14 Unlimited Rural Internet Options | The Complete Guide
Surprisingly, there are a LOT of unlimited rural internet options in the United States today. I should know! I moved out of the city and to a very rural American town back around 2017 and was surprised that there was only one rural internet provider in the entire town, and they greatly suffered in the service and reliability departments.
Since I mostly work remotely, finding an unlimited rural internet option was one of the most important things for me to research early on.
In truth, I was able to find a reliable unlimited rural internet option in Texas – in the town that I moved to – relatively quickly. However, it was still surprising to me how few options were available for me to choose from in 2017.
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Thankfully, that’s changed a lot over the past 5 years, especially after 2020 exposed how underserved rural communities throughout the United Statesarewhen it comes to rural internet service providers.
The Expansion of Unlimited Rural Internet Options
What was originally a semi-fractured network of small companies here and there reselling data from the major networks at extreme premiums, and a couple of satellite internet providers, suddenly became bolstered by big names that have since entered the world of rural internet providers.
Turns out, there’s money to be made in the unlimited rural internet market – who knew! I guess they all of a sudden discovered that millions of American’s really do live outside of the city, and we like to use the internet too!
First came Starlink, then T-Mobile Home Internet, Verizon 5G Home Internet and a host of other unlimited rural internet options.
The List of Unlimited Rural Internet Providers for Home
Including internet service providers that you can use in remote areas outside of the home as well. So for those who travel for work, have remote camp sites, etc., there are internet connection options for you as well.
In fact, depending on your exact location, the options for rural internet are practically never-ending. So, without further ado, let’s discover who your next unlimited rural internet company is going to be.
Starlink | Satellite Internet
Starlink started launching satellites into space in 2018 and has since launched internet connection service in some of the most remote parts of the US, as well as other parts of the world.
This map shows that pretty much every part of the US has coverage for Starlink internet service. Even some of the most remote, rural areas of the country can now get high speed, low-latency, unlimited rural internet service.
The original satellite internet providers are plagued with extreme limits on data usage per billing cycle and generally terrible latency rates. In general, they aren’t exactly capable of providing for the needs of the average internet user in the US in the 21st century.
That’s not the case with Starlink.
Starlink offers unlimited data and its users have reported latency rates as low as 20ms, download speeds over 200 mbps, and upload speeds over 100 mbps. For satellite internet, and for those looking unlimited rural internet options – that’s a game changer.
If absolutely none of the other unlimited rural internet solutions listed below this are available in your market yet, then Starlink is your best bet. However, the sooner you pay the deposit and get on the waiting list – the better. Some people get their equipment in as soon as 4-6 months, but others have reported waiting over a year before seeing theirs arrive, due to popular demand.
Verizon first launched their 5G Home Internet service in 2018, but it really has not been widely available, or even marketed until this year. Now you can check your address to see if Verizon’s home internet service is available near you – and there’s a good chance that if you have a Verizon data signal at your location, you can probably get their 5G Home Internet for as little as $25/mo. If you can, then you have a pretty solid unlimited rural internet option that you will probably be pretty happy with – especially if you don’t have many other options, if any.
Because this is a relatively unknown internet service that has only recently exploded in terms of availability, there is not a sufficient amount of data out there just yet from actual users on overall reliability, upload/download speeds, latency rates, VPN compatibility, etc.
However, if it’s a solid service that you would normally expect from a major internet provider like Verizon, I imagine that we’re looking at an unlimited rural internet option that is more than adequate for 95% of internet users today.
In 2019, T-Mobile launched a highly anticipated unlimited home internet service. It started slowly with a few pilot areas, and has gradually expanded ever since. While I still do not personally have access to it where I live, by all reports, T-Mobile is expanding their unlimited rural internet service at a rapid pace.
The T-Mobile Unlimited Home Internet service is a fixed-wireless internet service. In general, if you can get a data signal from T-Mobile at your location – then chances are, you would be able to get connected on the T-Mobile home internet network for just $50/mo.
This unlimited rural internet service option is available via both T-Mobile itself, and via MetroPCS by T-Mobile.
In fact, I’ve heard from quite a few people that even if you cannot verify your address on the T-Mobile Home Internet website, you can still go to the local T-Mobile store (or MetroPCS by T-Mobile) and get a device to test out for a few days at your address. Quite a few people have reported being able to get the internet service that way despite their address not being “verified”. Or, you can just wait until your address verifies and order online 😉
This is my current internet provider and I live out in the middle of nowhere. Originally launched in 2012 as a rural internet option in underserved areas of the country, Nextlink offers a fixed wireless technology that provides line-of-site rural internet service.
Nextlink offers unlimited rural data plans with consistently high download and upload speeds, as well as low-latency signals.
Rain or shine, so far Nextlink’s rural internet service is as good as any internet service I’ve ever had, including providers that I’ve used in the city. To be clear, I cannot even see the tower where the data signal is coming from. It’s a good mile or so off on the horizon somewhere, but the signal is strong enough to give me a pretty solid and consistent data signal.
Kinetic by Windstream is currently a rural internet option in a total of 18 states including: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
Originally started in 2006, Kinetic by Windstream rural internet service offers unlimited internet plans with no data caps, and reliable service. Depending on the service area you’re located in, you may have an option for either their DSL, Cable or Fiber Optic internet service.
It’s not as widely available in rural areas as some of the other rural wifi providers on this list, however, like most of these companies, they continue to expand their rural internet network service area on a regular basis.
Currently, CenturyLink provides unlimited rural internet plans in the following states: Alabama, lowa, Michigan, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Washington, Florida, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wyoming.
Believe it or not, CenturyLink is actually one of the most widely available internet services in rural areas across the US.
And, chances are, if your house is wired for phone service (or has hard-wired phone access in the neighborhood) – then at the very least, you can probably get connected with their CenturyLink DSL internet service even if you live in a relatively remote area.
Why? Because CenturyLink’s DSL service is provided via traditional phone lines as opposed to the more modern method of internet delivery via Fiber Optic Cable.
DSL internet isn’t exactly ideal in the 21st century, however, if it’s one of your only options for internet service in a rural area, then you should probably give it a go. Beggars can’t be choosers – as they say!
And, if your house is lucky enough to have access to their fiber (to-the-loop) network – even better! Your rural internet speeds just got an upgrade!
Rise Broadband is an ISP that provides unlimited internet service to the following states: Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, lowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
They offer multiple types of internet service. Depending on where you are located you may be able to get their fiber optic internet, or their fixed wireless internet service.
Regardless of which service you’re able to get, Rise Broadband is a great option for rural internet if it’s accessible in your area. The screenshot to the left shows the internet service plans available for my address out in the middle of nowhere.
I currently use Nextlink because when I moved out here, Rise Broadband was not yet available at my address. And I’m pretty happy with Nextlink, but Rise Broadband is about $40 cheaper than what I currently pay Nextlink. It also appears to be about the same exact speeds as what I get through Nextlink.
My neighbor across the street has Rise Broadband, and they have been very happy with the service. Similar to my Nextlink internet, they are able to play games online, stream in 4K, and everything that one would normally expect to be able to do on a high-speed internet providers service.
Services like that out in this part of the country simply didn’t exist even 5-7 years ago – in fact, Rise Broadband was not available at my address until sometime in the past 12 months. So, they are definitely expanding their service network.
Frontier Internet provides internet service to rural areas around the US in about 28 states. Their network provides rural internet access to over 30 million people. That makes Frontier Internet the 5th largest residential DSL provider in the US.
Like some of the other unlimited rural internet options on this list, Frontier Internet provides various types of internet service such as fiber optic cable, DSL, copper internet and fixed wireless.
Frontier Internet’s coverage map isn’t quite as extensive in rural areas as some of the other providers in this article. However, if it looks like they might provide service in your region on the coverage map above, then it’s probably worth checking your address on their site to see if they are in your area.
Viasat & HughesNet Satellite Internet
Ok, so these two internet providers are satellite-based companies. These were two of the first companies to offer unlimited rural internet options to underserved areas, so despite their current shortcomings based on modern internet standards, I have to give them credit for that.
And, in some rural parts of the country, they are STILL the only option that you have for internet service. So I also have to give them credit for that.
However, if you have ANY other internet service options in your area, then I’d highly recommend avoiding both ViaSat and HughesNet for a few different reasons.
They offer Unlimited Data plans with a soft-cap where you get throttled – HARD.
The weather directly influences your connection and speeds – Storms? You’re outta luck.
They’re incredibly expensive compared to every other unlimited rural internet option on this list.
They have pretty stiff contracts that lock you in for a set term with pretty high cancellation fees.
Ok, you get the idea. BUT, for those who have no other alternatives, these are just inconveniences that one learns to work around. Having some form of internet at home in the 21st century can be better than having no internet at all.
So if that’s you, I’m sorry, but I’m also glad that companies like ViaSat and HughesNet exist. Just keep checking back on other rural internet service providers in your area so you don’t miss it when one of them expands far enough to provide service to your address.
And in all honesty – even if you do have to sign up for ViaSat or HughesNet for the time being, I’d still put a deposit down on Starlink Satellite Internet if you can. That way you’re at least on the Starlink waitlist to get their service at some point in the future. By nearly all reports, they are significantly better than ViaSat and HughesNet in nearly every possible way.
The List of Unlimited Rural Internet Providers for Travel
The internet providers listed above are primarily designed to be used in-home. The unlimited rural internet options for home use usually require a router of some kind, possible a satellite or receiver dish, and often times need to be hardwired into the house – meaning, they don’t offer battery powered equipment.
So in this section, we’ll cover the list of unlimited rural internet providers that can be used for traveling. Meaning, you’re not necessarily tied to a physical location in order to use the internet. The devices provided by the rural internet options listed below are typically battery powered, and can connect to data networks throughout the US – depending on which provider(s) the service works with.
As always, make sure you do your own due diligence directly with the internet provider to make sure that you’re getting the correct plan for what you need to use it for – as well as for mobility requirements for your internet service needs while traveling.
NOMAD Internet is one of the most popular travel internet providers for RV’ers and people who travel a lot but need to stay connected regardless of where they are.
The main concern with NOMAD internet is their limited customer support. They primarily provide support via chat and email, which can be a little cumbersome and time-consuming.
If you have a webinar coming up that you need to host and you need support to work out some connection issues within the hour – chances are, that’s not happening with NOMAD.
But, your options for truly unlimited rural internet that you can travel with are rather limited – and for what they offer, NOMAD is probably one of the best in the game at the moment.
Skyroam Solis is probably not the cheapest unlimited rural option, but, by all accounts, they do seem to be one of the most reliable and easiest to get set up.
With a monthly unlimited subscription, or a pay-per-GB option, there’s a plan for pretty much everybody.
They’re also international. Which makes them a nice choice for people who travel to remote areas in the world and need to stay connected while they travel.
It’s also a lot more secure than connecting to public hotspots as you travel. You get what you pay for, and in the case of Skyroam Solis – I think it’s a fair exchange.
Verizon Unlimited Internet Hotspot
Verizon actually offers a couple of unlimited rural internet options. One is directly through Verizon itself, and the other is through one of their smaller brands – VISIBLE (more info below).
By going directly through Verizon, you’re paying for a mobile hotspot device as a separate plan. However, if you already have service with them for a phone plan, you can usually get a pretty solid discount off of their mobile hotspot device plans as well.
Basically, if you can get a Verizon data signal where you’re at – so can your mobile hotspot device. So if you’re happy with your phone plan and data, then picking up one of Verizon’s hotspots is probably a good plan for you.
Just keep in mind – they are only “unlimited” internet plans in the sense that there’s no “hard cap”. But they can still throttle your data once you exceed the given plans soft data cap (e.g. 50 GB, 150 GB, etc.). So, you’ll still be connected once you exceed the data threshold for the month – but it might be at slower speeds.
VISIBLE by Verizon
Verizon also offers an unlimited mobile hotspot plan via their smaller brand knowns as VISIBLE by Verizon.
With this one, you’re actually purchasing a phone plan that comes with the unlimited mobile hotspot data.
And it’s unlimited data with a soft-cap.
Just keep in mind that the mobile hotspot with VISIBLE is limited to 5 MBPS right out of the gate which is like a slow to semi-slow DSL speed in a lot of areas.
Once you pass 50 GB of data on your hotspot, they say that you may be throttled with higher traffic congestion rates. So, there’s a good chance that after you exceed the data threshold that you’ll see speeds slower than 1 MBPS. That’s not ideal, but if it’s the only option you’ve got and/or can afford – then it might be a good option for you.
Unlimited Rural Internet Recap
Hopefully you have found one of these unlimited rural internet options fits your needs. If not, I’m sorry I could not be of assistance! Hopefully you find something in your search for a good internet provide wherever you live, or roam.
If you have any great companies that you’ve found to be a reliable internet provider in rural areas, please don’t hesitate to email me and let me know so that others can check them out as well via this article!