How to Get High-speed Internet in Rural Areas

Rural areas don’t usually have the fastest internet. Although internet options in remote areas are getting better nowadays, they’re still generally limited. What do you do if you live in a rural area and need the best rural high speed internet? 

Fortunately, there are many ways to get high-speed internet in rural areas. We’ll discuss each option one by one. We’ll also cover some tips on how to choose the best internet for rural areas.   

Why Is Rural Internet so Slow?

First, let’s talk about why the internet in rural areas is notoriously slow. 

1. Fiber optic is not widely accessible

There are a lot of infrastructure limitations in rural areas. Upgrades can be expensive, and ISPs don’t have enough incentive to quickly expand because there is not enough demand– the population is limited and there are only a handful of small and medium-sized businesses in remote areas. Many rural regions still use copper telephone lines, the oldest and slowest type of internet connection. Many of these lines are either old or broken, making it even harder for rural web surfers. 

2. Remote areas are far from street cabinets

The further the site’s distance from the nearest street cabinet, the further the data has to travel to reach the premises. This leads to slower and less stable performance. Not to mention the geographical limitations with natural barriers like valleys, mountains, and dense forests.

3. Lack of Competition

Because of the smaller population and limited demand, the competition is also relatively low. Competition can drive innovation and progress among ISPs. Instead, rural residents don't have enough options and are left with subpar internet service providers. 

The points above are just some of the main reasons rural high speed internet is hard to come by. The good news is there are ways to get high speed internet for rural areas. Just choose the best available option from the list below.

How to Get High Speed Internet in Rural Areas?

If you’re living in a rural community, explore the following options to enjoy high speed internet in rural areas.

1. Fiber optic connection

Fiber optic internet is the most reliable choice if you want the best internet for rural areas. Using fiber optic cables, it offers upload and download speeds of more than 1 Gbps. You also don’t have to worry about multiple devices sharing the internet. If you’re still about to set up or switch to a new type of internet connection, prioritize looking for fiber optic options. Although not all areas have access to fiber optic cables, more and more ISPs are expanding this service in remote areas. Do your research, and if you’re lucky, you’re in for a treat.

2. 4G Mobile Broadband

Especially if your location is near a 4G cell tower, 4G mobile broadband is also a decent option for you. The download speeds can reach more than 100 mbps. If you have access to a 5G cell service, even better. You can either insert the sim card into a portable mobile broadband router or use your smartphone to enable hotspot connection. This can also be considered a back-up connection and is great for those who are always on the go. 

3. DSL Broadband

DSL is widely available in rural areas because telephone lines are already widespread in these locations. It’s cheap and easy to set up– all you need is a DSL modem. The connection can be rather slow and usually offers just a few megabits, but if your type of work doesn’t require heavy browsing and streaming, this is easily accessible if you’re out of options.

4. Satellite

Satellite internet is accessible all over the US however remote your location is. It’s a plug-and-play type of connection that's affordable and easy to set up. However, it’s usually very slow– averaging only 20 mbps. If you want the best satellite connection, the next option is for you.

Founded by Elon Musk, Starlink delivers up to 100 mbps internet speed and is available across the world. Starlink uses thousands of small low-earth-orbit satellites rather than larger satellites further away. Its network latency is at 45 milliseconds while its competitors are usually 500 ms. It has just started rolling out, but it will soon be available everywhere in the world with more improved features to come.

6. Fixed Wireless Internet

This type of internet connection uses radio waves for transmitting data between two fixed points. Its speed can go up to 25 Mbps although there are recent technologies that can offer much higher speeds. Since there’s no wiring involved, it’s easier to set up and is also very affordable. However, it only works well if there are no obstructions in sight, so if you live deep in the woods, this might not be the best option.

How to Choose the Right Internet Service Provider If You’re Living in a Rural Area?

If you want improved rural connectivity, you need to choose the right Internet Service Provider, and when you do, consider the following key factors:

1. Speed and Bandwidth

Your required speed and bandwidth depends on your needs and the number of devices that require connection. If you do a lot of streaming, gaming, or video conferencing, select a plan that can meet these demands. 

2. Affordability

Try to compare the pricing structures of the ISPs available and find one that offers the best value. Besides the monthly fees, you also need to consider the costs of the installation. Make sure to read the fine print to watch out for potential hidden costs or unnecessary add-ons. 

3. Customer Support

Especially in rural areas that may be prone to technical issues, it’s important to find an ISP that has reliable and responsive customer support. The chosen ISP should ideally have 24/7 customer hotline or live chat support. To know whether or not the ISP has great customer service, you can check online reviews and see what people are saying on forums and in social media. 

Doing your due diligence helps you make an informed decision as you select the best internet rural areas. Below are some of our top recommendations for reliable internet in rural areas.

Recommendations for Internet Network Carriers in Rural Areas

Nowadays, internet access is no longer a matter of luxury but a necessity. Even if you live in remote areas, you can still access reliable internet connection by choosing the right ISP for your needs.  

1. T-Mobile

This is a budget-friendly choice starting at $25 per month. Its internet connection speed can reach up to 180 Mbps. T-mobile is the largest 5G network in the US, perfect for those who need a reliable and fast internet connection on the go.

2. Viasat

Viasat offers satellite internet connection nationwide. The price starts at $30 with up to 100 Mbps internet speed. For an accessible and budget-friendly internet connection in remote or rural areas, Viasat can be a great solution for you.

If you want a faster satellite connection and can afford to pay a premium, Starlink is easily the more reliable choice with speeds of up to 220 Mbps. Starlink pricing starts at $99 monthly. If fiber optical connectivity is not available in your area and you need rural high speed internet, Starlink is well worth it.

4. Kinetic

Kinetic offers various internet connectivity plans from fiber optic to DSL to fixed wireless. Their plan starts at $55 with up to 100 Mbps speeds. There are no contracts, so you’re free to give it a try and see how it can meet your streaming, surfing, or gaming needs. 

5. Hughesnet

HughesNet specializes in satellite internet, perfect for rural areas with no access to traditional cable internet services. They offer faster speeds, unlimited data, and reduced latency across the US. Pricing starts at $49 per month.


1. What is the fastest internet for rural areas?

Both Starlink and Viasat advertise internet speeds of up to 100 Mbps. However, these are satellite-based options whose performance depends on factors like harsh weather conditions.

Starlink has helped rural communities that traditional ISPs can’t tap. Its speeds are slower than Fiber Optic or Fixed Wireless Access, but it has a higher latency of 43 milliseconds, making it very stable and responsive. Though there are better options for urban settings, the goal of Starlink is to bring reliable internet access to people around the world, especially those living in underserved and remote areas. 

3. What affects internet speed?

There are different factors that can affect internet speed such as the type of connection, the ISP’s infrastructure, the distance between the site and the central hub, and the number of devices connected to the network. If your internet speed remains slow or unresponsive even if there are no interferences, contact your ISP accordingly.


There are thousands of internet service providers in the US, but many rural areas still remain underserved. The good news is how that’s quickly changing nowadays with more and more options and infrastructures being made available in remote locations. The key is to find the right options suitable to your browsing needs and consider having internet backup, especially if you need continuous internet access for personal or business purposes. 

If you’re ready to choose an ISP or switch to a new one, consider the tips above to enjoy better browsing, streaming, and gaming wherever you are in the country.

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