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Nerds: Can you explain to me why the wireless on this airplane, 30,000 feet above Iowa, is so much faster than the wireless in my house, which is located on the ground?
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Airlines have more money than you. They aren't paying for the entry level connection. They shell out big bucks for the upgraded package.
This is the type of question I'd expect "The Oatmeal" to be able to answer.
Because the region you live in is monopolized by one internet connection provider.
Since you in your home still use a few wires, and in the plain its totaly wireless els the costs of the extension cord would be really really high, so i guess the problem is in the wire to your housr crap, John is a terminator! I can read between the lines lol
It's just the internet at home isn't a dedicated line. That plane has its own dedicated connection. You share with your neighborhood back at home.
Also, wrong country. Try Korea or Japan 100mb/s ftw :D
it depends on what type of internet youre running.,. cable or whatnot
Because the telecom industry is garbage.

In most markets, you have two choices for internet. Usually Qwest or Comast. or, in other markets, TIme Warner or AT&T.

Because of this lack of real competition, these companies have been slow to upgrade their internet infrastructure.

According to physorg, in 2009 we were ranked 28th in the world for internet speed.

I'm guessing that the company that does wireless internet on planes has a pretty advanced infrastructure in place since beaming data to/from a plane that's 30,000 feet in the air isn't easy and hence the upload/download rates are better than what you get at home.
See the internet is a series of tubes so as your moving at more than 500 miles per hour the packets are just faster to begin with than if your sitting on your couch.
It is proven that time actually moves slower when you are next to large objects. Since you are 30000 feet above the earth, time move faster. And since everything moves faster, it makes sense that the Internet moves faster as well!
Well you should switch ISP if you think it so FiOs is pretty nice. But regarding the airplane -

I still think it's because your closer to the satellite. There is a certain way it works ya see...

There is an antennae on the plane that gets signals from a satellite. That satellite is getting internet beamed from a tower on ground, hence you can access quick speed internet on the plane.

or I would assume they do the microcell way all across the country. Where all these cell towers shot a radius of wifi that bounce off each other.
Jeni R
Closer to God, John. Closer to God. :)
they have a better connection, better modem better computer, thats just how life is if you dont pay the full price for luxuries...
Because, like the airplane you're riding in, photons travel through the air.
Because the plane service is willing to pay RIDICULOUS amounts to have a premium service.
You know how in your zombie novella corn is like a god... well... Iowa is the leading producer. Welcome to heaven... I mean, Iowa.
Because you internet provider only let's you use some of the bandwidth they "provide" you.
Because it's closer to the satellites.
Seems rather simple to me, as someone who spent a few years in the midwest. If there are only approximately....2 people using computers in Iowa...the internet should theoretically be amazing for anyone else trying to get on!
+Dani Witte is right....not every house has its seperate internet provider ... thats why your internet may be a little bit slower at night because more people in your neighbourhood are using it
the airplane has a similar one i guess but less users...problem solved :)
some people are making it to complicated...
airplanes use electromagnetic waves witch are at the speed of light, which is faster then the signal through the cable! Its that SIMPLE!
Because you are either still on Dial-up (really hope not) or using DSL. If you are on a plane on the GoGo network then you are essentially getting cellular rates which can be slightly faster than DSL. Charles above got it and i have to agree with Scott Onsum, you are going over 100 MPH faster than your home modem.
It's the Mile High Club. Everything is better.
It's because the sheer awesome of 15,000 people biking across the state of Iowa this week for RAGBRAI is large enough to encompass your airplane, thus boosting the awesome of your wifi.
Because you are signing your books by hand and your computer is jealous.
Do speed tests at your house over your wifi and then over ethernet. If ethernet is slower than what the contract says, complain. If it's fast and just wifi is slow, change your wifi password and possibly upgrade to 802.11n.
The plane was likely flying up-stream (into the packets) causing a Doppler shift. On the way back, you may find that Internet speed on the aircraft is actually slower. TOTALLY CORRECT ANSWER! YOU'RE WELCOME!
It's possible that your airplane just has a better wireless router. Older routers such as G or G+ are much slower than newer routers such as N or N1. The bandwidth that you pay for is also most likely much less than what the airplane company pays for. The more bandwidth the more stuff you can do and the faster you can do it. It's like the difference between a creek that is so small only you can swim in it and a lake that you can ride your speed boat in while other people are swimming and other people are boating at the same time.
iowa is a weird state but its probobly because you are closer to the satelites, i would have a better awenser but, liveing in iowa does not make me an iowa expert unfortunetly
Probably your internet at your house is just really slow. Or there is just not enough data coming through to make it fast
I'm just guessing, but it might be less interference with the satelights- the density of things in the air can slow the message... Water vapor, Co2, O2, etcetera, trees, clouds, surrounding supper magnets...
I'm not too smart. It's only a guess.
It's a hypothesis 
Most communication doesn't go through satellites.
on a airplane they usually don't let you use internet or other wireless thingies because it might interfere with the plane's signals. If they do, though you might have faster wi-fi on the plane because they have better wi-fi and there aren't as many people using it. I'm a complete nerd. 
Uh...because there are more wires on the ground than there are at 30,000 feet?

(lol...nah....actually, it's related to the amount of traffic going through an airplane, there might be 100 or so people on a particular server somewhere while on the ground, through a cable company or wireless provider, there might be thousands...all competing for bandwidth...)

it's kinda like...well, why are there so few traffic jams in the suburbs/country but in the big cities, they have traffic jams every day.....
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