Satellite internet is no longer a technology of the future. The service is readily available all over the world and it allows users to have access to the internet even in areas cannot have connection through cable or DSL. However, choosing to subscribe to satellite-based internet is a task just like choosing a cable or DSL provider: it is easier to make an educated decision if you know a few basic facts about what the service is and how it works.
Fact no. 1
With a satellite connection, downloads are way faster than with a dial-up modem. Download speed can vary between 400 Kbps and 1.5 Mbps, which means that a larger file or your favorite hit song downloads within 1-2 minutes – compared to as much as 30 minutes for downloading a song with a dial-up connection.
Fact No. 2
Satellite internet comes in two forms: one-way services that need to be combined with regular dial-up modem and more modern, two-way services. The first type of service uses the dial-up modem for accessing the internet and a satellite modem for performing downloads and requesting web pages.
Two-way services can handle downloads and uploads as well, so they no longer need a dial-up modem to assist them. One-way systems are obviously a bit cheaper, but two way satellite modems are also very conveniently priced.
Fact no. 3
You need to be aware that satellite internet too requires some kind of equipment for transmitting and requesting data. While in the case of cable or DSL systems, you need a modem and cables or telephone wires to get access to the internet, satellite systems don’t require any cables to connect to the web – all you need is a satellite dish, a modem and, of course, a service provider.
Fact no. 4
Satellite internet can be installed without any terrain limitations. Cable or DSL connections require extensive infrastructure. Conventional connectivity requires infrastructure to be built; satellite internet, on the other hand, requires the subscriber to mount only a dish and a modem. This feature makes satellite connection plans the best solutions for remote rural areas or to regions that are not available for installing miles of cables like mountainous areas or islands. The only requirement the location of installation needs to meet is unobstructed view to the southern sky, nothing else.
Fact no. 5
As satellite internet requires you to install special equipment, the upfront costs of using this alternative are higher. With cable or DSL connection, the costs of improving and maintaining the infrastructure are calculated into your monthly fees, so your bills are higher. Satellite services, on the other hand, are more expensive when you need to invest into the equipment, but the monthly fees you need to pay to your service provider are usually lower.
Most providers of satellite services have special offers on a regular basis – you may be offered free dish and modem installation if you subscribe to the service for a certain period of time or you can receive free service for a while if you pay for the equipment upfront.
Fact no. 6
Though satellite connections are very quick for browsing and downloading, this type of internet service does not support certain types of interactive applications with long latency. Online gaming is not currently available on satellite-based connections, so if your favorite activity is playing online, subscribing to a satellite service is not the best solution for you.
Satellite internet is the right solution if you live in an area that is not currently served by any cable or DSL providers and if you are looking for enhanced mobility and excellent connectivity with quick return on your initial investment. Check out the offers of the providers in your area and take advantage of the benefits of the most advanced communication technology.
Written by Robert Kleymore
Satellite technology expert, MIT graduate and a passionate writer. For more information about me, please read my bio.