The benefits of bundling
Who wouldn’t want to pay one smaller bill each month as opposed to several larger bills? A household that already buys internet and TV as a la carte services is probably paying almost the same amount you would for a bundled option—sometimes more.
Some internet providers offer a discount on their services when you bundle with DISH or DIRECTV.
All offerings do require approved lines of credit. When comparing services, you may find certain incentives such as a $100 gift card to an electronics store in your area. These will be market-specific and vary from month to month.
What type of bundles are available?
One of the major distinctions between the companies reviewed is whether they offer TV programming or not. Because DIRECTV and DISH are the two primary satellite television providers, they offer full package bundles with TV, internet, and phone. HughesNet and Viasat each offers a phone service that can be bundled at a discounted rate with the internet package. The bundle discount itself is almost identical across the board, so you’ll want to look to differences such as TV availability or internet speeds when deciding. Let’s break down what each company offers.
DISH TV + internet + phone
DISH TV packages start at $59.99 per month and go up to $89.99 with a wide variety of channels and add-ons such as HBO. Check out some of the bundling possibilities below.
In some areas, you can bundle your Frontier internet service with DISH and save between $6 and $12 per month. DISH can also be paired with Viasat and HughesNet, but you’ll have to call to see what kind of discount might be available in your area.
DIRECTV TV + internet + phone
DIRECTV offers six different channel packages starting at $35.00 per month. The package with the highest channel count is the PREMIER™ package coming in at $110 per month. DIRECTV is most well known for its NFL SUNDAY TICKET package, and you can get it included for your first year with CHOICE™ package and above.
Since AT&T now owns DIRECTV, you’ll get the best bundling discounts and billing convenience with an AT&T/DIRECTV bundle. AT&T offers a $10 per month discount on its internet service for as long as you maintain a bundle with DIRECTV service. Verizon and Windstream offer a $5 per month bill credit for the first 24 months, and Viasat offers a $10 per month bill credit for the 12 months when you bundle with DIRECTV. DIRECTV can also be paired with CenturyLink and HughesNet though you won’t necessarily see any bundle discounts here. Call to see what offers might be available in your area.
HughesNet internet + phone
HughesNet offers four internet packages varying by service plan data. The basic package, called 10 GB, starts at $49.99 with 25 Mbps downloads and 3 Mbps upload speeds. The plans carry a data primetime, which covers most of the day and provides an additional 50 GB of data per month outside of primetime. Off-peak hours are from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Add a phone line with HughesNet for unlimited domestic calling and packages available for international calls. A phone line costs $29.95 per month.
Viasat internet + phone
Viasat’s plans compete closely with HughesNet with the exception of a few stark contrasts: Viasat offers a wider variety of speeds and data allowances. Viasat is also less strict about throttling. Rather than automatically reducing your speeds to 1-3 Mbps like HughesNet does, Viasat simply deprioritizes your data behind other users. So you may still see decent speeds during off-peak usage times. Introductory ricing ranges from $50 to $150 per month.
While Viasat does not offer television programming, they are one of the ISPs which can be bundled into a DIRECTV package. And Viasat lets you add on phone service for as low as $19.99 per month.
Which bundle should I choose?
If you’re in it strictly for the cost (and don’t care about extra features such as DVRs and premium channels), we’ve gone ahead and broken down the bundles per provider:
Economy TV + phone + internet bundles
|DISH/Frontier||America's Top 120 TV + Frontier Broadband Core + phone||$109.99/mo.*|
|DIRECTV/AT&T||DIRECTV SELECT™ + AT&T Internet Basic 5 + phone||$84.99/mo.†|
Mid-range TV + phone + internet bundles
|DISH/Frontier||America's Top 200 TV + Frontier Broadband Ultra + phone||$106.99/mo.*|
|DIRECTV/AT&T||DIRECTV XTRA + AT&T Internet Basic 5 + phone||$104.99/mo.†|
Premium TV + phone + internet bundles
|DISH/Frontier||America's Top 250 TV + Frontier Broadband Elite + phone||$134.99/mo.*|
|DIRECTV/AT&T||DIRECTV PREMIER™ + Internet 100 + phone||$169.99/mo.†|
Data effective 10/16/18. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*For 24 months with a 2-year contract and eAutoPay. Additional fees apply.
†For 12 months with a 2-yr TV and 1-yr internet agreement, paperless bill, & autopay. Price increases for months 13-24.
Best total package: DIRECTV PREMIER + Internet 100 + phone
If you are in a market where DIRECTV is partnered with AT&T Internet, then DIRECTV PREMIER package blows the doors off the competition. DIRECTV/AT&T bundles offer the best data plans at the lowest price points with the least-expensive phone plan and a very well-rounded channel offering. This combination beats the competition every way you stack it. However, in any market where AT&T Internet is not available, DIRECTV is only as good as their partner in that market. DIRECTV partners with many different providers, so check availability in your area.
Best budget option: HughesNet 10 GB internet + phone
If you’re shopping the economy tier options for a reliable internet service, HughesNet takes the cake—especially at the lower tiers. When comparing the high-end performance packages, they start to lose their edge, but at the first-tier level, HughesNet offers competitive monthly data caps at the best bandwidth.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade to the all-you-can-get super package or just trim a few bucks from your monthly bill, bundling is a great way to save money. Choose one of the bundles featured here or make your own to suit your needs.