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Guide to Satellite Modems

Satellite Modem : What is it?

Satellite Modems

Satellite modems provide Internet connection using satellite dishes or transponders. They connect to the satellite dish that receives satellite TV signals, dedicating part of the service bandwidth to data transmission instead of signal reception. Most satellite modems are receive-only, which means that a separate channel is needed to send data to the service provider. This makes them relatively expensive, although their connection speeds are relatively fast. Also, because they connect to an outdoor dish, they are prone to weather interference and poor weather can temporarily shut down the connection.

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Types of Satellite Modems

Satellite ModemsSatellite Modems

Kinds of Satellite Modems include the following:

One-way multicast modems

  • These satellite modems have no return channels and can only receive data.
  • They can display basic web content such as web pages, but cannot support interactive content.

One-way multicast modems with terrestrial return


  • These satellite modems use cable or analog telephone lines as return channels.
  • They have download speeds similar to broadband connections, but uplinks are limited to dial-up speeds.

Two-way satellite modems


  • Two-way satellite modems transmit data to the Internet through satellite hubs.
  • They have maximum uplink speeds of one megabi

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Choosing Satellite Modems (Buying tips)

Signal strength: Choose a satellite modem that receives signals from a wide coverage area. Look for a high-power model or a power booster if your area has weak coverage or gets frequent weatyher interference.

Interface:
Choose a satellite modem that plugs into the serial port instead of USB. USB models cannot handle high-speed transmissions and are usually software-based, which slows down other applications. Use USB modems only if you use more than one computer to connect to the satellite service.

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