How Does In-Flight Wi-Fi Work?

Did you know 74% of passengers are willing to pay for Wi-Fi connectivity on short flights, and 82% would do the same on longer flights?So how does In-Flight Wi-Fi work and it's safe enough?

With the growing demand of being connected at all times, people need a Wi-Fi connection even when they are flying thousands of feet above the ground. According to research, 60% of passengers opt for in-flight connectivity instead of in-flight entertainment. Half of the people need it to send important business emails, while the other half want to entertain their kids.

But ever wonder how the Wi-Fi signals travel to 40,000 feet above the ground so your kid can watch their favorite music video for the hundredth time? Let's find out!

in-flight wifi

How Does In-Flight Wi-Fi Work?

There are two ways Wi-Fi works in an airplane. One is Air-to-ground, and the other is a Satellite-based system.

  • Air-to-ground

The Wi-Fi works like any regular cellular data network with towers projecting the signals in an air-to-ground system. However, for airplane Wi-Fi, these towers project signals upwards instead of downwards like mobile phones. An antenna is fixed beneath airplanes receiving signals from these towers and sending them to an onboard server that converts the signals into the Wi-Fi that people use.

  • Satellite-Based Wi-Fi System

With these systems, a dome-shaped antenna is fitted on the top of the plane. It receives signals from satellites revolving around the earth. The antenna has to continuously reposition itself to receive signals because the airplane and satellite are in constant motion. Therefore, an air-to-ground system is preferred over this system because it runs seamlessly. However, when the airplane is flying someplace with no towers, satellite systems are preferred.

In-Flight WiFi

Is It Worth?

The race for in-flight Wi-Fi connections is getting competitive day by day as airlines worldwide offer these services. However, the Wi-Fi connection in airplanes is unlike anything it is on the ground, which can make one question, is it even worth it? Here are the issues involved with in-flight Wi-Fi:

  • Too Much Expensive
  • You have to pay a hefty amount to enjoy Wi-Fi services up in the sky! A monthly pass can be purchased for $49.95 per month. This is close to the price of a Speedefy K4. These charges vary from airline to airline, and some even offer it for free. But most probably, airplanes with Wi-Fi charge a large sum of money to offer these services, which may or may not work once the plane is up in the sky.

    • Slow & Unstable Connection

    Just because they charge more doesn't mean you get more. The internet service on flights can be terribly slow and unstable. It doesn't work until you are at least 10,000 feet above the ground, and once you get it, it is too slow to even check an important message.

    • No Compensation

    Suppose you have paid for the inflight Wi-Fi, but the internet is not working due to some technical issues. In that case, the airline will not compensate for the fees you just paid.

    working on the plane

    It is Safe of In-Flight Wi-Fi?

    In-flight WiFi is also public WiFi, and there are certain risks associated with public Wi-Fi. People need to know how to Safely Use Public Wireless Connections WiFi. In fact, in-flight WiFi can even lead to hijacked planes where hackers expect people to let their guard down while they are on vacation!

    Imagine paying all that extra fees only to find out that the internet on your flight is not even working? Isn't it better to wait for a few hours and save a lot of money and hassle of bearing the extremely spotty internet connection?

    Why not have an internet connection that has the speed of the light and never stops working? Speedefy wireless router is easy to set up, safe and offers many conveniences.