Satellite internet is a necessity for some Americans. Few would ever choose a satellite connection over a wired one; you really only get satellite when DSL or cable isn’t an option where you live.
But for those that are about to, or have just got satellite internet, questions start swirling about what you can do with it. Can I still watch Netflix? Will I be able to game? Well, I’ve lived with satellite internet for some time now and can answer your questions.
First off, satellite internet comes with pretty lame data caps, most plans top out at 50gb / month plus extra data during the early morning hours. So, for most modern satellite internet plans, watching Netflix is possible. Will it load as seamlessly as a regular broadband connection? No. But the main problem is running out of data before the end of your billing cycle, in which case your connection will probably be slowed down significantly.
For many, the question of whether or not they can game is a pretty big one. Unfortunately, if you try it, you’ll find out almost instantly that you cannot. The lag was so bad when I tried that when I was running in BF4, I kept being transported back to where I started. You should experience a similar glitch if you try.
So, first-person shooters are pretty much out of the question with satellite. Completely unplayable. So are other quick reaction games like racing and whatnot. You may be able to play some online strategy games, but the other players will get mad at you for your ridiculously pathetic ping.
That brings me to why gaming doesn’t work with satellite. It all has to do with your ping. The ping is basically how long it takes your system to communicate with the server that you’re playing on. If you have satellite internet, that means your system is sending a signal to space and back at the speed of light. This delay can take around 250 milliseconds. That may sound impressive, but for online games, that’s too long.