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How will weather affect my Viasat Internet service?



Severe weather could affect your Viasat Internet service, but such outages are rare and short-lived.

Cloud cover and light snow or rain shouldn't interrupt your Viasat Internet service connection, but a very severe thundershower or heavy snowstorm may cause a temporary connection loss.  If you do lose connectivity, your internet service will come back online on its own, without any action on your part. Typically, these outages don't last more than 20 minutes, even if it continues to rain or snow for longer than that. 

If you don't lose connectivity during severe weather, you may find your service runs slower during that time. 

On rare occasions, your service may have a “weather outage” under clear skies. This is because your service is also associated with a large hub — or gateway — that is typically located far from your house. This gateway ground station also connects to the satellite and has a large antenna. 

The diagram below shows how the ground station/gateway transmits a signal to the satellite and back to your home.
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Although it's rare for a large gateway antenna to lose connectivity due to weather, it is possible. If this happened, the outage would likely be brief.

At the ground level, satellite service relies on dishes and antennas positioned on top or the side of a building. That means the equipment is open not only to satellite signals, but all the unpredictable forces of Mother Nature.

The good news? Our equipment is built to withstand exposure to the elements. Snow, ice and/or rain have minimal impact on our equipment’s performance.

Wind is also unlikely to diminish performance or damage our equipment. The satellite antenna, also known as the dish, is designed to withstand wind speeds up to 60 miles an hour, or 300 pounds of pressure. To better illustrate what that means, consider that wind speeds during tropical storms range from about 40 to 73 mph, and weather experts consider winds in excess of 50 mph strong enough to cause ground-level damage. Hurricane-force winds, by comparison, start at about 74 mph.

Likewise, the Transmit Receive Integrated Assembly (TRIA), located on the bottom of your satellite dish’s arm, is engineered to withstand adverse weather. It actually pushes more power through the thickness of clouds or atmosphere to improve online performance in such conditions.

Our equipment’s strength is based in large part on the alignment of the satellite antennas. Our precise positioning maximizes the antenna’s sensitivity and signal power.

We also put it through extensive testing. Before it’s approved for use, our equipment is installed on simulated building structure roofs, walls and ground poles. Then we subject it to wind load testing, with a wind machine that produces gusts up to 120 mph and a laser mounted to the TRIA to measure the effects.

We also measure signal integrity, which includes testing a number of tests to ensure customers stay online without signal disruption

Despite all our in-house testing, reception quality can sometimes be affected by the accumulation of snow and ice during severe winter storms. If you notice performance diminish, and the antenna is easily accessible, you can wipe off the build-up to ensure peak performance.  Just take care not to mis-align the antenna while doing so.

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