When it comes to wireless Internet, unlimited 4G rural Internet and unlimited satellite Internet are two of the best options for Internet for rural areas. You may think these two types of Internet are functionally interchangeable, but they actually have specific advantages and disadvantages you should research before committing to a rural Internet service provider.
Borth satellite Internet companies such as Starlink and mobile 4G Internet companies such as UbiFi offer comparably high speeds. While they may not be as fast as fiber optic Internet, which is not available in all states, they both allow you to surf the web at high speeds with high performance specs. However, one key performance issue sets these two types of Internet apart.
Because of the way satellite Internet companies transmit Internet signals from satellites in orbit, there is a significant delay when the signals find their way to rural households. This leads to high levels of latency that are not ideal for activities such as online gaming, video conferencing/Zoom meetings, and video chats. In contrast, mobile 4G Internet companies like UbiFi use cell towers scattered around rural America, reducing delays because of the shorter distance that Internet signals have to travel. Therefore, UbiFi and other mobile Internet companies may be better for some people’s needs.
The other difference worth mentioning is the variances in availability between the two types of Internet. Satellite Internet has a farther reach than mobile Internet since satellites can transmit signals nearly anywhere on the planet. On the other hand, mobile Internet is limited to the areas that are covered by cell towers. However, satellite Internet’s accessibility is not perfect either, because it is vulnerable to obstructions such as mountains/hills, and adverse weather conditions.