I’ve experienced satellite internet on two different occasions. My first experience was with my employer in 2006. I currently have satellite internet installed at my residence. I’ve had different experiences with both and have learned how to enhance my satellite internet usage along the way.
This article is to assist folks (primarily dial up users) when deciding to purchase satellite internet. I also give you a few tips on how you can use it. These are some of the primary objectives to consider when upgrading to satellite internet instead of wireless. My experiences were with HughesNet Internet Service.
Satellite Internet Subscriber Note: Reliability
Reliability was a rather significant issue during my initial experience with satellite internet. My employer purchased satellite internet because other broadband options weren’t available in our area. The internet was fast, but it was unreliable for a business setting. Often, an internet connection couldn’t be established because of overcast conditions. Sometimes, the overcast conditions could be out of the area and it’d still prevent a connection.
Satellite Internet Subscriber Note: Pole
The satellite transmitter was installed on the porch of my employer’s office. When I had it installed at my household, I was required to install it on a pole, an extra charge of approximately $100. When I was in the preliminary sales discussions, I wasn’t informed of this possibility and potential expense. Take note of that extra expense because the sales representatives likely can’t tell if you’ll need to install your satellite transmitter on a pole. Your installer will need to navigate your land to see if a pole is required to prevent interference from trees, etc.
Regardless of the pole’s necessity, I’d recommend it. I believe that the pole has enhanced the experience that I suffered from at the office. The internet often stays functional even during damp weather conditions. I believe this has to do with being located off the ground
Satellite Internet Subscriber Note: Bandwidth
Satellite internet services will likely have a daily or monthly bandwidth restriction. This bandwidth could be around five to ten gigabytes per month. If this limit is surpassed, subscribers can be penalized with overcharges or decreased speed. My service will reduce the speed for about 24 hours unless I pay them a $7ish fee for immediate restoration.
You’ll need to find out how much bandwidth you’re allowed each month. You should also see if your service offers any part of the day/night where you get unlimited bandwidth during that period. During these periods, you should do all of your video watching and download critical updates for your computer and/or videogaming systems.
If you want to watch many videos, you should reconsider your stance on satellite internet; videos use lots of bandwidth. Browsing, social networking, and forum posting will hardly use bandwidth.
Satellite Internet Subscriber Note: Status Meter
You need to keep track of your bandwidth stats. Your provider may have a program to do it, but they might not warn you about it. I found out about a tiny program from my provider that keeps track of the amount of bandwidth remaining (by percentage). Check to see if your provider has any similar gadgets on their home page. You might find such a program from external sources.
Satellite Internet Subscriber Note: Gaming
There are two reasons you should avoid satellite internet for gaming purposes. Satellite has good speeds, but it doesn’t ping well. Also, subscribers will likely not have enough bandwidth to be able to play more than a few hours everyday.
When I had satellite television years ago, I had the TV with local channels (Before DTV) compared with the satellite TV. The satellite TV didn’t lag, but it there was about a four second delay between each, with the satellite being behind. Imagine how a video game is going to be…
Is Satellite Internet a Good Investment For You?
I was very reluctant in subscribing to satellite internet a few months ago. I tried getting wireless internet and even contemplated dial up before I submitted to a satellite internet connection being my only option.
It’s been nearly six months, and my personal experience with satellite internet was certainly an upgrade over what I experienced at my job. There were fewer delays in service and faster service.
If you want to play games, watch videos, or anything that requires a large bandwidth use, you’d probably want to look elsewhere. If DSL or cable is available in your area, then go with that. If you need something 100% reliable, I’m not sure you can get that with satellite due to its interference from overcast and damp conditions.
For home use or as an only option for business owners, consider going with it, but make sure to purchase a pole.