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Satellite internet is a wireless connection that uses space technology to send and receive data. Internet signal is transmitted between 3 different satellite dishes. One is set up at an internet provider’s main hub, one is set up on a residential property, and one is in space. Satellites have the unique advantage of being available virtually anywhere in the U.S., but it is subject to unreliability at times due to bad weather or equipment. Satellite providers can offer high-speed internet ranging from 25-100 Mbps, which is best suited for suburban and rural areas.
|Provider||Max Download Speed||Starting Price||Contract Required|
|Viasat||100 Mbps||$49.99/mo.||Options Available|
|Max Download Speed||25 Mbps|
|Max Download Speed||100 Mbps|
|Contract Required||Options Available|
|Max Download Speed||150 Mbps|
*Data sourced 7/13/21. Pricing and speeds may vary by provider and location.
Currently, there are three satellite internet providers available: HughesNet, Viasat, and Starlink. The first two are traditional satellite companies, while Starlink is a new low-earth-orbit provider running beta tests on its network right now. Each offers different plans for households with various budgets, speeds, locations, and data needs. Yet, this internet isn’t for everyone. Because it lacks the speeds needed to support heavy internet usage, Satellite is the best option for internet in rural areas where cable internet or fiber internet is not available.
Overall, satellite isn’t known as a cheap option nor a connection with large data allowances. With speeds ranging from 25-150 Mbps, you can use a satellite connection for low to moderate internet usage. This includes activities like web browsing, streaming, and 1-3 connected devices. It’s best for smaller households with two or fewer people or families that don’t rely on the internet for work.
Satellite is available virtually anywhere in the world, making it the most common type of internet in rural areas. Remote locations and tough terrain are difficult to overbuild wired connections. Thanks to its technology, satellite providers can reach homes where cable, DSL, and fiber can’t always go.
The best satellite internet for rural homes include HughesNet, Viasat, and Starlink. You may be able to find fast download speeds of up to 150 Mbps and extra perks like unlimited data or no contracts. Start your search for fast satellite internet today.
Just like other types of internet, satellite requires a modem and a router for WiFi service. However, satellite speeds and bandwidth are still slower than that of cable and fiber connections. The main advantage of satellite internet is availability. Using geostationary (fixed position) equipment, it can deliver service in areas wired connections like DSL, cable, and fiber cannot. Able to overcome physical barriers, satellite is usually the only option for remote or underserved areas of the U.S.
DSL internet and satellite internet deliver comparable speeds. Both can offer speeds up to 100 Mbps, however, DSL is usually more reliable than satellite for its grounded wire technology. Satellite internet is susceptible to service interruptions due to bad weather or faulty equipment, while DSL runs along grounded telephone lines that are protected from the elements.
If you decide to go with satellite internet, you may be able to get speeds from 25 Mbps to 150 Mbps in speeds. These speeds can support low to moderate internet usage like web browsing and occasional streaming. However, everyone’s needs are unique. The speeds your need will depend on your lifestyle.
Where available, Viasat offers the fastest satellite internet speeds with download speeds up to 100 Mbps and upload speeds up to 3 Mbps. However, in some areas, Viasat only offers speeds up to 12 Mbps.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture recently launched the Beta Program for its LEO satellite company, Starlink. It’s a new satellite technology that uses low-Earth-orbit satellites to deliver faster internet speeds to residential customers than traditional satellite technology can.
Right now, customers are able to receive anywhere from 50-150 Mbps depending on how far they are from satellites in the sky. However, once fully deployed, Starlink is anticipated to offer equal download and upload speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. That’s unheard of for satellite internet like HughesNet and Viasat.
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