Satellite Internet vs Cable? What are the differences between them?
Is it fair to compare?
Let’s find out.
Satellite internet vs cable internet – How they work?
First in order to compare these services you need to understand how they work. You need to understand what are the technologies behind them and what are their limits.
Satellite internet works under a simple principle. Whenever you visit a website, check your email, stream audio or video, that request travels to your home modem.
Here a long but fast trip begins. The information is sent by your modem to the dish outside your home, from the dish it’s transmitted to the nearest satellite in orbit.
Later the satellite bounces this request to the main satellite center facility back on earth.
The facility acquires the data and then sends back all the information following the previously mentioned route.
This only takes a few seconds, but it has to travel more than 36,000 km each time you make a request.
Satellite internet suffers a lot from an effect called “Lag”. Lag is the time it takes for the data to be received from the moment it was requested.
Lag is measured in milliseconds and while this may not sound like a lot, you can really perceive while playing online gaming and sometimes when you’re trying to watch videos through a streaming service.
Cable internet, on the other hand, uses the same infrastructure utilized by the cable company. Using the same coaxial cable like the one connected to your TV, they connect this cable into the cable modem.
Cable companies are able to transmit data through this wired connection and depending on the available hardware in the area it can reach speeds up to 1000 Mbps.
Satellite internet vs cable internet – Service Availability
Satellite Internet is virtually available in all locations within the United States. Since the data signal is coming from a satellite located in orbit, it can relay the information to any dish on earth with the proper configurations and placement.
In the case of cable internet, it’s available in every area that cable television is available. There are a few locations that have limited access to cable television service. This usually happens in rural areas or locations that are too far away from the nearest cable television center.
Sometimes cable wiring isn’t available in a specific city block or street due to lack of equipment in that area. That’s why sometimes certain houses are able to get cable internet but their neighbors can’t.
Satellite internet vs cable internet – Speed
Satellite internet speed is becoming faster thanks to the advances in technology and with satellites that are able to relay stronger signals. Due to the nature of satellite internet, the fastest speed that you can receive is up to 100 Mbps for download and up to 3 Mbps for upload speed.
Cable internet is completely different. Depending on your location you can receive speeds up to 1,000 Mbps for download and upload speed.
Remember that it is because of the technology used in each service. In the case of satellite internet, it has to travel a long distance and the signal strength isn’t the same all the time. Cable internet travels through a wired connection without any interruptions.
Satellite internet vs cable internet – Price
Satellite internet is more expensive than cable internet, no surprise there.
A simple weather satellite can cost more than $290 million dollars, a communication satellite can cost $100 million more. Then you have the cost of launching the device into space and this can cost anywhere between $10 and $400 million dollars.
Providing satellite internet is a really expensive investment.
In contrast, cable companies use the existing facility which they use to deliver cable television to homes in a certain area. Thanks to this, they’re able to provide the customer with an efficient and cost-effective service.
Satellite internet vs cable internet – Installation
Installation is pretty straightforward in both cases. You just need to connect your router or PC into the internet modem. Some modems have built-in Wi-Fi so you’re able to enjoy wireless internet your home.
The difference between satellite and cable internet installation comes with the equipment necessary for the modem to receive the internet service.
In the case of satellite internet, a dish needs to be installed within your home premises and connected through a wired connection into your modem. The dish is placed outside your home in a spot that’s able to receive the strongest possible signal from space.
With cable internet is much simpler. It only needs an additional coaxial cable from the company to be placed inside your home and then it’s connected into your modem.
Satellite internet vs cable internet – Summary
Now you know the main differences between satellite and cable internet. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. The most important factor to take into consideration is which one is better suited for your needs.
Check the plans that we have available for satellite internet. Give us a call today and one of our experts can help you with any doubt.