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What is Satellite Internet?

What’s Satellite Internet?

Every person today needs a solid connection to handle everyday activities.

As the world continues to go digital, over 5.16 billion people use the internet, accounting for 64.4% of the global population. From job interviews, rekindling connections, and staying updated with the latest news and trends, an internet connection can now be considered a basic need.

With people expecting faster and more reliable internet speeds, networks must continue innovating new ways to introduce higher-speed connections. Fortunately, the global communications landscape is evolving at a rapid rate. An up-and-coming player in the scene? Satellite internet.

The comprehensive article below discusses what satellite internet is and how it works.

What’s Satellite Internet?

Satellite internet is wireless internet transmitted from orbiting satellites around the Earth—typical land-based internet services like DSL and cable run along underground wires.

An upside to this connection is that it’s the only internet service that reaches an entire nation, suitable for rural homes and businesses. Moreover, it's preferred for locations where internet access is inadequate or unreliable and terrestrial internet access is unavailable.

With the Philippines being an archipelago, having an orbiting satellite to provide an internet connection is a more efficient way of linking the country.

How Does Satellite Internet Work?

Satellite internet differs from fixed-line broadband services, as it doesn’t depend on a physical connection.

This is the process of how internet signals travel:

  1. The signal starts from your device.
  2. It goes through your modem and satellite dish.
  3. It travels to a satellite in space.
  4. The signal is then sent back to Earth to ground stations.
  5. Then, the data is sent through this network to your device.

Pros and Cons of Satellite Internet

Although satellite internet offers a compelling solution for connecting people in remote and underserved areas, it also has its own set of pros and cons. So, let's delve into the details and uncover both its strengths and inevitable trade-offs.

Advantages of Satellite Internet

  • Reliable for Rural Areas

    Due to the lack of underground wires, traditional internet services like cable or DSL may be unavailable in many rural areas. However, a satellite connection has no limitations since the system doesn't require physical connections, allowing it to reach areas that fiber internet can't.

  • Optimal Internet Speeds

    Newer satellite technologies have improved overall performance. They are a reliable option for those who need high-speed internet access in typically out-of-coverage areas limited by traditional broadband, such as rural or remote locations.

  • Quick Installation

    Another advantage of this technology is that it's easy to deploy as it only requires a router and satellite dish—both simple to transport and install. Unlike traditional internet services, there's no need to lay wires to your house or excavate to get wires underground. The connection between the dish and router is straightforward.

Disadvantages of Satellite Internet

  • High Latency

    The actual latency depends on your satellite provider. High latency can result in slow response times, which is undesirable for users who stream, play, or do activities that require strong connectivity.

  • High Cost

    Acquiring a satellite kit requires a deposit of ₱5,000, a kit costing around ₱31,000, and a monthly service fee of almost ₱6,000. This means you would need to spend approximately ₱42,000 to get started.

    Additionally, the services may not be affordable based on their pricing; however, they address the issue of internet access and availability in sparsely populated areas where traditional cable or fiber-based services are unavailable.

  • Weather-Dependent

    Satellite internet systems need an unobstructed sky view to deliver reliable service. Therefore, the service may become degraded or unavailable during heavy rain or typhoon. However, it can quickly recover once the weather improves.

Differences Between Fiber and Satellite Internet

Fiber optic and satellite are different internet connections with distinct advantages and disadvantages.

From its name, fiber optic internet uses fiber optic cables to transmit data signals. The connection is consistent and reliable, with high internet speeds. It's ideal for businesses, gamers, and households that use multiple devices for streaming, browsing, and downloading.

Meanwhile, satellite internet is a wireless connection, ideal for remote and rural areas where the usual options, including fiber optic, are unavailable. It relies on a satellite dish to receive and transmit data signals. Satellite internet is typically slower and less reliable than fiber optic internet due to its dependence on weather conditions and satellite positioning.

While satellite internet offers internet coverage in remote and rural areas, fiber optic internet provides high-speed, reliable, and consistent internet speeds. With that said, the accessibility of satellite internet in the country is still limited.

Fortunately, telco companies such as Globe provide reliable alternatives to satellite internet. If you want to acquire reliable connectivity at an affordable price, you'll be happy to know that Globe offers various GFiber Unli internet plans to suit every Filipino household's needs!

Internet and Beyond

The internet has become essential in communication and information dissemination, so tech companies constantly look for ways to improve it. Satellite internet is set to be the next big thing in global communications, but it has many pros and cons.

Even though there are a lot of emerging internet technologies, you don’t need to try each of them. So, when determining the qualities you need in your internet connection, make sure to look into your needs at home. 

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