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Why is everyone excited about satellite Internet?

Who can fill America’s Great Broadband Void? Satellite Internet can.

Although cable and DSL providers offer broadband Internet to metropolitan areas, an estimated 19 million Americans live in areas beyond the geographic scope of that coverage.

Not only can satellite Internet reach remote outposts cable and DSL can’t, but it also brings speeds as good as 10 to 15Mbps for download and 1 to 3Mbps for upload to nearly every home in America.

The high-speed Internet game has a new player: Satellite Internet

Satellite Internet reviews: Who’s on top?

A handful of providers offer Internet via satellite. All satellite Internet providers have a few requirements:

  • A home satellite dish
  • A modem
  • A computer or other web-enabled device
  • A satellite in orbit
  • A network operations center

All the top providers have all these. How do these providers deliver, at what speeds, and at what price? Here’s a scouting report on the three leading satellite Internet providers:

Dish

Specialty: Internet, TV

Pros: Offers discounts with bundles

Cons: It isn’t the fastest, and its data allowances aren’t the biggest

Starband

Specialty: Internet

Pros: One- and two-year contracts are available

Cons: Speeds fall far short of HughesNet and Dish

EVERYDAY SPEED

Top 10 Reviews, a leading product-testing website, conducted a study of some common Internet tasks, and how quickly they were carried out with different satellite Internet providers, including photo and music downloads, video, television show and movie viewing. Here’s how select providers performed:

Dish

Photos (1MB): 1 second

Song (2MB): 2 seconds

Music video (10MB): 11 seconds

30-minute TV show (20MB): 22 seconds

120-minute movie: 19 minutes

Starband

Photos (1MB): 8 seconds

Song (2MB): 16 seconds

Music video (10MB): 1 minute

30-minute TV show (20MB): 2 minutes

120-minute movie: 2 hours