For people living in remote or underserved areas, fixed wireless internet and satellite internet come off as great alternatives to fiber and cable connections. But which one of the two options is better? If this question has been making rounds in your head as well, then behold because we have brought an entire blog post dedicated to it.

What is Fixed Wireless Internet?

Fixed wireless internet employs radio waves transmitted by a cell tower to establish an internet connection. It relies entirely on an external antenna to provide a fast internet connection to your home, unlike cable, DSL, and fiber optic that require in-ground infrastructure.

The radio signals from the nearest cell tower provider (also called Point-of-Presence) are received by this antenna. Your modem then picks up the signal, which is subsequently transformed into a WiFi connection by your router.

What is Satellite Internet?

Satellite internet is a type of wireless internet connection in which a stream of signals is transmitted from satellites orbiting the Earth to a subscriber's home. Satellite internet, unlike DSL and cable connections that send internet packets via copper lines, provides worldwide coverage and can be used anywhere because it is not dependent on location.

Satellite internet is a godsend for people in rural areas or in areas where terrestrial internet is inaccessible.

Fixed Wireless Internet vs. Satellite Internet

Here is a comprehensive comparison between both the connection types so you can easily make up your mind about the service you need at your house.

Bandwidth

The Mbps’ that your internet provider quotes in its plan is the bandwidth of your internet connection.

Satellite internet generally has slower rates of bandwidth in comparison to fixed wireless connections. When talking about speeds strictly, satellite internet speeds can range between 15 and 30 Mbps; however, fixed internet can go up to 50 Mbps.

Latency

The time your connection takes to transport data from your PC to a network and back is referred to as latency. It is estimated in ms (milliseconds) and is one of the most crucial indicators of connection speed.

When you use satellite internet, your data travels through the global atmosphere to contact a satellite. Then it travels back and forth from the satellite to the network hub. Satellite internet has very high latency rates because of the prolonged signal transit time. Even in perfect conditions, you should expect a lag of 500 ms’ or more.

Fixed wireless signals do not have to travel as much; they are moving less than a mile from your house to a cell tower in most cases. This significantly reduces network latency. You might get fixed wireless latency lesser than 50 ms’ on a regular basis. People connected with fixed wireless connections enjoy better and stable internet speeds.

Data Caps

A data cap is a limit on how much data a consumer may use without incurring additional charges. It might potentially take the form of a speed limit on the internet. Many satellite ISPs impose bandwidth restrictions on their plans and may even throttle the internet usage of users.

Fixed wireless ISPs usually do not have data restrictions on their plans, so you can use as much data as you like. You have unlimited access to the internet.

Weather Conditions

Satellite internet is not only more expensive, but it is also more susceptible to weather disturbance. Because satellite signals must go through the Earth's atmosphere to contact satellites in Earth’s orbit, weather can interrupt them. Subsequently, your satellite connection will be slow or might be unavailable entirely as well.

Even if you are not experiencing inclement weather, your internet service may be disrupted if a region nearby is. Signal reception is influenced by rain, snow, wind, lightning, and even moisture.

Fixed wireless stations are positioned on Earth, so the internet signals do not have to travel through the atmosphere. This is why fixed wireless signals are rarely impacted by the weather, irrespective of where they originate from.

Having said that, a fixed wireless connection can be hampered by fog or rain at times. On the whole, fixed wireless internet is less expensive and has fewer disruptions.

Final Verdict: Fixed Internet vs. Satellite Internet

Now that everything is on the table – you must make a choice. Fixed wireless is the clear answer if you want a reliable, cheaper, fast internet connection with no data cap. However, if you cannot find any fixed wireless internet providers in your area, you might have to settle for satellite connections. To find out about the available ISPs in your area, you can contact our 24/7 customer support team at 1-844-763-0449.