The three main types of internet connections are DSL, cable, and satellite. Each one has its pros and cons, especially satellite internet. People often choose the satellite connection option if DSL or cable internet services are not available in their location. These are usually rural areas away from cities and major towns.
Satellite internet does not have a wired connection to any utility pole. Instead, a satellite dish is installed in your backyard. It receives data from another satellite in outer space, making it a wireless internet connection. That is how it’s able to provide internet services to rural residents.
Pros and Cons of Satellite Internet
But is satellite internet really worth the investment? Let’s go over the pros and cons of satellite internet so that you can understand it better.
- High-Speed Internet Connection
Satellite internet connections are up to 35 times faster than dial-up connections. This is fast enough to check email, surf websites, and chat on social media. Downloading videos won’t take too long either, depending on the speed of your satellite internet package.
- Available Anywhere
The greatest thing about satellite internet is that it can be installed anywhere. Even if there are no utility poles for miles around your home, you can still have access to satellite internet. Of course, you would need to have a power supply for your computer, but that’s all.
- Faster Service Restoration After a Disaster
When you have DSL or cable internet, a natural disaster can render you without internet for days or weeks. Things like hurricanes, tornadoes, and heavy winds only need to knock down one utility pole in your area, and then your internet will be out. But if you have satellite internet, you won’t need to wait too long to go online after the storm passes. As long as your satellite dish was not damaged, then you’re good to go.
Despite the bandwidth limitations of a satellite internet service, most providers will still connect you to the internet after you have reached your limit for the month. The only stipulation is that your connection will be slower than normal. But at least you’ll have a way to do basic things like send and receive emails.
- Bandwidth Limitations
Like previously mentioned, satellite internet services set bandwidth limitations each month. Customers who want more bandwidth need to pay more money for a better satellite internet package. There are usually around 4 packages, ranging from 10 GB to over 50 GB of bandwidth. If you stay within the bandwidth range per month, then you’ll have faster internet speed. However, if you like to watch YouTube videos or stream digital media content, then you’ll eat up your bandwidth limit rather quickly.
- More Expensive
Even if you were to purchase the cheapest satellite internet package, you’re still going to end up paying around $50+ per month. Compare this to the standard DSL or cable package cost, which is around $30 to $40. For that price, you get a much faster internet speed than you would with satellite internet. And if you want more bandwidth for your satellite internet, then you’ll have to pay upwards of $100 per month. Meanwhile, DSL and cable have unlimited bandwidth for the same low price.
- Virtual Private Networks (VPN) Not Compatible
If you’re looking to set up virtual private networks, then you won’t be able to do that with a satellite internet connection. VPNs require a connection with high bandwidth and low latency. Unfortunately, a satellite connection offers low bandwidth and high latency, so it’ll never work for a VPN.
- Bad Weather Affects Service
Whenever you have clouds in the sky or objects blocking the signal of your satellite dish, you won’t have a strong internet connection. This can happen whenever it starts to rain or thunder in your area. It doesn’t even need to be a big storm either. Just enough clouds to block the southern skies is enough to weaken your connection.
Despite all the cons, satellite internet may be your only choice for an internet connection if DSL and cable are not available in your area. If you can learn to manage your time wisely on the internet, then the limitations of a satellite connection won’t be a major issue for you.