What is satellite Internet

If you live in a rural area with no phone and cable TV lines you can still access the Internet via satellite. This type of Internet connection is called Satellite Internet access and is provided through communications satellites. The only advantage of this type of Internet connection is its wide coverage due to independence on wired connections.

How does satellite Internet work

Satellite Internet is a type of wireless Internet connection which requires a satellite dish and a modem on your side. These two units build standard satellite Internet equipment set. The signal from your Internet service provider goes to an orbiting satellite and then is transmitted to your dish. All orbiting satellites are over the equator area, so you will have to install your dish with a clear view to the south.

Any satellite Internet connection has less bandwidth and lower speed than DSL and cable connections but higher speed comparing to dialup connections. Actual satellite Internet speed may also vary depending upon the bandwidth limit introduced to your plan by your Internet service provider. In some cases you may experience so called satellite Internet latency (delays between requesting data and the receipt of a response) which can cause sluggish performance of your connection. Due to this latency some network applications (like VPN) may not work properly over this type of Internet connection.

The first satellite systems supported “one-way” communication only (it’s when you’re downloading your data via satellite connection and uploading your data via telephone modem). All modern systems are two-way ones, i.e. you don’t need any telephone lines and both streams go via satellite connection.

Mobile satellite internet

If you need additional mobility you can choose portable satellite Internet receiver mostly represented by special portable modems or mobile dishes. This option is mostly not applicable for home use as the hardware is very expensive and the cost of the traffic is also extremely high. At the same time the majority of common people just don’t need such advanced functionality.

Satellite Internet Pros and Cons

  • The main disadvantage of any satellite Internet connection is its high latency and lower bandwidth. So this type of Internet access won’t fit you if you like to play games online or plan to use VPN or VoIP services.

  • Another big disadvantage is its sensitivity to the weather conditions. Bad wind or heavy rain will considerably decrease the quality of your Internet or may cause complete connection breakdowns.

  • And don’t forget about clear view to the south. So if you live near some rock or mountain or deep in the woods you may find this service fully inapplicable for your particular case.

At the same time Satellite Internet may be the only option available in your area. Besides you can order satellite TV and Internet bundle to make the total package cheaper. So check thoroughly all Internet access options available for your area and do not hesitate to ask additional questions to your potential Internet service providers in order to get more detailed information on their offers.