What is Satellite Broadband

Satellite broadband sounds scientific and complicated - but it simply an internet connection for people who don't live in places where standard broadband is available.

What's great about satellite broadband is that it is available absolutely anywhere, as long as you can mount a dish somewhere with a clear view of the sky.

Most people in the UK have standard broadband, that uses wires and telephone cables - typically either ADSL (which is most of us) or a superfast fibre broadband.

If you live in a rural area, it can be tough to get any access (nevermind fast speeds) using telephone connections, so satellite broadband is the solution to this.

How does satellite broadband work?

Satellite broadband doesn't rely on a network of broadband wires and cables - as the data is transmitted wirelessly via a satellite dish.

The internet access is delivered via satellite signals, bypassing phone lines and mobile cell towers and relying instead on communication between a satellite in the sky and a dish on the ground.

So you can be virtually anywhere in the world and get internet connection as long as you have a clear line of sight to the southern sky where the satellite is.

How much does satellite broadband cost?

Unsurprisingly, satellite broadband costs a lot more than the wired services - but you don't have to pay for line rental which is a bonus.

Satellite broadband costs around ?20-?25 with even higher tiers for a more generous data allowance.

If you are thinking that satellite broadband is for you, you may want to avoid the cheaper packages as they come with very small data allowances - meaning that if you wanted to do anything more than answering a few emails, you're going to come a cropper if you go over your cap.

If you think paying ?50ish for standard cable installation in is pricey - getting the installation and equipment for satellite broadband is astronomical in comparison.

Getting someone around to set the equipment up costs around ?100, and the actual equipment you will need will set you back around ?300.
You'll need three bits of hardware to get online with satellite broadband - a satellite dish, a satellite modem and a wireless router.

However, you can rent the equipment for about ?6 a month - which is cheaper in the short term, but you will be held responsible for any damage to the equipment.

How fast is satellite broadband?

If you're hoping for super fast internet connection, you're probably out of luck - as although expensive, is generally the same speed (or slightly faster) as a standard ADSL connection.

Beware of satellite lag

Your data has to travel thousands of miles into the sky to reach the satellite which means there can be a bit of lag.

If you're a light or medium internet user who will just be browsing the web - you won't notice it. But if you plan on playing online videogames, skype, watch live TV - it will become annoying quickly.

Should I get satellite broadband?

Frankly, it can cost a lot, lag and have small data limits - so it isn't for everyone.

However, if you do live rural area, there's a good chance you'll be happy just to be able to get online.

Some contracts are reduced in price if you already have services with the supplier.

For example, if you have BT Broadband, you save £5 per month on a BT Mobile SIM, or if you add an additional EE SIM to your account you can save money too.

Select any of the products you already have below to ensure that you find the best deals available.
The UK has four licenced network operators: EE, Telefonica UK (O2), Three and Vodafone providing services using a variety of mobile technologies.

There are a number of other companies that provide mobile network services such as Tesco, giffgaff and Virgin. These are known as MVNO (mobile virtual network operators) which lease network capability from one of the four licenced operators.

These are all listed below so you can determine which of the four network operators provides service.

EE O2 Three Vodafone
ASDA giffgaff ID Mobile Lebara
BT Mobile Lycamobile Three Sainsburys
co-op O2 Talkmobile
EE Tesco Mobile Vodafone
Family mobile
The People's Operator
Utility Warehouse
Virgin Mobile