As fiber internet and cable internet service become available in more places, fast broadband internet is becoming available for most people. Unfortunately for residents of rural or hard to reach locations, there are some places that fiber or cable may not reach. Fortunately, there is good news for anyone looking at rural internet options: satellite internet is getting even better!
How does satellite internet work?
Satellite internet works in rural or hard-to-reach locations because it relies on orbiting satellites located thousands of miles above the earth. Unlike cable or fiber internet that requires a hard-wired connection, these geostationary satellites beam a signal to your satellite dish to provide your internet connection.
When you connect online, these satellites send your request to a hub which is connected directly to the internet. That hub then sends data back to the satellite, which in turn sends it back to your computer. In essence, satellite internet is the evolution of satellite TV, but instead of being a one-way flow of information, the info flows both ways.
Although this system is complex, all of this exchange of data occurs in microseconds with speeds that can get up to 25 Mbps for premium plans with HughesNet.
How do you get satellite internet?
When shopping for satellite internet, it is important to determine what kind of data plan is best for you. Providers, like HughesNet, offer up to 25 Mbps of download speed but with options to choose from a range of 10 to 50 GB monthly data plans. Satellite internet, like cell phones and tablets, is typically metered out in a data plan, which means you only buy a certain amount of internet per month.
Is unlimited satellite internet worth it?
Although some “unlimited” satellite internet plans exist, they can be expensive, so it is often most economical to determine how much data you need each month. For instance, if you only use the internet to send and receive emails, then you likely don’t need anything a basic plan. However, if you plan on multiple users streaming music or video, you would probably want to sign up for more monthly data.
Who needs satellite internet?
Although satellite internet is not yet as affordable as other types of internet, it is improving and the versatility it offers customers is incomparable. People who live in places not serviced by cable or DSL internet can use a satellite connection just as effectively as someone who lives in a huge metropolitan city.
Not sure which internet options are available where you live? Give Allconnect® a call! We’ll let you know which internet options — cable, dial-up, DSL, fiber or satellite — are available near you.
Originally published 6/16/14. Last updated 12/19/18.