Internet Communications

What do I need to set up a satellite Internet connection?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. Satellite Internet is similar to satellite TV: Because it relies on a connection in space as opposed to Earthly wires, it's a convenient option for those who travel frequently or live in remote areas. A satellite Internet connection uses a customer's satellite dish and two modems (for upload and download) to connect to a satellite that in turn handles the Internet connection. Most people who connect to the Internet do so with a wired connection, either through their cable company or their phone company's DSL line. (And sometimes even their analog phone line, though dial-up Internet use has drastically declined in the wake of broadband availability.) But in rural areas where Internet infrastructure has yet to be firmly established, wired Internet connections often aren't available. For this reason, some turn to satellites to connect to the Internet [source: Kota].

    Setting up a satellite connection is similar to setting up a satellite dish for your TV, but often, it's required that you have a professional set up your satellite Internet receiver. The most important requirement is the satellite dish itself. Without it, you have no way of sending or receiving data. You have to install the dish on your home or its grounds, in an area with a view of the southern sky that is not obstructed by potential signal interference obstacles such as trees, taller buildings or mountains.

    Once your dish is installed, the only thing that's left to do is connect it to both of your modems -- one for upload and one for download -- using coaxial cable. The rest of the process will involve your dish "talking" with the provider's orbiting satellite, which will be able to connect your computer to the Internet [source: VSAT].

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