It’s not easy to move to a rural area from an urban area, especially if you’ve come to love the basic amenities. If you love high-speed internet service, then get ready to say goodbye to it when you move to a rural area. And obviously, you can’t live without the internet in this day and age, so you need the internet for rural areas. According to us, Viasat satellite internet is pretty much the best choice as it provides both speed and consistency throughout the USA. In the rural internet community, the options are limited and prices are steep. So it’s a rare occurrence when you find an internet provider that offers balanced services.
Viasat high-speed internet service is available nationwide and the top speeds reach up to 100 MBPS. But to access these speeds, you must be in specific locations and ready to pay hefty fees. It’s not the cheapest internet option, but compared to other types of internet for rural areas, it’s a steal. Internet options like HughesNet, CenturyLink, DSL, or fixed wireless either cut down the speeds or are widely unreliable. None of the rural internet options are available in all 50 states. This is why ViaSat unlimited satellite internet is considered the best option.
5 Best Rural Internet Providers
|Provider||Availability||Price||Download Speeds||Data Cap|
|Viasat||Nationwide||$30.00 – $169.00/mo||Up to 100 MBPS||Up to 300 GB|
|CenturyLink||36 states||$50.00/mo||Up to 100 MBPS||Unlimited|
|Verizon||48 states||$40.00 – $60.00/mo||25-50 MBPS||Unlimited|
|Nomad||50 states||$129.00 – $149.00/mo||2-150 MBPS||Unlimited|
|Rise Broadband||16 states||$35.00 – $65.00/mo||25-50 MBPS||250 GB – Unlimited|
1. Viasat Satellite Internet: Best Overall
As we’ve already mentioned, according to us Viasat takes the throne when it comes to the internet for rural areas. It offers better speed and higher data caps compared to its primary competitor (HughesNet). While Viasat does claim to offer “unlimited satellite internet” it isn’t entirely true. In fact, you can use high speeds up to a particular data cap, once you consume your data, your speed is throttled until next month.
Strict data caps and slow speeds have always been a challenge of using satellite internet, but Viasat fixes that with up to 300 GB data caps, high internet speed, and nationwide availability. The minimum speeds offered from a plan are 12 MBPS. Which isn’t that bad for a single or 2 users.
With Viasat, the price hike is imminent after the promotional period ends. So, you will have to take the price hike into account before getting a Viasat satellite internet plan. As of right now, Viasat is the king of satellite internet, but after the launch of Starlink, it will be hard for Viasat to maintain its customer base
2. CenturyLink: Best Rural DSL Internet
If you’re actively searching for DSL internet in rural areas, then CenturyLink will be the best option. Some of its plus points include contract-free plans and unlimited data caps. Additionally, you can cancel your plan anytime you want without worrying about termination fees.
As there are no data caps, you don’t have to worry about the overage fee as well. So if you’re heavy on streaming and downloading, you can rest easy with CenturyLink. Similar to Viasat Satellite internet, the maximum speed reaches 100 MBPS.
As CenturyLink offers DSL Internet for rural areas, likely, you won’t be able to get it in most rural areas. Sometimes, the speeds could slow down during peak hours, which is a common thing with DSL internet.
Compared to Viasat’s high-speed internet plans, CenturyLink is a cheaper option. Unfortunately, it falls behind due to its lack of nationwide availability.
3. Verizon: Best 4G LTE Internet
The primary reason we included Verizon on our list of the internet for rural areas is because of its coverage. If you don’t have access to cable and fiber internet, but you do live in an area that has enough cellphone coverage, you’re sorted.
Verizon cellphone plans give download speeds between 25-50 MBPS and unlimited data. What more can you ask for? If you already have a Verizon service, and you add Verizon 4G LTE internet to it, then the plan costs just $40 per month. If you get Verizon Home Internet without a cell phone plan, it costs $60 per month.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay Verizon’s equipment fee upfront ($240). While the service works through a cellphone, it’s still based on your location, hence the equipment cost.
4. Nomad Internet: Best RV Internet Option
Nomad internet is another LTE internet for rural areas. As the name suggests, it’s an internet option for RVers. Nomad internet service is also available nationwide, so you’ll get coverage wherever you go. Although, speeds differ greatly from the region.
Nomad internet service uses AT&T and T-Mobile network towers. The plans cost more than getting an internet plan directly from another provider, but Nomad has better availability. If you spend most of your time in an RV, then Nomad is a great option for you. It’s also compared to Viasat satellite internet plans when it comes to top internet options for RV.
Nomad offers you two different pieces of equipment to choose from. There’s a stationary router that needs to be plugged into a power outlet and there’s a portable router that needs to be charged after some time.
5. Rise Broadband: Best Fixed Wireless Option
Rise Broadband ranks last on our list of the internet for rural areas. Their top speeds reach 50 MBPS, which is good enough.
Fixed wireless service is replacing DSL internet throughout rural America. It doesn’t need a phone line, it’s more widely available and offers better speed and reliability than DSL. Overall, fixed wireless is a better option than DSL internet.
There’s no point in getting fixed wireless if you have cable or fiber internet available. A fixed wireless provider sends signals straight to your home using an antenna on your roof. The signal is then sent to your router which then creates a WiFi network. The plans are expensive and it’s not a viable option for everyone. It’s better to get Viasat high-speed internet.
Most of the plans on Rise Broadband have a strict data cap. The more data you want, the more money you’ll have to pay each month. Most fixed wireless data caps start at 10GB which is next to nothing. You’ll also have to pay an overage fee when you consume your allotted data limit.
Conclusion: Internet for Rural Areas
In the end, it all boils down to the two main providers of the internet for rural areas. Your best option is either the Viasat satellite plan or CenturyLink Internet plan. In a couple of years, Viasat is going to launch a new satellite that will drastically increase its speeds and reduce prices. But, all in all, satellite internet is expensive and offers less data. So if you have a CenturyLink provider in your area, go for it.