I know some people are about to start organizing cross-country trips with the RVs or just require a stable internet connection for individual needs. When people are traveling, one thing they usually forget is the need for an unwavering internet connection.
If you already thought of the internet as one of the to-do things in your travel list, then you probably have a couple of options. Just remember that not all portable internet options are the same. What I am trying to mean is that you need a lot of guidance to choose the one that meets your needs.
What is Satellite Internet?
For someone planning to visit or live in a remote area, there are only two internet options readily available, which are satellite internet and dialup. As the term satellite points, satellite internet is a wireless connection which involves three satellite dishes. The satellite dishes are set at the service provider quarters, another one in space, and another in the receiver end.
After setting everything, the Internet Service provider will send you an internet signal, after which you can use depending on your internet needs.
Important terms in Mobile satellite Internet Plans
When you are in the market shopping for reliable Mobile satellite internet plans, you will encounter a few important terms that can affect your decision. Some of these terms are discussed below.
- Latency – Latency is easily defined as the time it takes for internet signals to travel to the modem and from the same device to the provider network when in use. This can be explained through an example of a car moving from one town to the other and back. The time it takes for internet signals to travel between these two ends is equally important.
- Data speed – How fast is high speed-Data speed just like Latency is very important. This is termed as the amount of data per second that circulates through the provider’s system. Most internet providers talk about upload and download data speed.
- Unlimited data – This term is common in the internet world but I can assure you not all internet providers’ use the term the same way. Some internet providers will claim to offer unlimited data plans while in real sense there are a couple of data caps and limitations. This can impact your overall usage experience, so be careful.
- Throttling -In case you meet the preset data limit, your provider may choose to do what we call throttling to reduce your data usage. This is decreasing your data latency and speed to reduce the amount of data you use per second.
- Hard Data Cap -This term is used to refer to internet provision where the data plan is reset or stopped after you meet a certain preset data cap.
- De-prioritization – when there’s congestion in the internet, the provider may choose to slow the internet usage for some time in a process known as De-prioritization.
- Soft Data cap – This refers to an extent where your data usage is throttled after reaching a preset limit. This means that the provider will not stop your data provision services but just reduce the speed and the latency rate.
Mobile satellite Internet vs. Hotspot internet
These two internet system have experienced a couple of developments in the last few years. The Rural areas previously didn’t get reliable cellular coverage to facilitate Hotspot data. The good news is that the connection today is all over America regardless of where you live or work.
On the other hand, we have witnessed some improvements in the latency issues that were previously affecting the satellite internet. This is an indication that Mobile satellite internet and cellular internet are facing each other strongly in the market.
This leaves some room to compare the two in a move to help people make informed decisions. We are now going to compare the two H2H in terms of latency rate, price and reliability.
- Latency – The satellite system have a higher latency which is assumed to be 600-1200ms on average compared to 35-70ms on cellular systems.
- Weather – as we all know, weather can significantly affect the strength of your signals in both cellular and satellite systems. When compared in terms of how the systems are affected in extreme weather conditions, cellular systems are better. They seem to work perfectly on bad weather.
- Prices and caps – In the US, you are very likely to choose HughesNet or Viasat as your satellite internet provider.This is because they are the two most popular satellite internet providers. The two companies provide clear information on all the prices and caps on their website. You will notice that they offer deluxe unlimited satellite internet plans at affordable prices. For the first three months, you may get the unlimited plan for only $150 but it will go up to $200 after that.
- Usage and Location – When we start thinking about the places where you can use the two internet plans, you will realize that satellite internet is more reliable for use in marginalized areas. The satellite systems have a direct line of sight which makes the signals strong in some remote areas. This is actually one reason why satellite internet is preferred for hiking, road trips and generally by all travellers.
Benefits of Mobile satellite Internet over Hotspot Internet
Most people would want to use Mobile satellite internet especially if they live or want to head to another place where there are no additional alternatives such as cable and DSL. For the people that are already on the dialup; mobile satellite internet will only be an upgrade especially because we know satellite internet is way faster.
To make a decision between Hotspot internet and satellite Internet, here are some benefits that will accrue. First of all, note that the satellite internet is faster than the dialup but not faster than hotspot data. Though, this depends highly on the packages you buy.
Additionally, Satellite Internet connections handle comparably high bandwidth usage. This is an indication that your internet usage, the speed and the quality of connection will be drastically affected by the peak usage.
Another great benefit is that you don’t need a phone for satellite internet. This is unlike the hotspot and dialups. From these benefits, you are in a better position to determine why it’s vital to have mobile satellite internet.
Other benefits of Mobile satellite internet are reliability and convenience. With such an alternative, you can access internet anywhere you are all the time. When you are travelling, you don’t have to text your boss, coworker or a friend telling them they should wait for you to reach certain places for internet connection.
Lastly, you save a lot of money with Mobile Satellite Internet. For people that are serious travelers, this statement is familiar. Even when you are on road trips and vacations, you still want to use internet. With Mobile Satellite internet, you don’t have to keep on stopping to access the cyber.
Setting up a Portable Satellite Internet
I understand it can be challenging to set up satellite internet connection but with some basics, the whole process becomes easy. Verily, satellite internet works the same as a satellite TV service. The setting is also similar.
Connecting a satellite internet service becomes easy because there are numerous guidelines on specific company websites. The dish at the receiver site will be connected to an orbit satellite as opposed to Cables and wires.
The satellite internet service provider will offer you a dish and two modems with each of them being used for different reasons-Uploading and downloading. These modems will be connected to the dish and eventually linked to the nearest orbit dish.
Understand that setting the satellite internet is an involving activity and unless you are a tech savvy person, it will be challenging. In case you face challenges following the below steps, get a qualified technician to help you along.
Step 1: Choosing a Satellite Internet Provider
This is where you are supposed to start to get satellite internet plans. Research the market for reliable and affordable satellite internet providers. Depending on your location, you may have one or more alternatives.
Step 2: choose a day to install the components
Now that you have a satellite internet provider, you should schedule a day for the installation. It’s recommended that you schedule a date with a qualified technician to avoid making any mistakes.
Step 3: satellite dish installation
Before the technician begins to install the modems, they will have to install the dish on the recreational vehicle or the site. The technician will also conduct a couple of tests to confirm everything is okay with the dish before jumping to the next step.
Step 4: Connecting the Coaxial Cable
The technician will now head on to join the coaxial cables to the modems. This is what facilitates download and uploads.
Step 5:Test the signals and leave
The final step is to ensure that the satellite system is working as needed. This is confirmed by checking the signals and confirming with the service provider that everything is set. The process of testing involves a connection between the satellite at the site and the orbiting satellite.
What determines the Best Mobile satellite internet for RVs?
Are you a traveller who wants to access internet wherever you are any time of the day? Or are you just tired of making stop overs to access a cyber café to work or browse? If you fit in any of the two categories, then you are probably looking for the best mobile Satellite Internet for your recreational vehicle.
Before delving deeper, do you know what defines a good Mobile Satellite Internet for your RV? If no then we have a list of some factors that defines a good satellite provider.
- Download speed of at least 464kbps
- Upload speed of about 448kbps
- Supports internet, phone, texts and fax
- Affordable and has 802.11b WI-FI access point
- Has an in-motion antenna.
The features of a good satellite internet shared above shows that you can have basic internet access services but the download and upload speed is not right.
The internet speeds I have mentioned above are the minimal rates. For this reason, they may fail to give you the best user experience. As a matter of fact, you cannot use such speeds in gaming or streaming videos on your favorite streaming app such as Netflix, Roku and Live channels.
What are some pros of mobile satellite Internet?
- Global coverage – This is one big pro that sets Satellite Internet aside from other internet services. It covers a broader area than the cellular internet. This is also what makes it fit for travellers.
- Cost effective – Satellite Internet is better than most internet services out there because it’s affordable. Most providers offer good coverage, speed and many other dimensions at affordable prices.
- Location independent – It doesn’t matter where you stay, satellite internet will be effective and reliable. Even when you are travelling to the most remote areas, you still have a good internet connection.
- Reliability – You don’t have a chance to struggle with loss of connection or poor connection wherever you are. Although it doesn’t contain latency rates equal to some other popular internet systems, this one is more reliable.
- Instant installation and deployment – The mobile satellite internet can be set up fast enough and deployed.
- Satellite internet is faster than dialup and a few other alternatives.
- Its flexible – Unlike cable internet that you cannot use unless you are connected through the cable, satellite internet is usable anywhere any time.
Does Mobile satellite internet have any cons?
Just like everything, mobile satellite internet has its downsides. Verily, some of these issues come because of the download and the upload speed, weather and internet connection, and Latency. Here are some Mobile satellite internet cons.
- It’s easily affected by weather-In case of rain, storms or bad wind, the mobile satellite internet receives poor signals which can impact your user experience. You may also end up losing signals completely.
- Comparatively poor latency-When you compare mobile satellite internet with some great alternatives such as cellular internet, you will realize that it has a poor latency.
- Some minor obstructions can affect your signals-There are some little things that can happen and, boom, no internet connection. If you can’t use the compass, signals may fail because the dish should always face south. Branches or leaves falling can also affect the quality of signals.
- VPNs are not compatible. We sometimes need VPNs to hide our actual location or access some limited content. This is very hard to achieve with Mobile satellite internet.
- Bandwidth limitations-you may have bandwidths to use before ISP slows your connection down.
The best portable Satellite Internet solutions
At this point, I want to explain some of the best Satellite Internet for RVs. So, if you are preparing your RV for a whole week road trip, vacation or camping, I have some recommendations for you.
Best Mobile satellite Internet for Travelers
Hughes 9450-c10 BGAN mobile satellite terminal
This is my top pick which matches well with serious travellers. What this means is that if you are an avid traveler, you can never go wrong with this mobile satellite internet. You will not regret investing on an Internet terminal like this.
One major benefit is that it delivers a decked-out mobile office while on transit. It helps you connect with other devices, call, send sms and fax. You will be given an onboard router that will offer you comparatively good download speed.
BGAN Cards for mobile satellite Internet
If you have been looking for mobile satellite internet with an in-motion satellite antenna for all your travel needs, then this one is the best alternative. By saying it’s an in-motion satellite antenna it means that the system can detect orbit satellites as the location changes.
Another great thing is that it gives you a chance to stay connected with the satellite internet in your house.
Best mobile satellite Internet for campers and hikers
IsatHub Portable Satellite Wi-Fi Hotspot
If you know that you are organizing a trip to the forest or mountain for hiking or camping, you may need IsatHub Portable satellite Wifi Internet. I know you still want internet connection even when you are in the camping site.
Unlike the mobile cellular hotspot where the connection can be affected when the trees outnumber the cell towers, you will still be connected regardless of where you are. This satellite system works very well when on a clear view. This means that outdoor activities increase the strength of their signals.
Best Satellite Phone for the Backcountry
For people that are crossing a rugged terrain by foot, it’s a good thing to consider a satellite phone. Get this satellite phone and you will stay connected to the outer world. It has a download speed of 9.6 Kbps. Though, with this download speed, you may not have a good chance to play online games.
The good thing is that this satellite phone comes with a SOS button which adds security and peace of mind while you are hiking, on a road trip or just on your normal tours.
Mobile Satellite internet frequently Asked Questions
How much does Mobile satellite internet cost?
Many people considering Mobile satellite Internet for their specific needs think that this internet service is very expensive. However, this is not the case with some providers such as Skycasters always. Most of the plans for Mobile satellite Internet starts from as low as $149/month.
What is the best mobile internet on a satellite phone?
The list above has highlighted some of the best mobile internet that you can choose any time from now. The question of which among them is the best lays on your specific download and upload needs. What this means is that you should take time to make up your mind.
Is there any satellite internet with unlimited data?
Yes, there are several satellite internet providers that offer unlimited satellite Internet. A good option is HughesNet and Viasat because they never cancel your service off. The list of satellite internet with unlimited data access is unlimited. This means you should take enough time researching the market for a reliable and affordable satellite internet provider.
Which is better: Mobile hotspot or satellite internet?
Although these two are the main alternatives when it comes to accessing the internet on the go, Mobile satellite internet is more stable and is affordable in the long run. Though, for people that choose to travel more often, a mobile hotspot is better but not reliable when you are travelling to remote areas. For this reason, I recommend choosing Mobile satellite internet because of signal strength and reliability.
Is LTE faster than Satellite?
When you look at all the features of Mobile satellite internet, its easy to realize that satellite internet is better than 4G LTE internet. As a matter of fact, it has 3Mbps upload speed and 25 Mbps download speed. However, it is known to have a Latency of more than 600ms which lowers the user experience.
Can I use satellite internet on all the states/countries?
Satellite Internet can be used in all the states in the US. Unfortunately, you cannot use satellite internet from anywhere you are in the world. If you are planning of hiking in another country, you should choose alternatives.
Mobile satellite internet is one good alternative to cellular internet for travellers. It has many benefits including wide coverage, affordability and reliability especially when you are touring remote areas on a budget. The connection is not affected by the number of trees even when you’re going for hiking and camping.
Though, you should expect some interruptions from small obstructions such as change of weather, falling leaves and branches. The dish should also face the south for the signals to be strong and stable. Besides these cons, the many pros of Mobile satellite internet should inform your decision especially if you are a serious traveller.