DIRECT TV, Dish Network, Exede, and Hughes Net offer bundled services that include satellite television, high-speed internet, and phone service, but are these programs really worth it? Even though these companies provide these services, their package plans tell you nothing about the third-party service providers and how these services compare to competitor programs. You should compare satellite service providers before choosing a service that is right for you. When comparing, you need to look at pricing, customer base, upload and download speeds, service areas, additional provider services, and customer service contact options. You can also learn more about Direct TV internet and the other bundle providers by checking out reviews. In this article, we’ll take a look at these variances and see which provider comes out on top.

Satellite TV dish
Figure 1:Direct TV Internet Packages Compared. Photo by Dave Winer

Pricing for DIRECT TV, Dish Network, Exede, and Hughes Net

DIRECT TV offers, by far, the lowest pricing of services at $24.99 per month, but this may or may not include bundled services. To get estimates on all services by DIRECT TV, you will need to speak directly to an agent because DIRECT TV factors a lot into your monthly cost, such as credit history, bundled services, desired upload and download speed, custom channel packs, and additional channel service options. Plus, you may be eligible for certain discounts based on seasonal discounts or first time customer deals.
Dish Network offers three package options starting at $49.99, $59.99, and $79.99. These are base-rates and additional fees may apply for upgrades, bonus channels, bundled services, and more.
Exede starts at $49.99, $64.99, and $129.99 monthly and these may not include certain channel packages, extra bundled services, or seasonal deals.
Hughes Net package plans start at $59.99 for a basic plan. Anything you need, like extra channels, are add on products.
Upload ↑ and Download ↓ Speeds* for DIRECT TV, Dish Network, Exede, and Hughes Net:

Plan 1 Plan 2 Plan 3 Plan 4 Plan 5
DIRECT TV ↑0.25
↓24
↑0.25
↓18
↑0.25
↓12
↑0.25
↓12
↑0.25
↓6
Dish Network ↑3
↓12
↑1
↓5
↑0.25
↓1.5
↑0.2
↓1
↑0.128
↓0.128
Exede ↑3
↓12
↑3
↓12
↑3
↓12
↑3
↓12
↑3
↓0
Hughes Net ↑2
↓15
↑2
↓10
↑1
↓10
↑1
↓5
↑0
↓0

*Measured in megabytes of data per second. Download speed is the rate which data is downloaded to your device and the upload speed is how fast you can upload data to the internet. With zero representing no plans that cover that rate.
These are base rates based on peak user times, such as evenings and weekends. Upload and download speeds for these service providers can increase dramatically during off-peak usage. Using this data alone, we can see that DIRECT TV is a clear winner with Exede taking a close second. Upload speed, on the other hand, is directly based on the type of data being uploaded to the net. For most services, such as internet browsing, the download speeds barely count as a blip in how fast your internet runs. There is more inherently dependent on how fast your internet works than the speed at which the data comes and goes from your home. You can greatly improve upload and download speed by getting a computer tune up or upgrading to a faster computer system.

Customer Base for DIRECT TV, Dish Network, Exede, and Hughes Net

When calculating the worth of a bundled service provider, we can look no further than votes. If each current customer counts as a vote towards how well the service works and if you get what you pay for then:

  • DIRECT TV – 35 Million
  • Dish Network – 14 Million
  • Exede – 0.59 Million
  • Hughes Net – 0.65 Million

Though these customer bases do not tell us which bundled service is better, they do give us an idea about all services they provide, with DIRECT TV being a clear winner yet again at 35 million votes. And Dish Network takes a clear second with only 14 million votes. Further, all four satellite service providers have a customer base covering the entire United States–Midwest, North East, North West, South East, and South West.

Additional Services from DIRECT TV, Dish Network, Exede, and Hughes Net

Each service provider also offers other additional services which you need to take into consideration. For instance, do you want an email account, or several? Do you require parental controls? Do you need a low-income service solution? And do you want additional security options or private browsing?

DIRECT TV Dish Network Exede Hughes Net
Internet Security Yes No No No
Parental Controls Yes No Yes No
Email Accounts No No No Yes
Email
Storage
No No No Yes
Low-Income packages No No Yes No

Remember, too, email and email storage isn’t that big of a deal considering how many free email service providers there are on the market. However, internet security and parental controls are a necessity in this day and age. Keeping your data private and safe, and preventing your kids from accessing channels and programs above their age rating, is generally important to most people. DIRECT TV is the only service provider of both internet security and parental controls, while Dish Network does not provide any services. If you really need an email account with your TV network, both Hughes Net and Exede provide these features with 10 email accounts and 2 and 10 gigabytes of storage space, respectively.

Customer Support Options for DIRECT TV, Dish Network, Exede, and Hughes Net

When you need service or repair, it is nice knowing you have options. Thankfully, all satellite bundling services provide a multitude of options and these include: by telephone, online support tickets, online bill pay, online chat (Except Exede), and email contact forms. All four service providers even offer local repair options, so you won’t have to worry about shipping devices in for repair or obscene repairman wait times.

DIRECT TV Dish Network Exede Hughes Net
Telephone Yes Yes Yes Yes
Online Documentation Yes Yes Yes Yes
Online Bill pay Yes Yes Yes Yes
Local Service Repair Yes Yes Yes Yes
Online Chat Service Yes Yes No Yes
Email or Contact Form Yes Yes Yes Yes

Benefits of Satellite Service Companies Over Dial-Up, Fiber Optics, or Ethernet

The biggest bonus of satellite bundled services over traditional dial-up, fiber optics, and Ethernet services are that they are generally available everywhere. The three other services require long cables or local towers to bring service to you, whereas satellite TV, internet, and phone services require a satellite in orbit in space. Satellite service means you can live in rural areas, in older buildings, or in newly built complexes and not require additional installation fees for cables and wires in order to get great service.

Are DIRECT TV Internet Bundles Worth It?

Yes! Bundling services provide you with great discounts. Consider this, if you paid for landline phone service ($25 to $125 per month), Internet Service ($29 to $99 per month), and TV service ($25 to $100 per month), you would be paying $179 to $324 for monthly services, which does not cover the equipment rental fees, service fees, taxes, or additional service fees these separate accounts will cost.

Further, if any one of these services need repair you would have to call each company individually. To top that off, you will be paying four or five different companies, that’s four or five different bills and accounts to keep up with each month.
Bundled services, on the other hand, cost far less and the equipment rental is from one company, usually just one piece of equipment to handle all the services you need for your whole home. When you count in the discounts for bundled services you can see that all four satellite providers cover these services for just $25 to $130 per month, (not accounting additional TV channels). Right there bundled services save you and your household $150 to nearly $300 per month.

Finally, when we take into consideration the services each satellite bundling service provides compared to their price, DIRECT TV is a clear winner. DIRECT TV provides lower cost, better upload speeds, and more services to its customers than any other satellite TV and bundled service provider. And 35 million customers agree that DIRECT TV is worth it over their direct competitors.

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