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What Is Satellite Internet?

Satellite Internet is one method of experiencing a broadband connection. While it may not be as popular as DSL or Cable Internet access, it is predicted that by the end of 2004, almost 4 million homes will be using satellite dishes to get online.

As the name implies, satellite Internet uses a space satellite to deliver broadband access to homes. Because of this, even homes in areas where DSL or Cable are not available can receive high speed access. Of course that access does come at a price. Satellite Internet is one of the more costly broadband alternatives.

Two types of Satellite Internet currently are available. These types are known as one-way and two-way. One-way Satellite Internet provides fast download speeds of between 400 Kbps and 1.5 Mbps. For uploading, however, you would still use a traditional dial-up modem so your speed would not improve. On the other hand, two-way Internet satellite does not require the use of a traditional modem so it delivers faster download and upload speeds of around 200 Kbps. Whether you choose a one-way or two-way service depends primarily on availability (some providers offer only one or the other) and one your budget (one-way service is generally less expensive).

While Satellite Internet can be the ideal choice for some broadband seekers, it does have its drawbacks. One is that you must have a clear, unobstructed view of the southern sky to receive the signal. Another is that you may notice lags in the time between clicking on a link and receiving the data. These lags, known as latency, do not interfere with most Internet activities but can cause slowdown during online games.

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