Information on getting Wifi out in the country

mygenericemail

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Oct 16, 2014
Messages
98
I have a friend that lives out in the country and has been trying to find a way to get internet or wifi out there.
He lives 8 miles from the nearest cell/phone tower, but apparently it's not tall enough for him to get wifi.

The internet tech guy said they could get satellite, but it's so expensive, that he said it's not worth the money just to get an internet link.

I was thinking of maybe some kind of booster or relay device? I'm not sure, I don't know much about this kind of stuff.

Does anybody know if there is a way to get wireless wifi or internet out in the country?


Thanks:)
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
83,535
I have long-time friends who "live in the boonies" in north Florida.
The only way they can get TV and internet service is with satellite service, and they're at the mercy of the weather.
I don't know if you have any other option, but I'm sure the networking experts here will advise you if there is.
Be patient until one of them replies.

-------------------------------------------------
 

Couriant

James
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Mar 26, 2002
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If there are no wired options like DSL/Cable (AT&T / Comcast / etc, then satellite would be the only choice that I know of. Does someone like Dish/DirecTV get that far out?
 
Joined
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Messages
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The only hope you have in rural areas is either fixed wireless system (from cell phone towers) or Satellite. Hughes network is a joke. My neighbor tried twice. Maybe, Elon Musk's Starlink system may be useful in the near future. So far, beta users are loving it.When millions sign up will that drop the speed to crawl? They keep shooting up new satellites often. But, only time will tell. Also, pretty expensive. $100 a month and $550-600 for equipment and S&H. Have your friend check two web sites if his/her address is eligible for AT&T's homebase and T-Mobile's gateway. Both are router/modem combos and get signal from a cell phone tower. 8 miles is not too far. Topography and tall trees with leaves are the main obstacles. I used both. I can easily stream without hiccups.
AT&T doesn't offer homebase in every state. The nice thing is you can take it with you when you travel. When I signed up several years ago, it was abot $60-70 for 250 GB a month. T-Mobile's is a newer offer. They just raised the monthly fee from $50 to $60 for new subscribers. Unlike AT&T, you don't buy the device. They send you free as long as you are a subscriber. You need to go to their web site and see if your home address is good. Unlimited but the device has to stay at home. I am about to cancel my AT&T homebase soon since T-Mobile is working fine for me. I waited until the trees around my house had leaves. Late spring did not cause any speed reduction! That was a relief.

https://www.att.com/internet/fixed-wireless/

https://www.t-mobile.com/isp

Although T-Mobile's gateway shows only two bars in my house (occasionally three) that is not an issue. If it does not satisfy you, you send it back. No long term commitments.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
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156
Regarding cell boosters, I have been using one last few years. The brand name cel-fi. (Its app name is Wave.). When I first moved into rural area, my then cell provider Sprint was useless. Just one bar!. The only choice I had was AT&T. So, I switched. I barely had two bars, and had a lot of disconnected calls when I was in my basement. I purchased a cell booster. It helped a lot. As far as I know, it helped with better cell phone calls. It did not improve better Internet speed when I used the phone as a mobile hotspot. It still is plugged. AT&T improved the cell towers ability to send stronger signals last few years. Now, getting constant 3 bars.
 
Joined
May 8, 2021
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I suggest he download a cell signal meter on his phone and tell us what signal he gets outside on all sides of his house. Also, take readings in his house. Outside of my house, I get about -112 dbi (4gb). I have a wilson (now weboost) booster with a directional antenna outside on my roof. With that, I have around the same signal at my interior antenna. I am guessing that is all I can expect as I understand a signal booster can not boost the signal, just makes that signal level in your home (or vehicle) the same as at the point of the antenna. If your freind is getting a reading outside of around -110 4g, a booster probably can help.

I am sure there are other ways that others can suggest, I just don't really know what they are at this point as I am not tech savvy enough to understand.
 

zx10guy

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Regarding cell boosters, I have been using one last few years. The brand name cel-fi. (Its app name is Wave.). When I first moved into rural area, my then cell provider Sprint was useless. Just one bar!. The only choice I had was AT&T. So, I switched. I barely had two bars, and had a lot of disconnected calls when I was in my basement. I purchased a cell booster. It helped a lot. As far as I know, it helped with better cell phone calls. It did not improve better Internet speed when I used the phone as a mobile hotspot. It still is plugged. AT&T improved the cell towers ability to send stronger signals last few years. Now, getting constant 3 bars.
What you're describing seems to be a microcel. If so, it's useless for the OP as the microcel's only function is to provide better cell coverage. It requires one to have land line based Internet service.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Messages
156
What you're describing seems to be a microcel. If so, it's useless for the OP as the microcel's only function is to provide better cell coverage. It requires one to have land line based Internet service.
Well. just for you, I went up to my guest bedroom to check this booster device. The sticker underneath says cel-fi pro. The second smaller unit is in my basement. They are wirelessly connected to each other.The whole purpose is avoiding cell phone calls being disconnected. It sure helped. The thread starter asked if a booster would help with better internet speed. I mentioned in my thread (#5) that it had nothing to do with internet connection speed. The booster (as far as I know) does mostly eliminate or tries to eliminate dead spots just like a wifi extender.
 

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