Living in a rural area has fresh air, wide open spaces, next to no neighbors, wildlife and lots of land. While all those things are fantastic and is why we live here, it does have minor inconveniences too like finding high speed internet. You may think your rural internet options are limited and that was true at one time, but the good news is internet providers are always expanding their coverage and internet technologies have improved greatly over the past ten years. To help you find what internet options you have and how they work without compromising where you live, here are five options for rural internet service.
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4G LTE Internet
4G LTE internet is delivered to you home from a nearby cell tower with no phone or coaxial cables required. 4G LTE internet works just like your cellular service does, but instead of your phone you’ll either have to purchase a hotspot or a router that’s 4G capable through the provider you choose. If you live nearby a cell tower or have good cellular reception at your home, 4G or 4G LTE internet service may be available to you. While this isn’t always the fastest internet service available to rural residents, it almost always offers more data and lower latency than other options. With 4G LTE internet, you can expect internet speeds around 25 Mbps on average sometimes faster.
Popular 4G LTE Providers
|Popular 4G LTE Providers||Prices||Internet Speeds|
|Verizon LTE Home Internet||$40/mo to $60/mo||25 Mbps to 50 Mbps|
|T-Mobile Home Internet||$50/mo||25 Mbps|
|GotW3||$99.99/mo to $129.99/mo||4G LTE|
DSL or digital subscriber line may be a viable option for where you live. DSL internet works through your phone lines on a different frequency than voice calls to deliver you internet service. It’s not dial-up; it won’t tie up your phone lines and is much faster. You could choose to surf the internet and be on a home phone call at the same time. With DSL internet you can expect anywhere between 1 Mbps to 100 Mbps depending how far away you live from your DSL internet provider.
Popular DSL Providers
|Popular DSL Providers||Prices||Internet Speeds|
|CenturyLink||$49/mo||Up to 100 Mbps|
|Frontier||$37.99/mo to $54.99/mo||9 Mbps to 115 Mbps|
Satellite internet is available nationwide from anywhere you have a clear view of the southern sky. Satellite internet works by sending requests through a satellite dish on your roof or on a pole to a satellite in the sky and back. Since your connection travels thousands of miles into space and back, satellite internet does have a higher latency or takes more time to send and receive information than DSL or 4G LTE internet does. However, satellite internet has improved greatly over the past ten years or so and you can expect satellite internet speeds up to 100 Mbps in some areas. Satellite internet is the most common internet technology you’ll find available in rural areas that can deliver high speeds.
Popular Satellite Internet Providers
|Popular Satellite Internet Providers||Prices||Internet Speeds|
|HughesNet||$49.99/mo to $149.99/mo||25 Mbps|
|Viasat||$30/mo to $150/mo||12 Mbps to 100 Mbps|
|Starlink||$99.99/mo||50 Mbps to 150 Mbps|
Fixed Wireless Internet
Fixed wireless is a rural internet option that’s much less common than other internet technologies on this list. Fixed wireless works through radio waves instead of a satellite, phone or cable line. While you won’t need a satellite dish on your roof, you will need an antenna on or near your home to receive an internet connection. From there your antenna will send and receive a signal to a fixed wireless hub attached to a nearby tower. If you don’t have access to DSL internet, fixed wireless could be a good option for your family. The bad news because fixed wireless isn’t very popular yet due to it being so new, it has limited availability. With fixed wireless internet speeds can reach up to 1000 Mbps in some areas, however it’s very uncommon and you can expect internet speeds between 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps.
Popular Fixed Wireless Providers
|Popular Fixed Wireless Providers||Prices||Internet Speeds|
|Rise Broadband||$39.95/mo to $64.95/mo||25 Mbps to 50 Mbps|
|AT&T Fixed Wireless||$59.99/mo||10 Mbps|
While we don’t recommend dial-up internet, it’s still an internet option that’s available in rural areas. Dial-up internet works through your phone line which most homes across the country already have installed. The downside is dial-up only gets up to 56 Kbps, which is unbearably slow, but is still better than no internet at all. Dial-up will tie up your phone line as well and isn’t that much cheaper than DSL, so if you have access to DSL internet service, it would be the superior choice.
|Popular Dial-Up Internet Providers||Prices||Internet Speeds|
|NetZero||Free||Up to 56 Kbps|
|AOL||$20/mo||Up to 56 Kbps|
|EarthLink||$9.99/mo||Up to 56 Kbps|