1. Do you have fiber optic, cable, or a DSL connection available?
While satellite plans feature speeds comparable to cable Internet, all plans give you a data allowance. People who have fiber optic, cable, or DSL connections at their household usually receive unlimited amounts of data or very large data allowances. Some online activities use more data then others so it’s important to figure out if you do have a hardline Internet source in your area. You can check for yourself here
2. Can you have a satellite installed on your property?
Satellite Internet requires an installation, which might not be ideal if you live in an apartment. A professionally certified installer will find the ideal point at your residence to get a strong connection then place the satellite dish on your house, the side of your house, or on a pole mount. If you don’t own your residence, then you’ll need your landlord’s verbal permission to install a dish. The installation takes about 2 hours and the installer will ensure the service works properly prior to leaving your house.
3. Do you need to take your Internet with you on the go?
For some people, their careers require them to take their Internet with them on the go. In order to ensure you’re receiving a strong connection, your satellite dish will need to remain stationary. Generally, those that need to have mobile Internet to accommodate their job will purchase a hotspot
. Hotspots also have data allowances and if you exceed your allowance then you will incur an overage charge. On the other hand, satellite Internet plans will never charge you overage charges for exceeding your allowance.
4. Can you sign an agreement?
Satellite Internet plans require customers to commit to a 2-year agreement. While it’s possible to terminate the agreement early, you would incur an early termination fee. If you’re planning on moving soon, you can rest assured that most satellite Internet companies will move your service once for free. As long as your new residence has a clear view of the southern sky, then you can have satellite service.
5. Do you play fast-twitch games online?
While there are many games that work perfectly fine with satellite Internet, fast-twitch games like Halo, Call of Duty, and Madden do not. Because your Internet signal completes a 90,000-mile round trip between the satellite in space to the dish on your house, fast twitch games will experience significant lag. However, turn-based games like the wildly popular Civilization and Age of Wonders work fine. Also, you can enjoy all the mobile games
on your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet.
6. Do you stream Netflix?
Satellite plans feature speeds that easily accommodate streaming on services like Netflix and Youtube. However, streaming in high definition uses a lot of data. You can get the most out of your data allowance if you adjust your video quality
settings to standard definition. Generally, for every hour and 1/2 you stream video in standard definition, you will use about 1 GB of data. Many customers will select a smaller data plan that allows them to stream some Netflix then compliment their service with a great television plan through DirecTV or Dish to offset some of their data usage.
7. Do you stream music through Pandora or Spotify?
Again, satellite plans feature speeds that easily accommodate streaming music online. Generally, you can listen to about 900 songs for each gigabyte of data your plan contains. If you’re trying to prioritize your data for other online activities, then consider complimenting your package with a television plan through DirevTV or Dish. Both DirecTV and Dish feature hundreds of music channels that are ad free and unlimited to use.
8. Do you use a VPN?
Some companies allow their employees to work from home as long as they have access to a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN allows an employee to remotely connect to their company computer to securely access resources. Due to latency, VPNs do not work on satellite Internet, as your speeds will slow down by about 70% of their normal rate. A mobile hotspot features less latency, but you will need to be wary of overage fees! If you’re running a business from home but don’t require a VPN connection, then satellite service will be perfect for your needs.
9. Which data plan best fits your needs?
Depending upon your needs and budget, satellite Internet companies feature various plans. These plans range in price and data allotment. If you’re engaged in basic web browsing like emailing, researching on search engines like Google, or shopping online, then you can get about 100 hours of this type of usage for every gigabyte your plan features. A 10 gigabyte plan will give you about 1,000 hours of basic web browsing. If you have multiple users in the house, you’ll probably want to go with a larger data plan. If you want to change your plan, you can do so at any time without incurring an extra charge by going online or calling your satellite Internet provider.
10. Have you purchased a wireless router?
Once the installer comes to your house, they will bring a modem and satellite dish to install your service. If you have wireless devices like smartphones, tablets, or laptops, then you will want to purchase a wireless router
. A wireless router will transmit the Internet signal in your house to allow you and your family to connect all your devices without an Ethernet connection. By purchasing a wireless router, you can easily avoid a reoccurring rental fee that other Internet providers will charge.