The best cheap option for internet in a rural area is Rise Broadband’s Up to 50 Mbps plan for $44.95 per month. It runs over a fixed-wireless connection, so it works well in areas with cell phone service.
The ISP also provides up to 50 Mbps download speeds, which is great for streaming movies, downloading modest files, and browsing on social media. It also gives you unlimited data—a solid deal by fixed-wireless standards.
CenturyLink’s up to 100 Mbps plan is an excellent option if you live in a household with landline phone service. Its no-contract option and unlimited data plans make the ISP affordable and convenient.
You won’t have to pay an early termination fee (ETF) if you choose to switch providers at any point during your subscription. With unlimited data, expect to pay zero overage fees at the end of each month, which is useful for on-the-go users or residents in rural areas as you can generate a hotspot without worrying about hitting that data cap.
You should also consider Verizon’s LTE Home Internet, a relatively new technology that gives customers fast and stable home internet over an LTE cellular network. Users with a Verizon phone plan should expect to pay $40 per month, and those without will pay $60 per month.
Verizon’s internet download speeds range from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps and the latter works best for multiplayer gaming, work from home, and streaming music, video and TV. The former works best if it's only used for working from home and light streaming.
Rural internet customers have a bit more trouble than most finding cheap Wi-Fi since internet access is more limited in less-populated areas of the US. If you live in a sparsely populated area, expect slower speeds and more restrictions on your data usage than you would have in a big city.
Even so, there are plenty of internet options to choose from—and many deals to be had.