Satellite broadband is a relatively new concept, delivering your internet connection via a satellite. This involves attaching a satellite dish and transmitter to your home, which then connects to a static satellite in orbit. Though it is still very much a work-in-progress and it may be a while before it becomes an accessible, popular broadband option, satellite broadband may be suited to your needs.
Perhaps its biggest advantage is that you can connect to the internet via satellite from practically anywhere, as all you need is a satellite dish facing the south sky. If you are exceptionally rural, living in a hard to reach place, or live in a portable home (such as a house boat) it may be an excellent solution to frustratingly slow fixed line broadband, or that extortionate mobile phone data bill.
It is also landline-free. Even if they rarely use the landline, most people still pay their line rental since this enables broadband providers to use BT’s fixed wire network. Since satellite broadband operates by satellite, an active phone line is not needed, so you can save money by doing away with your line rental if you never use it.
As the signal has to travel 22,000 miles into space and back, high latency (otherwise known as ‘lagging’) is a side effect of satellite broadband. Download limits are also very restrictive. Therefore, it is not going to be a suitable option for online-gamers or those who frequently download and stream files.
If you do want a phone line, you will have to pay extra.
Satellite broadband is expensive – both in terms of installation costs and the price of your monthly bills. Unless it is the only broadband option available to you, satellite broadband is probably not going to be worth it financially.
If you opt for satellite broadband, you will have a limited choice of providers. As a result, the market is less competitive – you will pay more just because of this exclusiveness. If you’re looking for the cheapest broadband deal, then satellite broadband probably isn’t it.
Satellite broadband is subject to the whims of the weather. A bad storm or strong winds may disrupt or temporarily suspend your connection, and you will likely face further interference from other wireless signals in the sky. This means that it is certainly not the most reliable of broadband options.
Though the speed of satellite broadband is predicted to get faster as satellite development continues, current speeds don’t come close to matching fixed line broadband.
In short, unless you live in a very remote area or in a portable home, fixed line broadband is a cheaper and much more reliable option.However, if you are in one of these situations, satellite broadband enables you to connect to the internet, which you would not be able to do a few decades ago.
The only other reason for getting satellite broadband is if you like to brag to your friends about having the latest technology – but in that case you’d probably want to opt for fibre optic broadband anyway.