Satellite Internet What are the Pros and Cons?

You might be considering getting a Satellite internet connection. What are the reasons for going in this direction? Many rural areas may not have DSL due to the low number of people who wish to have it. The same can be said for cable.

If you choose Satellite internet, you should be aware of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Satellite speed under optimal conditions is fairly good. Download speeds can be anywhere from 700 kbps (kilobit per second) to 1.5 mbps.(megabits per second) Upload speeds may be as high as 256 kbps. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Remember, these speeds are under optimal conditions. Actual speeds are likely to be lower. This is especially true if you are using the connection during peak times.

Weather is also often a factor when using a Satellite internet connection. Rain and snow can interfere with your internet access, the same as it can when using a Satellite for television service. When the weather is good, your access should be reliable.

Price is another factor to consider when one is thinking about a Satellite internet connection. Prices are generally higher than other broadband options. Prices for Satellite internet can ran ge from $60.00 to $80.00 per month. That does not take into account the startup costs. Equipment may cost $300.00 to $400.00, and installation can be as much as $200.00.

Line of sight is something else you need to take into account. The Satellite dish must be aimed toward the orbiting Satellite in the southern sky. If you have ever had Satellite Television, you were probably told that you must have a southern exposure. Trees and other types of foliage can cause interference, and poor signal.

Speaking of the signal, there is a factor called latency. Latency refers to the delay between a signal traveling from the Earth to the Satellite and back. A delay of 250 milliseconds to 900 milliseconds can create a situation in which your internet service is nearly unusable. If you are using VOIP, (Voice Over Internet Protocol) or playing a game that requires real time response, Satellite internet may not be a viable option.

There are some fixes to the issue, such as TCP accelerators shortening the round trip time of the signal packet by splitting the feedback loop between the sender and the receiver.

It is difficult, if not impossible to eliminate this problem in Satellites with a geosynchronous orbit. This is because of the distances involved.

Another downside to Satellite internet is the bandwidth issue. Think of bandwidth as a garden hose. If you kink the hose in the middle, only a trickle of water will come out. If you connect several sprinklers to one hose, the output on all will be much less than if you were only using one sprinkler. The same is to be said for Satellite internet. Many home users are sharing satellite capacity, so they must share bandwidth. This will affect the speed of their connection.

Satellite internet is a viable option mainly for those who have little choice. If you can get DSL or cable, it might be best to do so. However, if those options are not available then Satellite maybe the only way to surf the net.


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