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Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. How does satellite internet work?

  2. What speeds can I expect to get with satellite internet?

  3. Which is better, satellite-based internet or cellular-based internet?

  4. Where can I get internet service with a satellite system?

  5. Can I get internet and television with the same dish?

  6. What is FAP, and how does it affect me?

 We know that there are a lot more questions you might have.  Please contact us and we will be happy to assist you any way we can.


 

How does satellite Internet work?

 

Satellite internet uses a number of different satellites in geosynchronous orbit around the earth to relay data from a satellite receiver to a Network Operations Center.  These satellites are approximately 23,000 miles in space.  Therefore, any data that is sent must make the 46,000 round trip to the satellite and back to the NOC.  Any received data must also make that 46,000 mile journey.  That is why satellite internet users will experience latency, or delay in when they request an item and when they actually get it.  Most users never notice this delay, but it makes playing real-time games on-line and VoIP an issue. 

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What speeds can I expect to get with satellite internet?

 

There is no 100% accurate answer for this question other than the fact that your speeds will vary.  There are several different satellite internet service providers, and several different service packages with each provider.  There are packages that will give you 512kbps/128kbps speed all the way up to 9Mbps/4Mbps speed.  The thing to keep in mind is that with higher speed and lower contention ratios, your internet service costs will go up considerably. 

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Which is better, satellite-based internet or cellular-based internet?

 

This is a question we get very often.  Both are excellent, and both have there place.  We typically tell people that if you can live with having internet 75% of the time, and can at times live with dial-up speed, then a cellular-based system is probably the better choice.  If you NEED internet connectivity, 100% of the time and anywhere you happen to be, then a satellite-based system is your only option.  Here are some of the basic advantages and disadvantages to cellular or satellite systems.

 

Satellite

+  Offers internet service anywhere you go.  If you want to surf the web in the Mojave Desert, satellite-based internet will make that happen.

+  Offers higher bandwidth packages than cellular (up to 9Mbps/4Mbps)

-   Higher cost of equipment (for automatic systems, prices start at $4,500)

-   Higher cost of monthly service.

 

Cellular

+   Gives you the ability to have internet while "in-motion"

+   Lower initial investment cost (from $0 to $1,800)

+   Lower monthly service costs.

-   Relies on the local infrastructure.  If there is no cellular service, you don't have internet service.

-   Speeds typically max out at around DSL-like speed

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Where can I get internet service with a satellite system?

 

No matter where you are in the United States you can get service.  Different satellites have different "footprints", with some covering Mexico very well, and others covering Alaska and Canada very well. 

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Can I get internet and television with the same dish?

 

If you have the F1 or the G74, you can get a BOW(Bird-on-Wire) that will allow you to get television programming as long as you are assigned to certain internet satellites.  For many, it is easier and offers more options to just get a separate television dish.

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What is FAP, and how does it affect me?

 

FAP stands for Fair Access Policy and it is designed to make sure that a few individual users are not abusing the system and having all other users suffer for it.  Keep in mind that when you use satellite internet, you are sharing bandwidth with other users and if you are using too much, they won't have enough and vice versa.  As a general rule FAP doesn't bother most people.  If you are concerned about FAP, there are plans that don't have any, but these will typically cost more and you run the risk of having some "powerusers" on there that could affect your performance.

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Q&A provided by Satellite Internet Solutions.