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How to Find the Best ISP in Rural Areas

Rural areas have a plethora of benefits to offer, but one of its critical downsides is the scarcity of high-speed internet services. There are many rural areas that experience multiple broadband types, while some remote areas find it extremely hard to access a reliable rural internet option.

Efforts are being made to advance the satellite internet infrastructure and other rural internet options through services like HughesNet Gen 5 tech,  AT&T Fixed Wireless, or Elon Musk’s Starlink; however, subscribing to a reliable service in a rural area is a task in itself.

Rural residents know how challenging and stressful it can be to find a good internet service provider. Before you jump into finding the right provider, you need to learn what important factors you should consider when choosing an internet service provider. Once you are aware of that, it will be easier to move on to the next step i.e. finding the best ISP.

In this guide, we have put together some of the top internet service providers (ISPs) for rural areas in terms of speeds, features, and drawbacks. With the right information, it will be easier for you to make a smart decision for yourself and your entire household. So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

Factors That Need to Be Considered When Looking for an ISP

Availability in Your Area

Before you figure out the internet type that fits your needs perfectly, it’s crucial to learn about the internet options available at your address. If you happen to live in a remote area, know that you will likely have fewer options as compared to those living in urban areas of the U.S.

Generally, rural areas rarely have wired internet options like cable or fiber-optic networks. But you will most likely find the satellite, DSL, or fixed wireless services being available in most rural areas.

Among them, satellite technology is the one you’ll find easily accessible in every nook and cranny of rural America. Though satellite internet generally has a bad rep, the tech and service have dramatically improved in recent years. When you subscribe to satellite internet, you will most probably be pleasantly surprised by the services and features it offers.

Download and Upload Speed

Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait for a web page to load. In fact, waiting for a download to complete can be very tiring at times. No one wants to do all of that.

If you are a movie buff, who likes to stream videos, you should be concerned about download and upload speeds when opting for an ISP. That said, you don’t necessarily have to invest in the highest and most expensive speed tier available, which you may end up regretting later. Therefore, it is important to make your decision wisely.

Reliability

It is not smart to subscribe to an ISP that offers unreliable services. Make sure that you opt for a reliable internet provider. Now you might be wondering how to figure out if a certain provider is reliable. Well, the best way to find that out is to check out reviews of a certain internet service provider online from customers in your area. If their experience with that ISP has been great, then you should consider getting it for yourself.

Another important thing that you need to know is that a provider alone is not responsible for making the internet reliable. It is also essential to consider the type of internet connection you are subscribed to and other external factors that may impact it, such as the weather. For instance, extreme weather conditions like snowfall and rainfall could negatively affect your internet connection. But if you are lucky to have access to fiber-optic internet where you live, the connection will not be affected due to weather conditions aboveground as the lines are buried underground.

Bundling Option

The best way to save money is to bundle your internet service with another service offered by the same provider. There are several providers that offer a bundling option for their subscribers. Whether you want to bundle TV or phone services, reach out to the customer service representative of the provider to ask about the offers they have in store for you. 

Best Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Rural Areas

HughesNet

HughesNet satellite internet is a viable option for people living in remote areas of the United States. What sets HughesNet Gen 5 apart from other providers is that it offers nationwide coverage. Yes, you read it right, the provider is available in all the 50 states of the U.S.  This simply means that it is available from coast to coast, in every nook and cranny.

You get 25 Mbps internet download speeds regardless of the plan you choose for yourself. In addition to the consistent download speed, the ISP also offers 3 Mbps upload speed with every plan. If you are wondering how you can differentiate among its plans, then you need to know that the provider gives its customers the option to choose their data limit, which is usually is between 10 GB to 50 GB per month.

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Windstream

If you are looking for an internet service type other than satellite in a remote location, then you should consider getting Windstream. The provider uses DSL technology to offer fast speeds and unlimited internet usage. The best part about this service is that there are no data caps. As you won't be limited in your internet usage, you will be able to stream videos to your heart's content.

Windstream internet prices and speed tiers vary wildly from location and location. Windstream DSL advertises speeds up to 100 Mbps, but in some areas, you may access 25 Mbps internet, while in others, 75 Mbps. It depends on the network capacity in your area. So make sure to contact the Windstream customer service to find the correct speed availability and pricing at your address.

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AT&T

AT&T is another prominent name among rural internet options. The provider utilizes multiple technologies to deliver internet services in its rural service areas. For a long while, AT&T made use of its old telephone lines to deliver DSL internet to remote areas, but the ISP no longer sells the outdated service to new customers. Instead, AT&T is improving and rural residents can access AT&T Fixed Wireless and AT&T Internet plans via its IPBB network.

AT&T Fixed Wireless offers at least 10 Mbps download speeds and a 350 GB data plan; whereas, AT&T Internet plans offer different speeds — from 768 Kbps to 75 Mbps — based on the network capacity in that area. However, you have a choice of only one broadband at your address, so contact AT&T to learn about the internet plans available at your address.

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All in All...

When it comes to rural internet, wired internet options like Windstream or AT&T are great for your connectivity and entertainment needs. But if you don’t have many internet providers other than satellite, then HughesNet internet service is a viable option for the residents of rural areas. There may be other satellite options but HughesNet is the most reliable and widely available with an advanced space-age satellite network. Though Starlink satellite tech is revolutionary, currently it is still not widely available, least of all to remote countryside.

If you want to know more about HughesNet, make sure that you speak to a HughesNet customer service representative at 1-855-349-9309 to learn more about the plans and their availability in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What internet options are available in rural areas?

Satellite, fixed wireless, DSL, and cable connections are the most common rural internet options.

What is the best internet option for rural areas?

HughesNet satellite internet is ideal for rural residents with 25 Mbps download speeds and multiple data plans. The ISP offers additional 50 Mbps data during off-peak hours. If you exceed your data limit, you will still be connected but at reduced speeds for the remainder of the month.