AT&T Internet Review 2020
|Plan||Price||Download speed||Connection type||Details|
|AT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps||$49.99/mo.||100 Mbps||DSL||View Plan|
|Internet 1000||$49.99/mo.||940 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
You won’t find more than two choices for download speeds if you’re looking at AT&T internet. But the speeds it does offer, up to 100 Mbps and 940 Mbps, are priced well.
We think you’ll find the most value in the 940 Mbps plan, but there are still a few perks that make the Up to 100 Mbps plan worth looking at too. Let’s take a look at those perks, plus compare AT&T internet prices, download speeds, contracts, and more.
- Well-priced plans
- Option to bundle with DIRECTV
- DSL plan could come with slow download speeds
- DSL plan comes with a data cap
AT&T internet deals
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AT&T internet prices and plans
You likely won’t find AT&T Fiber in smaller cities, but if you can get it, it’s well worth it.
We already mentioned that AT&T offers only two internet plans, and which one you can get depends mainly on where you live. Chances are if your home isn’t nestled in a big city, you’ll have only the Up to 100 Mbps DSL option.
The Internet Up to 100 Mbps plan is nothing to scoff at, especially with its low price. The only issue we have is with the “up to” part of this deal: AT&T connects you to the fastest download speeds in your area—up to 100 Mbps.
By saying “up to,” AT&T makes it difficult to know what download speeds you’ll end up with at the end of the day. You could get a rather slow 25 Mbps that just doesn’t cut it for your family of four, or you could get lucky and land the full 100 Mbps. (Which could be just fine for a family of four.)
|Plan||Price||Download speed||Data cap||Details|
|AT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps||$49.99/mo.||100 Mbps||1 TB||View Plan|
|Internet 1000||$49.99/mo.*||940 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
The Internet 1,000 plan offers more guaranteed download speeds of 940 Mbps. (Though no internet provider can fully guarantee your download speeds, that’s just out of their hands.)
With that in mind, we say if you end up choosing between the Internet Up to 100 Mbps plan and the Internet 1,000 plan, go for Internet 1,000. You’ll get faster speeds and a fiber internet connection, which tends to be more reliable than cable or DSL.
Is AT&T internet cheap?
The price for the AT&T Internet Up to 100 Mbps plan is right on the money when compared to other internet service providers (ISPs) that also offer a 100 Mbps plan. Your only major difference is that CenturyLink’s Price for Life 100 Mbps comes with—you guessed it—a price for life guarantee as long as you remain in good standing.
But the Internet 1,000 plan is by and far the best deal on the block. Not many ISPs can come close to that low, low price for those Speedy Gonzalez-level download speeds.
|AT&T Internet||AT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps||$49.99/mo.||100 Mbps||View Plan|
|AT&T Fiber||Internet 1000||$49.99/mo.*||940 Mbps||View Plan|
|CenturyLink Internet||Price for Life 100 Mbps||$49†||100 Mbps||View Plan|
|CenturyLink Internet||CenturyLink Fiber Internet||$65||940 Mbps||View Plan|
|Xfinity Internet - Central||Performance||$40‡||100 Mbps||View Plan|
|Xfinity Internet - Central||Gigabit||$80^||1000 Mbps||View Plan|
TV + internet bundles
Take a look at AT&T bundles, and you might wonder, “What’s with all of these capital letters? Why are we shouting?”
Good question. One reason to go full caps lock and squeal in delight is that bundling your AT&T internet with TV can save you money: we found it saves about $20 a month.
So you can save money while you watch Chip Gaines’ latest demo-day shenanigans on Fixer Upper or root for your favorite sports team. Yup, seems like an AT&T bundle with either the AT&T TV streaming service or DIRECTV satellite TV is worth shouting about in all caps.
Of course, your bundle can include home phone service if you’re retro enough for a landline, but to keep things simple, we picked out a few of our favorite AT&T internet and TV bundles below.
|Plan||Price||Internet download speed||TV channel count||Details|
|AT&T TV ENTERTAINMENT + AT&T Internet||$89.98°||100 Mbps||65+||View Plans|
|AT&T TV CHOICE + AT&T Internet||$94.98°||100 Mbps||85+||View Plans|
|AT&T TV ULTIMATE + AT&T Internet||$109.98°||100 Mbps||125+||View Plans|
|DIRECTV SELECT All-Included Package + AT&T Internet||$89.98||100 Mbps||155+||View Plan|
|DIRECTV XTRA All-Included Package + AT&T Internet||$109.98||100 Mbps||235+||View Plan|
|DIRECTV PREMIER All-Included Package + AT&T Internet||$164.98||100 Mbps||330+||View Plan|
AT&T internet speed
AT&T internet speeds are reliably fast, but DSL customers might resent the data cap and unclear download speeds.
When it comes to internet speed, AT&T has only two choices: up to 100 Mbps and 940 Mbps. And don’t forget: that up to 100 Mbps speed will actually be whatever the highest download speed is in your area. So you could end up with speeds slower than 100 Mbps. Unlucky.
|Plan||Download speed||Upload speed|
|AT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps||100 Mbps||20 Mbps|
|Internet 1000||940 Mbps||880 Mbps|
We think that’s a little sneaky, but the low price you pay for up to 100 Mbps speeds is still a good value. Still, if you’re stuck with download speeds around 25 Mbps, you might be able to find a cheaper plan elsewhere. (Like RCN’s 25 Mbps plan or Frontier’s Simply FiOS 50/50.)
AT&T’s 940 Mbps fiber plan might be an even better value though—at least if it’s in your area.
The good news for both AT&T internet plans is that this internet service provider (ISP) usually delivers the speeds it advertises, if not better.
This is what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) calls actual/advertised speed, and it’s typically measured as a percentage. In its latest report, the FCC analyzed all of the AT&T plans together, and AT&T scored an average actual/advertised speed of 108.9%.1
|Provider||Average actual/advertised speed|
That means, according to the FCC, AT&T over-delivered on speed. Just look at all those happy customers zooming along with faster internet than they paid for.
Of course, we try to take the FCC’s reports with a grain of salt. The FCC may not have analyzed AT&T internet in your area—or it may not have analyzed the plan you’re eyeing. So remember, your experience with AT&T internet may be different. (We hope not, though.)
The AT&T Up to 100 Mbps plan comes with a one terabyte (TB) data cap. While that’s a pretty hefty amount of data, we’d rather see it follow in the footsteps of the AT&T Internet 1,000 plan, which has unlimited data.
We think most internet users won’t go through a TB of data each month, but if you do, AT&T will charge you an extra $10 for every 50 GB of additional data you use.
If you’re an internet data hog, but AT&T Fiber’s unlimited data cap is only a dream where you live, there is hope. You can bundle your AT&T internet with DIRECTV or AT&T TV NOW and watch your data cap go to infinity and beyond.
You can also pay an extra $30 a month to get unlimited data added to your AT&T Internet plan.
Data effective 5/1/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
AT&T internet contracts, equipment, and fees
AT&T ropes you into a contract, but its self-install option and low equipment fee are winners in our book.
You’ll need to sign a one-year agreement to get either of the AT&T internet plans, which isn’t ideal.
Even Comcast Xfinity offers a few no-contract options for its internet service. We love the freedom a no-contract option gives us, and we hope AT&T decides to hop on the no-contract bandwagon in the future.
When you sign up for AT&T internet, you’ll get a Wi-Fi gateway modem-and-router combo, so chances are you won’t need your own router to set up your Wi-Fi network.
That equipment will come with a $10 per month rental fee too, but as far as rental fees go, it’s one of the cheaper ones we’ve seen.
- AT&T equipment fee: $10 per month
It’s also really nice that you can sign up for internet service and have the 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.
Imagine that: you move in, and your internet is set up before you even get your mattress unloaded. Priorities, right?
Sorry, y’all. There’s no getting away from fees when it comes to internet service, with AT&T or with any other internet provider. 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 fee: $15 for each month left on your contract—up to a total of $180.
AT&T internet 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 69 out of 100 on the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)—this makes it one of the top-scoring internet providers.3
|AT&T ACSI 2019 rating|
|69 out of 100|
Our picks: The best AT&T internet plans
Best for casual users: Internet Up to 100 Mbps
Who it’s best for: The Internet Up to 100 Mbps plan is a good match and worth the money if you and your family are average internet users and can get close to the top-end 100 Mbps speeds.
Why we picked it: AT&T’s price for playing Stardew Valley at up to 100 Mbps is right in line with other ISPs—and even a little cheaper than some.
The top speed of 100 Mbps is also enough to support a basic home security system—though we’d recommend faster speeds for a smart home or a system with lots of cameras. We admit that the one terabyte data cap is a bummer, but most of us will never come close to hitting that ceiling.
Best for home offices and super users: Internet 1,000
Who it’s best for: Got a house full of gamers? Does every member of your family have to stream Altered Carbon, Tiger King, and Grey’s Anatomy all in different rooms? You’ll need some mega download speeds to keep up, and the Internet 1,000 plan is up to the task.
Why we picked it: Most of us don’t need 940 Mbps, but if you’ve got home security and smart home tech, cell phones, and other electronics all connected to your internet, you probably need the extra bandwidth the Internet 1,000 plan provides.
This fiber plan delivers, and the 940 Mbps speed is priced lower than most—if not all—other ISPs.
Recap: Is AT&T internet good?
AT&T’s internet offers up some competitive pricing and potentially quick speeds. Here’s a quick recap of why you might like it.
- Prices and plans: AT&T’s prices for its Up to 100 Mbps and Internet 1,000 plans gets you a lot of bang for your buck. You likely won’t find a lower price anywhere else, though we do wish you had more than two internet options.
- Download speed: The Internet 1,000 plan delivers near-gig speeds of 940 Mbps to your door, which is all we can ask for. But the Up to 100 Mbps plan gets tricky: you’ll get the fastest speeds in your neighborhood, which could be much slower than 100 Mbps.
- Contracts, equipment, and fees: You’ll have to sign an annual contract to get AT&T internet service, but at least its equipment rental and self-installation fees are reasonable.
- Customer service: No ISP is known for great customer service, sorry to say. But AT&T rates as one of the better internet providers out there.
AT&T internet prices and plans recap
- AT&T Internet Up to 100 Mbps: $49.99 per month*, download speeds up to 100 Mbps
- AT&T Fiber Internet 1,000: $49.99 per month**, download speeds up to 940 Mbps
Data effective 5/1/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip fee. $10/mo equip fee applies. Incl 1TB data/mo. $10 chrg for each add’l 50GB (up to $100/mo).
**for 12 mos plus taxes & equip fee. $10/mo equip fee applies. Incl unlimited internet data allowance ($30 value)
Q: Where is AT&T Fiber available?
Right now, AT&T Fiber is available at service addresses in 21 states, mostly in the southern and midwestern US:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
You can check to see if your city has AT&T Fiber on AT&T’s coverage map.
Q: What is AT&T Fixed Wireless?
AT&T’s fixed wireless internet service brings internet to rural areas of the US by beaming your internet connection from an antenna on your roof to a fixed location.
While fixed wireless is certainly an exciting new technology for rural areas missing out on more than one internet option—or areas with no internet options—it isn’t without its downsides. You can learn more about it in our fixed wireless guide.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “2018 Measuring Broadband Across America: Fixed Broadband Report”
- AT&T, “Home Internet Usage”
- American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), “ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018–2019”
*Reviews.org uses Amazon affiliate links.