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Best Internet Plans for Working Remotely
More and more workers are choosing to do so remotely, whether at home or on the go. And when you work remotely, you need a stable internet connection to stay productive. Let’s dive into the different types of internet connections that are available nationwide, go over the pros and cons of each, and figure out the best internet plans for remote workers.
Table of Contents
- Remote Work Popularity
- What Are the Different Types of Internet Connections?
- Internet Service Provider Availability
- Popular Internet Providers
- How to Choose a Work from Home Internet Plan
- Best Internet Plans for Working or Learning from Home
- How to Sign Up for Business Internet at Your Home
Where available, fiber internet should be the go-to pick for any at-home remote worker. With superfast, symmetrical speeds and incredible reliability at a price comparable to cable internet, fiber is the way to go. Wherever fiber isn’t available, cable internet or fixed wireless connectivity provides ample bandwidth at reasonable prices. If you are an on-the-move worker, satellite internet is available nationwide but at a steep price, so it might be worth looking into business wireless options.
Remote Work Popularity
Working from home has seen a steady increase in popularity and acceptance over the past few years.
Obviously, the pandemic played a crucial role in this, but remote work has been becoming more mainstream and feasible since high-speed internet has grown more widely available.
For the employee, working from home means greater flexibility, satisfaction with a work/life balance, and savings of both time and money that would otherwise be spent commuting, which can lead to improved happiness and productivity overall.
For the employer, it means saving big on real estate and amenities costs while also proving to your workforce that you are dedicated to their wants, with another benefit being carbon footprint reduction and increased housing availability when office space is converted into living space.
Remote work has gained popularity in many industries. The one commonality between every remote job is the need for a reliable internet connection.
What Are the Different Types of Internet Connections?
Across the country, there are a few different types of internet connections available that you could possibly sign up for at your home.
Of course, every location has differing access to internet, so not every internet type will be available at every location.
The table below summarizes the most common internet connection types and provides details of each:
|Internet Connection Type||Pros||Cons||Example Providers|
|Cable||• Fast, reliable speeds|
• Widespread availability
• Can easily bundle with TV, mobile phone services
• Many providers to choose from
|• Requires nearby cable infrastructure|
• Prices can rise significantly after new customer discounts expire
• Speeds are not symmetrical (download speeds are typically way faster than upload speeds)
|Cellular/Wireless/LTE||• Extremely simple to set up|
• Inexpensive, consistent pricing
• Widespread availability
|• Speed capabilities are not as fast due to connection being wireless|
• Signal can be spotty at times
• AT&T (for Business)
|Dial-up||• Requires only phone lines to use the internet|
• Great for people who barely use the internet or use it for minor tasks
• Usually inexpensive
|• Extremely slow when compared to other connection types|
• Outdated technology (DSL also uses phone lines but does not interfere with phone use like dial-up does)
• Usually better options available
|DSL||• Relatively affordable|
• Decent speeds (but usually not high speeds)
• Good for low-usage households
|• Increasingly not offered to new customers|
• Better value options are likely located in areas with DSL connections (cable, fiber)
• Speeds are lacking compared to other options
Note: AT&T DSL is available to new business customers only.
|Fiber-optic||• Most innovative internet technology to date|
• Affordable, prices compare evenly to cable internet
• Fast, symmetrical speeds (equal download and upload speeds)
• Great reliability, signal strength and low latency
|• Limited availability compared to other types|
• Expensive to install in new areas
• Expensive fastest plans
|• AT&T Fiber|
• Frontier Fiber
• Google Fiber
• Quantum Fiber
• Verizon Fios
Note: Not every provider listed has fiber available across its service area. Call phone number on this page to get accurate availability.
|Fixed wireless||• Relatively high speeds|
• Widespread availability, great for rural areas
• Convenient, easy setup
• Solid choice overall for rural homes
|• Requires antenna with line of sight|
• Connectivity can be spotty in inclement weather
• Not as fast or reliable as high-speed options (cable, fiber)
• Rise Broadband
|Satellite||• Best (and sometimes only) internet connection choice for rural or very remote homes|
• Satellite TV is a great option for all homes
|• Very expensive when compared to other connection types|
• High latency due to distance of satellites
• Speeds not as fast as other connection types
There are pros and cons to each internet connection type, with some being more valuable than others for remote work. Each type offers something different based on the remote work being done.
For example, remote workers living in suburban or urban areas likely have access to fast, cable or fiber internet.
On the other end, remote workers living in rural or remote areas (maybe you decided to relocate to a small town or a lakeside cabin!) likely only have access to satellite or fixed wireless internet.
No matter where you live, there is likely a solid internet connection available.
If you need help finding an internet provider at your address, or if you will be moving somewhere new and want to know the options in a location, call the phone number on this page.
Internet Service Provider Availability
As stated above, all connection types are not available everywhere.
Fiber-optic networks are much more common in urban or suburban areas and are the rarest of all internet types, but more fiber networks are always being added in new areas. When fiber comes to your neighborhood, it’s a cause for celebration!
Cable internet is very common throughout the country thanks to extensive cable infrastructure, and it usually gets the job done when it comes to fast and reliable internet. Cable can’t compete with fiber when it comes to sheer speed, but for the average family with a remote worker, it should be fine.
Satellite internet is available virtually anywhere, as all you need is a dish that is mounted properly. However, it’s incredibly expensive and not fast. For rural households, satellite internet might be your only choice.
Wireless internet connections are also increasing in popularity because they are very easy to set up. Fixed wireless internet (which uses a dish to receive signals from nearby cell towers) and home cellular internet (which uses 5G networks like you’d have for your phone, with one provider including T-Mobile) are solid choices for many households and are worth looking into.
However, wireless connections will also have more latency than wired connections (fiber and cable) due to the time it takes to transmit signals and other outside issues like inclement weather, so a wired connection is always recommended for remote workers.
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Popular Internet Providers
Now that we have covered which types of connections are common throughout the country, let’s dive into some popular providers that you’re sure to encounter:
AT&T Fiber is one of the premier internet services on the market. With symmetric speeds up to 5,000 Mbps, along with unlimited data, no annual contracts and so much more, AT&T Fiber is the perfect service for working from home (not to mention streaming, gaming, social media, emailing, and doing whatever else you like to do online).
Spectrum provides fast, reliable, cable internet service all over the country. In fact, Spectrum is available in over 40 states, making it quite likely it is available in your area. Spectrum is a perfectly fine option for working from home, as it provides unlimited monthly data, speeds up to 940 Mbps, and more, at attractive prices thanks to new customer offers.
Xfinity is a prominent cable and fiber internet provider that is available mostly on the East Coast. Xfinity has many plans to choose from, though the exact plans available vary by address. It is another great option for working from home.
Cox Internet provides fast cable and fiber service across its footprint. Cox Internet is not unlimited, which may be a hindrance to remote workers, but it provides numerous other features such as easy TV bundling.
Frontier is a fiber internet provider that is located in over twenty states. This fiber internet provider supplies fast speeds at affordable rates and has other features such as no data caps, Auto Pay discounts and more.
Kinetic, by Windstream, provides fiber speeds up to an incredible 8 Gbps to an increasing number of states. Kinetic’s pricing and plan availability can differ by location, so it’s a good idea to call and learn more about availability.
Optimum recently merged with Suddenlink, forming a large, widespread provider in the process. Optimum provides fast fiber speeds up to an incredible 8 Gbps in some locations, making it very valuable for remote workers.
Viasat provides fast speeds and unlimited data to rural and remote homes all over the country. This makes it the ideal option for remote employees who may find themselves living somewhere immersed in nature, or in a small town.
How to Choose a Work from Home Internet Plan
When you work from home, you need an internet plan that can reliably support all your work responsibilities, whether they include uploading content, videoconferencing, using VoIP software and more.
However, the single most important determining factor when signing up with an internet service provider is which providers are available in your area.
Unfortunately, many areas in the country are serviced by just a couple or even just one provider, meaning your choice can be extremely limited.
Before signing up for a plan, consider everything you will be using the internet for on top of work-related tasks. After all, this is your home, and you will want a plan that supports everyone in the household’s personal and professional activities.
Therefore, it’s always recommended to choose a higher-bandwidth option if you have multiple simultaneous internet users in your household.
Consider the following questions when contemplating a working from home internet plan:
- Which internet service providers are in your area?
Urban and suburban areas likely have more internet provider choices, but some addresses are served by one provider even in populated areas.
Rural areas may need to rely on satellite internet which isn’t ideal for work from home but can still be viable, if you are willing to pay.
Call us or use our offer finder tool to learn more about the providers available at your address.
- How many people are in your household?
More people in your household means more devices, which means more stress on your internet connection. Aim for a minimum of 200 Mbps to comfortably work from home.
- What is your occupation? What types of work-related activities will you perform?
A key thing to consider is upload speed. Most work from home occupations rely on a fast upload speed for tasks like videoconferencing, running e-commerce and uploading content to the internet.
The more your occupation relies on fast upload speeds, the more you should look into fiber-optic internet, as fiber-optic internet’s most notable strength is its symmetrical download and upload speeds.
- How much do you already know about internet?
If you’re uncomfortable signing up for your own internet plan, or you think you could save more money or time somehow, call the phone number on this page.
We provide a completely free-to-use internet consultation service that helps you get the best internet deal possible while keeping your needs in mind.
Best Internet Plans for Working or Learning from Home
It has been noted already a few times in this post, but the best internet connection type (by far) for working from home is fiber-optic.
Fiber internet provides symmetrical download and upload speeds of up to an incredible 8,000 Mbps, which is way more speed than a typical household even needs. But fiber’s pricing is very comparable to cable internet, making it the most attractive internet option wherever it’s available.
Cable internet is another great pick for working from home, especially if you opt for a mid- or high-tier plan from your local provider. Cable internet’s upload speeds typically are much slower than the download speeds, but they should still be sufficient at performing most online tasks.
Cellular internet is very easy to set up and rather inexpensive, so it is rising in popularity, especially in fiber-less regions. However, speeds aren’t up to par with wired providers.
Satellite internet is most useful for rural areas but is very expensive, and therefore not recommended for remote workers. But if you want to escape the city life and live in a cabin in the mountains while working remotely, satellite might be your only choice.
How to Sign Up for Business Internet at Your Home
If you run your own business from home, it might be wise to look into business internet plans.
These plans can provide dedicated connections directly to your business, customer support, the ability to bundle with business phone and other products, and other business-related which are crucial for the smoothest possible business operations.
However, be aware that some internet service providers may require a federal tax ID number or business license to allow business internet to be set up at your address.
Frequently asked questions
Which internet providers are available in my area?
There are a couple of easy ways to find the internet service providers available near you. First, you can call the phone number on this page, and a helpful internet service expert will guide you through each plan available at your exact address. Another option is to use National Broadband's Availability Checker. This free tool analyzes your zip code and provides you with a list of providers and plans available in your area.
Which internet plans are best for working remotely?
When working remotely, always look for fiber internet. It will be the best choice for any online activity. If fiber isn't available, cable is a reliable second choice. If your home is in a rural or remote area, try a wireless or cellular solution. If your home is in a very remote area, satellite internet may be your best (and only) choice.
What internet features are useful when working remotely?
Internet speed and data allowance are perhaps the two most important factors for remote workers. You will need fast, reliable speeds to be productive, and you also will want as much data as possible so you aren't worrying about exceeding limits.
Is satellite internet good for working remotely?
Satellite internet can provide speeds up to about 150 Mbps, which is decently fast. There are two main problems with satellite internet: cost and data. Providers like Viasat offer unlimited data, but there is still a cap on "high-speed data." And satellite internet can be very expensive, from initial setup to the monthly bill itself. But if you live somewhere that isn't serviced by other providers, satellite internet gets the job done, albeit at a higher cost.