Montana Internet Guide

If you’re looking for internet service in the state of Montana, then this page should provide all the information that you need.

On this page you’ll find information such as who the major Internet service providers are, what the 3G mobile coverage looks like and what options college students have for internet access at the top colleges in Montana.

Find the Best Internet Service Provider in Your Area of Montana

Local Residential Internet Service Providers

If Century Link does not provide internet service in your area then you might want to check out Global Net. They are the only other option for residential internet service in the state of Montana.

  • Global Net: Global Net has internet packages available depending on your area in Montana. In Helena, for example, download speed start at 6Mbps at $24.98 called the Choice package. They also have a Premier package with 8 Mbps download speed for $39.98. They have an Ultimate package with download speed of 12 Mbps for $69.98. Call them to know what packages are suited for you at 855-735-5095.

Local Business Internet Service Providers

Below are two internet service providers that provide access to businesses in Montana.

  • Blackfoot: Blackfoot offers internet service for business in areas of Montana. Depending on the location, the packages that they have vary. One example would be if you’re living in Missoula, they have a $135 package for Business high Speed internet with 15 Mbps download speed. Call them to know what’s available in your area by phoning 866-541-5000.
  • Cutthroat Communications: Cutthroat Communications deploys a wide range of last mile technologies to deliver service from its network to your needs. Based on your needs, Cutthroat Communications can rapidly roll out its service using a variety of their last-mile technologies. They don’t have pricing posted on their site as you need to contact them to inquire availability. Call them at (866) 585-4600.

Montana Internet Connections and Coverage

In this section of our guide, you’ll find information regarding the average speeds and 3G mobile coverage in Montana.

Montana has an average Internet speed of 8.45 Mbps. This is two thirds slower than the national average of 12.55 Mbps.

On a local area, the 5 cities with the fastest internet speeds in Montana are:

  • Great Falls – 12.68 Mbps
  • Billings – 10.60 Mbps
  • Kalispell – 9.95 Mbps
  • Butte – 9.76 Mbps
  • Whitefish – 9.52 Mbps

The 5 fastest internet service providers in Montana are:

  • Bresnan Communications – 11.17 Mbps
  • Vision Net – 9.47 Mbps
  • Blackfoot telephone Cooperative – 4.84 Mbps
  • TransAria – 4.22 Mbps
  • Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative – 3.96 Mbps

Keep in mind that these speeds will change daily. If you’d like to know the most current speeds, then visit the Montana Net Index page.

Mobile 3G Internet Coverage for Montana

Mobile 3g Internet in Montana is not readily available. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Here are the 3 biggest data carriers in Montana and a rough idea of what their coverage looks like. Keep in mind that this is subject to change, and that you should check out their site and coverage map to make sure you’ll have coverage before buying.

AT&T: AT&T’s 3G mobile internet covers the central to western area of Montana. The eastern part doesn’t have much coverage due to the mountainous ranges in that portion.

Clear: Clear mobile coverage seems non-existent in this state.

Verizon: Verizon has coverage in the southern, western and northern parts. The northeastern areas don’t have much coverage where there are high plains and lakes.

Top 5 Colleges in Montana& Their Internet Access

If you’re planning on attending college in Montana in the fall, then you’ll need internet access. Below, you’ll find information on the top five colleges in Montana and the internet access they provide their students, as well as how to get it.

The University of Montana (UM)

UM provides a secure wireless network for students, faculty, and staff. To gain access to the network, they need to use theirNetID for access. There are two ways to connect to the wireless network– WPA2 Enterprise and Cisco VPN (Virtual Private Network).

Montana State University (MSU)

Wireless access to the MSU network and Internet is available in most locations on campus. MSU8021X, the campus’ secure wireless network is available to students, faculty and staff who have an MSU Windows Domain username and password.

The MSU-guest network (not secured) is available to guests of the University and does not require MSU Windows Domain credentials. As such, its resources are more restricted than the other MSU wireless networks.

Montana Tech University of Montana

Students can access wireless internet using the network called “MontanaTechPublicSecure”. They will have to enter their Montana Tech username and password along with the “Logon domain” name of “MTECHS”.

Montana State University – Great Falls

Students can access MSU’s wireless network by visiting the Helpdesk on campus. The helpdesk workers will set you up with wireless access, but you need to provide your student ID card to verify your enrollment before they will set you up with the access.

Carroll College

Carroll College has three wireless networks on campus; HaloNet, HaloLight, and Carroll Guests. HaloNet is their primary wireless network.  HaloLight is for other wireless devices such as Xbox 360s, Kindles, etc. These devices must be registered before they get   network access and they must be configured to use HaloLight. Carroll Guests is only for campus visitors.

Free Internet Access Spots in Montana

Libraries, restaurants, hotels/motels/resorts, cafes and fast food shops have free wifi access in Montana. Some parks also have free internet access using your wireless device. Here are other places where you can go online using your laptop:

  • WiFi Park in Townsend
  • Information Center at West entrance to Yellowstone National Park
  • Tesarek Homestead in Coffee Creek
  • Hungry Moose Market in Big Sky

Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of free internet hotspots in Montana. This is just a rough idea of what’s available.