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Download Speeds Up To:

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What is Satellite Internet?

Satellite internet provides broadband access using satellites orbiting the earth. A small satellite dish installed at your home connects to a satellite in space to deliver internet signals. It offers an alternative way to get high-speed internet without needing phone lines or cable infrastructure.

Whether you live in a rural area, on a boat, or in an RV, satellite internet offers a convenient way to get online. In some areas, it might even compete with cable and fiber connections. 

How Does Satellite Internet Work?

There are two main types of satellite systems used for internet access:

Geosynchronous (GEO): GEO satellites orbit at 22,000 miles up and remain fixed above one area. The high altitude means stronger signals covering a wider footprint, but also higher latency. GEO satellites work better for residential internet use with less sensitive latency needs.

Low Earth Orbit (LEO): LEO satellites orbit much closer to earth at around 300 miles up. This greatly reduces latency, but more satellites are needed to create full coverage. LEO systems like SpaceX’s Starlink are newer and provide lower latency that’s ideal for gaming and video streaming.

For both types, the satellite dish connects to the nearest satellite in orbit overhead. The signal travels to a ground station run by the provider, then reaches the global internet backbone. This allows web data to transmit to and from your location using the satellites as relay points.

GEO systems have been providing satellite internet for decades, while LEO networks are newer on the scene. Both deliver modern high-speed internet otherwise unavailable to rural users.

Who Is Satellite Internet Best For?

Due to its reduced speeds and higher price points, satellite internet typically only makes sense if you don’t have access to conventional broadband options like cable or fiber. Because of this, satellite internet is a common solution for the following groups of people:

Rural Residents: In remote areas where conventional broadband infrastructure like cable and fiber is out of reach, satellite internet is often the only option. For that reason, it’s essential for rural residents to prioritize a satellite internet plan that ensures a dependable and consistent connection that’s sufficient data – even if that means settling for lower speeds.

RVers: RV owners planning to hit the open road often seek out satellite internet for its ability to travel with them. The ideal setup includes equipment that can be securely mounted on the RV and easily adjusted for signal alignment at each new destination. RVers typically prioritize nationwide coverage, straightforward setup at campsites, the ability to connect multiple devices, and generous data plans to support a life in motion.

Boaters:For those navigating the seas, investing in satellite equipment specifically designed for maritime use is crucial. These systems should be robust enough to handle ocean weather, ensuring uninterrupted global coverage and a stable, reliable connection. While data needs may be lower compared to residential use, prioritizing reliability in the connection is paramount.

Digital Nomads:  Digital nomads, with their on-the-go lifestyle, require satellite internet gear that is exceptionally portable and quick to set up, guaranteeing consistent connectivity wherever their travels lead. Essential features include automatic alignment, compatibility with laptops, and a design that is lightweight and easy to transport. Opting for a plan that allows them to pause services during stationary periods adds a valuable layer of flexibility. For digital nomads, a reliable connection takes precedence over high-speed access, ensuring they remain productive and connected, no matter the location

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