Free Software And Apps Download

What Is Satellite Internet?

Satellite Internet is a wireless connection that is spread across satellite dishes in space and on Earth. It works the same way as satellite TV. It makes it easy for people in remote parts of the world to connect to communication networks and get the latest information and communication systems.

People can use Satellite Internet to go to social media sites, check their email, stream clips, work from home, and connect to classes that are far away. Satellite Internet doesn’t use phone lines or cable systems. Instead, it uses a satellite dish to send and receive data in both directions. In this article I will explain about a satellite internet service and how it works?

We’ve been using the internet for several decades. Data speed has increased significantly with modern technology, and signal latency has been reduced to a few milliseconds with the 5G network.

It’s not possible to set up broadband, fibre optics, cable internet, etc., in every part of the world. If you happen to be a resident in a rural area of the country with a lacklustre internet infrastructure, satellite Internet is still your only viable alternative.

In places where cable and fibre optic connections may not be accessible or may be too expensive for some users, Satellite Internet service enables users to access the internet at high speeds in locations that do not have access to wired, fibre broadband, or cable Internet connections. Internet service providers sometimes rely on satellites to bring broadband connections to subscribers located in remote or underserved areas of the country.


What about places in the world that are far away, like the middle of a desert or the top of a mountain?

It is so hard to get people in those places connected to the internet. Satellite internet can connect places that don’t have access to the internet or have limited access to the internet. Satellite Internet service lets people in places where wired, fibre, and cable options aren’t available get high-speed Internet access. Satellites are used to bring high-speed Internet to users in underserved areas who are hard to reach.

For satellite Internet service, you need a modem or router that can connect to the internet, a satellite in space, a satellite dish, and a ground station (NOC).

How satellite internet works?

Like our regular internet, which uses base stations to send and receive signals using radio waves, satellite internet also uses radio waves to send and receive information. Transceiver antenna arrays that point down are built into communication satellites.

Launched from control stations on the ground, service providers keep track of the position of geostationary satellites. Each satellite also has limits on how big an area it can cover and how many people can use it at once.

To cover a larger geographical area, you need a lot of satellites. Constellation is made up of thousands of small satellites that will circle the earth once deployment is done.

Components of satellite internet technology

Components of satellite internet technology

Ground station

Ground control stations send signals to satellites and make sure they are in the right place so that coverage is good. The ground stations and the core networks are linked by a high-speed optical fiber network.


The job of a satellite is to keep the connection between the ground station and each device going all the time. Connectivity is set up by each customer through satellites, which send and receive signals from devices.

Geostationary satellites from the first generation, like Viasat satellite internet and HughesNet satellite internet, are about 22,000 miles above the earth’s surface.

Elon Musk satellite internet company like SpaceX and Amazon’s Kuiper, which are from the new generation of low earth orbit satellites, are only 300 miles above the earth. The benefits of the new generation of satellites are less delay and lower costs to set up.

Transceiver antenna unit

Starlink’s dish and router


Customers usually put an antenna (dish) unit on their roofs so that it points in the direction of where the satellite is at that longitude and latitude. This small dish antenna can get signals from space and send them back to space.

The antenna’s weak signals are picked up by a low noise booster (LNB), which boosts wifi signals and sends them to the modem unit via a cable. In some versions, like Viasat, the important part (along with the amplifier module) that sends the signal back to the satellite is a transmit-receive integrated assembly (TRIA).

Modem and Router

Modem unit will decode the signals and wireless router will establish LAN connection for devices to connect with the network. Each network operator may have different set of modems specific to operating frequency and modulation technique used.

Advantages of satellite internet

  • High speed internet solution
  • Larger coverage area compared to LTE base stations.
  • Once implemented, service availability practically every part of the world especially remote areas where commercial LTE network or broadband infrastructure not feasible.
  • Options to switch to other satellite (according to availability and complete satellite constellation is deployed).
  • It is one of the feasible solutions for regions where conventional infrastructure has not been implemented or limited availability (rural areas in developing countries).
  • During absence of other services due to disaster (earth quake, hurricane etc.), satellite internet become an essential tools for disaster management and relief efforts.

Disadvantages of satellite internet

  • High latency signals (minimum 30 – 100 ms and maximum 600 – 700 ms).
  • High cost during initial stages.
  • Not suitable for low latency applications and live gaming.
  • Number of customers and speed is limited for individual satellites.
  • Satellite maintenance is complex and it could affect service.
  • Increased competition in market could contribute to space debris and it will disrupt astronomers
  • Atmospheric changes could affect quality of service (heavy rain, snow fall etc.)

Applications of satellite internet

Applications of satellite internet
  • High-speed Internet at home or in the office
  • Apps for mission-critical and disaster management
  • Both commercial and private jets can connect to Wi-Fi while in the air.
  • Projects to improve education and infrastructure in rural areas of developing countries
  • When military forces work in remote areas, they can use satellite connections to stay in touch.
  • Researchers and scientists can use satellite internet in the arctic and oceans.
  • Ships and boats can connect to the internet
  • Safety and emergency alert system for planes and ships
  • Future Internet of Things (IoT) uses shown live on the media
  • Weather stations at high altitudes in the mountains
  • Cars and trucks that travel long distances

Future of Satellite internet

Satellite internet technology has a lot of room to grow in the future because it is needed in more and more places. Starlink, Kuiper, Oneweb, etc. are all big investors in satellite Internet technology.

One big area where satellite internet will be useful in the future is in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment systems. Connectivity has been an important part of our daily lives for a long time, and satellite internet technology will make data needs in many places even greater.

What are the best satellite internet providers?

There are only two satellite internet providers: HughesNet and Viasat, which used to be called Exede Internet. We talked about why we think Viasat is the best satellite Internet provider for most people in our comparison. In a nutshell, you’ll usually get faster speeds, more data, and a better price.

Elon Musk internet venture by Starlink is putting up its own satellites and will soon have plans for internet service. We hope that speeds and prices will get better, but for now, we can only guess.

How does satellite internet speed compare to other internet speeds?

Overall, satellite internet has come a long way since it was first introduced. There are plans for satellite internet that go up to 100 Mbps. When you have faster internet, you can watch videos, stream Netflix, play games, and support everyone in your house who uses the internet.

But keep in mind that satellite internet can have high latency, so speeds aren’t always what they seem to be. Other types of internet have more reliable speeds because they use better infrastructure, but they might not be available in your area. We say that it’s still worth getting if you live in a rural area, especially if it’s your only choice.

Satellite internet can sometimes be faster than DSL internet. DSL speeds range from 5 Mbps to 100 Mbps, depending on which provider you use. We think you’ll have a better time with DSL if you can get it from a provider with up-to-date technology. But if the only DSL options you can get are slow and old, you should think about getting satellite internet instead.

Most of the time, cable internet is cheaper and faster than satellite internet. Most cable internet services offer speeds between 20 and 1,000 Mbps. But if you live out in the country, you might not be able to do that.

If you can get internet through fiber, don’t bother with satellite. Fiber providers will give you better speeds and prices.

What should I be aware of when choosing my satellite internet plan?

With any kind of internet, you’ll need to figure out how fast you need it and how much you can spend. Even though you might want the fastest plan, you don’t have to pay too much for speeds you won’t use.

When choosing a satellite internet plan, you should think about what you and everyone else in the house wants to do. You can browse the web and check your email at slower speeds, but if you want to stream TV like Netflix, you’ll need faster speeds. But you should know that satellite internet may not be fast enough for you to stream in 4K or HD.

Don’t forget that there are data limits on satellite internet. Most satellite internet plans don’t have unlimited data like some cable and fiber plans do. So, once you’ve used a certain amount of data, your internet service provider might start charging you extra or slow down your connection. When looking for the best satellite internet plan for you, it’s important to keep your data limit in mind.

What kind of equipment comes with satellite internet?

What kind of equipment comes with satellite internet?
If you want to switch to satellite Internet, your service provider will use certain tools. Most satellite internet now only comes with a modem, a wireless router, and a network cable. In the past, most satellite internet came with bigger equipment. Now, many providers use equipment that is smaller and easier to carry. Some providers use a dish to help the signal reach more places, but this isn’t as common as it used to be.
  • Satellite modem: An electronic device that changes the signal from the satellite into a form that your computer’s network adapter can read. It’s what connects your computer to the internet.
  • Router: An electronic device that takes the internet signal from your modem and sends it all over your home, either through Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable.

Satellite internet myths and facts

Myth 1: Satellite internet is too slow

If you go with Viasat, you can get speeds of up to 100 Mbps, and if you go with HughesNet, you can get speeds of up to 25 Mbps. If you think about how most cable and DSL internet plans work, that’s pretty fast.

In the past, satellite internet was very slow, with download speeds of about 750 Kbps. But new satellites and changes in technology have made speeds faster. HughesNet also plans to increase its speeds to 100 Mbps soon. Thank heavens.

Myth 2: It takes a long time to receive a signal

You probably won’t notice any difference between how fast you can do things online with cable or DSL and with satellite. Unless you play games, the high latency of satellite probably won’t bother you.

Latency is the amount of time it takes to send and receive data. In the case of satellite internet, it’s the time it takes for information to travel from your device to your satellite dish, to your provider’s orbiting satellite, to a separate satellite dish at your ISP, and back again.

You can see that there are a lot of steps there. And latency has been a problem with satellite internet for a long time.

Satellite internet has a longer lag time than cable, DSL, and fiber internet. Latency for cable, DSL, and fiber internet ranges from 20 to 50 milliseconds (ms), while latency for satellite internet can be as high as 600 ms.

Since satellites are 22,000 miles above the earth, the data for satellite internet has to travel a long way. This is also why we almost never recommend satellite internet over other types like cable. But if you live in the country or somewhere without better internet options, satellite might be your best (and sometimes only) option.

Latency has the most obvious effect on games. First-person shooter (FPS) games, which require very quick responses, don’t work very well with satellite internet. If you choose satellite internet, League of Legends might not be an option.

But things like browsing the web, sending emails, and sharing photos won’t be affected much at all by latency.

Myth 3: Satellite internet doesn’t work when it’s cloudy, rainy, or stormy

While it’s true that severe thunderstorms, heavy snow, or blizzards can interrupt satellite transmission temporarily, the problem isn’t as significant as some might lead you to think.

Storm-related interruptions are commonly called “rain fade,” and the signal is restored as soon as the storm passes. You can also remove heavy accumulations of snow from around the satellite dish to restore communications.

In contrast, a heavy thunderstorm with fallen trees or other extreme weather with similar effects could disable cable or DSL for days. Again, most satellite internet customers live in rural areas without access to DSL or cable, so even with rain fade, satellite internet is preferable to alternative, slower means of internet service (like dial-up internet).

Myth 4: Satellite internet is too expensive

Satellite internet is more expensive than DSL, cable, and fiber internet. But the amount it costs each month has gone down over the years, making it a bit more affordable. (This is especially true if you don’t have any other options.)

You can get an internet plan from Viasat for as little as $30 a month, or from HughesNet for as little as $64.99 a month.

What is a Geostationary Satellite?

There is a place in space where you can put a satellite in orbit so that it looks like it isn’t moving from the ground. The satellite is actually moving around the Earth at the same speed that the Earth is spinning. The satellite goes all the way around the Earth in exactly one day, which is 24 hours. The only place geostationary satellites can be found is 22,300 miles above the equator of the Earth.

Geostationary Satellite

A Satellite’s Longitude

All geostationary satellites have a name and a longitude position, like “Galaxy 18” or “AMC-4.” Longitude is the name for those imaginary long lines that are used to map the whole world. Longitude readings for Earth go from 0 to 360. Because all geostationary satellites are above the equator, if you know a satellite’s longitude, you know where it is in the sky (or zero latitude).

Longitude is split into two parts, the west and the east, to make things even more confusing. All satellite orbital “slots” would be between 0° and 180° in the eastern hemisphere and between 0° and 180° in the western hemisphere. A satellite that orbits over the Galapagos Islands and serves both North and South America could have an orbital slot at 101° west longitude. The orbital slot of 100.5° east longitude could be used by a satellite that orbits over Malaysia and serves Asia and Australia.

Installers can use satellite longitudes to figure out where to point a satellite dish. They also help find things that might get in the way between an installation site and the satellite.

Satellite Look Angle

A satellite signal to a geostationary satellite will be messed up by anything in the way, like a tree or a mountain. It is important that there are no things between where the satellite dish is set up and the satellite in orbit. We call this a clear “line-of-sight” to the satellite in the business world. A look angle calculator makes it easier to figure out if there is a clear line of sight. All you need is your current address, which can be anywhere in the world, and the satellite’s orbital longitude (see description of orbital longitude above).

When you put these two numbers into the calculator, it will tell you the satellite’s compass heading and how many degrees up from the horizon it is. It will also show you a cool picture of the installation site from above, with a line pointing in the direction of the satellite.

Here is free look angle calculator.

Satellite Latency

The one thing that makes satellite service different from other ISPs on land is something called “latency.” This is a term that people in the satellite world often use. Latency just means how long it takes for one piece of information to go back and forth over a satellite connection and back again. Ping time is another name for latency.

Data sent by satellite goes as fast as light, which is 186,000 miles per second. The orbiting satellite is 22,300 miles above the earth, and data must travel that distance four times: from the computer to the satellite, from the satellite to the NOC/internet, from the NOC/internet to the satellite, and from the satellite to the computer. This is called “latency,” and it takes about a half second.

We don’t think this is a lot of time, but VPNs and real-time games don’t like this delay. Who wants to pull the trigger on a virtual gun and have to wait a half second for it to go off? You should find out if satellite latency will change how you use the internet.

People often think that latency affects transfer rate, which is the speed at which you can send a file. This isn’t the case. A 5 Mbps (megabits per second) satellite connection will move a 1 MB file just as fast as a 5 Mbps (megabits per second) connection on the ground. The only difference is that it takes the satellite connection a half second longer to start sending files, which isn’t much.

CIR – Committed Information Rate

In the satellite business, CIR is a term that is often used. It just means what the satellite ISP has promised to do to make sure your slowest speed isn’t slowed down. Most of the time, CIR is 1:1, which means that you don’t have to share your data channel with anyone else and that you can always get the maximum speed. CIR is not the same thing as contention ratios.

Contention Ratios

Contention ratios show how many people can share your Internet connection at any given time. Satellite Internet services for consumers can have up to 400 users for every 1 free spot (written as 400:1). Ground Control allows premium access and never has more than 20 users on at the same time (or 20:1).

Congestion ratios are not CIRs (committed information rates), because speeds aren’t guaranteed because you can’t tell if all the other subscribers on the same channel aren’t downloading a large video file at the same time, which would slow the connection for everyone.

Satellite Footprint

The satellite’s “footprint” shows where a satellite dish could be placed to talk to the satellite. Here is the Galaxy 18 footprint for North America. There is also a list of each satellite’s longitude, which can be used with the satellite look angle calculator to find the satellite’s look angle from any place on Earth.

Satellite Footprint

EIRP – dWB and Dish Size

Effective isotropic radiated power in the above footprint (measured in dBW decibel watts). The numbers on the footprint above show how strong the signal from the satellite to the Earth is. The strength of the signal goes up as the dBW goes up. If you live in an area with a low dBW level, you may need a bigger satellite dish to get the signal.

The Radio (Outdoor Equipment – ODU)

The Radio (Outdoor Equipment – ODU)

A satellite system is made up of the dish, which is also called the reflector, the BUC, which is the transmitter, and the LNB, which is the receiver. Both need to be connected to the indoor satellite router with a high-performance coax cable.

Different BUCs have different wattages. The more watts a satellite system has, the faster it can work and the better it can work in bad weather. Most consumer systems use a BUC with 1 watt. Most Ground Control systems use a BUC with 6 watts.

The Ku-Band

Satellites use radio waves in the Ku-band part of the electromagnetic spectrum to talk to each other. The Ku-band is the same band that police use for their radar detectors. Between 14,000MHz and 14,500MHz, Ku-band satellite dishes can pick up radio waves. Between 11700MHz and 12750MHz, they can get signals. Other common satellite bands include L-band, which is used for Internet of Things (IoT) and tracking devices, satellite phones, and portable terminals, and Ka-band, which is used for large satellite dishes (smaller satellite dishes).

The Satellite Router or Satellite Gateway

The Satellite Router or Satellite Gateway

The iDirect satellite routers are used by some Ground Control services. This is where the coax cables from the satellite dish connect inside a building. This is also where a LAN (local area network) can connect to the internet. Take note of the Ethernet port on the modem’s back.


How fast is internet through a satellite?

Speeds for satellite internet range from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps, which is fast enough for emailing, browsing, and online schooling. You can even stream video, but only up to a certain point. If you stream too much, your speeds will be slowed down for the rest of the month if you use up all your priority data.

Is streaming possible on satellite internet?

Yes, most satellite internet plans let you stream, but you need to be careful about how much data you use. Streaming video uses a lot of data, and with satellite internet plans, data is expensive and hard to come by. Depending on how much you pay for satellite internet, you can only get a certain amount of full-speed data every month. So, if you stream too much and go over your monthly data limit, your speeds will slow down to 1.5–3 Mbps for the rest of the month. Ouch! That will make it much harder to do things like stream or join work Zoom meetings.

Is it a good idea to use satellite internet?

Satellite internet is a good choice for people who live in rural areas because it is their only choice. We don’t recommend satellite internet over cable, fibre, or DSL because it can’t handle as much data and moves more slowly. Satellite internet isn’t good for fast-paced games because it has a high latency (ping rate), which makes you wait longer every time you ask for or send data. Satellite internet, on the other hand, works well for emailing, browsing, and other low-data online tasks.

Is satellite internet reliable?

Most of the time, you can count on satellite internet. Heavy rain can make it hard for a satellite signal to get through, so sometimes satellite internet goes down when it rains.

Is Wi-Fi the same as satellite Internet?

A satellite internet connection lets you get Wi-Fi, but it’s not the same as Wi-Fi. Satellite internet is a way to connect to the internet, and Wi-Fi is a type of wireless network. With your satellite internet connection, you can set up a home Wi-Fi network. This will let you use the internet on a laptop, phone, tablet, or any other wireless device that can connect to the internet.

Where is satellite internet available?

Over 99% of the people in the US, including most rural people but not all, have access to satellite internet. Since the internet signal comes from satellites, you don’t need wires or cables to connect your home to a land-based network. This helps people in rural areas who don’t have that kind of internet infrastructure. Still, not everyone in a rural area will be able to get a satellite internet connection. People who live in steep canyons where a signal can’t reach don’t have access to satellite internet.

Satellite internet technology has a lot of room to grow in the future because it is needed in more and more places. Starlink, Kuiper, Oneweb, etc. are all big investors in satellite Internet technology.

One big area where satellite internet will be useful in the future is in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment systems. Connectivity has always been an important part of our daily lives. Satellite internet technology will make data needs in many places even greater.


Satellite internet has made it easy for people who don’t live in cities to get online. Most internet service providers are still building their DSL, cable, or fiber networks, so their networks are only in big cities. Satellite internet is helpful in places that are hard to get to, but it can also be used in cities. All you have to do is look for satellite Internet companies near you and look at their plans.


Comments are closed.