How does satellite internet works?

How does satellite internet works?

In urban areas, DSL, cable, or fiber-optic internet services are the norm. But for outside of urban centers, there is slightly different. Many major cable companies haven’t done the work to connect rural residences to their networks.

In those cases, Satellite Internet is one of the few options for getting online.

Satellite Internet is Internet access provided through communications satellites. Modern satellite Internet service is typically provided to individual users through geostationary satellites that can offer relatively high data speeds. The launch of the first satellite, Sputnik 1, by the Soviet Union in October 1957, the US successfully launched the Explorer 1 satellite in 1958. The first commercial communications satellite was Telstar 1, built by Bell Labs and launched in July 1962.

Satellite internet equipment is made up of three main components: a geostationary satellite in space, a satellite dish mounted on your home and a modem that transmits internet signals from the dish to your computer. The orbiting satellite transmits (and receives) its information to a location on Earth called the Network Operations Center or NOC (pronounced "knock"). The NOC itself is connected to the Internet (or private network), so all communication made from a satellite dish to the orbiting satellite will flow through the NOC before it reached the Internet.

So, how does it work?

  • When you visit a webpage a request is sent from your computer and is bounced to a satellite that’s approximately 22,000 miles out in space.
  • The satellite is synchronized with earth’s 24hour rotation, meaning it appears in the same position for requests to beam off of it.
  • With such advanced technology, the long distance makes very little difference and allows people to receive Internet connections even in rural areas.
  • The satellite dish that gets installed receives and transmits signals with the internet provider's satellite. It is approximately the same size as most dishes used for satellite TV.
  • After your computer contacts the satellite, the satellite then passes your request onto the Hughes Network Operations Center (NOC).
  • The NOC then connects with the webpage directly.
  • The website then beams the information back down the same path to the NOC, to the satellite, and then to your computer where it passes through the dish and modem. At this point the process is complete and your requested web page will display.
  • Though the beams are traveling a great distance, the entire process takes only a fraction of a second, resulting in a rewarding user and web experience.

Once you have everything connected, the ISP will send the internet signal to the dish in space which then relays it to you. Every time you make a request (new page, download, send an email, etc) it goes to the dish in space and then to the (ISP’s) hub. The completed request is then sent back through space, to your dish and then to your computer.

Anything that you could access on the Internet through a wired connection will be available as well when you use the satellite Internet service. This means you can browse the web at high speeds, watch videos, download music, connect to your friends and family through video chat and a whole lot more.


Stock photo from whiteMocca

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