Satellite internet is one of the most widely available internet options in the United States where millions of people rely on that to get access to internet service. However, to determine whether it is a good option or not, we first need to know what it is and how it works.
Satellite Internet & It’s Working
Satellite Internet, as the name suggests, works through a satellite or a network of satellites that are used as a medium to transfer signals from users’ end to the servers and vice versa. Due to that, people who are even living in remote areas of the country can get internet services and keep themselves updated with what is happening globally.
For a satellite internet connection to work, three major things are involved. The satellite dish on the user’s end, the satellite in space, and the satellite dish on the service provider’s end. To provide internet services, ISP sends the signal to the satellite using the dish, which transfers those signals to the dish connected at the user’s end. Similarly, when a user makes a request such as opening a website page, sending an email, or downloading a file, that request goes through the user’s dish to the satellite, and then to the ISP’s hub. After completing the request, the server sends those signals back.
That makes it easier for people to get internet service, despite the area they are living in. For instance, even if you are living at a farm where there is no one around for miles and no wired connections coming into that area, you can still get internet service through satellite internet providers.
Now we know what satellite internet is and how it works, we are going to have a look at its pros and cons to see whether it’s worth your while or not.
Pros of Satellite Internet
1. Widely Available
One of the biggest plus points for satellite internet is its wide availability. It doesn’t matter in which state you are, there are higher chances that you can get internet services through satellite internet providers.
For instance, Hughesnet internet is available in all 50 states of the US and covers almost all the areas as long as the view of the southern sky is clear from that place to ensure connectivity to the satellite.
2. No Phone Lines Required
The second thing that makes satellite internet much more desirable, especially in the countryside, is that it doesn’t require any phone lines to provide customers with internet services. So, people can get high-speed internet even when they are living in remote areas.
Satellite internet uses a satellite dish to transfer the signals and uses air as a medium instead of using any wires.
3. Offers Good Download Speed
Another benefit of having internet service through a satellite connection is that you can get good download and upload speeds. People who live in rural areas sometimes have dial-up connections to get internet services. Satellite internet offers them the upgrade as it is much faster than dial-up. Moreover, that speed is usually good enough to watch Netflix, stream movies online, make video calls, and download files without any trouble.
Through satellite internet providers, you can get a download speed of up to 100 Mbps. However, it is not possible to get this speed in all the areas. Customers can generally get a download speed of up to 25 Mbps without any problem.
4. In-Home Wi-Fi
Along with offering a good download speed, satellite internet also offers the option of in-home Wi-Fi services for customers. Through that, customers can connect their mobile devices and computers by using Wi-Fi instead of connecting through an Ethernet cable.
Moreover, it allows customers to connect as many devices as they want and enjoy the perks of good internet speed.
Satellite internet offers good value to customers by providing them something they can rely upon whenever they are in need. It is not a shared connection, hence, there are no issues of speed fluctuations during the peak hours. Besides that, it does not get affected by power outages as long as your modem is connected to a power source, unlike wired internet connections.
That makes satellite internet reliable and a good option to consider as a back-up as well.
Cons of Satellite Internet
Where there are various benefits of satellite internet connection, there are some cons as well. These include;
1. Impact of weather
The biggest disadvantage of having a satellite internet connection is that your speed would get affected by the weather. Especially during extreme weather conditions such as hail storms, snowstorms, heavy rain, you might not have any internet service at all.
That is because the thick cover of clouds interrupts the signals and hence makes it difficult for the satellite to send or receive signals from both ends.
2. Slower speeds compared to cable and fiber
Despite offering good internet speed, satellite internet is still slower compared to coaxial cable internet or the internet offered through fiber optics. They can offer the maximum speed that is 10x better than the satellite.
Moreover, the latency of the connection is higher with the satellite compared to what a wired connection can offer.
Something that stops a great number of people from getting satellite internet is the price. Satellite internet prices start from around $50 per month for a download speed of up to 25 Mbps or less while soft data limits apply as well.
In comparison to that, people living in cities and areas with better population numbers can get much better speed with unlimited data for the same price or lower.
Is Satellite Internet a Good Option?
After evaluating all the pros and cons, it can be seen that satellite internet is a good option for those who do not have any other internet options or are living in rural areas. However, if you are living somewhere where you have other options like coax cable internet or fiber optics available, do not go for the satellite (Unless it is a back-up option).