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Satellite Internet

The broadband ISP that's available everywhere

You don't have to wait for DSL or cable service to come to your area. A Satellite ISP is available to you right now! The popularity of satellite Internet ISPs is growing FAST due to the fact that the technology involved has really advanced since the old days when only 1-way satellite service was available. You also have the option to combine Internet access with satellite television programming.

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How Satellite Internet Access Works

Satellite ISPs are a broadband-speed Internet service that use a small satellite dish (like a satellite TV dish) to connect you to the World Wide Web. They don't use your phone line at all and you can use a satellite ISP to get streaming media, download big files fast, or just plain surf the Web faster.

It's not quite as cheap or 'plug in and go' as a cable modem or DSL, but for many it's the only true broadband connection available. If you have a clear view of the southern sky, you can use a satellite ISP.

What you need

  • A Satellite Dish
  • A Satellite Modem
  • Satellite Modem Software
  • A Service provider

A residential satellite ISP typically offers speeds up to 500 Kbps. Business class satellite Internet access offers speeds up to 1.2 Mbps

How a Satellite ISP Connects

OK, you're surfing the Web and click a link to view a different Web page. Instead of requesting that web page directly from the Web server, your satellite software attaches a piece of code (called a tunneling code) to your request.

The request is then beamed from the satellite dish installed on your house to a satellite orbiting the Earth which relays the request back down to Earth to your service provider's Network Operations Center or NOC. (The NOC is where your actual connection to the Internet lives.)

The NOC requests that Web page for you and then beams it up to the satellite in space which in turn beams it back down to the dish on your house which sends the web page through your satellite modem and onto your PC monitor.

All that may sound like a lot to do but the whole process typically takes less than half a second!

What You Should Know

The satellites used for two-way Internet service orbit 23,000 miles or more above the equator. This means that a round-trip transmission travels a total of about 92,000 miles. Even though the signals travel at nearly the speed of light, this accounts for more delay than found in earth-based networks. This delay is known as latency.

You likely won't notice it when surfing the Web or downloading shareware and streaming music files. However latency can become an issue with certain types of 'real-time' online gaming or stock trading.

Like cable modem ISPs, your data transmission speed may vary according to how many subscribers are using the service at the same time as you.