort of).

Viasat plans and pricing

Unlimited Platinum 100
Viasat Internet
Price:
$150/mo.
Download speed:
100 Mbps
$150 a month

There’s no way around it: satellite internet is pricey. But of our two competitors, Viasat gives you more data and Mbps for your money than HughesNet. And those are huge ranking factors for us, because, well, we tend to quality.

Both Viasat and HughesNet aren’t accepting new installations in certain areas in the US. But for the most part, you can get one of these plans no matter where you live. After all, that’s the benefits of satellite internet.

Viasat packages

NamePriceDownload speedView plan
Unlimited Bronze 12$50/mo.*12 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Silver 12$65/mo.*12 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Gold 12$95/mo.*12 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Bronze 25$50/mo.*25 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Silver 25$70/mo.*25 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Gold 30$100/mo.*30 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Gold 50$100/mo.*50 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Platinum 100$150/mo.*100 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 3 months.

Notice Viasat’s prices go up dramatically after the first three months. HughesNet keeps prices the same for all 24 months of your contract, and we wish Viasat would too. But even with the price increase, you pay less per GB of data with Viasat than you would with HughesNet.

Does Viasat have early termination fees?

Yes. Both Viasat and HughesNet require 24-month contracts. For Viasat, if you cancel early, you’ll be stuck paying $15 per month for every month remaining on your contract.

For example, if you cancelled your service only a month after installation, it would cost you $345 in early termination fees. It’s not cheap.

Viasat speeds

Viasat recently launched a new satellite that upped Viasat’s internet speeds to as high as 100 Mbps in some areas. With speeds like that, HughesNet’s standard 25 Mbps starts to look a bit sparse.

That said, Viasat plans are entirely location based. How fast your internet is depends on where you live, and some Viasat plans give you speeds as low as 12 Mbps.

What about data caps?

Good news! Viasat doesn’t have data caps anymore. Its “unlimited” plans are available almost everywhere, so it doesn’t charge you extra when you go over some absurdly low data limit.

That’s great because low data caps are one of the biggest downsides of satellite internet. But don’t think you’re out of the woods yet.

Viasat might not charge you extra, but it does say it can prioritize other internet users above you if you use more than a certain amount of data per month (40, 60, 100, or 150 GB depending on your plan). So your speed probably will go down if you use more than that.

Viasat data guidelines

  • 40 GB — $50–$70/mo.
  • 60 GB — $70–$100/mo.
  • 100 GB — $100–$150/mo.
  • 150 GB — $150–$200/mo.

We don’t love the lack of transparency, but even if Viasat does lower your internet speed after the set data amount, Viasat still offers higher data allotments than your other satellite option, HughesNet. (And HughesNet outright promises to lower your speeds if you go over the limit.)

Can I play video games at these speeds?

In short, no. Or at least not well. Satellite internet has never been great for gaming, and it’s still not because speed isn’t the issue: it’s latency. It just takes too long for the internet signal to reach your house from the satellite in outer space.

Heads Up icon

Heads up

Satellite internet also does not work well (or sometimes at all) with VPNs or video chats.

The bottom line

As satellite internet goes, Viasat is about as good as it gets. Compared to HughesNet, which is your only other option, you get more data and higher speeds for your money.

We realize Viasat’s speeds still aren’t that high (especially considering latency) and the price is very high for what you get, but if you have no other rural internet options, Viasat is the way to go.

Satellite internet runner up — HughesNet

HughesNet’s service has gotten much better in the last few years, but it still runs into some major issues.

50 GB
HughesNet Internet
Name:
Price:
$129.99/mo.
Download speed:
25 Mbps
View plan:
$129.99 a month

HughesNet plans used to be very slow and very pricey. Luckily for its customers, HughesNet launched a new satellite in 2017 and began offering 25 Mbps speeds for all its plans.

That said, HughesNet has run into a few problems since then. Its new satellite filled up pretty quickly, which means there are a few areas in the lower 48 United States it doesn’t cover. And HughesNet plans have data limits, after which your internet speed will slow to a crawl.

So while it’s definitely better than it used to be, we still have to declare HughesNet second to Viasat in our satellite internet showdown this year.

HughesNet plans and pricing

HughesNet plans and pricing are pretty standard all across the United States, which is convenient. We love transparent pricing. But you still have to check your location to make sure HughesNet allows new installations in your neighborhood.

HughesNet packages

NamePriceDownload speedView plan
10 GB$59.99/mo.25 MbpsView Plans
20 GB$69.99/mo.25 MbpsView Plans
50 GB$129.99/mo.25 MbpsView Plans
30 GB$99.99/mo.25 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Requires 24 month agreement.

As you can see, HughesNet plans are a bit simpler to understand than Viasat’s. HughesNet doesn’t jack up the price after three months, and it offers the same download speed no matter which plan you get. Essentially, you’re just paying for data.

What happens if you go over your data amount?

The good news is, if you go over the amount of data in your plan, HughesNet will not cut off your service or charge you extra. The bad news is it will throttle your speed to nearly nothing.

HughesNet’s fine print says that if you exceed your allotted data, your download speed will slow to only 1–3 Mbps until your next billing cycle. You can pay extra to buy a data token, which will bring your speeds back up, but satellite internet is already pricey, and HughesNet’s data guidelines are low.

Neither HughesNet nor Viasat has exceptional amounts of data in their plans, but Viasat gives you twice what HughesNet does—and for less money.

Light Bulb icon

Tip

Both HughesNet and Viasat have apps that let you track your usage so you know if you’re about to go over your data allotment. The apps are available for both Android and iOS.

How do you stream movies with such low amounts of data?

HughesNet’s service automatically adjusts video quality to a lower resolution, which helps you use less data. Just don’t think you’re going to be watching everything in 1080p. Expect all your Netflix shows to play in 480p.

You also get 50 GB of bonus data you can use every month during off-peak hours, which is between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. So if you want to download movies or games, that’s a good time to do it. You should also set any software updates for your computer to download during that time.

HughesNet vs. Viasat monthly price per GB

HughesNetViasat
$2–$5/GB$1.33–$1.50/GB
View PlansView Plans

Does HughesNet have early termination fees?

Yes. As with Viasat, HughesNet requires you to sign a 24-month contract. If you cancel after installation but before your contract is up, HughesNet can charge you up to $400 in cancellation fees depending on how long you have left on your contract.

HughesNet speeds

As we’ve mentioned, all HughesNet plans have the same download speed: 25 Mbps. That can’t even compare to Viasat’s 100 Mbps plan. But remember the biggest issue with satellite internet is not speed—it’s latency.

Even if you get a plan with high download speeds, you might still feel like your internet is slow. That’s because of latency, and it’s just the nature of satellite internet.

The bottom line

HughesNet is better than it used to be, but it still has high prices for low data limits and mediocre speed.

We can’t recommend HughesNet over Viasat, but we do like that HughesNet’s plans are simple to understand and that it keeps its prices consistent for your entire contract.

Satellite internet FAQs

Q: How does satellite internet work?

The complete satellite internet system includes the following:

  • Satellite dish
  • Modem
  • Orbiting satellite that receives and transmits data

satellite internet

To put it simply, data from the satellite dish on your house is sent to an orbiting satellite owned by your internet provider. The satellite relays data to a stationary satellite dish connected to a larger network (i.e., the internet).

To get technical, the orbiting satellite is about 22,000 miles away from Earth. At that distance, the satellite will orbit at the same pace as the earth rotates, enabling your home satellite dish to remain in constant contact with the orbiting satellite. This is also why (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere) your satellite dish must have an unobstructed view of the southern sky.

Q: How much can I download?

It depends on which plan you have from your satellite internet provider. If your plan lets you download 10 GB per month, then that’s about four two-hour HD movies or 180 hours of streaming music. If you use the internet only for browsing web pages and reading your email (i.e. no downloading or streaming content), then you’ll probably never go over 10 GB in a month.

Q: What speeds do I get?

First and foremost, your speeds depend on which plan you get. Second, there are many factors that can influence your speed, including the setup of your computer and how many people use your network. Third, satellite internet has high latency, which is not the same as slow speed but does still affect your experience.

Generally speaking, satellite internet can give you download speeds anywhere from 12 to 100 Mbps.

Q: What’s the installation process?

Professional installation services and fees vary, so it depends on the satellite provider you choose and on where you live. Satellite internet providers might offer free installation in one location but charge a fee in another. Most of the time, it should be free.

The actual installation process is usually done by third-party contractors, so feel free to ask lots of questions and make sure to look over the paperwork carefully.

If you live in a townhouse, condo, or any other living situation with a homeowners association (HOA), double check that you’re allowed to install a satellite dish.

Q: Can I get satellite internet for a car, RV, or boat?

The short answer is no. Most satellite internet services are designed to stay in one place. But you might be able to get satellite TV. See our article on how to get TV on the road for more information on how to take your shows with you.

Q: Is there unlimited satellite internet?

If you’re curious to know if there is unlimited, unthrottled satellite internet for a set price, it does not yet exist.

Q: Should I lease or purchase satellite internet equipment?

For most satellite internet providers, equipment leases for $10–$15 per month for the 24-month contract period. Currently, only HughesNet offers an option to purchase your satellite equipment up front for a cost of $249.99 ($199.99 standard installation fee not included).

HughesNet Equipment — Purchase or Lease?

PurchaseLease
Satellite antenna and modem$249.99$14.99/mo
Standard installation$199.99Free
Lease set-up feen/a$99.00

If you go with Viasat, you have to lease your equipment. The cost is $10 per month, and there’s no lease setup fee. You can also go with a “lifetime lease” for $299.99. If you plan to have your equipment for more than 30 months, the lifetime lease can save you some money—but it’s not the same as purchasing equipment because you still have to return your equipment if you ever cancel your service.

Viasat Equipment — Purchase or Lease?

PurchaseLease
Satellite antenna and modemn/a$9.99/mo
Standard installationn/aFree
Lease set-up feen/an/a

If you go with HughesNet and decide to buy your equipment, the cost works out to be about the same as leasing for two years, and you don’t have to worry about returning your equipment at the end of your contract. If you intend to have satellite internet for more than two years, it’s not a bad idea to buy your hardware.

Satellite internet myths and facts

#1 — Satellite internet is too slow.

Satellite internet used to be extremely slow with download speeds of approximately 750 Kbps. But advancements in technology and new satellites have increased speeds to anywhere from 12 to 100 Mbps, which rivals DSL and cable internet.

#2 — It takes a long time to receive a signal.

Only during internet activities that are affected by latency. Latency is the time it takes for data to be sent and received. In the case of satellite internet, it’s the time it takes for information to go from your device to your satellite dish, to your provider’s orbiting satellite, to a separate satellite dish, and back again. As you can see, that’s a lot of steps. And latency has long been a strike against satellite internet.

Latency is higher with satellite internet than it is for cable, DSL, and fiber internet. Cable, DSL, and fiber internet have latency in the 20–50 millisecond (ms) range, while satellite internet ranges can be close to 600 ms.

Because satellites are positioned 22,000 miles above the earth, data just has a long way to travel. It’s also why we basically never recommend satellite internet over other types like cable. But if you live in the country or an area without good internet options, satellite might be your best (and sometimes only) choice.

The most obvious effect of latency is on gaming. Gaming requires ultra-quick responses and that just doesn’t work very well with satellite internet. If you choose satellite internet, you will have to say goodbye to League of Legends (or get a portable Wi-Fi hotspot on Amazon). But other online activities, like web browsing, emailing, and photo sharing, won’t be affected by latency much at all.

#3 — Satellite internet doesn’t work when it’s cloudy, rainy, or stormy.

While it’s true that severe thunderstorms, heavy snow, or blizzards can interrupt satellite transmission temporarily, the problem isn’t as significant as popular opinion assumes. Storm-related interruptions are commonly called “rain fade,” and the signal is restored as soon as the storm passes. You can also remove heavy accumulations of snow from around the satellite dish to restore communications.

In contrast, a heavy thunderstorm with fallen trees or other extreme weather with similar effects could disable cable or DSL for days. Again, most satellite internet customers live in rural areas without access to DSL or cable, so even with rain fade, satellite internet is preferable  to alternative, slower means of internet service (like dial-up).

#4 — Satellite internet is too expensive.

Satellite internet is relatively expensive. But the monthly costs have decreased over the last few years. You can get a decent satellite internet plan from either Viasat or HughesNet for about $50 per month, which is comparable to cable or DSL.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about satellite internet or you think we’re missing something, leave us a comment below. We love hearing from you.

Related video: How to speed up your internet

  • ZandarKoad

    DishNet is objectively terrible, it’s just a re-branding of one of the other two. After personally installing hundreds of all three systems – DishNet, HughesNet, and Exede – I have to say that Exede always comes out ahead in performance. But their available bandwidth is filling up, so they might not even be accepting new customers in your area.

    • Jenn Diffley

      That’s really good information to have–we haven’t heard anything about Exede potentially running out of bandwidth (thought that wouldn’t be something they’d advertise, obviously). It’s also good to hear from someone who’s had hands-on experience. Hopefully DishNet and HughesNet up their games soon.

      • ZandarKoad

        Actually, DishNet can have a cost advantage, especially when it’s bundled with Dish’s TV service. And then the customer only needs to pay 1 bill which is something consumers always like.

        • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io Scott T.

          True!

    • Douglas Newton II

      I disagree.. have been with Dishnet over the last three years and have not had a problem with their performance which is through Hughesnet.. we have a pretty consistent 5Mb download and after a year they even increased our data to 14gb anytime … Ever since exede has even showed up on the radar here in Idaho.. they can not give you service.. at least every time I have checked.. Exede used to be Wildblue and as soon as our contract was up we dropped them in an instant, due to very poor performance and erratic internet service..

      • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io/ Trevor Wheelwright

        Hey Douglas, really appreciate you sharing this. It’s always nice hearing positive feedback, most people only speak up when they’ve had a negative experience or issue. Glad to hear your experience with dishNet/Hughesnet has been smooth!

    • https://freshcalendars.com/august-2018-calendar August 2018 Calendar

      Why are there only two providers for the best satellite internet of 2018? Here’s what happened. Not long ago, you could choose from five major satellite internet service providers (ISPs). However, as of now there are only two left: HughesNet and Viasat (formerly Exede).

  • Sebastiaan Bol

    Thanks for the update! How do you explain HughesNet is still your no. 1 choice, when Exede offers so much faster internet?

    Also, i called with HughesNet and they say they use Generation 4 technology and the competitors Generation 2. They claim the US military uses it and that their customers get 120% of the promised download speed. On the phone they also offered me no termination fee if you cancel within the first 30 days, and they referred to the FAQ on their website. Looking that up learned me they do not offer this at all. It’s terribly confusing and i can’t believe they are not forced by federal law to offer a 30 day try me for free period. 2 years is a long time if you are not happy with it (and $400 is a lot of money for a termination fee + the activation fee that you will not get back).

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io/ Trevor Wheelwright

      Hey Sebastiaan, thanks for the comment!

      It’s definitely a matter of pricing when it came to our decision. With HughesNet, their pricing lasts for the duration of the two-year contract, as opposed to Exede’s rates rising after 3 months of use.

      While Exede does have faster plans overall, their pricing leaves something to be desired. Exede’s initial prices don’t seem too far off from HughesNets, but the cost adds up quickly after 3 months. They also require an additional $10 a month on top of the advertised price to get the max download speed of 25 Mbps. So to get the top speed with the Liberty 30 plan for example, you’re looking at $99.99 + $10 = $109.99/mo for the promotional price, and then after three months it’s $169.99. While some may require these higher speeds from satellite internet, we believe most consumers would find better value with HughesNet.

      You are correct, HughesNet does not offer a 30-day trial period or money back guarantee, which is definitely a drawback. We agree that it’s a large investment both time and money-wise to sign up with a service provider, which is why we take the opportunity at Reviews.org to provide customers with more information and perspective before agreeing to a contract. We always encourage clarification with a sales agent in addition to reading to the fine print.

      Thanks again!
      Let us know who you end up going with and how your experience is!

  • http://www.internetchoice.org/ Jessica Ward

    This is a really great article. I had Exede for a long time and luckily am living in Kansas now with Google fiber, thankfully, but I didn’t have issues with Exede as far as satellite internet goes. I do agree with ZandarKoad though, you need to know if there are data limits.

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io Scott T.

      Thanks! We’ll think of how to make data limits more clear to readers.

      Also, we’re happy you had a good experience with Exede, but we’re jealous you have Google Fiber, ha. (We’d review Google Fiber if it had a larger footprint.)

  • A Name

    I am a little curious about the differences in service. I mean, you guys rate Hughesnet #1, but every other consumer review site I’ve seen with thousands of reviews of Hughesnet’s service has them rated at a solid 1/5 stars. So I can’t help but think you guys must have gotten different service than the other thousands of people did.

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io Scott T.

      When it comes to customer service, no internet service provider does an outstanding job; in fact, all ISPs could improve their customer service. We’d be curious to know what other reviews you’ve read.

      Also, user reviews can be especially harsh because people usually don’t take time to review a service unless they’ve had a negative experience. If you go to a Yelp page for an ISP or a website like Consumer Affairs (in no way related to Consumer Reports), you’ll find plenty of one-star reviews. However, those websites also try to sale their services to brands to improve their ratings, so we don’t trust them. If you’re looking for reliable information, you can start with the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual report on ISPs. It’s one of the first sources we go to for information on customer satisfaction.

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io Scott T.

      Consumer reviews can be especially harsh because people usually don’t take time to review a service unless they’ve had a negative experience. If you go to a Yelp page for an ISP or a website like Consumer Affairs (in no way related to Consumer Reports), you’ll find one-star reviews. However, those websites also try to sale their services to brands to improve their ratings, so we don’t trust them.

      According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (a source we trust), which surveys tens of thousands of customers, internet service is “the weakest among the 43 industries” it covers—people just don’t like their internet service. Using our criteria, we still think HughesNet is #1. There are only three major competitors in satellite internet, and it happens to be best of what’s available (emphasis on what’s available). If you have access to DSL, cable, or fiber internet, we would always recommend those services first over satellite internet.

      Also, we’re working on a user review system for our website so users can leave their own reviews.

    • Carolyn Burton

      I have hughesnet At The Moment – that’s fixing to change. Not only are they slow as dirt the customer service is outsourced. I spent an hour and a half talking to someone I could barely understand. I have what Should have been a simple issue of getting more data. I tried to do it online and nothing happened (repeatedly). I’ve called customer service in the past, the rep sounded American thus no communication issue and the problem was solved in five minutes. Today I explained my problem right off the bat and she had me do a speed test (which was very slow). I told her I just needed to add data. She said she understood, obviously Not because she had me boot into safe mode and couldn’t get into the internet – no surprise, not all the drivers load in safe mode. Went back to regular mode. Despite the fact that I have Windows 10 in which IE was replaced with Edge, she had no idea what I was talking about and said I should have IE. On the support page they don’t even have a system higher than Windows 7! I usually chat to avoid these communication issued but the chat wasn’t working. I also like having the conversation in writing. She said she’d have to send it to the engineering department and they’d get back with me in 2-3 business days, today is Friday so it will be the middle of next week before someone even gets back to me. I HIGHLY DON’T recommend Hughesnet

  • Jenn Diffley

    You’re right–data limits are brutal. We can emphasize them more from here on out. Streaming is such a big deal now that data limits are especially important.

  • rightislight

    I have/had Exede – WORST service I’ve ever seen both in terms of product and customer service. I warn you to keep away from them unless it’s the only option. Simply horrible!

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io Scott T.

      I’m hesitant to ask what made it so bad, but did you find another option for satellite internet? If so, how is it?

      • rightislight

        They said i was getting 12meg. My web searches painted as if it was a 56k speed. I’m not sure how pings come back at 12M but larger format (large packets perhaps) content came back painfully slow.

        Modem needed to be rebooted every morning in order to connect

        Customer service told me to “pound sand” effectively

        After 1 week I realized it wasn’t going to meet my needed. Exede is making pay for my contract anyway. When I’m done I’ll have paid exede $600 for 1 week of extremely poor service

        I learned that I have Charter Cable at the street. They’ll be here next week to run a line to my home. I’m lucky… I know.

        • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io/ Trevor Wheelwright

          Dang, that’s unfortunate to hear. Sorry you had a bad experience, let us know how your experience with Charter Cable internet, we’ll be getting to that review a little later, so it would be helpful to hear your thoughts!

  • iwfau cotmpaiwku

    Satellite internet data package is enough to almost cover one day at my house. What is the point.

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io Scott T.

      Satellite internet is for those who have no other option for internet service.

      • http://mcr.22web.org/ MCRwhatever

        It’s still not good enough. If counting upload and download bandwidth, I use around 200GB a month, every month. I pay about $70 a month for DSL (it’s way overpriced but I don’t have any better options). Hughesnet says after you hit the limit, they will reduce your net speeds to just a little more than dialup speeds. Their highest plan for my area is $130 a month and only includes 75GB. That’s not enough for the price. For $130 a month, I should get 500GB of data at a reasonably fast speed.

        • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io Scott T.

          If you have the choice between DSL and satellite internet, always go with DSL. There’s no question of that here.

  • iwfau cotmpaiwku

    Monthly data allowance lasts one day to be clear.

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io Scott T.

      Well, it just depends on how much you use. Data allowance is like a package of Oreos: it could last weeks or a be gone in one day.

  • James Jeans

    Exede is positively horrible. Bad customer service, bad speeds at inflated prices, wonky data usage determination.

    We live in the middle of BFE, Texas. As a result, satellite internet is the only viable option. We pay nearly $150 a month for the “privilege” of of 25 GB of data per month. That might have been fine a couple of years ago — in fact it was, we’ve been saddled with them for two years and it was mostly okay at first — but now that every single website seems increasingly fond of auto streaming video, those caps can go real fast even when you’re just browsing websites. Facebook is particularly bad. In the last couple of years they’ve implemented video files that just play on their own as you scroll down your feed, and up until recently there was nothing you could do about it.

    On top of that, Windows 10 owners who don’t own the most expensive build have no choice but to accept Windows Updates on Windows terms. With previous versions of Windows you could choose when to download updates, but that’s only an option for people who own the most costly version of Windows 10.

    We’re a household of video game players, and boy… games are big now. If you want to purchase a game like Battlefield Hardline, that’s a 45 GB commitment. That doesn’t include patches.

    Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime and VUDU are right out, as well as most streaming music services.

    The only bright side is the 12 AM to 5 AM window where we have unlimited data. Although not so you’d really notice it. Speeds are often throttled to less than half what they are during the day, and I’m almost positive that some of our unlimited usage is being reported as day time usage, thus eating into our 25 GB data cap. There’s also the issue of their crummy modems. If the power goes out or you need to turn it off and on again to make it work, it has a habit of double, triple, or even quadruple reporting data usage. I know this happens because I’ve used the Exede data monitoring website to keep an eye on it in the past. There’s no way we’re using 25 GB of data in a week and a half, not when all we do during the day is check e-mail, read news, and occasionally browse Facebook.

    The typical customer service response to issues like that is “Hmm, weird. Thanks for calling.” I’m not the only person who struggles with this, and it’s frustrating as hell that they have no interest in bettering their service.

    If and when there’s an alternative option for those of us in the boonies, we’re going to drop Exede like a bad habit.

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io/ Trevor Wheelwright

      Hey thanks for your feedback,
      We’re with you, for active online gamers satellite internet definitely isn’t ideal—speeds are slower and data is limited.
      When it comes to data caps, we’re hoping more companies switch to Frontier’s mentality of providing the customer unlimited internet access.
      For anyone curious about how to choose when Windows 10 Automatic updates, we’d recommend this article: http://www.pcworld.com/article/3085136/windows/two-ways-to-control-or-stop-windows-10-updates.html

      If you end up finding a different service, we’d be curious to hear if your experience improves, so keep us in the loop!

    • Rik Belenger

      You can turn off the autoplay for Facebook videos . Settings, app settings, autoplay in the mobile version for phones and tablets

      • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io Scott T.

        Good tip!

  • Bgaf

    I just moved to an area without any high speed internet options. I have to explore satellite internet, however I only use the Internet for social media and streaming. I’ve had Apple TV for years now. I subscribe to HBO NOW and Netflix and I love it. I typically come home from work around 9pm and I sometimes watch different shows for a few hours while also using the Internet on my phone or IPad. I rent and only have a one year lease. It’s not uncommon for me to move frequently due to my job relocating me. What satellite Internet provider is able to accommodate my needs? I feel like these satellite options are so outdated. Who actually finds all of these data limits, contract limits, and speed limits useful? Any chance we will see something that appeals to customers in the real world?

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io Scott T.

      Hmm… you might be in a tough spot. Every satellite internet provider we’ve reviewed requires a two-year contract, and if you try to end the contract early there is usually a high early termination fee (ETF). If you’re renting for just a year, you might have to be a little more creative with how to get internet. We also agree with your sentiment; satellite internet providers should do more to improve the customer experience.

      Do you know what providers are in your area? Also, it’s a good idea to check with your neighbors and see who they use for internet. Let us know what you find out, and we can give you some advice on what to do next.

  • akaraduman

    Is this usable from Turkey ? I’m not really looking for a good customer service, just something that works and can circumvent government cencorship.

    • http://dev-reviewsorg.pantheon.io/ Trevor Wheelwright

      That’s a good question, and one we don’t have the answer to: I would recommend visiting the “View Plans” link for the providers you’re interested in and giving them a call and seeing what they recommend!

      Thanks for your comment!

  • Ronin3087

    There are needs to be a no limit high speed satellite internet service as fast as fiber optics for people who do need the online speed and unlimited data I would pay a lot to have that, oh and for those who don’t know dishnet is hughesnet, or excede they install both systems and don’t actually have there own satellite for the Internet only difference is the modems and equipment says dish other than that it’s the same thing, I’ve had multiple satellite services only options in my area and all are no good in my opinion but when u need internet and certain areas are monopolized there’s nothing that can be done South Dakota has a serious issue with monopolies

  • Todd M.

    I have Exede. If you can afford it, go with them. We have 4 people in our house all internet users. 2 of us do heavy gaming, the other 2 light gaming and we all video stream HD & SD movies and tv regularly along with regular surfing. We try not to watch too many HD movies, that really sucks up the data. We have the unlimited plan but our actual usage is between 120-150 GB per billing cycle. We do go over 150 GB occasionally wich reduces download speed slightly. It’s a little pricey but we live in an area that does not have many hi-speed options so I am happy with the service.

  • SpellWoman Neenah

    I 100% agree with James Jeans’ assessment and other’s of Excede’s “service”, especially the “wonky data usage determination” and the extremely unhelpful, nay useless, customer service.

    I had a 3 gig Verizon MiFi device for many years and hardly ever went over the data max. They had immediate and detailed use metrics reporting (and down to .000) which was easily accessible and with past history available. My use was and still is pretty basic and light – email, browsing and FaceBook (video auto play turned off) and never downloaded or streamed music or videos. I did on occasion upload photos and download OS updates.

    I was excited upon signing up for Excede’s 10gig service because i thought, “Gee now i can watch a few videos and even stream a few movies or tv shows.” Yah right! Even though my usage has basically been the same, minus uploading photos or doing OS updates, SUPPOSEDLY i am burning through the 10gigs in 2 a 3 weeks…when it actually does work! That’s 3 times data usage in 3/4 to 1/2 the time… uh huh, right! (When looking at the chart on the HughesNet page re what you should be able do with 10gig’s a month, i can only scoff! Certainly NOT with Exceed!) Their Customer Service has been no help at all, and they do not retain any use data history. One thing they will happily do? …try to sell more useless data.

  • Kevin

    Q: Is there unlimited satellite internet
    Yes, it does exist, but there’s a caveat.

    The second statement sir, just reverses the fact that it’s “unlimited” putting it back into the LIMITED category. Honestly these company’s need to be sued for false advertising. It’s frustrating that there isn’t an honest unlimited data, no throttling – satellite internet provider. At least charge by data tiers 10 GB – 20GB you pay x, 21GB – 50GB you pay x or 51-100GB+ you pay this astronomical price of x.

  • David

    I have Hughesnet. It is slow. Extremely slow. And they cap the data. It’s a struggle to stream a low-definition show that stops every 5 minutes to try and buffer (only sometimes successfully) and you’ll run out of data every month (on their best plan). I can stream better quality on my phone with 4G, and frequently can’t even load a normal web page if I turn on wi-fi. If Hughesnet is the winner here truly satellite internet is hopeless. It is the absolute worst and I’m thinking they pay this website because of how unbelievable and inaccurate this review is.

    • Ricardo G.

      You’re making every mistake that they warn about. Did you read the article???

    • Daniel Schink

      You have to upgrade to there Gen 5 sat. They don’t beg you to, you need to call them for the upgrade. HUGE diff. with the Gen 5

  • Michael Bonner

    BEWARE OF EXEDE! Discontinued service and am being treated to either incompetence or shady business. Sent the satellite equipment back per their instructions. First got a call about sending back a projector – which is bizarre. They said they would sort it out. Today I got a bill for the equipment. Had to make another call. They say they can’t figure out why the first equipment call happened – but would not give me any benefit of the doubt that equipment was returned. Now they have to ‘investigate’ — and say they have no way to reach out to me to say the problem has been resolved. Now I have to call yet again next week.

    Whether they are idiots or they have a scummy attrition team is irrelevant. Bottom line – EXEDE is not worth any of this hassle.

    • Sagenova777

      You might have been hit by avalanche…

  • Data Snag

    Going to have to agree with the other commentators on this article. Satellite internet is the worst way to go.

    Scott, if you do not mind I will be creating back links to your articles. Find that your articles are well written.

  • aa aaa

    Hughesnet???? sucks sucks SUCKS, they should all die as far as I’m concerned! Crashed 4 days ago and after 1 1/2 hours talking to India and trying to get him to CANCEL I get xfered to US rep. Offered Gen 4 so if they screwed you before why not again but without lube? They will stop billing me in 4 days (even though it’s DOWN) and I need to send their garbage back to them. For 2 years it barely worked!
    Fortunately I have a Jetpack backup, expensive BUT it at least works.

    Do NOT ever ever EVER sign up with Hughesnet you WILL regret it. Pay extra or use Burger Kings do NOT give them the satisfaction of shafting you!

    Somehow I doubt my nightmare is over… do they want the concrete block my pole is on, who knows!?

  • Gabe1972

    Yep. Just a teensy bit off. LOL.

  • Steve Risner

    We have had Excede for over 2 years and the download speeds rarely reach 9 mbps, having checked the speed on several occasions. Our grandfathered plan allows unlimited data after midnight which is nice for gaming console & tv updates… although the speeds are no better at night. We live in southwest Ohio, not exactly the boondocks so satellite coverage ought to be optimal… which it is not. Not a big fan of satellite internet but with Spectrum refusing to come 300 yards to our property, we have no other choice except Broadband…. after a couple of > $400 Verizon bills, it was an easy change. Our 2 year Excede contract is up & I am considering a change to Hughes Net but apparently their 25 mbps download speed is a hoax??
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f841043dceb84a1ec6e4da3f3a398fdb80d771bce4f46e3d53bc5a8a9916d584.png

  • TheCapnVideo

    Verizon 4GLTE home internet was a four day lesson in Bait and Switch. Imagine! I used 10GB data between hook-up and turn on. I was connected on Wednesday. I moved in on Saturday, plugged in my computer and checked my email, couldn’t download it. I had been throttled to 38Kbps. That is a serious choke.

    Local cable provider (Coastal Communications) wants $140 for 20 GB service at 6 Mbps down 2 Mbps up. right. Not going to happen.

    So Hughes is the only option here. 50GB form 8AM to 2AM at 25 Mbps plus 50GB form 2am to 8am for $115/ month 2 year contract. I can’t say you didn’t warn me but I don’t see a choice here.

  • Daniel Schink

    I have Hughes Net and I love it so far. Verizon was screwing me so bad that I was forced to change providers. There speeds are faster than advertized so who am I to complain. Thunder storms do raise havoc for the duration of the storm, but bounce right back There saying that you get a DL speed of 25mbps, but I have had as fast as 44.3mbps and that’s three times as fast as Verizon’s throttled down 10mbps. My UL speeds range from 4.99 to 8.77mbps

  • Daniel Schink

    Get the Hughes Net updated connection to the new GEN 5 Sat and you will be happy

  • Jeffrey Penfield

    There is an option in rural areas that was not mentioned, but it is very, very expensive and I have it. It is a T1 line. Digital lines were placed many years ago starting in the fifties even before there was an internet. These lines are almost anywhere where telephone lines run and only require simple copper wiring. It is designed for businesses. You get an immediate fix whenever the line goes down (within 4 hours even on a Sunday or they stop billing for those hours of missed internet). When I first got the line they had to keep going out and repairing the old broken lines when it rained, but I have not had a single down time for over 365 days once the old lines had been updated. It is a direct connection to the internet and I get 10 millisecond latency. Down speed is identical to up speed and never varies. Data is truly unlimited.Those are the good parts. The bad: Bandwidth is 1.5 MB/sec. It costs $300 per month.
    So why did I get it? I live in the country. No Cable and no DSL is available. Dial up is available, but I would have to pay local toll fees to connect to Dallas. I tried using a wireless hotspot (12 mb/sec), but I ran out of data almost immediately (15Gb) and the cost for added data was approaching the cost of my T1 line and weather affected my connection. I need a reliable connection because I have to connect to an online medical record system that is on a VPN and my wife was taking online college courses. I hate the price, but reliable internet is important to me. The contract is about to expire, so I was considering switching to Satellite. But the article says it too is unreliable with weather, the data is capped and it does not work with a VPN.
    So if you have the money, a T1 line in rural areas is an option. I know that very few home owners use it because every time I call for a technical question, nobody understands that I am a home owner and not a business. If you are really rich you can bundle T1 lines and get speeds up to 12 mb/sec for the low low price of $750 per month.

  • Ryan Duchesne

    Hughes net is complete garbage! $99 for 10 gigs a month is what I was stuck with when I lived just outside of Iowa City, Iowa. They were so bad that direct TV actually let me break my contract because obviously I couldn’t do anything with 10 gigs a month. Anyone who is considering Hughes net, PLEASE go check your cell phone provider and see what deals they have for using your phone as a hot-spot. AT&T and Verizon both had better deals (and I used them instead when I had AT&T then later when I switch to Verizon). Cell phone companies had better deals, you read that correctly. As for the awesome speed you get with the g 5,BAH, you can have super fast speed but what the hell are you going to use it on? A couple movies use all your data. If your a gamer, forget about it. You cannot play online games. They also tell you that you get free internet during off times, I think mine was from 2 am to 5 am, what they don’t tell you is that your speed drops DRASTICALLY! You might be able to download A single movie, if your lucky, or half an (offline) game. Please, stop these companies, do not keep them in business. I was lucky and able to break my contract because of some stuff in my Direct TV contract and ended up getting reimbursed. Most of you won’t get that lucky break, so save your self the anger and frustration. DON’T USE HUGHES NET! It sounds like Exede is pretty much the same company also.

  • Bret Zeller

    No one wants your crappy Ubuntu. Windows is great. If you can’t handle the data, the next best option is a Chromebook.

  • nrdes

    This review needs to be revisited. HughesNet Gen5 speeds are now under 2.5 Mb/s during all but the wee hours. We are getting somewhere between 5 and 10% of the advertised 25 Mb/s rate Hughes advertises. All houses on my road have Hughes and we are all having the same issue, and have for months. It’s terrible. My friends who have Exede aren’t having any problems.

    • Tony Duncan

      I installer excede internet for a living and I know all of the plans have changed in all areas some with speeds up to 30mbps and unlimited plans with 150 gig data cap and then throttle down so a lot of the info on here is not correct anymore and needs to be corrected and the speeds and data is supposed to be increasing more in the near future

  • Old Rancher

    You can purchase more high speed data from Exede at $10 per GB. I have used Exede for years and generally like the service; however, for the past couple of months my data has been disapearing as in 150 GB being used in 15 days. So far Exede has not tried very hard to resolve the problem. We use the Internet mainly for e-mail and brousing not for downloading streaming anything and we also do not use Facebook. Customer service is really poor considering this lost data issue.

  • Jonathan Blaser

    a Netflix download program was mentioned in this article. Any recommendations of that type of program?

  • Jonathan Blaser

    You referenced a service that allows you to download Netflix shows during non-peak hours. I did not seem to find any. What service would you recommend?

  • Jonathan Blaser

    You reference the service that lets you download Netflix shows during non-peak hours. I did not find any. What service would you recommend?

  • Doug Wilson

    I heartily agree. I gave up the Microsoft trap for Linux around the 98SE to 2000 era. I spent a little while dual booting while I learned my way around in Linux and soon ditched Windows forever. Now, I loathe being stuck with using a Windows machine. Linux isn’t perfect, but I never have that banging my head against the wall, my machine belongs to Microsoft, shut up and take what we tell you to take frustrations. I am free to dig as deep as I want to dig and change/control anything I desire. Open-source just rocks… 😉

  • aircommuter

    I have Hughes net my current download speed is .18 Mbps yes 18 hundreds of a megabyte. Tried chat, over 1 hour each time but only 8 minutes actual chat, rest of the time waiting because they are trying answer several people at the same time. One agent accidentally sent me a message that was for someone else exposing his email to me and that person had a slow speed complaint too. Tried calling got a message that there was extremely high call volume and call another time. I had better speed with GEN 4 this new GEN is a joke don’t waste your money .

  • Raven TwoSouls

    I am in the exact same situation. people saying you can’t stream etc. on the slow speeds, but my DSL is 1MBS or less so what am I loosing if I happen to get “up to” 25 MBS every once in a while and even when I go over my limit they throttle it down to where I currently am with Verizon DSL (POS) you wanna talk about bad customer service and bad internet,.. try Verizon DSL in a rural area.

    I want to try satelite, but I’m scouring the reviews and getting cold feet.

  • Kelley Malone

    Hughes net is one of the worst people to get internet form. I regret ever getting it with them between their prices, the customer service not speaking English and trying to charge me twice and then cancelling their service with out a warning. You should be sorry for promoting their company.

  • Dcxone

    Nothing has changed from 2015 when net neutrality kicked in until now a few short years later…service remains the same…shitty

  • http://thecheesyanimation.com/ Cheesy Factory

    Internet speed will always come on top in the minds of most consumers. and All things being equal, price should be considered. Thanks much 🙂

  • Randy Filkins

    I have Viasat, and even after my rollover, my speeds are the same as before. When I inquire, they tell me it is due to weather, (when the sky is clear), then they tell me it is “high traffic”.

  • Maria Millett

    Nope, sorry!