How Do I Choose the Best Satellite Phone with Internet?

Helen Akers

Choosing the best satellite phone with Internet is similar to choosing a cell phone. The decision is highly influenced by phone capabilities, coverage, costs, features, and design. Overall value is one of the main driving factors behind purchasing or renting a satellite phone featuring Internet access. Finding the best phone is largely determined by a good match between the consumer's needs and what the service offers.

Consumers should consider text messaging capabilities and associated charges when purchasing any mobile phone.
Consumers should consider text messaging capabilities and associated charges when purchasing any mobile phone.

One of the most important considerations when choosing a satellite phone with Internet is coverage. Some phones and service providers provide coverage in specific countries while others do not. For those who need coverage while traveling in remote areas, such as the open ocean, there are some providers that have adequate service in traditionally spotty areas. Along with network coverage, it is also vital to check to see if the service provider gives subscribers roaming and long distance options.

A satellite phone can use satellite networks to send and receive data.
A satellite phone can use satellite networks to send and receive data.

Since incremental roaming and long distance charges are some of the highest costs associated with satellite phone with Internet service, an individual may want to see if these are included in the monthly costs. It is a good idea to figure out estimated usages for not only voice calling, but text messaging and data. Different service providers may offer various incremental and package rates on voice and data usage. In addition, it is good to compare monthly service rate charges with corresponding features and services.

Many satellite phone with Internet service providers rent the phones rather than sell them. Rental charges may be incurred by the day or month. Since cost is one of the major driving factors behind choosing a utility service, it might be helpful to have a realistic budget figure in mind. It's a good idea to figure out how the phone will be used and when.

For example, some users may find it beneficial to pay a higher monthly charge for a phone and service provider that caters to specific geographic regions. Others may need one of these phones while they are out on the water or traveling in remote areas. Price may become less of a concern if coverage in these types of areas is not usually reliable. In addition, some may need satellite phone service on a long-term basis, while others may only need it for a month or for a special occasion.

Internet capabilities and charges are another important consideration. If an individual anticipates using the data features of the phone heavily, a lower unit charge may be more appropriate. Text messaging capabilities and associated charges are another feature to consider. Some providers may charge for both outgoing and incoming messages, while others may just charge for outgoing.

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Discussion Comments


Technology is moving forward so fast I cannot keep up. Actually, I stopped trying to keep up quite a few years ago. I wonder how long we have to wait before satellite phones with Internet make home computers and laptops all but extinct. Sometimes I feel a bit self conscious when I pull out my old phone and everyone around me is busy operating their chosen versions of the latest smart phones.


I don't recommend spending a lot more money for a phone with Internet that will get you the satellite coverage on ships or other really remote areas. These satellite phones may work better than some of the other ones designed to be operated in a limited area, but they don't always work.

You spend all that extra money and then there is still only a 50-50 chance you will be able to actually operate your phone on that cruise or wherever you are.


A word to the wise, pay close attention to what this article says about roaming charges on a satellite phone with Internet. These charges can run up a very costly bill that you were not expecting. You need to be sure to read all of the contract, including the fine print before you sign anything and commit yourself to a couple of years with a carrier.

I have friends who have satellite phones they are afraid to use because they have received some very large bills. What good is the phone when you are afraid to use it?

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