How Does Satellite Internet Work?

by Chris Sherwood

The Equipment and How It Works

Satellite Internet, as the name suggests, is the use of satellite technology to gain Internet access. Satellite Internet equipment consists of three main parts, the satellite, two modems and coaxial cables that run from the satellite to the modem. The Internet signal begins at the hub of your Internet provider. This signal is sent into the sky using a large satellite dish and relayed off of a satellite dish orbiting Earth. This orbiting satellite then relays the Internet signal to your personal satellite dish. Connected to your satellite dish are coaxial cables. These cables run the Internet signal to your router and then to your computer.

Internet Protocol Multitasking Technology

Most satellite Internet companies use IP multitasking technology. The setback of dial-up Internet is that it unable to handle large amounts of bandwidth at once. With multitasking technology, satellite Internet can serve 5,000 users on one satellite at the same time. It also compresses the information files to allow more data to be sent at the same time.


The only requirements for receiving satellite Internet are having the necessary equipment discussed above, as well as a clear view of the southern sky. The satellite requires a clear site line between itself and the orbiting satellite. This guarantees the best possible connection to relay the signal.

Benefits/Drawbacks of Satellite Internet

The benefit of satellite Internet is that it can be made available both for those on the move, or for those in areas where cable has not been laid yet. Satellite Internet provides a connection speed 10 times faster than that of dial-up. Satellite Internet also includes some drawbacks. The first disadvantage is that though it is faster than dial-up, it is still slower than cable Internet. It also is much more limited in how much traffic it can handle at one time. This results in dramatically slower Internet during high traffic hours. Internet can also be slowed by weather conditions such as fogs and clouds that may put a barrier between the orbiting satellite and your home system.

About the Author

Chris Sherwood is a professional journalist who after years in the health administration field and writing health and wellness articles turned towards organic sustainable gardening and food education. He now owns and operates an organic-method small farm focusing his research and writing on both organic gardening methods and hydroponics.

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