In places where DSL and cable are lacking, American consumers do have a third choice for high speed Internet in the form of broadband via satellite. Although they are not quite as fast as the best cable and DSL plans, satellite Internet providers by zip code do have plans which start at 1 Mbps downstream and reach up to 12 Mbps in some areas.
If you are considering broadband satellite for your home, then it is best to be 100% sure that you can't get DSL or cable. If either of those are available, then you should pick them first.
The goods news is that satellite is available anywhere in the contiguous 48 United States. It is much faster than 56K dial-up and it is probably the fastest broadband connection you can get in many rural areas of the country.
Reviews Of Satellite Internet Providers By Zip Code
In America, there are two main companies which most people are familiar with - Exede and HughesNet. These two companies will be your main choices for high speed Internet using a satellite connection. You can read reviews of them here:
Although there is a lot of interest in DIRECTV and DISH Network, neither of those major satellite TV providers is able to offer broadband connections (yet). Instead, you can bundle other forms of broadband with either DIRECTV or the Dish Network. The Internet portion of such bundles will be DSL, cable, wireless (from Clearwire) or satellite Internet (from Exede), while the television service will be supplied by the TV provider.
Read our overview of these bundled offers to learn more:
The main benefits of getting TV, phone, and Internet bundles are lower monthly costs and the convenience of getting all three services on one bill. However, any agreements for service with satellite providers are usually long-term (from 12 to 24 months) with possible installation costs, and sizable early termination fees. So, please make sure the bundle is exactly what you want it to be before getting it installed.
So, that's it - those are your choices for satellite Internet providers by zip code at this time. There are some other options for businesses in rural areas, but for residential service, those are the companies you must choose from.
New Satellites = More Capacity & Faster Connections
The sad truth is that satellite Internet service has always been the "other" broadband. You know, the one that people only use when nothing else is available. However, both of the major satellite Internet providers launched new high-tech satellites in the past few years. These new satellites have faster connections which give them a competitive footing against DSL and certain wireless Internet plans in rural areas. These new satellites be able to handle many more subscribers at much faster speeds then in the past.
In the second half of 2011, WildBlue launched their next generation ViaSat-1 satellite. The ViaSat-1 effectively doubled the capacity that WildBlue was capable of handling. Not to be outdone, HughesNet launched their new Jupiter satellite in the first half of 2012. Jupiter has a capacity of 100 gigabits per second, which is 10 times the capacity of their previous satellite, the Spaceway3, launched back in 2008.
These new broadband Internet satellites have low-end connection speeds which start at around 1 or 2 Mbps, standard plans with average speeds of up to 5 Mbps, and speeds up to 15 Mbps on the high-end. These new satellite Internet providers by zip allow more Americans in rural areas to get broadband connections that can compete with DSL - in speed, if not in price.