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What is the Best Internet Option for Rural Areas? Check Out the 4 Top-rated ISPs here!

The hustle-bustle of big cities has caused most of you to shift to rural areas. However, like everything, living in rural areas has an opportunity cost. Where you get a peaceful environment, you might struggle to stream your favorite shows due to poor internet connectivity. Even though there are newer options like Starlink, available to improve internet connectivity in rural areas, there still exists a digital divide inhibiting businesses to work with their full potential.

Then what is the best internet option for rural areas? Fortunately, now people living in rural areas don’t have to settle for satellite services since DSL, cable internet, fixed wireless, and even fiber have become widely available everywhere. This comprehends that those living in rural areas now have greater choices for internet connections.

Internet Options for Rural Areas

If you are wondering how to get high internet speed in rural areas, then check out the following options for internet for rural areas. They are differentiated based on the technology and data limits. However, you need to check out their availability in your region as you won’t probably find all the options in your area.

DSL – Digital Subscriber Line

DSL provides internet connectivity via telephone lines. It uses the same copper wires installed into your homes for data transmission. Thereby DSL gets instantly installed than other internet connections. Its speed typically ranges from a minimum of 768 kbps to a maximum of 100 Mbps.



Since DSL runs via phone lines, it is 90% available nationwide.

It has the lowerest installations and maintenance cost than other internet technologies

 Inconsistent speed in certain areas.

Since the circuit quality is heavily dependent on the distance from a central ISP hub, speed and network reliability might be an issue in rural areas.

Satellite Internet

Satellite internet is accessed through communication satellites. For installation, the service providers install a dish into your house and then you access the internet from the space directly. Typically people in rural areas consider this option where DSL and cable connections are not available. Apart from that, there could be no possible explanation for using satellite internet. Though, you can consider it as an upgrade if you previously were using dial-up internet.



Since it is accessed via satellites, it is virtually available everywhere on earth.

It is faster than dial-up and DSL as It can reach a speed of 100 Mbps.

It is extremely costly

Internet quality is highly dependent upon weather conditions

It has a high ping rate.

Fixed Wireless

Fixed wireless is commonly known as antenna-based internet. The routers that service providers install into your homes are part of the process of setting up a fixed wireless network. The router catches signals and extends them to your devices to connect to the internet.



With high speed, widespread availability, and lower cost, it offers a complete package to the users.

It can be deployed in 7 to 10 business days.

Via this, you will get unlimited bandwidth.

Like other internet technologies, it does not offer 100% consistent connections.

The cost might be high for rural areas.



Dial-up is an old-school method for providing internet service and is widely used in rural areas. It uses the existing phone line signals and convert communicating voice to communicating data. However, the data transfer limit in dial-up is quite limited and results in low internet speed.



Its only benefits are easy installment and low cost.

It works fine for simple browsing and e-mailing.

With 56 kbps speed, it is far slower than any other internet option.

You have to connect every time to use it.

While it’s in use, your phone line connection will be blocked.


Cellular Internet

Cellular internet provides connectivity via a mobile network. You don’t need to install a separate infrastructure for it. It is accessible through your mobile hotspot. While it sounds much easier solution to access internet service, it might not be feasible for heavy usage on a computer.



It is immediately available everywhere.

Its “plug and plat feature” eliminates the need for phone lines, cables, or an electrical outlet.

Its quality is highly dependent on the mobile network you use and the number of people connected to it.

You may face difficulty in getting cellular reception in remote areas.

An average cellular internet speed falls under the range of 13 to 15 Mbps.

Its internet plans typically come with data caps, excessive usage will overcharge you.

Fiber Broadband

Fiber-optic broadband is relatively newer and currently the most in-demand technology for the internet. It is simply high-speed broadband but uses fiber optic cables instead of conventional copper wires for better transmission of data.



With multi-gig speed, it is one of the fastest internets on the market.

It is scalable. Once you have installed it, you can increase or decrease the bandwidth as per your needs.

It is less prone to large-connectivity slowdowns.

It is not widespread and only available in 32% of areas of the country.

Since fiber is lighter and thinner than copper wires, it can get damaged easily.

It has high installation and fixation costs.


While there are pros and cons to each technology, you will get a ubiquitous internet solution if you strategically deploy it. However, if you are looking for a single-step solution then fiber optic broadband is undeniably the best solution for both rural and urban areas. Several service providers offer a suite of satellite, cable, and fiber optic packages to choose from. You can opt for any as per the availability of that technology in your area.

4 Best ISPs in rural areas in 2021

What is the best internet option for rural areas? Well, unlike townies, ruralites face difficulties finding a reliable and fast internet service provider. Thereby, in the following, we have listed the top ISPs from the country offering their services in rural areas at reasonable prices.


Cost $20 to $80/month for initial 12 months
Broadband option Fiber optic and cable
Speed 60 to 1000 Mbps

Mediacom is a reliable internet service that provides fast internet and strong connections in rural areas. Its speed is faster than satellite internet. However, the only downside is it is available in just 22 states. You need to check if it offers services to your zip code. For smaller homer homes where the internet is mainly used for playing online video games, remote working, and streaming, its Internet 100 plan would be perfect. With this plan, you can connect up to 6 devices to your wifi.


Cost $30 to $150/month
Broadband option satellite
Speed 12 to 100 Mbps

If you are comfortable with satellite internet, then Viasat is the best option for that. It provides its services to every region on earth. For some areas, the internet speed ranges up to 100 Mbps however, realistically, most countryside areas get an internet speed of 20 to 30 Mbps. Their internet packages are as cheap as $30. One downside to their service is, you have to make a two-year contract with them at a constant price throughout.

Century Link

Cost $50 and up/month (cost for initial 12 months)
Broadband option DSL
Speed 10 to 940 Mbps

Century Link is a broadband DSL internet that requires minimum infrastructure to set up. The company uses your existing telephone line to extend its internet connection to your area. The best part is that you will only have to pay a flat rate of $49 as long as you continue to with their services. Typically, their speed ranges from 10 to 940 Mbps, but if you are living in the deep rural side then you will probably get 20 to 100 Mbps. Unline other satellite ISPs that impose data limits, Century link offers 1 TB of impressive data limit via which you can download and stream your favorite TV shows without any disturbance.


Cost $25 to $75/month
Broadband option Cable, DSL, and fiber optic
Speed 100 to 1000 Mbps

SuddenLink provides its service via cable connections. Its services are available in only 19 states, including Louisiana, Texas, and West Virginia. If a good downloading speed is what you look for in an internet connection then check for this service available in your area. Its internet speed begins with 100 Mbps and goes up depending on your location.

They have impressive internet bundles that suit the needs of every household. For instance, if you are a small family with light usage of the internet, its $25/month bundles will be suitable for you as you will get 100 Mbps of download speed. However, if you want to play heavy online games, their fiber plan would work perfectly for you.

If you are looking for a straightforward answer to “what is the best internet option for rural areas” then there is no one perfect answer. It highly depends on where you live and which internet services are available in your area. However, the above-mentioned ISPs largely cover rural areas. So if you find any one of them then go for it. You won’t regret acting upon our advice!

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