The best choice - 4G or satellite broadband?

If you live in an area where landline broadband is painfully slow, you're going to need an alternative broadband solution to get a good internet connection.

There are two options for those with poor speeds to consider - 4G broadband or satellite broadband. So what's the difference and which is best?

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The bottom line? Be sure to
try out 4G broadband first

4G broadband is by far the best and most cost-effective way to provide fast and reliable internet connections to the hundreds of thousands of UK homes and businesses in locations where landline broadband just doesn't work well enough.

There are many good reasons for this which we've detailed below - but to cut straight to the chase, the three most important things about 4G broadband are:-

You can get 4G broadband in just a few days, no matter where you are

It doesn't cost an arm and a leg to get life-changingly better connectivity

With our Money Back Guarantee, there's no risk in seeing what we can do

... so try 4G broadband first

Get set up from just £99 and then from only £31.99 per month

Our 4G Broadband Plans

Satellite broadband and why it should be seen
as a last resort

Satellite broadband has one major advantage - it's available anywhere in the UK. However, because it tends to be slower and costlier than other types of alternate broadband, it is seen as a last resort, once all other options have been tried. Here's how it works. Tell me more...

What about 4G broadband? How does that work?

4G broadband is quite rightfully seen as the best alternative broadband service and it's available right now to around 99% of all UK properties. It's very cost-effective and really quick to get set up - in fact you could be up and running with 4G broadband in a matter of days. Tell me more...

Satellite or 4G? The pros and cons

Click on any of the topics below to find out more about the
differences between satellite broadband and 4G broadband.


The best thing about satellite broadband is that it's available literally anywhere there's a clear view to the open sky. But nowadays 4G broadband isn't far behind, with roughly 99% of all UK homes and businesses being covered.

Up-front Costs

The equipment needed to receive satellite broadband is more complex and therefore more costly. As of July 2023, the cost of getting set up on Starlink's satellite broadband service is £449 inc VAT. Getting started with 4G broadband can cost as little as £99 inc VAT if you're in a strong 4G signal area, or £299 inc VAT if you're in a location with weaker coverage and need to have an outdoor 4G antenna fitted.

Monthly Costs

The monthly costs of satellite broadband also tend to be much pricier. Again looking at Starlink's satellite broadband service, monthly costs as of July 2023 are £75 inc VAT for a "standard" service, or £180 inc VAT for a "priority" service (more about this below). In contrast. 4G broadband costs just £31.99 inc VAT per month.

Priority Data

Monthly satellite broadband packages tend to feature something called "priority data". This is data that is sent to you at full speed - and it's usually only a small amount per month (between 75 and 150GB). Once you've got through this, the rest of your month's data will be transmitted to you much more slowly.

Starlink does things differently with its satellite broadband. As of July 2023, its standard service costing £75 inc VAT per month includes no priority data at all. If you want full-speed data, you'll need to pay an eye-watering £180 inc VAT per month.

Monthly 4G broadband packages offer much more full-speed data every month - typically 650GB before the networks will even consider slowing a connection down. As the typical household's monthly data usage is around 300GB, there's plenty of headroom.

Service Stability

Satellite broadband relies upon a wireless connection to a satellite that is at least 550km away (though older satellites are a massive 36,000km up in space). This means that a satellite-based connection is far more likely to be adversely affected by factors such as poor weather, such as heavy rain, high winds or snow. This huge distance that a satellite broadband connection has to cover means that it is not good for real-time applications such as onling gaming or video calling.

In contrast, 4G broadband is delivered via mobile phone masts that are typically no more than 8km away, so your service will be much more robust and weather conditions would have to be remarkably severe to impair performance.

Property Aesthetics

This may well be important to you if you're in a rural setting.

If there's strong 4G signal where you are, all you need to receive 4G broadband is a standard sized 4G WiFi router that sits inside your property. And even if you're in a weaker 4G coverage area, the outdoor 4G antenna that may need to be fitted to the outside of your property is small and unobtrusive - comparable in size to a shoebox.

A good quality 4G antenna really does make a world of difference - it latches onto and amplifies the best available 4G signal before piping it down to the 4G router installed inside a property, allowing fast and stable 4G broadband to be provided at locations where smartphones report available 4G signals as being very poor.

Find out more about 4G routers and outdoor 4G antennas here.

Things are very different with satellite broadband. For that, you'll need a large 20 to 30 inch round metal dish fitted to the outside of your property. This is much larger than a Sky TV satellite dish and is also solid rather than mesh, so it will be very conspicuous.

Don't just take our word for it - here's what our customers think