Satellite vs. 4G LTE – What Makes The Most Sense For Your Internet Usage

Choosing satellite internet or 4G service can depend on several factors, from your leading online activities to your geographical location. While both internet options support the same actions, such as web browsing and video streaming, they provide drastically different experiences for the user. When deciding which service to use, you will want to keep in mind what type of activities you will be engaging in and how you can utilize the service to do so. In addition, what are the benefits that are the most important to you? For many, it comes down to a simple question. Which offers faster service? 

Satellite Internet – great coverage, not so great speed.

Satellite internet works virtually everywhere, but with satellite comes limitations. At first glance, satellite internet can seem to be as fast as a 4G service. Unfortunately, the user experience does not keep up with those same initial views. The latency can cause noticeable lags in real-time usage, video streaming, and video conferencing. These lags are persistent because of the time it takes to send requests to and from your satellite. A satellite internet service bandwidth can often be limited, especially during peak hours when trying to get the most work done. It can limit your streaming usage both day and night. However, a satellite may be the only option for those who live in rural areas. With satellite services able to reach speeds of close to 15 Mbps, it is typical for most to stay in the range of 5 to 8 Mbps (BandwidthPlace). This can be highly frustrating to those who do not have the option of implementing 4G services in their area. Because of the inconsistency in satellite, it is recommended that it be used more for web browsing than for real-time gaming, video conferencing, or streaming. It is essential to research the coverage areas when choosing your internet service provider, especially for those who do not have the option to expand into 4G serviced areas. 

4G LTE – rocky coverage, fast speeds.

4G home internet is a high-speed internet delivered through cell towers and mobile networks. If you live in an area with good cell phone reception but limited internet service options, 4G internet could be an excellent option for you. It offers more data and lower prices than most satellite internet services. With lower latency, 4G networks provide a user experience that is fast and seamless. Today’s 4G LTE networks will reach download speeds of 25 Mbps on average with a latency of less than 100 ms. This means that it is fast enough to support video streaming and real-time usage in high definition consistently. While the user experience of these networks is much more desirable than the user experience of satellite internet, the coverage of 4G networks is not always excellent. It is typical for 4G LTE to be widely available in urban centers but not in rural areas. This brings us back to the deciding factors of choosing your service, where geographical location can play a large part. If you live in an area where 4G is accessible or expanding, it is a much faster option. 

It all comes down to what you are comfortable with in regards to your services. If you are looking to use your internet service for web browsing and no streaming services, a satellite is a great option. It is found in all areas, whether working from a home office or surfing the web on the beach. If you are using your internet services for video conferencing, streaming services, web browsing, and daily usage that requires higher speeds, 4G LTE services are the way to go. While 4G is already in many areas and continuing to expand, the opportunity to have a fast and reliable internet service is just at your fingertips. 


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