Satellite television is the best choice for when you can't have a faster service. Fiber-optics and broadband are faster and more reliable than satellite but for a rural household it is a great option. Its speeds are much faster than a typical dialup connection. Plus, satellite does not require and phone or cable connection so it will not tie up phone lines. There are several aspects of satellite services you should consider before you choosing for your high speed internet access.
Satellite internet is by far the best choice in terms of availability and the fact that you can get it pretty much anywhere in the US is its main draw. Because it does not require a direct connection to a physical network of cables, satellite internet is available anywhere with a clear view of southern skies. You can gain access hundreds of miles away from the nearest cable network or telephone line, so even the most rural areas can connect to the web. If you live out of range of traditional internet connections then satellite is probably your best (if not your only) option.
Reliability is another area that satellite internet struggles in. First, you need to be able to set up your dish facing south because the geostationary satellites orbit the earth above the equator. If a tree or a building obstructs your view of the sky in that direction you may have reception issues. Place it up high on a roof or a pole to limit any impediments. Satellites also experience weather related interruptions, though modern satellite dishes are more resistant to weather than they used to be. Overall, reliability is becoming less of a problem as technologies change but they are still a factor.
Many places that are out of range on a DSL or fiber-optic network do have telephone lines, so dialup is still a viable option for a lot of rural internet users. However, satellite is much faster. In fact, it can be between 10 to 35 times faster than a typical dialup connection. Plus, it doesn't tie up phone lines while in use. On the other hand, DSL and fiber-optic options are faster than any satellite option. Because a satellite signal has to travel over 44,000 to and from an orbiting satellite, it is difficult to compete with terrestrial providers.
Satellite internet tends to be one of the more expensive options, especially if you want speeds comparable to a broadband landline connection. For similar download speeds you might have to pay over twice as much as you would for a broadband connection for similar speeds.
If you're wondering if you should choose satellite internet there is no better reason than location. When you're off the grid satellite is the best option for high speed access but if you have more available services in your area you might want to go with a cheaper and more reliable service.