Best Fixed Wireless Internet Providers 2021

The best fixed-wireless providers keep families in small towns and rural areas connected online—and many cost less than $50 per month. If you’ve looked into rural internet service where satellite plans cost two or three times that much, you know this is a rare find.
Best for a budget
Rise Broadband
Rise Broadband
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Fast speeds and affordable pricing
  • $35.00/mo–$65.00/mo.*
Best for rural areas
ATT
AT&T
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Competitive data caps to satellite internet
  • $59.99/mo–$119.98/mo**
Best with an existing phone plan
Verizon
Verizon LTE Home Internet
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Discounted price w/phone plan
  • $40.00/mo–$60.00/mo***

*Data effective as of post date. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.

**Other qualifying svc (min $29.99) req'd & combined bill. Includes 350GB data/mo., overage chrgs apply. Ltd. avail./areas in U.S.

***With a Verizon mobile plan of $30/mo or more. Plus taxes and fees. With Auto Pay.


Kristin Cooke
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on August 31, 2021

Our pick: Which fixed-wireless service is best?

Rise Broadband is our top pick for fixed-wireless internet service, thanks to its blazing fast speeds and affordable pricing. The internet service provider (ISP) also includes the monthly equipment rental with your plan, unlike Verizon which charges you an extra $240 to buy its modem/router up front for mobile wireless internet. 

Top fixed-wireless plans

  • Best for unlimited data: Rise Broadband Up to 25 Mbps
  • Best for bundling w/DIRECTV: Fixed Wireless + DIRECTV
  • Best for bundling w/phone plan: Verizon $40.00/mo. w/Verizon mobile plan

Rise Broadband’s (formerly JAB Broadband) up to 25 Mbps plan is a great option if you stream in SD, attend video calls, game online, or upload and download large data files. Plus, unlimited data means you won't have to pay overage fees at the end of the month.

AT&T’s Fixed Wireless + DIRECTV plan offers customers the option of bundling internet and TV for an extra $59.99. This particular plan has a 350 GB data cap, however we suggest trying Rise Broadband, if it’s available in your area, for a more budget-friendly option if you don’t want the TV add-on.

Purchasing AT&T’s Fixed Wireless plan on its own may seem like a viable alternative, but you’ll pay only $3.00 less for 250 GB of data and overage charges of up to $10.00 per GB should you run out of data before the end of the month. And no, your unused data doesn’t roll over.

Verizon’s $40.00 per month LTE home internet service is a decent alternative for users with an existing phone plan of $30.00 or more. This is because purchasing this internet and phone service bundle will save you about $20.00 per month. You would otherwise pay $60.00 for Verizon LTE Home internet in addition to your existing phone plan.

However, you’ll need to buy Verizon’s $240.00 modem/router up front. Bleh.

What to look for in fixed-wireless internet service

When checking into home internet service, you want to look for a generous data cap (250 GB per month or more), broadband internet speeds (which means download speeds of at least 25 Mbps), and reasonable prices. Wireless broadband delivers these features fairly consistently, although prices vary.

Download speed

If you’re looking at fixed-wireless internet, you’ll want download speeds of at least 25 Mbps, if possible. This gives you a steady connection that will allow for video streaming, video conference calls, and limited gaming, although only on one device at a time.

You can stream in a higher video quality without buffering as you get faster download speeds. It will use more data though—and fixed-wireless companies like AT&T will charge you extra if you go over your data cap of 350 GB per month.

Streaming in standard quality will use much less data. If you have download speeds of less than 12 Mbps or more, you may not be able to use the internet on more than one device at a time.

Megaphone
Pro tip:

To minimize data usage, keep video quality set to the lowest possible option for everyday viewing. If you’re watching a game or want a special movie night, up the video quality for a few hours.

Monthly data allotment

Most fixed-wireless internet plans have a monthly data allotment, which is inconvenient if you’re used to unlimited internet plans. Since data is channeled through a tower, there’s a limited amount of bandwidth the providers can offer in any given area. Fixed-wireless providers measure out the data to each customer to help ensure that there’s enough bandwidth to go around to all their customers.

For example, AT&T Fixed Wireless and Rise Broadband offer plans with set data allotments each month, starting around 50 GB per month and going up to 500 GB per month.

  • Rise Broadband data cap: 250 GB/mo.
  • AT&T Fixed Wireless data cap: 350 GB/mo.

If you go over the data cap, you can expect to be charged a data overage fee. Extra data doesn’t roll over into the next month.

  • Rise Broadband data overage charge: $5.00 for every 10 GB (after reaching your data cap)
  • AT&T Fixed Wireless data overage charge: $10.00 for 50 GB of data (after reaching your data cap)

Despite having a data cap, fixed-wireless internet plans are cheaper than satellite internet service and they often offer more data. So if you have a choice between the two, fixed-wireless is usually the best choice.

How to check your monthly data usage.

  • AT&T Fixed Wireless: Log onto att.com and go to Account Overview. Go to Internet Plan and then See All My Usage.
  • Rise Broadband: Log onto RiseBroadband.com and select My Account. Scroll down the menu to Check My Data Usage and click Check Usage.
Best for unlimited dataBest for bundling w/DIRECTVBest for bundling w/phone plan
NameRise Broadband Up to 25 Mbps Fixed Wireless + DIRECTVVerizon $40.00/mo w/Verizon mobile plan
ImageRise BroadbandATTVerizon
Details55.00/mo.*$119.98/mo*†$40.00/mo*††

*Data effective as of post date. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.

†w/24-mo. TV, 12-mo. internet agmts. AutoPay & paperless billing required. Ltd. avail./areas in U.S. Prices higher in 2nd year. Incl 350GB data/mo., overage chrgs apply.

††With a Verizon mobile plan of $30/mo or more. Plus taxes and fees. With Auto Pay.

Rise Broadband—Best for a budget

Best for fast speeds and affordable pricing
Rise Broadband

Specs

  • Available in 16 states
  • Includes equipment rental with internet service in monthly price
  • Committed to expanding its network
Pros
Pro Bullet No contract required
Pro Bullet High customer service rating
Cons
Con Bullet Price increases $10.00/mo. in your second year
Con Bullet Unlimited plan not available everywhere

As the largest fixed-wireless internet company in the US, Rise Broadband has a good reputation in rural areas. Service is steady and lower priced than satellite internet service. You get a 30-day money-back guarantee when you sign up, which is exceptional in the internet industry.

You can get Rise Broadband in 16 states in the midwestern, southern, and the western US: from the southern tip of Texas, through Wisconsin and Nebraska, and all the way north to Minnesota and North Dakota. If you’d like to add VoIP phone service, it’s an extra $20 per month.

In the past five years, Rise Broadband has invested over $30 million into building out its network in rural and underserved areas. This earned Rise Broadband millions of additional customers and a loyal following.

We really like that Rise Broadband includes the monthly equipment rental with internet service. Monthly service includes equipment fees for an antenna, managed router and SM radio—which will save you a hundred or more dollars every year. Plus, service doesn’t require a contract. There is a $75 installation fee, but you can split it up into three $25 payments spread out over the first three months.

AT&T Fixed Wireless—Best for rural areas

Best for bundling with TV options
ATT

Specs

  • Great for rural areas with limited options
  • Generous data caps
  • Good broadband internet speeds
Pros
Pro Bullet Bundle options with DIRECTV
Pro Bullet High reliability ratings
Cons
Con Bullet Varying speeds based on location
Con Bullet Data overage charges of $10.00/50 GB

We recommend AT&T Fixed Wireless to folks living in the country who have limited internet options in their area. At about $55.00 per month, it’s a better deal for 250 GB of data than you’ll pay with satellite internet service.

Data overage charges can add up fast, though. If you reach the 250 GB data limit before the end of the month, you’ll be automatically charged $10 for 50 GB of additional data, with a maximum charge of $200 in extra data charges each month. Data doesn’t roll over into the next month.

Verizon LTE Home Internet—Best with an existing phone plan

Best for bundling with a phone plan
Verizon

Specs

  • Can bundle with existing Verizon phone plan
  • Available in 39 States
  • Gets high marks for coverage
Pros
Pro Bullet Unlimited data
Pro Bullet Download speeds of 25–50 Mbps
Cons
Con Bullet For area’s with cell phone service only.
Con Bullet Requires purchase of Verizon’s $240 modem/router up front

LTE home internet is now a popular alternative offered by internet service providers (ISPs) across the country. This is because users can get unlimited data without the expense of a satellite internet service.

Verizon’s 4G LTE Home Internet is a great option if you live in the country or a small town without access to cable and fiber infrastructure. Remember, you’ll need cell phone coverage that extends to your area to access the 25 to 50 Mbps download speeds and, of course, unlimited data.

We suggest bundling your Verizon LTE Home Internet service with a Verizon cell phone plan. At $40 a month, you’ll get internet and mobile phone access, instead of paying $60 per month for just internet.

Even so, Verizon charges $240 for its modem/router, which you’ll have to purchase up front for the internet. This isn’t a great option if you’re travelling or live on the go as Verizon 4G LTE Home internet is tethered to your location.

Verizon LTE Home Internet is available in specific areas across 48 states, including Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia, but we recommend trying the T-Mobile Home Internet plan if Verizon isn't available where you are.

T-Mobile Home Internet costs $60 a month and includes discounts should you choose to go with paperless billing and autopay. T-Mobile does have less availability than Verizon, however the phone and internet service plan provider is expanding its coverage areas, so definitely keep an eye out.

Our verdict

It’s worth your time to check out fixed-wireless internet if you live in a rural area or have limited internet options. Of course, not all fixed-wireless internet is created equal, and we haven’t been able to review all of the 1,210 providers we found so far (we’ll get there someday!).

But we really like what Rise Broadband is offering its customers—broadband speeds, plenty of data, fair pricing, and better-than-average support.

Our fave for fixed wireless internet? Rise Broadband

Fixed-wireless internet FAQ

Is fixed-wireless good for gaming?

Fixed wireless is not good for competitive gaming like Fortnite or Apex Legends, although you can do some gaming, depending on your connection speed.

Fixed wireless isn’t usually a top choice for gamers because of the relatively slow speeds. With fixed wireless, you’ll have download speeds around 25 Mbps, but you’ll be competing against other players with fiber internet speeds around 2,000 Mbps—which will put you at a disadvantage.

Is fixed-wireless internet good for rural areas?

Yes, fixed-wireless is a good choice, particularly for people in small towns or rural areas who don’t have access to cable or fiber internet. Fixed-wireless internet delivers decent speeds for an affordable rate. It outperforms many other rural internet solutions, although speeds and data vary widely from one provider to the next. But if your neighborhood is wired for fiber or cable internet, get cable internet instead of fixed-wireless.

Does rain affect wireless internet?

Whether or not rain affects wireless internet depends on installation. Extreme weather conditions including severe rain, high winds, and extreme temperatures (hot and cold) shouldn’t affect your fixed-wireless internet if it is configured correctly, but check out our How Does Weather Affect Internet Service article for more detailed information if you run into connection issues during a storm or extreme weather.

Kristin Cooke
Written by
Kristin Cooke
After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Utah, Kristin learned to geek speak while working as a technical recruiter, interviewing software developers and tech companies. For over 20 years, she has created award-winning content for technology, health, and finance companies. Kristin is an advocate for affordable internet for all and writes about rural internet solutions, satellite internet news, and tech products at SatelliteInternet.com. Her work has been featured in New York Post, PCMag, Forbes, Business Insider, Telecompetitor, Space.com, and The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society.