Satellite Internet vs Cable

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Most people have heard of cable Internet, while satellite Internet is less well-known. If these services are the options you're faced with, our guide will help by going over everything you need to know so you can pick the best option for you. Before you sign on the dotted line, there's a lot to learn.

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What Is Cable Internet?

Underground coaxial lines deliver the Internet with cable. These cables use an inner copper wire surrounded by insulation to transmit data. These are the same cables that transport cable television signals. Coaxial cables transport data far quicker than the phone lines used by DSL and dial-up connections, even if they aren't as fast as fiber optics.

Cable Internet Speeds

Cable Internet is typically much faster than satellite Internet. (Having a head start by calling Earth home makes it easier to win the speed race.) Although cable may achieve speeds up to 2,000 Mbps, even the minimum speeds are often faster than satellite. Coaxial cables simply carry data considerably quicker than current satellite transmissions.

If you plan to stream a lot of HD or connect multiple devices to the internet simultaneously, the cable is the way to go. It'll provide you with a lot of bandwidth.

Is Cable Internet Right For You?

If you have the option of choosing between satellite and cable, most people will select cable. The only reason cable isn't the greatest option for everyone is that it's not always available. Due to a lack of infrastructure, several regions-particularly in deep rural areas-do not have good cable Internet. Other locations have cable infrastructure, but there aren't enough reliable suppliers or fast service. Look into satellite Internet packages if you live in one of these places.

Satellite internet versus cable internet: Which is better?

What is Satellite Internet?

Satellite Internet is an Internet service broadcast from satellites in orbit rather than flowing through underground wires. The signal is picked up by a dish receiver near your home (typically on your roof) and sent to your modem to transform into a viable Internet connection.

The best thing about satellite Internet is that it is always available. Because the signal originates in space, it can be picked up from any place in the United States with a clear view of the sky. As a result, satellite Internet is an excellent - and often the only - option for consumers in rural locations without cable Internet.

Satellite Internet Speeds

The company you select is what determines the speed of satellite Internet. Typically, most satellite companies provide speeds between 25 and 150 Mbps. Your data cap is the only item that varies plan to plan. These speeds are adequate for most everyday tasks, including HD video streaming, but there are two drawbacks: latency and data limitations. Because satellite Internet has a greater distance to travel than other forms of connections, it has a larger latency (from space). For you, this manifests as a bit of lag between completing an action and seeing the outcome.

This isn't generally a big deal, but it may be in online gaming, where the time between action and outcome can mean the difference between winning and losing, especially in fast-paced competitive games. Satellite Internet plans have much lower data caps than cable Internet plans. And depending on your project, you may notice a significant slowdown in your speeds when you reach your monthly cap.

Is Satellite Internet Right For You?

When you reside in a remote region or want to bring your Internet connection to your RV while travelling, satellite Internet is usually the best option. Slow DSL, slower dial-up, and satellite are the only options for Internet service in some remote places. In these situations, satellite is often faster than DSL and certainly quicker than dial-up. It may be more expensive, but if you've ever experienced the "spinning wheel of death" that comes with buffering, you'll understand why. Using your satellite dish to have a high-speed Internet connection wherever you go is a massive convenience for RV owners.

Final Breakdown on Satellite Internet Vs. Cable

What Are The Pros Of Cable?

Cable broadband is a fast and dependable connection. It's also usually rather simple to set up. If you already have cable TV, you should be able to add Internet access to your account.

What Are The Cons Of Cable?

You share bandwidth with your neighbors because you are essentially on a network loop with the other residents in your region. This isn't a problem most of the time, but during busy Internet hours, you can notice a significant slowdown in your network connection.

What are the Pros of Satellite Internet Access?

For up to 19 million people in the United States, especially those residing in urban areas, satellite is often the only choice other than dial-up. While satellite Internet may not be everyone's first choice, it is unquestionably preferable to no Internet at all.

What are the Cons of Using Satellite Internet?

Satellite internet is typically slower than cable internet. It can also be costly, especially in a rural area. You'll also need to keep a satellite on your premises.

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Consider Your Needs

Not everyone requires the quickest Internet connections. If you merely use the Internet to read articles and send emails on a regular basis, satellite Internet might be enough. However, there will be times when you require speedier service. If you want the quickest streaming, including video and music, cable is the better option for you.

Do you use the cloud to store a lot of files? Fast upload rates, which allow you to transfer your files to an online storage space quickly and consistently, are important for frequent users of online storage. The best option is cable. If you frequently download large things like movies and video games, cable is the best choice for you. 

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