Google Fiber vs. AT&T: Which One Is Worth Your Money?

Google Fiber is the clear choice, offering excellent internet at a reasonable price—but AT&T also offers excellent fiber internet.

Better value
Speed and reliability:
5.0/5
Dollar value:
4.8/5
Customer experience:
4.5/5
Overall quality:
4.8/5.0
Wider availability
Speed and reliability:
4.0/5
Dollar value:
3.8/5
Customer experience:
4.0/5
Overall quality:
3.9/5.0
Christian de Looper
Jul 08, 2024
Icon Time To Read7 min read

Google Fiber is the clear winner in this ISP matchup. Alphabet’s beloved fiber service offers an incredibly reliable connection and faster tested speeds on average at a lower price than AT&T. Customers rave about Google Fiber’s service, and they’re even complimentary about its customer service—something that’s rare among internet companies.

That doesn’t mean AT&T is a bad service. On the contrary, AT&T’s “fiber-to-the-home” service features right alongside Google Fiber in our Best Internet Providers list. It delivers an incredibly reliable, high-speed connection and has an excellent customer service record. Just as with Google Fiber, AT&T doesn’t impose data caps or annual contracts. It’s also more widely available nationwide.

Want to know which service is better for your needs? Here’s our full comparison of Google Fiber and AT&T’s speed, value, customer service, and more.

“With Google, we got more than enough bandwidth to do anything we needed online.” —RJ Bass, an IT specialist in Kansas City.
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Google Fiber vs. AT&T—plans, pricing, and speed

ProviderGoogle FiberATT
Price per month$70-$150*$55-$245
Download speeds1000-8000 Mbps300-5000 Mbps
Upload speeds1000-8000 Mbps300-5000 Mbps
Details
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.

AT&T and Google Fiber both have a lot to offer. Google’s plans start at $70 per month, ranging up to $150 per month. For those prices, you get symmetrical gigabit speeds, with Google’s cheapest plan boasting 1,000Mbps download and upload speeds. Its most expensive delivers an eye-watering 8,000Mbps, but most people don’t need internet that fast. There aren’t many frills here—no data caps, extra fees, annual contracts, promotions or bundles. Just absurdly fast internet for a fair price.

AT&T’s plans aren’t bad either. Its prices start at $55 per month (though there are fees, which we get into later), while its faster plans cost up to $225 per month. AT&T’s fiber service also delivers symmetrical uploads and downloads, with its cheapest plan sitting in at a solid 300Mbps. AT&T’s plans get very fast with its fiber-to-the-home connection, ranging up to 5,000Mbps for those willing to pay for it. AT&T does also offer a cellular-based Internet Air service, which costs $55 per month and offers download speeds up to 225Mbps.

“I’ve never had a problem with it. In fact, it’s the first internet provider I haven’t had an issue with.” —Google Fiber customer Chance Carter

Google Fiber vs. AT&T: Fees for modem and installation

Service
Google Fiber fee
AT&T fee
Modem/routerIncluded$10/mo.
Self-installation kit and service activationFree$35
Professional installation Free$99
Cancellation Free$0-$180 (depending on contract duration remaining)

What makes this review legit?

Our fact-based research process centers on interviews with internet customers across the country, helping us understand how internet services hold up against diverse needs and challenges.

To put together this review, we looked at results from our speed test, pulled data from customer satisfaction surveys, and pored over the fine print to compare prices and speeds between the two providers. To flesh out our analysis, we also interviewed Google Fiber and AT&T customers to get their first-hand insights. We let their experiences guide our research and shape our conclusions. We also speak with ISP spokespeople and industry experts to get insights into connection types, speed capabilities, and other technical issues related to internet service.

how we review products and services

The matchup—how we rate Google Fiber vs. AT&T

For all our internet reviews, we give a rating based on three main criteria: Speed and reliability, dollar value, and customer experience—which we then average to make an overall score.

Here, we compare those ratings face to face. We then offer some analysis and context for important factors to keep in mind.

Want to know more? Read our full-length Google Fiber and AT&T reviews.

Speed and reliability

internet speed

Google Fiber: 5.0/5.0 | AT&T: 3.9/5.0

Google Fiber doesn’t beat just AT&T in speed—it ranks at the top of our Fastest Internet Providers list. It offers faster speeds than any other provider—cable and fiber alike. Even Google’s slowest plans are blazingly fast, sitting in at 1,000Mbps. Google even offers symmetrical upload speeds – so you’ll be able to upload data just as fast as you can download it. According to our speed test, Google Fiber delivered an average download speed of 204Mbps, and its plans max out at 8,000Mbps.

AT&T’s plans aren’t slow though. On the contrary, AT&T’s fiber-based internet is quite fast, and while it didn’t make the top five in our rankings, with an average of 106Mbps, it does still offer features like symmetrical upload speeds.

The facts remain though—Google Fiber is way faster than AT&T, despite both offering solid fiber connections. Both remain good options for those who also need to upload lots of data, like online gamers, video streamers, and so on. AT&T also has a new Internet Air service that works over cellular connectivity, but it’s not widely available yet and most should go with a fiber plan instead, if they can.

While both are quite reliable, Google wins here too. Fiber infrastructure in general is more reliable than cable, and both offer fiber-to-home connections that do away with old copper cables entirely.

HighSpeedInternet.com’s 2023 customer satisfaction survey ranked AT&T number four for reliability, with Google Fiber coming in at number one.

Dollar value

dollar value

Google Fiber: 4.8/5.0 | AT&T: 3.8/5.0

Google Fiber’s cheapest plan may be pricier than AT&T’s, but Google is a better value for the money—and it’s not close. Google Fiber starts at $70 per month, with no fees or contracts to get set up, even if you need professional installation.

AT&T’s cheapest plan costs $55 per month. Add an extra $10 per month to rent AT&T’s modem/router if you need it. That’s $65 per month, which is only $5 less than Google’s 1,000Mbps plan, and you get only 300Mbps. AT&T also charges installation fees. Even if you get yourself set up with AT&T’s self-installation kit, you pay $35.

If you match download speeds, Google Fiber is clearly cheaper. With Google, 1,000Mbps is $70. The same speeds cost $80 per month on AT&T, plus. Google’s 2,000Mbps tier costs $100 per month—that’s $50 less than AT&T’s equivalent plan. If you step up all the way to 5,000Mbps, it’s $125 per month with Google and double for AT&T.

Technically, you can spend less with AT&T—but not for the same speeds, and frankly, the price is close enough that it’s worth spending that bit extra for Google Fiber. Compared to other providers, AT&T offers decent value, but against Google, AT&T doesn’t stand a chance.

Customer experience

customer experience

Google Fiber: 4.5/5.0 | AT&T: 4.0/5.0

You wouldn’t expect an internet provider to get good marks in the customer experience category, but both Google Fiber and AT&T do decently well. AT&T is in second place here, but it still generally offers a good customer experience overall. Google scored highest in HighSpeedInternet.com’s survey in both overall satisfaction and customer service.

AT&T scored well too—coming in at fourth (tied with three other providers) in overall satisfaction.

Our experience more or less confirms this. One of our team members has Google Fiber and noted that it was easy to set up an appointment for installation and make customer service calls after setup.

Customers reported in our interviews that while AT&T wasn’t as good, it wasn’t terrible either. “There’s an awful lot of scripted ‘we care about you’ talk, but it takes a long time to get an actual human on the phone,” says AT&T customer Mike Hayden. “They do seem to fix issues quickly, though, so the automated phone system hell is a minor hurdle overall.”

Overall quality: Which internet provider should you pick?

If both Google Fiber and AT&T are available in your area, you should go for Google Fiber. Google Fiber offers much faster speeds, better value for your money, and a better overall customer experience. That’s not to say that AT&T offers a subpar service—on the contrary, it beats much of the competition, and it’s much more widely available than Google Fiber. But Google is just so far above everyone else right now, including AT&T.

Google Fiber vs. AT&T: What deals and promotions can you get?

Google Fiber doesn’t offer deals like other internet providers do—but you ccan easily argue that it doesn’t need to because its service is just that much better. AT&T does have some deals to consider though, if you are going to go for AT&T over Google Fiber.

deals badge
No additional fees for installation or equipment

Google Fiber offers incredibly fast speeds, unlimited data, and symmetrical speeds, with pricing starting at $70 per month.

deals badge
Get a $150 gift card when you switch

AT&T will give you up to $150 in a Visa gift card when you switch to AT&T to help you cover any contract cancellation fees.

AT&T add-ons and perks


Manage your connections and network through the AT&T Smart Home Manager.

Download the app that works with your Wi-Fi equipment


Get AT&T ActiveArmor to help better protect yourself from identity theft, for $7/mo.

Add ActiveArmor to your AT&T Fiber monthly bill


Add DIRECTV to your bill for $69.99/mo.

Sign up to get DIRECTV straight from the AT&T website


Google Fiber vs. AT&T: What do customers think?

Google Fiber

Generally speaking, Google Fiber customers love the service, and it’s very easy to find happy customers overall. Customers love its speed and reliability. Even when there are issues (which aren’t common), customer service is responsive and helpful.

R.J. Bass is an IT specialist with Google Fiber and has moved multiple times over the past ten years. According to Bass, Google Fiber availability was a requirement for him. “This year marks the tenth year I have been a Google Fiber customer—across four different homes, in three distinct areas of Kansas City,” he tells us.

Others love Google Fiber, too. Andy Philips, a network architect in Austin, Texas, is very enthusiastic about his Fiber home internet setup. In fact, Philips pays for Google Fiber’s fastest 8,000Mbps plan—which is absolutely overkill for almost everyone. Wi-Fi itself can’t keep up with those speeds—you need to connect devices with a wired connection to get even close.

“Not many can take advantage of speeds over 1Gbps,” says Phillips. “Most people struggle because they only use Wi-Fi or have hardware limited to 1Gbps. But if you have the hardware, Google is not going to hold you back.”

“If you have the hardware, Google is not going to hold you back.” —Google Fiber customer Andy Phillips

AT&T

While AT&T doesn’t have as die-hard customers as Google Fiber, AT&T still does very well in customer satisfaction. We spoke to four AT&T customers, and three of them had only positive things to say about the service.

Jane Collins, a retired healthcare administrator in Detroit, tells us that AT&T is the best of three services she’s tried. “I would say their internet is reliable. It’s been relatively trouble free,” she says. “The pricing has been stable.”

Danny Flanagan is another AT&T customer, and he lives in Ohio. He loves AT&T’s internet, noting that everything about it is “fantastic.” In fact Flanagan loves AT&T so much that he’s “looking forward to moving over to the mobile side in the next few months.”

As you might expect, not every customer loves AT&T, despite the mostly positive sentiment. Haydan in Oak Park, Illinois isn’t quite as impressed with the service. “I wouldn’t say it’s a good deal, but it’s comparable to the other ISPs I’ve used,” he says, calling it, “better than the alternative in this town.” In particular, he has been frustrated with his Wi-Fi extender, which frequently stops working properly.

“AT&T’s fiber network is fast and reliable.” —Lauren Hannula

Want Google Fiber or AT&T? Find it in your area.

If you live in an area that offers both Google Fiber and AT&T, Google Fiber is far and away the best choice. It’s faster, more reliable, offers better customer service, and more. AT&T is quite good, and better than the majority of other providers—so if you only have AT&T available to you, you’re still getting a solid service. But, Google Fiber is a better option overall.

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Christian de Looper
Written by
Christian de Looper is a technology journalist based in sunny Santa Cruz, California. Christian has over 10 years of experience covering all aspects of the consumer tech industry, with bylines in Digital Trends, Tom’s Guide, Forbes, CNN Underscored, PCMag, and more. When he’s not obsessing over the latest and greatest tech, he can be found hanging out with his family or trying and failing to train his cat.

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