Most people who have an internet connection tend to go for land-based services like cable or DSL. But what if you live in the country where those types of internet aren’t available? The solution for most living in rural areas is to seek out a satellite internet connection.

But this type of internet requires a little bit of understanding about some of the terms used, especially if you’re planning to install the dish and receiver yourself. Most of the time, however, it is easier and safer to contact the satellite company you’re with and tell them that you wish to have your internet connection installed by one of their professionals.

So how does satellite bring you internet? When you go to a web page, a signal is sent from your computer to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. This kind of orbit occurs when a satellite’s period of rotation matches the earth’s (24 hours) and the satellite always stays in the same spot over the earth.

Once a signal is received, the satellite contacts the provider for the site you’ve requested. Then, the web site information travels backward along the path mentioned above, to the satellite, to your receiver, and then to your computer. Although the signal travels thousands of miles, there is only a fraction of a second delay (also known as latency) between the time you request the information and the time it’s received on your computer.

One thing to consider is whether the dish offered by a company will work best for your area. It’s a common misconception that the parabolic portion – the curved part of the dish – is the most important. But the truth is that the curve in any dish is only the assistant to the LNB – the low noise block down converters – that are located in the ‘horn’ that points to the front of the dish.

Because each LNB can only be tuned to one satellite, it’s important that the dish you choose will be able to pick up enough converters to receive the channels you want. You can usually find this information in the FAQ section of a provider’s web site or by calling them to ask.

If you are installing your dish yourself, you will need to aim it to where the satellites are orbiting. Most satellites orbit above the earth’s equator, which means that if you live to the north, you will need to aim your satellite to the south, and vice-versa.

When choosing the best site for your dish installation, keep in mind that it will need to be in a location where snow or debris can be easily cleared from the dish if need be in order to prevent a blockage of your signal. You will also need to ensure that there are no objects such as trees or wires in the way of the antenna, as this can mess with your signal as well.

Azimuth readings are important to take if you want to determine where the satellite is orbiting, as you will have to align your dish to match the angle of the satellite. To take an azimuth reading, simply connect your dish to your receiver and then to your TV. Get a friend to monitor the signal meter screen (which will display on your TV) while you adjust your dish outside.

While adjusting your dish, keep in mind that the goal is to move it in a slow and sweeping left-to-right fashion. Once the signal meter reaches a measurement of 70 to 80, you should be set.

Getting a connection from satellite internet providers is as easy as going online and searching for them. But using a comparison site that shows you more than one company on the same page makes it much easier to compare prices and speeds.