March 1, 2024

Benjamin Better

Better Get Computer

Internet Options When Living Rural America

Internet Options When Living Rural America
(Photo : Pexels)

You live in a beautiful rural area with plenty of trees, grass and greenery, but you think your rural internet options are slim to none. What if we told you that you may have more high speed broadband internet options than you think? We’ve done the research on rural internet service and you do have options. Don’t get stuck with slow internet that can’t handle your family’s needs. From DSL and satellite to mobile broadband, lets go over all your rural internet options that’ll keep your family connected without having to compromise on internet speeds or price.

Rural Internet Option 1: DSL Internet

Internet Speeds: 6 Mbps to 100 Mbps

Price: $20/Month to $70/Month

DSL is an abbreviation for digital subscriber line. With DSL your internet service is delivered to you via a telephone line on an existing telephone network. Popular DSL internet providers include AT&T, CenturyLink, EarthLink Internet, Windstream, Verizon and many more, smaller local providers.

Pros Of DSL Internet

Cons Of DSL Internet

● Widely available nationwide thanks to phone lines

● Service is distance sensitive. The farther away you are from their central office, the slower your max internet speeds will be

● Often costs less than other rural internet options

● Often required to bundle with home phone service

● No sharing bandwidth with your neighbors like cable

● Some providers implement data caps on their DSL internet plans

Rural Internet Option 2: Satellite Internet

Internet Speeds: 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps

Price: $30/Month to $150/Month

Satellite internet is an internet service that is beamed down from orbiting satellites 20,000+ miles in space. Data is sent and received from your modem, to your satellite dish, to a satellite dish in space then back to Earth to network operation centers then connects with the website you’re on and back. Popular satellite internet providers include HughesNet internet, Viasat and more coming soon.

Pros Of Satellite Internet

Cons Of Satellite Internet

● Satellite internet is available in most rural areas nationwide

● Nearly all satellite internet providers implement data limits onto their plans

● It’s faster than dial up and many DSL internet plans

● It has higher latency than DSL and cable internet

● Can be cheaper than mobile broadband depending on what provider and plan you choose

● Has higher latency than other types of internet service that makes online multiplayer gaming next to impossible

Rural Internet Option 3: Mobile Broadband

Internet Speeds: 40 Mbps to 100 Mbps

Price: $30/Month to $100/Month

Mobile broadband is an internet service that’s delivered to you from a local cell phone tower to your modem, hotspot, tablet or smartphone. With mobile broadband, it’s portable but you’re also subject to your provider’s coverage area. Popular mobile broadband internet providers are Verizon Wireless, GotW3 Internet, AT&T, T-Mobile and many more.

Pros Of Mobile Broadband Internet

Cons Of Mobile Broadband Internet

● Can be faster than traditional rural internet service options topping out at just over a 100 Mbps depending on where you live

● Most mobile broadband internet plans have data caps of some kind

● It’s easy to use. Just turn it on, connect to it once and you’re automatically connected when both devices are powered on

● Mobile broadband won’t work everywhere. You have to stick to your provider’s coverage area to expect it to work and no provider is available in every corner of the US

● Mobile broadband is mobile. You can take it with you wherever you go; family vacation, work or a friends house. As long as you stay within your provider’s coverage area, it will work

● It can get more expensive than traditional rural internet options depending on what provider and plan you choose

Rural Internet Option 4: Fixed Wireless

Internet Speeds: 10 Mbps to 200 Mbps

Price: $40/Month to $70/Month

Fixed wireless connects one location (like your home, farm or business to the internet) via radio waves. Radio antennas are affixed to buildings, poles, towers and other stationary objects to create a wireless network within that area. With fixed wireless your internet service is delivered to you from your antenna. This type of internet is very popular in rural areas because it does not require any costly construction costs, digging up properties, burying cables or permits to set up. Popular fixed wireless internet providers include Rise Broadband, AT&T, King Street Wireless, Starry Internet, Nextlink Internet and many more, smaller local providers.

Pros Of Fixed Wireless Internet

Cons Of Fixed Wireless Internet

● Fixed wireless can reach where traditional DSL, cable and fiber internet cannot because it doesn’t require traditional physical phone lines or cables to install

● You need a clear line of sight from your antenna to the hub for it to work. Trees, hills and other buildings can interfere with your signal if your antenna is not placed properly

● Fixed wireless internet plans typically have higher data caps than other rural internet options

● Weather like rain, fog and snow can also affect your internet connection. Luckily distances between antennas and hubs are smaller so disruptions can pass quickly

● It typically has lower latency than other rural internet options due to its design. Signals travel shorter distances between antennas and hubs making fixed wireless latency rates comparable to DSL and cable.

● Fixed internet can be much more expensive that other types of high speed broadband internet

Rural Internet Option 5: Dial Up

Internet Speeds: Free to $20/Month

Price: Up to 56 Kbps

It’s no secret that dial up internet isn’t very good. In fact, it isn’t even considered broadband internet by the Federal Communications Commission. We don’t recommend it as an internet solution for anyone because dial up isn’t fast enough for modern online tasks. However, it’s still technically an internet option for rural Americans, so we’ve included it here. Popular dial up internet providers include NetZero, AOL, EarthLink and more.

Pros Of Dial Up Internet

Cons Of Dial Up Internet

● It’s available nearly everywhere. Most homes today have access to an already established and serviceable phone line making dial up available in more areas than traditional DSL and cable can reach

● Dial up internet tops out at 56 Kbps, which is significantly slower than any other internet type on the market today. It is so slow that it isn’t even considered broadband internet

● Dial up internet is cheap and even free with some providers

● Home phone service is required with dial up; potentially costing you even more money

● It’s surprisingly secure because it requires dialing in each time. Dialing in every time gives users a different IP address, making it more difficult for cybercriminals to spoof

● It ties up your home phone line. You cannot make phone calls while surfing the web with dial up internet

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