How Does Satellite Internet Works? All You Need to Know

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Satellite internet is one of the major internet services out of all internet services. Satellite internet service uses a satellite dish to send and receive signals that allow you to connect to the internet. Most users consider satellite internet service complicated. Whereas in reality, the process is pretty simple. Your satellite internet service provider sends a fiber internet signal to a satellite in space. The internet signal comes back to you and is captured by your satellite dish. Your dish is connected to your modem, which then creates a wireless signal in your home. In this guide, we will cover all the major aspects of satellite internet service including providers, coverage, prices, and resources.

Best Satellite Internet Providers 2022

Currently, there are only two main satellite internet providers in the USA. HughesNet and Viasat satellite internet are widely available. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk is all set to launch his own satellite internet named “Starlink”. Starlink is expected to offer speeds compared to fiber internet service with their state-of-the-art satellite system.

As HughesNet and Viasat are the only two satellite internet options available, let’s compare them. According to our personal use and service comparison, Viasat satellite internet is a better option for most people. With Viasat satellite internet plans, you can get better speeds, more data, and nationwide coverage. If your internet requirement is limited, HughesNet offers better prices for those who don’t need a lot of speed.

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We don’t know anything about Starlink, but according to some beta testers, the speed will be faster and prices will be lower.

Here’s a basic comparison of HughesNet and Viasat:

ProviderMonthly PriceDownload SpeedsData Cap
Viasat Internet$30 – $169.99/mo12 – 100 MBPS12 – 300 GB
HughesNet Internet$59.99 – $149.99/mo25 MBPS10 – 50 GB

Speed Comparison: Satellite Internet vs. Other Internet Service

Just like any other technology, satellite internet has come a long way. Now there are satellite internet plans that can offer speeds up to 100 MBPS. If you want to stream Netflix, download, and upload content then you need fast speeds.

If you love online multiplayer games, you can’t do it on satellite internet as it offers high ping and latency. If you want a low ping and a constant speed, other internet options will be better for you.

DSL Internet is generally slower than satellite internet service. Based on your location and the internet provider, DSL offers you 5-100 MBPS speed. If you have access to a DSL provider with modern tech, results may vary.

Compared to DSL, cable internet service is faster and cheaper. Cable is cheaper than both DSL and satellite internet. Most cable internet service providers offer speeds between 20 – 1,000 MBPS. But if you’re living in the countryside, getting cable internet will be a huge challenge.

The last option is fiber internet service. All we can say about fiber is that currently, it’s the king of all internet services. If you have access to fiber in your area, don’t even think twice about getting it.

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How to Choose The Best Satellite Internet Plan?

The first things that you need to consider while choosing a satellite internet plan are speed and cost. Even if you want to get the best speeds, if you don’t need them you’ll just be overpaying.

Make a list of your internet needs and then pick a speed range. Slower speed plans will be ideal for basic activities such as checking for emails, browsing the internet. If you want to stream Netflix then you’ll need plans with higher speeds. Although, even at the best satellite internet speeds, you won’t be able to stream Netflix at 4K. But, let’s be honest, who can actually tell the difference between 1080P HD and 4K Streaming on a laptop?

Equipment Needed With Satellite Internet

If you’re planning to get a satellite internet plan, then you should also know about the equipment that comes along with it. As technology has evolved, the number of devices you need for a satellite internet service has decreased.

Most satellite internet providers only need a modem, wireless router, and a network cable and satellite dish. Although, the use of satellite dish is getting less common among providers. Will it still be called satellite internet?

Here’s an insight into the equipment needed:

  • Satellite Modem: The device converts satellite dish signals into signals that can be read by your wireless router. Without a modem your computer and phone won’t be able to read satellite signals.
  • Router: A wireless router converts signals from modem into wireless internet signal and spreads it all over your home. This is also known as a WiFi Signal.
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