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How do you access the Internet other than dial-up if you live
too far from a phone company office for DSL and there is no
cable TV on your street? Satellite Internet systems may be
worth considering. It's ideal for rural Internet users who want
broadband access.

A satellite internet system installation can be used even where
the most basic utilities are lacking. In fact, if there is a
generator or battery power supply that can produce enough
electricity to run a desktop computer system, that's a great
start. Today, the two-way satellite Internet option offers an
always-on connection that bypasses the dial-up process. In
this respect, the satellite system resembles a cable modem
Internet connection. Although the always-on feature is better
than the traditional dial-up system, it can also be a liability
unless a firewall is used to protect the computer against
hack attempts.

A satellite internet system does not use telephone lines or
cables, but instead it uses a satellite dish for two-way (upload
and download) data communications. Upload speeds are
nominally 50 to 150 Kbps for a subscriber using a single
computer. The download occurs at speeds ranging from about
150 Kbps to more than 1200 Kbps, depending on factors such
as internet traffic, the capacity of the server, and the sizes of
downloaded files. Cable and DSL have higher download
speeds, but satellite systems are about 10 times faster than
a normal modem.

Two-way satellite Internet uses Internet Protocol (IP)
multicasting technology, which means up to 5,000 channels of
communication can simultaneously be served by a single
satellite. IP multicasting sends data from one point to many
points (at the same time) by sending data in compressed
format. Compression reduces the size of the data and the
bandwidth. Usual dial-up land-based terrestrial systems have
bandwidth limitations that prevent multicasting of this

The nature of satellite connection is good for Web browsing
and for downloading of files. Because of long latency
compared with purely land-based systems, interactive
applications, such as online gaming, are not compatible with
satellite networks. In a two-way geostationary satellite
Internet connection, a transaction requires two round trips
between the earth’s surface and transponders orbiting 22,300
miles above the equator. This occurs in addition to land-based
data transfer between the earthbound satellite system hub
and the accessed Internet sites. The speed in such a
connection is theoretically at least 0.48 seconds (the time it
takes an electromagnetic signal to make two round trips at
186,000 miles per second to and from a geostationary
satellite), and in practice is somewhat longer.

Two-way satellite Internet consists of:
Approximately a two-foot by three-foot dish
Two modems (uplink and downlink)
Coaxial cables between dish and modem

Although rather pricey, satellite Internet systems are an
excellent option for people in rural areas where DSL and cable
modem connections are not available. So, if you are in a rural
area and you want broadband access to the Internet, satellite
Internet may be for you.

Satellite Internet Systems are becoming increasingly popular
in today's market, but as with any new technology, it has its
advantages and disadvantages to other major forms. A
Satellite Internet System is basically another form of high-
speed Internet service. These systems use telecommunications
satellites currently in orbit around the Earth to provide
consumers with yet another form of Internet access. However,
there are a few drawbacks. There is less network bandwidth
available, and there are sometimes long delays in transmitting
data between the ground stations and the satellite, which
causes slower performance in some cases.

Three types of satellite internet systems:
1. One-way multicast - These satellite Internet systems are
used primarily for audio and video distribution. Although no
licenses are required for users, the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) requires license for the uplink stations.
2. One-way (with terrestrial return) - Although it uses the old
dial-up method of accessing the Internet, downloads are nearly
as fast a broadband connections. A modem is used for each
remote location. The transmitting station is know as the
Teleport and consists of the Internet connection and satellite
3. Two-way - Two-way satellite Internet systems use satellites
to send data from remote sites to a hub. This hub then sends
the data to the Internet. The satellite dishes at the two
different locations must be strategically positioned so as to
avoid any interference from other satellites.

The key installation-planning requirement is a clear view to the
south, since the orbiting satellites are over the equator area.
Satellite Internet systems are prone to rain fade (degradation
during heavy precipitation) and occasional brief periods of solar
interference. Rain fade and solar interference affect all satellite
links from time to time, not just Internet systems.

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