How Satellite Internet Works

Satellite Internet, at its most basic, is just a system that moves Internet protocol data or IP data using a satellite dish and commercial satellites. This allows you to connect into the US Internet systems at a very high speed.

How Satellite Internet Works

As a business, you might have heard of the benefits of using satellite Internet. For one, it can reach you wherever you are, even at far-flung areas that are not yet serviced by phone and cable companies. It is much faster than dial up connections and it is very mobile, giving you an  Internet connection virtually anywhere in the world. It is also a perfect backup solution when the primary connection at the office or store goes down because unlike land-based systems—like cable–satellite Internet is not susceptible to infrastructure failures

However, as a business owner, do you know how satellite Internet works? This might be the key to understanding how satellite Internet could be beneficial for you and your business, as well as your customer.

Simply put, this is how satellite Internet works.

1. The Components. A satellite Internet system consists of:

  • The customer’s satellite dish
  • The customer’s indoor modem
  • A geostationary satellite that is located 22,236 miles above the equator
  • The teleport
  • The network operations center, and
  • The Internet.

2. On the customer’s end, there is not much difference with the way satellite Internet systems work from ordinary dial up or broadband connections. The difference is that all transmissions come from the satellite to the dish, where it goes through the LNB (low-noise block downconverter), a device that gets low levels of microwave signal from the dish. The LNB then amplifies the signals, converts these to a lower frequency band, and passes it through the indoor modem, where it is converted from RF (satellite language) into IP (Internet language).

The indoor modem then connects to the customer’s network, computers, devices.

On the other hand, transmission from the network goes from the devices and computers to the indoor modem. The indoor modem then converts the signal from IP back to RF and sends it to the BUC (block upconverter), a device that converts low frequency band signals to a higher frequency band. The BUC then pushes the higher frequency signals through the dish. The dish sends the signals to the satellite.

3. The satellite then sends or receives all transmissions to and from the uplink antennas at the teleport to the NOC (network operations center).

The communications coming from the teleport go through the NOC and out to the Internet.

In short, the satellite antenna replaces the miles and miles of cables and wires that you need for a broadband connection from either a phone company or your cable company. Those are the same connections that use the local infrastructure and can easily go down if something happens, like digging in the wrong area or a natural disaster.

High Frequency vs. Low Frequency

One of the best things about satellite Internet is it uses high frequency signals. Satellite frequency ranges from 18.3 gigahertz to 31 gigahertz, which gives you a tremendous amount of data in each transmission. This is the reason why satellite Internet is fast.

However, high frequency signals also use a lot of power. So when your dish gets the data from the satellite, it needs to pass through the LNB to taper off some of the power it has before it gets to your computer, networks and devices.

What to Look for in a Satellite Internet Provider

Be sure they do no oversubscribe their network. If lots of other users are on there too, that could slow down your speed. Also look for a Committed Information Rate or CIR, which also guarantees you speed.

You want to be sure their network uses business-grade equipment because it’s more durable. Avoid using a consumer-grade ISP if you can. You also want 24/7 customer service, so when you have a problem, they are there to help.


If internet connectivity is critical to your business, contact us today to learn more about our backup connections for business continuity. One of our dedicated team members will be happy to explain our plans and get you started today.