- AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet has the potential to connect numerous remote households to the Internet, but can it support VPN usage?
- VPNs can slow down your Internet connection, and the effect is even more dramatic when the connection is already slow, to begin with.
- Check out our best VPNs for your Windows PC that won't slow your connection down by much.
- Visit the How-To Hub to discover even more awesome VPN guides on common issues.
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AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet has the potential to connect numerous remote households to the Internet, but can it support VPN usage?
A lot of Internet users have relocated and are pursuing a work-from-home lifestyle. This highly depends on two things: Internet availability and connection speed.
When VPNs are involved, speed can take a serious hit. And it’s not exactly a secret that a wireless connection is not as capable as its wired counterpart.
What is Fixed Wireless Internet?
Fixed Wireless Internet (FWI) is a nifty service that’s mainly designed for rural households or regions where wired Internet is unfortunately not an option.
It comprises an exterior antenna, which picks up radio signals from nearby cell towers. The signal is then carried to your a router in your home, which you connect to for Internet access.
As its name suggests, Fixed Wireless Internet is not dependant on wires. Except for the wire that’s between the antenna and your router, of course
How fast is AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet?
Currently, AT&T has a single offer of FWI for personal use, and another one for business. Both are capped at 10 Mbps, although the consumer-grade one boasts download speeds of even 25 Mbps (under certain circumstances).
In a world where Gigabit Ethernet is no longer a myth, having a 10 Mbps connection is like still using floppy disks to move data around. To put it shortly, having a 10 Mbps connection is 100 times slower than a Gigabit connection.
Not to mention that AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet has upload speeds capped at 1 Mbps, which is extremely low. Furthermore, data is capped at 250 GBs per month, which is a whole nother story, but relevant to our situation.
Can AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet support VPN?
1. Consumer-grade VPN
- Purchase a PIA subscription
- Download Private Internet Access to your PC
- Install the VPN client
- Launch PIA and connect to your account
- Select a fast server (the closer it is to you, the better)
The fact that Private Internet Access has an impressive network of servers makes it even more suitable for home use with AT&T’s FWI. If a server seems to be kind of slow, just switch to another one and you should be set.
However, you shouldn’t expect to be able to stream HD Netflix content, for instance. If things were slow by default on FWI, using a VPN will definitely make them even slower.
Note: To make the most out of your AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet + VPN combo, make sure you’re using Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi.
2. Business VPN
If you have other needs from your VPN aside from privacy, such as accessing company resources remotely, you’ll most likely use a business VPN.
Several companies set their own VPN server, which their employees connect to using Windows’ built-in VPN feature. Some of them, anyway.
Well, things are quite the same as with consumer-grade VPNs. You’ll definitely notice some slowdowns, depending on the capacity of the VPN server and its current load (e.g. how many users are currently connected to it).
The only drawback is that such a VPN doesn’t allow you to switch servers. This means that if the speed is extremely low, you’ll have to soldier on, as there’s nothing you can do about it.
Final thoughts on using a VPN with AT&T FWI
If you’re considering signing up for AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet and plan on using a VPN with it, you may want to reconsider. This connection type’s speed is capped at 10-25 Mbps, which is not entirely awful considering the lack of wires.
Although it’s obvious that adding a VPN to your FWI connection will slow it down, using a service such as Private Internet Access (fast and has a lot of servers) might just do the trick.