Home Phone & Broadband vs Satellite Broadband

If you're thinking about getting a home broadband internet connection, then you might be considering getting a satellite broadband connection. Satellite broadband has recently started to be quite heavily advertised, meaning that more and more people are considering it as an option. However, a lot of this advertising is simple misleading. Satellite broadband can be a good option for a select group of customers, but for the most part, it's not the best choice on the market. Want to know why? Then read on to find out...

Post Office Home Phone and Broadband vs. Satellite Broadband...

Just why a satellite broadband connection is not going to be the best option for you can be clearly illustrated with a quick example. Let's take a best-selling broadband internet package, for our example we're using the Post Office home phone and broadband plan. This package is a steal right now, you're getting inclusive calling on your home phone, and a DSL broadband internet connection with a 5 GB monthly data allowance for just £8.15 a month on a special offer. You're looking at getting the fastest broadband speeds that your line will take, which is around 8 Mbps. As long as you've got a phone line installed in your house, there's little set up process, you can be online in minutes. Now let's look at a basic satellite broadband package. BeyonDSL will offer you their basic 4M3 Value Plus package for a whopping £15.95 a month. Your speeds will be around 4 Mbps, and your monthly data cap is just 2.5 GB. Oh, and you'll need to install a satellite dish and all the appropriate wiring as well. See how the Post Office Home Broadband and Phone package might be a slightly better deal?

Your Other Options...

Out of the four service options that you have to get a broadband connection, satellite is by far the worst. The most common choices are either DSL or cable services. With DSL your provider will use existing phone lines in and around your house to transport data, whereas with cable your provider will use the wiring that's utilised to get a cable TV signal into your home to move data. With both of these methods you get solid, reliable speeds, usually around 6 to 8 Mbps. You can pick up a capped plan from most providers for around ten pounds a month, more or less, so you're not going to be spending a fortune, although an unlimited broadband plan is going to cost you a little more. Plus, as long as you're already wired into the phone or cable TV network, then installation is a breeze. You'll generally get the router or other hardware for free from your provider when you sign a contract. The other option is a fibre optic network. This is a little more complicated, and more expensive. You'll pay around the same price for a fibre optic connection as you will for a satellite connection, maybe even a little more. You'll need to live close to a fibre optic network, and you'll need to get connected to this network, meaning installation might be more expensive and difficult and will take more time. However, with fibre optic you'll get speeds of up to 100 Mbps, which is astonishing when compared to satellite speeds. All three of the other options have huge advantages over satellite broadband connections, which should be enough to make you reconsider getting a satellite plan...

What's Wrong with Satellite?

There are several basic problems with a satellite connection. Firstly, you're going to have a difficult installation experience, and will certainly need to have a professional installation done; you shouldn't attempt to do this yourself. This, of course, is going to add to the initial cost. Then, satellite speeds simply aren't comparable to other broadband speeds. Satellite speeds vary from around 2 Mbps to about 20 Mbps, whilst other broadband speeds vary from about 5 Mbps to 100 Mbps. You're simply not going to get the same kind of service from a satellite network. And then there's the price. Prices on satellite plans are extremely expensive, far more so than other kinds of service. Plus, satellite plans have very low data caps, meaning you're just not getting as much data for your money as you do with DSL, cable or fibre optic options. Finally, there's the question of latency. You'll notice that when you see a satellite link up on the TV news that there's always a second or so delay. This is because it takes time for data to go up to the satellite and bounce back down again to where it needs to go. Satellite broadband is no difference, and this small delay can seriously affect your user experience. Latency means that satellite connections really aren't suitable for things like online gaming or video streaming, where a simple second of delay means losing a game or stopping a video in the middle. All in all, a satellite broadband connection is going to be expensive and just won't give you the level of service that you'd get from any other form of broadband connection.

Who Needs Satellite Broadband?

There are, however, some people who do profit from satellite broadband. If you live in a particularly rural and isolated area, a satellite connection may be your only way of getting service. Installing telephone lines or cable TV connections may not be an option, in which case you might want to look at satellite. Although, having said that the growing prevalence of mobile broadband and the fact that ninety nine per cent of the UK has 3G coverage is rapidly changing this, since mobile broadband does tend to offer better prices. Satellite broadband is often used on ships or boats to get an internet connection, because there really is no other option. However, the people who truly need a satellite connection are really few and far between. And if you're not living up in the mountains or on a small island, the chances are that cable, DSL, fibre optic, or even mobile broadband are going to be far better and cheaper options for you.

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