Internet 101: Understanding Satellite Internet

Are you living in an area where cable or fiber internet isn’t available? Unfortunately, you are one of the millions of people who don’t have proper access to a fast and stable internet connection. If you’re in this situation, then satellite internet might be your best option for high-speed internet access. 

But what exactly is satellite internet, and how does it work? Is it still worth it in 2023? Let’s break it down.

What Is Satellite Internet?

Satellite internet is a type of broadband connection that uses a small dish antenna to communicate with orbiting satellites. The dish receives signals from the satellites, which are then converted into an IP data stream that can be used by your computer or other devices to access the internet. This type of connection is ideal for people who live in rural areas where cable or fiber connections aren’t available.

Benefits of Satellite Internet

While it’s not the most superior type of internet when it comes to speed, it offers numerous benefits for its users, including the following:

  • Superior Coverage

Fiber, cable, and DSL  connections require physical wiring to be installed in order to make them work, which can limit the coverage area. Satellite internet, however, is available nearly anywhere in the world, provided there’s a clear view of the sky. That’s why HughesNet and Viasat are the only two internet providers that can only claim they cover all states in the US.

  • Easy Installation

Satellite dishes typically require only a few tools for installation and don’t need to be wired in. In most cases, your chosen internet provider will offer free installations, but if not, you can easily do it yourself, as long as you’re not afraid of heights. Moreover, the installation process will only take less than an hour. 

  • Multi-device Accessibility

Satellite internet connections are designed to support multiple devices at once. This is great for families who have multiple devices that need access to the internet all at the same time.

Drawbacks of Satellite Internet 

Unfortunately, this internet type isn’t perfect and has a few drawbacks as well, including the following:

Limited Bandwidth 

Satellite internet providers typically have lower speeds than your typical cable, fiber, or wireless provider, with most packages offering around 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds. That being said, these speeds are more than enough for most activities, like streaming movies or playing online games.

Weather Dependence 

Satellite connections rely on the weather in order to function properly. If there is a lot of cloud cover or if it’s raining heavily, your satellite dish will have a hard time receiving signals from the satellites, which can lead to slower speeds or even complete disconnection.

High Latency

Due to the distance between your dish and the orbiting satellites, this internet typically has high latency compared to other types of internet connections. This can cause online gaming sessions to become laggy and slow.

Cost of Satellite Internet 

The cost of satellite internet varies depending on your location and provider, but generally speaking, it tends to be more expensive than cable and fiber options. You may also have to pay installation fees and monthly rental fees for the equipment needed to access satellite internet (e.g., a dish antenna). Additionally, some providers offer limited data plans that cap how much data you can use each month, so make sure to read all the fine print before signing up for a plan.

Is It Still Worth It in 2023?

Given the drawbacks, satellite internet may not be the ideal option for everyone. However, if you’re living in an area with limited or no access to other broadband options, then it’s worth considering. With new technological advances, growing satellite providers, and improved coverage, this type of internet is only getting better each day. 

As of writing, satellite providers are still limited but are continuously growing. With SpaceX’s Starlink and Amazon’s upcoming commercial satellite connection, you’ll have plenty of options. But of course, it doesn’t mean they are entirely better than other types of internet offered by HughesNet, AT&T, Verizon, GotW3 Internet, and more.


Satellite internet can be a great option for people who don’t have access to other types of high-speed connections like cable or fiber optic lines. It offers fast speeds and wide availability but has some drawbacks, such as higher latency and potentially higher costs depending on your provider and plan selection. However, if you need reliable high-speed internet in an area without many options, then satellite might be just what you need!