The Best Internet for Gaming

When it comes to gaming, every millisecond counts, so don't let your internet slow you down. Find out which ISPs deliver the gaming speeds you need.
  • Best overall
    4 out of 5 overall
    View plansRead full review
  • Best for no data caps
    4 out of 5 overall
    View plansRead full review
  • Best value
    3.5 out of 5 overall
    View plansRead full review
  • Best download speeds
    3.5 out of 5 overall
    View plansRead full review

You’re escorting the payload when bam! Lag hits. When your game finally catches back up, your whole team is dead, and you’re waiting on the respawn timer while watching a recap of how the enemy team steamrolled you.

Gamers will be the first to tell you that not all ISPs are created equal, especially when it comes to speed, latency, and packet loss. Which ISPs will help you land those kill shots? We’ve picked four of the best ISPs for gaming, and we’ve got proof to back up our choices.

Best ISPs for gaming: prices and speeds

ProviderPricesSpeedsLearn more
Verizon Fios $39.99–$79.99/mo.*Up to 100–up to 940 MbpsView plans
Frontier$40–$200/mo.**50–1,000 MbpsView plans
Cox$29.99–$79.99/mo.†10–300 MbpsView plans
Xfinity$24.99–$299.95/mo.§15–2,000 MbpsView plans

Data effective 8/8/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Plus taxes, equipment charges, and other fees.
** For 24 months. Equipment charges, taxes, and fees not included.
† For 12 months with a 1-year contract.
§ For the first 12 or 24 months and with a 1- or 2-year contract.

Find the fastest internet to your home

Verizon Fios—best overall

Fiber is king for gaming—and Verizon Fios brings the best fiber reliability and prices.

It’s not quite fair to compare fiber internet to cable or DSL, we know. But there’s a few reasons why Verizon Fios is our number-one ISP for gaming.

Verizon Fios prices and speeds

PlansPrice*SpeedsLearn more
Verizon Fios 100/100$39.99/mo.Up to 100 MbpsView plan
Verizon Fios 300/300$59.99/mo.Up to 300 MbpsView plan
Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection$79.99/mo.Up to 940 MbpsView plan

Data effective 8/8/18. Offers, speeds, and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Plus taxes, equipment charges, and other fees.

Pros

  • Reliably fast fiber speeds
  • Competitive prices

Cons

  • Limited availability

Verizon Fios has a reputation for low latency.

A friend of mine who loves to compete in World of Warcraft arenas and has used Verizon Fios for three years now said it’s “solid, stable, and [has] no latency when doing world quests for the Horde.” (Sorry, Alliance, I gotta show my Hordies the love. Lok’tar ogar!)

For the Horde! My buddy grabbed a 2.1k 3v3 arena rating last expansion and plans on PvPing in Battle for Azeroth too.

Along with a lack of latency issues, my friend doesn’t notice any packet loss while he games, so that’s a double win for Verizon Fios right there. And Netflix agrees Verizon Fios has got it going on—it ranked the ISP fifth in its July 2018 leaderboard.1

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Is Verizon Fios good for Twitch streaming?

Mmhmm. Those quick upload speeds are a must-have for livestreaming on Twitch. We’ve got more pointers for Twitch streaming and more in our Best Internet for Streaming review.

What’s the catch? Well, Verizon Fios is pretty much limited to the East Coast. That’s a huge bummer for us gamers located west of the Mississippi. But hey, we’ve still got some ISPs that come close to Verizon Fios’s performance.

Who is Verizon Fios best for?

We say grab that Verizon Fios fiber internet and run if this describes you:

  • You live on the East Coast and can get Verizon Fios in your home
  • You like to livestream your gameplay to your adoring fans
  • You prefer to team up with other gamers online—no single-player games for you
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All your Verizon Fios reviews are belong to us

We’re dishing out all the cheat codes in our Verizon Fios review.

Frontier Communications—best for no data caps

Frontier’s speed lags behind Verizon Fios—but fiber is still love.

If you can’t grab Verizon Fios where you live, you should check out Frontier’s FiOS plans.

Frontier internet prices and speeds

PlansPrice*SpeedsLearn more
Simply FiOS 50/50$40/mo.50 MbpsView plan
Simply FiOS 200/200$50/mo.200 MbpsView plan
Simply FiOS 300/300$100/mo.300 MbpsView plan
Simply FiOS 500/500$150/mo.500 MbpsView plan
Simply FiOS 1G/1G$200/mo.1,000 MbpsView plan

Data effective 9/17/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For 24 months.

Pros

  • No data caps
  • Blazing-fast fiber speeds

Cons

  • Limited availability
  • High prices for high speeds

Of course, getting a Frontier fiber plan may be just as difficult as getting a Verizon Fios plan, since it’s still limited to certain areas. But we say fiber is worth the 30 seconds it takes to check.

Frontier has been known to have low average latency and packet loss, and Netflix also ranked Frontier in the top ten—it came in ninth place on the ISP leaderboard.2

Yup, Frontier’s low latency and high performance may be the difference between getting sniped and being the last one standing in Fortnite.

Image from cloakzy’s Twitch stream

Who is Frontier best for?

Here’s who we think Frontier fiber internet is best for.

  • Anyone who can’t get Verizon Fios but wants a fiber connection
  • Livestreamers who need to collect all the bits on Twitch
  • Gamers who live in a house with other gamers and needs lots of Mbps
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What's the deal with Frontier?

Get all the deets in our full Frontier review.

Cox—best value

Cox cable internet delivers high speeds and great performance for dodging enemy skill shots.

For all of us who can’t quite get fiber yet, we still have a few good ISPs to choose from. Cox is one of them.

Cox internet prices and speeds

PlansPrice*SpeedsLearn more
Cox Internet Starter 10$29.99/mo.10 MbpsView plan
Cox Internet Essential 30$39.99/mo.30 MbpsView plan
Cox Internet Preferred 100$59.99/mo.100 MbpsView plan
Cox Internet Ultimate$79.99/mo.300 MbpsView plan

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

Pros

  • Budget-friendly prices
  • Low-speed plans available

Cons

  • No fiber plans
  • 1-yr. contract required

Sure, Cox is cable internet, but it can still get you zooming on the interwebs. Netflix actually ranked Cox second in its July 2018 ISP rankings—ahead of Verizon Fios and Frontier.3 Say whaaat?

Historical data shows that Cox has a pretty low average latency and packet loss score too.

Watch out—you never know if JT is lurking in a building, just waiting for you to peek around a corner.

But the best part is, Cox is more widely available than Frontier or Verizon Fios. In fact, it’s available in cities coast-to-coast—from San Diego to Pensacola.

JT, my buddy who lives in Vegas, jumps right into the fray in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) while using a Wi-Fi connection and Cox. He even games lag-free while his two other roommates are hard-wired in and pwning noobs on their own computers.

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What’s the best internet speed for gaming?

Well, it depends. Find out all the details in our How Much Internet Speed Do I Need? guide.

He’s been using Cox for over a decade now and hasn’t run into anything that would make him switch to CenturyLink, the other ISP in the area. “[My] ping is always low and I never have issues with latency,” he says.

Who is Cox best for?

Here’s who we’d recommend Cox to.

  • Gamers living in the West, Midwest, and South
  • Anyone who doesn’t need a ton of Mbps for gaming
  • Gamers who love multiplayer games but don’t plan on livestreaming
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Does Cox rock our socks?

Find out in our full Cox review.

Xfinity—best download speeds

Love it or hate it, Xfinity’s performance can be the difference between defeating that raid boss and wiping . . . again.

We haven’t seen any other ISP come close to matching Xfinity’s top speed of 2,000 Mbps. And since Xfinity is so widely available, that’s a huge benefit to you and me both.

Xfinity internet prices and speeds

PlansPrices*SpeedsLearn more
Performance Starter$24.99–$49.95/mo.15 MbpsView plan
Performance$29.99–$44.99/mo.60 MbpsView plan
Blast!$44.99–$92.95/mo.100–150 MbpsView plan
Blast! Pro$69.99–$79.99/mo.250 MbpsView plan
Extreme Pro$79.99–$111.95/mo.400 MbpsView plan
Gigabit$89.99–$115/mo.1,000 MbpsView plan
Gigabit Pro$299.95/mo.2,000 MbpsView plan

Data effective 8/8/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For 12 or 24 months with a 1- or 2-year contract.

Pros

  • No-contract options available
  • Widely available
  • Top-ranked speeds

Cons

  • Prices can vary by location
  • 2,000 Mbps plan is costly

While gaming, I’ve experienced latency issues only a few times with Xfinity.

It’s smooth sailing from pushing greater rifts in Diablo 3 on my PC to dual-wielding fire spells in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim over a Wi-Fi connection on my PlayStation 4 VR console.

Racking up those enemy kills on Li Ming in Heroes of the Storm, yeah-yuh!

And the speed gets me loaded into games faster than 80% of my teammates on Heroes of the Storm. (That 80% is a very rough estimate, mind you—but my loading bars are usually the first to fill up, kthx.)

Netflix’s ISP rankings agree with us—Xfinity scored first place in the July 2018 leaderboards.4

Who is Xfinity best for?

We think Xfinity will help you get your game on if you’re one of these types of people.

  • You’ve got multiple gamers in your house and need extra Mbps.
  • You don’t live on the East Coast where fiber is king.
  • You need an ISP with reliably fast speeds and low latency.
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Curious about all things Xfinity?

Find out all you need to know in our Xfinity review.

Recap

Need an ISP that won’t let you wipe the raid due to lag or get KO’d when you disconnect mid-game? We’ve got a few recommendations that are gamer tested and gamer approved.

  • Verizon Fios is our first pick thanks to persistently fast fiber speeds and low latency. Plus, if you wanna livestream your games on Twitch, Verizon Fios gets you the upload speeds to do it. (But it’s limited to the East Coast right now.)
  • Frontier’s FiOS plans are a close runner-up—it also offers high upload speeds for livestreaming and some solid performance in terms of speed, latency, and packet loss. However, it’s also limited to certain areas of the US too.
  • Cox may not be fiber, but it’s still holding its own with reliable speeds and historically low latency. Plus, it’s more widely available than our two fiber picks, Verizon Fios and Frontier.
  • Xfinity is available all over the US, so if you’re needing some wicked fast speeds and low latency, we say go for it. You can also get quick upload speeds in some of its higher-tier packages if you want to livestream.

What is latency?

If you’re not up on all that internet lingo, it’s okay—we’re here to explain.

Latency is the time it takes for data to travel. You can think of it as the time between an action you take and the time for the game to respond.

If you’re experiencing high latency, you’ll notice a delay between your action (e.g. clicking a mouse) and the game’s response (e.g. your character pew-pewing the enemy).

Latency is measured in milliseconds, which may not seem like a big deal. But if you ask any serious gamer about in-game lag (a.k.a. high latency), they’ll tell you it’s the difference between missing a perfectly-timed shot and getting play of the game in Overwatch.

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How to test your latency and packet loss

Feeling laggy and want to test your latency? Check out HighSpeedInternet’s speed test. Just click on “Details” when the test is done to view your latency, packet loss, and more.

What is packet loss?

By now you know that latency is the time it takes data to travel. Packet loss happens when that traveling data doesn’t reach its destination—and, no surprise, it can be a huge frustration for gamers.

If you’ve ever heard someone talk about “rubberbanding,” “drifting,” or their game pausing suddenly, they’re likely experiencing packet loss.

Ask any World of Warcraft player what it’s like to aim for a 2k arena rating while rubberbanding, and you’ll quickly find out just how frustrating packet loss can be.

Sources

All personal interviews conducted by Reviews.org.

  1. Netflix, “ISP Leaderboard – July 2018
  2. Netflix, “ISP Leaderboard – July 2018
  3. Netflix, “ISP Leaderboard – July 2018
  4. Netflix, “ISP Leaderboard – July 2018
  • Chad Moore

    Yes I’m trying to connect Xbox one with my att hot spot and it keeps coming up with double nat type