How to set up a satellite internet connection a step by step guide 1

How to set up a satellite internet connection: a step-by-step guide

Merely two decades ago if you wanted to connect your computer to the internet you had to plug out your telephone and insert its cable into your computer. This meant that you could either stay online or stay on the phone, you couldn’t do both at the same time. And despite that sacrifice, the speeds you got were frankly shameful.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have come a long way since then. Though even today there are thousands if not millions of Americans who have to use Dial-Up Line (DSL) to stay connected to the internet there are several other technologies available to users.

Fast-paced cable internet services made DSL connections almost obsolete. And as a prime example of cosmic karmic justice, just as cable took out DSL, modern fiber-based connections are not quickly replacing cable internet throughout the United States.

And of course, all of us are aware of mobile internet technology beamed by network providers right onto the palm of our hands.

Another new internet technology that is doing rounds these days is satellite-based internet connections like Hughesnet Internet. Unlike its terrestrial counterparts satellite internet is based on a radically different technology and used satellites launched into space to beam internet onto dishes installed on rooftops.

Satellite internet connections are generally slower when compared to fiber-based options because the signal has to travel much longer distances before reaching the consumer. But if you are living in rural or sparsely populated areas and are stuck with slow-paced DSL connections or are forced to rely on expensive mobile data, satellite internet is a life-saver for you.

Moreover, modern Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites like the ones launched by Starlink are quickly catching up to the speeds provided by their terrestrial counterparts. Though these LEO sat connections remain a tad on the expensive side.

Since satellite-based internet is a relatively newer technology a lot of people feel an intrinsic mistrust towards it, and some are even intimidated by this type of high-tech connectivity.

So, here is a very simple breakdown of how to set up a satellite-based internet connection.

Steps involved in installing a satellite-based internet connection

The first thing is first. You have to decide on a service provider. This choice is normally based on two considerations. The cost of the connection and the providers covering your area.

Once you have made a choice your service provider will follow these steps to connect you to high-speed broadband.

Step 1: dish installation

The service provider will install a dish on one of the highest points in your house. It can be your roof or you can choose to erect a dedicated pole and put up the dish on it. Following are some of the things you should keep in mind while getting your satellite dish installed.

  • The dish should have a very clear view of the sky. So that it has direct access to the signals being beamed from space.
  • There should be no blockages around the dish. So be sure to clear any trees or bushes that may prevent signals from reaching your dish.

Step 2: modem & router installation

Before we start talking about the process of router and modem installation here is a brief summary of what these devices are and how they help connect your home to the internet.


The modem is a device that converts the signals being sent out from the satellite into signals that can be used by the devices (including the router) in your home. Modems are connected to Wide Area Networks (WAN), which is a techy way of saying that they are connected directly to the global internet network and have private IP addresses. In the case of satellite internet connections, your modem takes in internet connections from your dish and transfers them to your router.


A router’s primary job is to send out signals from your modem to the devices in your house. You can think of the router as an air-traffic controller. Parental controls and firewalls are also installed on the router end. Unlike modems, routers have public IP addresses. Routers also have a local IP address and also assign local IP addresses to all the devices in your home that are connected to it. Routers create a Local Area Network (LAN) between all devices connected to it.

Now that we have a fairly good idea of what modems and routers are let’s take a quick peak at how these devices are installed in the case of a satellite internet connection.

Modem and Router Setup


While some ISPs require you to have separate router and modem units which need to be connected to each other with the help of an ethernet cable. Satellite internet providers normally provide users with a combo unit which includes both a modem and the router. These combo units are also called gateway devices.

Following are some of the things you must watch out for during the modem/router installation process.

  • Satellite internet requires specialized modems so do not push your ISP to use the modem you already have. Lease a specialized satellite internet modem from them otherwise, your internet will not work.
  • Though you can use a custom router with satellite internet this is not suggested. Because satellite internet does not reach very high speeds so you do not need to buy a separate high-performance and expensive router, you can stick with the one provided by the ISP.

Step 3: Configuration

Once the hardware is all set up you can move towards connecting your devices to the gateway device. This connection can be made using an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi.

Remember, devices that connect to the router using ethernet have faster connectivity when compared to those dependent on Wi-Fi.

Once your devices are connected log on to your internet control panel and perform the following three steps.

  • Change the name of your connection.
  • Update the password. This is very essential.
  • And update the Wi-Fi security to either WPA 2 or WPA 3.

These three steps might take some time but will help keep you safe from cyberattacks. So, unless you like sharing your private information with hackers I suggest you put in the effort.

And that’s it. You are all set up. Wasn’t intimidating at all, right?

Wrap UP

It’s obvious from the process explained above that setting up a satellite internet connection is fairly simple. There is no additional hassle involved. Much like any other form of internet connection installation your ISP will take care of everything for you.

And now that you have a cursory understanding of the process mentioned above you can closely supervise the technicians as well.

So, call a provider now and ditch your slow-paced DSL connection.