Compare Satellite Internet
Satellite internet works in the same way as satellite tv, with three components: a home satellite dish, modem, and an orbiting satellite that receives and transmits data. In rural areas where getting internet can be difficult, satellite internet providers can offer high-speed, reliable internet comparable to cable and fiber-optic services, without using your telephone line.
When you sign up for satellite internet, the company installs the satellite dish outside of your home, in an area with unobstructed access to the geostationary satellite in orbit overhead. Satellite internet is a significant investment, and since the market is so small, prices tend to be quite similar. Most companies require a lengthy two-year contract, but do offer hibernation plans if you travel. Verify if the introductory price can be locked in, or whether the cost will rise after a few months.
The most important things to look for when comparing satellite internet providers are large coverage areas, high bandwidth thresholds (the amount of data per month), high speed, and informative technical support. It’s also good to find out what equipment is included in the service or must be leased, and whether installation is free or must be paid for. Some providers establish a data cap, which limits your internet speeds if you go over the allotted amount.
Lastly, be sure that the company offers 24/7 technical support, and multiple means of contact, including telephone, email, and live chat support. Thoroughly evaluate all your options before deciding on satellite internet, so you understand all terms and conditions. Most companies charge an early-termination fee, so remember you may be locked into a contract for two years.
How we Compare Satellite Internet
A major checkpoint in any satellite internet shopping list. Bigger download and upload speeds simply means faster internet services. Internet speed preference depends on how this will be used. Those planning to use the internet for gaming would require higher internet speeds for example. However, those who only require the internet for research or access to their social media accounts could get away with lower internet speeds.
Why higher download speeds?
Satellite internet services are designed to provide high speed internet services to residential customers. And a huge chunk of internet traffic is used for downloading files (music, videos and images) or browsing. Compared to businesses who require faster upload speeds because internet services are mainly used for giving customer access to information located in their servers hence, upload speeds.
|Download||5-15 MBPS||12 MBPS||12 MBPS|
|Upload||2-3 MBPS||3 MBPS||3 MBPS|
Internet speed will always come on top in the minds of most consumers. But when making a decision, a consumer should also try to look at how they are planning to use this service. There is a finite amount of data that any satellite can process at any single time. Information is passed to and from your home to the satellite. And just like a highway, it can only accommodate a certain amount of traffic before travel speeds slow down.
Satellite internet providers regulate the amount of traffic their satellites receive by setting data allowance ceilings for each of their plans. So 50 GB of data allowance basically means you could process this amount of data before experiencing internet speed slowdowns.
Window hours – this refers to hours in the day when customers could use their internet services without affecting their data allowance. Window hours are usually available during the late hours of the night to early morning hours the following day. This are window hours where there is limited traffic and satellites are able to accommodate more data.
Satellite Internet with the Best Data Allowance:
|Free Zone||Unmetered access from 3 a.m. - 8 a.m / 1 - 5 Mbps download speeds (morning/daytime) after Priority Data used|
Aside from providing high speed internet access, satellite internet providers could also sweeten the deal by giving extra features and services. Satellite internet services are certainly a more expensive option compared to its land-based counterparts so anything extra could make your monthly payments more justifiable.
- Track data usage
- Phone services
- Free email
- Buy priority data
- Free zone
- Hibernation plan
|Track Data Usage|
|Buy Priority Data|
All things being equal, price should be considered. But in this case we try to look at what each company offers based on price ranges. So how much does a dollar buy in each company? Things we looked into includes looking at the price of their basic plan and what does each offer its customer. Satellite internet equipment requires a considerable investment compared to terrestrial based counterparts. Customers are not required to purchase satellite internet equipment. However, use of this equipment is based on a lease agreement that requires a monthly leasing fee.
Monthly plan costs – quickly make a comparison of these 3 factors. We compared each company based on costs of each plan and what it offered.
- Download speeds
- Upload speeds
- Data allowance
- Length of contract
- Cancellation policy
- Leasing fee
- Activation fee
|Contract Length||24 Months||24 Months||24 Months|
|Leasing Fee||$9.99 per month||$9.99 per month||$9.99 per month|
|Cancellation Fee||$20 or each month left on the contract||$15 per month on remaining contract||$15 per month on remaining contract|
|Monthly Plan Costs||$49-$149||$49.99-$149.99||$59.99-$149.99|
Satellite internet customers require 24/7 access to this service. And having 24/7 access to your provider’s technical support staff should be a minimum requirement.
- 24/7 support
- Online chat
- Technical support
Full Satellite Internet Comparison
|Internet Speed||Data Allowance||Features||Price||Support Services|
|HughesNet Satellite Internet||10.0||9.0||9.0||10.0||9.0|
|DIRECTV Satellite Internet||10.0||8.0||9.0||9.0||9.0|
|Exede Satellite Internet||8.0||9.0||8.0||10.0||8.0|
|WildBlue Satellite Internet||8.0||9.0||8.0||10.0||8.0|