If you’re living or working on the road, you need reliable internet that goes where you go. Your two main options are 4G LTE hotspots and satellite internet. Here’s what you need to know to make your decision!
The Differences Between Satellite Internet and 4G
First of all, it’s key to actually understand the difference between satellite internet and 4G LTE.
Satellite internet is beamed from satellites orbiting the earth all the way to your satellite dish to provide you with an internet connection.
A 4G hotspot turns your LTE mobile internet signal into a Wi-Fi network.
Both are free from cables and fiber lines, which are some of the downsides of a standard broadband connection.
Advantages of 4G LTE Hotspots
The easiest place to start your decision-making process without doing too much research on your internet options is probably the price. No matter what provider you’re looking at, it won’t take you long to see that a 4G hotspot is almost always cheaper than satellite internet. In fact, you will usually end up paying about half as much for hotspots compared to satellite internet!
Oftentimes, satellite providers will also increase the price of your internet after a certain length of time has passed in your contract. You also should consider installation costs. Some satellite internet providers offer a free installation, but others will charge you $100 just to mount the dish. With 4G, there’s no installation required. As long as you have your device, you’re ready to start using your internet connection.
The Connection Isn’t Dependent on the Weather
Being dependent on weather conditions for your internet connection is frustrating. If you have satellite internet, even moderate precipitation or gusts of wind can slow down your connection. If you have work to do on the road, you don’t have the option of simply shirking your responsibilities because your satellite internet isn’t up for the challenge.
4G LTE is much more resilient! You can expect a more reliable connection even when weather conditions are changing. The only exception is if you are in an area experiencing extreme conditions such as a tornado.
Think about the times you’ve lost cell signal compared to the times you’ve lost your ability to connect to Wi-Fi. You probably experience more reliable uptime for cell signal. That same reliability applies to a 4G connection.
More Consistent Speeds
The speed of both satellite internet and 4G will vary a little depending on where you’re at and how much others are using your network. But there are some general speeds to keep in mind. The fastest satellite internet providers today can reach speeds of about 15 Mbps (megabits per second).
On the other hand, the standard 4G LTE speed is 15 to 20 Mbps. That means even if you have the fastest satellite internet available, you could still have slower internet than the average person using 4G. And most people don’t have the fastest internet available, so you should expect the average satellite internet provider to be significantly slower than 4G.
More Data to Use
If you’re a heavy internet user, you’re probably going to want to avoid any kind of data cap when you’re looking for the best internet. If you opt for satellite internet, you can’t expect truly unlimited data. Even if a satellite internet provider says they offer unlimited data, it’s really never true because the provider must prevent one customer from using most or even all of the bandwidth that their service has available.
With 4G data, you’ll have much more flexibility. There are some services that will still have a limit on the amount of data you use each month, but you at least have the option of unlimited data.
Increasing National Coverage
For a long time, people who traveled frequently or lived life on the road chose satellite internet because it provides such wide-reaching national coverage, meaning that virtually anywhere you went, you’d still be able to use your satellite internet. While this hasn’t changed, the skyrocketing popularity of 4G LTE has made many providers increase their coverage. It’s always a good idea to check with your provider and see how much coverage they have before committing to a plan.
Latency is the amount of time it takes a signal to move from your device to your provider’s network equipment. The higher your latency, the more lag you’ll experience for things like online gaming and streaming. If you’re a big gamer, you should definitely not choose satellite internet. Some gamers find it nearly impossible to play using satellite so they instead opt for the reliability and speed of 4G.
4G is clearly the superior choice if you want to cut down on latency. You can expect close to zero noticeable lag. While most satellite systems have a lag of 600 to 1200 milliseconds, 4G LTE lag is usually just 35 to 70 milliseconds.
Although satellite internet has improved its latency in recent years, a lot of people still experience that annoying buffering when streaming movies. You may not even have the option of streaming video in 1080p or 4k because your provider is trying to cut down on buffering. Why? Your signal has to move between your modem and the satellite orbiting Earth, which is tens of thousands of miles. If you have a hotspot, your signal will only have to go between your device and the closest cell tower.
4G from Nomad Internet: The Obvious Choice!
If you think the choice is clear based on the differences between satellite internet and 4G, you’re not alone! The advantages of 4G over satellite make it the best option for working and living on the road. That’s why Nomad Internet provides fast, reliable 4G LTE for our customers. No matter where you go, our internet goes with you so you can stay in touch with loved ones, get work done, and enjoy the online content you want to.
For more information on our plans, get in touch with Nomad Internet today!