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Is Satellite Internet the same as WiFi?
September 1, 2021

Is Satellite Internet the same as WiFi?

There are several options to connect to the internet as technology advances. We no longer need to connect to a phone line to surf the web. Even broadband line is becoming increasingly outdated. We are rapidly approaching 2022, a new age with new and interesting methods to stay connected globally.

The latest advancements make it possible to use the Fixed Wireless and Satellite Internet services. However, they differ not just in how their connections are delivered but also in the dependability of their networks.

Reliable internet connectivity is quickly becoming a need in daily life. However, in many rural areas throughout the world, high-speed internet access is severely limited. High-speed internet is either prohibitively costly, inefficient, or completely unavailable. However, new service providers are incoming the market and offering competitive satellite and fixed wireless internet choices.

Today, we’ll examine the benefits and drawbacks of these two services to determine the best internet connection choice.

Satellite Internet

If you’ve ever tried to acquire internet access in a remote area, you’ve probably heard of satellite internet. It enables you to connect to an orbiting network of telecommunication satellites.

A dish send the signals to an orbiting satellite 22,300 miles above the Earth’s atmosphere. After receiving the signal, it is transmitted to the ISP’s Network Operations Center (NOC), which is linked to the internet. The signal is then sent to your access point, often receivers such as a home satellite dish. The link then travels from the Access Point to a Modem and finally to your PCs via wired connections or WiFi services that you have set up in your home.

Satellite internet needs a company person to come to your home and install equipment. The most significant component is a satellite receiver/broadcaster. The representative will assess signal strength across your property and determine the optimal location for installation.

You’re ready to get internet from circling satellites once you’ve plugged in and connected to a router. This is the most traditional type of rural internet connection accessible, and it is notorious for having inconsistent signal quality. This approach and the long journey time open the potential to interference and compromised service. However, satellite internet speed and dependability have considerably increased as a result of technological advancements. Luckily, it is no longer the only game in town.

Fixed Wireless/ WiFi Internet

Fixed Wireless is distinguished because the signal emanating from the Distribution Point is not directed at space satellites. Instead, they are directed toward Access Points located between the Distribution Point and the consumer, such as cell towers and the antenna array on top of a building.

Fixed Wireless connects two designated sites — the service provider’s tower, also known as a Point-of-Presence (PoP), and a building – via radio connections. Fixed wireless towers are built on the ground and are no taller than cell phone towers, reducing the risk of atmospheric disturbance. The client has a receiver, which is usually an antenna attached to the house or structure.

Fixed wireless service providers make use of the extensive network of cell towers.  A representative will still be required to come out and install a receiver dish and other essential equipment. Instead of looking for a satellite, they’ll look for a local cell tower.

Based on the distance to your receiver, fixed internet provides a variety of advantages over satellite service. Fixed internet is less expensive, quicker, and more dependable than a comparable satellite service in many situations. You should still not anticipate internet speeds similar to those found in more metropolitan and suburban locations.

 

Comparison Between WiFi and Satellite Internet

  • Bandwidth

When providers say “x number of megabits per second,” they’re talking to bandwidth (Mbps). It’s one of two widely used metrics when discussing internet speeds.

Satellite internet is typically slower in terms of bandwidth than fixed WiFi. On satellite, you may expect download rates of 15-30 Mbps. Expect fixed wireless connections to offer speeds of up to 50 Mbps.

Although this is a considerable increase in overall speed, it is not the whole picture. You must include latency when determining how fast your internet is.

  • Latency

The span of time it takes for a signal to travel with information from your computer to a network and back is known as latency. It’s measured in milliseconds (ms) and is the essential indicator of internet speed, along with bandwidth.

When you use a satellite internet service, your data must travel through the atmosphere to reach a satellite, which takes significantly longer. The signal must then go to the NOC, your modem, and finally your PC. Satellite internet has an extremely high latency because of the extended transit time. Even in ideal conditions, you should expect a delay of 500 milliseconds. Expect delays, especially when the weather is bad.

Fixed wireless signals must often reach a PoP from a distance of fewer than 10 miles. Because of the ground station’s proximity to your home, there is almost no latency compared to satellite transmissions. Fixed wireless users can benefit from a fast internet connection. This corresponds to a fiber broadband latency of fewer than 10 milliseconds under ideal conditions.

The latency of fixed wireless of less than 50 ms can be expected regularly. This is a significant reduction over typical satellite internet latency.

  • Weather

Bad weather is unavoidable, but it should not interfere with your internet connection. Weather losses may be considerable depending on whether you pick fixed Wireless or satellite internet.

Everyone has heard of satellite television being down during a storm. Satellite internet has the same problems. Because signals must travel through the Earth’s atmosphere to reach satellites in orbit, weather can disrupt them. As a result, the internet connection will be sluggish or unavailable entirely.

 

It’s not even necessary for it to be pouring where you live. The same thing will happen if the ground station that sends the signal to the satellite is in a storm. One of the most significant disadvantages of satellite internet is this. Signal reception is affected by wind, snow, rain, and lightning. Moisture makes the satellite signal is weak.

In contrast, weather-related interruptions do not affect fixed Wireless. Fixed Wireless operates in the same manner that your mobile phone functions even when it is raining. This is because the signal for fixed WiFi does not have to travel through the upper atmosphere to reach you. Ground stations are located on the surface of the Earth and do not travel through the atmosphere. They also cover less ground than satellite transmissions.

As a result, wireless communications are far more reliable than satellite signals. However, fog or rain can disturb the connection. Signal broadcasts are seldom affected by the weather, no matter where they are.

  • Data Caps

A data cap is a restriction on how much data a user may use without incurring additional charges. It may potentially take the shape of a speed limit on the internet.

Many satellite Internet service providers impose bandwidth limitations or additional charges on their plans and may even restrict your internet usage.

Fixed wireless ISPs have no data limitations on their services, which means they have limitless bandwidth. You have unlimited access to the internet and can download as much as you like. There’s no need to worry about exceeding the data limit and getting charged a price.

Fixed wireless internet usually has either very high limits (100GB or more) or no limitations. Furthermore, the technology provides high download speeds comparable to, if not superior to, conventional broadband providers.

  • Price

The most important comparison is price, which may make all the difference.  Satellite companies sometimes require a longer-term contract with higher monthly fees. Fixed WiFi is less expensive to set up and maintain. With lower setup costs and higher service quality, fixed wireless carriers can pass the savings on to their consumers and keep pricing affordable.

 

  • Installation

To utilise the satellite service, you clearly need an orbiting satellite. This necessitates the investment of time, preparation, and financial resources. The consumer is ultimately responsible for payment.

Fixed wireless gear and installation are low-cost and time-consuming. This allows fixed wireless carriers to keep costs low for their clients. Because fixed wireless internet does not require actual cables or the bother they involve, it is easier to set up the equipment required for it than for other broadband services.

Conclusion

After discussing both in detail, it’s visibly easy to choose between the two. In most situations, fixed Wireless will be the best option. It’s quicker, more dependable, has reduced latency, is less expensive, and often has no bandwidth cap. Fixed wireless internet offers several advantages over satellite internet, making it an excellent alternative. It would be best if you didn’t even consider satellite unless you have no other fixed wireless internet choices.

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