I remember growing up back in the day(the late 80s/early 90s), the only source of internet connection available then was a satellite internet connection. Using other forms of the internet such as Wi-Fi, fiber optics, and dial-up was not very common. To get access to the internet back in the day, we must all go to an internet cafe and the speed was very slow. most times, you need to wait for the off-peak period to get a faster connection. This brief introduction now brings me to our topic of discussion today. internet access via satellite receivers and dishes. Is it possible? Can I ever use my decoder and dish to connect to the internet? I will answer this question and more in this post.
What is Internet Access via Satellite/Satellite Internet
Satellite Internet access is Internet access provided through communications satellites. Modern consumer-grade satellite Internet service is typically provided to individual users through geostationary satellites that can offer relatively high data speeds, with newer satellites using Ku band to achieve downstream data speeds up to 506 Mbit/s
Satellite internet has been available long before any other means of internet access. according to Wikipedia, the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik 1, by the Soviet Union on October 1957.
The Concept of Internet Access via Satellite Receivers & Dish Using a Cable Modem
Between 2012 to 2013, the Motorola cable modem was used twice with the old Dstv official decoders to try and browse the internet before it was patched. In other words, this is very possible, however, no brilliant satellite tv company will allow these because of the challenges that I will discuss in the next section. While it is possible to use get internet access via satellite receivers from a Pay-TV company, it is impossible to do the same with an IKS/SKS decoder.
The above notwithstanding, both a pay-TV company and those providing satellite tv illegally via IKS/SKS would not implement browsing the internet via their decoders even at a fee.
Advantages/Merit of Internet Access via Satellite Dishes
Internet access via Satellite works by using wireless transmitters orbiting the earth to send signals between the ISP and end-users on the ground. As a result, the technology has the following advantages.
- Satellite internet creates a wide area of availability, making it great for rural areas. This is ideal in areas where cable companies don’t offer their services. Basically, accessing the internet via satellite is the only option for people living in remote areas where there is poor network coverage.
- Secondly, satellite internet is a good option in rural areas or places where dial-up is your only other option.
- Furthermore, satellite internet can offer speeds as fast as many DSL and cable providers so long you are not doing any online real-time streaming like online gaming. Unless you love real-time online gaming, satellite internet is a good option that offers affordable plans with reasonable download speeds.
Challenges and Obstacles Associated with Browsing the Internet via Your Satellite Receiver
By way of clarification, satellite internet is still very much possible while satellite internet via a branded satellite tv decoder is yet to see the light of the day although it is also possible. However, the same limitations and challenges plague both platforms. I will now highlight why it is not economically feasible to access the internet via your satellite decoder and dish.
Although we have Viasat and HughesNet which offers high-speed satellite internet, These don’t work through a satellite TV decoder/receiver. Viasat and HughesNet have their own modem. In fact, they don’t offer direct-to-home viewing. You can only get satellite internet through these two companies
Why Satellite TV Providers Don’t Offer Internet Access via Their Set-top-boxes/Decoders
Satellite TV internet is Expensive
Firstly, a satellite receiver will not work for satellite internet unless a Satellite TV Broadcaster provides the internet to catch a Signal using your Dish Setup. Sadly, no PayTV company is providing Internet Access by Satellite direct to home just yet. The reason is that It is just too expensive and there are better alternatives available.
Internet via Satellite is Associated with High Signal lag/Latency
The second and equally important limitation is the fact that it also causes lag time due to the enormous distance the signal must
travel. Satellite internet does exist, but the TV dish doesn’t have the uplink capability. Most satellite systems use a phone line for uploading and a satellite for downloading. Satellite internet is pretty expensive and unusable for some applications due to the high lag.
Satellite internet often feels slower due to latency or lag. There’s no way to fix this issue. The high latency is inherent to the technology because it takes time for a signal to travel to space and back.
You will most likely notice the lag with real-time tasks online. Such tasks include gaming. For activities like streaming, the lag may delay the initial load, but it should no longer be an issue once the stream starts because your download will be ahead of it. According to statistics, the internet via satellite affords a latency of at least 2000ms. Terrestrial-based services carry far less latency as the distances between boosters, routers, hubs, etc is far less than orbital distances.
Whether and how much signal is lost from a reflection is determined by the location of the object in the Fresnel zone of the antennas. Even if there is a direct line of sight between the transmitting and receiving antenna, reflections from objects near the path of the signal can decrease apparent signal power through phase cancellations.
Erratic and Unreliable Speed
Keep in mind that Satellite Internet can be erratic, so large-bandwidth actions such as streaming HD video or playing online video games may be impossible during certain times of the day.
Satellite Internet has Acceptable download but upload is Abysmal
Furthermore, the internet via satellite has a lower bandwidth when compared to cable and fiber internet. You can only compare the bandwidth low-end DSL connection. Download bandwidth might be relatively decent, but upload taps mostly at 2 Mbps at best.
Your Internet Speed and Connection can be affected by bad Weather
This is simple logic. Let’s say your tv viewing will be disrupted when the weather goes bad. This same rule applies to any internet access that is obtained via a Satellite Dish
Elon Musk and SpaceX have just started putting 12,000 satellites in orbit that have one task, among others, to bring super high-speed broadband internet to the entire world. But that is years before it can fully materialize.
Satellite communications are affected by moisture and various forms of precipitation (such as rain or snow) in the signal path between end users or the satellite being utilized. This interference with the signal is known as rain fade. The effects are less pronounced on the lower frequency ‘L’ and ‘C’ bands but can become quite severe on the higher frequency ‘Ku’ and ‘Ka’ band.
How Can I Browse the Internet Via a Satellite Dish?
Since i am through with the challenges facing satellite internet, I would love to give a short tutorial on how you can access the internet via a Dish setup.
Satellite Internet Requirements/Equipment
- Read carefully and signup for a satellite tv internet subscription. The two most popular companies that we currently have are Viasat and HughesNet.
- Satellite internet dish/Antenna this will
- Satellite cable modem
- Compatible internet device. You can use your PC or router here.
- Router (optional if you don’t want to use your PC)
Satellite Internet Equipment Basics
- Satellite Internet Dish—This is the outdoor dish that receives the internet signal from the satellite. Your satellite Internet Service Provider (ISP) will supply this. You may install it yourself or get your supplier to do so for you.
- Modem—The small box inside your home that interprets the satellite internet signal for your computer and other devices is your modem. Your ISP will usually supply this, and it may contain a built-in router.
- Compatible Internet Device—Of course, you’ll need a computer to set up your connection. You can use a Mac or a PC, but it must have an Ethernet port to set up your equipment. After the initial setup, you can connect your wireless devices.
- Router (Optional)—Your router turns your internet connection into your home network. If you want a wireless network, make sure your router has Wi-Fi capability. Often your modem will contain a built-in router so you don’t need to worry about another piece of equipment.
- Other Internet-Capable Devices (Optional)—To get the most out of your internet connection, you’ll probably want to connect devices other than your computer to your home network. From smartphones and gaming consoles to doorbells.
- Sign up for a Satellite Internet subscription. Once you’ve determined the service you want to use, sign up for it to select a plan and enter your payment information.
You can usually do this online, though you can usually also call the service provider instead.
Step one: Install the Satellite Dish
Install your dish and focus it on the right orbital position supported by your satellite internet service provider. Since the satellites that transmit your Internet are positioned directly over the Earth’s equator, you should not have any obstructions that prevent you from having an optimal connection. The size of the dish depends on the footprint/area of coverage of your provider. Generally, you can learn how to calculate your dish size here.
Step 2: Attach your LNB/Coaxial Cables to your Dish
Step 3: Connect your Cable Modem to your Dish via Coaxial cable
First off, plug the modem into a power source. Next, Attach the modem to the satellite dish. Depending on your dish, you will have either one coaxial cable or two coaxial cables to attach to the modem:
One cable — Plug the cable into the modem’s coaxial port.
Two cables — Plug the “IN” cable into the “SAT IN” coaxial port, then plug the “OUT” cable into the “SAT OUT” port.
Step 4: How to connect your Cable Modem to your PC or Router
In order to grant internet connection to devices, you need to connect your modem to either a pc or a router using the traditional ethernet cable. If you connect to your P, you may need to use a Wi-Fi hotspot app on Windows known as connectifyme to create a wifi hotspot. Similarly, Mac users can create a wifi hotspot connection directly on their Mac. However, if you use a router, most routers already come with Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities.
Note: Since modern Mac computers don’t have an ethernet port, you can buy an Ethernet to Thunderbolt adapter for this step.
In addition, if you’re connecting more than one item to the Internet, you’ll need to plug your modem into a wireless router via an Ethernet cable.
Similarly, let’s assume you have a satellite service provider that supports satellite internet, you will need to connect your modem to the satellite receiver before connecting it to a router or a computer.