Living in a rural area has its perks, like peace and quiet, beautiful scenery, and open spaces. But one big downside can be not having access to fast, reliable internet. In today’s digital world, internet access is incredibly important, even when you’re located far from any city.
So how can you get decent internet speeds when you’re located in the sticks? Here are some tips to help you get connected.
Choose the Right Internet Service Provider
The first step is researching what internet service providers (ISPs) operate in your area. While options are more limited in rural regions, there are some providers that specialize in bringing internet to remote locations.
Some key things to consider when comparing rural ISP options:
- Speed – Make sure to get the fastest speeds available in your area. Even if you have to pay more, faster speeds will be worthwhile.
- Reliability – Choose a provider known for consistent uptime and reliable connections. Nothing’s worse than spotty internet service.
- Cost – Compare all fees and plans to find one that fits your budget. You may be able to get some government subsidies to offset costs.
|Viasat||Up to 100 Mbps||Good||$50–$150/month|
|HughesNet||Up to 25 Mbps||Fair||$60–$150/month|
|StarLink||Up to 200 Mbps||Excellent||$99–$500/month|
Consider Satellite Internet
One common internet option in rural areas is satellite internet. This works by beaming signals to a satellite dish installed at your home.
The pros of satellite internet include:
- Available virtually anywhere with a clear view of the sky
- Doesn’t require cable infrastructure
The cons include:
- Can be impacted by weather like rain or snow
- Higher latency than cable internet
Leading satellite internet providers include Viasat, HughesNet, and StarLink. I’d recommend researching the latest satellite technology, as performance is improving.
Explore Fixed Wireless Internet
Another option is fixed wireless internet, which transmits signals from towers to an antenna on your home.
Some pros of fixed wireless:
- Leverages existing cell towers to provide internet
- Can offer speeds rivaling cable internet
- Service quality depends on proximity to a tower
- Can be obstructed by trees or other obstacles
Use a Cellular Hotspot
If no wired internet options are available, using a cellular hotspot can provide basic internet access. This involves using your cell phone’s data and turning it into a mini wireless router.
The upsides of using a hotspot include:
- Quick and easy to set up
- Works with all smartphones and most cell networks
- Very limited data amounts (typically 15GB or less per month)
- Slow speeds relative to wired internet
Cell hotspots work best for light web browsing and email. Heavier usage will eat up your monthly data quickly. Try AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile or other major networks.
Boost Your Signal
If you can get a wired or fixed wireless signal where you live but it’s weak, there are some steps to improve internet connectivity:
- Install a signal booster to strengthen the reception. This can significantly boost speeds.
- Upgrade to a high gain WiFi antenna for better range.
- Position the router in a central area of the house to maximize coverage.
- Reduce interference by moving other devices away from the router.
With a little tweaking, you can often enhance an internet connection just enough to get faster, smoother service throughout your home.
So in summary, you have a variety of options to explore when trying to get decent internet living the rural lifestyle. Do your research to find a provider using the latest technology for your area. With satellite, wireless and hotspot services expanding, staying connected is possible even in the most remote locale. You’ll be streaming and surfing in no time!
Frequently Asked Questions about Getting Fast Internet in Remote Areas
Q1: How can I get fast internet in a remote area?
A1: Consider satellite internet or fixed wireless providers for reliable connectivity in rural or isolated regions.
Q2: Is satellite internet suitable for remote locations?
A2: Yes, satellite internet is a great option for remote areas where traditional broadband is unavailable.
Q3: Can I boost my internet speed in a rural area?
A3: Enhance rural internet with signal boosters or outdoor antennas to improve reception and speed.
Q4: Are there mobile hotspot options for remote areas?
A4: Yes, portable mobile hotspots and data plans can provide internet access in remote locations with cellular coverage.
Q5: What’s the fastest internet option for a cabin in the woods?
A5: Fixed wireless, if available, or satellite internet typically offer the fastest speeds for cabins in remote areas.
Q6: How do I check for internet providers in rural areas?
A6: Use online tools like the FCC’s broadband map or local providers’ websites to search for available options.
Q7: Can I use a 4G LTE router for fast internet in remote places?
A7: Yes, a 4G LTE router with a strong cellular signal can provide decent internet speeds in remote areas.
Q8: Are there government programs for rural internet access?
A8: Yes, programs like the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund aim to expand high-speed internet in rural areas.
Q9: Can I combine multiple connections for faster rural internet?
A9: Load balancing routers can combine multiple connections (e.g., DSL, cellular) to boost internet speed in remote areas.
Q10: What are the drawbacks of getting fast internet in remote locations?
A10: Costs, limited provider options, and potential data caps may be drawbacks when seeking fast internet in remote areas.