Rural America, before the advent of satellite technology, had two choices: Dial-up or nothing. That’s no longer so. As long as your home has a clear view of the southern sky, satellite Internet can deliver.
Providers of Internet via satellite also offer bundles that include phone and TV, and they can do that for residents of any of the lower 48 states. Bundle TV or home phone with Internet to save money, and handle all services from one provider, on one bill.
Much of what consumers can expect with Internet by satellite falls in line with what other ISP methods offer. Satellite Internet providers offer a different way to get service, though. It’s provided by a satellite in orbit, through a dish at your home, connected to a Network Operations Center.
With Internet via satellite, your connection is always on. No need to dial in as you would with dial-up, and you won’t tie up your phone line when you’re online. Welcome to high speed Internet.
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Internet via satellite comes with three main parts:
It orbits the same direction the earth does, 22,000 miles above the equator, so that its location remains fixed in relation to a spot on earth. This way, it can relay signals between the customer and Network Operations Center.
It’s the hardware that receives the signal from the satellite. It also sends the request for data from a website to the satellite.
It relays Internet data from the satellite dish to your device. Satellite Internet providers offer various plans with an array of speeds. Download speed refers to the broadband strength when users take something from the Internet, such as movies, documents or music files. Upload speed refers to the broadband strength when users post media, such as photos or video, from a device to the Internet, as on social media.
Reaching where cable and DSL can’t
In rural locations, a satellite connection reaches places cable and DSL can’t, because of its infrastructure. Cable and DSL signals depend on phone and copper wiring. Distances covered with those two methods results in a weaker signal when data arrives.
Satellite Internet providers can deliver service to just about any location in the U.S. All that is required is a clear view of the southern sky to position a satellite receiver.
Consumers who choose Internet via satellite can also purchase tokens to redeem for more bandwidth during a month they might exceed limits. Also, some satellite Internet providers allow customers to browse the web and send and receive email, even if they’re surpassed their broadband limit.
Data isn’t unlimited on most satellite Internet plans, but a means to track usage is. Plus, satellite ISPs offer tech to shrink web data and streamline page recall to put less strain on data allowance. Often, late-night browsing isn’t metered, giving users more options.
As satellite technology improves, the product Internet providers can offer advances, too. The most marked improvement in technology has led to faster Internet speeds.
Satellite technology has improved, which allows satellite Internet providers to compete with other delivery services. Still, one challenge for Internet via satellite is latency. Latency refers to the time it takes data to travel from the at-home request, to the satellite, to the Network Operations Center, back to the consumer. Ping time, as it’s also called in reference to Internet by satellite, can be as little as half a second.
Gaming and VPN applications online are the most likely to notice a difference. Depending on speed, streaming movies and music could also suffer. Satellite providers offer tips to get the most out of options such as off-hour downloads and coin redemption to keep detractions to a minimum.