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Many surfers are asking themselvs - which high-speed internet
connection service is best for me, satellite internet or cable
internet? Which one is a better choice?
People with a TV in their homes usually discuss cable versus
satellite television. No one however seems to be comparing
cable Internet and satellite Internet access, despite the fact
that cable services are trying to bundle these two products
with every customer. Well, let's analyze these options.
Cable Internet Access
The same pipes that carried cable TV can now carry internet
traffic at broadband speeds. Using a cable modem, data
packets are sent over the network using the space normally
reserved for TV channel space. Two channels are used in this
transmission, one for uploads the other for downloads. Due to
the size of the coaxial cable, this type of service offers a great
deal more bandwidth than telephone lines which of course
means a faster speed than traditional dial up. Cable speeds
can range from 512 Kbps all the way up to 20 Mbps, depending
on which service you have.
From a reliability standpoint, it's hard to beat cable. The cable
network has been in place in most markets for more than a
decade, and the company managing the bandwidth is
experienced in maintaining it. With downtime being around the
same as cable TV, you can generally expect service to be
available more than 97% of the time.
Cable Internet can be expensive. If you have cable television
and cable internet, then that usually will cost around $80.00
per month, compared to say DSL service and satellite television
together coming in at around $60.00 per month. This is only
$20.00 but that can add up fast.
Satellite Internet Access
Satellite Internet service is also referred to as IoS, or Internet
over Satellite. This technology allows customers to access the
Internet using a satellite in orbit around the Earth. The
satellites are in a geosynchronous orbit, meaning that their
relative position to the Earth never changes. This static position
allows satellites to maintain connections to transmitters on
Earth that use large centralized antennas to send their signals.
The enormous distances the signals must travel back and forth
from a low orbit adversely affect the speed of the connection.
Remember every time you click on a web page you must send a
signal from your computer, to your ISPs hub, then into orbital
space and back. This can take a little time, and typical
connection speeds average from 492 up to 512 Kbps. While
this is a great deal better than dial up, it's not much
competition for cable or DSL.
Satellite Internet suffers some the same shortcomings that its
TV counterpart does, while being much less affordable.
Satellite TV can cost around $40.00 per month, while satellite
internet service runs from around $70.00 per month and up.
With this higher cost comes no additional reliability, and you
can expect intermittent service during any type of bad weather.
While these interruptions are generally very brief, they can
So which is best?
As a consumer, from your viewpoint there is actually only little
competition between cable and satellite internet access. Cable
is superior, costs less, faster, and more reliable. If this is so,
then we must ask why anyone would ever use satellite for an
ISP? The answer is simple: Cable networks have limited
availability while satellite access is, for the most part, available
anywhere. If you can get cable, do it. If you can't, satellite is
far better than dial up even during a storm.