What is satellite broadband?
Satellite broadband is a way of connecting to the internet via a satellite connection. To use this service, you need a satellite dish and a transmitter attached to your home, usually placed on your roof. The advantage of satellite broadband is that it can provide internet access to almost any location on earth and is therefore common in rural areas.
Consumer satellite broadband is expanding rapidly and although there are some drawbacks to this service, customers should expect fast development in this area in the near future.
How does satellite broadband work?
Satellite broadband works by connecting to a satellite within the earth’s orbit. That satellite then transfers data both to and from your own dish, before sending signals to the internet provider’s central hub, which then provides an internet connection to your home.
Is satellite broadband reliable?
When you use a satellite broadband service, your signal has to travel into space and back which creates high latency, also known as lag. This is similar to the delay you may experience when making a long-distance phone call. This means satellite broadband is not suited for activities such as large downloads or online gaming.
Satellite broadband is also vulnerable to bad weather and a bad storm may see you temporarily lose access to the internet.
How much does satellite broadband cost?
Satellite internet often costs more than fixed line broadband, and set up costs are between £100 to £400. Prices for satellite broadband tend to vary between £20 per month to £100 per month. Satellite broadband also often has restrictive download limits and those seeking a more generous data allowance will have to pay extra.
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Where can I get satellite broadband?
Finding a satellite internet provider is like finding a provider for any other broadband service, only there are less providers to choose from. You can use our postcode checker here at usave to compare broadband deals available in your area.
The installation process is of course different with a satellite broadband package, as you will need to have the dish attached to your home. You will need to book an engineer to provide this service, but you should usually be able to get an appointment fairly quickly.
Advantages/disadvantages of satellite broadband
- Available in rural locations where traditional broadband services may not be available
- Satellite technology is rapidly improving so may be a worthwhile investment
- It doesn’t require a phone line, so you don’t have to pay for a landline if you don’t want one
- Higher cost
- Less reliable service
- Vulnerable to extreme weather such as storms
- Less choice of providers
- Much slower speeds than a fibre broadband connection
Last reviewed: 07 May 2021
Next review: 07 June 2021