AT&T Internet Review

AT&T’s fiber internet far outclasses its DSL alternative in every respect—here’s why.
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AT&T’s fiber internet far outclasses its DSL alternative in every respect—here’s why.
Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Price:
$40–$90/mo.
Speeds:
5–1,000 Mbps
Data caps:
1 TB except for certain plans

Overview

Ready for lightning-fast fiber speeds and want to see what AT&T Fiber is about? Or maybe you’re ready to ditch your old ISP and find someone new?

Whatever your situation, we’ll dig into AT&T’s DSL and fiber internet plans to see if they’re actually a great deal when it comes to speed, pricing, and features. Buckle up!

AT&T Internet Prices and Plans

PlanPrice*Download speedConnection typeView plan
Internet Basic 5$40/mo.5 MbpsDSL
View plan
Internet 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100**$50/mo.10–100 MbpsDSLView plan
Internet 100$50/mo.100 MbpsFiberView plan
Internet 300$70/mo.300 MbpsFiberView plan
Internet 1,000$90/mo.1,000 MbpsFiberView plan

Data effective 8/27/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Prices listed are for the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
** AT&T will give you the speed listed in your area up to 100 Mbps.

Pros

  • No data caps for 1,000 Mbps plan
  • Excellent promos for bundling

Cons

  • Pricing can be steep
  • Limited availabilty for fiber

Find out if AT&T is near you

AT&T Internet prices and plans

DSL can be pricey—but AT&T Fiber speeds are worth the competitive prices

Sometimes getting internet feels like that scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest describes life as a box of chocolates. Yup, even with internet service, you never know what you’re gonna get.

With AT&T, you never know if you’re gonna get DSL or fiber. (Chances are if you don’t live in a big metro area, you’ll only have the DSL option. So maybe some of us know what we’ll get.)

So is AT&T Fiber a better value? When you run all the numbers, the answer is yes.

Like we always say, if you can get fiber, go for it. If not, know that AT&T’s DSL plans can be a bit pricey compared to competitors like Spectrum and Frontier.

That said, the Internet 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100 plan will get you the fastest speed available in your area—up to 100 Mbps. If you can get that 100 Mbps speed or close to it, the monthly price is actually pretty competitive.

So is AT&T Fiber a better value? When you run all the numbers, the answer is yes.

Sure, if you live in an area where Verizon Fios’s 940/880 Mbps plan is available, it starts out cheaper than AT&T Fiber. But Verizon Fios charges you $10 a month for a router, while AT&T Fiber’s router is included. So all things considered, looks like AT&T Fiber is the better deal.

AT&T TV + Internet bundles

One huge perk you’ll get with AT&T Internet is that bundling can actually save you money. So if you’re looking for a way to follow your team throughout the season or want to get an earful of Gordon Ramsay’s latest creative insults in Hell’s Kitchen, a bundle is the way to go.

You’ll have the choice of bundling your DSL or fiber internet plan with either U-verse (AT&T’s proprietary TV service) or DIRECTV.

Your bundle can also include phone service, but to keep things simple, we stuck with a few of our favorite internet and TV bundles to give you a clearer picture.

AT&T Internet bundles

PlanPrice*Download speedChannelsConnection typeLearn more
Internet 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100 + DIRECTV CHOICE™$85/mo.10–100 Mbps185+DSLView plan
Internet 100 + DIRECTV XTRA™$95/mo.100 Mbps235+FiberView plan
Internet 300 + DIRECTV PREMIER™$170/mo.300 Mbps330+FiberView plan
Internet 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100 + U-Family$75/mo.10–100 Mbps180+DSLView plan
Internet 100 + U300$100/mo.100 Mbps470+FiberView plan
Internet 300 + U450$170/mo.300 Mbps550+FiberView plan

Data effective 8/27/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For 12 months with a 2-year TV and 1-year internet agreement plus paperless billing and autopay. Price increases for months 13-24.

Our AT&T Internet plan recommendation

Internet 300

Who it’s best for: Got a household full of gamers? Does every member of your family love to stream their favorite shows in different rooms? The Internet 300 plan will help you dodge those lag and buffering monsters.

Why we picked it: Most people won’t need 300 Mbps, but if you’ve got several devices all connected to the internet at the same time, you might need that extra oomph. This fiber plan delivers, and it’s priced lower than most.

You’ll pay close to $30 more for similar fiber speeds from Frontier and Verizon Fios (depending on where you live).

Price*SpeedData capLearn more
$70/mo.300 Mbps1 TBView plan

Data effective 8/27/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For 12 months with a 1-year contract.

If you don’t need 300 Mbps, check out the 100 Mbps fiber option—or go with AT&T’s 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100 Mbps DSL plan.

This DSL plan can be risky, since you’ll pay the same price whether your area can get only speeds up to 10 Mbps or whether it can go all the way up to 100 Mbps. But if you can get close to 100 Mbps, the price leaves room in your budget for a back-to-school shopping spree.

AT&T Internet speed and data

Long story short: AT&T DSL lags behind other non-fiber providers—but AT&T Fiber is a rising star.

Sure, AT&T says you’ll get certain speeds, but does it deliver? And what about upload speeds? Are they fast enough to run your own server or livestream your video games on Twitch?

Here’s a quick peek at what speeds you can expect.

How fast is AT&T fiber and DSL?

PlanDownload speedUpload speedData capLearn more
Internet Basic 55 Mbps1 Mbps1 TBView plan
Internet 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100*10–100 Mbps1–20 Mbps1 TBView plan
Internet 100100 Mbps100 Mbps1 TBView plan
Internet 300300 Mbps300 Mbps1 TBView plan
Internet 1,0001,000 Mbps1,000 MbpsUnlimitedView plan

Data effective 8/27/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* AT&T will give you the fastest speed available in your area—up to 100 Mbps.

One of the great things about fiber is it features symmetrical download and upload speeds—meaning the download speed you get is also your upload speed.

You’ll find this is true for pretty much every fiber provider, including Verizon Fios and Frontier—and AT&T Fiber too.

Fiber also tends to be zippier and more reliable, which is why we always recommend it. AT&T Fiber ranked fourth on the July 2018 Netflix ISP leaderboard, while AT&T DSL ranked thirteenth.1 That’s a pretty big difference.

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What speeds to do I need?

Ever wondered if you’re signing up for enough speed? Find out in our Mbps guide.

If you zoom out on those Netflix rankings, you’ll see that AT&T Fiber has been slowly improving its performance since January 2018, when it ranked seventh.2

But if we single out other non-fiber providers in those same rankings, you’ll see AT&T DSL ranks well below competitors like Xfinity, Cox, Spectrum, and even CenturyLink.3 Hopefully, we see an upward trend soon.

AT&T data caps

We hate to keep hammering on AT&T’s DSL plans, but we keep ending up disappointed: all of the DSL plans and two of the fiber plans come with a data cap.

AT&T Internet data caps

PlanData capLearn more
Internet Basic 51 TBView plan
Internet 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100*1 TBView plan
Internet 1001 TBView plan
Internet 3001 TBView plan
Internet 1,000UnlimitedView plan

Data effective 8/27/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

To be fair, it’s a 1 TB data cap, which is pretty darn huge. Most of us won’t come near to exceeding it. And other ISPs like Cox, CenturyLink, and Xfinity all limit your data to 1 TB too.

But for any internet super users out there, we recommend the Internet 1,000 plan.

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Say goodbye to a data cap

If you bundle with a TV service through AT&T, you’ll have that pesky data cap waived. No more 1-TB limits hanging over your shoulder.

Yup, score another win for AT&T Fiber: its largest plan doesn’t come with a data cap at all. You get unlimited data, so stream, game, and download whatever you want.

AT&T Internet fees, contracts, and equipment

AT&T scores brownie points for its cheaper self-installation option.

Sadly, one area where even AT&T Fiber doesn’t quite shine is contracts. You’ll need to sign a one-year agreement whether you get DSL or fiber, which is kind of a bummer if you ask us.

Even Xfinity offers a few no-contract options for its internet service, and Frontier doesn’t require contracts at all. We love the freedom a no-contract option gives us, and we hope AT&T decides to hop on the no-contract bandwagon

AT&T Internet fees

Sorry, y’all. There’s no getting away from fees when it comes to internet service. Here’s a quick overview of what AT&T might charge you.

  • Installation fees: Pay a $35 activation fee if you prefer DIY installation, or call up the pros for $99.
  • Early termination fees: $15 for each month left on your contract—up to a total of $180.

AT&T Internet equipment and fees

AT&T chips in a Wi-Fi gateway modem-and-router combo when you sign up for internet, so chances are you won’t need your own router.

It’s also nice that you can sign up for internet service and have your equipment delivered straight to your door. A buddy of mine, Andrew, did just this while he was staying in Virginia but needed internet set up in his new house in Florida.

“They shipped the box on Monday. It came Wednesday, [and] my girlfriend hooked it up and followed the instructions. The box activated itself, and she was up and running,” he says.

Sweet deal.

AT&T customer service

AT&T’s customer service ranks well compared to other ISPs—but that’s still low overall.

Customer service always seems to be a pain point for ISPs, and AT&T is no exception. However, it does score 68 out of 100 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)—second only to Verizon Fios.4

customer service icon

Another friend of mine, Sam, lives in Chicago and has AT&T’s 100 Mbps plan. She and her roommates have called customer support a couple times about billing and technical issues, and each time got their issues resolved.

“We don’t deal with customer service too much, but [when we do] it’s usually to complain about why our bills randomly increase . . . but they usually cut some kinda discount. I’ve only had to call tech once for net problems, and they were very helpful—[we] got through the issue in about 10 minutes,” she says.

If you need to chat with an AT&T rep, social media or chat may be your best option. Here’s where to find them.

Recap—is AT&T Internet good?

AT&T Fiber is a great deal—but the DSL plans are a crapshoot.

AT&T’s internet offers up some competitive pricing and quick speeds. Here’s a quick recap of why you might like it.

  • AT&T’s DSL plans are more widely available and can reach speeds of up to 100 Mbps. If you can get 100 Mbps, the pricing is competitive. But don’t forget that the DSL plans come with a 1 TB data cap—unless you bundle with TV.
  • AT&T Fiber is limited to certain areas, but it’s a great buy if you can get it. It comes in three speeds and the fastest plan lacks a data cap—plus it ranks in the top five on Netflix’s ISP leaderboard.

FAQs

Q: Where is AT&T Fiber available?

Right now, AT&T Fiber is available in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

You can check to see if your city has AT&T Fiber on AT&T’s website.

Sources

1. Netflix, “ISP Leaderboard – July 2018
2. Netflix, “ISP Leaderboard
3. Netflix, “ISP Leaderboard
4. American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), “ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018