The 4 Best Internet Providers for Gaming 2020

When it comes to gaming, every millisecond counts—and these ISPs aren’t carries.
Best Fiber Speeds

Monthly price:
$49.99$50
Download speeds:
100940 Mbps
Data cap:
1 TBUnlimited
Best Non-Fiber Speeds

Monthly price:
$24.99$299.95
Download speeds:
152000 Mbps
Data cap:
1 TBUnlimited
Best for No Data Caps

Monthly price:
$29.99$199.99
Download speeds:
501000 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited
Best Customer Service

Monthly price:
$39.99$79.99
Download speeds:
200940 Mbps
Data cap:
Not Available

Who else is hyped for Cyberpunk 2077, Diablo IV—and maybe even Star Citizen if we’re lucky? (Ok, that last one will release when pigs fly, we know.)

Whether you prefer to veg out with pixelated nostalgia or bathe in the glory of VR, all gamers need a reliably fast internet connection to avoid dying to the lag boss. It probably doesn’t hurt if that internet provider has a good customer service department, epicly high data caps, and low prices either, right?

Yeah, you’re speaking our language. We took a look at all these qualities to see which quest reward is best. Er, we mean, which internet service providers (ISPs) get you a legendary connection.

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What internet speed is good for gaming, anyway?
The answer depends on the game you’re playing, plus how many other people and devices you’re sharing your connection with. Check out our full explanation and recommended internet speed for gaming.

Find the best prices for legendary internet speeds near you.

AT&T Fiber: Best fiber speeds

Fiber is king, and AT&T Fiber’s internet speed scores make it the king of kings.

A fiber connection is the holy grail for most gamers, especially those who livestream. And AT&T Fiber earned all the gold stars in our list of the fastest ISPs, thanks to its stellar performance in the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) 2018 report and HighSpeedInternet.com’s regional rankings.1, 2

Along with speed, fiber internet—including AT&T Fiber—is notorious for providing more reliable performance when you need it. That means your internet shouldn’t drop out the moment you and your fellow vault hunters get to the boss in Borderlands 3.

AT&T Fiber plans, prices, and speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Internet 1000$49.99/mo.*940 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Data effective 11/25/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 mos plus taxes & equip fee. $10/mo equip fee applies. Incl unlimited internet data allowance ($30 value)

If you’re a streamer, we can’t recommend fiber internet enough. That’s because the symmetrical download and upload speeds are exactly what you need to keep your Twitch stream running smoothly and those bits stacking up.

Why we like AT&T Fiber

Unlike its DSL counterpart, AT&T’s fiber internet is reported by the FCC to over-deliver on download speed.1 It also comes with that sweet, sweet symmetrical upload speed for all your livestreaming and YouTube creator needs.

And while fiber internet tends to be limited to the coasts, AT&T Fiber has better coverage than Verizon Fios. It shows some love to the Midwest and South along with the East Coast and West Coast. Aww.

Also, if you shell out for the Internet 1,000 plan, AT&T Fiber chips in unlimited data. Talk about an epic trade that would make any goblin proud.

Pros

  • Better fiber availability
  • Pretty good prices for the speed

Cons

  • Underwhelming DSL plans
  • 1 TB data cap on all but 1,000 Mbps plan

Who is AT&T Fiber best for?

AT&T’s fiber plans work best for these types of people:

  • Anyone who lives in an area with AT&T Fiber (check your ZIP code)
  • People who need super-fast download and upload speeds for livestreaming or server hosting
  • Gamers who share a home with other gamers . . . and streamers too

Recommended AT&T Fiber plan

Internet 1000
AT&T Fiber
Download speed:
940 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited
$49.99 a month

Want to know more? Read our full-length AT&T internet review.

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Think you’re overpaying for internet?
See how your internet bill stacks up against the national average. And hey, if you’re paying too much, try these tips for scoring the best price.

Xfinity: Best non-fiber speeds

Xfinity’s reliably zippy speeds make it a champ, but watch out for hit-or-miss customer service.

Xfinity gets a bad rap for its customer service, and we don’t necessarily disagree. But it does shine where it counts: speed and performance.

It’s smooth sailing no matter what game I’m playing. From sniping Bada** Corrosive Alpha Skags in Borderlands 3 to smiting foes and admiring Geralt’s flawless, moonlit locks in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I’ve run into few, if any, connection issues with Xfinity.

And that’s with several connected devices and a gamer spouse using the same connection at the same time. Not bad, right?

Xfinity plans, prices, and speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Performance Starter$24.9925 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Performance$55100 Mbps1 TBView Plans
Performance Pro$70200 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Blast! Pro$80300 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Extreme Pro$60600 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Gigabit$84.991000 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Gigabit Pro$299.952000 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
with No Term Agreement

Why we like Xfinity

Xfinity earned the title of “fastest cable internet” in our ranking of the most reliably fast ISPs out there. If you’re lucky, those speeds go all the way up to 2,000 Mbps.

But even the next highest speed of 1,000 Mbps is like grouping with a few eSports pros and pwning everything in sight. (Okay, maybe not quite, but you get the picture.)

We also like that Xfinity gives you a wide variety of speeds to choose from. Not all gamer households are created equal, so 100 Mbps may be fine for a tag-team duo—but not for a home filled with two or three Fortnite-loving teens plus parents too. (We’d recommend the Blast! Pro plan with 275 Mbps in that case.)

Pros

  • No-contract options
  • Reliable speed performance
  • Speeds up to 1,000 or 2,000 Mbps

Cons

  • Prices that vary drastically by location
  • Scary-high price for 2,000 Mbps plan

Who is Xfinity best for?

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

  • Anyone who doesn’t mind paying a little extra to be contract-free
  • Gamers who rely on speedy internet to land skill shots
  • Those who don’t mind putting their bossy pants on when they need to call customer service

Recommended Comcast Xfinity plan

Blast! Pro
Xfinity Internet - West
Download speed:
300 Mbps
Data cap:
1 TB
$80 a month

Want to know more? Read our full-length Xfinity review.

Other cable and DSL ISPs worth considering

Have you sworn off Xfinity for life, or maybe you want to see what else is out there? CenturyLink and Spectrum are two alternatives that might be more up your alley.

We like CenturyLink’s Price for Life guarantee, which gets you no contracts and the same monthly price as long as you keep the service. And Spectrum also comes with no contracts and some well-rated speed performance.

Other cable and DSL internet providers for gaming
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsConnection TypeLearn more
CenturyLink Internet$49$65^15940 MbpsDSL/FiberView Plans
Spectrum Internet$49.99$109.99°100940 MbpsCableView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^ New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
° For the first 12 months.

Frontier: Best for no data caps

Frontier FiOS fiber internet come with unlimited data, perfect for unlimited gaming.

If you can’t grab AT&T Fiber or Verizon Fios Home Internet where you live, you should check out Frontier FiOS.

While Frontier’s download speed performance may lag behind Verizon Fios, it’s still nothing to scoff at. And those symmetrical fiber upload speeds will let you livestream to your heart’s content. As for gaining as many viewers as Ninja? That’s on you.

Frontier FiOS internet plans, prices, and speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Simply FiOS 50/50$29.99**50 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
Simply FiOS 500/500$39.99††500 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Simply FiOS Gig Service$74.99‡‡1000 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
** plus $10/mo. Wi-Fi router service fee for 12 months. Actual speeds may vary. Installation, Equipment service fees, Internet Infrastructure Surcharge ($3.99/mo.), taxes & other fees apply. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions
†† plus $10/mo. Wi-Fi router service fee for 12 months. Actual speeds may vary. Installation, Equipment service fees, Internet Infrastructure Surcharge ($3.99/mo.), taxes & other fees apply. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions.
‡‡ for 12 months. Max wired speed 940/880. Actual speeds may vary. Installation, taxes & other fees apply. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions.

Why we like Frontier

The prices for Frontier’s plans are pretty enticing, especially now that it’s dropped the price of its 1,000 Mbps plan.

All those plans come with unlimited data, too, so you don’t need to worry when you go on a Steam game download spree.

Sprinkle in the fact that Frontier FiOS fiber internet is pretty widely available, and you’ve got the recipe for some serious gaming going on under one roof. (Don’t believe us? It takes only 30 seconds to check whether Frontier is available near you.)

Pros

  • No data caps
  • Fiber speeds

Cons

  • Few plan options

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

Recommended Frontier plan

Simply FiOS 500/500
Frontier Internet - FiOS
Download speed:
500 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited
$39.99 a month

Want to know more? Read our full-length Frontier internet review.

Other ISPs with no data caps worth considering

We’re still pouting over the fact that RCN is limited to Chicago, DC, Boston, and a few other East Coast locations (plus Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania). Seriously, we keep hearing good things about this cable ISP, and it offers quick speeds and unlimited data to boot.

If you think of unlimited data, Windstream may not be the first ISP to come to mind. It mainly services more rural areas, so we think it’s a great option for our gamer friends who enjoy a breath of fresh country air in between their Fortnite matches.

Other internet providers with unlimited data
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsData capLearn more
RCN Internet$19.99$59.99°251000 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
Windstream Internet$28.99$90°251000 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
° For the first 12 months.
A badge depicting this brand as the Reviews.org Editor's Choice for September 2020

Verizon Fios Home Internet: Best customer service

We heard Verizon Fios Home Internet is a breeze to deal with, and its satisfaction scores prove it.

The last thing any gamer wants to see is “No Internet Connection.” Sure, you can play offline games like . . . uhh, we actually can’t think of any new games that don’t need an internet connection off the top of our heads.

When the time comes to call up your ISP’s customer service, it’s nice to know you’ll be taken care of and taken seriously. Because you’ve probably already power-cycled your router and all that jazz.

Enter Verizon Fios Home Internet. It earned some majorly impressive marks on HighSpeedInternet.com’s latest customer satisfaction survey. And based on what we’ve heard from our friends who use Verizon Fios internet service, we’re not surprised that it earned high scores in overall satisfaction, speed, and customer service—plus the top score for reliability.3

Verizon Fios Home Internet plans, prices, and speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Internet 200/200$39.99/mo.^^200 MbpsView Plans
Internet 400/400$59.99/mo.^^400 MbpsView Plans
Fios Gigabit Connection$79.99/mo.°°Up to 940 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^^ w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip charges
°° w/ Auto Pay + taxes

Why we like Verizon Fios Home Internet

Though it offers only three plans, prices for Verizon Fios are right on par with other ISPs offering the same speeds.

The only difference is, Verizon Fios is fiber internet while most other ISPs are not. We always recommend fiber over cable and DSL if you can get it. That’s because fiber internet tends to perform much more reliably in terms of speed—plus you can get an upload speed that usually matches your download speed. (And that’s probably one of the reasons why Verizon’s customers are happy with its reliability.3)

Pros

  • Reasonable prices
  • Fiber connection
  • Great customer service
  • No annual contract

Cons

  • Limited availability

Who is Verizon Fios best for?

Here’s who we’d recommend Verizon Fios to:

  • Anyone living on the East Coast where Verizon Fios is available
  • Gamers looking for reliably fast speeds for FPS and other quick reaction games
  • Livestreamers and YouTubers who need fast upload speeds

Recommended Verizon Fios plan

Internet 400/400
Verizon Internet - Fios Gig
Download speed:
400 Mbps
Upload speed:
400 Mbps
$59.99 a month

Want to know more? Read our full-length Verizon Fios internet review.

Other ISPs with good customer service

We’d be off our rockers if we didn’t include Xfinity and Optimum here.

Xfinity and Optimum customer satisfaction ratings from HighSpeedInternet.com3
RatingOptimumXfinity
Overall satisfaction3.92 out of 53.88 out of 5

Surprised to see Xfinity here? We were too—but the ratings are in, and Xfinity customers are pretty darn satisfied with its service. It offers a wide variety of download speeds and, best of all, is available across almost the whole country.

Optimum, though it’s limited to Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, also gets kudos for customer satisfaction. It also offers some decent download speeds. We just wish it was available in more places.

Other internet providers with great customer service
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
Optimum Internet$39.99$69.99***200940 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity Internet$24.99$299.95†††152000 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*** Plus taxes, fees, and other charges. Price for Life. Customer must remain in good standing and up to date on bill payments to remain on Price For Life.
††† For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.

Recap: The best internet for gaming 2020

Console, PC, or even Mac—there’s one thing we gamers can all agree on: we love a fast, reliable internet connection.

These four ISPs won’t make you lag and wipe the raid or disconnect mid-game and return to a lane overrun by the enemy team.

  • AT&T Fiber: Best fiber speeds. Fiber is the ultimate goal for gaming and streaming. AT&T Fiber tends to over-deliver on speed without making you too broke to afford a new monitor or the release of Cyberpunk 2077.
  • Xfinity: Best non-fiber speeds. If you can’t get fiber in your area, no worries. Xfinity is available pretty much all over the US and also over-delivers on speed. Its higher-tier plans should offer enough upload speed to stream on Twitch too.
  • Frontier FiOS: Best for no data caps. If you’re planning a download spree on Steam, look for reliable internet with no data caps. Frontier FiOS fiber internet fits that bill: you won’t ever be charged for going over your monthly data limit. Huzzah!
  • Verizon Fios Home Internet: Best customer service. Most of us dread calling tech support, but Verizon Fios customers might be some of the few who don’t mind. That’s because this ISP gets some of the highest customer satisfaction scores in the nation.
Recap: The 4 best internet providers for gaming
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsDetails
AT&T Fiber$49.99/mo.*1,000 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity$29.99–$299.95/mo.**15–2,000 MbpsView Plans
Frontier FiOS$29.99–$74.99/mo.°50–1,000 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Fios$39.99–$79.99/mo.‡‡200–Up to 940 MbpsView Plans

Data effective 1/9/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*for 12 mos plus taxes & equip fee. $10/mo equip fee applies. Incl unlimited internet data allowance ($30 value)
**For the first 12 months with a 1- or 2-year agreement.
°for 24 months with 2-year agreement. Actual speeds may vary. Installation, equipment fees, Internet Infrastructure Surcharge, early term, taxes & other fees apply. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions.
‡‡w/ Auto Pay + taxes. Equipment charges may apply.

Online gaming FAQ

Q: 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 (like clicking a mouse) and the game’s response (like 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 (that is, high latency), they’ll tell you it’s the difference between missing a perfectly-timed shot and getting play of the game in Overwatch.

Q: 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 source of 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

  1. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “2018 Measuring Broadband Across America: Fixed Broadband Report
  2. HighSpeedInternet.com, “The Fastest Internet Providers 2019
  3. HighSpeedInternet.com, “2020’s Best Internet Providers in Customer Satisfaction
  • Chad Moore

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