Home Internet Satellite Internet vs. Cable Internet

Satellite Internet vs. Cable Internet

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It would be a no-brainer to talk about the benefits of the internet. We all know how valuable the internet has become for mankind. It is the technology that holds similar significance to what the invention of the “wheel” had back in the early ages because it ushered mankind into a new age of evolution in regards to transportation. 

Similarly, the internet has pushed the world into a whole new avenue of modernization in terms of long-distance communication, although there were digital means of communication already persistent before the internet, which mainly included the telephone that was considered a marvel of technology itself back in its prime days. 

However, these mediums of communication were costly, unreliable and of low quality, to say the least. A long-distance telephone call only a few minutes long was enough to break your bank. Now, people talk to loved ones for hours over the internet no matter the location without any worry of how much it would cost them because, to be honest, the cost is nonexistent.

Internet In Terms Of Communication

This is just one benefit of the internet in terms of communication. There are countless more and if we start explaining each of them, even a thousand articles won’t be enough. So, despite our love-hate relationship with the internet, one thing is certain that it has helped mankind to progress with leaps and bounds. This has especially proven correct in current times during the pandemic when the internet became the sole means of global communication. 

The internet has helped us tremendously during lockdowns and when people weren’t able to communicate directly. The phenomena of work from home and online classes couldn’t be possible without the internet. Apart from that video conferencing, streaming services and most of the entertainment avenues have the involvement of the internet in some way. That is why there is a steep increase in internet users. Stats show that there is a 2.3% increase in the current user base recorded for the year 2020 – the highest growth ratio ever as compared to previous years!

The internet has been gaining momentum with each passing day without any stop whatsoever since its invention. Well, first of all, internet technology was developed by the military for the military, but seeing its potential benefits and applications, the use of the internet grew over the decades, and the group of segregated networks of various universities and governments formed together to build up the internet we know and love today. This might be an oversimplification but this is how the internet came into being. 

Internet Commercialization

After its commercialization, more and more stakeholders came and started investing in this growing industry, which resulted in the evolution of the internet. The consistently expanding infrastructure and advancements in technology made the internet within reach of the general public. Now, companies like Facebook, Google, and SpaceX are constantly striving to provide cheap and fast internet access to more and more people.

It is a win-win situation for these companies as well as the users since most of these tech companies’ revenue is linked with the internet, so the more people use the internet the better it will be for both the companies and the users. Apart from technological firms, governments have also included the internet as a vital component in the list of essential services that should be provided to their people. That is why we are seeing programs like Emergency Broadband Benefit program that provides grants to citizens allowing them to stay connected to the internet. 

With that, many service providers have also drastically reduced their prices in a bid to attract more customers to get their services since the saturation and competition have also increased in this industry for the past couple of years. If we take a look at Spectrum plans, the prices are very nominal even for high-speed internet.

How does the Internet Work?  

Well, we have already established the immense popularity and benefits behind the internet. Now, it’s time to take a look at how this marvel of technology actually works. In simplest terms, the internet is a collection of different devices that are connected to each other forming a global network. Hypothetically speaking, every device present on the internet is connected to all the other devices present on the web and vice versa. Similarly, the internet supplied to your home comes in the form of data packets sent through some transmission mediums from the servers at your ISP’s end. The core difference comes down to the medium through which this communication takes place.

Transmission Medium for the Internet 

Transmission mediums are the equipment used to send the data packets to users and vice versa. There are two main transmission mediums used for home internet, which we are going to explain below:

Satellite Internet

Satellite internet uses a satellite transmitter present in space to send internet signals to the user’s end, which has a transmitter installed, usually on the roof to catch those signals, convert them and supply the user with the internet.

Cable Internet

This is the most commonly used internet. Many ISPs provide cable internet to users as this provides much higher speeds and connection stability because data is transferred through cables instead of wireless means. 

Satellite vs. Cable Internet 

There are some very striking differences between these two mediums and how data is sent through them. Here we are going to look at some of these aspects comparing both satellite and cable internet.

Coverage Area

Satellite internet shines in this aspect of usability as satellite internet can cover the whole globe in terms of coverage since no physical infrastructure or cabling is required. This is a blessing for people living in remote areas who can’t get their hands on cable internet.

Speed and Connection Stability

This area is where cable internet takes the cake since wireless mediums are not that stable and are prone to external interference like weather conditions. On the other hand, cable internet provides a solid connection with blazing fast speeds up to 1 Gig since cables are better signal carriers, and due to underground wiring and strong insulated coats, the cables remain protected from outside interference, at least in most cases.

Pricing

This is a topic up for debate because pricing varies from area to area and drastic differences are observed between different service providers for the same type of service. Some satellite providers may seem inexpensive in comparison to some of the cable providers and vice versa. Pricing is complicated especially in the case of the internet where there are a lot of things to be considered ranging from speed, allocated data, and the quality of service. So, in the end, it boils down to personal preferences and from which type of internet the user can get a better deal.

Final Words

Satellite and cable internet are both widely used transmission mediums for accessing the internet. The choice, in the end, boils down to the user’s personal preference in regards to the speed, data, and service type they are looking to get, and most importantly, the place where they are looking to set up the service. We have made this detailed comparison in order to educate regular users so they can make a better decision for themselves whenever selecting an internet connection. 

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