Public Access

Community storytelling.

This post was created by a member of the Public Access community. It has not been edited for accuracy or truthfulness and does not reflect the opinions of Engadget or its editors.

Editor's Picks

Image credit:

The Pros and Cons of Satellite Internet

Andre Smith

While most people now receive internet service through their phone lines or fiber optic cables, more and more households are turning to satellite these days. Satellite internet offers many advantages compared to broadband internet that should not be dismissed. With satellite internet, a land-based internet connection sends the signal to a satellite dish, which then redirects the signal to a personal satellite dish, which transfers the signal through a modem. But what are the pros and cons of satellite internet and why should you consider it? Well, here are some of the pros and cons of satellite internet so you can make a wise decision.


Available virtually everywhere: one of the biggest advantages of satellite internet is availability. While most internet services demand that you stay close to some sort of cabling, you can get satellite internet virtually anywhere. It is perfect for those who want to enjoy internet service without the proper infrastructure.

In some cases, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars to lay a single mile of fiber optic cable to an unserved location. In many cases, a company will simply refuse to develop certain areas simply because it is not worth it. In these cases, satellite internet might be the only solution.

Faster than dial-up: contrarily to popular belief, satellite connections are not slow at all and very comparable to broadband. As a matter of fact, according to HughesNet, satellite connections can be 50 times faster than the dial-up Internet on average.

Can overcome physical barriers: one of the great things with satellite internet is that it can circumvent mountain ranges, buildings, or any physical barrier that is in the way by beaming signals directly from dish to dish through a clear line of sight. Satellite internet has been making huge strides in this area lately with more and more satellite points to increase coverage.


Can be expensive: while a regular satellite connection can cost you around the same price as what you would pay for cable or the Internet through a phone line, you might have to pay for upgrades. For instance, some providers will ask that you pay in excess of $200 per month for a 5.0 mbps connection.

Data limits: data limits are very common with satellite internet providers. As a matter of fact, some providers may block access completely until your next billing cycle in case you go overboard. However, in most cases, internet providers will usually slow your connection down and apply surcharges on your bill.

Unreliability: one of the advantages of landlines is that they are usually very reliable. This isn't always the case with satellite connections. For instance, weather conditions can affect the quality of your satellite connection, such as heavy rain or sun spots.

All in all, satellite connections are perfect for those living in remote areas where there is no access to cabling. Besides being available almost everywhere, the connection speeds available through satellite have greatly improved in the last few years and many plans are available depending on your monthly consumption. So, if you feel satellite internet is for you, don't be afraid to shop around and find a vendor near you.

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr