HomeTECHNOLOGYDifferences Between Fixed Wireless And Satellite Internet Service

Differences Between Fixed Wireless And Satellite Internet Service

Cutting the cord doesn’t just apply to cable TV services these days. Some internet users prefer to extend the generally cord-free concept to how they receive internet service. If this is what you have a preference for, there are two main options to consider:

  1. Fixed wireless internet
  2. Satellite internet service

On the surface, you may think these two terms are practically interchangeable, but that’s not the case. Sure, both options eliminate the need to have a completely corded or wired connection and related ground infrastructure to get connected to the World Wide Web. You’ll also need a receiving device perched at a high point for both options. However, this is where the similarities end. If you’re weighing your air/atmosphere-based internet service plans or options, here’s what you need to know about fixed wireless and satellite internet service.

Fixed Wireless Internet:

Fixed wireless internet involves the use of radio waves sent to an antenna that’s usually mounted on a roof or other high point. The signal comes from a nearby tower. In this instance, the signal is going straight from the tower to the antenna at your location. This means it’s not going back and forth between space and Earth. Some fixed internet service providers use microwave technology to help keep the data sent via this type of signal secure for added end-user peace of mind.

The main advantage of fixed wireless internet is little or no lag time. The reason is that the signal is transmitted at lower points in the atmosphere, so the latency is kept low. In other words, you’re more likely to have a consistently reliable signal. With satellite internet, the signal typically has to travel thousands of miles. With fixed wireless, you may be looking at a distance as low as 10 miles from the tower to the antenna.


  • Little or no latency
  • Not significantly affected by bad weather
  • fast internet and reliable


  • Limited transmission distance
  • Must have a line of sight between the transmitter and receiver
  • Monthly costs may be higher

It’s also common for fixed wireless internet users to benefit from no data limits. Download and upload speeds also tend to be equally fast, which rarely happens with other internet service options. Plus, it’s usually fairly easy to request and receive a bandwidth increase. The main downside is a nearby tower may not be available in every location. Plus, there’s still a need for a cord from the antenna to the inside location, so you’re technically just eliminating outside ground connections.

Satellite Internet:

Satellite internet requires a dish mounted somewhere out of your business or home on a high point like a roof just like what’s required with fixed wireless. In this case, however, the signal is coming from a satellite above the planet. The commercial satellites typically used for this purpose receive and send signals between ground stations and your location.

Due to the extreme distances involved, there are usually issues with lag time involving data transmission and delivery. This can be a significant issue if you need fast, reliable, and consistent signal transmission to complete your various tasks, especially ones involving streaming and remote communications.


  • Often available in rural areas
  • A big improvement over dialup
  • A decent selection of service providers


  • Connections are often affected by weather conditions
  • Data caps are more common
  • Geographical limitations

It’s also worth noting there are some interesting innovations going on with satellite internet today. Many big names, most notably Elon Musk, are making a newer form of satellite internet that involves low-Earth orbiting satellites available on a larger scale. This type of satellite internet tends to be more reliable than what’s common with traditional satellite service.

Making Your Decision:

Availability is the main factor to consider with either one of these internet service options. Start by seeing what’s available with fixed wireless and satellite service in your area. Also, consider your business or home internet needs and what works best for your budget.

I'm Bipasha Zaman, a professional author with vast experience in the research field. Presently, I work for many sites. Also, I have a strong passion for writing creative blogs.


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