Thursday, March 20, 2014

Satellite Internet or Cable Connection – Aspects to Consider before Making the Choice

As far as WWW connectivity is concerned, satellite and cable internet are the two most popular options. Both services offer high upload and download speed and both satellite and cable plans offer really valuable extras, but there are a number of differences that must be taken into consideration before subscribing for one type of service or the other. In what follows, we propose to compare the most basic features of the two types of services to allow you to choose what works best for you. More in depth ISP reviews can be found at and now let's get started.


The cost of internet connection plans is maybe the feature of primary interest for most subscribers. In the past, there was a huge difference between cable and satellite internet prices. While satellite subscribers needed to face bills that could easily reach $100, cable plans were available for much less. Satellite services are still a bit more expensive as the system uses state-of-the-art equipment that is expensive to maintain, but the price difference between cable and satellite plans is shrinking as the day goes by.

Dependability of Service

The reliability of the two types of services depends on different factors. There are two basic types of disturbances in service continuity: outages, that is, the total loss of service and intermittent connections, that is, the temporary decrease in upload and download speed.

Satellite connections work by transferring data through the air, making them more vulnerable to changing atmospheric conditions. Weather events usually cause temporary interruptions in communication, so satellite internet is more frequently affected by intermittent issues.

Cable services use cable lines to transfer data, which also means that these systems are protected against the weather. If you notice connection problems with this type of system, the cause is probably some kind of interruption in the cable itself. Though these issues are fairly easy to fix and they are usually solved by technicians dispatched to where the interruption occurred, it may take a while until they find the exact location, so all in all outages are usually longer in case of cable systems.

Infrastructural Limitations

Availability is perhaps the biggest advantage of satellite internet. While cable connections are limited to areas with the cable infrastructure already in place, satellite connections can be installed anywhere in the world.

Being independent of cable systems, satellite connectivity allows for much more independence and mobility.


This is another aspect that is just as important when choosing your internet connection. While satellite connections have improved a lot in terms of data transfer speed, they are still a bit slower than cable connections. Even though satellite technology is advancing very quickly, the data sent and received through the atmosphere still needs to travel a lot, while the data transferred through land lines covers much shorter distances from sender to receiver.

However, satellite internet is quite quick as well, the best connection plans providing as much as 1.5 Mbps – almost the speed offered by conventional cable systems. While this speed is excellent for users who upload and download files or surf the web, it may pose problems for those who use the internet predominantly for gaming purposes. If your favorite multiplayer strategy is a very resource-intensive game, it will probably be a bit less enjoyable with a satellite connection.

When you need to make the final decision, your home’s location, your budget and your user habits will all play important roles. If you evaluate your priorities and your internet usage habits right, you will surely be able to make the best choice and enjoy surfing on the information superhighway while also staying within the budget.

Written by Robert Kleymore
Internet technology expert, MIT graduate and a passionate blogger.

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