Satellite Broadband Connections

This is a Satellite Broadband Connections guide. Satellite Broadband is a connection option for premises that cannot be reached with traditional fixed line based services. The main advantage is that satellite connections can be used virtually anywhere in the world – as long as there is clear line of sight to the orbiting satellite. The main disadvantage is the increased latency of the service makes many practical applications unusable.

Satellite Broadband Connection diagram



Bandwidth varies from supplier to supplier depending on the subscription service selected, but typically you can expect to receive a 20Mbps download and 1-5Mbps upload.


High latency is the main issue with satellite connections. The lag is caused by the great distance that is needed to be covered from the dish to the satellite. This is similar to the lag you might experience when making long distance telephone calls. Some applications and online services can cope with this lag and function without issue, but there are certain things that need fast responses and this means they are not suitable for use with satellite broadband.
For example, general downloading and sending is fine. VOIP will work providing you allow for the lag. Applications that require constant connectivity and constant sending and receiving of small amounts of data may struggle. Online gaming is not suitable.

Connecting the service

Connecting the service is similar to many other types of Internet connection. The supplier will install the dish and a receiver box, and any standard network can connect to this hardware.

Satellite Broadband Connection Connecting the service diagram


The receiver unit will be a modem. The image below shows a ‘Tooway’ satellite modem, but there are differing manufacturers for this type of hardware.

Satellite Router photo


and an example of the internal connections like this:

Network Setup diagram


Weather Issues

Satellite connections can be impacted by severe weather. Storms can impact the connectivity as this gets in the way of the line of sight required for the connection to work.