How does satellite internet really work?

Have you ever been curious about how satellite internet works, live in a rural area with very poor internet options, own a yacht, or both? New possibilities are starting to appear, and this is an excellent opportunity for you to get a connection to the Internet via the Internet using satellite.

Here’s a quick summary of what exactly it is and how it works.

What is satellite internet?

What is satellite internet?

Satellite internet isn’t a new idea, but it’s worth it, and the popularity seems to be increasing as Elon Musk, Amazon, and many others are trying to increase its qualities and accessibility.

This is a great idea, as the pandemic has resulted in people working remotely, however, they are more dependent on the internet than in the pre-pandemic years.

However, satellite internet is not as fast as cable internet. But in situations where you need adequate Internet infrastructure, such as living in a rural part of the country with terrible reception on the Internet, on a boat or yacht.

This type of Internet connection occurs when your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gives you Internet signals via satellite. It works by sending tiny fibers of an internet signal to a different satellite in space. Then the internet signal comes to you from space and is picked up by the satellite dish.

The satellite dish is connected to the satellite modem, connecting the computer to the web. After that, the process connects back to your satellite internet provider, and you are good to go.

This is also similar to how this internet works on boats and yachts, you can use the satellite to make phone calls, do messages, surf the web and connect HDTV.

How does satellite internet work?

How does satellite internet work?

The principle of satellite Internet is similar to that of satellite TV. The backbone of the Internet relies on a signal in Low Earth Orbit or High Earth Orbit. The signal is collected by a receiving dish.

The receiver is often on the roof of your home or business. Then gain the most rewarding access to an unbroken sky.

The signal is then converted into a usable internet connection when the modem is connected to your satellite, providing internet in your home.

While this type of internet needs electricity to function, it does not depend on cables, fiber optics, or phone lines.

These earth station technologies are too expensive to set up in rural areas, as many organizations have few customers for the exact amount of cable they invest in.

Certainly, launching into geostationary orbit is a daunting task. However, once a good network of people is available, organizations can still provide broadband satellite internet to customers across a large area of ​​the world. This is even in very remote locations, once there is enough network of them.

What Satellite Internet Providers Are Available Today?

Viasat and HughesNet are the two leading internet companies in the country, with decades of experience in providing this type of internet access. HughesNet just launched its Gen5 service plan for home internet via satellite.

Meanwhile, Viasat has begun selling the Viasat Flex, a hybrid satellite/DSL service that promises to increase signal reliability and reduce latency. AT&T’s DSL network serves rural areas. It is offered at no additional cost.

These two popular brands are now facing the new high-profile competition. Amazon’s Kuiper project, which will deploy thousands of satellites to develop satellite internet service under the Amazon umbrella, was approved by the Federal Communications Commission in July last year.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, is moving further. His company’s Starlink satellite internet service already has more than 1,000 satellites in orbit, and the service is currently in open beta with more than 10,000 customers in certain locations. In the video above, you can see our first impressions of Starlink.

Where is satellite internet available?

Where is satellite internet available?

Due to the large number of satellites directed to these latitudes, many locations in the United States can easily receive satellite broadcasts.

Take HughesNet for example. Hughesnet has coverage in all 50 states. Other satellite internet industries are also sorting out how to expand their coverage to different parts of the world, including the opportunity for rural residents to have one or more collaborative community hotspots rather than residential dishes and connections.

Is satellite service superior to other types of internet?

Satellite internet is now capable of speeds similar to those offered by some other mainstream internet types. This is thanks to recent improvements and the abundance of satellites in orbit. If you are not sure about your current internet speed, you can check your connection to put the stats in perspective; Communication in megabits per second (Mbps).

For example, cable and DSL internet are very popular, with DSL download speeds ranging from 3 to 50 Mbps and cable speeds from 10 to 500 Mbps, depending on your subscription and other factors. Satellite internet is typically 12-100 Mbps, which is modest, but Musk is claiming rates of up to 1,000 Mbps soon.

It is very easy to find a provider that offers satellite internet, order a dish, and choose from the available satellite internet plans. That’s all there is to it.

As big companies like SpaceX and Amazon enter the business, speeds are set to improve and pricing becomes more competitive; At least, availability is expected to expand.

Below is a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of a satellite connection versus other types of connections.


It may take a long time until broadband internet is available in your location and satellite internet is already available.
Satellite Internet is a straightforward process. As a result, your traffic will take a few more minutes to reach outer space. Starlink claims to be installing its satellites close to Earth to reduce latency.

For example, dishes should have a “clean view of the southern sky,” according to HughesNet. Spots or even outages may be caused by snow accumulation in certain types of weather.


Besides providing adequate download and upload speeds for broadband, other solutions are often less expensive than satellite internet, at least for the time being.

Due to the fact that many satellites are placed in orbits far above Earth, latency is a common problem with this type of internet, where your traffic will take a few extra moments to reach its destination.

Satellites typically deliver from 12 to 100 Mbps, which is slow, but Musk claims that once Starlink’s infrastructure is complete, it will be possible to visualize rates of up to 300 Mbps.

Fiber Internet, which uses fiber-optic cables, may provide download speeds of up to 2000 Mbps (2 Gbps). On the other hand, fiber cable installation is costly, and some sparsely populated places may become priority destinations for fiber internet only after satellite internet capabilities have grown.

Myths and facts about satellite internet

Myths and facts about satellite internet

There are many misconceptions regarding satellite internet. some here.

The first myth is that they are too slow. However, technological advancements and the addition of new satellites have increased speeds. Viasat gives you speeds of up to 100Mbps, and if you go with HughesNet, you can get speeds of up to 25Mbps. On reflection, satellite internet offers equal speed to most cable and DSL internet subscriptions, and that’s pretty fast.

The second myth is that it takes a long time to receive signals. There is almost little difference between satellite internet and normal internet. Data usage is faster than using an Ethernet or DSL cable. Unless you are a gamer, the highest satellite latency won’t bother you. Latency is the time when data is sent and received.

The third myth is that satellite internet is very expensive and unmanageable. Although it is somewhat pricey, compared to DSL, Fiber, and Cable, the price has gone down in the past 10 years, making it a very viable option, especially if any other option is bad or your only option.

The Viasat package comes with unlimited data per month (no data limits), and HughesNet providers charge more for their internet services at $64.99 per month.


To start using satellite internet, you must first select a provider after looking at their internet plans. After you decide on a plan, you will need to schedule a time for the installer to come out and do the setup.

It usually takes one to four weeks to install this type of internet. Installing a specialized satellite dish on your roof requires the services of a licensed technician. After the dish is inserted, it must be set to a satellite in orbit. This only takes a few hours before it becomes useful.

You’ll need to know the speeds you need and how much you want to spend, just as you would any other type. Although it can be tempting to choose the fastest plan, you don’t have to pay for speeds that you won’t use.

The choice of a satellite Internet package should be based on the activities that you and the rest of your family intend to participate in. Slow speeds are good for web browsing and email, but faster speeds are good for streaming TV services like Netflix. However, remember that this type of internet may not provide the speeds needed for 4K or HD streaming.

disclaimer: This article is not an official satellite internet operation guide but is based on the author’s research or personal experience.

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