The Web is technically agnostic, easily transmitted over the air, via radio signal, down telecom copper line or cable-company coaxial. Less well-known is the satellite Internet option, which sounds exotic but is no more complex than having a dish for TV on your roof or wall.
Satellite Internet service providers (also known as a satellite ISP) come in two flavors: corporate and consumer. Choosing a satellite ISP usually means you will be bundling with another satellite Internet service, like satellite TV, satellite telephone or both.
Covered in this guide:
1. Choosing from major satellite Internet providers.
2. Business accounts and satellite Internet ISP.
3. How to get service in rural locations.
4. Avoiding scams and improper fees for Internet service via satellite.
Satellite Internet for consumers is easy to buySatellite Internet providers are, not surprisingly, few. Mostly, it's the existing satellite TV companies trying to bundle another service into their dish offering. There are some basic comparison points between satellite Internet service and traditional cable or telecom Internet, but cost is usually the main factor.
Business users are an increasing slice of the satellite Internet provider marketFor quite a while, satellite ISP providers were seen as just keeping telecoms honest. But they have made increasing inroads to the corporate market, where budgets are fatter and reliable high-speed Internet is integral to the business.
In some cases, a satellite Internet service could be the only choiceThe big thing about Internet service through a satellite is that you need only have a clear view of the southern sky to get a strong signal. In many parts of the country, cable isn't easy to get, and broadband via the phone company isn't much better. Enter the satellite ISP.
satellite Internet antennas, and satellite radio services like XM and Sirius.
- Like most terrestrial systems, the downloading speed from a satellite ISP is much faster than uploading, but you can often buy faster uploads from satellite Internet providers for an additional monthly fee. It rarely matters for consumers, though.
- When doing a cost comparison, ask satellite Internet providers about "up-front" discounts for pre-paying the quarter, half-year or full-years fees of your Internet service.
- Beware of packages that seem to offer free hardware but then jack in "installation fees" instead. Deal with reputable resellers of satellite Internet service. It doesn't hurt to get references.