Satellite broadband is a great solution for those who live in rural areas where traditional fixed-line broadband services aren't available. The service uses a satellite dish to provide two-way access to broadband services with download speeds of up to 20 Mbps available. The main advantage of satellite broadband is that it can be provided virtually anywhere in the world, provided you have a clear line of sight to the south. It is viewed as a good option to complete broadband coverage in hard-to-reach areas, although it doesn't provide a comparable service to next-generation fibre-based broadband due to the increased latency.
How fast is Satellite Internet?
Maximum download speeds of 20 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 Mbps are available.
The speed of the service is dependent on a variety of factors and as such, maximum speeds are not always achievable.
What factors affect the speed of the service?
There is no single factor that is solely responsible for network speed, but the most prominent one is congestion.
Congestion is the result of an internet connection or link reaching its maximum capacity in terms of data traffic. As such, the likelihood of congestion increases when user numbers increase, when high bandwidth applications are in use, and at certain points of the day when traffic is at its peak.
Congestion is not to be confused with contention, which is a planned restriction on a shared connection. Contention ratios are used to reflect the possible demand versus total available capacity.
The other major factor to consider when assessing performance is the latency of a connection.
What is latency and why is it relevant to satellite broadband?
Latency is one of two key factors that determine the speed of a network connection. Most people are familiar with bandwidth as a concept of how much data can be pushed through a network at a given rate, such as 20 Mbps. However, equally important is the latency of the connection. This is measured in milliseconds, and can be thought of as the time taken to receive a response from a remote server following a request.
Latency is often mentioned when discussing satellite broadband due to the higher response times compared with traditional broadband services. Latency can typically be beyond 600 ms for satellite broadband, which makes it unsuitable for certain internet traffic such as online gaming. These higher than normal ping speeds are due to the vast distances being covered by the signal compared to traditional methods, such as broadband across land lines.
Are there qualifying criteria for satellite broadband availability?
In order to receive satellite broadband, the dish needs a south-facing clear line of sight. The approximate measurements are 9 degrees to the east when facing south, at a 30 degree angle up from the horizontal.
In addition to the directional requirements, the modem needs a power supply to function.
Is a telephone line required?
No. This would be defeating the purpose of satellite, as it is an ideal product for use in geographic areas that are hard to reach via traditional methods such as broadband across land lines.
What else do I require?
The satellite system requires a device with a network card installed. The make, model or type of computer is not important.
Can I use wireless to access the satellite broadband?
Yes, providing you have a suitable wireless router.
Is online gaming possible with satellite broadband?
Technically yes, online gaming is possible, but it is not recommended due to latency issues. Most modern online games are reactive, and the higher ping times received through satellite broadband would prevent the online element of such games from functioning in a timely fashion.
Can I use VoIP across satellite broadband?
Yes. Although latency was historically a significant factor in determining how well VoIP functioned, technological advances mean that VoIP across satellite broadband is now a viable option.
Are there download limits with the service?
Yes. Choosing the right package to suit your needs is an essential part of the process - we will be happy to help you do this.
What size is the dish?
Modern dishes are around 76 cm in diameter.
What effect does the weather have on the stability of the service?
As with all RF-based transmissions, satellite broadband services can be affected by the weather. However, modern satellite systems utilise a variety of technologies to mitigate the effects of adverse weather conditions, meaning that the impact on the quality of service is reduced.
Can a VPN connection be used over satellite broadband?
What does satellite broadband cost?
We have a number of packages available to suit a diverse range of bandwidth needs. Please contact a member of our team to find out more.
Why should I choose satellite broadband?
In a word, location. If you are in an area where traditional broadband services cannot be delivered, then satellite broadband is an ideal choice.
Additionally, if you need geographic flexibility for the delivery of the service, satellite broadband can be moved with a minimum of fuss, making it an excellent choice for transient requirements. This is particularly useful for any business based on temporary site work, such as the construction industry.
If you would like to know more about the service, please feel free to contact our team.