Seniors can get free or cheap internet from these top providers
Many internet service providers (ISPs) offer great deals for senior customers. In this article we’ll review the four best internet companies for those who are 65 and older.
We’ll go over cheap internet plans for all kinds of seniors, including veterans and those who live in rural areas. We will also talk about how you can get additional discounts through government programs, like the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Here’s a quick look at the most affordable plans from the best internet service providers for seniors.
|Xfinity Internet Essentials||$9.95/mo. (free with ACP) *||Up to 50 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|Spectrum Internet®||$19.99-$89.99||30-1000 Mbps†||Unlimited||View Plans|
|AT&T Internet 300||$55/mo.‡||300 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
Who is this review for?
This review is for the many seniors out there who might be overpaying for sub-par internet service. The four service providers we’ve outlined in this article offer great deals for those who are over 65. If that's you, or describes someone close to you (maybe even someone in your care), then these recommendations should be right up your alley.
- Best for seniors who want the best value: Seniors who want the most bang for their buck should check out Xfinity internet. The company offers high-speed cable internet at unbeatable prices. You can even get free internet service if you qualify for ACP.
- Best for seniors who want no internet contract: Seniors who don’t want to be tied down by a long-term contract should check out Spectrum. It’s an affordable cable internet provider that’s good for seniors who want more flexibility.
- Best for seniors who are also veterans: AT&T gives a sizable discount to all active-military and veteran customers. It also offers some of the fastest and most reliable internet around.
And since we're talking about it, don't stop with the perfect internet plan? There are many cell phone companies out there that offer great deals and optimized plans for senior customers. So whether you're looking for home internet or mobile internet as a senior, we've got you covered.
Methodology: How we made our picks
For this roundup of the best internet plans and deals for seniors we looked at dozens of different internet service providers. Our database includes hundreds of plans from almost every internet provider and in every location in the US. We narrowed down our list of the best based on the following features:
- Variety of plans
- Download and upload speed
- Discounts for seniors
- Customer satisfaction
- Nationwide availability
We made our recommendations for internet providers with specifically senior customers in mind. Long gone are the days when being older meant being less tech savvy. Seniors these days can be as online as Gen Z, and our recommendations reflect that.
Here are some key factors we had in mind when recommending internet services for seniors:
- Older Americans often use the internet to stay in touch with friends and family, to manage their finances, to pay their bills, to order food and groceries, all without having to leave the home. Internet has become an essential service for seniors, so we looked for internet plans for seniors from trusted providers.
- As more seniors look to age in place, reliable internet is necessary to power the smart home technology that can help folks maintain great independence later in life. That could include a smartphone, a streaming box, a smart doorbell, or home security. That's why we looked for internet plans that could support multiple devices while maintaining quality.
- Seniors also tend to be more budget-conscious than those who might still have many prime earning years ahead of them. We looked for plans that offered great value, and we also offer some information about assistance programs to reduce or even eliminate the cost of internet for seniors.
Free government internet for seniors
No one wants to pay full price for internet service. And if you’re a senior, you likely won’t have to. There are several ways to get a discount or sign up for a government program that can knock a chunk off your internet bill or make it free altogether.
The most important government program for seniors to know about is called the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
The Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program started in 2021 as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It gives low-income families a subsidy of $30 a month to go towards their high-speed internet bill.
Many seniors will be eligible for ACP. There are several ways to qualify, including:
- If your income is 200% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines
- If you are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- If you receive Medicaid, SNAP, or veterans benefits
With the ACP benefit, many seniors can get internet for very cheap or even free. We’ll go over several plans on this list that qualify for an ACP subsidy.
Other free internet government programs and discounts for seniors
There may be other government programs that can help you with your internet bill, like the ReConnect Program. Even if you don’t qualify for government assistance, some internet service providers have senior discounts for those who are over 65 years of age. Be sure to ask your provider before you sign up.
Xfinity: Best free internet plan for low-income seniors
Comcast’s Xfinity is one of our favorite internet service providers for many reasons. It is available all over the country, offers super fast speeds, and has really great prices and bundling options. It’s the perfect internet service provider for seniors, especially those who qualify for ACP.
Xfinity internet speeds and performance
Xfinity is a cable internet provider, which means that it can provide very high speeds of over 1 Gbps. Most of the company’s plans have an unlimited data cap, so you don’t have to worry about streaming too many episodes of your favorite show.
Cable internet like Xfinity’s service doesn’t have the same upload speeds as fiber internet providers, like Verizon Fios or AT&T, but most users won’t notice a major difference. Xfinity’s performance should be fine for all but the most avid gamers or those uploading huge files.
Xfinity plans and prices
Xfinity has four plans to choose from, but we’re going to focus on the cheapest one here because it’s a great option for seniors who want free internet.
The Internet Essentials plan from Xfinity gives you up to 50 Mbps of speed and an unlimited data cap. With this plan you can easily stream movies, browse the web, and do video conferencing. The plan costs just $10 a month, but if you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program it will be completely free.
One other perk that Xfinity offers is bundling. If you’re interested in getting home security, cable TV, or a mobile phone, you can get some great deals by going with Xfinity for multiple services.
For example, Xfinity Internet customers can get an unlimited data plan on Xfinity Mobile for $45 a month.
Spectrum Internet®: Best no-contract service for seniors
|Spectrum Internet®||$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.^||Up to 300 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
Spectrum is a great cable internet service provider that services many areas in the US. Its plans are relatively affordable and, best of all, they are totally contract free.
While Spectrum isn’t as cheap as Xfinity, seniors who qualify for ACP can still get $30 off of their internet bill every month. Here’s everything you need to know.
Spectrum Internet® speeds and performance
Spectrum, like Xfinity, offers a cable internet service. That means it has really fast download speeds that are great for streaming your favorite shows, Zooming into a meeting, or just hanging out and surfing the web.
Spectrum also has unlimited data caps on every single plan. That’s a relief for those who have big families or use a lot of internet bandwidth. You won’t end up losing your service just when you need it most.
Spectrum plans and prices
Spectrum’s prices trend higher than Xfinity and other companies, like CenturyLink. But it’s still worth it for many senior customers.
First of all, you don’t have to commit to a 12-month contract upfront and you won’t be pressured to stay on your plan when you don’t need it anymore. With Spectrum, all plans are automatically contract free.
Secondly, many Spectrum customers who are seniors will likely qualify for the government sponsored Affordable Connectivity Program. This program gives you up to $30 a month off your plan price. That means you could pay as little as $20 a month for a 300 Mbps Spectrum plan!
AT&T Internet: Best for senior veterans
|AT&T Internet 300||$55/mo.‡||300 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plan|
AT&T internet is definitely one of the best providers on the market right now, offering super fast fiber-optic service and great bundle packages with DIRECTV. AT&T is a good option for seniors who want the best possible performance for their internet and it offers a steep discount for veterans.
AT&T Internet speeds and performance
When it comes to overall speed and performance, AT&T’s fiber-optic internet network is unrivaled. You will get fast and reliable download speeds with symmetrical upload speeds. This makes it ideal for gaming, video conferencing, and doing other high-bandwidth tasks.
For those who want warp speed level internet, AT&T has a 5,000 Mbps plan available in some areas! That’s enough internet speed to run dozens of devices that are all streaming HD video at the same time. It’s plenty to keep everyone happy even when you have all the relatives around during the holidays.
AT&T Internet plans and prices
As you can see, AT&T isn't the cheapest internet provider on this list. To get on the company’s cheapest fiber plan you’ll have to spend more than $50 a month. But if you’re a veteran then you could end up spending a lot less.
AT&T gives all active-duty US military members and US military veterans a discount of $15 a month. That applies to any of the company’s internet plans (as well as its DIRECTV plans). With this discount, you can get a super-fast fiber internet plan for as low as $35 a month, which is a great deal.
Another way to save with AT&T is to bundle up your internet, cable, and/or cell phone bill into one discounted plan.
It depends on where you live, but in general Xfinity Internet has some of the best deals on the market. If you qualify for the government Affordable Connectivity Program, you can even get Xfinity internet for free.
Yes. If you qualify for the government Affordable Connectivity Program then you can usually find a totally free high speed internet plan through a local provider.
No, Spectrum doesn’t have a discount specifically for seniors. But many older individuals who are on SSI or other programs can qualify for a $30 per month subsidy through the Affordable Connectivity Program.