Satellite internet uses a satellite in orbit to deliver internet access. Many rural and distant locations where other types of internet connections are unavailable have access to it.

What is Satellite Internet, and How Does it Work?

Have you heard of satellite internet before? No worries, we’ll go into great detail about it, including how effective it is, where to use it, where it is available, and what makes it better than other internet connections that are now available.

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Your home or place of business will receive a connection to the internet via a satellite from space. Unsurprisingly, satellite internet is a wireless internet connection that uses satellites in orbit to deliver internet connectivity.

It’s different from other types of internet, like DSL or cable, which employ ground-based infrastructure.

Why is it Required?

It is often utilized in rural areas, isolated locations, travel, at sea, high altitudes, etc., where other types of internet connections like DSL or cable are unavailable.

How Does it Work?

Direct data transmission from the internet service provider goes to a satellite in orbit, then to a dish at your house.

Three satellite dishes are involved: one at the hub of the internet service provider, one in outer space, and one fixed to your home. You also need a modem and cables traveling to and from your modem to the dish at your residence.

Once everything is set up, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) will transmit the internet signal to the satellite dish, where it will travel until it reaches your dish, which will then connect to your modem.

Any connection requests you make are sent to the satellite dish in space and then to the ISP dish. The finished request is then transmitted to you via your dish and modem before being delivered to your PC.

Advantages and Disadvantages

As it has many benefits, it also has certain disadvantages. Here are some of them:

While satellite internet can sometimes be slower than other types of internet service, as technology is developing more quickly, the latency and reliability have greatly improved. As a result, as we advance, satellite internet will have an advantage and will likely become a household name worldwide.

Satellite internet can be a suitable option for those who reside in rural locations or have trouble accessing other types of internet connection. Although the speed it gives depends entirely on several variables and the service provider, its typical download speed range is 12-100 Mbps.

At first, satellite internet connections were pricey, but as demand has increased and there is more competition, costs are now standard.

The satellite is approximately 22,000 miles above the planet so users can expect some latency (slowness) in their internet connection. However, as technology advances, latency also decreases.

The latency might be problematic for online gaming or live streaming, but it would be sufficient for surfing, emailing, and other tasks.

Now, let’s explore some of the best satellite internet providers:

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage in US, UK, and Canada. It offers high-speed, low-latency broadband internet across the area of coverage.

With this Starlink technology, people at home, in enterprises, on vehicles, at sea, and in high altitudes can connect to the internet through satellite.

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Users can now use Starlink to conduct activities like video conversations and online gaming that were previously impossible with satellite internet.

The world’s most extensive network of very sophisticated satellites operating in a low orbit above the Earth enables Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency service.

Starlink also provides Satellite connection while in motion. Customers traveling to places where access has been poor or nonexistent will find these connections valuable. Starlink will fix permanent and weather-resistant satellite dishes on the vehicle.

By doubling the antenna’s capacity for increased throughput, its higher gain antenna serves home customers, businesses, or other high-demand users.

Starlink is simple to install and offers a 30-day trial period with no obligations. The company’s mobile application provides a one-stop shop for customizing settings, getting updates and support, and monitoring real-time performance regarding download speed, latency, and uptime.

Viasat

Viasat is a satellite internet service provider that offers high-speed internet to remote and rural areas without a terrestrial broadband connection.

With its corporate headquarters in Carlsbad, California, Viasat was established in 1986. Over 1.8 million customers globally and over 600,000 in the United States use Viasat’s satellite broadband Internet service.

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Select markets in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia provide Viasat’s satellite broadband service.

The company has been in business for more than 20 years and is known for offering dependable and quick internet service.

Viasat provides a range of plans to fit various requirements and price ranges. It includes household and commercial customers with satellite Internet connectivity.

While commercial users can use connection plans with download speeds of 100 to 150 Mbps, residential users can use plans with download speeds of 12 to 75 Mbps.

The business also provides a range of discounts and promotions that lower clients’ costs. If you are eligible, internet service plans with the FCC’s connection scheme can reduce monthly bills by up to $75.

It is a versatile connection that is incredibly quick, and you may quickly go online with Viasat.

HughesNet

Hughes invented satellite Internet more than 25 years ago, although if we are talking about it now.  It offers quick speed, greater bandwidth, and built-in Wi-Fi in all US states, including Alaska and Puerto Rico.

hughesnet

The company provides a variety of plans to meet various needs and budgets, as well as several features that draw users to its service.

The Business plan gives up to 250 GB and includes 25 GB of data during business hours (8 am – 6 pm). It offers an additional 50 GB/month of plan data for residential users to consume during off-peak hours (2 am-8 am).

There is no data use cap; even if you use more data than what is included in your plan, you will still be connected, although at slower speeds, until the next payment cycle. You can use a data token to get back to high speed if necessary.

Its distinctive feature is built-in Wi-Fi, which helps connect many wireless devices at home or in a corporate location. It offers the most current Wi-Fi standards and technology (802.11ac dual-band), which provides 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz for the quickest speeds and excellent coverage.

Hughes participates in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program, and qualifying homes get a $30 monthly discount.

According to one of the FCC reports, HughesNet performed the best among all participating providers in delivering actual median download speeds that were at least 150% faster than advertised.

In this section, we will see the comparison between various features that these top three companies offer:

Features ViasatStarlinkHughesNet
SpeedUp to 150+ Mbps in select areasUp to 500 Mbps25 Mbps
DataUp to 300 GB of high-speed dataUp to 1 TBNo data limits. The speed will be reduced if the monthly plan data is over
Latency600msUp to 50ms728ms
Monthly cost$49 and above$110 and above$64.99 and above
Equipment fee$12.99/M or $299.99 if prepaid for the life$599 and above$14.99 / month or $349.99 for purchase
Contract24 months No contracts24 months 
Other– Built-in WIFI
– Up to $600 in deals
– Price lock guarantee of up to 2 years
30 days trial period. If not satisfied, a full refund of the hardware costs.– Built-in WIFI
– Video data saver to watch
more and use less

Final Words

As we’ve seen, satellite Internet connections are appropriate for places where DSL and cable connections are unfeasible. The three satellite Internet service providers already listed are currently dominating the industry.

Starlink is the best option considering all technical factors, data, speed, latency, and customer evaluations. Additionally, there is no contract required to try it out.

Next, you can check out what network latency is and how to improve It.