There are few options when it comes to the satellite internet. This is the major reason for the lack of competition in this industry. Even though the options are few, there are certain factors you need to consider before opting for satellite internet. Some of the main factors to consider are mentioned below:
  • Price Companies like HughesNet and Exede, both have the exact same price for their basic plan. It is approximately $49.99 every month. Apart from the basic plan, prices of the other plans vary and both the companies have a different way of selling the plan. Exede usually offers a specific set of plans based on where you live, which means the plans of Exede as one of the rural internet providers may vary compared to its plans in the cities. On the other hand, HughesNet has the same plan price nationwide, irrespective of whether it is a city or rural internet provider. Besides the price of the monthly service, you also want to be aware of the early termination fees also known as ETF. You need to know what is to be done in case you ever need to return the equipment. Also, if you cancel the service early, you may be charged ETF of around $10-$20 each month. This can add up to hundreds of dollars in the long run. You need to ensure that you are ready to commit to the length of the contract, which in most cases is two years.
  • Latency There are plenty of consumers who complain that satellite internet doesn't deliver a good speed. The biggest challenge of using satellite internet is the time it takes for the data to travel, also known as latency. Latency, even though it sounds similar to internet speed (bandwidth), it is not the same thing. You can have a high speed limit also known as low latency, but only one lane for traffic known as low bandwidth. The speed problem that is particularly related to satellite internet, whether it be rural internet providers or others is that it has a high latency. If you have to do something online that constantly needs information to be sent back and forth, then probably your experience may not be that great. The problem, however, is not the speed, it is the latency.
  • Data caps If you don't understand how data caps work, then using satellite internet can be a bit of a challenge. Satellite internet data caps are usually limiting. It is important to pay attention to the plans that have words mentioned like "anytime data," which precisely means that you can use your data anytime. While some satellite plans have options like bonus bites, where extra data is available only for a particular time of the day.
Satellite internet is one of the most popular rural internet services as it can be accessed without DSL or cable. Some of the popular rural satellite internet providers are HughesNet, Exede, WildBlue, and EarthLink.