Vssmonitoring.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

How to Reduce Latency on Satellite Internet | Actionable Tips to Speed Up Your Connection

Gamer's on PC and consoles to a lesser extent, will be very familiar with computer latency. Below I’ll explain satellite internet and how to reduce latency on satellite internet in detail. One of the best ways to reduce latency is to ensure you are using the most reliable internet provider.

Key Takeaways

  • An acceptable latency (or ping) is anywhere around 40 – 60 milliseconds (ms) or lower 
  • Speed of over 100ms will usually mean a noticeable lag in gaming
  • Some methods to reduce latency are: increase internet speed & bandwidth, be close to your router, upgrade broadband package, restart your router, close background running application, play games on local server
  • Cable and fiber are the other internet options and they are both significantly faster and more reliable than satellite internet

How to Reduce Latency on Satellite Internet

If you have satellite internet you are probably already familiar with latency and have wondered “why does satellite internet have such slow speeds?” Latency is something that everyone has to deal with, not just gamers. There is latency with every action you take on a computer, it just usually isn’t noticeable because the latency is often faster than the human eye can see. If you are experiencing a lot of latency it can be very irritating and unpleasant, so here are a few ways you can reduce your latency and how to boost satellite internet speed. First, you need to learn how to do a speed test and see how fast your connection really is. You should also learn how to optimize your Windows 10 OS for online gaming and other purposes.

Make sure you are using a wired connection to connect your computer to your router. Wi-Fi is extremely convenient, but it is also a much slower way to transfer data than using a wire and it has a tendency to be unstable. This is a very simple and easy satellite internet latency fix. I didn’t believe it before I tried it either, but my satellite internet  works better now.

Ensure that you are not downloading anything in the background. This can often be overlooked when you are focused on a task or excited to hop into a game or movie, but downloading things from the internet will slow down your computer significantly unless you have very fast satellite internet upload and download speed which is often not possible for satellite internet users.

Many programs will tell you to make sure all unnecessary programs are closed while you are working with them and most people ignore them, but if you are having a latency issue then it is worth going out of your way to close any programs that connect to the internet like web-browsers.

It is also possible that your router is experiencing some kind of issue that can be resolved by simply restarting it. Some less tech-savvy people may be intimidated by this idea, but I assure you that you won't hurt anything by unplugging the power cable from the back, waiting a few minutes, and then plugging it back in. This resets the router and it may take a moment or two for it to boot back up, but no damage is caused. 

For those that don't know, the power cable is the one that connects into the wall or power strip, you do not want to unplug any of the other cables so trace it back and ensure it is the one you want before unplugging it.

This is not always an option available to all users but making sure you are connecting to a server that is closer to where you are for your games is a good idea. If you have been playing CS:GO on the same server with all of your friends for years then you might be resistant to changing which is understandable, but it is worth considering to help with your latency issues.

Is Satellite the Lowest Internet Speed Connection?

Cable internet is much faster than satellite internet. However, satellite internet speeds are fast enough for most everyday uses, but there's a catch: latency. Satellite internet isn't capable of offering lower latency compared to cable or fiber connections, as the signal travels a longer distance.

What Exactly Is Latency?

Latency is something you won't notice much if at all while playing single-player games. If you play multiplayer games, on the other hand, you will likely be familiar with latency, or ping, and you probably curse it just as much as the next gamer. To understand latency, you have to have a little understanding of how a computer works.

Essentially, an online game is hosted on a server somewhere owned and operated by someone. To play that game, your computer needs to send information back and forth with that server. The amount of time it takes for information to pass between your computer and the server determines your latency or the time it takes for your computer to ping the server which is where that term comes from.

This is most easily noticed when you are experiencing a symptom called “input lag” which is a noticeable delay between when you make an input like a character movement or an ability of some sort and when your character actually does whatever you told it to do on screen. You might hit the forward movement key on your keyboard or gamepad and your character, instead of responding when you press the button or key, won’t move for a second or more. This is extremely noticeable and disorienting, it essentially makes whatever game you are playing unplayable.

what is satellite latency

What is Typical Latency for Satellite Internet Connections?

Typically, during perfect conditions, the physics involved in satellite communications account for approximately 550 milliseconds of latency round-trip time. The longer latency is the primary difference between a standard terrestrial-based network and a geostationary satellite-based network.

How Latency Got a Bad Reputation

Many multiplayer games require a fast reaction time with precise timing and repetition of simple actions which tends to build muscle memory in players. When there is a dissonance between your muscle memory and what you are doing on-screen there is a very noticeable reduction in performance and it can be extremely frustrating.

This is how latency got such a bad reputation, it is often blamed for poor performance in online gaming, so often in fact, that you will often be mocked in an online game for mentioning lag or ping at all. It is kind of a similar situation to the legend of the “boy who cried wolf”, people have claimed lag as the reason for their poor performance so often that nobody believes them anymore.

How Does Satellite Internet Perform?

Satellite internet, or satellite dish internet, can perform sufficiently for a lot of games, but it is definitely the worst option you can get when it comes to gaming. Unfortunately, it is the only option available to many internet users and the only way to change that is to move, which isn’t always an option. Thankfully, Viasat, the most common satellite internet provider has started working to make satellite internet faster, which should help with a lot of these problems.

About Getting the Signal to the Satellite Dish

Satellite internet uses radio waves to pass information all over the globe. Satellite internet is called satellite because there is a satellite orbiting the earth that all of the information you need is passing through and to your computer. Satellite internet relies on the satellite signal being able to bounce between it and the satellite dish, which serves as a satellite signal amplifier, that is attached to the top of your home. This means satellite dish pointing is very important.

Optimizing Your Home Network in 4 Steps

There are 4 relatively simple things you can do to optimize your home network. I’ve listed them below.


Make Sure Your Dish Is Unobstructed and Aimed Correctly

A professional installer can and should do this for you when you are installing a satellite connection, but if you have to install it yourself then there are a few things to know. The satellites we use for information rotate around the earth at the same speed it does so your satellite dish network satellite position should always be in the same place. Satellites usually float above the equator of the planet, so if you are in the northern hemisphere then your satellite will have to be pointed in a southerly direction, if you are in the south then it will need to be pointed north. Your internet service provider can give you exact directions.


Make Sure Your Modem or Router Is Running the Latest Firmware

Make sure to update your satellite router firmware regularly. This won't only help with latency issues but it is also a matter of personal security. If you fail to update your router you are leaving a hole in the security of your information that is easily exploited.


If You Are on Wi-Fi, Place the Router in the Open and in the Room Where You Use the Web Most

Routers work in a similar way to your satellite internet. If there are obstructions in the way of the signal then you might experience lag and connection issues.


For the Fastest Connection and Best Streaming, Use a Wired Connection

Ethernet cable cannot be understated. A wired connection is much more efficient than wireless connection. Ethernet cable is cheap, there is very little excuse not to take a few minutes to order one online or go grab one from the local tech store and connect your multiple devices to the internet manually and it will significantly improve performance.

Other Internet Options

If you are using satellite internet it is likely because you don't have any other options. I feel your pain, I've been there. That said, if like me, you had previously used satellite internet for your whole life then you might not know that there are other options available in other places. Cable and fiber are the other internet options and they are both significantly faster and more reliable than the service that satellite internet can provide, so it is worth switching to them if you can.


1. Is latency on satellite Internet bad?

Latency is a term used in networking to describe the delay between when a packet is sent and when it is received. The lower the latency, the better. Latency on satellite Internet is high, which can be a problem for some applications.Thus, main go is to reduce latency on satellite internet.

One issue with satellite Internet is that the latency can be high. For some applications, this high latency can be a problem. For example, if you are playing a video game online and your opponent's home computer is in another state, the high latency of satellite Internet could give you an unfair disadvantage.

Another issue with satellite Internet traffic is that the bandwidth is often not very good. This means that you may not be able to watch streaming videos or download large files without experiencing problems.

2. How can I improve my satellite Internet?

There are a few things you can do to improve your satellite internet traffic and how much data you can transfer. One is to make sure that your satellite dish is properly aligned with the satellite. Another is to make sure that there are no obstructions between the satellite dish and the satellite. You can also try moving the satellite dish to a different location to get a better signal. If all of these steps fail, you may need to upgrade your service plan or purchase a new modem.

3. What is a good ping for satellite Internet?

Ping is a network diagnostic term used to measure the round-trip time for messages sent from one computer to another and back.  It is measured in milliseconds (ms) and can be used to help troubleshoot internet connection issues.  A ping of less than 150 ms is generally considered good for satellite internet connections. However, ping times will vary depending on the distance between the two computers, as well as the quality of the satellite signal.  If you are experiencing problems with your satellite internet connection, you can use ping to help troubleshoot the issue.

4.How can I make my satellite internet better for gaming?

One way you can make your satellite internet traffic better for online gaming is to try using a wired connection instead of a wireless connection. Wired connections are typically more reliable and faster than wireless connection, so they're a good option for gamers. You can also try optimizing your network settings to get the best performance possible. To do this, you'll need to know your network's bandwidth and latency values. You can find these values by running a speed test on your network. Once you do a speed test, you can enter the values into your network settings to get the best performance possible. Additionally, you can try using a gaming-specific router or firmware to improve your internet's performance for online gaming.

5. Is Satellite Internet faster than fiber optic?

It depends on your location. If you are in a rural area, then satellite internet traffic is likely faster than fiber optic. However, if you are in a city, then fiber optic is likely faster.

About Lawrence Jung

Lawrence graduated cum laude from Boston University with a B.S. in Journalism. He then started working with The New York Times for 3 years as an editor. Upon their acquisition of online review website the Wire Cutter he became exposed to the digital world of review-style articles and digital content. He was a writer for many tech review products where he developed his expertise in the electronic and PC peripheral space. He quickly got promoted to managing a writing team where he was responsible for training and managing a team of over a dozen writers. After being there for another 3.5 years, Lawrence left in late 2019 to help Dusan create VSS Monitoring, where he could help design and contribute to the site’s content and website’s architecture to develop what he wants to become THE top tech resource online.

3 thoughts on “How to Reduce Latency on Satellite Internet | Actionable Tips to Speed Up Your Connection”

  1. I have ViaSat. You noted they are working on something. What and when is it to be unveiled? I am surprised NO ONE seems to have come up with hardware solution for what I call a “”buffer capacitor” . So, you watching a video and when you hit PLAY , this device would DELAY IT BY 10 SECONDS before STARTING! Then, you always 10 seconds AHEAD! IT would absorb the signal and have it queued for Uninterrupted signal. Buffering has been a problem for a LOONNNNGgg TIME. Is NO ONE WORKING ON THIS OR or A SOFTWARE SOLUTION?? Thanks!

  2. The latency of geostationary satellite internet is at best 700mS. It is so bad that it absolutely affects streaming. In fact, my 3 MBaud DSL (40mS latency) FAR outperforms my 25 MBaud Hughesnet. Harold has it right….where is the streaming device that has a hardware buffer big enough, and the SW to just make the start of streaming just wait for whatever it takes to dampen out the NASTY effects (pause, 15 seconds of video, pause, 10 seconds of video, pause, etc…) of high latency satellite internet????

    Geostationary satellite internet is pretty worthless.


Leave a Comment