Satellite internet connection is a type of connection whereby outgoing and incoming connections reach a user’s computer via a satellite from the server. It is a method of providing high speed internet connection when other ground based alternatives such as DSL, fiber optic cable and copper cable are not available making it a very ideal option for users who are in remote regions of the world.
How does it operate?
Satellite internet connection is made up of three stages:
1. Ground based server
This server is controlled by the ISP and allows sending and receiving of data and information from the internet through the satellite.
The satellite orbits around the earth in either a geosynchronous or geostationary orbit and acts as an intermediary between server and end user computer.
3. User equipment
At the user end one must have the following equipments:
– A satellite dish antenna with the following dimensions: 2 feet high, 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep.
– A satellite modem or transceiver and a coaxial cable to connect the antenna to the satellite modem.
The server and satellite dish use radio waves to communicate with the satellite and the modem converts the radio waves digital data or from digital data to radio waves.
Most satellites use Internet Protocol (IP) multi-casting technology which allows up to 5000 communication channels to simultaneously communicate with a satellite at one time.
IP multi-casting enables the satellite to send data from a single point to many points by sending it in compressed format. Data compression helps in reducing the size of data transmitted hence saving on bandwidth.
Satellite internet connection speeds vary according to the position of the end user on the earth surface. Down link speed or downstream speeds and Up link speeds or upstream speeds are usually different ,the downloading speeds can be as fast as 5 Megabits per second and Uploading speeds can be as fast as 300 Kilo bits per seconds.
Usually the upload and download speeds depend on the connectivity package plan subscribed by the user and in order for one to get high speed you need to pay more.
Disadvantages of satellite internet connection
1. Connection speeds are influenced by rain fade and atmospheric interference , the up link and down link signal may be disrupted by snow, rain, hurricanes and other poor weather conditions.
2.Satellite communication is not ideal for on line gaming, video conferencing and internet phone communication because of latency which causes time delays between data transmitted and data received due to great distance needed to be covered by signals between server and satellite and satellite and end user satellite dish.
How to increase efficiency
1. Reducing latency
Latency is usually caused by the many round trips that need to be completed before any data can be received by the end user. Using special IP stacks and proxies can help reduce latency by reducing the round trips or reducing the length of packet headers.
These type of latency reducing technologies are usually referred to as TCP acceleration, HTTP prefetching and DNS caching.
2. Reducing advertisements
Advertisements usually consume a lot of bandwidth hence slowing down satellite internet communication speeds. In order to free up bandwidth it is advisable to use ad-blocking software as most advertising websites render the browser and Internet Service Provider’s cache useless through a process known as cache busting.