WeCompare Broadband for Rural Ireland
May 6 . 6 m
Saying slán to traffic and smog is a no-brainer. The sense of security that living outside the city provides, not to mention the vast greenery and serenity that comes from being away from the hustle and bustle, is priceless. However, one thing that isn’t coming up roses is the speed of rural broadband connections.
Did you know that over one-third of Ireland’s population lives in rural areas? WeCompare will break down the best rural broadband options for those living in the countryside, so you can find a connection that suits your lifestyle.
What is Rural Broadband?
If you are lucky enough to be living off the grid, you know all about the compromises and various challenges you have to face. Things like driving 15 minutes for a litre of milk to battling weak broadband speeds. As a result of our homes being so spread apart, our numbers are not enough to entice the big internet service providers to invest the money into a rural broadband network.
Thanks to National Broadband Ireland, the rural areas will be getting a little TLC. The rollout plan was expected to take up to seven years, but we should expect some delays because of the bumpy year that we’ve had. Nevertheless, they are committed to building a national wholesale broadband network. A few months ago, Carrigaline in County Cork was connected, and now residents can get speeds up to 1000Mbps. It’s great news for rural communities!
The rollout happens in six phases. First, areas are surveyed, infrastructures are designed, and the costs are analysed. Once approved, the pre-works begin, which include readying the area and laying the fibre cables. Once the builds are complete, they are approved, and the services are leased to the internet service providers. Finally, those customers who were previously unable to receive high-speed broadband purchase the plan and are connected.
If you want to know if your town is on the list, check the status by entering your eircode on their site.
Which Broadband Providers Supply Rural Ireland?
Until the rollout is complete, your choice of internet service providers will depend on your location. Irish broadband companies like eir, Pure Telecom, Imagine broadband, and Rural W-Fi will cover some townlands, as well as Vodafone and Sky. Just yesterday eir announced that their fibre network was now available to a further 79 towns and villages across Ireland. Therefore, if you haven’t checked what’s available to you recently, there is no better time to do so! You may be able to improve your home setup while saving a few euros by switching providers.
If you live in an area that is serviced by more than one broadband provider, you will probably pay less than those with just one option. For example, the cheapest broadband and phone bundle in Ireland is from Pure Telecom, with plans starting from €24.00* per month! Or, if you prefer eir broadband, get an eir bundle with speeds up to 100Mbps for €29.99* per month with FREE Amazon Prime Video.
If you live really out of the way, then you can count on Imagine Broadband Ireland. Imagine Wi-Fi works on a high-performance broadband network and has already connected over one million homes across the country. That’s coverage in over 31,000 townlands! Plus, they boast internet speeds up to 150Mbps, which allow for super-fast streaming- without the buffering.
So, what does Imagine broadband cost? You can get a fixed wireless broadband plan that includes Irish and UK landline minutes, as well as Irish mobile minutes for €59.99 per month. Imagine Wi-Fi offers unlimited monthly data to boot! So you can watch what you want when you want.
Imagine broadband’s first-year cost comes to €719.88. Sign up online, and you’ll get a commitment-free callback so you can be sure that you’re making the right choice.
When we think about rural broadband, Rural Wi-Fi also comes to mind. Being an Irish company, they have a strong understanding of the vastness of the countryside. Rural Wi-Fi guarantees connectivity through a 4G network no matter where you live. Their service includes special antennas designed to boost signal strength and improve broadband speed. Plus, their plan is for broadband-only, so you only pay for what you need.
What can I do to Boost my Internet Speed?
If you are still unsatisfied with the broadband speed you’re receiving, try a few of our tips to improve your broadband speed. If they don’t help tweak your connection, you can try boosting your signal through add-ons.
The first way is through a Wi-Fi repeater or extender. These are the most affordable solution, and the setup is simple. Just plug it in! The wireless repeater will pick up your broadband signal, reproduce it and repeat it throughout the home. We like the Aigital AC1200 WLAN repeater, which is dual-band and works simultaneously in 5GHz and 2.4GHz. Your wireless range is increased, the dead zones minimised, and as a result, gaming and streaming are optimised. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a 5-star rating- it’s worth it!
Another option would be to go for a powerline adaptor. This energy-saving plug-and-play set from TP-Link is easy to use and is equipped with an Ethernet port. It can provide you with a more stable connection and higher speeds throughout the house.
WeCompare recommends that you plug any of the above-mentioned devices directly into the wall to avoid signal degradation. Also, test out different outlet combinations to find the best signal, and keep the devices away from outlets with other electronic devices like microwaves and portable phones.
Whole-Home Mesh Wi-Fi System
Lastly, for a more substantial investment, you can consider a whole-home mesh Wi-Fi system. Depending on the size and shape of your home, you may require additional access points. We like The TP-Link Deco Mesh Wi-Fi router, which covers up to 370 square meters with three units. With enhanced dual-band speeds, you can connect up to 100 devices seamlessly. Or, if you have a bigger home, you can go with a Netgear Orbi high-speed mesh system which will cover 525 square meters. Netgear’s system includes a tri-band mesh router and two satellite repeaters ideal for gaming and streaming in 4k.
*Prices of the products are subject to change
When I think about living in rural Ireland, there are more pros than there are cons. While the options for high-speed broadband are in short supply compared to those offered in the major cities, there are still some worth considering. So, why not use an Irish comparison site like WeCompare? You’ll save time and money by shopping all the options in one convenient location.
When was the last time you compared the rural broadband options available to you? New locations are getting connected regularly. Compare now and save!