Satellite Internet Connection

Latency & Internet via Satellite : Described and Discussed

What exactly is latency?

Measured in a simple time value, latency is the amount of time taken for a response to return from a request. Amount of time taken by a packet of data to move across a network connection, be it internet over satellite or otherwise. Latency is typically in milliseconds. [1000 ms is equal to 1 second]

With internet access via satellite, there is latent time when the computer that sends data, waits for confirmation that the packet of data has been received. This delay is introduced when a packet is momentarily stored, analyzed and then forwarded. Latency and bandwidth are the two factors that determine your network connection speed.

Moore's Law of Internet Latency states that:

As long as Internet users do not pay for the absolute (integrated over time) amount of data bandwidth, which they consume (bytes per month), Internet service quality (latency) will continue to be variable and often poor.

Internet via satellite and latency go hand in hand due to travel time. Geostationary satellite internet systems are generally in orbit some 35,000 +/- kilometers from earth. The radio wave transmissions need to go from your computer to a terrestrial Gateway and then sent to the satellite. It then needs to come back down to earth to the Gateway, which sends it on it is merry way anywhere on earth.

If you are using DSL or Cable Internet service, you can take out the middle-man, satellite internet service, which immediately speeds things up considerably. DSL and Cable broadbands tend to have what we call ping times, ranging somewhere between 50 and 100ms [ms being milliseconds]. In case you are using internet connection via satellite, your signal first goes to the satellite. Therefore, you can easily add 500ms or more to the ping time.

So, what is a ping?

If you have seen war movies you have probably heard pings when a submarine is moving through the water. They send out a radio wave that moves through the water. As it hits an object, it will ping. The time taken for that ping to occur tells the radio operator the distance between the submarine and the object that was hit by the radio wave. It is basically the same process with internet and satellite services . A ping test will send 4 packets of information to a destination you have chosen. It will then tell you the time taken by each packet and average time for four packets. That will be the ping time.

In satellite broadband internet, Pings can be affected by many other variables such as servers being down etc. Also, a company like Microsoft having many people using their servers leads to a slowdown while you wait for the server to respond to your signal. All of these things, combined with the travel time, to and from the satellite, equals latency.

So now you are wondering what this has to do with you. If you are in a location where you need Internet service via satellite, you need to be aware that there is latency involved in your signal. When you send e-mail or browse the web, this will have a negligible affect on you. You will probably not perceive any difference at all. Also, when downloading, you may experience a half second delay at the beginning, but your download will arrive in a timely manner. There are other factors, such as peak times and problems with the network, or even servers at your destination site that may be down. All of these will slow your connection down. It has been demonstrated that VPN connections do well with internet connection via satellite. If you have VPN at your workplace, you will be able to connect just fine with internet business satellite.

About Wild blue Satellite Internet Service

Wild Blue Satellite broadband provides you high-speed internet access via satellite virtually across all the 48 states in U.S. The least expensive two way internet over satellite service provides internet access at much faster speeds i.e. upto 1.5 Mbps. Wildblue Satellite Internet Service is provided for homes, home offices and small offices. You get an "always on" connection, which means no dialing-in or other delays to get high-speed access to the Internet.

How does Wild Blue Satellite Internet Service combat Latency?

With WildBlue satellite internet, latency only affects you while gaming and VOIP. With the extra 500ms lag that is part and parcel of internet connection via satellite, in most cases you will not be happy with first person shooters or any other high intensity gaming online. Someone playing online against you with DSL and an average 50ms ping time will pretty much wipe you right out of the game in no time, so no fun there. Also, using Vonage, NetZero or other telephony services online, are going to have a noticeable lag, usually at the beginning of a conversation.

One way to illustrate this latency in internet business satellite is to watch CNN. Watch when they do an interview with someone overseas. When the anchor asks the individual, a question, there is a pause between the end of his question and the response received from the other end. That is the lag time between the anchor speaking and the individual receiving the question.

Wildblue Satellite Internet Service

Most users on the Internet, browse, send e-mail and download software. Satellite Internet providers are an excellent replacement for dial up for these tasks. You will be very happy with the speed increase, which in turn opens you to a whole new world of content online. It has it's limitations as mentioned above, but if you have been languishing in the dial up world you will be very happy for having taken the leap into space with internet over satellite . Enjoy!