Everything You Need To Know About Satellite Internet Services

Everything you need to know about satellite Internet services
Internet services providers that deliver the Internet via satellites are called satellite Internet providers. As of today, there are only 4 satellite Internet providers in the whole of the country. This might make one curious to know why there are only a few market players in this segment and why it is not as popular as the wired counterparts.

Below is some information to help you understand satellite Internet and satellite Internet providers.

Is getting a satellite Internet a good idea?

  • In the era of fiber optics, cable, DSL, etc., satellite Internet may not be a great idea if you are living in a city that is already having well-connected Internet network.
  • However, satellite Internet serves as a great alternative to dial-up services and a viable solution that offers fast broadband access if you are a customer living in a rural area.
  • Although satellite Internet is not the cheapest option to get Internet access, it still gives you an excellent speed. One of the studies by FCC revealed that about 90% users of satellite Internet received more than 140% speed during peak periods of usage as compared to what was advertised and paid for.
  • As the service coverage through satellite Internet providers is offered even in remote areas, getting the best one in the market may be a great idea as the services cover virtually the entire country. If your business requires a lot of travel and dependency on the Internet at large then satellite Internet will allow you to stay connected to fast Internet irrespective of where you are.

Why are the options for satellite Internet services limited?

  • With the rising competition and several other factors demanding the need for a merger of several Internet technology companies, it has led to a reduced number of choices to the consumers.
  • Additionally, launching and maintaining a satellite is expensive and can be afforded by limited companies.
  • However, the satellite Internet service providers are still the lifeline of communication for those living in the rural areas.

Is the cost of satellite Internet service high?

  • The satellite Internet services are expensive, mainly, because of the need to meet the technical requirements of a communication satellite involved in the process.
  • Satellite launching and their maintenance is an extremely expensive affair that can be afforded only by a handful of companies.

What is the speed offered by satellite Internet services?

  • The data to be transmitted has to travel from earth to space and back via satellites.
  • This contributes to reduced speeds of data usage.
  • Viasat, a satellite Internet provider, offers a download speed of 12-100 Mbps, depending upon the plan. Whereas, HughesNet offers a download speed of 25 Mbps, depending upon the plan.
  • The wired Internet providers dominate this segment of communication with services that are faster and more reliable and competitive in most parts of the country.

Does weather affect the satellite Internet service?

  • There is a signal receiving dish to have a line-of-sight connection with the service provider’s network as an infrastructure required to avail satellite Internet.
  • Hence, some customers living in mountainous regions may not be able to get good access.
  • Also, the quality of service can be affected by the weather conditions like rain or snow in a certain location.
  • For example, for consumers living in the Northern hemisphere, an unobstructed view of the Southern sky is required for their satellite dishes to perform correctly.

How does satellite Internet work?

Data are transferred from remote servers to a service provider’s communication satellite through a broadcast station. Then, the service provider’s satellite transmits the data to the final consumers via dishes that are installed in their vicinity. In simple terms, the dish at the consumer’s house sends data to an orbiting satellite in space (located about 22,000 miles away from the earth), which is owned by the Internet service provider. This satellite then sends back the data to a satellite dish that is stationary and connected to a larger network which, in this case, is the Internet, thereby, completing 1 cycle of sending and receiving data. The complete satellite Internet communication chain includes the following:

  • A satellite dish at the consumer’s house, to keep constant contact with the orbiting communication satellite
  • A modem
  • An orbiting satellite to receive and transmit data (orbiting at the same speed as earth’s rotation).
  • There are several different types of communication satellites in the space and orbiting at the same speed as earth’s rotation. This orbiting speed is important in order for the satellite to always remain in a fixed position in the sky as compared to earth. This is necessary for the uninterrupted exchange of data between the equipment on the consumer’s property and the satellite.

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