What equipment will I need for satellite internet to work?
To use satellite internet, you’ll need an internet-ready device (like a computer, tablet, or gaming console), a modem/router, and a satellite dish. You probably already have internet-ready devices at home, and your satellite internet provider can set you up with a modem/router and satellite dish.
Which modems and routers work with satellite internet?
Both HughesNet and Viasat have their own modems because satellite internet modems don’t have industry standards. While they also have modem/router combos, you can buy your own router, such as the NETGEAR Nighthawk. Almost any modern router will be compatible.
How fast is satellite internet?
Download speeds for satellite internet range from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps. But keep in mind those are advertised speeds. The speeds you actually experience may be slower.
Is satellite internet fast?
Short answer: not really.
Long answer: satellite internet can be faster than dial-up and some DSL providers, but rarely is it faster than cable internet providers. And, of course, it depends on which satellite internet plan you pay for. For example, you can get up to 100 Mbps with a Viasat plan, but it’ll cost you. And you could get the same or similar speeds for less money via a cable or DSL provider.
Also, when Starlink launches, it might change how we think of satellite internet. If you’re to believe the hype, Starlink may offer both high speeds and low latency at lower prices than Viasat and HughesNet. However, we’ll have to wait until we get our hands on it to know if Starlink’s satellite internet service can truly deliver fast, affordable satellite internet.
Who has the fastest satellite internet?
Viasat currently offers the fastest satellite internet at speeds up to 100 Mbps.
Is satellite internet as fast as cable internet?
Some satellite internet plans technically offer download speeds as fast as cable internet in some areas, but it likely wouldn’t seem faster because of satellite internet’s higher latency. Additionally, satellite speeds top out at 100 Mbps while cable speeds can reach up to 2,000 Mbps.
Don’t know what latency is? We explain here.
Is satellite internet good enough for streaming (e.g., Netflix)?
Yes, you can stream with satellite internet, but there are a lot of factors to consider before you do—especially data caps. In fact, we wrote two guides to help answer this question: Your Guide to Streaming with Satellite Internet and How to Stop Buffering When Streaming with Satellite Internet. Check them out.
How do I know if I qualify for subsidized broadband internet service through the FCC Lifeline program?
The Lifeline program offers a $9.25 per month discount on internet service with Viasat, HughesNet, or dozens of other internet providers. If you live on Tribal Lands, you may qualify for additional services.
How can I get internet access on Tribal Lands?
You can get internet on Tribal Lands with satellite internet, DSL and dial-up internet (which run through phone lines and are not available everywhere), and wireless (which is broadcasted using cellphone towers and will work if you have good mobile service in your home). Cable internet from companies like Xfinity or AT&T or fiber internet with Google Fiber or Frontier Fios are usually not available on Tribal Lands.
Many Tribal Lands are underserved in regards to high-speed internet services. NPR reported that only 50% of individuals on Tribal Lands had access to high-speed internet.
You can find out more about bringing internet service to your area (or your home) by checking into the FCC’s internet assistance programs for Tribal Lands. Recognizing that rural areas are more likely to not have access to internet, the FCC offers Enhanced Lifeline Benefits for Tribal Lands.
How can I get quick access to internet during the COVID-19 pandemic?
You can get quick internet access by first finding out which providers are in your area. If your options are limited, or too expensive in your area, check into hotspotting off your mobile phone or and then checking to see if you qualify for aid. Take the first step to home internet service by finding out which internet companies offer service in your area by typing your ZIP code into the box below.
If I am out of work or affected by the coronavirus pandemic, will my internet get shut off for non payment?
If you’ve been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, reach out to your internet service provider to let them know. Over 500 internet and telecom companies across the nation have signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, which waives late fees and promises that services will not be shut off if you’ve been affected by the pandemic. Contact your internet provider to find out more.
How can I get the internet if I don’t qualify for government subsidized internet but I can’t afford broadband due to being furloughed or other events?
You might actually qualify for the Lifeline government program, even if your income is usually too high. During the coronavirus pandemic, some rules of the Lifeline program were waived to help people quickly get internet services and promote social distancing.
How does satellite TV work?
Satellite TV works in a relay system similar to satellite internet, but it uses a set-top box and a TV instead of a modem and internet-ready device.
How can I get high-speed internet in rural areas?
Satellite internet is available in almost every rural area in the US. Satellite internet plans come with download speeds from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps, and 25 Mbps is the current FCC standard for high-speed internet.
What is satellite broadband?
Satellite broadband is another term for high-speed satellite internet. The FCC standard for broadband requires a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps.
Is satellite internet good for gaming?
Because of the distance satellite internet data has to travel—22,000 miles to outer space and back twice—lag is unavoidable. Any game that requires rapid response, like Call of Duty and other first-person shooters, will be unplayable with satellite internet’s delay.
Is satellite internet a good option?
Satellite internet is a great option when DSL, cable, and fiber internet aren’t available. It comes in high speeds up to 100 Mbps, but it can be a bit pricey. Data caps and lag associated with satellite internet make it less than perfect as well, but it can get the job done and is certainly better than no internet at all.
Is satellite internet better than DSL?
Depending on the provider, DSL and satellite internet speeds are on par with each other. Satellite is more widely available, but DSL usually has higher data caps. Refer to our Satellite vs. DSL vs. Cable section to determine which internet type is best for you.
Can you stream with satellite internet?
Yes, it’s easy to stream with satellite internet. You may notice some lag if you’re skipping around the video, but once a show starts streaming, it will download at a normal pace. Both HughesNet and Viasat have options to help you save data when you stream so you don’t use up your data allowance too quickly.