The Best Satellite Internet Free Providers

The Best Satellite Internet Free Providers
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Actual speeds may be different and can't be promised. *The prices listed for Viasat are only for the first three months. After that, the prices go up to $50–$200/mo. During the public beta, Starlink was only available in a small area.

Viasat (formerly Exede) and HughesNet bring satellite internet to most small towns and rural areas in the US at speeds that are good for broadband. Both providers have limits on how much data you can use, but they can be used in places where cable, fiber, and even phone lines don't reach. Late in 2020, Starlink will join the fight, and over the next year, its coverage will grow slowly. At the moment, both Viasat and HughesNet offer services all over the United States, so you can choose between the two no matter where you live.

HughesNet and Viasat both have plans for satellite internet that are unlimited. But they should remember that you can only use a certain amount of full-speed data each month. Once you reach your "data threshold" for the month, you can keep using data (unlimited), but your download speeds will slow to 3 Mbps or less.

The best satellite internet Free providers


How does Starlink's satellite internet compare to other plans?

Starlink gives people in rural areas good connection speeds, unlimited data, and very low latency. Even though the cost to set up Starlink is high ($499 for the router and satellite dish), the $99 price per month for satellite service with unlimited data is reasonable.

SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet can be used in some places. But it is still in the beta testing phase, so the company has told customers that there may be breaks in service. At the moment, Starlink only works for people who live in North America between 45 and 53 degrees north latitude. This is roughly the line from the border between Wyoming and Montana to Edmonton, Alberta.

The best places to get free internet by satellite

When will OneWeb and Project Kuiper be ready?

In the next few years, a few new companies are going to start offering satellite internet service to homes. Amazon's Project Kuiper is also building a group of satellites to connect to the internet. Customers probably won't be able to join Amazon Internet for a few years, though.

OneWeb was recently bought by Bharti Global and the British Government. The company has said that it will start launching satellites again as soon as December 2020, and it may be able to provide limited service to the Arctic by the end of 2021. OneWeb thinks that it will be able to cover the whole world by 2022.

Summary of satellite internet service providers

Viasat: Available nationwide

HughesNet: Available all over the country

Better Than Nothing, the beta for Starlink, will come out in November 2022.

OneWeb is set to start up in 2022. (possibly sooner in Arctic regions)

Project Kuiper: Due before or by 2026 (based on the deadline set by FCC)

Discontinued satellite ISPs

dishNet is no longer available, but you can bundle DISH with internet from other companies.

EarthLink stopped offering satellite internet, but they now offer HughesNet internet.

Exede's name was changed to Viasat.

Exede bought WildBlue in 2009. (now Viasat)

When I was younger, there were more satellite options. But it's expensive to keep up with how satellite technology changes, so only Viasat and HughesNet stayed in the game. Because of this, a lot of satellite internet service providers changed their services or moved them to a different places. Some people are moving forward with other types of connections, like DISH Network, which is building a 5G cellular network.

So, which service should you get from a satellite?

Here are a few of the most important things to know about the two most popular satellite Internet providers. Check out our reviews of Viasat vs. HughesNet and Starlink for a more in-depth comparison.

Why go with Viasat?

Internet speed

The speed of the Viasat Internet is the main reason to get it. In many places, Viasat has high speeds of up to 100 Mbps, which is four times faster than HughesNet's top speed. With that speed, you can do things like stream movies in HD or let more than one person use your connection at the same time.

Installation is free

Viasat gives customers who qualify for free installation, a low monthly equipment leasing fee of just $9.99, and a lot of ways to get in touch with customer service if you have any problems. Customers must have a credit check and get a high score to get free installation. Viasat will charge $99.99 for installation if a customer's credit score isn't high enough to qualify for free installation.

a lot of options

There are different Viasat plans with different internet speeds, prices, and data caps, which Viasat calls "data thresholds" because you won't lose service if you hit the limit.

If you reach the limit before the end of the month, Viasat will put your data on the network lower on the list of priorities. That means that for the rest of the month, your connection will be much slower. So, choose a plan with enough priority data to last you the whole month.

Get Viasat if you want the fastest satellite internet service with low prices and free setup.

Why Should I Pick HughesNet?

Best value

HughesNet is the best satellite internet deal because it gives you the most speed for the least amount of money. HughesNet has one package that costs less than Viasat. But that package's download speed is only 12 Mbps, which is slower than the FCC's standard for broadband. If you only look at satellite plans that meet the broadband standard, HughesNet could save you more than $10 per month.

Data bonus zone

HughesNet's monthly data limits range from 10 GB to 50 GB. If you go over your data limit, your service will still work, but it will be much slower for the rest of the month. So instead of having a normal download speed of 25 Mbps, your connection will be slowed down to 1 to 3 Mbps. This may make it hard for you to stream video content without interruptions. Netflix recommends a minimum speed of 1.5 Mbps, but for standard definition streaming, they say you need at least 3 Mbps. If you need more data, you can buy it, or you can use the Bonus Zone to save data. The Bonus Zone is between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. when it's not as busy. and 8:00 a.m. Each plan comes with 50 GB of Bonus Zone data per month.

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When you rent, installation is free.

If you lease your gateway ($9.99 per month for the first year and $14.99 per month after that), HughesNet will install it for free. Still, if you buy your gateway, installation can cost up to $199.00. When you add that to the cost of buying the gateway, it's easy to see why we suggest renting the equipment instead of buying it.

HughesNet is your best bet for the best price on satellite broadband internet.

Why should I pick Starlink?

Unlimited data

So far, the most interesting thing about Starlink is that it does not have any data limits. All other satellite companies put a limit on how much high-speed data you can use each month (throttling speeds after a data allotment is reached to prevent overuse).

Speedy Internet and low lag

Starlink has fast satellite internet speeds of 50 to 150 Mbps and very low latency (or delay) of less than 40 milliseconds. The company says that as more satellites are launched, speeds will go up and latency will stay low.

Simplicity

Starlink doesn't have a lot of complicated plans with different speeds and amounts of data. Instead, they have one simple plan with unlimited data.

If you have $499 to spend on equipment and want fast satellite internet with unlimited data, you should get Starlink.

Satellite internet has some pros and some cons.

Pros 

Satellite internet can be found almost everywhere in the US. It's a great solution for rural areas because of this.

Speed: Satellite internet is a lot faster than dial-up, and you can even stream videos online with it. Some plans are just as fast as DSL or cable.

Flexibility: Satellite internet may not be good for niche activities like high-speed gaming, but it works well for most day-to-day tasks like browsing, sending and checking emails, and even occasional video streaming (just watch that data cap).

Cons 

Data allowances: Satellite internet plans come with a limit on how much data you can download or upload at the speeds you pay for. Once you've used up that amount of data, your internet speed will slow down a lot.

Latency: It takes a few seconds to send information to space and back. This makes it hard to play fast-paced online games.

Cost: On average, satellite internet costs $100 more per month than other types of internet. There are some cheap satellite plans, but they only give you a small amount of data and won't work for most homes.

Have you heard?

Most things, like natural disasters, pandemics, and other events, don't affect satellite internet service. If a storm or earthquake knocked over a broadcasting tower, that would be the only exception.

In general, satellite internet is good at keeping people connected to work, school, friends, family, news, and entertainment, no matter what is going on. Also, if spending 24 hours a day with your family is too much, you can use your satellite connection to get away for an hour or two. Play Scrabble, watch videos on YouTube to learn how to build a bench or take an online yoga class.

Satellite Internet vs. other ways to get online

Satellite internet can't quite keep up with other options for rural internet, like DSL, cable, and sometimes even 4G LTE home internet, because it has small data limits and latency problems. Still, that doesn't mean it's much worse than them in every way.

We recommend satellite internet if you live in a rural area and can't get other kinds of internet service. Still, if you can get service through cable, DSL, 4G LTE home internet, or fixed-wireless internet, try those first.

DSL and cable usually don't have limits on how much data you can use, and they may be faster than satellite internet. Most of the time, the prices for fixed-wireless internet are better for the speeds you get.

Type of Internet; Maximum download speed; Maximum upload speed; Availability in the U.S.

Satellite 100 Mbps 3 Mbps 99 percent

DSL 100 Mbps 30 Mbps 87 percent

Cable 2,000 Mbps 1,000 Mbps 88 percent

100 Mbps fixed wireless 3 Mbps 45 percent

25–60 Mbps LTE home internet 3 Mbps N/A

Data is an estimate based on plans that are currently available from well-known providers and are subject to change. According to FCC Fixed Broadband Deployment, these are the percentages of availability.

Let's look at what a 25 Mbps plan from each type of provider might look like so we can compare prices more accurately. This speed is good for a home with 2–4 people who want to stream in Ultra HD. It can be used to compare speeds.

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Type of Internet Download speed Price at first

Satellite 25 Mbps $49.99–$150.00/mo.

DSL 25 Mbps $45.00–$50.00/mo.

Cable 25 Mbps $24.99–$44.99/mo.

Fixed wireless 25 Mbps: $49.99 to $79.99/mo.

LTE internet at home with 25 Mbps costs $40–$60 per month.

You may have noticed that there is a much wider range of prices for satellite internet than for DSL and cable. HughesNet is different because all of its plans are 25 Mbps, but the price depends on how much data you can use. DSL and cable plans, on the other hand, are priced by speed.

Even though satellite internet has relatively high prices and low data limits, it can keep up with the competition because it is available in many places.

Satellite internet is a great choice for rural areas that can't get cable internet.

Get DSL, LTE home internet (through a cell phone data plan), fixed-wireless, fiber, or cable internet.

Is there a way for rural areas to get free or cheap internet from the government?

Yes, there are government programs that help low-income and/or rural Americans get cheap internet at home.

The Lifeline Support for Affordable Communications helps low-income people all over the country by giving them a $9.25 monthly discount on internet service if they qualify.

In response to the spread of the coronavirus, the FCC has changed the rules of the Lifeline program so that more Americans can get home internet.

Realizing that many rural Americans are too rich for Lifeline but can't afford to install hundreds of miles of fiber or cable infrastructure to connect them to existing networks, the FCC helps bring internet service to rural areas through several government programs.

Some of these programs to end the digital divide include the Connect America Fund and the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which give direct funding to expand broadband in rural areas. The FCC has programs to help close the digital divide. Some of these programs collect data that shows how big the digital divide is and where money could do the most good.

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Best satellite internet plans for rural areas

Viasat Unlimited Platinum 100 is the best plan.

Price: $150/mo.

Up to 100 Mbps for downloading

150 GB is the limit for data.

View plan: Viasat Unlimited Bronze 12 is the best for basic needs.

Price: $50/mo.

Speed of download: 12 Mbps

Data cap: 35 GB

View plan

Real speeds may be different and can't be guaranteed.

Provider Data Speeds of Download Price Get service.

Viasat 10–150 GB* 12–100 Mbps $30.00–$150.00/mo. View plans

View plans for HughesNet 10–50 GB/25 Mbps for $49.99–$149.99/mo.

What is satellite internet and how does it work?

Satellite internet works even in rural areas that are hard to reach because it uses a satellite in space, a satellite dish at your home, and the provider's Network Opera tion Center (NOC). Because it uses more advanced technology, satellite internet is much faster than dial-up internet.

The geostationary satellite orbit is where the satellites for Viasat and HughesNet are. By turning at the same speed as the Earth, they can stay in the same spot and give customers in the US a satellite internet connection. Satellites can send and receive signals through "spot beams" that cover most of the US while they are over the equator. You can get satellite internet service as long as you are in one of these beams and other people aren't using up all the data capacity.

Viasat and HughesNet are the two main options for satellite internet. Either one can set you up with a small satellite dish aimed at its satellite in the southern sky and a modem/router for your home. Starlink, which is made by SpaceX, will be a high-speed satellite provider that will start offering service to parts of the northern US and Canada by the end of 2020. In 2021, Starlink will expand its service area.

Check out "How Does Satellite Internet Work?" to learn more about how satellite internet works.

How satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO) will change how satellite internet works

Starlink is a new satellite provider that some parts of the US and Canada will be able to use by November 2020. SpaceX's Starlink is the leading candidate for the next generation of satellite internet service. By putting satellites into low-Earth orbit, Starlink will be able to offer faster internet speeds and less lag than what is possible now with satellite internet (LEO). Because data doesn't have to travel as far with LEO satellites, internet speeds are much faster than with traditional satellite systems.

Starlink is not the only company trying to use an LEO satellite system to deliver fast internet. OneWeb is sending out satellites to reach similar goals, but the company has had trouble getting money, which has slowed it down. OneWeb's current plans call for it to serve the aviation, maritime, and government industries instead of people who live in areas with few people. Amazon is helping Project Kuiper build a satellite network that will provide fast internet service. But it's still not clear if Project Kuiper will let people in their homes connected to the internet.

Satellite internet FAQ

What do I need to make satellite internet work?

To use satellite internet, you need a computer, tablet, or game console that can connect to the internet, a modem/router, and a satellite dish. You probably already have devices at home that can connect to the internet, and your satellite internet service provider can set you up with a modem/router and a satellite dish.

What kinds of modems and routers can be used with satellite Internet?

HughesNet and Viasat both have their modems because there are no industry standards for satellite internet modems. There are also modem/router bundles, but you can also buy a separate router, like the NETGEAR Nighthawk. Just about any modern router will work.

How fast is the internet through a satellite?

Depending on the plan you choose, the download speeds for Viasat satellite internet range from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps. The download speed for all HughesNet plans is 25 Mbps. But keep in mind that those are just the speeds that are advertised. Your actual speeds may be slower than what you expect. During the public beta test, speeds ranged from 50 to 150 Mbps, which is faster than average.

Is satellite internet fast?

Satellite internet is not the fastest way to connect to the internet. It can be faster than dial-up and some DSL services, though. Still, it's fast enough for most online activities, like email, streaming, social media , and video conferencing.

Most of the time, satellite internet is slower than cable or fiber internet. Perhaps most importantly, satellite service usually caps the amount of full-speed data you can get each month, which slows down speeds and causes throttling.

When will Starlink's internet through satellite be ready?

Starlink is now available to people who live in a narrow strip of North America between 45 and 53 degrees north. This is where the public beta test is happening. So, the southern edge of the current coverage area is the border between Wyoming and Montana, and the northern edge is Edmonton, Alberta. As they build out their satellite system, the Starlink coverage map will get bigger.

On Starlink's website, you can sign up to be notified when Starlink Internet becomes available in your area.

Who has the satellite internet that is the fastest?

Viasat has download speeds of up to 100 Mbps in many places. Beta testers of Starlink say that the new LEO service has slightly faster speeds, with download speeds of up to 150 Mbps. The Starlink constellation is not yet fully built out, so speeds vary a lot. Starlink says that its speeds will be between 50 and 150 Mbps.

How fast is satellite internet compared to cable internet?

Cable internet is faster than satellite internet. The fastest speed you can get with satellite is 150 Mbps, but you can get up to 1,000 Mbps with cable.

In some places, some satellite internet plans offer download speeds that are technically as fast as cable internet. But because satellite internet has a higher latency, it probably wouldn't seem faster. You don't know what latency means, do you? Here, we explain.

Is satellite internet good enough for streaming (like Netflix)?

Streaming is possible with satellite internet. But before you do, there are many things to think about, especially data caps. With satellite internet, you choose a data plan, which affects how well you can stream video.

Since streaming can be hard on satellite, we wrote two guides to help you get the most out of your internet connection: Your Guide to Streaming with Satellite Internet and How to Stop Buffering When Streaming with Satellite Internet.

Should I get internet through a satellite or a wired connection?

If you have to choose between satellite internet and fixed-wireless internet, fixed wireless may give you more data for your money. Many fixed-wireless plans have higher data limits or even unlimited data, and they are usually cheaper than satellite internet services. Most data plans for satellite internet are less generous (10 GB to 150 GB per month). Check out the best fixed-wireless providers for rural areas if you want to learn more about fixed-wireless internet.

How do I know if the FCC Lifeline program will help pay for my broadband internet service?

Through the Lifeline program, you can save $9.25 a month on internet service from Viasat, HughesNet, or any of dozens of other companies. You might be able to get more services if you live on Tribal Lands.

How do I connect to the internet on tribal land?

On tribal lands, you can get internet through satellite, DSL, dial-up (which uses phone lines and isn't always available), or wireless (which is broadcasted using cell phone towers and will work if you have good mobile service in your home). On Tribal Lands, it is often not possible to get cable internet from companies like Xfinity or fiber internet from AT&T, Google Fiber, or Frontier Fios.

There aren't enough high-speed internet services in many tribal lands. NPR said that only half of the people who lived on tribal lands could get high-speed internet. Many tribal lands can get high-speed internet access with the help of newer satellites from companies like Starlink. The Starlink internet service was first used by the Hoh tribe in Washington State.

Satellite communication needs a clear view of the sky, so people who live in places with a lot of trees or narrow canyons (where they can't see the sky) may not be able to get satellite internet.

Check out the FCC's Internet Assistance Programs for Tribal Lands to learn more about how to get internet service in your area or at your home. The FCC offers Enhanced Lifeline Benefits for Tribal Lands because it knows that people in rural areas are more likely not to have internet access.

satellite internet Free

How do I get on the internet quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Find out which providers are in your area before you try to connect to the internet quickly. If your options are limited or too expensive, you could use the hotspot on your mobile phone or get 4G LTE home internet service from Verizon, T-Mobile, MobilSat, Ladybug Wireless, UbiFi, Wahoo Internet, and others.

How can I get internet if I don't qualify for government-subsidized internet and can't afford broadband because I've been laid off or something else?

Even if your income is usually too high, you might be able to get help from the government program Lifeline. During the coronavirus pandemic, some Lifeline program rules were changed to make it easier for people to get internet services and encourage people to stay away from each other.

How does satellite TV work?

The way satellite TV works are similar to how satellite internet works. But instead of a modem and an internet-ready device, it has a set-top box and a TV. Live satellite TV doesn't use data from the internet, so it's a good choice for people with limited data plans. Check out our guide to the best satellite TV providers for tips on how to choose a provider.

How do I get fast internet in the country?

Nearly every rural area in the US can get satellite internet. Download speeds for satellite internet plans range from 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps, and the current FCC standard for high-speed internet is 25 Mbps.

Satellite internet is no longer the only way to get online in many rural areas. Many places have more options that cost less and give more data. Check out our guide to the Best Internet for Rural Areas to learn about 4G LTE home internet, fixed-wireless, and other options that could save you money.

What is broadband by satellite?

High-speed satellite internet is also called "satellite broadband." Fiber or cable broadband connections aren't as easy to set up in remote areas as satellite internet. The FCC standard for broadband is that you must be able to download at least 25 Mbps per second.

With satellite internet, can I use my modem?

To get satellite internet, you need a satellite modem. Most modems don't work with satellite service. Customers of Viasat and HughesNet must use their satellite modems, which include a router (although you can use your router if you wish).

Can I get satellite internet for RV?

It would be nice to have satellite internet in an RV, but most people can't do that right now. The only type of satellite internet equipment that can be moved is VSAT (tiny aperture terminal) equipment. Still, the equipment for this type of mobile satellite Internet is expensive ($5,000 and up). It delivers a plodding internet speed (less than 1 Mbps).

So, for most people, we recommend using cellular internet in your RV by boosting your cell phone signal with a booster, using a mobile hotspot, or signing up for a portable 4G LTE home internet plan that is not tied to your location (Verizon's LTE Home Internet doesn't work on the road).

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Is satellite internet good for gaming?

Because satellite internet data has to travel 22,000 miles to outer space and back twice, lag is unavoidable. With the delay of satellite internet, you won't be able to play games that need quick responses, like Call of Duty and other first-person shooters.

When Starlink's LEO satellite constellation is more complete, Starlink's internet will be fast enough for competitive gaming. Starlink is in public beta right now, which means that customers may experience service interruptions, which would be bad for online gaming.

Is it a good idea to use satellite internet?

When DSL, cable, and fiber internet are not available, satellite internet is a great choice. In some places, you can get high-speed satellite internet up to 100 Mbps, but it can be a bit pricey. In other parts of the country, speeds may be slower, maybe around 12 Mbps. Satellite internet is also not perfect because it has limits on how much data you can use and can be slow at times. But it gets the job done and is better than not having any internet at all.

Is satellite internet better than DSL internet?

Depending on the provider, the speeds of DSL and satellite internet are about the same. Satellite internet is more common, but DSL usually has higher data caps, so you can do more web browsing before your speeds are slowed down. See Satellite Internet vs. DSL to find out which type of internet is best for you.

Streaming is possible with satellite internet, yes.

Streaming is easy with satellite internet, yes. You might notice some lag if you jump around in the video, but once a show starts streaming, the video will download at a normal speed. HughesNet and Viasat both have ways to help you save data when you stream, so you don't use up your data limit too quickly.

The truth and myths about satellite internet

The internet through satellite is slow.

Even though satellite internet can't match the gigabit speeds of some fiber-optic providers, it can still reach speeds of up to 100 Mbps, which is on par with many cable and DSL providers. Eight of the twelve satellite internet packages for homes are considered to be broadband. Most problems with satellite internet performance are not caused by slow speeds, but by high latency and low data caps.

Satellite internet has a lot of lag time.

Latency, also called lag, ping, or ping rate is the amount of time it takes for a digital signal to travel from your computer to your provider's server and back.

With satellite internet, the signal goes to space and back, so it goes farther than it would with a cable, DSL, or fiber connection. It takes more time to go that extra distance. Because of this, satellite internet has a longer delay than other kinds of internet.

When you do things online in real-time, like video chat, you will notice the latency the most. When you're on a satellite connection, latency makes it feel like you're going at a slower speed.

The price of satellite internet is too high. SPY24

Satellite internet costs about the same as other types of internet, but a little bit more. Most Internet packages in the United States cost between $45 and $150 per month for the first few months. Satellite internet works the same way.

But with a satellite plan, you'll get less data for your dollar, which makes it feel more expensive. Plans for satellite usually give you 150 GB or less of data per month. Cable and DSL plans, on the other hand, give you 1 TB (1,000 GB) of data per month.

Sometimes, bad weather makes it hard for satellite internet signals to work.

Bad weather sometimes makes it hard to get a signal, but this problem is often overblown. Even though the weather could cause problems, satellite internet customers gave their providers the highest customer satisfaction scores for the reliability of any internet customers in 2018.

You can't play video games on the internet through satellite.

Latency can make it hard to play games online, but it is still possible. The trick is to pick the right games and set up your computer in the best way. For more information, check out "Your Guide to Gaming on Satellite Internet."

Elion Musk's free internet works in many places right now, except in the polar regions. If you have the guts, you can try the free Starlink satellite internet broadband connection if you have the courage. Elion Musk says that they want to put satellite internet in all of the places where there is no internet service from a local company. In remote areas, mobile phone carriers, WIFI, Fiber, and broadband companies don't offer internet and other services. So, Elon has said that they will connect to the internet by satellite in 5% of the world's places.

Starlink FREE Satellite Internet

At the moment, there are more than 1,500 satellites in space that give Internet access to more than 12 countries. Elon says that SpaceX spent between $5 billion and $10 billion on the one network as a whole. So, it's hard to reach these connections everywhere in the world. There could be at least 1 million active users in 2022, which is a few years away.

Can we get free Internet from Elon Musk?

Starlink is working with two of the biggest phone companies, but they haven't announced this network or given it a name yet. Elon Musk There will be free internet in countries where it is possible to get it. If you live in one of the 12 countries on the list, you can use the internet for free on your cell phone, TV, desktop, satellite dish, and other devices.

If this network gives everyone in every country confidence, we'll be able to use the internet anywhere, even in the middle of a forest or in a desert. You can get free internet for at least 30 days. You can try out free data on your TV and internet with Starlink.

The company has more than 1,500 satellites that connect to the internet at 30 terabytes per second. This company connects people to the internet by satellite in 12 different countries. The company is sending up a new satellite that will help keep the polar regions covered. You can get a new connection for $100 per month, and the price and rent can be low depending on where you live.

You will get a satellite dish, a WiFi router, and a tripod from the company. On the Google Play Store, you can get the strap for Android and iPhone. From there, you can control your home and office internet. If you are listed in courage areas, you can only get this connection in your area.

Elon Musk Free Internet - Starlink FREE Satellite Internet