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The Pros and Cons of Satellite Internet: Is It Right for You?

  • Posted on: 04 Apr 2023
    The Pros and Cons of Satellite Internet: Is It Right for You?

  • Satellite internet offers many advantages, including the ability to access the internet from remote locations that may not have traditional infrastructure in place. This makes it an ideal solution for those living in rural areas or places where typical internet companies do not provide service. However, satellite internet also has its downsides. It is known for slow connection speeds, small communication packages, and high prices compared to fixed internet services. Additionally, the equipment required for satellite internet can be very expensive, making it a less feasible option for personal use at home. When considering satellite internet, it is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks and decide if it is the right fit for the individual's needs and circumstances. Overall, satellite internet may be a great option for some, but it also has its limitations and drawbacks that should be taken into consideration.

    What is Satellite Internet and How Does it Work?

    Satellite Internet access, also known as Satellite Broadband, is a means to access the Internet by communicating with geostationary communication satellites. A satellite is a self-contained communication system deployed in space that receives signals from Earth and retransmits them back to Earth. The purpose of Satellite Internet is to provide Internet access to users in remote locations where traditional wired or wireless infrastructure is not available or is too expensive to install. High-frequency signals are used to transmit data between the satellite and the user's computer or device. To access Satellite Internet, the user needs a dish antenna, a modem, and a subscription from a Satellite Internet provider. The dish antenna communicates with the satellite in orbit, which in turn communicates with the provider's ground station on Earth. The ground station then sends and receives data from the Internet and routes it back to the orbiting satellite, which relays it back to the user's dish antenna. Satellite Internet provides a reliable alternative to traditional Internet access and has been especially helpful in bridging the digital divide in remote areas.

    The Pros of Using Satellite Internet

    1. Speed: Satellite internet speeds have greatly improved in recent years, with many providers offering download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. This is fast enough for most online activities, including streaming video, browsing the web, and even gaming.
    2. Flexibility: Because satellite internet is wireless, it can be used virtually anywhere, including on the go with a portable satellite dish.
    3. Independence: Satellite internet is not tied to traditional phone or cable lines, making it an independent and self-contained solution.
    4. Reliability: Satellite internet can be a reliable alternative to other types of internet, particularly in areas where severe weather or natural disasters can knock out traditional internet infrastructure.
    5. Security: Satellite internet can offer a higher degree of security and privacy compared to other types of internet, particularly if you use a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your data.

    The Cons of Using Satellite Internet

    Latency: Satellite internet typically has a high latency (delay) due to the long distance that signals must travel from the user's dish to the satellite and back down to the provider's ground station. This can cause delays and lag, making real-time activities like online gaming or video conferencing difficult.

    Weather Dependence: Satellite internet can be affected by weather conditions like heavy rain, snow, or clouds, which can weaken or disrupt the signal. This can cause slower speeds or even interruptions in service.

    Data Caps: Many satellite internet plans have data caps, which limit the amount of data you can use each month. If you go over your cap, your speeds may be slowed or your service may be cut off until the next billing cycle.

    Cost: Satellite internet can be more expensive than other types of internet, particularly in terms of equipment costs. In addition, some providers require a long-term contract, which can be costly if you need to cancel or switch providers.

    Installation: Installing a satellite internet dish can be more complicated than other types of internet, and may require professional installation or specific technical skills. It may also require a clear view of the southern sky, which can be difficult to achieve in some areas.

    Overall, while satellite internet can offer a reliable and flexible solution in some cases, it may not be the best option for those who require low latency, high-speed, or unlimited data.

    Factors to Consider Before Choosing Satellite Internet

    Availability: Check if satellite internet is available in your area, and if so, which providers offer service. Some areas may have limited or no coverage, or may only be serviced by certain providers.

    Speed: Determine what speeds are available from the providers in your area, and whether they are sufficient for your needs. Consider how many users will be on the network, and what activities you'll be using the internet for (e.g. streaming video, gaming, browsing).

    Data Caps: Check if the provider imposes data caps or limits on usage, and if so, what the penalties are for going over the limit. Determine if the data cap is sufficient for your usage, or if you need an unlimited data plan.

    Latency: Consider the potential latency (delay) of satellite internet, and how it may affect your online activities. If you require low latency for real-time activities like gaming or video conferencing, satellite internet may not be the best option.

    Weather Dependence: Understand how weather conditions may affect satellite internet service in your area. Determine if the provider offers any weather-related guarantees or protections, and if not, whether you're willing to accept the risk of service disruptions during bad weather.

    Installation and Equipment: Determine what equipment is required for satellite internet service, and whether it will require professional installation or specific technical skills. Consider the cost of equipment and installation, and whether it's included in the provider's pricing.

    Cost and Contract: Compare the pricing and contract terms of different providers in your area, and determine which offers the best value for your needs. Consider the cost of equipment, installation, and ongoing monthly service fees, as well as any contract length and cancellation fees.

    Overall, choosing a satellite internet provider requires careful consideration of the above factors, as well as any other specific requirements or preferences you may have. By doing your research and understanding your options, you can make an informed decision that meets your needs and budget.

    Satellite internet option

    Viasat: Viasat offers satellite internet with speeds up to 100 Mbps, and unlimited data plans with no hard data caps. They offer a variety of plans with different pricing and speeds, and they also provide a built-in Wi-Fi router.

    HughesNet: HughesNet offers satellite internet with speeds up to 25 Mbps, and a variety of plans with different data caps and pricing. They also offer a built-in Wi-Fi router, and their service comes with a two-year price lock guarantee.

    Starlink: Starlink is a newer satellite internet provider, owned by SpaceX. They offer high-speed internet with speeds up to 300 Mbps, and they're still in the process of expanding their coverage area.

    Dish Network: Dish Network offers satellite internet as part of their TV and internet bundles. They offer speeds up to 50 Mbps, and a variety of plans with different data caps and pricing. They also offer a built-in Wi-Fi router, and their service comes with a two-year price lock guarantee.


    Satellite internet is a type of internet service that provides access to the internet via a satellite in space. It has several advantages, including the freedom to connect to the internet from anywhere and its continuous communication and non-interruption due to receiving signals wirelessly. However, it also suffers from slow connection speeds, small communication packages, and high prices compared to fixed internet. Its equipment is also expensive, making it less feasible for personal use at home. Ultimately, the decision to use satellite internet depends on individual needs and circumstances. Therefore, one must weigh the pros and cons before investing in this technology to determine if it is the right choice for their internet needs.

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