In the below sections you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding commercial and technical features of Astra Connect, where and how to subscribe to the service and the installation of the equipment.
What is satellite broadband?
Satellite broadband is a broadband internet connection made via communications satellites instead of a telephone landline or other terrestrial means. Our Astra Connect service provides high-speed, always-on, bi-directional broadband internet via satellite, which is available for a flat fee to anyone, anywhere.
What is the benefit of the bi-directional connection?
Because both the download and upload of data between the internet and your computer is via satellite, our Astra Connect platform does not use, or require, any form of ground-based connection (eg telephone landline).
Who can use satellite broadband?
Our Astra Connect internet connection is available anywhere within the footprint of our satellites, and is sold through local service providers in countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Which service packages are available?
As a subscriber to Astra Connect you can choose from a broad variety of service packages tailored specifically to your internet requirements with download speeds up to 20 Mbit/s and upload speeds up to 2 Mbit/s, volume free and volume limited packages giving you the flexibility you need.
For availability of particular offerings in your country and pricing of the different connection packages, please refer to your local Astra Connect service provider.
Are there any limits to my use of satellite broadband?
Your use of our Astra Connect platform may be limited by your choice of service package. If you have booked a limited volume package, you will not be able to browse the internet anymore after exceeding the monthly maximum download volume (but you will be redirected to a web page where you can buy additional volume if you wish). If you subscribe to an unlimited volume package, downloading an excessive amount of data within a month may instigate the “Fair Use Policy” to temporarily limit the speed of your connection. Astra Connect is an always-on service and so your computer can remain connected to the internet at all times, with no restriction to the time spent connected.
What is the “Fair Use Policy”?
We operate a Fair Use Policy to prevent abuse of the Astra Connect bandwidth which, for users who have downloaded an excessive volume of data in the course of one month’s use, can temporarily limit the connection speed – only for that month and during periods of heavy overall use of the network.
Is my satellite internet connection used differently to an ADSL connection?
In operation, your satellite internet connection by Astra Connect appears to your computer, and to you, just like any other broadband internet connection, and you can use the same software for website browsing, email, etc, as does any other internet user.
Can I use my satellite broadband connection to make telephone calls?
You can make low cost “VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)” telephone calls using your Astra Connect satellite internet connection, and this option may be purchased from your service provider (if available in its offering).
Can I receive satellite TV with Astra Connect?
With the optional add-on TV pack of a multifeed clamp and quad LNB, and a standard satellite TV set-top box, you can use your Astra Connect dish to receive and watch hundreds of satellite TV and radio channels, from the ASTRA 19.2°E or the ASTRA 28.2°E satellites, as well as access the internet.
Does Astra Connect offer “triple play”?
Triple play is the provision of internet access, TV and telephone in a single service so, yes, Astra Connect can provide triple play.
Where do I get Astra Connect?
You can purchase Astra Connect from a local service provider, who will be able to provide advice, installation, and after sales service best suited to your use of the system.
How much does satellite broadband cost?
Your local service provider will set his own pricing scheme for your Astra Connect service, typically comprising an a cost of the equipment pack and a flat fee monthly subscription.
How does the cost of Astra Connect satellite broadband compare with ADSL broadband?
Astra Connect is designed for use where other connections to the internet are not available and it presents a low-cost alternative to the provision of landline services where they were not previously available.
What equipment do I need to use Astra Connect service?
Astra Connect requires only a satellite dish fitted with the two-way iLNB, and an IP modem connected to your computer.
I have a satellite dish – can this be used for the internet connection via Astra Connect?
Astra Connect uses innovative and advanced performance optimization technologies over satellite that require a certain size and quality of the dish. To ensure reliable reception of the satellite signal for your broadband connection, you should use the dish supplied in our Astra Connect equipment pack. However, you may be able to use the Astra Connect dish to receive your satellite TV signals instead of your existing antenna.
Can I install the dish myself?
We have specially designed the Astra Connect equipment to be easily installed by the user, although your local service provider can install the equipment for you, if you prefer.
What cables or other equipment do I need?
All the cables and connectors you will need are supplied in our equipment pack. All you need to provide is a wall or ground mount for the dish (depending on your circumstances) and some basic tools for the installation (eg screwdriver, spanners, etc).
How can I accurately point the Astra Connect dish?
Full step-by-step instructions are provided with our Astra Connect equipment pack and the dish incorporates unique fine adjustments for accurately aligning it on the satellite. No specialist tools are required as our dedicated “Point&Play” tool is also supplied to clearly indicate when the dish is correctly pointed on the right satellite.
Which satellite does Astra Connect use?
Our ASTRA satellites at 23.5°E and 28.2°E are used for both downloading and uploading data for Astra Connect solutions.
What sort of computer do I need to access satellite broadband?
Astra Connect requires no extra software to be loaded on your computer and can operate with PC (Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7) and Apple Macintosh (OS X) computers with Ethernet support.
Can I use satellite broadband with a network?
You can connect your Astra Connect modem with an Ethernet cable either to an individual computer or to a network router/switch to link to a home network or local area network. The connection from the router to your network computers can be cabled or wireless.
How far from the computer can the modem and dish be?
Our Astra Connect equipment pack includes 30m of dual coax cable to connect the dish and IP modem. If this length must be exceeded, you should consult your service provider for advice. To connect the IP modem to your computer, an Ethernet cable of approximately 2.0m is supplied. You can substitute a longer cable if required.
Does satellite broadband suffer from delay or “latency”?
All internet connections suffer from some latency and because a satellite connection requires the signal to travel from the ground to the satellite and back again, this imposes a “satellite latency” of approximately half a second. However, we employ a variety of means to mitigate the effects of this delay, so it does not adversely affect normal use of the Astra Connect connection.
Must the Astra Connect equipment be powered all the time?
The Astra Connect modem should be powered whenever the connection is in use. The IP modem takes a few minutes to initialise when switched on and so it is preferable to keep it powered unless the connection is unused for an extended period. The Astra Connect equipment has a power consumption of less than 30W in use.