Satellite internet for gaming, is it good?
Quick answer, NOT for the moment.
Let’s check why.
How Satellite Internet works
Before getting into details about why satellite internet is still not the best option for online gaming, we have to know how satellite internet works.
Let’s make a short summary of how satellite internet works. Whenever your home devices (PC, cellphone, Smart TV, game console) make a request to the internet, they send it to your home modem. This modem then sends the request to the dish outside your home through the wired cable.
The dish sends a beam to a satellite in orbit (around 36,000 km from the earth). The satellite takes the request, bounces the signal back to earth to an Internet Central Hub and from there it takes the request and sends it all the way back.
This usually takes a few milliseconds but for online gaming, this can be catastrophic.
You can read more on how satellite internet works on our comprehensive guide.
Satellite Internet for gaming – Latency
The delay on an internet connection to go from point A to B is called Latency.
Latency is measured in milliseconds. Some speed test tool calls it “Ping Rate”. To have a reference, satellite internet can have a latency of about 500ms, cable internet 25 to 30ms and fiber internet up to 15ms.
In the gaming community, this type of delay is called lag.
For online video games, you need a latency below 80ms. But if you’re talking about First Person Shooter (FPS) like Call of Duty or Battlefield, you’ll need something below 35ms.
Besides FPS, racing and fighting games are the ones that need the lowest latency possible.
Remember that online gaming takes place in one of the many servers that the games have available. Your console connects to the nearest game server and sometimes they can be placed too far from your location.
Satellite internet for gaming – Any hope for the near future?
Currently, Satellite Internet providers are working to place satellites closer to earth.
This will definitely reduce the trip or lag for satellite internet service. One of the near future projects is to place internet satellites in low-earth-orbit. That’s about 1,000 kilometers away from earth.
With new technology coming out every day, it’s only a matter of time for the satellite internet industry to compete toe to toe with conventional internet providers.
The demand for high-speed internet service is growing by the day. In the U.S. there’s an estimate of 2.8 million satellite internet subscribers. There’s an estimate of 13 to 15 million unserved households in the United States.
What alternatives do I have?
Viasat offers a new type of technology, that combines the benefits of DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) and Satellite Internet. This service is called Viasat Flex. The only downside is, that this type of technology is not available in every location.
Speak today with one of our internet experts to verify if Viasat Flex is available in your location.
Call now 1-800-515-2448 for more information.