Rural internet used to be synonymous with slow internet, but not anymore. Your rural internet options in 2019 include high-speed satellite internet service with download speeds up to 100 Mbps and no data caps. If you have a clear view of the southern sky from your location, your best rural internet options will likely be found through satellite internet providers.
Your Rural Internet Options Now Include Internet Plans with Unlimited Data
Fixed wireless internet that uses antennas to deliver high-speed internet service is another rural internet option with growing availability. Mobile wireless internet is an option for some, but it can be expensive and data caps are significantly lower than those imposed by the other rural internet services—if they have data caps at all.
As you consider today’s best rural internet options, you will want to step away from the notoriously slow legacy copper DSL internet through the phone company. While some DSL lines are being upgraded with a fiber connection to deliver amazing speeds, these upgrades aren’t likely to reach most rural areas.
Don’t concern yourself with dial-up internet featuring 56 Kbps downloads, either! Does anyone really use dial-up internet anymore? There are a few holdouts—they have their reasons, but it’s a wonder because today there are better rural internet options available.
Choose the Best Rural Internet Option for You—Be Realistic about Your Internet Usage
Before you choose a rural internet service provider (ISP), be sure to look at who will use your internet service and how they will use it. The needs you identify will help narrow your rural internet options. For example, if you have internet gamers, you should consider the latency of satellite internet because this will make playing active shooter games difficult. If streaming videos is a popular form of entertainment at your house, you will want to look at rural internet options with no data cap and at least 25 Mbps download speeds. Satellite internet will likely be your best option for streaming video, as well as video conferencing and large file transfer because of the higher speeds. While most satellite internet plans have data thresholds, today’s internet packages offer continued service at a slower speed once the threshold is met—no matter how much data you use.
What Providers Offer the Best Rural Internet Options?
Two satellite internet providers, HughesNet and Viasat, offer services across the United States. Both ISPs provide a range of rural internet options with different price points. Because satellite internet availability is determined by which satellite beams cover an area, the internet plans available to you will be limited to a few.
If you have a strong DSL internet provider in your area, DSL internet may be a good rural internet option for you. The key will be whether the DSL lines in your area have seen upgrades since the service launched. Take a look at AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier and Windstream to explore the availability of high-speed broadband internet in your rural location.
Wireless rural internet options still have limited availability. Cell phone carriers, such as AT&T, can offer mobile internet options in much of the United States. Fixed wireless internet gets more complicated because the service requires infrastructure and there are currently more than 1,500 fixed wireless internet providers in the United States.
Call today to talk with a customer service rep who can help you sort out the rural internet options available to you at your address.
Internet Available Everywhere, Even in Remote Areas!
If you live in an area with seemingly zero internet options, and if cable and fiber companies refuse to serve your area, lift your head! There is a way!
With satellite, DSL, and fixed wireless, internet providers are reaching rural communities more than ever. Viasat satellite internet can even provide download speeds of up to 100 Mbps and many plans offer unlimited internet with no extra fees!
How to Get Quality Internet Service in Remote Locations
You may dream of high-speed cable internet, or faster than light fiber, but these dreams may not be possible if you live in rural America. Many internet providers have all but forgotten about those living in remote areas. Luckily, those aren’t your only options for high-speed internet where you live.
There are still companies who’ve got their eyes on people like you, rural internet customers dreaming of better connection speeds and more data. Viasat is one such company. They have long been serving rural communities across America with high-speed, reliable internet services with no hard data caps.
If you are looking for such a service, keep reading below to see what options you have.
Rural Internet Technologies
Satellite internet sends signals to and from satellites in space using satellite dishes. With new state-of-the-art technology, Viasat brings satellite internet into the twenty-first century by offering internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps. That’s fast enough for pretty much anything you might want to do online.
The only downside to satellite internet is its high latency, which is the time it takes a signal to get to its destination and back. Because satellites are so high above the earth, usually 22,00 miles, it takes a long time for the signal to make that trip. By “a long time”, we mean about 600 milliseconds. That’s still less than a second and won’t affect most internet activities, especially when combined with Viasat’s high download speeds.
Satellite internet is great for surfing the web, browsing social media, checking email, and streaming video, though lots of streaming at high definitions could be limited depending on your plan. Satellite internet is not great for fast-paced online gaming due to the high latency.
Dial-up technology has been here from the beginning of the internet, and because it runs over phone lines, it is still widely available in the US.
Unfortunately, because of dial-up's severe limitations, it can’t run at the same time as your home phone, can’t support Wi-Fi, and can’t surpass 1 Mbps. Dial-up is literally the last kind of internet you would want to choose, but still worth it when nothing else is available.
Dial-up can be used for light web browsing and email checking.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) technology was a huge improvement over dial-up. It still uses phone lines like dial-up but brought huge improvements in speed and can be used at the same time as the home phone.
However, DSL slows significantly over greater distances. This means that it is not always available in rural areas, which are often far away from the ISP, and when it is available, the speeds are often frustratingly slow. However, it is still an option worth considering.
DSL comes in a wide variety of speeds, but should usually be enough for basic browsing, email, and social media. If you happen to live close to the ISP and can receive faster DSL, you may get enough performance for streaming and gaming.
Fixed wireless technology relies on a wired connection to get the internet signal to the general area, then uses a powerful broadcast signal to send the signal wirelessly to everyone within the signal’s radius.
For fixed wireless, you will need a clear view of the broadcast tower so that the signal doesn’t experience any interference. The strength of the signal is also improved by living closer to the source of the signal.
Fixed wireless also comes in a variety of speeds and can be used for a variety of internet activities depending on your particular plan.
What Internet Service Should I Choose?
When you are looking for a new internet service, there are many available speeds, data plans, and features available to choose from. This can be somewhat overwhelming. To help you narrow down your choices, it’s important to consider these 4 factors first.
What do you plan on doing with your internet access? The activities you plan on doing will have a large effect on what kind of internet speeds you need. Video and music streaming, video conferencing, and online gaming require the highest speeds.
How much time do you plan to spend online? How many hours a month do you plan on streaming tv shows and movies, or taking part in video conferences? As some internet plans limit your monthly data usage, the amount of time you spend on the internet is an important factor in choosing which plan is best for you.
Number of Devices
You have to consider not just how much you use the internet, but also how much others in your house use it. And will you all use it on just one device at a time, or will you be connecting multiple phones, computers, and other devices simultaneously? This will affect how much speed and how much data you need.
How much are you willing to spend on internet each month? It’s easy to plan for your monthly bill with Viasat, since there are no overage fees or any other bad surprises. You will get a promotional price for the first three months and then the regular price guaranteed for the rest of your 2-year contract.
I already have satellite TV. Can I use the same dish?
Unfortunately, while the technology of the two is very similar, the differences are big enough that you can’t use the same dish. Satellite TV dishes mostly just receive information, but satellite internet dishes also need to send quite a bit of information.
If I get a Viasat satellite dish, can I use it for satellite TV?
Viasat satellite dishes are optimized to bring high-speed, reliable internet. To tweak them at all to simultaneously receive TV services would detract from their main purpose. Satellite TV is a great service, and Viasat recommends you consider signing up for it, but it will require a second satellite dish.
How do I get Wi-Fi in rural areas?
The best way to get Wi-Fi in rural areas is to sign up for broadband DSL or satellite services. Your internet provider will then be able to assist you in setting up your home Wi-Fi network.
The other option is fixed wireless internet. This isn’t a home Wi-Fi network, but the effect is similar. As long as you live within range of the broadcast tower, you can sign up through a fixed wireless provider and connect directly to the large wireless network. Depending on the strength of the signal where you live, you may be able to access it anywhere in your house.
How do I get unlimited data in the countryside?
Unlimited data - or at least practically unlimited data - is the norm for most internet providers. That’s why most of them won’t advertise it. But satellite internet has some restrictions that other internet types don’t have and thus have historically offered a lot of metered plans with data limits. All new Viasat plans, however, come with unlimited data. Your speeds may decrease if you pass a certain amount each month, but your internet will never stop and you’ll never have any overage fees.
ISPs often offer different plans, prices, and features in different locations, so when looking at what’s available in your area, make sure the plan states there is unlimited data with no overage fees. If you have more questions, calling customer service is often the easiest way to get the information you need.