Best Internet Service Providers 2020

We put the biggest internet titans to the test. Do they have the speed and data you need? And at what cost?
Best Cable
Our rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$29.99$299.95
Download speeds:
152000 Mbps
Best Value
Our rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$45$85
Download speeds:
101000 Mbps
Best Bundling
Our rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$50$70
Download speeds:
1001000 Mbps
Best Satellite
Our rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$30$150
Download speeds:
12100 Mbps
Best Fiber
Our rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Monthly price:
$39.99$79.99
Download speeds:
100940 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
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsData capDetails
Xfinity$29.99–$299.95/mo.*15–2,000 Mbps1 TB–UnlimitedView Plans
CenturyLink$45–$85/mo.†10–1,000 Mbps1 TB–UnlimitedView Plans
AT&T Fiber$50–$70/mo.‡100–1,000 Mbps1 TB–UnlimitedView Plans
Viasat$30–$150/mo.^12–100 Mbps12–150 GBView Plans
Verizon Fios$39.99–$79.99/mo.°100–Up to 940 MbpsNot AvailableView Plans

Data effective 1/9/2020. 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.
† New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
‡ For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
^ For the first 3 months.
°/mo. w/ Auto Pay. + taxes & equipment charges.

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, listing out all your devices, and then seeing which plans fit your speed and data needs.

Find the best internet prices and speeds near you.

Xfinity: Best cable internet

Xfinity covers most of the country, and it has gig speeds in a few areas too.

No other business serves as many customers (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 broadband 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
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Performance Starter$29.99*15 MbpsView Plan
Performance Plus$39.99*60 MbpsView Plan
Performance Pro$44.99*175 MbpsView Plan
Blast! Pro$59.99*275 MbpsView Plan
Extreme Pro$60*500 MbpsView Plan
Gigabit$70*1000 MbpsView Plan
Gigabit Pro$299.952000 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.
With a 2-year agreement.

Depending on what you’re ordering, Comcast Xfinity contracts come in one-year, two-year, or even no-term options. 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 (costs up to $240+, yeesh!).

Why we like Xfinity cable internet

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 speed, discount TV and broadband internet bundles, and varied contract options outweigh its controversial reputation—especially when you look at the rest of the ISP customer service options.

To top it off, all Comcast Xfinity customers get access to thousands of wireless hotspots across the US through the XFINITY WiFi app. This is a lifesaver if your home internet goes down and you have an assignment due tonight, or if you just want to check the news while you’re out of town.

Want more details? Find them in our full Xfinity internet review.

Other cable options worth considering

With plenty of cable providers to choose from, you should be able to find a good option easily.

Cable internet alternatives
Monthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
$44.99$64.99200400 MbpsView Plans
$29.99$99.99*10940 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 with a 1-year agreement.

CenturyLink: Best value

CenturyLink’s variety of speeds come at a lower price that sticks for life.

CenturyLink offers DSL internet service that starts at 10 Mbps and goes up to 100 Mbps. After that, you’re rockin’ and rollin’ on its fiber lines at 1,000 Mbps.

To top that off, CenturyLink’s monthly price is one of the lowest for its faster 80–1,000 Mbps plans. And even though the monthly cost for its low-speed plans is higher than the competition, that’s the price you’ll pay for life.

CenturyLink internet packages and pricing
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Price for Life 10 Mbps$45^10 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Price for Life 20 Mbps$49°20 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Price for Life 40 Mbps$49°40 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Price for Life 80 Mbps$49°80 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Price for Life 100 Mbps$49°100 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Centurylink Fiber Internet$65940 Mbps1 TBView Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^ Service and offer are not available everywhere. Additional fees apply. Rate excludes taxes.
° Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply. Speeds may not be available in your area.

Our only frustration with CenturyLink is that it doesn’t offer a Wi-Fi hotspot network to its current subscribers. So if hopping from hotspot to hotspot is a must-have for you, we think Xfinity or AT&T are better Wi-Fi companies. Both of these ISPs let you access hotspots as long as you’re paying for a home internet plan—no extra cash required.

But back to why it made our list of the best ISPs for a moment: Did you know you can bundle CenturyLink internet with DIRECTV? Oh, yes. We are so down.

Why we like CenturyLink internet plans

CenturyLink is best for these kinds of users:

  • Anyone looking for a compromise between fast speeds and low prices
  • Those who need fast fiber speeds but at a reasonable cost
  • TV lovers who want a reliable connection for streaming too

And while we wish CenturyLink didn’t put a data cap on its plans, that 1 TB cap is pretty standard across most ISPs. Even so, you can still download your favorite Béla Tarr films, stream as much Busta Rhymes as you can handle, and still have data left over for all your Fortnite antics.

Seriously, the chances of you using up that much data in a month is inconceivable! (Though our editors think we don’t really know what that word means. Hmm . . .)

We’ll help you get the most value with CenturyLink. Check out our full-length CenturyLink internet review to see our recommended plans.

Other value options worth considering

If CenturyLink isn’t in your area, or isn’t the best deal for you, you might want to check out another internet service provider to see how it stacks up.

Value internet alternatives
Monthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
$29.99$299.95**152000 MbpsView Plans
$29.99$199.99††501000 MbpsView Plans
$29.99$200‡‡251000 MbpsView Plans
$40$50*5100 MbpsView Plans
$50$70*1001000 MbpsView 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 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.
‡‡ Actual speeds may vary. Installation, equipment fees, taxes & other fees apply. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

AT&T: Best bundle options

Get all of your needs in one convenient bill with AT&T internet plans, TV, wireless, and home phone.

AT&T owns DIRECTV, which makes it a great way to get all your favorite channels along with up to gigabit broadband 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.

And similar to Xfinity, AT&T offers Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation. So if you can’t find the Wi-Fi password posted at your favorite coffee shop, you can just hop on an AT&T hotspot to browse Instagram.

Bundling AT&T and DIRECTV will cost you $10 less per month on most plans, plus you only have one bill to deal with. And if you’re a football fan, you’ll get access to the exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET with DIRECTV—which might make this worth it to you.

Heads Up icon
Which DIRECTV TV package should you choose?
You can combine essentially any internet speed with any DIRECTV channel package. Check out your package options here.

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.

Why 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 speed with high data limits

AT&T is a solid choice, even if it’s not always the cheapest.

Compare AT&T’s DSL and fiber internet services in our AT&T internet review.

Other bundle options worth considering

If you’re not into AT&T (or maybe DIRECTV), then check out these other providers.

Best internet bundle alternatives
Monthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
$29.99$299.95**152000 MbpsView Plans
$29.99$199.99††501000 MbpsView 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 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.

Viasat: Best satellite internet

Viasat has top satellite internet speeds and a better price per Mbps.

In rural areas where you 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 speed has come a long way from the old days of 10 Mbps max download broadband speeds. Viasat’s speeds now go up to 100 Mbps, which is competitive even against cable speeds.

And if you pitch in an extra $5 per month, you’ll get the Viasat Wi-Fi Modem. That means you can swipe past all the city-slickers infesting your Farmers Only profile and check out your stargazing apps from the comfort of your front porch.

Viasat internet packages and pricing
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Unlimited Bronze 12$50/mo.^^12 Mbps35 GBView Plan
Unlimited Silver 12$100/mo.^^12 Mbps45 GBView Plan
Unlimited Gold 12$150/mo.^^12 Mbps65 GBView Plan
Unlimited Silver 25$70/mo.^^25 Mbps60 GBView Plan
Unlimited Gold 30$100/mo.^^30 Mbps100 GBView Plan
Unlimited Gold 50$100/mo.^^50 Mbps100 GBView Plan
Unlimited Platinum 100$150/mo.^^100 Mbps150 GBView 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:

  • Your price will increase after three months. It costs anywhere from $20 to $50 per month depending on the plan.
  • Your data won’t be throttled after you hit your max, but Viasat can (and will) prioritize other users, meaning you may still experience lower speeds.

Why we like Viasat’s satellite internet for rural users

Viasat is best for these types of users:

  • Rural users who don’t have access to faster broadband internet speed
  • Casual internet users
  • Limited video streamers

You may not like signing up for a two-year contract with Viasat, but HughesNet requires one too.

Get to know Viasat a little better before you commit with our full-length Viasat review.

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.

Best satellite internet alternatives
Monthly priceDownload speedsData capLearn more
$59.99$150°°25 Mbps1050 GBView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
°° Requires 24 month agreement.

Verizon Fios: Best fiber internet

Fast symmetrical download and upload speeds cover your needs, but Verizon Fios might not be available in your area.

Verizon ranks among the top broadband internet providers, and while it’s not available to everyone, it’s one of the best internet options if you want speed for more than just email and casual browsing on your devices.

Verizon Fios fiber internet plans and prices
PlanPriceDownload speedDetails
Fios Internet 100/100$39.99/mo.*100 MbpsView Plan
Fios Internet 300$59.99/mo.*300 MbpsView Plan
Fios Gigabit Connection$79.99/mo.†Up to 940 MbpsView Plan

Data effective 1/9/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*/mo. w/ Auto Pay. + taxes & equipment charges.
†/mo. w/ Auto Pay. + taxes.

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.

To top that off, the Fios Gigabit Connection plan is about the lowest-priced near-gigabit plan we reviewed.

The only major downside to Verizon Fios we could find is that it no longer seems to offer a public Wi-Fi hotspot network. You won’t mind this much if your local haunts have a Wi-Fi router and share their password.

But if all those wireless connections are hidden behind lock and key—er, password, those hotspots will be sorely missed. (If Wi-Fi hotspots are a necessity in your life, check out Xfinity or AT&T instead.)

Light Bulb icon
Top of the internet service provider rankings
Verizon Fios scored seventh out of sixteen ISPs in the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) latest speed report.1 So you can bet its download speeds are faster than what you see advertised. Yup, now you can binge without seeing that little loading circle.

The other plans from Verizon also offer a lot of bang for your buck, but when it comes to speed, we’re like Jack Traven in Speed: if we slow down or stop, we’ll explode! Fortunately, Verizon is a reliable service provider.

Why we like Verizon’s fiber internet

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, reliable service is about as good as it gets for broadband internet these days. All of your internet devices should run smoothly—which means you can do some video conferencing with a friend while watching The Bachelor at the same time.

We’ve got more details on why Verizon fiber gets all the praise in our Verizon Fios review.

Other fiber options worth considering

If Verizon Fios isn’t available, other providers like AT&T or CenturyLink may have some fiber connections.

Fiber internet alternatives
Monthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
$29.99$199.99††501000 MbpsView Plans
$50$70*1001000 MbpsView Plans
$45$85***101000 MbpsView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
†† 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.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
*** New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.

Recap: what is the best internet provider?

You have a lot to choose from, so make it easier on yourself by narrowing down which providers are the best in your area, how many devices you use at a time, what your monthly budget is, and which internet (and TV) deals would work for you.

Use your free will, our tools, and our research, and determine your own internet destiny, folks. Here are our top picks for the best ISPs:

  • 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.
  • CenturyLink offers pretty reasonable prices for its higher-speed plans—especially its fiber 1,000 Mbps plan. But if you need a wireless network while you’re out of town, look elsewhere.
  • AT&T offers high speeds and great bundles with DIRECTV packages.
  • Viasat serves rural areas and country users with the fastest satellite internet speeds.
  • Verizon Fios has both high download and high upload speeds coupled with reliable performance. The only thing it’s missing is Wi-Fi hotspots.

Compare the best internet plans and prices 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: Do you download movies, games, or photos? If so, 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:

Compare internet providers

Sources

1. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “2018 Measuring Broadband Across America: Fixed Broadband Report

Additional contributors

Catherine McNally
Trevor Wheelwright

  • Mary j Cox

    How much is basic internate for home?