What Are the Disadvantages of Satellite Internet?

By Luanne Kelchner

Satellite Internet is a method of connecting a computer to the Internet with a modem and satellite dish. The method is an option for those who live in an area that does not have access to cable or DSL connections. The advantages of satellite Internet include accessibility and mobility. For businesses, satellite Internet accessibility is a good backup method. However, there are several drawbacks to this Internet service.

Expense

Satellite Internet is one of the most expensive methods of connection on the market today. Monthly service is comparable to cable and DSL packages, but the installation and equipment costs can be considerable. Users must purchase a satellite modem and dish along with professional installation on or near the home.

Slow Speeds

Slow speeds are the biggest disadvantage associated with satellite Internet. The signal must reach the satellite almost 22,000 miles away and return back to earth with the requested data. The delay that results can make it slower than other Internet connection methods. Computer game enthusiasts will find the delay unacceptable for playing most games online. Other Internet uses such as voice chat or VoIP telephone service may not function properly as well.

Fair Access Policy

A satellite Internet provider may also have a Fair Access Policy, which limits the amount of access a customer has during a specific time. When a user exceeds the usage limit the company imposes, the account is restricted for a time. The Fair Access Policy is designed to ensure that a small group of power users does not monopolize Internet access.

Weather

The weather can have a negative impact on satellite Internet users. When the weather is rainy, cloudy, windy or snowy, satellite signal can be lost, leaving customers without service. Users must also have a clear view of the satellite to have a good signal. Trees, buildings and obstructions can block the satellite signal and make the service a less than ideal choice. The dish location plays a large part in how well the service works.