Here are all the differences between cable and satellite internet.
- Connection Type
Cable internet services are provided by your cable television providers and generally, it is available by itself or packaged together with television and phone services at a discounted rate. Similar to your cable TV service, cable internet service also uses the existing coaxial cable network to provide internet services. This service providing process starts when an Internet Service Provider or ISP transmits services through coaxial cables to your modem. The modem then forwards a signal to your internet router, and WIFI distributes this signal to online devices like desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, etc. Spectrum, Mediacom, and WOW! are cable TV providers. They are known for excellent customer service. Spectrum and Mediacom customer service operate 24/7.
Unlike cable internet, satellite internet is a type of connection that uses a satellite to transmit internet signals from your internet service providers to your modem. The whole process works when your provider sends fiber internet signals to a satellite in space. Your satellite dish connected with your modem captures this internet signal then connects your computer with an internet signal. Satellite internet plans gained popularity with people living in geographically remote areas and limited internet connections.
When these two options are compared, cable internet is considered more reliable because the signal is transmitted directly through a physical cable, unlike a satellite signal which has more chances of interruption. On other hand, satellite internet requires clear weather since the signals can be blocked by other radio signals, bad weather, thunderstorms, or any physical obstacles like buildings, trees, or mountains; cable internet naturally is much less vulnerable to interruption due to such factors, but there are also cases when satellite internet works and cable internet fails since the services are dependent on a remote satellite than a local provider.
Also, cable internet connections are easier to maintain since cable internet can be paired with an already existing cable connection and requires merely a modem and router. A satellite internet connection requires a modem, a router, and the installation of a satellite dish on the house roof facing the clear sky.
3. Download Speeds
In general, the download speed of cable internet ranges from 20-100 megabits per second, and internet speed can go up to 1 gigabit per second. With Fiber optic cable internet to the mix, upload and download speed increases to 840 megabits per second. In a cable internet connection, bandwidth is shared with other fellow users in your area, and download speed can decline at peak traffic times. Due to this particular reason data processing delays, also called latency, of 100 milliseconds are common with your cable internet. Satellite internet connection speed ranges from 12 to 100 megabits per second, depending on your Internet Service Providers. It is much slower than cable service, and latency can range from 1000 to 2000 milliseconds. Its internet speed is sufficient for typical usages like emails and when surfing, but gaming and large video uploads can be arduous.
Cable Internet is available to a vast majority of consumers since it is offered in almost every location where cable TV services are available. In general, cable internet is the most subscribed internet technology around the globe.
The best part of satellite internet is its availability. Satellite internet is not that well-known, but they are available almost everywhere, even in rural areas where wiring and cable access is limited. In some rural areas, satellite internet is the only high-speed internet service available. Although in large cities people might be unfamiliar with satellite internet, it is a lifeline in some rural communities and the only standard high-speed internet connection available there. It makes satellite internet an ideal choice and often the only choice for people in rural areas that lack cable or fiber-optic access.
Service cost for cable internet subscriptions varies among providers and locations. Monthly service fees can range around $25 to $100, spending on user’s speed, provider, and the chosen package excluding the installation charges that vary from provider to provider. On the other hand, satellite internet is a bit more expensive, and service charges range from $50 to $100 monthly. Service cost increases for faster service speeds.