Satellite Internet Providers

Best Satellite Internet Providers in 2014

The 2014 Best Satellite Internet Providers results are in. We conducted a thorough review of the nation’s top satellite Internet providers and ranked them based on customer service, speed, download capacity and overall customer experience.


exede


888-659-2080

#1 – Exede

Exede, owned by ViaSat, launched the highest capacity communications satellite about a year ago, called ViaSat-1. An FCC report released in February of 2013 showed that Exede Internet delivered the best performance in terms of promised speeds to its subscribers, with 140% or better performance at their advertised download speed of 12Mbps during peak hours. Exede also offers unlimited bandwidth useage during the early morning hours, a service not offered by other satellite internet providers.

This combined with competitive pricing, excellent service and an ever expanding customer base has convinced the staff at BestSatelliteProviders.com to place Exede to our number #1 ranking for satellite Internet providers. There are normally free installation deals also. Exede also offers a range of packages based on bandwidth usage from 10GB per month to 25GB per month.

Advantages

  • Up to 12 Mbps Download
  • Up to 25 GB Per Month
  • Unlimited Downloads from 12am to 5am
Pricing

  • Starting at $49.99
  • $100 off Limited Time Offer

ATTENTION: EXEDE’S EVOLUTION PLAN HAS UNLIMITED DOWNLOAD FOR WEB AND EMAIL TRAFFIC

Exede has a new product offering called Evolution. Based on Exede’s excellent speeds and customer service this may be a viable option for you. Evolution offers unlimited access to E-mail and web browsing, a sharp contrast to other Internet service providers. If you are a regular Internet user checking your favorite sites on a daily basis, or shopping on the Internet (which I have found very reliable and enjoyable), the new Internet package, Evolution, may be right for you. At a cost of $64.99/ month, you get unmetered access to web browsing and e-mail, and a bonus of unlimited download capacity between 3:00am and 8:00am. Exede’s unparralled speeds of 12Mbps download and 3 Mbps unload also are provided in this package.

Most of us in the US are tired of the long and lingering winter season. Exede is trying to relieve that burden of winter by offering a bevy of specials for 2014. These specials include $100 off installation fees, a free year of anti-virus protection, a three year price lock guarantee, and a discount on Turbo Tax Federal!

Exede is rapidly becoming a leader in Internet satellite technology. We believe these advancements are a clear indication of the future of satellite Internet technology. There exists an outstanding market for satellite Internet and the current leaders in the field are scrambling to bring the best in speed, service and innovations to the field. These benefits will only endure to you, the customer.



855-692-8345

#2 – DISH

dishNET is an excellent choice for consumers because you can save money when you bundle TV, Internet and phone together. You’ll save $10 per month when you bundle with DISH TV. dishNET speeds are plenty fast and offer the best value out of all of the satellite Internet providers we have reviewed. The dishNET service provides coverage throughout the United States as long as you have a clear view of the southern sky. Selecting DISH you gain the advantage of bundling services with your TV package. DISH will waive their $99 activation fee if you bundle Internet and TV.

dishNET is BestSatelliteProviders.com #2 pick because of their excellent customer service, convenient bundle and affordable pricing.

Advantages

  • Up to 10Mbps Download
  • up to 30GB per month
Pricing

  • Starting at $39.95
  • Phone, TV and Internet
  • Convenience of a Single Bill
  • Up to $20 per month savings when compared to the competition.

HughesNet


855-692-8344

#3 – HughesNet

HughesNet has been in business for over 30 years and has over 2.5 million customers across 100 countries. HughesNet’s monthly download capacity ranges from 20GB to 40GB. Bonus data is available between the hours of 2am to 8am. HughesNet offers generous download speeds and monthly bandwidth capacity when compared to the competition. They include a free standard installation from one of their authorized professional installers.

HughesNet offers 24×7 technical support to their customers via phone, chat and email. They also provide instructions to walk you through various technical issues via their system control center available on their website.

Advantages

  • Up to 15 Mbps Download
  • Up to 20GB Anytime + 20Gbps Bonus per month
Pricing

  • Starting at $39.99
  • Free Standard Installation

WildBlue

888-402-9180

#4 WildBlue

WildBlue offers their customers speeds from 512k to 1.5Mbps. WildBlue is an older satellite technology compared to the infrastructure HughesNet has in place. Each WildBlue customer receives one year of anti-virus software and up to 20mb of web space.

Advantages

  • Up to 1.5Mbps
  • Up to 17GB Monthly Download
Pricing

  • Starting at $49.95 per month

Satellite Internet Comparison

Best Choice
Company Exede DISH HughesNet WildBlue
DISHNET HughesNet WildBlue
Visit Website Visit Website Visit Website Visit Website Visit Website
PRICING
Monthly Price $49.99 – $129.99 $39.99 – $79.99 $49.99 – $79.99 $49.95 – $79.95
SPEED
Max Download 12 Mbps 10 Mbps 15 Mbps 1.5 Mbps
Max Upload 3 Mbps 2 Mbps 2 Mbps 256 Kbps
Max Monthly Cap 25 GB + Unlimited 30 GB 40 GB 17 GB
BEST SATELLITE PROVIDERS RATING
Speed Rating
Package Options
Equipment
SUPPORT
24/7 Support
Customer Support Portal
Email Support
Online Chat Support
ADD ONS
Virus and Spam Protection
Mac OS X+ / Windows 2000+
Visit Website Visit Website Visit Website Visit Website Visit Website
Company Exede DISH HughesNet WildBlue

 

Satellite Internet Plan Comparison by Provider

Below BestSatelliteProviders.com presents an analysis of the most popular satellite Internet packages, beginning with our Gold Recipient – Exede. The satellite Internet package pricing is largely based on the amount of monthly bandwidth allotted within the plan. Special features such as installation specials and anti-virus packages are used to attract you as a buyer. One thing to note is how a particular company advertises their bandwidth allowances. We have separated those to give you a true picture of their differences. From a practicable standpoint, there are really only two significant satellite Internet providers that have launched their own satellites – Exede and Hughesnet. The packages offered by Dishnet utilize Hughesnet as the satellite Internet service but offer a $10/mo. savings based on a “bundled” purchase of TV and Internet. Similarly, DirecTV utilizes the satellite Internet services of Exede. WildBlue is owned by the same company as Exede, ViaSat., and they are in the process of transitioning WildBlue to Exede. If you have need for significant amounts of bandwidth on a daily basis, we would recommend Exede with their feature of Unlimited Bandwidth from 12:00am to 5:00am. Additionally, Exede offers the best download/upload speeds. As always, BestSatelliteProviders.com will endeavor to bring you the most current information and advice to make the most of your satellite Internet purchase, good luck.

dishNET Satellite Internet Plans

dishNET Plan #1 Plan #2 Plan #3
Bandwidth Allowance Per Month 5 GB 10 GB 15 GB
Late Night Bandwidth
(2am to 8am)
5 GB 10 GB 15 GB
Download Speed 5 Mbps 10 Mbps 10 Mbps
Upload Speed 1 Mbps 1 Mbps 2 Mbps
Email 10 e-Mail addresses 10 e-Mail addresses 10 e-Mail addresses
Specials $10 off per month when bundled with DISHTV $10 off per month when bundled with DISHTV $10 off per month when bundled with DISHTV
Price $49.99 /month $59.99 /month $79.99 /month

Buy a dishNET Plan | Call: 844-334-6280

Exede Satellite Internet Plans

Exede Plan #1 Plan #2 Plan #3
Bandwidth Allowance Per Month 10 GB 15 GB 25 GB
Late Night Bandwidth
(12am to 5am)
Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Download Speed 12 Mbps 12 Mbps 12 Mbps
Upload Speed 3 Mbps 3 Mbps 3 Mbps
Email 10 e-Mail addresses 10 e-Mail addresses 10 e-Mail addresses
Specials F-Secure antivirus for 3 months
$100 off one time setup fee of $150
F-Secure antivirus for 3 months
$100 off one time setup fee of $150
F-Secure antivirus for 3 months
$100 off one time setup fee of $150
Price $49.99 /month $79.99 /month $129.99 /month

Buy an Exede Plan | Call: 888-398-0840

HughesNet Satellite Internet Plans

HughesNet Power Power Pro Power Max
Bandwidth Allowance Per Month 10 GB 15 GB 20 GB
Late Night Bandwidth
(2am to 8am)
10 GB 15 GB 20 GB
Download Speed 10 Mbps 10 Mbps 15 Mbps
Upload Speed 1 Mbps 2 Mbps 2 Mbps
Email 10 e-Mail addresses 10 e-Mail addresses 10 e-Mail addresses
Specials $0 Down or $9.99/mo Equipment Lease $0 Down or $9.99/mo Equipment Lease $0 Down or $9.99/mo Equipment Lease
Price $49.99 /month for 3 months
$59.99 /month thereafter
$79.99 /month $129.99 /month

Buy a HughesNet Plan | Call: 844-334-6280


How Does Satellite Internet Work?

Satellite Internet works in much the same manner as satellite TV. The concept of geosynchronous orbiting of satellites is central to the operation of satellite Internet. Simply, this means that the satellite must be placed in an orbit above the equator at a distance of about 22,300 miles. At this location, the satellite will orbit at the same pace as the earth rotates. This enables your home satellite dish to constantly remain in contact with the orbiting satellite. This is also why (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere), you must have an unobstructed southward view of the sky from where you place your home satellite dish.

The complete satellite Internet “system” includes:

  • your home satellite dish
  • a modem that translates signals received from your home satellite dish that can be used by your home computer
  • your home computer
  • the orbiting satellite that receives/ transmits data
  • your internet service provider’s operation center (which includes massive satellite dishes)

When you request a specific website from your home computer, it is transmitted through your modem to your satellite dish, then to the orbiting satellite, then to the operations center, which in turn sends the Web site info back to the orbiting satellite, then back to your home dish, through your modem, then ultimately to your computer, WHOA. After travelling about 90,000 miles, you finally see the website you requested, all in a fraction of a second!!!! This minuscule delay is known as Latency, which does not affect normal Internet browsing, e-mail, etc., but can affect video games. In summary, it is a technological marvel how fast the process happens.

How Satellite Internet Works
Satellite Fair Access Policy

Satellite Internet Fair Access Policy

All satellite Internet providers have a Fair Access Policy that exists to enforce fair use of their services. It prevents users from downloading a lot of information and clogging the network. Typically, once a user goes over the bandwidth cap they continue to have Internet access however it is at the speed of dial-up access. Fair Access Policies are usually implemented on a monthly basis so you have 30 days to download X amount of information through your satellite internet provider.

How much will my Satellite Internet Provider allow me to Download?

This largely depends on whom you select as your satellite Internet provider. HughesNet allows their customers to download up to 40 GB per month on their top plan. Now, the next question is “How much content is 40 GB?” 40GB is the equivalent of 10,000 songs in MP3 format.

All satellite Internet providers have Fair Access Policies to prevent a single user from abusing the available network bandwidth and slowing down speeds for the rest of the users. This would obviously be a lot of bandwidth that someone would consumer in order to cause this type of havoc but if you multiply that by several hundred users it can create a lot of problematic bandwidth issues. The Fair Access Policies enable the majority of users plenty of available bandwidth and keeps those “hoggish” users from overwhelming the network for everyone else.

So just how much bandwidth can you consume or how much information can you download over satellite Internet?

In order to put this in terms that can be easily comprehended we are going to use MP3 files. The average MP3 music file is on average 4mb in size. If you don’t do much downloading and only use the Internet for browsing web pages, using Facebook and or sending/receiving email… don’t worry. You’ll never reach the limit. Although, small businesses and/or home businesses may consume much more bandwidth than average users. The satellite Internet providers we recommend allow a “free bandwidth or double bandwidth consumption” period, usually between 12:00am and 7:00am. Our recommendation would be to use this additional bandwidth capacity judiciously at no extra cost.

Monthly Bandwidth Number of MP3 Songs
10GB 2,500 Songs
20GB 5,000 Songs
30GB 7,500 Songs
40GB 10,000 Songs
Download Speed X Times Faster than Dial-Up
1 Mbps 17 X faster
3 Mbps 53 X faster
5 Mbps 89 X faster
10 Mbps 178 X faster
15 Mbps 267 X faster

How Fast is Satellite Internet?

Top end satellite Internet providers, such as HughesNet, offer download speeds up to 15Mbps and upload speeds of up to 2Mbps. To keep this in perspective, original speeds offered just 15 years ago in the satellite Internet industry averaged 500Kps download and 250Kbps upload speed. We expect these speeds to increase dramatically over the coming years. From a practicable standpoint, speeds of this nature will more than adequately meet your needs.

15 Mbps is an average speed for satellite Internet and that is more than 200 times faster than a dial up modem. We created this chart so you can see how much faster satellite Internet is than a standard 56k dial-up modem Internet connection.

Hughesnet has download speeds up to 15Mbps. This is the fastest satellite Internet provider that we have reviewed. These speeds are comparable to other Internet service providers, cable or DSL, for example.

Satellite vs Cable Internet

Cable Internet services are roughly the same speed as satellite Internet; however, the main difference between the two is that there is no cap on the amount of data (bandwidth) that you can download through your cable Internet service provider. With satellite Internet the restriction is there based on the Fair Access Policy of the provider, which limits the amount of bandwidth you can use in any given month. Selecting the right satellite Internet provider will largely be based on the amount of data or bandwidth you plan to use, in addition to download speeds. The monthly bandwidth cap is perhaps more important than the speed as any download speed over 5 Mbps is a fast connection. If you are browsing the Internet, checking e-mails or using social media services you won’t notice that much difference between 5 Mbps and 15 Mbps. The pricing of current plan offerings from satellite Internet providers is based on the amount of bandwidth selected usually 5MB, 10,MB, 20MB, 25MB, or more. Additionally, most satellite Internet providers offer “double” or unlimited bandwidth during the morning hours from 12;00am to 5:00am or 7:00am.

We have received feedback from consumers who live in rural areas where cable Internet services are available however they are extremely slow and expensive. If you live in one of these areas, satellite Internet might be the best choice for you. If you live in an area where DSL and Cable Internet are available and there are no issues with poor performance, we recommend selecting a plan with your cable company. This is for Internet only. We do recommend satellite TV over cable.

Satellite VS Cable
Satellite Internet Requirements

Satellite Internet Requirements

The requirements for satellite internet do vary based on the provider but you can use the following list as a general rule to see if you have everything you need in order to use a satellite internet service.

  • Clear access to the southern sky
  • Windows XP Operating System or later
  • Mac OS 10.4 or later
  • Latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari

Satellite Internet Installation

Professional installation services are provided from each vendor however the fees may vary. You will have to check with each satellite Internet provider. Many satellite Internet providers offer free installation and activation fee as an enticement to purchase their service.

The satellite Internet providers recommended by bestsatelliteproviders.com usually offer you the option to either lease your equipment (normally about $10/month) or purchase the equipment at a cost of a few hundred dollars (but there is no rental fee associated with this option). If you live in a condo or a townhome and have a homeowners association, please check with them first. It is typically not an issue however every association has different by-laws.

Satellite Internet Installation
Satellite for a Boat

Satellite Internet Service for a Car, RV or Boat

We get this question a lot. Can I install satellite Internet or satellite tv in my car or RV? The answer from most providers is no, however DISH has an option called the TailGater® for satellite TV. Most satellite Internet services are designed to be stationary, however the TailGater® is mobile and can be taken anywhere but for satellite TV and not satellite Internet.

Satellite Internet of Today and Not Yesterday

A word of caution, many of the Internet available articles relating to satellite TV and satellite Internet are older documents that may not reflect the “current” state of the market. Dated comparisons and technological information is of no use to you as a buyer in an ever changing marketplace.

As with all technology, satellite TV and satellite Internet advancements are happening at a rapid pace. For example, only a few years ago satellite Internet commonly had download speeds of 750Kbps whereas today’s download speeds can reach as high as 15Mbps, or 15 times faster. These types of advances are essentially required by the satellite TV and Internet providers to remain competitive with other forms of communication (cable, DSL, Fiber-optic, etc.).

Satellite Internet of Today

As a result, comparative pricing and cost/benefit relationships change at a dramatic pace. Satellite TV and satellite Internet are relatively new technologies in the past 15-20 years. Any time a new technology is created there are considerable costs involved in research and development, installation and testing of equipment, advertising and corporate start-up costs. These costs are in addition to normal operating costs and are often reflected in the initial price of the services. Once these initial costs have been satisfied, the price of the service normally goes down significantly.

Over the past several years, for example, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the costs of computing equipment and high definition TV units. We expect the costs and services of the satellite TV dish networks and satellite Internet providers to react in much the same way. One major benefit to the consumer is that advances in high technology come at a much higher pace than other consumer goods. Do you remember the speed and memory capacity of your first computer compared to that of your current computer? It is said there is more computing capacity in your “smart” cell phone than was required to land the first “man on the moon”.

The above observations are why the professionals at BestSatelliteProviders.com are excited about the potential of satellite TV and satellite Internet. It is also why we will endeavor to continually update you as to the advancements in the technology and pricing of these products. Dish network TV, dish TV packages and satellite Internet services are continuously evolving and improving at a rapid pace. The advancements are to your benefit, check back with us often to take advantage of the best satellite TV and satellite Internet offerings.

The professionals at BestSatelliteProviders.com recommend investigating the following features as respects your search for the best satellite broadband services for your individual needs:

Satellite Internet Reviews

Satellite Internet Reviews – What to Look For

Analyzing, comparing and reviewing satellite broadband services can be a formidable task, even for the most knowledgeable consumer. Changes in technology, features and services come at a relatively rapid pace. In view of the fact that satellite broadband service is comparatively “new” technology, within the past 20 years or so, we expect technological advancements and new entrants to this market to dominate the news in this field in the near future. One unique advantage of satellite Internet services remains constant; the ability to provide broadband services to those families that cannot access cable or have diminished DSL service. As long as you have an unobstructed view to the southern sky, you can enjoy download speeds comparable to the best of the Internet alternatives. As always, it is in your best interests to evaluate your purchase alternatives in light of how you actually use the Internet now and what possible uses you will have in the future.

Satellite Internet Cost

The costs of broadband Internet services usually range from $40 to $60 per month. The costs will vary depending on download speed and available bandwidth. These price levels are comparative to DSL and cable. Remember, based on your usage, higher download speeds may not be worth the money. Activation fees normally range from $100 – $150.

Satellite Internet Speed

The speed at which your satellite broadband or Internet service responds is a critical component in your review criteria. Download speeds range from 1Mbps (mega bits per second) to up 15Mbps. Once you get above 5Mbps you should not notice an appreciable difference in the pace at which your Internet pages load or refresh. We recommend at least 5Mbps download speed.

Upload speeds range from 400Kbps (Kilo or 1000 bits per second) to 5Mbps. Some of the slower upload speeds offered by satellite Internet providers can make this medium a poor choice for heavy game users. Ultimately, it all depends on your anticipated usage and the associated cost/ benefit relationships.

Satellite Internet Bandwidth

Bandwidth is an important consideration when evaluating satellite Internet service. If you use high bandwidth applications such as social networking, watching videos or listening to music adequate bandwidth is a critical factor. Currently, bandwidth available from satellite Internet providers range from 5MB to 15MB of data, which should satisfy most of your applications. Many broadband satellite providers limit the amount of broadband you can use monthly, but this should not affect most consumers. Most satellite Internet providers allow for 5 to 10 email accounts.

Satellite Internet Service

As with any product, service is an important denominator in the evaluation of overall product quality. Most of the leading providers offer user friendly online databases and knowledge bases, 24/7 technical support, online account management and spam and virus protection. The competitiveness of providers in this market should enable a high level of customer service throughout the industry.

In 1996 the first satellite Internet service went into business. This service was promoted for those unable to gain Internet access through any means other than dial-up. DirecPC (now known as HughesNet) was the first Internet satellite provider. Today, the major satellite Internet providers are HughesNet and ViaSat, Inc. The major satellite TV providers, Dishnet and DirecTV have partnered with these Internet providers to offer a “package” of combined TV and Internet service.

History of Satellite Internet

The history of satellite Internet mirrors that of satellite TV especially in the early days in the 1940’s. The genesis of satellite technology goes back to 1945 and a science fiction writer named Arthur C. Clark. He envisioned the use of satellites to improve the communication system.

The Russians and Americans launched the first communication satellites in the late 50’s. During the 60’s & 70’s more advancements were made, including the first successful satellite communication between European and North American satellites, which eventually led to the beginnings of satellite TV in the late 70’s. By the early 90’s, small dish home systems, DBS (Direct Broadcast Systems) came into vogue and the satellite entertainment and communication industry began to gain momentum.

History of Satellite Internet
Unlimited Satellite Internet

Unlimited Satellite Internet

Yes, you heard it right, unlimited satellite Internet does exist, however there is a caveat. It is only from the hours of 12am to 5am. Exede, one of our highest rated satellite Internet company provides unlimited satellite Internet between these hours. If you are thinking that you will never use the Internet during these hours, then think again, because you can schedule nightly backups or your downloads during these hours and it won’t count against your monthly allowance. All of the other satellite Internet companies have a set limit during the night in addition to the day but Exede doesn’t and this is one of many reasons why we at BestSatelliteProviders.com have ranked them as number one.

DISH Internet Review – dishNET High-Speed Internet

Is dishNET the best satellite Internet service you can get? That depends on what you are looking for. dishNET offers great speeds and you will save money when it is combined with a DISH tv package. This is the main reason why most people select dishNET over the other providers. HughesNet actually powers dishNET’s Internet service so if you are deciding between the two, we suggest saving the money and going with dishNET.

Dish Network Internet Review
Satellite Internet Lease vs Buy

Lease/ Purchase Decisions for Satellite Internet Equipment

As of right now, Summer 2013, there is only one Internet service provider, HughesNET that gives you the option to buy or lease your satellite Internet equipment. Normal equipment leases for satellite dishes and modems cost $9.99 per month for the contract period of two years.

HughesNet offers an option to purchase your satellite equipment upfront for a cost of $299.99 This offer is extended to new customers only. Additionally, there is a $100 instant savings on standard installation included in the total cost of $299.99. The lease option offered by HughesNET (for new customers only) features a $0 upfront cost component combined with the equipment lease fee of $9.99 monthly.

So let’s try to make sense of the purchase/ lease options assuming a 24 month contract:

Lease Cost Purchase Cost
Months 24
Lease / Month $9.99
Purchase Cost $299.99
Total Cost $239.76 $299.99

Pro Lease Considerations

It appears from this analysis that the lease option will save you $60 over the the life a two year contract. Additionally, you do not have to come up with three hundred dollars upfront. However, as we will discuss below, these advantages disappear over time. The initial 24 month savings is a mere $2.50 per month.

Pro Purchase Considerations

Although the initial savings of the lease option are $60 over two years, let’s assume you will have the equipment over a ten year period. The lease savings disappear over a longer time period as noted below:

Lease Cost Purchase Cost
Months 120
Lease / Month $9.99
Purchase Cost $299.99
Total Cost $1,198.80 $299.99

From this analysis the benefits of saving $60 over two years with the lease option shift to an additional cost of approximately $900 over a ten year period!

Keep in mind this analysis assumes the monthly equipment lease rate will remain at $9.99 per month over a 10 yr. period, which is unlikely. Another thought to consider is the potential obsolescence of the equipment if you choose to purchase rather than lease. Perhaps new and more efficient equipment becomes available in a few years. However, most advances from the satellite Internet providers will come from the satellites themselves and their respective ground operation centers as opposed to the home equipment.

As always, the professionals at BestSatelliteProviders.com will endeavor to bring you pertinent and timely information regarding your choices for satellite Internet, good luck with your purchase!

Myths and Truths about Satellite Internet

#1 Satellite Internet Is Too Slow

While that may have been true only a few short years ago, it is not the truth anymore. At the advent of satellite internet, download speeds approximated 750Kbps with upload speeds of about 256Kbps. With advancements in technology and the launch of new, more powerful satellites, speeds have increased dramatically. In the 2011 timeframe the two leading satellite Internet providers, Viasat (who launched Viasat 1) and Echostar (formerly HughesNet, launched Echostar XVII) which significantly increased speeds and bandwidth capacity. Presently, download speeds up to 15Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps can be achieved. These speeds now rival that of other Internet mediums such as cable and DSL.

One must keep in mind that satellite Internet technology is a comparatively new technology in last 15 years or so even though satellites have been used since the 1960’s. Competition and a large unserved market of millions of people that don’t have access to “wired” Internet technology will be the driving force in the satellite Internet arena for years to come. It costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, build and launch a state of the art satellite, but you can rest assured that they will be coming as competition for the mass available market intensifies.

#2 It Takes a long time to receive a signal back from the satellite (Latency)

Do you have a second?

Latency is defined as the amount of time it takes from the request of a packet of data until it is received. In general, latency is expressed in terms of milliseconds (ms), or 1000th of a second. Latency has long been a criticism of satellite Internet technology, but in our opinion, a bit overblown for the common internet user.

It is true that satellite Internet latency is much greater than terrestrial internet latency (DSL, Cable). Terrestrial latency ranges in the 20-50ms range where satellite Internet ranges can be 500ms or more. The main reason is the distance satellite Internet communications must travel. The geosynchronous satellites employed for satellite Internet are positioned about 22,000 miles above the earth. That is a long way to travel, yet it is accomplished in less than a second! Even though satellite Internet latency is more than ten times that of terrestrial latency, remember, we are talking about 1000ths of a second here. It is not like you can go get a cup of coffee before you receive your information request!

Most satellite Internet consumers are located in areas where DSL or Cable are not available, so there main alternative to experience broadband Internet is satellite Internet. The most obvious effect of latency is on gaming, where ultra-quick responses are necessary. Accordingly, satellite Internet is not suitable for heavy gaming applications; however, normal e-mail, web browsing, photo sharing, etc. are not affected that much by latency. Really, do you have a second?

#3 Satellite Internet doesn’t work when it is cloudy, raining or during storms

While it is true that a severe thunderstorm, heavy snow or blizzard can interrupt satellite transmission temporarily, the problem isn’t as significant as it has been popularized. This condition is commonly called “rain fade”. The temporary signal outages caused by a thunderstorm are normally restored as soon as the storm passes. Heavy accumulations of snow can be removed from around the satellite dish to restore communications. In contrast, a heavy thunderstorm with fallen trees, etc. could disable cable or DSL for days.

Again, most satellite Internet consumers are in rural areas that do not have access to DSL or Cable, so the problems associated with “rain fade” are minimal when compared to alternative, slower means of Internet services.

#4 Satellite Internet is too expensive

While it is true that during the beginning of satellite Internet technology and service the costs were relatively high given the speed and broadband capacity available, a lot has changed since then. The start-up costs of any business enterprise are substantial but especially so with satellite Internet given the technological aspect of the service and the capital outlay for the physical assets and launching costs. These costs must be accounted for in the initial phases of operation and become more relaxed or defrayed over time.

The monthly costs of satellite Internet have decreased substantially over the past few years in light of the advancements in speed and bandwidth. A entry level service that provides broadband Internet now costs about $40-$50/ month which is in the ballpark for other terrestrial based Internet services such as DSL or Cable.

Satellite Country is an authorized retailer of DISH Network L.L.C. DISH, DISH Network and DISH Network logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and/or service marks of DISH Network L.L.C. and/or its affiliate(s). The DISH Network trademarks, registered trademarks and/or service marks are used under license of DISH Network L.L.C. and/or its affiliate(s)