There are benefits to living in the countryside, such as waking up to the peaceful sounds of nature, a slower pace of life, and spending more time doing things like gardening. Rural life doesn’t let you escape the modern world completely, even if it were that easy. For example, those living in rural areas also need internet.
Getting fast internet in remote areas can be a real challenge. Whether you’re traveling to the country or need a better connection for all those Zoom calls, this article has some useful advice for internet options in your rural home.
Why is broadband so slow in rural areas?
Nowadays, if you’ve opted to live in rural areas, you might be working remotely online, or you just want to benefit from online streaming services so you can enjoy high-resolution movies. Maybe you’ve experienced problems while messaging a friend or trying to look up a recipe online.
We cannot live without internet these days, even if we live in rural areas.
But first, let’s clarify our terms. ADSL broadband (or DSL) refers to when a signal is sent through existing copper phone lines. Fiber optic Internet, or just “fiber”, are glass or plastic cables that transmit signals. Satellite Internet is a signal sent from satellites orbiting the Earth, and fed to cable Internet via cable wiring (the kind you get TV from).
WiFi is a wireless signal, whereas broadband refers to data transmission involving multiple signals (instead of just one), which increases the speed.
Some of the reasons why connections are so slow in rural areas are:
lack of infrastructure
In most areas that are highly populated, there is already a strong copper network, so you get a fast connection. Many urban areas have also invested in fiber systems. However, in more remote areas, it is very costly to drive the equipment over very long distances to operate in sparsely populated areas.
As a result, internet speeds can be as low as 1 Mbps (megabits per second), making it extremely difficult to download or upload information.
worn out equipment
Even though broadband speeds have become more efficient over the years, copper wiring is still used in many places to connect your home to an electrical cabinet (an external electrical box). This means it could be bad and you could unexpectedly lose internet connection, as the weather can be more extreme in rural areas.
Most people use their phones for Wi-Fi as well as their laptops or PCs, but both devices can suffer from poor internet connections in rural homes. Your mobile phone often gets a weak signal in rural areas, however, so it can also enable a faster connection than basic broadband. All you need is the right broadband, depending on the area you live in.
Broadband Option for Rural Homes
Now you must be wondering should I upgrade from DSL to Fiber? Will it give me better speed? What are other options if fiber is not available?
To answer all those questions, here is a list with all the rural internet options so you can decide for yourself which one is best for your situation.
This is the most popular option for people who want a fast Wi-Fi connection. Instead of traditional copper wire, fiber broadband uses a high-speed fiber optic cable that connects signals to cabinets near you and therefore gives you faster speeds.
The problem is that many areas do not have fiber infrastructure. While some communities join together to help cover the cost of bringing in fiber, not everyone can afford it.
Also, the last part of the connection, the area from the street to your house, is your responsibility. You will probably need to cover the cost of bringing fiber into your home. On top of that, unless you pay the extra cost to bring fiber from the outside box inside your home, you will still be connected by copper wire from the electrical box to your connection outlet. This means slower speed when the signal is filtered into the copper wire.
However, if you really need a fast connection and are willing to pay for it, then fiber is the best option for you.
You can get rural internet access through your cell provider with 3G/4G/5G. Isn’t the modern world wonderful? To use this option, you can either connect a dongle to your computer, use your phone’s WiFi hotspot, or invest in a dedicated mobile router.
Your phone’s hotspot isn’t the best option if you want to connect multiple devices like smart devices, lights, and multiple TVs or computers. However, it may work well for just one computer or tablet. Keep in mind that many cell providers will slow down your connection after you have used a certain amount of data.
On the other hand, you can pay for a dedicated router through your cell provider, and then you can use multiple devices. Right now, not every cell provider offers this option, but the option of mobile broadband is becoming more common for rural homes as it offers more advanced connections and speeds.
Instead of going through your cell provider directly, there are a few smaller companies out there that buy service from cell providers in bulk so there are fewer data limits. You can then purchase service through these companies and rent (or buy) a router.
The advantage of this method is that the signal is generally more reliable than satellite and faster than DSL. The downside, beyond the data limit, is that it’s expensive and you can’t use your own equipment.
Satellite broadband has existed for a long time, and is a good option for rural home Internet users. However, satellites can also be less reliable because weather conditions make the connection less clear. If you can’t find any other solution, this is still a useful option for connecting your home to the Internet.
Typically, you’ll need to rent or buy a satellite dish to receive the signal and this option can be significantly slower than fiber. But you don’t have to worry about old copper wires or the cost of running fiber to your home.
Doubling your connection is a great way to improve the broadband speed in your home. Meaning, put two lines in your house and this will increase the chances of getting a good signal. Not all providers offer this service, but it’s worth checking out.
fixed wireless broadband
If you live near a village or small town, you may be able to access a wireless transmitter. Although not all rural areas have it, it is a good internet option for rural areas who are willing to invest or have made investments. This involves installing the main receiver somewhere central, which gives a signal to nearby subscribers.
The downside is that if a company has not already opted to install a receiver, it will require community investment. But if it already exists it might be worth asking! The other drawback is that you have to be within sight of the receiver and the weather can affect your signal.
Community Broadband (FTTH)
If you’re lucky enough to live in a close-knit community, this option can be a life-saver. It is possible for a small town to set up its own broadband network. For example, B4RN is an FTTH that provides communal WiFi. You can ask your neighbors to see if one exists, or if they are interested in installing one.
These are some of the options available for broadband connections in rural households. You might want to get some information from some providers about their prices, services, and speeds.
As for satellite, Dish, Viasat, HughesNet, are all available in most parts of the US. Starlink is ramping up its service but is still in its early stages so it is not widely available.
While EarthLink, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon provide cellular Internet, companies like Nomad, Unlimitedville, and Boomfi offer high-speed Internet through whatever cellular provider has the strongest signal in your area.
Fixed broadband providers include Rise Broadband, which consistently receives good reviews from experts and users.
Lumen (formerly CenturyLink), Kinetic and Frontier by Windstream provide fiber to many rural areas.
SuddenLink Communications and Mediacom provide cable Internet in many areas where larger providers such as Comcast do not.
mobile broadband options
Whether you’re traveling, RVing, wanting a backup for your home system, or intending to rely on them full-time, those looking to take their internet with you without using a traditional set-up There are many options for . If you need to travel with WiFi in your vehicle, be sure to invest in a good power inverter.
Dongles look like USB sticks, but they allow your phone’s cellular connection to power your Internet signal on your laptop or PC. They’re perfect for rural homes because you can have instant access, and they allow you to travel with WiFi, which is a nice added bonus.
Mobile Hotspot / Tethering
It turns your mobile phone into a broadband router for a short period of time. This is a good backup in case your existing WiFi ever stops working, or as a long-term solution to your slow connection issues.
MiFi acts like a mini router that plugs into your laptop or PC. It gives signals to the people close to it and is battery operated. All you have to do is charge it with the USB cable on your device.
The difference between this and the dongle is that multiple devices can connect to MiFi.
If all else fails, this is your emergency solution for a sudden lack of internet. You can always go for a coffee and have public internet access in a cafe. It is not the ideal plan for long term use, but it is good to have a plan B!
Mobile broadband is definitely a good option if you live in rural areas and need an internet connection in a pinch. Plus, it’s easy to set up and you can access on your phone whenever you need it!
These are some of the providers (beyond the usual cell providers) that provide mobile broadband services:
- three home broadband
Providers vary depending on where in the world you live. Regardless, it’s fairly common nowadays, so it shouldn’t be hard to find!
Tips to help you choose the right broadband
After considering all the options, the next step is to choose the right broadband for your home. Before making your decision, there are a few things to keep in mind when contacting providers. for example, Research Price Comparison Websites To make sure you get good value for money. There are a lot of competitors in the broadband business, which is why it’s important to find the best deal for your home.
Also, some providers require a . is needed long contract timeline, which can last up to two years. If you are living in an area permanently then this can be useful for you. However, if you’re staying somewhere temporarily, or don’t want to commit for that period, double-check the minimum terms before signing up for anything.
Finally, try Do as much research as possible on what you need. For example, consider speed, type (fibre, mobile, etc.), and your daily needs. Maybe you want to watch movies at night, or your child may play a lot of video games. Just be sure to write down everything you need and then you can ask your provider what they can offer you.
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Idea Source: morningchores.com
- 1 Why is broadband so slow in rural areas?
- 2 Broadband Option for Rural Homes
- 3 provider options
- 4 mobile broadband options
- 5 Tips to help you choose the right broadband