Most people in Mexico get their high-speed internet at home using a landline, furnished by Telmex or one of the cable companies. Those living in areas where landlines are not available, but where there are cell phone towers present, may opt to use a cellular home internet service. Where neither of these are available (nor reliable), you can opt for high-speed internet via satellite.
What is internet via satellite
Internet access via satellite works in the same way as internet provided via a landline or a cellphone tower; the difference is that the signal is picked up using a special satellite antenna.
The companies that offer internet satellite services provide a ‘kit’ that is straightforward to install and includes a special router and cable that connects to the satellite antenna. The router provides WiFi in your home and delivers high-speed internet access in the same way as other services.
Internet via satellite may also be used when you are moving about, for example, in your Recreational Vehicle (RV), as well as on boats.
A key difference between satellite and other services is that the monthly cost is higher, and speed and reliability might fluctuate, especially during difficult weather conditions.
Who is satellite internet suited to?
Satellite internet access is ideal when you live ‘off the telephone grid’ or in an area where cellphone coverage is poor.
Mexico’s topography inland is mountainous and rugged in places; if you choose to live in a rural or semi-rural area of Mexico, telephone lines might not be readily available (or speeds offered might be slow), and cell phone coverage might be patchy. In these situations, a satellite antenna can deliver high-speed internet —and all related services, like phone calls and video conferencing— to your rural home in Mexico.
If you live on boat in Mexico, or you have a RV, satellite internet can also provide you with a high-speed internet solution.
Satellite internet may also be used as a ‘backup’ in case other internet services fail, in cases where it’s essential that you remain online.
Cost-benefit of satellite service vs other options
Internet via satellite is the most expensive internet access service, but prices for hardware and subscriptions have been falling in recent times, making the monthly fees more affordable, and initial set-up costs less expensive.
- If a landline is available in your area, this will provide the most reliable high-speed internet at the lowest monthly cost, usually with a low or no setup fee, offering the highest speeds with no limits on data transfer.
- If landlines are not available where your home is situated (or the lines offered can only deliver slow internet speeds) but there is good cell phone coverage, you can opt for home WiFi service delivered by cell phone companies. The monthly fees for this service are about the same as a landline package, but speeds and data transfer allowances are limited.
- If your home is not well served by a landline or the cell phone coverage is poor, or if you want a backup to your landline service, you can opt for a satellite internet service. You will need to spend some money buying the special hardware, and monthly fees higher than what you will pay for a landline or cellphone internet coverage.
How can I get satellite internet service in Mexico
There are three companies in Mexico offering internet services via satellite. The newest is Starlink, who was granted a license to operate in Mexico in the summer of 2021. You can learn more about the services and compare package prices on their respective websites:
- Starlink: The global satellite internet system being rolled out by Elon Musk. The company has recently halved the monthly fee, bringing the cost into line with competitors. Starlink ships the dish to your home for self-installation; the dish auto-configures itself and does not require a technician to visit. Starlink’s satellites are much closer to Earth, making the service more reliable, especially during wind and rain storms.
- HughesNet Mexico: An established provider of high-speed internet services with packages for home and businesses. A technician visits your home to install the dish. They offer a 30-day contract cancellation guarantee in the case that the service doesn’t work well in your area, but you must cancel in this time frame or keep the year-long contract.
- ViaSat Mexico: Offers high-speed internet services for home and businesses. A technician visits your home to install the dish.
Learn more about staying in touch when you’re in Mexico
Mexperience offers articles, guides, and local knowledge to help you stay in touch while you are visiting or living in Mexico: