Best Internet Service Providers

We put the biggest internet titans to the test—do they have the speed and data you need? And at what cost?
Best Fiber
Advertised Price:
$39.99$79.99
Download speeds:
100300 Mbps
BEST CABLE
Advertised Price:
$29.99$299.95
Download speeds:
152000 Mbps
BEST VALUE
Advertised Price:
$40$200
Download speeds:
501000 Mbps
BEST BUNDLING
Advertised Price:
$50$90
Download speeds:
1001000 Mbps
BEST SATELLITE
Advertised Price:
$50$150
Download speeds:
12100 Mbps

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.

Best internet service providers prices and speeds

ProviderDownload speedsData CapAdvertised PriceLearn more
Xfinity Internet152000 Mbps1 TBUnlimited$29.99$299.95*View Plans
AT&T Fiber1001000 Mbps1 TBUnlimited$50$90View Plans
CenturyLink Internet201000 Mbps1 TBUnlimited$45$85View Plans
Verizon Fios100300 MbpsNot Available$39.99$79.99View Plans
Frontier FiOS Internet501000 MbpsUnlimited$40$200^View Plans
Optimum Internet200400 MbpsUnlimited$44.99$64.99°View Plans
Cox Internet101000 Mbps1 TB$29.99$119.99View Plans
Spectrum Internet200 MbpsUnlimited$44.99°View Plans
Viasat Internet12100 Mbps35150 GB$50$150**View Plans
HughesNet Internet25 Mbps1050 GB$59.99$129.99††View Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
With Auto Pay for 1 year.
^ For the first 24 months.
° For the first 12 months.
** For the first 3 months.
†† Requires 24 month agreement.

Find the best internet providers in your area.

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 consistently 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.

Verizon Fios internet packages and pricing

NamePriceDownload speedView plan
Fios Internet 100/100$39.99/mo.‡‡100 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Fios Internet 150/150$74.99/mo.‡‡150 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Fios Internet 300/300$59.99/mo.‡‡300 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Fios Internet 500/500$194.99/mo.‡‡500 MbpsVIEW PLAN
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.
‡‡ With Auto Pay for 1 year plus taxes, equipment charges, & other fees.

†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.

Other fiber options worth considering

If Verizon Fios isn’t available, other providers like AT&T or CenturyLink may have some fiber connections. Be sure to check your area with our ZIP finder.

Frontier FiOSAT&T InternetCenturyLink Internet
Frontier CommunicationsATT LogoCenturylink
View plansView plansView plans

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!?).

Xfinity internet packages and pricing

NamePriceDownload speedView plan
Performance Plus$39.99/mo.60 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Performance Pro$54.99/mo.150 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Blast! Pro$69.99/mo.250 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Gigabit$70/mo.^^1000 MbpsVIEW 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.
^^ For the first 24 months with a 2-year agreement.

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
  • Gamers
  • 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.

XfinityOptimumCOX Internet
Optimum best for streamingCox Internet Review Summary
View plansView plansView plans

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.

Frontier internet packages and pricing

NamePriceView planDownload speed
Vantage Internet Simply Elite$30/mo.^View Plan25 Mbps
Vantage Internet Simply Extreme$40/mo.^VIEW PLAN90 Mbps
Simply FiOS 50/50$40/mo.^VIEW PLAN50 Mbps
Simply FiOS 300/300$100/mo.^VIEW PLAN300 Mbps
Simply FiOS 1G/1G$200/mo.^VIEW PLAN1000 Mbps
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^ For the first 24 months.

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.

XfinityCenturyLinkAT&T Internet
CenturylinkATT Logo
View plansView plansView plans

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.

AT&T + DIRECTV plans, prices, and speeds

PlansPrices*SpeedsLearn more
DIRECTV + Internet Basic 5DIRECTV package price + $30/mo.5 Mbpsview plan
DIRECTV + Internet 100DIRECTV package price + $40/mo.100 Mbpsview plan
DIRECTV + Internet 300DIRECTV package price + $60/mo.300 Mbpsview plan
DIRECTV + Internet 1000DIRECTV package price + $80/mo.1,000 Mbpsview 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.

XfinityVerizonFrontier
Frontier Communications
View plansView plansView plans

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.

Viasat internet packages and pricing

NamePriceDownload speedView plan
Unlimited Bronze 12$50/mo.**12 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Silver 12$65/mo.**12 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Gold 12$95/mo.**12 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Bronze 25$50/mo.**25 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Silver 25$70/mo.**25 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Gold 30$100/mo.**30 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Gold 50$100/mo.**50 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Unlimited Platinum 100$150/mo.**100 MbpsVIEW PLAN
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
** For the first 3 months.

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.

ProviderSpeedDataDetails
HughesNet25 Mbps10–50 GBView plans

Data effective 10/18/18. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Recap

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.

Find the best internet providers in your area.

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?

Looking for internet to better stream or game? Are you on a budget?

If you have a specific use for internet that you want covered, see how different providers stack up in our comparisons:

Related video: How to speed up your internet

  • Mary j Cox

    How much is basic internate for home?