Advantages and Disadvantages of Broadband Satellite

By Alexis Writing

Broadband satellite Internet connections have advantages and disadvantages.
i Satellite TV image by Bryan Crowe from

Satellite broadband or satellite Internet is a type of Internet connectivity provided by a satellite instead of land-based DSL cables, dial-up connections or other cable services. This type of broadband is connected to a dish network service and can provide similar Internet technologies to the more common DSL or dial-up services. It has advantages and disadvantages,

Advantage: Location and Mobility

The major advantage of satellite Internet is that you can receive broadband Internet signals from any location on Earth, regardless of how far you are from an Internet port for cable connection. This can be convenient for those who work or live in remote or rural locations where the only option for Internet connectivity is the very slow dial-up modem connection. It's practical and useful for maintaining Internet signals in varying locations, especially when you are traveling in a vehicle such as a ship or a train.

Advantage: Accessibility

Satellite Internet can benefit many businesses because of the seamless communications it provides. For business continuity, particularly for situations wherein terrestrial providers of a signal may be disabled, damaged or simply nonexistent, people and organizations can still keep in touch with each other. Satellite Internet is a great solution for companies with offices located around the world.

Disadvantage: Slow Connection

Because the Internet signal must travel 22,000 miles to reach a satellite and back to Earth, there may be a delay or latency between requesting data and receiving a response. The average period of latency for satellite Internet is between 500 and 900 milliseconds--much slower than a dial-up connection. This is tolerable when one simply needs basic Internet activities such as reading and sending e-mails or web surfing. But it may be too slow for applications that require real-time access, such as video conferencing, Internet gaming, voice chats and VoIP telephone calls.


Satellite Internet is more expensive than terrestrial connections. On average, as of 2010, it costs two or three times more than DSL service. Equipment required for satellite Internet, such as the satellite modem and satellite dish, ranges from $600 to $2000.

Weather Disturbance

Satellite Internet may be affected by weather disturbances. Rain will not block feeds or signals but may trigger an interference called the "rain fade," which can cause much slower download and upload speeds and an erratic Internet connection.