If you live outside of a major city, your rural internet service options can be a little different. Rural internet services have a reputation for being lower in quality than urban broadband internet. However, options are improving, and if you live near a Webfomix tower, you are definitely in luck!
Top 5 Rural Internet Options
If you live off the beaten path, these are the top 5 types of internet service that may be available to you. We’ve ranked them from best to worst and will tell you the pros and cons to be aware of.
- Fixed Wireless Internet (Webformix)
- Mobile Wireless Internet
- DSL Internet (landline phone required)
- Satellite Internet
- Dial-Up Internet (landline phone required)
|Internet Service||Fixed Wireless||Mobile Wireless||DSL Internet||Satellite Internet||Dial-Up Internet|
|Download Speed||Up to 50 Mbps||25-50 Mbps||Up to 25 Mbps*||12-150 Mbps||40-64 Kbps|
|Data Cap**||None for Webformix||400+ GB/month||1 TB||40-300 GB/month||None|
*Potentially up to 100 Mbps if they have “fiber”
**Data caps vary by provider and plan, the most common caps are listed
Rural Internet Service Tips
If you are moving to a rural area, be sure to call the internet service providers before purchasing a property! Since location can restrict rural internet service options it is important to know what your options will be before you commit to a property. While your real estate agent may have recommendations, be sure to check with the internet company to make sure the agent has accurate knowledge. Keep in mind that trees and hills can obstruct service availability. Also, remember that you may need a spot to mount a wireless radio or satellite dish.
Fixed Wireless Internet
Fixed wireless internet is the type of service you get from Webformix. To get this type of high-speed rural internet service you need to have a “line of sight” to the communications tower that the internet company uses. Trees, hills, and buildings can obstruct the line of sight and prevent you from getting service. This means that if there are two houses on the same block, it could be that only one gets service due to the geography of the lot and surrounding features.
Since signal quality is so important, Webformix evaluates your site remotely when you call. If good quality service looks possible we verify the signal quality with a free site survey. We only install equipment if the signal is good. The fixed wireless internet equipment consists of a radio antenna that looks like a dish. This radio antenna is actually a modem that is attached to the house. A cord must be run from the outside where the radio is to the inside of the house where the router is. There is also a power supply cord for the radio antenna called a POE that is located inside of the house.
Some rental properties (mainly apartments) do not allow for fixed wireless internet due to the need for installation. You will need to check with your landlord to be certain. If you own your property, it should not be an issue. In some cases, radio antennas can be installed into trees. This costs extra and requires additional work, but it is an option for getting fast rural internet to hard-to-reach properties.
Mobile Wireless Internet
Mobile wireless internet, aka “mobile broadband,” is a type of internet service you can get from cell phone companies like T-Mobile and AT&T. With this service you have a mobile “hot spot” device that allows you to connect to the internet via a 4G LTE or other mobile network technology. Mobile broadband is portable, unlike fixed wireless internet, but relies on cell phone tower reception.
Mobile wireless internet can be as fast as fixed wireless internet but tends to be a bit more expensive. Remember that you also need to be in a spot with cell service for mobile wireless internet to work. If you need high-speed rural internet in an area that does not have cell service or a fixed wireless signal, your options could be more limited.
DSL for Rural Internet
DSL internet typically allows larger data caps than satellite internet. With DSL internet, you can get “broadband” internet service via a landline phone connection. The FCC requires broadband internet plans to have at least 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed (Mbps means Megabits per second). While lower speeds may be sufficient for your internet use habits, it is good to be aware of what exactly “broadband” is. Not all DSL service plans will actually provide broadband speeds.
When talking about internet speed, it is important to remember that there’s more to it than download speeds. While DSL is one of the fastest rural internet options, you can get broadband speeds with fixed wireless internet. Also, factors like latency, upload speed, and customer service need to be considered when choosing an internet service provider.
While DSL internet companies like Centurylink advertise very high speeds (beyond what most people even need), the quality of your DSL service heavily depends on the distance from you and the internet service provider’s hub! The farther away you are, the poorer and slower the internet connection will be. So while this rural internet option does appear cheap and fast, actual service may not be what you hoped for. That is why wireless internet can be a better option for rural internet service.
Satellite internet is a common rural internet option for those who do not have cellular reception or access to a fixed wireless internet service. Traditionally, latency, “jitter,” and data limits have been problems with satellite internet. Price-wise it may be a more expensive rural internet service than other options and requires you to use a satellite dish to get service.
Dial-Up internet is the internet of the ’90s. You may remember the “dial-up sound” you would hear when connecting to AOL using a CD you got in the mail. Believe it or not, companies like NetZero, Juno, AOL, MSN, and EarthLink still provide dial-up internet service. Dial-Up internet is not the best for speed and it does require a landline phone service. However, in some very remote locations, it may be the only option for rural internet service.
Where Can You Get Webformix Internet?
Webformix is the highest-rated internet service provider in Central and Southern Oregon, and we should be; we are from here! Webformix is a local small business that aims to provide high-quality internet service with easy-to-reach human support. We have many towers in Central and Southern Oregon. Here are just some of the locations that we service:
- Bend, OR
- Redmond, OR
- Madras, OR
- Sisters, OR
- Terrebonne, OR
- Grants Pass, OR
- Rogue River, OR
- Wimer, OR
- Merlin, OR
- And more!