Compare Satellite Internet

From internet speed and data allowance to price and support services, we research everything you need to compare satellite internet and make a decision. Learn how our editors compare the different factors of satellite internet below.
Disclosure: We receive advertising revenue from some partners. Learn more.
Select 2 satellite internet companies to compare
vs

Satellite internet works in the same way as satellite tv, with three components: a home satellite dish, modem, and an orbiting satellite that receives and transmits data. In rural areas where getting internet can be difficult, satellite internet providers can offer high-speed, reliable internet comparable to cable and fiber-optic services, without using your telephone line.

When you sign up for satellite internet, the company installs the satellite dish outside of your home, in an area with unobstructed access to the geostationary satellite in orbit overhead. Satellite internet is a significant investment, and since the market is so small, prices tend to be quite similar. Most companies require a lengthy two-year contract, but do offer hibernation plans if you travel. Verify if the introductory price can be locked in, or whether the cost will rise after a few months.

The most important things to look for when comparing satellite internet providers are large coverage areas, high bandwidth thresholds (the amount of data per month), high speed, and informative technical support. It’s also good to find out what equipment is included in the service or must be leased, and whether installation is free or must be paid for. Some providers establish a data cap, which limits your internet speeds if you go over the allotted amount.

Lastly, be sure that the company offers 24/7 technical support, and multiple means of contact, including telephone, email, and live chat support. Thoroughly evaluate all your options before deciding on satellite internet, so you understand all terms and conditions. Most companies charge an early-termination fee, so remember you may be locked into a contract for two years.




 

How we Compare Satellite Internet

Internet Speed - 25%
Data Allowance - 20%
Features - 20%
Price - 20%
Support Services - 15%

Internet Speed

A major checkpoint in any satellite internet shopping list. Bigger download and upload speeds simply means faster internet services. Internet speed preference depends on how this will be used. Those planning to use the internet for gaming would require higher internet speeds for example. However, those who only require the internet for research or access to their social media accounts could get away with lower internet speeds.  

Why higher download speeds?

Satellite internet services are designed to provide high speed internet services to residential customers. And a huge chunk of internet traffic is used for downloading files (music, videos and images) or browsing. Compared to businesses who require faster upload speeds because internet services are mainly used for giving customer access to information located in their servers hence, upload speeds.

Satellite Internet with the Best Internet Speed:

HughesNetDIRECTVExedeWildBlue
Download5-15 MBPS12 MBPS12 MBPS
Upload2-3 MBPS3 MBPS3 MBPS

Data Allowance

Internet speed will always come on top in the minds of most consumers. But when making a decision, a consumer should also try to look at how they are planning to use this service. There is a finite amount of data that any satellite can process at any single time. Information is passed to and from your home to the satellite. And just like a highway, it can only accommodate a certain amount of traffic before travel speeds slow down.

Satellite internet providers regulate the amount of traffic their satellites receive by setting data allowance ceilings for each of their plans. So 50 GB of data allowance basically means you could process this amount of data before experiencing internet speed slowdowns.

Window hours – this refers to hours in the day when customers could use their internet services without affecting their data allowance. Window hours are usually available during the late hours of the night to early morning hours the following day. This are window hours where there is limited traffic and satellites are able to accommodate more data.

Satellite Internet with the Best Data Allowance:

HughesNetDIRECTVExedeWildBlue
Priority Data10GB-30GB10GB-30GB
Free Zone Unmetered access from 3 a.m. - 8 a.m / 1 - 5 Mbps download speeds (morning/daytime) after Priority Data used

Features

Aside from providing high speed internet access, satellite internet providers could also sweeten the deal by giving extra features and services. Satellite internet services are certainly a more expensive option compared to its land-based counterparts so anything extra could make your monthly payments more justifiable.

  • Track data usage
  • Phone services
  • TV
  • Free email
  • Buy priority data
  • Free zone
  • Hibernation plan

Satellite Internet with the Best Features:

HughesNetDIRECTVExedeWildBlue
Track Data Usage
Phone Services
TV
Free Email
Buy Priority Data
Free Zones
Hibernation Plan

Price

All things being equal, price should be considered. But in this case we try to look at what each company offers based on price ranges. So how much does a dollar buy in each company? Things we looked into includes looking at the price of their basic plan and what does each offer its customer. Satellite internet equipment requires a considerable investment compared to terrestrial based counterparts. Customers are not required to purchase satellite internet equipment. However, use of this equipment is based on a lease agreement that requires a monthly leasing fee.

Monthly plan costs – quickly make a comparison of these 3 factors. We compared each company based on costs of each plan and what it offered.

  1. Download speeds
  2. Upload speeds
  3. Data allowance

Other fees:

  • Length of contract  
  • Cancellation policy
  • Leasing fee
  • Activation fee  

Satellite Internet with the Best Price:

HughesNetDIRECTVExedeWildBlue
Contract Length24 Months24 Months24 Months
Activation FeeNoneNone
Leasing Fee$9.99 per month$9.99 per month$9.99 per month
Cancellation Fee$20 or each month left on the contract$15 per month on remaining contract$15 per month on remaining contract
Monthly Plan Costs$49-$149$49.99-$149.99$59.99-$149.99

Support Services

Satellite internet customers require 24/7 access to this service. And having 24/7 access to your provider’s technical support staff should be a minimum requirement.

  • 24/7 support
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Online chat
  • Technical support

Satellite Internet with the Best Support Services:

Full Satellite Internet Comparison

Internet SpeedData AllowanceFeaturesPriceSupport Services
HughesNet Satellite Internet10.09.09.010.09.0
DIRECTV Satellite Internet10.08.09.09.09.0
Exede Satellite Internet8.09.08.010.08.0
WildBlue Satellite Internet8.09.08.010.08.0
Select 2 satellite internet companies to compare
vs

Latest Reviews

Shenequa D
Fenton, Missouri
4/11/2017
Awsome,very good for all of your basic needs.

Lance M
Belleville, New Jersey
10/10/2016
We got DirecTV because of all the good promotions and how it would be cheaper for us than the cable that was in our area. More channels, less price and that it was. The problem we had with it was that every time it rained or snowed, we weren't able to watch satellite due to the connection. We got a cover that helped but it was still a huge hassle. We ended up switching back after our year contract was up.

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with Satellite Internet