Why Satellite Internet is Not the Best Internet for Rural Gaming

If you’ve never lived in rural America, you may have some inaccurate assumptions about the best Internet for rural gaming. You’d probably assume that the answer is the same as in urban and suburban areas. In these highly-populated sections of the country, fiber-optic Internet is often cited as the best Internet for online gaming in general. Its low latency, high performance, and reliability set fiber-optic Internet apart from the other types of Internet on the market.

However, rural areas do not have the proper infrastructure to support fiber-optic Internet. Most rural areas do not even have the capability to support mainstream broadband Internet providers. For this reason, rural residents have had to rely on alternative rural Internet service providers including satellite Internet companies like HughesNet and 4G/5G mobile Internet providers such as UbiFi.

Out of these two, satellite Internet is more impressive at first glance, but the aspects of satellite Internet that make it impressive are also its greatest weakness when it comes to supporting activities such as online multiplayer games. Satellite Internet companies transmit Internet signals from satellites in orbit in outer space. For this reason, there is a greater delay between transmission and reception which creates unwelcome phenomena such as lag and rubberbanding. If you’ve ever played a first-person shooter or another competitive online game that relies on precision and timing, you know that lag and rubberbanding are some of the most frustrating things to deal with.

In contrast, mobile Internet companies like UbiFi provide high-speed low-latency Internet for rural areas that is better suited for playing online games. UbiFi and its mobile Internet cohorts use cell towers, which are much closer to rural residents, resulting in fewer delays and lag. Be sure to check if you are in a mobile Internet provider’s coverage area before signing up for service.