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Living in rural Oregon has some great benefits like getting to enjoy all of the natural beauty of the state, having space from neighbors, and getting more privacy. However, one drawback of living off the beaten path is that there can be fewer options when it comes to internet service. This has many wondering about the differences and benefits of fixed wireless internet vs DSL internet service.

DSL internet is very common, but if you are far away from the provider’s hub the quality can be poor. In other instances, you may be so far out that DSL is not even available. Fixed wireless internet could be the solution to your rural internet problems. DSL and fixed wireless internet are very different, so we will explain their pros and cons to help you choose the best service for your needs.

What is Fixed Wireless Internet?

Fixed wireless internet broadcasts internet signals using communication towers. From the tower, the signal is delivered to a special radio antenna on your house (also called a “dish”). This radio antenna is your modem. It connects to a router inside of your house which distributes internet service to your devices.

Fixed Wireless Internet vs DSL Overview

When comparing fixed wireless internet vs DSL, the signal delivery method, equipment, and speeds are key differences.

  • Typically need to be within 10 miles of the tower with a line of sight
  • Can provide high-speed internet in areas without DSL or cable infrastructure

Fixed Wireless Internet Pros

  • No phone/cable lines needed
  • No phone/cable service needed (cord-cutting)
  • Reliable and fast internet service
  • No data limits and suitable for streaming, gaming, and telecommuting
  • Providers are local small businesses with real human support

Fixed Wireless Internet Cons

  • Not all locations are within range of a tower that can provide service
  • Typically more expensive than DSL internet (but similar to cable internet prices)
  • The antenna must be mounted to the house and a cord must be run from the outside to inside

Frequently Asked Wireless Internet Questions

If you are considering wireless internet service, you may be asking yourself some of these common questions..

What is a fixed wireless internet provider?

A fixed wireless internet provider (WISP) supplies internet via radio antennas located on communication towers.

What is fixed internet service?

Fixed wireless internet travels on the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz radio wavelengths. An antenna (dish) on your home receives that signal and transports it to a wireless router.

What is wireless broadband internet service?

Wireless broadband internet service has speeds of at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. It can come from a fixed wireless internet provider or from a mobile wireless internet provider.

What is fixed line internet?

Fixed line internet is cable internet or DSL internet that works over phone lines. It is different from fixed wireless internet because there is a wireline that is installed permanently to serve the location with internet. Fixed wireless does not have any phone or cable lines.

What does fixed internet mean?

Fixed internet means a type of internet that is not portable. Both fixed wireless internet and fixed line internet (cable or DSL) are types of fixed internet. Mobile wireless internet and satellite internet are two examples of internet services that are not fixed.

Can broadband be wireless?

Yes, broadband can be wireless. Both fixed wireless and mobile wireless internet can reach broadband speeds of at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.

Is fixed wireless internet reliable?

Fixed wireless internet is very reliable. Unlike satellite internet, it is low-latency, and service is not disrupted by poor weather conditions. That’s why it is a great option for rural telecommuters and businesses as well as for home internet service. You can use fixed wireless internet for gaming, streaming, video conferencing, email, and web browsing. It can also support smart home devices!

How much does fixed wireless cost?

Webformix fixed wireless internet plans start at just $50 per month. We offer additional plans to ensure there is an option to fit all budget and speed needs that our clients may have.

What companies offer wireless internet?

Wireless internet is offered by a few local small businesses (and a couple of giants like AT&T). Webformix is the top-rated fixed wireless internet provider in Central and Southern Oregon. We do have some friendly competition in these areas, but we are the most popular provider because we offer no data caps, no contracts, and no hidden fees. Customers love that our support team is easy to reach. We are proactive in maintaining our tower equipment as well as ensuring that your home antenna is using the best technology. All internet companies encounter issues, but the way we handle problems is what sets us apart.

Does fixed wireless need line of sight?

In most cases, you do need to have line of sight in order to get fixed wireless internet. That means you need to be able to see the communication tower with the wireless internet transmitter in order to pick up the signal. However, technologies are improving and in some cases, you can get fixed wireless internet without a direct line of sight if the provider has hardware that is capable. In some cases, you can also install the fixed wireless equipment in a tree in order to obtain line of sight to the tower.

How is line of sight measured?

Line of sight for wireless internet service can be measured by testing antenna signal reception at the location where installation is desired. Webformix will check your location on Google Earth first to see if you are within the general range of our towers and to make sure that you do not have any trees or hills that would block signal reception.

What do I need for wireless internet?

To get wireless internet you do not need anything other than a router. The antenna and power supply will be provided by the wireless internet company. Webformix offers wireless routers for sale to clients, but clients have the option to supply their own. While every provider will differ, Webformix customers do not have any mandatory equipment purchases!

What is DSL?

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is a type of internet service that uses phone lines to transmit internet signals. Since DSL delivers internet connection via phone lines, it is widely available. It differs from dial-up internet in that you can use the landline phone line at the same time as the internet without interruption.

DSL Internet Overview

  • A good option for simple web browsing and affordable cost
  • Not always dependable for streaming, music listening, large file transfers, or business purposes

DSL Internet Pros

  • DSL internet service can be very cheap
  • DSL speeds are starting to improve
  • No new wires or equipment needed

DSL Internet Cons

  • You may be required to have phone service as well as the internet because DSL is provided via phone companies
  • Speeds vary based on proximity to the main distribution point (closer to DSLAM means better speeds)
  • Data caps may apply

Frequently Asked DSL Internet Questions

If you are considering DSL internet, you may be asking yourself some of these common questions.

Is DSL available?

DSL internet service is available in most locations.

What companies offer DSL service?

CenturyLink is the most common provider of DSL internet in Oregon.

What is the difference between fixed wireless and DSL?

DSL internet is served through phone lines. Fixed wireless internet is served through communication towers so no phone line is involved.

Is DSL better than satellite internet?

DSL internet is generally better than satellite internet because it is not impacted by weather and is cheaper. However, some rural internet users may find that they can get faster internet speeds through wireless internet or satellite internet because they are located very far from DSL hubs.

Wireless Internet vs DSL: Which is Better?

When considering fixed wireless internet vs DSL internet service, it really depends first on what services are available at your property. If both options are possible, you’ll want to find out how far you are from the nearest DSL hub and ask neighbors if their DSL service is sufficient. If you are a heavier internet user and plan on streaming video or have a business to run, fixed wireless internet is likely to be a better option. It truly just depends on how you use the internet and where your property is located.

How can I get wireless internet?

You can get wireless internet by calling Webformix. We will check your location for availability, perform a free site survey to ensure a good signal, then install an antenna on your roof that will connect to a router in your home. The process is easy and wireless internet plans start at just $50 per month!

Sabine Downer

Sabine Downer

Sabine Downer is the Webformix Marketing Specialist that is responsible for our online content such as blogs, ads, internet promotions, and social media engagement.