We dug into prices, speeds, availability, and data caps and chose Comcast Xfinity as the best cable internet provider.
Comcast Xfinity is our choice for the cable internet provider with the most value. But if you’re eyeing other cable providers like Spectrum or Cox, there are still deals to be had.
Many cable providers offer fast speeds that match fiber internet but at similar or lower prices. And there are far more cable internet service providers (ISPs) out there than fiber ISPs.
So, we looked at the prices, data caps, contracts, internet speeds, and availability for a dozen or so cable internet providers across the US to determine which cable companies are the best. Let’s dig in and see what’s what when it comes to cable.
|Xfinity Internet||$19.99-$120*||75-2000 Mbps||1.25 TB||View Plans|
|Spectrum Internet®||$19.99-$89.99||30-1000 Mbps†||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Cox Internet||$9.95-$149.99‡||100-2000 Mbps||1.25 TB||View Plans|
|Astound Broadband Powered by RCN||$25-$70^||300-1500 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|WOW! Internet||$30-$185°||100-5000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
What to look for when buying cable internet
Cable internet is widely available across the US, making it pretty likely that it’s one of—if not your only—home internet option.
But before you sign up for service, here are a few things you should consider.
Cable internet features you should look for:
- A cable internet provider that services your address
- A price that matches your budget
- Internet speeds that meet your family’s needs
- Optional: Unlimited data and no contracts
- Optional: Internet and cable TV bundle options
First things first, you’ll want to make sure that the cable internet service provider (ISP) you’re checking out is available in your area. The easiest way to do that is with our zip code checker above.
Prices for cable internet depend on what download speed you’re looking at, but generally run between $20 a month for slower speeds and $80 a month, with a couple of exceptions. Make sure you choose a cable internet plan that not only fits into your budget but also meets your internet speed needs.
Some nice-to-have options include unlimited data and no contracts, but not every ISP offers these features. Still, if you find a cable internet plan with no data cap that doesn’t make you sign a contract, it might even be worth paying a little bit extra each month to nab it up.
Similarly, you’ll pay more each month if you bundle your cable internet with TV—but many service providers discount your bill when you bundle. So, bundling could really be a deal if you plan to get internet and TV anyway.
Get Xfinity internet + streaming for only $30 a month when you add an Xfinity Mobile plan.
Plus, this deal comes with the internet equipment included, a 2-year price guarantee, and doesn't require a contract.
Or you can get a free Unlimited Intro mobile plan for two years when you switch to Xfinity's Fast Internet plan. Valid until December 5th, 2023.
Comcast Xfinity: Fastest cable internet provider
Comcast Xfinity’s promotional prices and regular deals make it one of the best value internet providers out there. Plus, it’s available across most of the US, and it regularly updates its plan speeds, too.
To top all that off, Xfinity ranked in the top five for fastest internet service providers in our latest report, which means it’s more likely to give you the speeds you paid for—or better.
One thing to watch out for, though, is that Xfinity’s plan names, speeds, and pricing can change depending on where you live. Here’s a quick look at how the price ranges compare in each region of the US that Xfinity services.
|Xfinity Internet - Northeast||$25-$80*||200-1200 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plans|
|Xfinity Internet - Central||$20-$85*||75-1200 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plans|
|Xfinity Internet - West||$19.99-$120*||75-2000 Mbps||1.2 TB||View Plans|
And another thing you might notice is that Xfinity Internet is available across almost all of the US. That’s pretty rad, because we’ve also found that Xfinity tends to offer a great value. Most of its plans come with a hefty download speed boost for the price you pay compared to other internet providers in the same area.
|Connect||$19.99/mo.**||Up to 75 Mbps||View Plans|
|Connect More||$30/mo.††||Up to 200 Mbps||View Plans|
|Fast||$50/mo.‡‡||Up to 400 Mbps||View Plans|
|Superfast||$60/mo.‡‡||Up to 800 Mbps||View Plans|
|Gigabit||$65/mo.‡‡||Up to 1000 Mbps||View Plans|
|Gigabit Extra||$70/mo.‡‡||Up to 1200 Mbps||View Plans|
Speaking of value, we analyzed the price per Mbps of all Xfinity’s internet plans so you can find the absolute best deal. And hey, Xfinity also offers plenty of internet deals each month, so even if the price isn’t right today, it might be tomorrow.
Last but not least, Xfinity offers cable TV service too. If you love channel-flipping, bundling TV and home internet together can save you some cash. And that’s never a bad thing. We’re also pretty smitten with the Xfinity DVR and love that you can access your Netflix library and YouTube channels from it.
Recommended Xfinity cable internet plans
Depending on where you live, these are the Xfinity internet plans we recommend.
Best Xfinity internet plan in the Northeast: Gigabit Extra
Who it’s best for: Internet speed demons, work-from-home hustlers, and large families.
Why we picked it: Xfinity recently bumped up the speed of its Gigabit plan in the Northeast, and now its top download speed of 1,200 Mbps cracks the gig ceiling. Your price per Mbps with this plan is under 10 cents, and that price lasts for three years, making it the most value-packed internet plan Xfinity offers.
Best Xfinity internet plan in the Central US: Superfast
Who it’s best for: Smaller families or households who just use the internet to stream TV and game a little.
Why we picked it: The Xfinity Superfast plan comes with reasonable speeds and prices. This plan isn’t the best bang for your buck (that title belongs to the Gigabit Extra plan), but we realize that not everyone needs gig speeds. With that in mind, Superfast should keep both your household netizens and wallet watchers happy.
Best Xfinity internet plan in the West: Fast
Who it’s best for: Is there something streaming on a TV, phone, or tablet in every room of our house? (Yup, even the bathroom!) Then Fast is right up your family’s alley.
Why we picked it: The up to 400 Mbps download speeds with the Fast plan are solid enough to keep multiple devices connected around your home. At the same time, no less. And that’s perfect for anyone with a bunch of kiddos and teens under their roof who also needs a little guilty pleasure time with Marriage or Mortgage.
If you're interested in Xfinity's Fast internet plan, now's the time to buy. Until December 5th, you'll get a free Unlimited Intro mobile plan for two years when you switch to Xfinity's Fast plan.
Spectrum: Best for no contracts
Spectrum cable Internet is all about the word “no”: no data caps, annoying overage charges, and no speed throttling. You can use your home internet freely.
And Spectrum’s cable TV service comes without a contract, too.
When we compared prices, Spectrum’s up to 500 and 1000 Mbps plans* are a little on the high end. But remember, that higher price comes with unlimited data and no-contract perks. So paying a little extra each month might be worth it. And, if you happen to live in North Carolina, New York, or Ohio, your price per Mbps could be even lower.
|Spectrum Internet®||$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.^^||Up to 300 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet Ultra||$69.99/mo.^^||500 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet® Gig||$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.°°||Up to 1000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
Recommended Spectrum cable Internet plan
Based on price and advertised speed, here’s the Spectrum cable Internet package we recommend the most.
Best for a large family of streamers: Spectrum Internet® 500 Mbps
Who it’s best for: Are you a cinephile? Are your roommates or family members cinephiles too? The Spectrum Internet® 500 Mbps plan gives you all the freedom to stream in HD (or even 4K).
Why we picked it: While Spectrum’s price is a tad high for the speed you get, this plan also comes with unlimited data and no contract. That’s perfect for downloading every award-winning title out there and not worrying about going over your data cap. Or paying an extreme early termination fee if you move to a new locale thanks to Out of Africa or Amélie.
Spectrum Internet® New York, North Carolina, and Ohio plans
Spectrum's regional plans offer higher speeds for a lower monthly price than its main plans. For example, those in North Carolina can get up to 500 Mbps download speeds for half the price of Spectrum's Internet Ultra plan.
|Spectrum Internet- OH||Spectrum Internet Gig||$69.99/mo. for 12 mo.^^||Up to 1000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet- OH||Spectrum Internet Ultra||$49.99/mo. for 12 mo.^^||Up to 500 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet- NY||Spectrum Internet Ultra||$49.99/mo. for 12 mo.^^||Up to 500 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet- NY||Spectrum Internet® Gig||$69.99/mo. for 12 mo.^^||Up to 1000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet- NC||Spectrum Internet Ultra||$39.99/mo. for 12 mo.°°||Up to 500 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet- NC||Spectrum Internet Gig||$59.99/mo. for 12 mo.^^||Up to 1000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
Cox: Best cable TV and internet bundles
Cox’s cable internet is fairly reliable—it ranked 16th out of 32 internet providers in our fastest ISPs report and 8th out of 22 best cable internet providers. That puts it squarely in the middle of the pack.
Our TV experts found Cox’s TV prices to be a tad higher than competitors like DISH and Xfinity. But we love that Cox Contour TV doesn’t come with a contract—and if you also select the “No Term Agreement” option for your Cox internet service, your bundle becomes contract-free, too.
If you need mobile service, Cox knocks off $15 per month on your internet service when you order Cox Mobile.
Cox’s TV and internet bundles also made our list of the top five cable bundles. Here’s a quick look at some of those bundles and channel counts, plus a few of the notable channels included in each one:
Internet download speed
TV channel count
|Go Faster + Contour TV Starter||$145.99/mo.***||Up to 250 Mbps||75+||View Plans|
|Go Fast + Contour Stream Player||$54.99/mo.***||Up to 100 Mbps||N/A||View Plans|
|Go Even Faster + Contour TV Ultimate||$222.99/mo.***||Up to 500 Mbps||250+||View Plans|
|Go Super Fast + Contour TV Ultimate||$248.99/mo.***||Up to 1000 Mbps||250+||View Plans|
- Contour Starter (75+ channels): Notable channels include CBS, FOX, PBS, The CW, NBC, and ABC.
- Contour Preferred (140+ channels): Notable channels include ESPN, TBS, HGTV, USA, Food Network, and Nick.
- Contour Ultimate (250+ channels): Notable channels include MLB Extra Innings, CINEMAX, STARZ, SHOWTIME, MGM+, and MAX.
Cox also offers a few bundles that pair your home internet with its Contour TV Streamer. You won’t get a cable TV subscription with these combos, but the Contour TV Streamer lets you set up your favorite streaming service fairly easily.
When we tried to grab one of these bundles, it was a little confusing to figure out how to get the Contour TV Streamer as an option to rent. The trick is to select just an internet plan, and then the Contour TV Streamer appears as an equipment option.
Recommended Cox cable TV + internet bundle
Choosing a Cox cable bundle comes down to your preferences, but we think the Go Even Faster + Contour Starter is a good balance between price, channels, and internet speed.
Best Cox TV + internet bundle: Go Even Faster + Contour Starter
Who it’s best for: Families whose downtime after working from home includes gaming and TV nights on the couch.
Why we picked it: This bundle comes with a well-rounded internet speed and a selection of channels. You’ll get CBS, FOX, ION, and Telemundo, to name a few, which means there’s something on the tube for everyone. (Except ESPN. Ouch.)
Astound Broadband, Powered by RCN: Best price for gig cable internet speeds
RCN now goes by the name Astound Broadband, powered by RCN. You'll also see other brands, like Grande Communications and Wave Broadband, using the new Astound Broadband name.
This might make things a little confusing, so we'll try to keep it as clear as possible and update this review if any more changes roll down the line.
If you live in a big city like Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, or Chicago, Astound Broadband, powered by RCN’s low-priced, no-contract cable internet plans rival even our Fastest Internet Speeds pick, Xfinity.
On top of great prices for the speeds you get, Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, comes with no data caps. This is another area where Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) tops Xfinity—and data caps are becoming more and more critical as we spend more time online.
Also of note is Astound Broadband, powered by RCN’s speed performance. It zoomed into 6th place out of 32 ISPs we analyzed in our fastest internet providers report, and it was the number one fastest cable provider. Not too shabby.
But just like Xfinity, Astound Broadband's speeds and prices change depending on which city you live in. Generally, the cost is between $25 and $70 a month, though. Here’s a quick look at the plans and prices available in Chicago, Illinois, to give you an idea.
|300 Mbps Internet||$25/mo.†††||Up to 300 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|600 Mbps Internet||$45/mo.†††||Up to 600 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|800 Mbps Internet||$50/mo.†††||Up to 800 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|940 Mbps Internet||$60/mo.†††||Up to 940 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|1500 Mbps Internet||$70/mo.†††||Up to 1500 Mbps||Unlimited||View plans|
Recommended Astound Broadband (formerly RCN) cable internet plan
We said it’s got one of the lowest prices for gig speeds around, so our recommended Astound Broadband, powered by RCN plan should be no surprise.
Best for home offices: Gig Internet
Who it’s best for: Anyone running a home office—or working from home with others in the same house.
Why we picked it: First off: You’ll be hard-pressed to find a gig plan at a price lower than this one. Second: Astound Broadband, powered by RCN’s gig speeds ensure that your household has enough bandwidth to support your home office hustle, your online learning classroom, and any fun activities like gaming or streaming at the same time.
So, no more waiting until after your partner’s Zoom call to catch the next episode of WandaVision. The whole internet is at your fingertips.
WOW! Internet: Cheapest cable internet provider
We’re really holding ourselves back from tossing around the WOW! puns right now. (You can thank us later.) But what isn’t a laughing matter is WOW!’s low price for the speed you get—plus its super-high data caps.
You’ll find more value in WOW! Internet's lower-tier packages, since its 1,000 Mbps plan are outshone by Xfinity’s lower prices for the same speed. Of course, WOW!’s price lasts for two years while most of Xfinity’s prices last for only one year.
The only thing is, unless you call the glacier-sculpted plains of the Midwest or sunny farmland and coasts of the South home, you likely won’t find a WOW! plan in your town.
|Fiber 100||$30/mo.°||Up to 100 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Fiber 500||$50/mo.°||Up to 500 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Fiber 1 Gig||$80/mo.°||Up to 1000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Fiber 3 Gig||$100/mo.||Up to 3000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Fiber 5 Gig||$185/mo.||Up to 5000 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
If you're worried about getting stuck in a contract, WOW! recently dropped their contract requirements.
Recommended WOW! internet plan
Here’s our pick for a well-priced WOW! Internet plan with plenty of speed.
Best for most families: Fiber 500
Who it’s best for: We normally recommend 100 Mbps as a baseline internet speed, but if you’ve got a larger family or a house full of internet power users, the WOW! Fiber 500 plan is a better fit.
Why we picked it: These speeds should support a larger family with lots of devices, and the price you pay per month isn’t going to leave your wallet high and dry. It also comes with unlimited data, so you won’t need to throttle back on your kiddo’s mobile game downloads over Wi-Fi—or download that important PowerPoint your boss just sent over.
Recap: Best cable internet providers
- Xfinity is the fastest cable internet service provider. You’ll find it hard to get a cable internet plan cheaper than Xfinity. We also like that the ISP scores well for internet speed and regularly offers deals.
- Spectrum is best for no-contract internet service. Spectrum offers fairly well-priced cable internet, but the real gem is its regional plans, unlimited data, and no contracts.
- Cox has the best cable TV bundles. Cox offers pretty reliable cable internet and a slew of cable TV packages that you can bundle together in multiple ways. And you can make your bundles contract-free, too.
- Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, is best for those in the Northeast. Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, may be limited to cities in the Northeast and Chicago, but its budget-friendly prices, fast speeds, and lack of data caps make it a fierce contender even against Xfinity.
- WOW! Internet is the cheapest cable internet provider. WOW!’s promotional prices are a great deal—and they last for two years. Plus, it comes with a ton of data for residents of the Midwest and South.
Cable internet tends to be a great pick for home internet service. We think Comcast Xfinity’s promo pricing, fast speeds, and wide availability make it the value pick of the pack, but you’ll also find great features and deals on cable internet with Spectrum, Cox, RCN, and WOW! Internet.
|Xfinity Internet - Northeast||Gigabit||$70/mo.‡‡‡||Up to 1000 Mbps||View Plan|
|Xfinity Internet - Central||Connect||$20/mo.^^^||75 Mbps||View Plans|
|Xfinity Internet - West||Fast||$50/mo.‡‡||Up to 400 Mbps||View Plans|
|RCN Internet - Chicago||940 Mbps Internet||$60/mo.†††||Up to 940 Mbps||View Plans|
|WOW! Internet||Fiber 500||$50/mo.°||Up to 500 Mbps||View Plan|
And we can’t forget Cox, our pick for the cable company with the best bundles. If you’re pairing your Cox cable TV with internet, here’s our pick:
To narrow down the best cable internet providers, we looked at and compared the following features:
- Download speeds
- Data caps
- Contracts and promotional pricing periods
We also wanted to highlight some of the ISPs that offered excellent prices and features but weren’t necessarily available across most of the US. That’s why Astound Broadband, powered by RCN and WOW! Internet are featured on our list.
We also considered Astound Broadband, powered by Grande Communications, but even though it advertises excellent prices, no data caps, and no contracts, we felt that its availability in only parts of Texas was too limiting. The same approach is applied to Optimum, which is available mainly in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Availability was also the biggest reason we didn’t analyze smaller, more local cable ISPs. Even so, we recommend checking out what internet providers are available in your area since many smaller providers also offer excellent speeds and prices, among other perks.