Rural Internet

Best Rural Internet Providers 2022

While living in the country might be slower-paced than in the city, that doesn’t mean your internet has to be, too. There are plenty of great options for rural areas if you know what to look for. To help with your search, we break down the best internet options for rural areas and what each provider has to offer.

Top Rural Internet Providers

Speeds up to 25 Mbps
50 GB/mo. bonus data (2 am-8 am)

Speeds up to 100 Mbps
No contracts required

Speeds up to 100 Mbps
Unlimited Standard Data

Speeds up to 100 Mbps
Built-in WiFi

Comparing Rural Internet Providers

HughesNet

Connection Type : Satellite
Download Speeds Up To : 300 Mbps – 940 Mbps
$55/mo. – $80/mo.

Windstream

Connection Type : Fiber, DSL
Download Speeds Up To : 100Mbps – 1000Mbps
$19.99/mo. – $39.99/mo.

AT&T

Connection Type : Fiber
Download Speeds Up To : 300 Mbps – 940 Mbps
$55/mo. – $80/mo.

Viasat

Connection Type : Satellite
Download Speeds Up To : 12 Mbps – 100 Mbps
$49.99/mo. – $149.99/mo.

Best Rural Internet Options by Connection Type

In rural areas, you probably have more options than you think. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), over 99% of people in the US have access to at least 2 providers near them. The three most common rural connections include DSL internet, satellite internet, and fixed-wireless. 

So, which rural internet option is the best? That depends on a number of factors like your location, your data usage habits, and your budget. Below, we compare the different types of rural internet services to help you decide.

DSL

Similar to fiber internet and cable internet, DSL uses pre-existing cable lines to deliver internet service to homes – specifically phone lines. In rural areas, DSL is preferred over satellite and fixed wireless internet because of its faster speeds and protection against harsh weather.

Satellite

Satellite internet is a great option for rural and remote areas because it’s available virtually anywhere. In the past, satellite plans came with data caps, high latency (delay), and high price tags. However, providers like HugheNet and Viasat now offer competitive rates and unlimited data to meet users’ needs.

Fixed Wireless

Fixed wireless uses a dish or antenna to receive internet. It broadcasts a signal from a local cell lower and can achieve speeds up to 1000 Mbps in certain areas. It’s less common than other wireless connections, but those that can access it benefit from lower latency and decent data rates, making gaming possible in rural areas.

Rural Internet Pros & Cons

Every internet connection type has its advantages and disadvantages. If you live in a rural area, you may be surprised by not only the number of options available near you but also the perks that help keep you connected in the country.

How We Evaluate Providers

Between hidden fees and price hikes, finding the right internet plan can feel overwhelming. To help with your search, our team of internet experts evaluates ISPs on categories including performance, affordability, and customer satisfaction to provide you with the best options near you.

FAQ

Rural Internet FAQs

DSL internet and satellite internet offer comparable speeds. Both can deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps, however, DSL is usually more reliable than satellite for its grounded wire technology. Satellite internet is susceptible to service interruptions due to bad weather or faulty equipment, while DSL runs along grounded telephone lines that are protected from the elements.
There are many reasons why your internet might be slow – location aside. Check out our guide on the top 10 reasons for slow internet and how to fix them.
If you decide to go with satellite internet, you may be able to get speeds from 25 Mbps to 150 Mbps in speeds. These speeds can support low to moderate internet usage like web browsing and occasional streaming. However, everyone’s needs are unique. The speeds you need will depend on your lifestyle.
Yes. DSL, satellite, and dial-up internet are the most common options in the country. DSL typically offers better data allowances, but Satellite internet is also a great option for broadband internet for rural areas thanks to its wide availability.
If you’re still not finding what you’re looking for, don’t worry. Here are a few alternative options for rural broadband you can also consider exploring.



Mobile Hotspots – For an added fee, some mobile carriers offer WiFi hotspots that can be used for an internet connection at home. It can work as a convenient solution for light internet users and tends to be a cheaper alternative to satellite or DSL internet. Just make sure your mobile provider supports your home address before paying up.


Dial-up – While some have put this option out to pasture, it’s still a decent and cheap internet connection if you plan to live an unplugged lifestyle that needs only to check emails or browse the web. Similar to DSL internet, dial-up internet utilizes telephone lines to deliver service to homes. However, dial-up speeds are usually less than 1 Mbps, making it the very last option we’d recommend going with.
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