Satellite Internet Amplifier? You Probably Don’t Need One
We sympathize with those who are forced to use satellite Internet because they live in flyover country. You’ve probably decided that satellite Internet is the best option from many bad options, including dialup access and slow broadband downloads (3 Mbps to 6-Mbps), and packages that might or might not work. We recommend that you look into a fixed wireless Internet service provider, which can offer connection speeds of up to 10-12 Mb/s with no data caps.
HughesNet Satellite Dish, Arizona Sky
Credit to Alan Levine /
Satellite Internet Connectivity Issues
My colleague Aeyneshriber has previously reported that satellite Internet connectivity is not without its limitations. This includes latency and bandwidth issues. Satellite ISPs have made significant improvements in latency issues. The reduced latency of HughesNet Gen 4 services and Gen5 services is impressive considering that the signal must travel approximately 22300 miles from earth to a geosynchronous space station. Unfavorable atmospheric conditions can cause the signal to lag significantly. Consistent VoIP service may prove difficult. Don’t put your life at risk by calling 911 to report a problem with satellite Internet VoIP.
You can play online games with satellite Internet. Online gaming is all about latency. According Pete Mastin at venturebeat.com
- Online gamers are twice as likely not to play again if they experience a delay of 500 milliseconds in their network.
- Google traffic dropped 25% due to a 500-millisecond slowdown.
- Call of Duty is a first-person shooter (FPS). This means that completing an action within a short time frame (less than 100ms) can have a significant impact on the player’s experience.
Although online games may not be as sensitive to latency as FPS games are, the effects of latency are evident: they negatively affect the gaming experience. Satellite Internet latency is not an option.
It is important to note that satellite Internet bandwidth was not comparable to real “broadband” until recently ( per FCC, minimum 25Mbps download and 3Mbps up). HughesNet has released four Gen5 packages earlier this year, with speeds of 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up. Exede Boost 25 delivers similar speeds. However, these Internet packages offered by ISPs come with data caps.
The premium HughesNet Gen5 has a data allowance of only 50 GB. Your blogger’s ISP gives him a monthly data allowance, which is 50 GB. Of this, 300-400GB are typically used. He streams video only with a Roku stick and one standard definition (SD), TV. There are no HD or UHD televisions in his home. Given the fact that an HD video at 720p consumes 15 MB per second and a 1080p HD movie at 34 MB/minute, it is easy to exceed any HughesNet data limit. You’ll soon have to pay hefty fees if you stream video via a media player.
According To Netflix
- Standard Definition (SD TV) consumes 0.7GB/hour
- HDTV consumes 3GB/hour
- Ultra High Definition (UHD), 4K TV consumes 7GB an hour
HughesNet subscribers have a bonus zone of 50GB of data each month. However, this means that you will still need to pay a lot of money to get enough bandwidth to meet your household’s data requirements. You’ll only get 100 GB per month. HughesNet claims that there are no hard data limits, but users will have their data connection throttled to 1Mbps or lower if they exceed their limit. Have you ever tried streaming video over a 1Mbps connection? Learn the meaning of terms such as buffer and pixelation.
Speeding up Satellite Internet Connections
We have tried to discourage you from satellite Internet. However, millions of Americans are stuck with satellite internet providers as their only option for broadband Internet. Some products and procedures can increase the speed of your satellite internet connection. Users can start by making sure there is a clear line between the satellite dish and the open skies. Clear away any obstructions that could affect the reception of the satellite signal. Have you experienced any windy or stormy weather in recent months? Your satellite dish may have been moved to a different position than it should be. Your ISP’s technician should visit you to verify the dish and, if necessary, reposition it for optimal signal reception.
There isn’t much one can do to increase the broadband speeds offered by satellite ISPs. Speeds are limited to 25 Mbps. Exede, an Internet ISP, offered “Boost 25” before HughesNet’s Gen5 service. This was a much better service than their Exede12 (3 Mbps down/3 Mbps UP) and Exede5 (5 Mbps Down and 1 Mbps UP) services. With a special gateway (wireless router/modem), Boost 25 speeds up connectivity to 25Mbps down. The gateway has 4-gigabit ports, which allow file transfers between compatible devices that are connected to Ethernet cable at speeds up to 1 Gbps.
A satellite amplifier can be a good option if you are unhappy with your satellite Internet performance. It will increase the signal strength to TVs and LANs, depending on the model. For a TV, a one-way amplifier is sufficient. However, for the Internet, a bidirectional amplifier is usually required. For best results, you can choose from inline amps, multiple output amps, and bi-directional amplifiers. an autogain amp/splitter for multiple TVs and Internet gateway/modem/router. An autogain amplifier/splitter lowers network latency and improves signal bidirectionality, and allows for multiple devices to be connected.
The Sonora HTML281R-T (1) coax input amplifier with 28 dB gain amplifier and 2-42 MHz return is one satellite amplifier worth considering. It’s available at Amazon. This is especially useful when the satellite dish side requires dB gains. Unispectra and ASKA offer easy-to-use inline amplifiers.
YouTube has a video that shows the Unispectra LNA430F inline amplifier, which can be used for satellite and TV signals.
You have a limited selection of satellite ISPs, as you might imagine. Compare them. This review was published before the HughesNet Gen5 service was released.
Although ISP satellite providers such as HughesNet and Exede offer true broadband speeds, the restrictive data caps that these carriers impose on their customers severely limit the utility of their services. ISP satellite Internet has limited gaming capabilities, but users can still browse the web and send emails. Subscribers must pay high surcharges if they exceed data caps. Although fixed wireless is slower than satellite ISP packages in terms of speed, many fixed wireless Internet providers do not throttle data speeds nor enforce data caps. Fixed wireless Internet is preferable to the satellite. We hope that you choose a location that allows you to have the freedom of choice.