What is satellite internet?
Rather than traveling through underground cables, satellite internet is internet service that’s beamed from satellites in orbit. A dish receiver mounted near your home (usually on your roof) picks up the signal and sends it to your modem to be translated into a usable internet connection.
The best part about satellite internet is its availability. Since the signal comes from space, it can be picked up anywhere in the United States, provided you have a clear view of the sky. This makes satellite internet an ideal choice—and often the only choice—for people in rural areas that lack cable or fiber access.
Satellite internet providers
There are two major satellite internet providers in the US: HughesNet and Viasat. HughesNet tends to be better for users on a budget, thanks to faster speeds on its more affordable packages. Viasat is for the power user, with a higher maximum speed of up to 100 Mbps. Both providers are available nationwide.
FAQ about satellite and cable internet
Does satellite internet work anywhere?
Satellite internet works anywhere in the US, provided you’ve got a clear view of the sky.
Is satellite internet reliable?
Yes, satellite internet is reliable. Extra heavy rain or snow can sometimes interfere with the signal, but for the most part satellite will work just fine.
Is satellite internet good for gaming?
It depends on the game. While the speeds offered by satellite are plenty fast for gaming, it’s high latency makes it not ideal for playing games online like Overwatch. If you’re an online gamer, you’re probably better off with a cable or fiber service. That said, satellite will work in a pinch if it’s all you got. Learn more about gaming on satellite internet.
Is cable internet good for gaming?
Yes, cable internet is good for gaming. Thanks to fast speeds and low latency, cable is one of the best types of internet service for gamers—just make sure you get enough speed. See how much speed you need for online gaming.