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Internet and WIFI for rural area?

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    Internet and WIFI for rural area?

    I believe that there was a thread a while back about this but I can't find it. I am looking at property but there is no internet cable....what are the ideas out there now days? I need to be able to have wifi for work and for my car cameras (Arlo camera). How is satellite these days? Can you run security cameras and say Alexia with the satellite or a cellular Hotspot?
    Last edited by spook1; May. 12, 2020, 08:00 PM. Reason: Added more to the title

    It was me. It's in Off Topic title Tech People Please Help. I was very frustrated but ended up going to T Mobile and getting a wi fi hotspot and that is how I am talking to you now.


      Original Poster

      Hi HPF
      Ugh that doesn't sound positive..... :/ Is it ok to run Alexia and other stuff or is it super slow?


        Are you sure DSL is not available? Other options are satellite or a 'hotspot' from a mobile phone provider.

        But rural providers are doing things like WISP (outdoor long-range wifi) so it doesn't always have to be a cabled solution.

        I was not thrilled about going from super fast internet in civilization to DSL out here in the country, but it's been okay. When the tiny phone company sold to a larger one, we got some new techs who knew more things and we now have two bonded DSL lines. We get more speed, and if one goes down we can get by on the other one. We also have a Verizon hotspot as a backup (both of us work from home and cannot be without connectivity) and it's set up to automatically fail over without anyone having to mess with it.
        ... with Patrick and Henry


          We are super lucky to have a local broadband provider. Cheap and fast. Not cable fast but workable. The sellers agent mentioned it when we raised concern about no cable otherwise we would not have known it existed and might have passed on the property as we need the ability to work from home and no DSL here either.
          Last edited by fourfillies; May. 12, 2020, 08:42 PM.


            Originally posted by spook1 View Post
            Hi HPF
            Ugh that doesn't sound positive..... :/ Is it ok to run Alexia and other stuff or is it super slow?
            It's not super slow. But if you get one I think a lot depends on what cell towers you have nearby. Look on the thread to connect with the very kind COTHers who offered me help.


              I live in a tough internet area. Hughes Net is better than it once was, but for folks “down in the hollows” it is slow. I have a wireless plan on my cell and iPad. Both work really well (fast to stream movies and upload video.). The Sprint plan for my IPad is less than $20/month and while there is some sort of limit, I never get close to it with regular podcast streaming, and Netflix watching. I do not have a desktop computer, voice interface, or anything else.
              "Friend" me !



                Dishes are very unreliable. My friends use a hot spot, about $50 a month assuming you have a good cell tower nearby and it has limits on how much you can use it. I have a DSL line where I live and it works great most of the time. But a mile down the road from me there is nothing. I would not buy without DSL.


                  We've had HughesNet twice. The first was a "consumer" grade unit and it was not satisfactory as it was too weak on upload signal and too sensitive to download disturbance by rain. The second time we got the lowest level "commercial" unit and it was satisfactory, but no better than. It was more expensive than the first unit and service but it at least it did work. When DSL became available we switched and now use a UVerse system along with a network extender.

                  Living in mountainous, rural areas means lousy broad band coverage unless you also have cable or some other type of mass system. We don't have that either.

                  Rural living can be a challenge.

                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


                    I have sprint, which DH bought special things for to connect to the net to work better.
                    Just recently, Tmobile & Sprint joined together. Now I get roaming on my property where before I got squat, as if I was on the moon!
                    Does that help any?


                      I have a Verizon hotspot, which works very well, but there IS a data limit that you have to watch. When Verizon says they have unlimited data, they are not completely truthful on that. Each device has a limit (I think hotspots are 15G per month) and you can burn through that pretty quickly streaming movies or TV shows.

                      I also have Viasat satellite, which works fine for most things (except logging into my work's VPN - the reason I still have the hotspot). We use that for streaming everything on TV, buffering seems to take a little longer, but it works and I don't have to worry about running out of data.

                      I have Alexa and other wifi devices (Sonos speakers, my garage door openers, my thermostat and some light bulbs) and they seem to work just fine using Viasat.

                      And I have NO other options, cable and DSL are not available where I live. Which is completely ridiculous as I live in a pocket of rural area surrounded by suburbia, 22 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. But I'll trade the internet issues to have dirt roads, horses and cows and farms all around me.


                        I work from home when I'm not on the road, and do fine with DSL from our local co-op (and a satellite for Directv). No issues with Verizon coverage, and I have cell reception all over my farm. Uploading photos to facebook or something is best done once I'm near the house and can get wifi. The DSL is good enough for Netflix (with occasional little buffering blips, nothing disruptive). For work, I sometimes have to work with very large files, and uploading 20+MB files to our corporate server can take a minute (but so what-- you just leave that upload running in the background and do other stuff).

                        It's just the two of us here and we're not into gaming or other Big Data activities. I doubt our DSL would have the bandwidth for a whole family all watching different screens. (Then again, the beauty of living in the country is that you are outside a lot, tending your property or just enjoying the outdoors. A less electronics-centered existence is not actually a bad thing?)

                        There's a new player, Windstream, that's putting a new fiber optic line through our area. Probably would have faster data, but we're going to stay with the co-op. If my internet is ever down, I call and speak directly to their technical guy, and get immediate help. One time I called at around 8am because I couldn't get my router to reboot. I called and while he was troubleshooting, I said ugh, this is bad timing , I've got like 4 video calls this afternoon. Ed was like, no problem, I've got a new router sitting on my desk, I'll hop in the car right now. Ed was here in about 45min and got me up and running, no charge for the router or service.

                        So Guilherme is right that rural living can be a challenge, but there are upsides.


                          Out where I live now there's really only one provider that can deliver decent (not great) service unfortunately. Installation was almost $500 (my previous broadband install was free). For the first six months, monthly charge was $120, just got jacked up to $150.

                          I have to suck it up because I work from home. It's really irritating that I'm about 60 miles from the nation's capital and I can't get reasonably priced, reliable internet.


                            Latency on Dishes is still not great plus they usually have bandwidth caps.

                            WISP is generally your best option in the country. ATT is now a WISP provider in some areas. I had them at our old house and it was fast enough for two people to work from home and reliable. WISP is only as good as the company that sells it so if they oversell your tower expect major slow downs when evening streaming kicks off


                              I have a Verizon cell phone that I use as WIFI hotspot, fortunately I have excellent cell service at my farm. Only other option would be satellite and I don't want to spend the money. The Hotspot is a little slow, but works fine for basic service, I can watch Youtube videos and stream TV without much problem. It would be too slow for serious gaming or large data transfers. I do have DishTV for regular watching, I only watch TV on the internet for stuff I can't get on Dish.

                              They are slowly expanding regular cable TV and internet into my area and if that becomes available I will switch.

                              Edit to add: I only have my Hotspot active when i actually using it. I have no idea how it would work with cameras.


                                My parents are limited to satellite internet at their farm. For them it has been cheaper and just as reliable as the wifi hotspots.
                                They have no problem running their arlo security cameras.


                                  I have DSL. It's slow but I've gotten accustomed to it. I can go to the office if I have heavy lifting to do. At a blazing 1.5 mbps download speed and no appreciable boost via a Verizon wifi booster, it is what it is. The internet here at my house is like a box fan. It'll help one person in the room but it's not central heat and air

                                  What you can get in your place is highly variable. I am literally the end of the dsl line on this road. After us, it's satellite only.


                                    Originally posted by monalisa View Post
                                    I have a DSL line where I live and it works great most of the time. But a mile down the road from me there is nothing. I would not buy without DSL.
                                    How does one learn that when house hunting? I'm house hunting and always plug the address into the top three local providers. Often all three will return with address not found/service not available. But on this thread, it sounds like most COTHers have internet solutions sufficient for WFH.


                                      I really don't know.


                                        Originally posted by Ponycatraz View Post
                                        Latency on Dishes is still not great
                                        Not likely to change. No one is going to be able to "upgrade" the speed of light, which limits the latency on satellite links to > a half second.

                                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.