How to Boost Your Satellite Internet Signal

by Scott Knickelbine
Improving reception of Internet signals from a satellite may be as easy as moving your dish.

Improving reception of Internet signals from a satellite may be as easy as moving your dish.

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Satellite Internet equipment is different from the more familiar satellite TV setup in that it features both a satellite downlink and an uplink. The speed of your Internet performance depends on both systems, and a slow connection may be the result of a weak signal in one or both. Nevertheless, if you're experiencing unsatisfactory performance, there are several things you can try to improve it, ranging from adding an inexpensive amplifier to changing your satellite Internet service provider.

Step 1

Have the alignment of your dish checked by your service provider. While some providers have more satellites to aim at than others, in every case precise alignment is necessary for strong uplink and downlink signals. Your installer has the equipment necessary to pinpoint the satellite best located for your site.

Step 2

Move the satellite dish closer to the modem, if possible. Cable runs of greater than 100 feet can dramatically reduce signal strength from the satellite dish. The closer you can relocate the dish, the better your performance will be. Unfortunately, in certain buildings or geographic locations, it may be necessary to place the dish at a great distance from the modem in order to be able to give the dish a clear view of the southern sky.

Step 3

Install an in-line satellite signal amplifier in the cable between the dish and the modem on the inbound cable. This involves disconnecting the inbound coaxial from the modem, attaching a 1-foot length of new coaxial to the modem and then screwing the inbound coaxial and the short coaxial onto either side of the amplifier.

Step 4

Order a larger, more powerful dish from your provider. While there are things you can do to improve your incoming signal, that won't solve problems caused by a weak uplink signal. To fix that problem, you need to install a larger dish and a more powerful transmitter. Check to see if your provider has a trade-up policy.

Step 5

Switch service providers. Some satellite Internet providers must point you to a single satellite, whether or not you're getting a good signal from that satellite. Others have many satellites in orbit, increasing the likelihood you'll get an optimal signal at your site.

Tips

  • It's a good idea to deal with an installer that represents several different Internet satellite providers. They'll be able to suggest the provider that offers the best reception in your area, instead of trying to sell you on a single provider that might not have satellites in an optimal position for your location.

Warnings

  • Check to make sure doing your own service on your satellite systems will not void your warranties before attempting to move or modify equipment. Even small movement on a satellite dish can enormously degrade your signal. Do not attempt to move or realign your dish yourself unless you have the equipment to do so.
  • Changing satellite Internet providers can be costly, especially if you've purchased the original equipment outright.

About the Author

Scott Knickelbine began writing professionally in 1977. He is the author of 34 books and his work has appeared in hundreds of publications, including "The New York Times," "The Milwaukee Sentinel," "Architecture" and "Video Times." He has written in the fields of education, health, electronics, architecture and construction. Knickelbine received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images