Today’s article will be all about unlimited 4G rural internet. We will start nice and easy by covering the basics just to make sure we are all caught to speed. Then we will move on to more detailed information and present you with a couple of the best options currently available.
By going through the sections below, you will be able to choose the best unlimited 4G rural internet for yourself or provide a piece of proper advice to any of your friends or relative that may live or have a weekend home in a remote rural area.
With that said, are you ready to dig in and learn more about the unlimited 4G rural internet? Let’s do this.
What is Unlimited 4G LTE Internet for Rural Areas?
If you already have a very clear understanding of what unlimited 4G rural internet is, feel free to skip this section.
You’ve surely heard of 4G before, right? 4G also known as LTE is a mobile network that was established in 2015 and by today, basically, all carriers operate using this type of network (some remote areas still use 3G, however, it is slowly being put out of use).
4G signal provides mobile users with high-speed internet (speed above 5 Mbps, often around 25 Mbps) that is being delivered via cell phone towers. Since many rural areas don’t have a large number of users, typically internet providers (cable or fiber) do not invest in the infrastructure, so 4G LTE network represent a valid alternative, of course with the assumption that you get a solid 4G LTE reception.
So, we’ve covered 4G LTE internet. Now it’s time to address the ‘unlimited’ part. As you also may know, there are many wireless carriers these days offering unlimited plans, which typically include unlimited minutes and texts, however, in certain cases, they can also come with unlimited mobile data. It is the latter that we are after with the unlimited 4G LTE rural internet.
What Do You Need To Get Unlimited 4G Rural Internet?
Now that you know what unlimited 4G rural internet is, you must be wondering what do you need to get it, right? Well, it is actually quite great because in many cases you need no more than your cell phone, of course assuming that you also have a multiple-bar 4G signal. However, (yes, there is often a catch) you need to know your needs in advance to make sure to choose the right provider and the right package/plan.
We will go into more details regarding your internet option in rural areas in the next section and cover the best providers and share with you many other useful pieces of information but you should know at this point that not every carrier nor every plan will be suited for everyone.
Yes, having a phone that supports 4G technology is the minimum requirement that can get you internet access. Though, you need to keep in mind that mobile data even with unlimited plans often come with a limited amount of 4G data, which means that after a certain amount of GB has been used, you will be limited to a much slower 3G network.
You also need to consider the number of users and the type of internetwork they plan to do. Is accessing the internet from a single mobile phone enough for your need? Do you want a hotspot that will enable several users to connect to the internet?
Hotspot data caps are often considered separately by wireless carriers, which means that a plan that may include an unlimited amount of mobile data, does not allow that data (or perhaps allows for only a portion of it) to be used as a hotspot.
In our opinion, the most comfortable solutions include a separate device that servers as a hotspot (you may see it as a wireless router that receives and emits the signal via the mobile network instead of wire) and that offers unlimited amounts of data to be used.
Summary of the section:
- Minimum requirement to use unlimited 4G rural internet:
- A cell phone that supports a 4G signal
- Solid 4G signal
- Requirement to establish proper unlimited 4G rural internet connection:
- A hotspot device (a separate phone or a special dedicated device) – this can be rather expensive and must be purchased upfront
- Solid 4G signal
- A plan that gives you unlimited hotspot data
What Options Are There For Rural Internet Users?
Before we take a closer look at the unlimited 4G rural internet providers, we would like to point out that there are other options on the table.
Since the word ‘rural’ is a very broad term that refers to all areas that are outside the city, different rural areas come with different options.
These days, there are quite many rural areas that have wired internet infrastructure (DSL, cable, or fiber already in place. If that is the case and if you are looking for a proper internet connection, we do advise you to go with that option rather than the 4G alternative, as it provides you with a more stable connection.
Aside from DSL, cable, and fiber internet (which are otherwise mainly focused on urban areas), there are other options, including the latest Fixed-Wireless internet connections and satellite. However, each of these tends to be capped (not truly unlimited plans) and rather expensive, at least more expensive than the unlimited 4G rural internet.
That said, in our opinion, 4G rural internet comes right after the wired options.
Best Unlimited 4G Rural Internet Providers
This is the section that many of you have been waiting for. Here we will cover the best unlimited 4G, rural internet providers. That way you will be able to check out which of them covers your area and then proceed accordingly.
Note: Coverage, plans, prices, and other details change very frequently these days, as such, we strongly advise you to visit providers’ official websites to attain the latest information. That said, use the details below as an informative guideline.
Each of the providers covered below has its own advantages and disadvantages. The option you should focus on will greatly depend on how remote your rural location actually is. In general, the less remote the area, the more options you will have, the more affordable price you can expect.
1. Verizon LTE Home Internet
Key feature: Highly affordable price
As you most likely know, Verizon is one of the leading wireless providers. They are the most awarded carrier and offer a wide range of phone service. Their LTE Home Internet is a rather new addition to their services as it was added in 2020.
Verizon offers impressive nationwide coverage, which means that there are many rural areas that can make use of this affordable deal, however, their LTE Home Internet service t is still rather limited. Currently, it is focused on these parts: Savannah, Georgia; Springfield, Missouri; and the Tri-Cities area in Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky, including the cities of Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson City.
The plan comes at an additional discount if you combine it with your Verizon mobile phone plan.
To check the coverage, visit verizon.com and enter your address.
Verizon LTE Home Internet Features:
- Easy Self Setup – Your router ships free. Install on your own time. No tech or tools are needed.
- Help when you need it – Verizon’s great support is available to you Monday-Sunday to help if you need assistance connecting your devices.
- With LTE Home Internet you can expect typical download speeds of 25 Mbps with no data usage caps.
- Price details: $40-$70/mo. + $240 router
- LTE Home Internet service is $60/month without a Verizon mobile plan or $40/month if you have an active Verizon mobile plan of $30 or more and are enrolled in AutoPay and paper-free billing.
- If you are not enrolled in AutoPay and paper-free billing, LTE Home Internet service is $70/month without a Verizon mobile plan or $50/month if you have an active Verizon mobile plan of $30 or more.
- The cost for the LTE Home Router is $240, or $10/month for 24 months on Verizon’s Device Payment Plan. If you order the router using device payments, you’ll receive a $10/month promo credit for 24 months. The router will appear on your bill as a $10/month charge along with a $10 monthly credit, bringing the balance to $0/month. Learn more about device payments.
- Setup: $240 for router/modem or $10/mo. for 24 mos.
- Contract: Yes
- Guarantee/return policy: 30-day trial period (keep in mind that all returns require a 15% restocking fee)
- Data: Unlimited
- Very affordable price
- Reliable network
- Rather limited availability (available only in certain areas)
- Fixed to one location (you cannot move it to another location as you please)
2. T-Mobile Home Internet
Key feature: Affordable price & no equipment cost
Like Verizon, T-Mobile is another large and highly reputable wireless provider. They have their own network of mobile towers and also a very impressive nationwide coverage. However, their Home Internet offer is relatively new and thus limited to certain areas. Use this link (t-mobile.com) to check availability in your location.
T-Mobile Home Internet can be your for $50/month with AutoPay. They promise no price hikes, no annual service contract, and no hidden costs. As well as the high-speed internet and reliable connection.
On top of that, you will have access to their 24/7 setup support in case you have any questions.
T-Mobile Home Internet Features:
- Setup: $0 (no equipment rental or registration fee)
- Contract: Not required
- Available in parts of 28 states; there is a waiting list in some areas
- Data: Unlimited
- Speed: Around 25 Mbps can be expected
- Price details: $50/month with AutoPay
- Without annual contract
- No setup cost
- No price hikes
- Highly affordable price
- Relatively limited availability
- Fixed to one location (you are not able to use it freely and move it around)
Key feature: flexibility
Unlike Verizon, UbiFi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means that it doesn’t actually have its own network set in place. It uses existing networks of leading carriers, such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
UbiFi is a great option that specializes in rural areas. They enable you to get unlimited data without usage-based throttling or high-speed data caps. Their fast 4G LTE Speeds are great for browsing, streaming, or downloading. UbiFi also focuses on ensuring minimal latency response times for quick connectivity and less waiting.
UbiFi offers a nationwide 4G LTE to get you connected anywhere in the US. You get to connect all of your internet devices via Ethernet (x4) or WiFi to get expansive WiFi coverage throughout the house.
- Setup cost: $314.99 (router/modem with SIM card)
- Contract: No
- Guarantee/return policy: 30-day trial period, although all returns require a 15% restocking fee
- Data: Unlimited – the service allows for unlimited data usage without high-speed data caps
- Price details: 99.99 per month
- Truly portable –you can take it with you anywhere
- Good option for streaming (unlimited data included)
- Easy installation – The MoFi SIM4 LTE Gateway is essentially plug and play
- Rather expensive setup costs
- Limited access to tech support
4. Ladybug Wireless
Key feature: Super easy setup
Ladybug Wireless is another mention-worthy MVNO. They use AT&T mobile tower to transmit the signal. They pride on good coverage and also over signal boosting equipment for those more remote rural areas.
Like with most rural 4G internet providers, you are required to purchase a modem/router with a SIM card), which is rather expensive. However, the cost of setup covers your first 30 days of services.
The Ladybug also offers a highly generous 100% refund. Moreover, there is no contract required for their services, which gives you some additional flexibility and freedom. Like the UbiFi above. Ladybug also lets you move their services around freely, which makes it suitable for RVs. Of course, to make use of this option, you will need to be in an area that has a solid signal.
Another thing to note is that Ladybug isn’t actually unlimited – their cap is set at 400 GB per month, which is more than any average user spends in a year.
Ladybug Wireless Features:
- Setup: $429.98 (includes the first 30 days of service and router/modem with SIM card)
- Contract: No
- Guarantee/return policy: 7-day full money-back guarantee
- Signal boost: Integrated 3G/4G modem with built-in router maximizes signals in rural areas
- Data: 400 GB cap per month
- Price details: $94.99/mo.
- Fully portable – you can take it with you anywhere (great for RVs)
- Solid choice for streaming (400 GB of data included)
- Great customer support
- Operates on largest mobile networks (AT&T and T-Mobile)
- Very high setup cost
Other Mention-Worthy Unlimited 4G Rural Internet Options
The above four options include two carrier options and two MVNO providers. Each of them comes with its own pros and cons and whether it is the best option for you will greatly depend on your location and preferences. Below are some additional mention-worthy unlimited 4G rural internet providers.
- MVNO operates on AT&T and T-Mobile
- Router price: $227.49
- Not really unlimited – ‘soft’ data caps set at 300 – 500 GB/month
- MVNO operates on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon
- $150 – $249 per month
- Router/hotspot devices starting at $99
- Not really unlimited – ‘soft’ data caps set at 200 – 500 GB/month
- Infinite LTE
- MVNO operates on T-Mobile
- $59.99 – $79.99 per month
- Router/hotspot devices starting at $99
- Not really unlimited – ‘soft’ data caps set at 50 GB/month
- MVNO operates on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon
- $99.99 – $199.99 per month (the price depends on your location)
- Router/hotspot devices price: $99.99 – $149.99
- MVNO operates on AT&T
- $65 per month
- Modems/hotspots/routers must be bought separately
- Limited performance
- Unlimited LTE Advanced
- Starting at $129/month
- Nomad Internet
- $129/months (+$149 – 199 setup fee)
- AT&T Home LTE Internet
- $59.99 per month
Who Has The Cheapest Unlimited Rural Internet?
Looking at the ‘Best Unlimited 4G Rural Internet Providers’ section above, we would like to point out the Verizon Home LTE Internet as it is the most affordable unlimited rural internet provider. If you are on a Verizon Mobile plan and select the AutoPay option is comes at an extremely affordable $40 per month. Compared to some other unlimited 4G rural internet options that can get all the way up to $200 per month, that is a very good deal.
Of course, it doesn’t come without cons. The two most significant setbacks are rather limited availability and the fact that the service is fixed to a certain location.
With that in mind, we strongly advise you to check them out first and see if their signal is available in your area. Make sure to so, especially if you are on a tight budget.
Is 4G Internet A Good Option For Rural Areas?
If you have the infrastructure to get cable or fiber internet providers in your rural area, go for that option. However, we honestly believe that unlimited 4G rural internet comes right after those fast wired internet options. Of course, with an assumption that you have a solid and constant 4G signal offered by one of the providers that won’t charge you too much for its services.
The main benefits of unlimited 4G internet:
- No wires are required.
- Unlimited data.
- 4G offers solid speeds.
- You can have it all set up in minutes – it usually requires only SIM card activation, which is that used in a mobile phone or a hotspot device.
- Mobility – you can take your package to other areas or even use it on the go (in your car, camper, etc.) as long as that provider covers that area.
How Much Does 4G Internet Min Cost?
Looking at the most affordable unlimited options above, the minimum cost for unlimited 4G rural internet is currently set at $40 per month.
However, if you were to be resourceful – get a most affordable unlimited prepaid phone plan with unlimited data that supports a hotspot, you can get by for even less.
Whatever way you decide to go, always make sure to double-check the coverage.
How Can I Improve My Internet Speed In Rural Areas?
There are several ways to improve internet speed in rural areas. However, you need to keep in mind that the cap speed will always be limited as per your internet provider, in our case your LTE 4G carrier.
With 4G LTE rural internets, the signal strength can be the main obstacle since many remote rural areas can be far away from the cellphone tower. In that case, getting an outdoor signal boosting antenna can make a lot of difference.
In that case, you use an outside antenna to capture a weak signal. Make sure to position it as high up as possible to get the best reception. In addition, you want to use an amplifier to boost this weak signal and an inside antenna to broadcast the enhanced signal with your house.
A high-performance router/hotspot/modem also plays an important role. Make sure to get the one that will not be capping your speed at all and that will be able to offer connection for all your devices. For your fixed devices, you may also use Ethernet cables to preserve your wireless connection for your portable devices.
Recommended Article : How To Get Better WiFi Signal From Neighbor Internet Connection
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best Internet option for rural areas?
If available, cable or fiber are the best way to go. However, if those options are not set in place, LTE 4G internet is a good option.
Will 5G reach rural areas?
It depends on the distance between the signal tower and the actual location. In those not extremely remote rural areas, 5G could be available. Also, keep in mind that 5G isn’t limited to mobile networks. It may also be transferred by satellites and terrestrial, which will play a major role for rural areas as the technology gets implemented
Why is rural internet so bad?
Rural areas tend to be remote and have a small number of potential users, as such, companies cannot make profits out of investing in the infrastructure buildup.
What is the fastest Internet for rural areas?
It depends on the exact area. Certain satellite internet providers can offer up to 100 Mbps, which makes it the fastest option. However, LTE 4G can be quite fast with its average of 25 Mbps.
Can I get rural internet without a provider?
The only way to get internet without a provider is if there is a public WiFi or HotSpot available, which is rare in remote rural areas.
Which is better WiFi or Internet?
It makes no sense to compare WiFi and the internet because WiFi is just a specific type of internet connection. If you have an extremely advanced WiFi router, wireless internet speed can be just as fast as wired. However, in general, using a wired connection still offers a faster connection.
Can I get internet without a modem?
Yes. If there is a WiFi or Ethernet cable connection, you may access the internet without the modem, however, keep in mind that behind those two there is always a modem. On the other hand, you may use a Mobile network and get to the internet using your phone or a hotspot device (which is a sort of SIM card based modem/router) to connect your laptop.
Is 4G rural internet as fast as regular broadband?
Broadband speeds vary from location and position of the connection (which are often in-line connection types). They can be either faster or even slower than the 4G, which averages around 25 Mbps these days.
Are 4G rural internet and fixed-wireless internet the same thing?
No, these are two different internet connection technologies. 4G network uses cellular towers and cellular signals, while fixed-wireless involves connecting existing fiber, cable, or DSL internet between two fixed locations via radio and a receiver. Fixed wireless relies on small stations to transfer data at high speeds, similar to a satellite but localized. Fixed-wireless is a fairly new technology.