While shopping for internet service, you need to consider various parameters such as speed, availability, connection type, etc. Connection types such as DSL, cable, satellite, fiber optic, and fixed wireless are considered important since they estimate the strength of the internet transmission along with signal speed and allotted bandwidth.
Only when you decide upon a connection type can you start looking for a service provider of your choice that can deliver you a consistent and reliable internet experience. Most of the urban and suburban residents choose cable connections and cable services such as Spectrum internet for their homes that bring higher speeds to support their intensive web activities. Whereas, people living in remote and rural regions don’t have open access to cables, which is why they either go for satellite or fixed wireless.
As far as internet connections are concerned, most people are often confused about fixed wireless internet, which is a lesser-known type. Not to worry, though, because we’re here to solve this mystery for you. We’ll see what fixed wireless internet is and what sets it apart from the rest of the connection types. So, let’s get wired:
What is Fixed Wireless Internet?
Fixed wireless is a type of internet connection that is mostly used in rural areas. The connection is established using high-speed fiber cable (typically an ISP sets up this internet connection), which then becomes an access point.
The users/customers will have receivers (receiver antennas) installed at their place. The connection is made when access points are in direct line of sight of the receivers at the user’s end.
Suppose an ISP’s access point is located at one end of a town. The receiver can be installed in its line of sight at a maximum distance of 10 miles. Just like a wireless router, the receiver receives internet from the access point.
In the end, the receiver is connected via Ethernet cable to devices directly or even to a wireless router to create a wireless network. Here, line of sight is an important factor since that is what a fixed wireless internet is all about.
If the line of sight faces obstruction from buildings or fog, etc. the connection will be disrupted between the access point and the receiver. However, since the signals are sent wirelessly, a 360o access point can provide connectivity to several receivers within 10 miles.
What makesit Different fromthe Rest of Connections?
We now know what fixed wireless internet is. However, we must look at some factors that differentiate it from the rest of the internet connections, mainly fiber optic and DSL.
|Fixed Wireless Internet||Fiber Internet||DSL Internet|
|Connection||Made using access points and receivers||Made using fiber optic cables||Made using phone lines|
|Speed||Faster than a DSL internet but slower than fiber internet||Faster than fixed wireless internet and DSL internet||Slower than fixed wireless internet and fiber internet|
|Optimal use||Best for rural area connectivity||Best for urban area connectivity||Can be used for rural and urban connectivity|
|Setup cost||Costlier than DSL connection but cheaper than fiber internet||Costlier than fixed wireless internet and DSL internet||The cheapest option when it comes to setting up a connection|
|Data limits||No data limit||No data limit (check with ISP)||Has data limit|
|Overall costs (including setup, maintenance, repairs)||Costlier than a DSL connection||Most expensive||Cheapest|
|Applications||Streaming HD videos, web-based tools, large emails, & supporting credit card machines, etc.||Best for large scale usage with a high transfer rate||Best for domestic use|
What are its Benefits?
We just saw how a fixed wireless internet is different from the rest of the connection types. Now, we’ll be looking at some of the benefits it has that should be considered while choosing an internet connection:
- The users don’t need to have a connection with telephone cables or need fiber connectivity. All it takes is a receiver installed in the line of sight of the access point.
- In comparison with ordinary DSL cable internet, the fixed wireless internet is effective in terms of speed and gives better connectivity.
- If you’re living in rural areas, then having fixed wireless internet is better than DSL internet. Moreover, fiber connectivity will take time for installation.
- You don’t have any data limits/data caps with a fixed wireless internet since the connection is established via access points and receivers. All the users have to do is install a receiver and connect their devices using Ethernet cables.
- One of the amazing perks that fixed wireless internet brings is that it’s locally owned and operated. The operators are present in the area that connect to ISPs and then provide connectivity to local users.
- In case you’re worried about a phone service to have fixed wireless internet, then you’ll be happy to know that you don’t need it. The fixed wireless internet operates without phone cables. However, you’ll need to opt for a phone connection separately in case you need it.
- You can stream high-quality videos, send emails, operate your business’s credit card machines, and complete general processes with a fixed wireless internet.
What are its Downsides?
Well, we saw how a fixed wireless internet brings numerous benefits for the users. However, you should know some downsides before making the final choice. These include:
- Line of sight is highly important for connectivity in a fixed wireless internet setup. You won’t be able to receive internet connectivity or will face disruptions if there’s an obstruction between the access point and the receiver.
- Receivers can only be installed under 10 miles to ensure line of sight. This must be fulfilled along with the factor mentioned earlier.
- Some may think that it’s the right choice for rural connectivity. However, the costs may equal or go up compared with a DSL connection depending upon the operator offering the services.
Well, now you know what a fixed wireless internet is and how it makes a good choice for an internet connection especially when you’re residing in a rural area. Just make sure that you go over setup costs with your operator while comparing connection strength with a DSL cable to make an effective choice.