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AT&T U-verse Internet Review

Posted by: Trevor Wheelwright       Updated: 1/16/2017

The Bottom Line

AT&T covers a wide range of users with a range of packages from basic to premium across DSL, cable, and fiber optic networks. Speeds range from 768 Kbps all the way up to 1 GB. High data caps mean even large families won’t have overages. Although their pricing is a bit higher than average, they provide fast and reliable service for 21 states.

Is it Right for Me?

  • YES
  • If you need high data caps
  • If you want to bundle internet with U-verse TV or DIRECTV
  • If the fiber network is in your area and you can get 1 GB speeds
  • If you want nationwide AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots on the go
  • If you want a free security suite
  • NO
  • If you’re in a remote or rural location and need satellite internet
  • If you believe you’ll exceed the data caps and the idea of paying an overage fee scares you

PRICE AND PLANS 9/10

DSL, cable, and fiber optic internet—Oh my!

AT&T U-verse Internet (only)

For internet service only, AT&T offers a wide range of plans with max speeds up to 1 GB. The majority of the plans are cable internet, with the lower speeds . The GigaPower plans are part of the Fiber Optic network, which still has limited availability. Below we’ve broken down AT&T’s plans into cable/fiber offers and DSL offers. If it seems like too many options, it’s helpful to keep in mind that not all plans will be available in your area, check online or call an agent.


AT&T U-verse Cable & Fiber Internet

Plan Advertised price Regular price Download speed Contract
Max $40/mo $50/mo 12 Mbps 1 Yr.
Max Plus $50/mo $60/mo 18 Mbps 1 Yr.
Max Turbo $50/mo $60/mo 24 Mbps 1 Yr.
Power $60/mo $70/mo 45 Mbps 1 Yr.
75 (or Power Plus) $70/mo $80/mo 75 Mbps 1 Yr.
GigaPower 100 $60/mo* $70/mo 100 Mbps 1 Yr.
GigaPower 300 $70/mo $80/mo 300 Mbps 1 Yr.
GigaPower 1 Gbps $80/mo $99/mo 1000 Mbps 1 Yr.

Updated 8/19/16. Pricing and availability may change depending on location.  Advertised prices often vary depending on location, promo offer, bundling options, customer history, and more. GigaPower plans effective until October 22, 2016. *Requires My Preferences Agreement

AT&T’s GigaPower plans are actually competitive. AT&T’s 300 Mbps plan (GigaPower 300) goes for $70 per month, whereas similar plans from Verizon and Comcast have prices closer to $150 per month. In fact, the GigaPower (1 Gbps) plan has the best speed-to-cost ratio of the plans we’ve reviewed (so far).

Max
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$40/mo
Regular Price
$50/mo
Download Speed
12Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
Max Plus
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$50/mo
Regular Price
$60/mo
Download Speed
18Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
Max Turbo
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$50/mo
Regular Price
$60/mo
Download Speed
24Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
Power
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$60/mo
Regular Price
$70/mo
Download Speed
45Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
75 (or Power Plus)
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$70/mo
Regular Price
$80/mo
Download Speed
75Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
GigaPower 100
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$60/mo*
Regular Price
$70/mo
Download Speed
100Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
GigaPower 300
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$70/mo
Regular Price
$80/mo
Download Speed
300Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
GigaPower 1 Gbps
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$80/mo
Regular Price
$99/mo
Download Speed
1000Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
Updated 8/1/16. Pricing and availability may change depending on location.

AT&T U-verse DSL plans

  Advertised price Regular price Download speed Contract
Basic $15/mo $31/mo 768 Kbps 1 Yr.
Express $15/mo $39/mo 1.5 Mbps 1 Yr.
Pro $15/mo $44/mo 3 Mbps 1 Yr. 

Note: AT&T’s older DSL technology is still out there, which means slower speeds. Clarify with your agent which service you’re getting. One quick tip is to see if they offer the U-verse Triple Play with internet, voice, and TV, which indicates the newer, faster service.

Express
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$15/mo
Regular Price
$31/mo
Download Speed
768Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
Pro
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$15/mo
Regular Price
$39/mo
Download Speed
1.5Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
Elite
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$15/mo
Regular Price
$44/mo
Download Speed
3Mbps
Contract
1 Yr.
Note: There are two packages named “Extreme” that have significant price and speed differences. If it’s not obvious which package you’re getting, clarify with an agent.

Don’t be mistakenalthough DSL plans aren’t ideal for heavy online gaming or multiple users watching HD video streams, the plans are perfect for casual users who simply browse the internet and check email. You can probably get away with the 3 and 6 Mbps plans if you’re just doing light gaming or a single video stream.

When it comes to getting a good deal, we found that similar providers charged less for roughly the same download speeds and data caps. For example, the AT&T Power (45 Mbps) plan’s advertised price is $70 per month, whereas Comcast and SuddenLink both offer similar plans for $50 per month.

Bundles: AT&T U-verse Internet + TV + phone

U-verse internet + U-verse TV plans

Plan Channels 3 Mbps-6 Mbps 12 Mbps-24 Mbps 45 75
UFamily 200+ $80/mo. $90/mo. $100/mo $110/mo
U200 200+ $100/mo. $110/mo. $120/mo $130/mo
U300 470+ $105/mo. $115/mo. $125/mo $135/mo
U450 550+ $155/mo. $165/mo. $175/mo $185/mo

Updated 8/16/16. Pricing and availability may change depending on location.

UFamily
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Channels
200+
3 Mbps-6 Mbps
$80/mo
12 Mbps-24 Mbps
$90/mo
45
$100/mo
75
$110/mo
U200
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Channels
200+
3 Mbps-6 Mbps
$100/mo
12 Mbps-24 Mbps
$110/mo
45
$120/mo
75
$130/mo
U300
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Channels
470+
3 Mbps-6 Mbps
$105/mo
12 Mbps-24 Mbps
$115/mo
45
$125/mo
75
$135/mo
UFamily
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Channels
550+
3 Mbps-6 Mbps
$155/mo
12 Mbps-24 Mbps
$165/mo
45
$175/mo
75
$185/mo
Note: There are two packages named “Extreme” that have significant price and speed differences. If it’s not obvious which package you’re getting, clarify with an agent.

U-verse internet + DIRECTV plans

Plan Channels | Speeds Advertised price
Double Play #1 145+ | 6 Mbps $80/mo
Double Play #2 70+ | 20 Mbps $7999/mo
Triple Play #1 70+ | 30 Mbps | Phone $8999/mo
Triple Play #2 200+ | 50 Mbps | Phone $12999/mo

Updated 8/19/16. Pricing and availability may change depending on location.

With AT&T you can combine your high-speed internet with either U-verse TV or DIRECTV options, depending on your location. Most bundled TV packages include up to two receivers and a U-verse Total Home DVR.

Although bundling increases your overall price, you save money on the individual services. AT&T advertises that you get a $30 per month value with bundling. Most bundles offered by AT&T come with bonus “rewards cards” up to $450. These reward cards arrive within 4 weeks after service is activated.  These cards can be used to pay for AT&T products and services, or used anywhere that accepts VISA.

To add U-verse Voice Unlimited, AT&T’s add-on phone service, it’s an additional $9.99 per month for the first 24 months. You cannot get U-Verse Voice Unlimited by itself, you must bundle it with phone or TV service. AT&T’s standard home phone service starts at $26 per month.

 

What’s the real price?

You must opt into Internet Preferences, an information sharing program with advertisers, to get the GigaPower Premier offer, which drops the monthly price from $99 to $70. AT&T claims your information won’t be sold. They also say you “won’t necessarily receive more ads”—only ads better suited to your interests. Only later do they explain that you won’t just see ads online, but also receive emails and direct mail (as in physical mail in your mailbox), all based on your browsing habits.

 

Heads up – GigaPower plans from AT&T offer a $20–$30 discount, but you have to agree to “My Preferences,” which gives consent for AT&T to share your habits with advertisers who will directly market to you.

On the one hand, you save up to $30 a month by opting for the “Premier Offer,” which is quite significant. On the other hand, some users have expressed concern over this tactic, claiming that it’s a steep price to pay to maintain your privacy.

Hidden fees

Be aware of the following fees:

Early termination fee (ETF)

  • If you agree to a contract, you only have 14 days to cancel your services and return your equipment. Early Termination Fees can be upwards of $180 depending on how long you’ve been in the contract.

Activation fee

  • AT&T advertises activation fees of $50 for both TV and internet.

  • Activation is usually consolidated into one $50 fee if bundled.

  • The fee may be waived altogether if you order standalone internet online.

Installation

  • AT&T claims to have a $99 installation fee, but most promotional offers waive the fee.

  • We do recommend professional installation, but you may be able to set up your services without help (AT&T provides self-installation guides here).

Equipment

AT&T provides your wireless router and wireless gateway, which deliver all of your U-verse services to the rooms in your home network in a safe and secure way. The technician will try to put it in a place that minimizes wireless dead spots.

If you don’t have a modem already, you can rent one from AT&T for $10 a month (waived with some plans). Or you can buy your own wireless modem for less than $100, which gives you the benefit of having more control over the speed you’re getting and avoiding any possible leasing fees or non-return fees. If you do have a router, you can contact an AT&T U-verse representative to see if it’s compatible with the plan you want.

SPEED 9/10

A wide range of speeds allows every user to stay within budget.

 

Plan Download Speed Upload speed
Basic 768 Kbps 128 – 384 Kbps
Express 1.5 Mbps 128 – 384 Kbps
Pro 3 Mbps 384 Kbps – 1 Mbps
Elite 6 Mbps 512 Kbps – 1.5 Mbps
Max 12 Mbps 512 Kbps – 1.5 Mbps
Max Plus 18 Mbps 765 Kbps – 1.5 Mbps
Max Turbo 24 Mbps 768 Kbps – 1.5 Mbps
Power 45 Mbps 3 Mbps – 6 Mbps
75 (or Power Plus) 75 Mbps 6 Mbps – 8 Mbps
GigaPower 100 100 Mbps Up to 100 Mbps
GigaPower 300 300 Mbps Up to 300 Mbps
GigaPower 1 Gbps 1 Gbps Up to 1,000 Mbps
Basic
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
768 Kbps
Upload Speed
128 – 384 Kbps
Express
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
1.5 Mbps
Upload Speed
128 – 384 Kbps
Pro
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
3 Mbps
Upload Speed
384 Kbps – 1 Mbps
Elite
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
6 Mbps
Upload Speed
512 Kbps – 1.5 Mbps
Max
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
12 Mbps
Upload Speed
512 Kbps – 1.5 Mbps
Max Plus
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
18 Mbps
Upload Speed
765 Kbps – 1.5 Mbps
Max Turbo
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
24 Mbps
Upload Speed
768 Kbps – 1.5 Mbps
Power
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
45 Mbps
Upload Speed
3 Mbps – 6 Mbps
75 (or Power Plus)
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
75 Mbps
Upload Speed
6 Mbps – 8 Mbps
GigaPower 100
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
100 Mbps
Upload Speed
Up to 100 Mbps
GigaPower 300
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
300 Mbps
Upload Speed
Up to 300 Mbps
GigaPower 1 Gbps
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Download Speed
1 Gbps
Upload Speed
Up to 1,000 Mbps

What speed is right for me?

AT&T U-verse’s download speeds range from 768 Kbps to 1 Gbps (.768 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps).

AT&T covers the gamut of DSL and high speed internet via cable, and it is expanding its fiber optic network. Anything labeled “GigaPower” is AT&T’s 100% fiber-optic network, which is great for gamers and HD video streamers. With these high speeds, AT&T U-verse ensures that the majority of your downloads, even HD movies, will finish in under a minute, if not less than 10 seconds.

Heads up:

Internet speeds are not guaranteed.The factors you should consider are:

  • Multiple users

  • Computer hardware and software

  • Modem

Below are the FCC’s minimum broadband speed requirements for a single user.

Activity (single user) Minimum Download Speed
Web browsing 1 Mbps
Watching video 4Mbps
Video conferencing 4 Mbps
Online gaming 5 Mbps

DATA 8/10

AT&T U-verse plans have more than enough data.

Data is a measure of the information coming to your home, and some companies have caps or limitations on data, which from their perspective benefits the customer because other users can’t hog all the bandwidth the company can provide to a specific area.

AT&T recently changed its data caps in March 2016, so now most plans offer 300 GB.  According to AT&T, “300 GB is far more data than a vast majority of customers use in a month. An average AT&T High Speed Internet customer uses just over 100 GB of data per month.”

Plan Data Cap
DSL Plans 150 GB
768 – 6 Mbps 300 GB
12 Mbps – 75 Mbps 600 GB
100 Mbps – 1 Gbps 1 TB

As with speeds, your data is affected by the Internet of Things. The more devices connected to your network, the more data you’ll use. If you have a large family where every member has at least a cell phone, if not another laptop or tablet, you may want to consider a higher data plan.

AT&T provides a data calculator for customers, so you can estimate how much data you will need. In the example below, you’ll see that even the DSL plans are still unlikely to go over data caps. The majority of plans have at least 300 GB, and most users will do okay with ~100 GB of data a month. HD video uses far more data than other activities, so consider how many people watch it on a regular basis in your household.

What if I hit the limit?

AT&T wants to give customers the benefit of the doubt if they’ve underestimated their data usage: Your first two data overages are free, which we haven’t seen with other providers. After that, if you go over your plan’s data cap, you’ll pay $10 for each additional 50 GB. Note: you can add up to $100 per month, which translates to 500 GB total.

SUPPORT 7/10

AT&T internet has 99.9% reliability

ASCI 2016 Rating JD Power
64/100 4.72/5

The American Customer Satisfaction Index gave AT&T U-verse a score of 64 this year; in 2016 it was 69. This 7% decrease may be a result to transitional difficulties after the merger with DIRECTV, or they could be slipping. The average for this year was 64, so they’re not falling behind per se, but they’re just average, not outstanding in this field.

JD Power & Associates rates AT&T pretty high compared to other providers. The average score was 3.15, the only other internet brand we reviewed who scored better on the list was Verizon Fios.

AT&T customer service

AT&T’s customer service is easy to deal with. On two different occasions, I asked direct questions regarding availability and specified I was not interested in purchasing anything. I wasn’t rushed or pushed to buy; they were hassle-free and provided the information in a timely way and ensured my questions were answered thoroughly.

Finding and visiting an AT&T U-verse store for support should be easy enough. Our search yielded 12 different stores in roughly a 5-mile radius from our service location—a benefit for customers who don’t want to face unreturned equipment fees.

Extra features

The optional AT&T Internet Security Suite powered by McAfee features anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protection, as well as a pop-up catcher and parental controls. McAfee’s site advisor gives a security rating for websites and warns of potential threats. AT&T additionally provides 11 email accounts with virtually unlimited storage, also protected from security threats.

Although they advertise it and recommend it, we would personally avoid the AT&T Yahoo! Toolbar. In general, toolbars not only bog down your browser, but they’re also filled with spam-like advertisements. It’s not worth the convenience to have so many gadgets, extensions, or otherwise extras packed into your browser. We’d recommend minimizing your needed applications and extensions to the strictly necessary.

THE TAKEAWAY

AT&T U-verse internet is for (nearly) everyone.

AT&T U-verse covers everyone’s internet needs in terms of both speeds and prices. wide range of services that just about anybody can find a plan that suits them.

Our Recommendation: AT&T U-verse GigaPower (1 Gbps)

AT&T offers the 1 Gbps plan at a great bang for your buck, assuming you give up some privacy for the $30 per month discount. For power users, this is what you need to ensure lag-free gaming, quick HD movie downloads, and enough bandwidth for a large household to handle.

Other great options:

If you have access to cable internet only, we recommend the AT&T U-verse Power (45 Mbps) plan. At about $60 per month, you get high speeds and all the data you need (even for multiple users).

If you’re looking for a bundled package, we suggest the U300 TV plan (75 Mbps). You’ll get all the popular channels and sports with fast internet speeds. You can also add phone for only $10 per month. We chose the 75 Mbps internet in the bundle because of its cost efficiency.

Blog author for reviews.org

By: Trevor Wheelwright

Staff Writer