The Best Internet Providers in Rural Areas

The Best Internet Providers in Rural Areas

The Best Internet Providers in Rural Areas

Finding rural internet service in certain areas of the country can be difficult. Getting internet at reasonable prices and with high download speeds is still possible. For more related articles visit unlimited 4G rural internet.

Viasat and HughesNet are the best internet service providers for rural areas. They offer satellite internet service to remote locations that don't have fiber or cable internet. Spectrum provides cable internet and is rated by the company, while Frontier and Centurylink offer DSL internet to these areas.

Continue reading to find out what kind of internet connection is available.

How to find the right rural internet provider for you?

You may not have access to the internet in rural areas. The right one for you will depend on where you live, your budget, and the type of internet activities you engage in. These are the questions you should ask yourself:

What are internet service providers available in your area?

What internet options are there? Satellite and DSL are common options in rural areas.

What number of appliances and devices will you connect to this service?

What activities are you planning to take part in? Streaming video, downloading large files, and gaming require more bandwidth than browsing the internet, checking emails, or videoconferencing.

What amount can you afford to pay for internet access monthly? To see if you are eligible for financial assistance to pay for high-speed Internet access, visit here.

What is the reliability of an internet service provider?

Can the company provide 24/7 support, an internet help center, and/or a chatbot to troubleshoot connection issues?

Once you have all the information, compare your options to determine which plans are most compatible with your needs.

What is a Rural Internet Provider?

Rural internet providers provide services in rural areas. We compare providers who offer internet access to rural areas, which specialize in providing access to people who might not be able to access the internet due to their geographical location.

Rural areas are generally more difficult to reach than urban ones and don't have the same infrastructure. Rural internet providers are keen to provide their services to these customers. Depending on the connection type, download speeds might be slower than urban counterparts. Depending on internet speeds and data caps, monthly prices might differ.

Different types of rural internet providers

U.S. News & World Report rates different types of internet service. There are many options for rural internet service providers (ISPs). Viasat and HughesNet offer satellite internet. Frontier and CenturyLink offer DSL and fiber internet. Spectrum also offers a hybrid-fiber service.


Satellite internet does not require wires to be connected to your home. Instead, it is transmitted through satellites. You will need a modem and a satellite dish receiver to use satellite internet at your home. Satellite internet is often slower than wired internet. Satellite internet can be used in places where wired internet may not be.


DSL stands for digital subscriber line. DSL is an internet connection that takes place over a telephone line. DSL is an option if your home has a wired connection to a landline. DSL is slower than cable or fiber internet but can be cheaper as you don't have to connect to existing infrastructure.


Coaxial cable is made of steel, aluminum, copper, and plastic. These cables have been used to bring cable TV to homes for many decades. Cable is widely used, but it's not always available in rural areas. Cable internet is usually available to homes with cable TV. However, this does not mean they will need to install a new line. This can be expensive.


Fiber optic cables are made from thin strands of glass. This type of cable can transmit information. It is faster than other internet data transmission methods. There are two types of fiber optic cable:

Single-mode is used to transmit information over long distances.

Multimode is a method of sending information over short distances.

Fiber may or not reach the home depending on where it is laid and what area it is in. Sometimes, fiber will be laid most of the distance to the neighborhood before being connected to the homes using the cable. Rural areas are less likely to have fiber internet service.

Coaxial cable and hybrid fiber

Some internet service providers also offer a mix of regular and fiber cable. Instead of sending fiber optic cable all along the route to the residence, providers might use fiber to determine the route and then connect the homes with cable. This is cheaper to increase internet speeds without replacing coaxial cable with fiber.

What do I need to get set up?

Depending on the type of service, you will need different things to set up internet service. You will need to either lease or buy and install equipment. You can find information on ISP websites that will help you install your equipment quickly and at a lower cost.

Do I buy or rent equipment?

There are pros and cons when it comes to renting or buying equipment.

The Best Time to Buy Equipment:

Long-term savings

People who are tech-savvy and can do a DIY installation

Renting Equipment Is Best For:

People who aren't willing to pay a large lump amount upfront

For those who don't feel confident setting up the equipment

Tech support for equipment

If your internet provider allows it, renting or buying is the best option. However, paying upfront for the equipment is usually the most economical. If you don't have the budget for the cost, a lump-sum payment may be too expensive or unfeasible. Do-it-yourself installation is a possibility if you decide to purchase your equipment. If you don't know how to install technical equipment or are unfamiliar with the instructions, renting equipment from your ISP may be a good idea.

Your internet service provider will provide technical support for rental equipment if your equipment fails or malfunctions. This means you can arrange for a technician to visit your home to help fix the problem. You're responsible for the cost of your modem if it was purchased and installed by you.

What is the Average Cost of a Rural Internet Provider?

Rural internet providers have different pricing options. These are usually determined by internet speeds, data caps, and equipment rentals. It might also matter where you live.

HughesNet plans start at $64.99 monthly for a satellite internet connection with 15 Mbps download speed. Viasat is another satellite internet provider offering cheaper plans starting at $39.99 monthly but with a slower download speed of only 12 Mbps. CenturyLink is one example of an ISP that costs $50 per month. However, this includes equipment leasing and other services.

When comparing providers, be sure to consider your budget and what your needs are before you choose the one that is most likely to work for you.

What Are Rural Internet Providers Available in My Area?

The type of technology that you use for your connection may affect the ISPs in your area. Satellite internet, for example, is widely available, while fiber connections are more limited. DSL and cable aren't as common as satellite, but they are still viable options for rural areas. They work on the same infrastructure as TV and telephone. DSL service can sometimes be slow if you live far from the hub of your internet service provider.

The National Governor's Association provided information on various governors' initiatives and funding requests to increase broadband internet access in rural areas of their states. Kate Brown, the Oregon Governor, spoke out to address the issue, stating that her budget included $100 million that would be used to bridge the internet gap between rural and urban areas. Providing more internet service providers for remote areas could be possible if more funding is available.

Visit their websites to see the list of companies that received our Best ISPs in Rural Areas rating. You can also call customer service representatives to find out about availability in your region.

Our 360 Methodology to Support Internet Service Providers

Why You Can Trust Us: 25 Internet Service Providers -

U.S. News & World Report ranks the Best Hospitals, Colleges, and Best Cars to help readers make some of the most difficult decisions in life. Our 360 Reviews team uses this impartial approach to rate your daily products. We analyzed 13 reviews and researched over 25 internet service providers to build our ratings. 360 Reviews does not accept samples, gifts, loans, or loans for products or services that we review. After review, all samples provided are donated. We also have a separate business team, which does not influence our recommendations or methodology.

This article describes our 360-degree approach to researching and analyzing internet service providers to help prospective customers.

1. We looked into the products and companies people care about most.

U.S. News analyzed and compared publicly available data, including internet search data, to find the most popular internet service providers. We identified 25 companies for further analysis based on the volume of searches and consumer research. After a thorough analysis, the initial list was reduced to 12 Best Internet Service Providers.

We went one step further and determined the 12 best ISPs based on their connection type. Another sub-category that was worth considering was the fastest ISPs. However, this couldn't be accurately captured without a speed testing platform. Instead, 360 Reviews provided consumers with the fastest-publicized ISP plans offered by our overall Best Internet Service Providers. We researched the most important features of each company to help consumers make informed buying decisions.

We compared the plans, associated costs and fees, and the company's specific customer needs. Plans included download/upload speed, data caps, and connection type. The Federal Communications Commission provided latency, consistency, and packet loss data for connection types and ISPs that allow gaming. We created a comprehensive set of guides to provide a 360-degree overview of the key points consumers should be aware of.

2. Based on third-party reviews, we created objective 360 Overall Ratings.

Our scoring system is based upon a composite analysis that includes ratings and reviews from credible third-party professionals and consumer review sources. U.S. News's personal experiences, opinions, and tests are not used to calculate the ratings. The following steps were used to calculate the ratings.

(a) We have compiled two types of third-party ratings/reviews:

Review and Professional Ratings: Many independent sources have published their evaluations of online service providers and products. Many of these reviews are reliable and well-researched, according to us. Professional reviewers can make contradictory recommendations. U.S. News believes consumers are better served by relying on multiple sources.

U.S. News reviewed consumer ratings and reviews. Our scoring system included sources that had sufficient consumer reviews and ratings.

You should note that not all professional or consumer rating sources meet our criteria for objectivity. Some sources were therefore excluded from our model.

(b) The inputs were standardized to create a common scale.

Third-party data sources were collected in many forms, including ratings, recommendations, and accolades. We standardized each third-party source data point before including it in our scoring equation. This allowed us to compare it with other review data points. These systems were converted to a comparable scale using the following scoring method.

Each third-party rating into a common 0-5 scale by the 360 scoring process. We used a standard deviation calculation (or Z-Score) to balance the scores from each source. This calculation determined how each company rated by a source was compared to its mean score. The Z-Score calculates a standard U.S. News score by following the steps below.

Calculating the Z Score: The Z Score measures a data point's relationship to the mean measurement in the data set. A Z-Score indicates that the data point is below or above the mean. A Z-Score value of 0 signifies it is equal to the average. We calculated the average of all the company ratings from the third-party source to determine the Z-Score. We subtracted the average from the company's rating to calculate the Z-Score. We then divided it by its standard deviation.

Calculating the T Score: We used a T Score calculation to convert the Z Score to a scale of 0-100. This involves multiplying the Z Score by 10. We added the desired scoring average (between 0-10) to the T-Score to ensure an equal mean across all data points.

Calculating the common-scale rating. We divided the T-Score adjusted, on a 100-point scale, by 20 to convert the third party rating to a common, 0-5-point system.

(c) The 360 Overall Score was calculated using a weighted average model.

Based on how trustable and well-recognized each source is by consumers and how comprehensive its published review process is, we assigned source weights to each source in the consensus scoring system. Source weights are assigned using a 1--5 scale. Any source assigned a weight lower than two was removed from the consensus scoring model.

The converted third-party data points were combined using a weighted formula based on source weight. We call this the 360 Overall Rating.

Most people should have access to affordable internet service providers. To determine the most affordable internet service provider, we compared the monthly costs of all the companies.

The fastest high-speed internet service providers must also be able to provide speedy service. We compared the speeds of each company's highest plan to determine this subtracting.

There are many types of internet service providers, including fiber internet. We collected companies with fiber internet and ranked them according to their overall ranking.

Prepaid option plans are also available from Internet service providers. We ranked companies with prepaid plans based on their overall ranking.

There are many types of internet service providers, such as DSL. We included DSL internet service providers and ranked them based on their overall ranking.

There are many types of internet service providers, including satellite. Satellite internet companies were included in our analysis and ranked based on their overall ranking.

There are many types of internet service providers, including cable. We included companies that have cable internet and ranked them based on their overall ranking.

Latency is a key factor in gaming over the internet. Gaming with the internet is dependent on latency. The lower the latency, the better it is. Based on their latency, we ranked the top internet providers for gaming.

There are many areas where internet service providers can be found. We scored rural companies based on how far they offer services, specifically in rural areas.