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There was a lot of buzz about Google Fiber when it first launched back in 2010. However, the service hasn’t expanded much since its “pause” in 2016.
But you know what has expanded? That’s right, AT&T’s fiber optic internet service.
So, which of these two internet service providers (ISPs) is better? The short answer is AT&T offers a wider variety of plans—including cheaper options—and is available in more areas. But, for those who need super-fast internet, Google Fiber is simply unbeatable.
From prices and performance to perks and customer service, we’ll go over everything you need to know.
AT&T Internet pros and cons
Google Fiber pros and cons
AT&T Internet vs. Google Fiber: Prices
AT&T’s lower-level plans are the cheapest between the two ISPs, but Google offers the best deal on a gig-speed plan.
So, those who are okay with a 100–500 Mbps plan should probably sign up with the A Team, but those who want speeds of 1,000+ Mbps should go with the Big G.
We’ll take a closer look at each company’s plans and pricing right now, beginning with AT&T.
|AT&T Internet 100||$55.00/mo.*||100 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|AT&T Internet 300||$55.00/mo.†||300 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|AT&T Internet 500||$65.00/mo.†||500 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|AT&T Internet 1000||$80.00/mo.‡||1000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
AT&T offers four different fiber plans, from 100–940 Mbps. If you’re wondering why the first two in the chart plans have the same price ($55/mo.), it’s because they’re available in different markets. In some areas, AT&T’s lowest-tier fiber plan is 100 Mbps, in other areas it’s 300, but the price is always the same.
Overall, we’re pleased with AT&T’s prices (which is one of the reasons it made it onto our list of the very best ISPs). They’re pretty similar to other great fiber providers, like Verizon Fios, and there aren’t any major red flags, like huge price hikes after the first few months.
AT&T’s prices start looking a little less impressive at the higher tiers, especially when you compare them to Google Fiber.
|1 Gig||$70.00/mo.^||1000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|2 Gig||$100.00/mo.^||2000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
Yep, Google Fiber has just two plans—a one gig option and a two gig option. It’s kind of like walking into a Burger King and learning that they only sell Double Whoppers and Triple Whoppers. These options might be more than some people need, but if you’re really hungry, it’s going to hit the spot.
Big families, serious gamers, and those who work from home may find themselves eating through internet bandwidth at an alarming rate. This is when it makes sense to upgrade to a super-high-speed plan like those that Google Fiber offers.
There is one other plan we should mention called Google Fiber Webpass. We didn’t put it in the chart because it’s kind of a unique one that’s only available in certain buildings in specific cities, like Austin, Denver, and San Francisco.
Webpass gives you speeds up to 1,000 Mbps and costs up to $70. But the exact speed and pricing can vary by location.
Here’s the complete list of Google Fiber cities:
- Atlanta, GA
- Austin, TX
- Charlotte, NC
- Huntsville, AL
- Kansas City, KS/MO
- Nashville, TN
- Orange County, CA
- Provo, UT
- Salt Lake City, UT
- San Antonio, TX
- The Triangle, NC
- West Des Moines, IA
AT&T Internet vs. Google Fiber: Internet speed and data caps
Both AT&T and Google Fiber have made it onto our list for the fastest ISPs. But each one has its own particular strengths.
If you’re just looking at sheer speed, then Google Fiber is the clear winner. Not only does it offer an unbelievably fast 2,000 Mbps plan (that’s twice as fast as AT&T’s fastest plan), but the company also consistently scores the highest in independent speed tests like those on HighSpeedInternet.com.1
AT&T may not be able to keep up with Google in terms of top speeds. But sometimes it’s the tortoise, not the hare, that wins the race.
AT&T’s wider variety of plans—including cheaper 100, 300, and 500 Mbps options—might make it a better option for those who could want to upgrade (or downgrade) their internet in the future.
One last thing to remember is that you won’t always get the top speeds that an ISP advertises. Even if you’re on a 1,000 Mbps plan, you might only see speeds of 300-400 Mbps when the network is busy.
So shopping for an internet plan is kind of like buying shoes for kids: go a size bigger so there’s room to grow.
Google Fiber used to be the next big thing. It wasn’t just internet service. Google waded into the TV and cell phone market with Fiber TV and Google Fi flexible cell data plans. You can still check out the best Google Fi cell phone plans in our review.
Unfortunately though, the TV service is no longer available to new customers. But you can learn about some great alternatives.
AT&T Internet vs. Google Fiber: Data caps
This section is going to be short and sweet because neither ISP has data caps on their fiber internet plans.
That means you can do all kinds of ill-advised things, like game till 3 a.m., binge watch all of Succession in a single weekend, or download tons of totally legal torrents onto your computer without worrying about a data cutoff or hefty overage fee.
AT&T Internet vs. Google Fiber: Customer service
AT&T is at the very AT&T Internet vs. Google Fiber: Data caps top of the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI) latest ranking for internet service providers.2 That means that thousands of people ranked the company above competitors like Spectrum, Verizon, and Optimum.
That doesn’t mean AT&T is perfect. There are still some online complaints from customers about outages and billing errors. But, if you compare these complaints to other telecommunications companies, AT&T looks like a saint.
What about Google Fiber? Unfortunately, the company is a bit too small to be included in the ACSI’s latest telecommunications report. But customer reviews and third-party evaluations are mixed. Some people are very happy, but there are a fair share of complaints about billing issues.
If you need to get in touch with either company, you can reach them with the following contact info.
Check out our customer service tips if you’re having issues reaching your ISP.
AT&T Internet vs. Google Fiber: Which is better?
AT&T and Google are two of the best fiber internet providers in the industry right now. AT&T offers a wider variety of plans and prices in more locations, but where Google Fiber is available, it has the best overall performance.
- Price: AT&T. AT&T offers plans for as low as $55 a month, and has four different speed tiers to choose from.
- Internet speed: Google Fiber. Google can take you to warp-speed with its incredible 1,000 and 2,000 Mbps plans.
- Data caps: Tie. Both companies will give you unlimited data! Nice.
- Customer service: AT&T. In an industry that’s known for its shoddy customer service, AT&T stands out for its truly helpful service team.