Cable vs Satellite Internet: What's the Difference?

According to Pew Research, around one-third of adults in the United States are on the internet practically all of the time. The internet has become an integral part of all of our lives. However, if you live in a remote or rural area, then you might have a difficult time surfing the web.

This is unfortunate, considering that many people who live in these areas depend on a robust internet connection for work and for communicating with friends and family.

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But when it comes to surfing the web, will you be better off with cable or satellite internet? That’s not necessarily an easy question to answer.

Luckily for you, we’ve got the information you need. So keep on reading and we will take you through everything that you will want to know!

What Is Satellite Internet?

Satellite internet, instead of running through underground cables, is an internet service that is beamed from satellites in space. A dish receiver is installed near a house, typically on the roof, and picks the signal up. It then sends the signal to the modem which is then translated into an internet connection that can be used.

The biggest benefit of satellite internet is that it is so accessible. Because the signal is coming from space, it is able to get picked up anywhere within the United States, assuming that you have a clear view of the sky.

Satellite is a great choice for people who live in rural and remote locations that don’t have access to fiber or cable internet. Satellite internet is also usually the only choice in these situations.

Satellite Internet Providers

Viasat and HughesNet are the two main satellite internet providers in the United States. Viasat is best for users who want a lot of power and speed. HughesNet is preferred by consumers who are looking to save money and take advantage of affordable internet packages.

Satellite Speeds

The speed of your satellite internet is going to depend on the provider that you pick. Some companies will only offer you one speed but change the data limit from one plan to another.

With other providers, you’ll get to choose between different speeds and data limits.

With most speeds, you should be able to do basic internet surfing. You might even be able to stream movies and shows in HD. However, you’ll likely experience some latency issues.

Satellite internet tends to lag a lot more often than fiber or cable internet. This is because the source is very far away.

While this isn’t a problem most of the time, someone who does serious online gaming will definitely feel the effects of slow latency.

Data limits with satellite internet packages tend to be fairly low. And if you hit the limit for the month, you’ll likely experience some very slow speeds.

What Is Cable Internet?

Cable internet is run through coaxial cables that are underground. These cables utilize inner copper wires that are surrounded by insulation in order to move information.

These are the same kinds of cables that are used to transmit signals for cable television. While these signals will not be as fast as fiber optic internet, coaxial cables move information a lot quicker than the phone lines that are used by dial-up and DSL connections.

Cable Internet Providers

There are a lot of cable internet providers out there. This is mainly because cable companies use cables that are currently in place to build out their internet networks. This makes cable internet a lot more cost-effective than fiber networks that typically require providers to start from scratch.

Some of the biggest cable internet companies include Cox, Spectrum, and Xfinity by Comcast.

Cable Speeds

Cable internet is usually a lot faster than satellite internet. That’s mainly because there aren’t any signals that first need to go all of the way to outer space.

While cable can reach up to 2,000 Mbps, cable providers at a minimum will usually offer higher speeds than what you can get with satellite internet.

Coaxial cables can simply move information a lot faster than a satellite connection can.

If you are thinking about streaming HD movies and shows most of your days, then you want to go with cable internet. You’ll get a lot of bandwidth.

If you get the choice between cable and satellite, cable tends to be the better option. The main reason why you’d want to go with satellite is that cable internet is not available where you live.

There are some areas in the United States, especially in rural communities, where you can get access to the internet because of a lack of infrastructure.

Other areas have the infrastructure but they do not have fast service or providers that are reliable. If you live in a place like this, you should definitely consider using satellite internet.

By understanding how good is satellite internet, you’ll be able to make better decisions when it comes to your internet.

Which Internet Service Will You Pick for Surfing the Web?

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now understand the difference between cable and satellite internet. As we can see, you’ll need to put a lot of thought into how you plan on surfing the web. However, most of the time, your choices will be dictated simply by what’s available to you.

If you’re looking for other helpful tech articles like this one, make sure to check out the rest of our site today for more!

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