Frequently asked questions.

  1. How does satellite internet work?
  2. How fast is satellite internet and how much does it cost?
  3. What is FAP and how does it affect my service?
  4. Where is satellite internet available?
  5. What is the advantage of satellite internet over other internet options?
  6. Will satellite internet support VPN or VOIP?
  7. Can I install my own dish?
  8. Are there any site requirement for satellite to work?
  9. Where can my dish be mounted?
  10. In what area does Satellite Internet Solutions sell/install/service satellite systems?

We know that there are hundreds more questions you might have.  Our goal here is to address the ones we hear the most. 

If you have other questions, simply contact us and we will address them with you.

How does satellite internet work?

Several different companies have geosynchronous satellites stationed over 22,000 miles above the equator.  This satellite serves as the hub between your computer, and the internet.  At your place of residence, (or vehicle if on a mobile unit) a small dish that is specially designed for two-way transmission is installed.  This dish is usually between .74 meters and 1.2 meters in diameter.  A modem is connected to the dish, and everything else is just like the internet you're accustomed to.

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How fast is satellite internet?  How much does it cost?

These two questions are directly related to one another.  The speeds you can expect to receive are directly related to the price you pay.  There are a variety of plans that give you many options regarding download speed, upload speed, and cost.  Because there is no clear answer to these questions,  we will break it down by approximate price.

Approximate price    Approximate download speed available.     Approximate upload speed available.                                                                                                      $50 to $70$                        From 512Kbps up to 1.0Mbps                      From 128Kbps up to 200Kbps                                                                                                                $70 to $100                        From 1.0Mbps up to 1.5Mbps                       From 200Kbps up to 300 Kbps                                                                                                        Over $100                          From 1.5Mbps to over 5Mbps                       From 300Kbps to over 2Mbps

Please note.  These prices are based upon different companies and different service plans and are only estimates.  Different service plans have different advantages.  Also note that the speeds that companies list are the maximum speeds you are likely to get.  There are factors that could slow the speeds, such as heavy usage, a FAP violation, etc.  Our policy at Satellite Internet Solutions is to review with each customer what their current and future needs are and to help them find the best plan for the best price.  Also, please note that these prices are subject to change.

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What is FAP and how does it affect my service?

FAP stands for Fair Access Policy.  This is a restriction placed upon users that limits the amount of bandwidth that any one user can have in a certain time period.  This might seem restrictive, but the vast majority of users never exceed their FAP limit.  This policy is in place to prevent a limited number of users from using an excessive amount of bandwidth, thus affecting the speeds of other users.  After a person has reached the FAP limit, they will be slowed down to the "recovery rate" for that particular plan.  This is a very important consideration when choosing a service plan.  Some plans base their FAP limits on a 30 day rolling period.  Others base it upon a rolling 4 or 8 hour period.  Also, different plans have different "recovery rates".

For example.  Lets say that the plan you choose offers 1.0Mbps/128Kbps speeds with a 4 hour FAP limit of 300Mb and a recovery rate of 56Kbps.  If, in a four hour period, you exceed your 300Mb of bandwidth, you can still use the internet, but you will be slowed down to 56Kbps until your FAP catches up even though your plan calls for a 1.0Mbps download speed. 

Another example.  Lets say the plan you choose offers 1.0Mbps/128Kbps speeds with a 30 day FAP limit of 2,300Mb and a recovery rate of 56Kbps.  If in 15 days you have exceeded your 2,300Mb of bandwidth, for the next 15 days you will be limited to the recovery rate of 56Kbps.

*the above examples are purely hypothetical.  

As you can see, this could make an impact on the service plan you choose.  Again, our goal at Satellite Internet Solutions is to ensure that the plan you choose meets your needs.  Before we recommend a service, we will ensure that your plan will meet the bandwidth requirements you have.

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Where is satellite internet available?

There are different satellites available with different "footprints" or coverage areas.  Anyone in the United States would have service available.  Also, most of Mexico and a good portion of Canada have service.  This makes satellite internet very convenient for RV'ers who travel the country.

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What is the advantage of satellite internet over other internet options?

For mobile use.  Simply put, if you "absolutely must have internet wherever you go" then satellite is your only true option.  There are other services available such as cell phone plans and wi-fi.  However, these plans do not guarantee that you will have service.  Wi-fi is still not available in most places.  As far as cell phones go, there are some that have excellent coverage, but none have 100% coverage.  No matter where you are with satellite, if you can see the southern sky, you can get high-speed internet.

For residential use.  Satellite frees up your phone line.  No more dial-up.  Like cable and DSL, satellite is an always-on connection.  There are still many places where cable and DSL are not available, and satellite internet is your only real option for high-speed internet.  Also, many people like the extra security that comes with satellite.

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Will satellite internet support VPN or VOIP ?

Some better than others.  The latency of satellite makes working with VPN's a difficulty.  The slight delay in transmission and reception causes the VPN to time out.  There are some service providers that have developed ways of working around this, but even with this, the speeds are going to be considerably slower than with cable and DSL.  In fact, working with a VPN usually slows the speeds to about what dial-up offers. 

As far as VOIP is concerned, yes satellite internet will support VOIP.  Some companies offer different technologies that make them better suited for VOIP usage than others.  If you are thinking of using satellite internet for VOIP, let us know so that we can recommend the proper plan.  For more information about VPN or VOIP, go to our Contact Us page and drop us a line. We will contact you very soon.

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Can I install my own dish?

No.  Only a professional installer who is FCC licensed my perform the installation.  One reason for this is that because this is a two-way transmission, and the satellite is over 22,000 miles away, pointing of the dish precisely is absolutely critical for acceptable speeds.

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Are there any site requirements for satellite to work?

You must have a clear view of the southern sky.  There cannot be any obstructions such as wires, trees, etc. in the line of sight between the dish and the satellite.

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Where can my dish be mounted?

For residential applications, the dish can be roof, wall, or post mounted.  There are requirements as to the height and placement of the dish.  Your installer can go over those with you.

For mobile/RV applications, the dish needs an area at least 56" L x 40" W.

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In what area does Satellite Internet Solutions sell/install/service satellite systems?

We are located in NW Arkansas.  We primarily operate in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma.  If you live outside this area, we can put you in contact with other dealers or installers that we feel confident will care for your needs.  Please note that we will not recommend anyone we don't feel comfortable with.  When we make a recommendation, we feel a certain responsibility towards you that our recommendation is one to a quality dealer. 

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Copyright 2001  [Satellite Internet Solutions]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 03/05/