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9 Of The Best Ways To Get Rural Internet

The choices for 9 of the Best Ways To Get Rural Internet depend on a few things. 

  1. What is currently available.
  2. Cost.
  3. Speed Requirements

This 9 of the Best Ways To Get Rural Internet guide is to help you understand what the different options are and the potential pros and cons of each one.

Contents

  1. Options
  2. DSL/Cable/Fibre
  3. Satellite
  4. Mobile Broadband
  5. BPL
  6. Long Range Wi-Fi Antenna
  7. Conclusion
  8. Recommended top 5 items for Rural Internet

Options

  1. What is currently available. Unless you are in a very remote area, chances are that there is already an internet infrastructure available. IF your location has a landline telephone or cable tv, dial-up, DSL or cable should be available options. When your location does not have a landline in place but has good mobile/cell coverage then mobile broadband WiMAX or tethering hotspot may be solutions. Or if your location is connected to the power line network BPL may be available. More remote locations will require satellite, or Long Range Wifi antenna systems.
  2. Cost. Where multiple options are available cost becomes a significant factor in which system is the best choice
  3. Speed. Linked to cost is speed, how fast do you need against what you can afford is the deciding factor here.
 Rural Internet Laptop in the woods

DSL/Cable/Fibre

DSL

DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line and is one of the most common internet connections available. Commonly known as broadband or ADSL. This is the big brother to dial-up. It uses the existing copper wire within the telephone system

Pros and Cons

It relies on existing telephone network infrastructure so it is easy to use in areas with a phone line. 

Cheap compared to many other options.

Reliable, however it is distance sensitive so the further away from a central hub the slower your connection.

May not be the fastest connections available in the area. Storms can knock out the phone system which will also take out the internet connection.

Cable

Like DSL Cable requires a hardwired connection from your home to the network.

Whereas DSL uses the phone lines, Cable uses the Cable TV infrastructure. transmitting data along the copper coax cable.

Pros and Cons

One of the biggest cons with Cable internet is the use of shared bandwidth, this means that during peak times the connection speed can drop dramatically. However, as cable is generally far faster than DSL, even in these peak times the speed available can still be far higher than the DSL for the area.

Also Cable is buried so less susceptible to storm damage.

Fibre

Fibre or Fibre optic internet, is a system that uses thin glass wires with in the cables and light to transmit signals. 

Pros and Cons

Speed is a huge advantage with fibre it is the fastest hardwired internet available.

The con however is the price and availability as it is unavailable in most rural areas, and vastly expensive in the areas that it is available.

Like Cable Fibre is buried so not susceptible to storm damage.

Satellite

Satellite internet requires a southern facing satellite dish to be installed and relies on a low orbit satellite network

Pros and Cons

Available almost everywhere satellite is ideal for the more remote areas. The con with satellite is the speed, a 44,000-mile round trip takes time, so speeds are reduced sometimes by up to half of the speeds available for DSL.  Satellite also tends to have data caps limiting the amount you can use. Video and gaming can both be very problematic via satellite internet

 Rural Internet log cabin on the prairie

Mobile Broadband

What is Mobile Broadband

To work Mobile broadband uses a dongle or modem, to allow internet access via the mobile phone (cell) network.

Pros and Cons

Relying on the mobile network can result in patchy signals in more rural areas, dropouts and other connection issues that can be common. Improvements are being made all the time however. IF your smartphone can get internet where you are located then mobile broadband is an option

Tethering hotspot

A tethering hotspot simply relies on your smartphones internet connection and tethers( shares it with your devices) by creating a local hotspot. 

Pros and Cons

As long as your smartphone can get an internet connection you can create a hotspot. more than one device may be an issue and most cell providers have a cap on the amount of data you can use so very restricting for video or gaming needs.

WiMAX

WiMAX is a mobile broadband technology based around a long range wifi network

Pros and Cons

Relatively low cost and easy to set up. However, distance results in slower connection speeds. More devices or users on a system will also cause a reduced service. Doesn’t require line of sight. It can span several miles.

Not much implementation as many providers have opted to use other wireless technologies such as LTE

BPL

Broadband over power lines uses the power grid to provide broadband to you house.

Pros and Cons

As this system uses the power lines it can suffer from storm damage much like DSL, the power lines carry inherent noise within them this also results in signal problems. The use of appliances within the house causing clicks and pops on the network further adding to the complications with this system. Of the 9 of the Best Ways To Get Rural Internet this is the least common.

laptop and phone on table outside

Long Range Wi-Fi Antenna

 Quite common on board boats and ships allowing them to connect to wifi hotspots while in port. Long range Wi-Fi Antenna 

Pros and Cons

Limited by line of sight and a hotspot within 9 miles, rules this out as an option for many more remote places

Conclusion

Of the 9 of the Best Ways To Get Rural Internet if available fibre or cable offers the best-hardwired options. Mobile Broadband would be the next choice with Satellite offering the best option for extreme rural locations.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to offer the best single solution as it depends on your location and what is currently available. We recommend in depth research of providers that cover your area, and that you compare price and speed, as well as looking at reliability and existing customer reviews. 

Also read our 15 Rural living tips information on other areas of rural life

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