Satellite internet is one of the most widely available internet options in the US. That is because satellite internet doesn’t require any wired connectivity. So, whether you are living on a farm or enjoying your vacations in some remote area, satellite internet would probably be your best option.
It offers a good download speed with 24/7 connectivity. That allows users to stay connected to their loved ones, work remotely, make video calls, and watch movies online. However, one thing that concerns several satellite internet users is that whether the bad weather has any effect on the satellite internet performance or not. And if yes, then why?
To understand that, you first need to know how the satellite internet works.
How Does Satellite Internet Work?
A satellite internet connection consists of two satellite dishes and the satellite in space. One dish is installed at the customer’s end while the second one is located at the network center of the service provider.
The signals from the user’s end travel to the satellite in space. This satellite further transmits those signals to the network center. When the request is complete, the signals then travel back to the user in the same way.
Since these signals travel via microwave radio frequencies, they can only travel in a straight line. If there is any obstacle in between, the signals can become weaker.
Bad Weather & Satellite Internet
The strength of satellite internet connection lies in the radio signals. If these signals are being transmitted without any problem, the internet will work perfectly fine. Otherwise, the internet will slow down or will probably stop working.
Now if there is heavy rain or a thunderstorm, it will disrupt the flow of radio signals or deflect them. As a result, your satellite internet will slow down. Similarly, the snow can pile up on the satellite dish and reduce the signal strength or block the signals completely. Therefore, extreme weather conditions can affect the performance of the satellite internet.
On the other hand, due to advanced technologies such as HughesNet gen 5, slight changes in the weather condition or light rain have nearly no effect on the satellite internet performance.
Other Things That Can Affect the Performance of Satellite Internet
If the weather is fine but you are still facing problems with your satellite internet, it might be because of other connection issues or damage caused by the weather. So, it is better to check a few things before you call your ISP to send out a technician.
- Position of Satellite Dish
The position of your satellite dish determines the connectivity and the signal strength. In case it gets moved because of wind or other things, that will weaken the signals. As a result, your internet will slow down.
Therefore, if your internet speed has dropped down significantly, it could be because of a change in the position of the satellite dish. In such a situation, inspect the dish closely and see if it has moved. Also, check for cracks and damage to the satellite dish as it can affect the radio signals as well.
- Loose Wires
Another common reason behind a slow satellite internet connection can be the loose wires that connect your modem with the satellite dish. When these wires are not properly connected, it affects the flow of signals. Resultantly, the speed drops down significantly.
If the wires are connected properly, do check for damage to the wires. At times, this can cause internet issues as well.
- Connecting Too Many Devices
A satellite internet connection can offer a download speed of up to 100 Mbps. However, the download speed usually depends upon the service provider and location. In any case, you will be able to get at least a download speed of up to 25 Mbps via any satellite provider of your choice.
Though this speed is great and works for almost everything including home security, video calls, working remotely, or streaming movies – connecting too many devices can slow it down. So, disconnect the unnecessary ones.
Another thing that you can do is to connect your PC or laptop via the Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi. That will improve the connectivity and give you a better speed on those devices.
- Data Limits
If your internet was working fine last night but suddenly has stopped working or the speed has reduced significantly, you might have reached your data limit. This is one of the issues with the satellite internet as it offers data caps or soft data limits.
That means, once you go over the assigned data limit as per the plan, your internet will either stop working or slow down. Even when the satellite ISPs advertise the data as unlimited, that usually means that there are soft data limits and the speed will drop down once you have used all the data in your plan.
So check for your remaining data for your account by contacting the ISP or by logging in to your online account. To get back to the same speed as before, you can also add more data to your plan or upgrade it to an upper tier.