Internet Options For Rural Areas

Internet Options For Rural Areas

Just because you live in a rural area, it doesn’t mean you should have to go without reliable internet access. After all, in today’s world especially there is a way to do nearly anything online – you can pay your bills, connect with family and friends, buy a gift for a friend or family member, or even order groceries to be delivered straight to your home! Your choice to live in a quiet, peaceful area away from the hustle and bustle of a city should not impact your ability to have affordable and dependable internet services. Everyone should have access to reliable internet, but what are your options?

Rural Internet Providers

For people who aren’t located close enough to towers to receive internet access through some of the major network carriers, there are a few options you can try out to see what will work best for you and your needs.

Satellite internet has both pros and cons depending on who the provider is, but it can still be a great alternative to other carriers that may not be in reach of your home. Another option is to use a 4G LTE hotspot device that serves as somewhat of a replacement to traditional equipment like a modem and router. Additionally, DSL is an option for some people, too.

To give you all the information you need to make an educated decision, we have listed out the pros and cons of each type of internet that would work in a rural area below.

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Satellite Internet

Satellite internet, though it wouldn’t necessarily be the first choice for a city-dweller, is one of the best options for someone who needs a connection in a rural area. Unlike dial-up, which many people further out in the country used to use, satellite doesn’t clog up your phone line and it delivers speeds that are nearly ten times faster than dial-up. And, because it’s available nearly anywhere in the continental United States, you’re likely to be able to get a fast, reliable connection at your home.

HughesNet Internet

HughesNet is one of the top satellite internet providers in the country. They offer various plans, each of which has download speeds of at least 25 Mbps, and offer free professional installation of your equipment. Depending on the type of internet you go with, your equipment will consist of a dual-band modem that allows you to connect multiple devices while still delivering fast speeds and consistent coverage throughout your home. You can even set up guest WiFi for visitors in order to keep your home network super secure.

If you go over your data limit, HughesNet won’t cut you off or slap additional fees onto your monthly bill – you can still browse and stream, just with reduced speeds. Or, you can buy Data Tokens that give you additional data to use at full-speed.

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4G LTE Internet

Another option for internet service in a rural area is 4G LTE. Though pretty much everyone has 4G capabilities now on their smartphones, many still don’t know that you can get coverage for your entire home with 4G technology. Instead of satellites, 4G simply uses space on the same network towers that you rely on to send signals to your mobile phone, which gives it access to some remote locations. Depending on where you live, this could be a viable option for you.

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DSL Providers

If neither of the previous options will work in your area, another source you can try is through a DSL provider. DSL, short for a Digital Subscriber Line, is a slight improvement from dial-up internet – essentially, it still uses the same wiring as a telephone line but DSL, unlike dial-up, allows you to still be able to use your phone line while you use your internet service. There are definitely some drawbacks to DSL that you should consider, such as:

  • Inconsistent speeds – The greater the distance between you and the provider, the slower your speeds will be.
  • Spotty connections – Some providers will use their DSL lines to take on their large call volumes, which in turn makes your connection a bit weaker and less reliable.
  • Slow upload speeds – If your upload speeds are too slow, it makes most tasks such as sending emails with attached files or sharing photos on social media much more challenging to complete.

Weigh Your Options Before Making a Decision

Before you settle on an internet provider, you must first choose the type of internet you think will work best for you and your needs. While some people only need a connection for light tasks such as email and bill pay, others expect data packages and high speeds that can support their data-heavy tasks like streaming movies and TV, gaming, etc. If you are a resident in a rural area, you already know you have limited options, but there’s still a provider and a service out there that is right for you.

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