Best Internet Service Providers
We found the best internet service providers based on speed, prices, and data allowance, with some minor consideration for customer service rankings. We broke it down by the type of connection (fiber, cable, DSL, and satellite), but keep in mind most providers serve different areas with different speeds, prices, and connection types.
|Provider||Download speeds||Data cap||Monthly price||Learn more|
|Xfinity Internet||15–2000 Mbps||1 TB–Unlimited||$29.99–$299.95*||View Plan|
|AT&T Fiber||100–1000 Mbps||1 TB–Unlimited||$50–$90†||View Plans|
|CenturyLink Internet||10–1000 Mbps||1 TB–Unlimited||$45–$85‡||View Plans|
|Verizon Fios||100–Up to 940 Mbps||Not Available||$39.99–$79.99^||View Plans|
|Frontier FiOS Internet||50–1000 Mbps||Unlimited||$29.99–$200°||View Plans|
|Optimum Internet||200–400 Mbps||Unlimited||$44.99–$64.99**||View Plans|
|Cox Internet||10–1000 Mbps||1 TB||$29.99–$119.99†||View Plans|
|Spectrum Internet||200–940 Mbps||Unlimited||$44.99–$104.99**||View Plans|
|Viasat Internet||12–100 Mbps||35–150 GB||$50–$150††||View Plans|
|HughesNet Internet||25 Mbps||10–50 GB||$59.99–$129.99‡‡||View Plans|
Depending on where you live, you’ll have a lot of options, so help yourself narrow it down immediately by finding out which providers are near you, deciding on a monthly budget, and then seeing what plans fit your speed and data needs.
Best fiber internet—Verizon Fios
Fast symmetrical download and upload speeds cover your needs, but Verizon Fios might not be available in your area.
Verizon ranks among the top internet providers, and while it’s not available to everyone, it’s one of the best options for anyone who uses the internet for more than just email and casual browsing.
|Plan||Price||Download speed||View plan|
|Fios Internet 100/100||$39.99/mo.^^||100 Mbps||View Plans|
|Fios Internet 150/150||$74.99/mo.^^||150 Mbps||View Plan|
|Fios Internet 300/300||$59.99/mo.°°||300 Mbps||View Plans|
|Fios Internet 500/500||$194.99/mo.^^||500 Mbps||View Plans|
|Fios Gigabit Connection||$79.99/mo.***||Up to 940 Mbps||View Plans|
†Availability varies. Gigabit network connection to your home. Actual speeds vary due to device limits, network, and other factors. Avg. speeds betw. 750-940 Mbps download / 750-880 Mbps upload. Limited-time offer for new Internet res. custs. Promo rates via bill credits and increase after promo period. $10/mo. router charge applies. $99 set-up & other fees, taxes, equip. charges & terms may apply. Auto Pay (ACH or bank debit card only) & paper-free billing req’d. Subj. to credit approval & may require a deposit. © 2018 Verizon
Verizon Fios provides some of the fastest speeds out there, with symmetrical upload and download speeds so posting videos and pictures won’t take forever. The one exception is Fios Gigabit Connection which has a not-quite-symmetrical upload speed of up to 880 Mbps, but few companies have anything close to Verizon’s upload speeds.
Depending on where you live, Verizon offers can vary quite a bit. Fortunately for those who have access to it, the Fios Gigabit Connection plan is about the lowest-priced near-gigabit plan we reviewed.
The other plans from Verizon also offer a lot of bang for your buck, but when it comes to speed, we’re like Keanu Reeves: if we slow down or stop, we’ll explode… Fortunately, Verizon’s service is reliable.
We like Verizon’s fiber internet high download and upload speeds, with low latency
Verizon’s high speeds are great for just about everyone, but these kinds of users, in particular, will enjoy a nearly seamless internet experience:
- Online gamers
- TV streamers
- Media professionals
- Large families
In short, Verizon’s fast and reliable service is about as good as it gets for internet these days.
Best cable internet—Xfinity
Xfinity covers a large part of the country with cable, and they have gig speeds in a few areas too.
No other company serves as many people (41+ states), delivers such fast speeds (up to 2 Gbps), or provides as many package options. You can do anything from basic internet to full-on bundling options combining internet, TV, phone, and home security. We dig the whole connected-home vibe.
Xfinity’s prices are even pretty reasonable (say what!?).
|Plan||Price||Download speed||View plan|
|Performance Plus||$39.99/mo.†||60 Mbps||View Plan|
|Performance Pro||$54.99/mo.†||150 Mbps||View Plan|
|Blast! Pro||$69.99/mo.†||250 Mbps||View Plan|
|Gigabit||$70/mo.†††||1000 Mbps||View Plan|
Xfinity took first place in Netflix’s July 2018 ISP speed rankings, beating out even AT&T Fiber and Verizon Fios, so you can binge without seeing that little loading circle
Depending on what you’re ordering, Comcast contracts come in one-year, two-year, or even no-term contracts. We like that Xfinity gives customers more control. You’ll usually save $10 or so a month for opting into a contract with Xfinity, which could end up saving you about $120 a year.
If you’re not into long-term commitments, the no-term plans make more sense to avoid potential early termination fees (up to $240+, yeesh!).
We like Xfinity cable internet for speeds, bundling, and more
Xfinity internet works best for the following kinds of users:
- Large households that want to bundle
- HD video streaming fans
You can get fast internet for a good deal with Xfinity. Xfinity’s high internet speeds, discount TV and internet bundles, and varied contract options outweigh its controversial reputation—especially when you look at the ISP customer service landscape.
Other cable options worth considering
With plenty of cable providers to choose from, you should be able to find a good option easily. Just make sure to check your ZIP for availability.
Best value internet—Frontier
Frontier’s wide variety of options lets you pick something perfect for your budget.
Frontier is split up into three branches: Simply FiOS, Vantage, and High-Speed Internet (which bundles with DISH TV). Depending on your area, you can get some high speeds with great prices, and we’ve highlighted a few offers below.
|Plan||Price||View plan||Download speed|
|Vantage Internet Simply Elite||$30/mo.‡‡‡||View Plans||25 Mbps|
|Vantage Internet Simply Extreme||$40/mo.‡‡‡||View Plans||90 Mbps|
|Simply FiOS 50/50||$29.99/mo.‡‡‡||View Plans||50 Mbps|
|Simply FiOS 300/300||$100/mo.‡‡‡||View Plans||300 Mbps|
|Simply FiOS 1G/1G||$200/mo.‡‡‡||View Plans||1000 Mbps|
Frontier isn’t the best deal for gigabit internet we’ve come across, but if it’s available in your area, it might be the fastest choice you have. Frontier’s other plans are a better deal for the money, so you can spend more of your hard-earned cash on collectible pogs or medical bills—whichever takes priority in your life.
Frontier becomes an especially good deal when you bundle TV, internet, and home phone (which is the case with most providers).
We like Frontier internet for its value
Frontier is best for the following:
- High data users—streaming, gaming, and file sharing
- People who want no contracts
- Those who need fast fiber speeds
Frontier doesn’t have data caps, which is good news for those who download movies, music, and games. That means you can download your favorite Bela Tarr films, stream as much Busta Rhymes as you can handle, and still have data left over for all your Fortnite antics. You won’t face overage charges, so your bill won’t have any surprises.
As always, Frontier’s value is dependent on your location, so be sure to check the ZIP finder.
Other value options worth considering
If Frontier isn’t in your area, or isn’t the best deal for you, you might want to check out these other providers to see how they stack up.
Best bundle option—AT&T
Get all of your needs in one convenient bill with AT&T internet, TV, wireless, and home phone.
AT&T owns DIRECTV, which makes it a great way to get all your services while getting up to gigabit speeds. You won’t worry about going over on data because you can get either 1 TB (which is plenty for most of us) or unlimited data, depending on the plan.
|DIRECTV + Internet Basic 5||DIRECTV package price + $30/mo.||5 Mbps||view plan|
|DIRECTV + Internet 100||DIRECTV package price + $40/mo.||100 Mbps||view plan|
|DIRECTV + Internet 300||DIRECTV package price + $60/mo.||300 Mbps||view plan|
|DIRECTV + Internet 1000||DIRECTV package price + $80/mo.||1,000 Mbps||view plan|
Data effective 10/18/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For 12 months with a 2-yr TV and 1-yr internet agreement, paperless bill, & autopay. Price increases for months 13-24.
Bundling AT&T and DIRECTV will save you $10 per month on most plans, plus you only have one bill to deal with. You’ll get even more benefits if you add an AT&T wireless plan to your bill, including access to the AT&T Watch TV app, which has a few popular channels like Cartoon Network, TBS, and CNN, among other shows, movies, and news.
We like AT&T’s internet for bundling
AT&T’s offers are great for the following kinds of users:
- People who want one bill for TV, internet, wireless, and home phones
- Football fans who want NFL SUNDAY TICKET
- Those who want fast internet speeds with high data limits
AT&T is a solid choice, even if it’s not always the cheapest.
Other bundle options worth considering
If you’re not into AT&T (or maybe DIRECTV), then check out these other providers.
Best satellite/rural option—Viasat
Viasat has the best satellite speeds and data at a decent price
Viasat won our pick for the best satellite internet provider. For rural users or other people who can’t get fiber, cable, or DSL internet, satellite internet can be a saving grace. While it’s not typically the best for speeds or latency, satellite internet has come a long way from the old days of 10 Mbps max download speeds. Viasat’s speeds now go up to 150 Mbps, which is competitive even against cable speeds.
That means if you’re on your home Wi-Fi network, you can swipe past all the city-slickers infesting your Farmers Only profile and check out your stargazing apps without waiting on load times.
|Plan||Price||Download speed||View plan|
|Unlimited Bronze 12||$50/mo.††||12 Mbps||View Plans|
|Unlimited Silver 12||$65/mo.††||12 Mbps||View Plans|
|Unlimited Gold 12||$95/mo.††||12 Mbps||View Plans|
|Unlimited Bronze 25||$50/mo.††||25 Mbps||View Plans|
|Unlimited Silver 25||$70/mo.††||25 Mbps||View Plans|
|Unlimited Gold 30||$100/mo.††||30 Mbps||View Plans|
|Unlimited Gold 50||$100/mo.††||50 Mbps||View Plans|
|Unlimited Platinum 100||$150/mo.††||100 Mbps||View Plans|
There are two things you need to be aware of with Viasat.
1) Your price will increase after three months, anywhere from $20-$50 per month depending on the plan.
2) Your data won’t be throttled after you hit your max, but Viasat can (and will) prioritize other users, meaning you may experience lower speeds.
Why we like Viasat’s satellite internet for rural users
Viasat is best for these types of users:
- Rural or country folks who don’t have access to faster internet
- Casual internet users
- Limited video streamers
You may not like signing up for a two-year contract with Viasat, but HughesNet requires one too.
Other satellite/rural options worth considering
Viasat’s main competitor, HughesNet, doesn’t get as expensive as Viasat—but with satellite internet, you’ll want to make sure to get enough data, and HughesNet only goes up to 50 GB compared to Viasat’s 150 GB.
|25 Mbps||10–50 GB||View plans|
Data effective 10/18/18. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
How to choose the best internet service provider
Availability: Which providers are available in your area?
Speed: Do you need just enough to browse the web and email? Or do you have a house full of gamers who don’t wanna feel the lag?
Data: If you download movies, games, or photos, you may need more data than the average user.
Bundling: Do you want to bundle services like TV, phone, and security with your internet? You’ll typically save some money and get extra features.
Budget: What’s your monthly maximum, and is it flexible enough to get the speed and data you need?
You have a lot to choose from, so make it easier on yourself by narrowing down which providers are the best in your area, figuring out a monthly budget, and seeing which internet (and TV) deals work for you. Use your free will, our tools and research, and determine your own cable internet destiny, folks.
- Verizon Fios has both high download and high upload speeds coupled with reliable performance.
- Xfinity is available to a lot of people, plus you can connect your whole home with TV, internet, home security, and home phone to save money.
- AT&T offers high speeds and great bundles with DIRECTV and wireless plans.
- Frontier FiOS can be a great value for high speeds and no data caps.
- Viasat serves the rural and country users with high speeds and plenty of data.