What Are Our Rural Internet Options?


| 11/19/2015 12:20:00 PM


Tags: rural internet, internet access, small home big decisions, Kansas, Jennifer Kongs, Tyler Gill, build a home,

using a laptop by a window

The Small Home, Big Decisions series follows Jennifer and her husband, Tyler, as they build a self-reliant homestead on a piece of country property in northeastern Kansas. The series will delve into questions that arise during their building process and the decisions they make along the way. The posts are a work in progress, written as their home-building adventure unfolds.

Many folks who live in the country face a dilemma when trying to access fast, rural wireless Internet service at home. Many homesteads outside of town still rely on dial-up service, which doesn’t usually provide the download speeds that modern email and video streaming require. Especially for modern homesteaders who are Google- and YouTube-savvy and rely on these sites as tools to help them take on projects and solve problems around their property, having reliable Internet is invaluable.

We began researching the rural Internet options for our new home a couple of months before we moved. We don’t have, or want, cable or a home phone line. For us, we only needed wireless Internet, but we needed it to be reliable and relatively speedy. While our exact needs, situation and experience won’t be applicable to everyone looking for rural Internet services, the general roadblocks (or more accurately, “treeblocks”) we faced are a good starting point for anyone trying to find information.

Check with your current provider. Sometimes, the company you already use in town will offer satellite other options, especially if you do want to include a dish TV package. The Internet provider we used while living in town does not offer rural wireless Internet, which meant we had to find a new provider. Also, if you do keep land phone line service, such as with AT&T, you can create a package that combines Internet and a phone line (in most places).

Take into account any line-of-sight impediments, if required. While our house is on a hill — well, really, on the side of a hill — we are surrounded by dense woods on both the north and south ends of our property. We thought we had enough of an open pasture buffer between our roof and the trees that would allow for rural Internet providers to establish the necessary line-of-sight (usually via radio signals) connections with their towers. Plus, we assumed that being located along a highway and within a few miles of the city limits would widen our options. Never underestimate the power of Mother Nature: The woods made it nearly impossible for a signal to reach a nearby tower, and would be even worse in summer when the trees are fuller. These type of rural Internet options, however, tend to be cheaper than installing and relying on a satellite dish. So, if this option  is available where your property is located, then it’s worth having the installer out to check the connection and see if it’s strong enough to suffice for your needs.

Dale
1/4/2018 1:58:08 AM

I had them all and where I live out in the sticks, it's difficult to get any fast speeds here. I had Hughes and it was great, till a tornado took it out for me. I have Centurylink now and all I can get at the exhaust end and I mean I am at the end here, is about 3.5 mbps. I am bundled for the last 3 years with DirecTv right now, but I am ready for fiber optics now.


Mysthunter
12/27/2017 4:23:18 PM

Try Unlimitedville! $20 off your first month with code ZJJFACS. It uses cellular towers to provide internet. I advise getting the MOFI router option (rather than the default hotspot), and adding two Yagi antenna's and placing them at the sides of metal roofing for better performance. It's certainly not the cheapest option, but if you need a good connection and other means aren't available/reliable enough, then this is a good option to consider. Truly provides unlimited wireless data, without contacts, or throttling. And doesn't cut out when it rains the way satellite can.


Mysthunter
12/27/2017 4:20:38 PM

Try Unlimitedville! $20 off your first month with code ZJJFACS. It uses cellular towers to provide internet. I advise getting the MOFI router option (rather than the default hotspot), and adding two Yagi antenna's and placing them at the sides of metal roofing for better performance. It's certainly not the cheapest option, but if you need a good connection and other means aren't available/reliable enough, then this is a good option to consider. Truly provides unlimited wireless data, without contacts, or throttling. And doesn't cut out when it rains the way satellite can.





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