The Best Internet Providers: An Honest Guide to Reliable Wi-Fi

Best overall
ATT
AT&T Internet
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Overall Quality
3.9/5
Speed and reliability
4.0/5
Dollar value
3.8/5
Customer experience
4.0/5
Best fiber speeds
Google Fiber
Google Fiber
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Overall Quality
4.8/5
Speed and reliability
5.0/5
Dollar value
4.8/5
Customer experience
4.5/5
Best cable provider
Spectrum
Spectrum Internet®
4 out of 5 stars
4
Overall Quality
3.8/5
Speed and reliability
4.0/5
Dollar value
3.8/5
Customer experience
3.2/5
Best for budget users
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet
4 out of 5 stars
4
Overall Quality
3.8/5
Speed and reliability
3.5/5
Dollar value
3.7/5
Customer experience
4.2/5
Best satellite internet
Starlink
Starlink
Overall Quality
3.4/5
Speed and reliability
3/5
Dollar value
3.3/5
Customer experience
4/5
Peter Holslin
Kelly Huh
Jun 11, 2024
Icon Time To Read9 min read

The best internet provider is AT&T Fiber, which offers unlimited data, symmetrical gigabit speeds, and multiple tiers of affordable plans. A fiber-optic service should be the top choice for any internet customer. Other fiber providers on this list offer faster speeds (that you might not need) and cheaper plans. Of course, we’ve also done our research on the best cable and satellite providers, if fiber isn’t available in your neighborhood.

As we do with our ISP reviews, our team of experts took a deep dive into fine-print pricing details, nitty-gritty tech specs, and customer input to compile this list of the best internet service providers.

Before jumping in, we recommend searching with your zip code below to see what internet options are available in your area. Internet providers have limited networks, so you want to know which of these providers you can actually get in your home.

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The best internet providers—Plans and prices

Provider
Prices
Speeds
Must-know details
View plans
ATT$55-$225*300-5000 MbpsSymmetrical speeds, multi-gig options, no data caps or annual contracts
Google Fiber$70-$1501000-8000 Mbps8Gbps max speeds, symmetrical bandwidth, no data caps, limited nationwide availability
Spectrum$19.99-$89.9930-1000 MbpsNo data caps or annual contracts, wide national availability, average ratings
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet$60-$60^245-245 MbpsCheap prices, no data caps or contracts, no extra fees, new tech, fluctuating speeds
Starlink$120-$500°40-220 MbpsUnlimited data, availability in remote areas, high starting prices
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
^ w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms.
° Plus hardware, shipping & handling fees, and tax. Fully refundable. Depending on location, some orders may take 6 months or more to fulfill.

A fiber internet provider is almost always your best bet for home internet—the price, speeds, and reliability simply can’t be beat. AT&T maintains probably the largest fiber network in the country and offers a range of speed tiers, offering you budget-friendly packages and the option to go all out with multi-gigabit speeds for a premium fee. Take a look at our internet speed guide to see how much bandwidth works best for you.

Google Fiber is like an exotic bird—a marvel of performance and efficiency, yet available in only a handful of cities. Even if you don’t exactly need 1,000Mbps on your home internet plan (or 5,000Mbps … or 8,000mbps), you’re better off picking Google Fiber over the much more common cable providers, considering you get better value with faster speeds at a fair price.

Your other two best options are cable internet and 5G home internet. Spectrum is our most recommended cable internet provider, since it offers a solid deal with unlimited data, no annual contracts, and mobile and internet bundle deals through Spectrum Mobile. T-Mobile’s cost-effective 5G Home Internet plan is best for budget users and folks who live in areas with limited internet options.

As for satellite internet—well, it’s expensive and slow, but in very remote areas it’s sometimes the only available option. If you absolutely have to get satellite internet, Starlink is your best bet. Once you get past the high startup costs, you can breathe easy with reliable speeds and unlimited data.

What makes this guide legit? How we picked the best internet providers

At Reviews.org, we believe boring internet is usually the best internet. When shopping for internet, most customers just want dependable service for an affordable price—so that’s what guides us in determining the best internet providers.

Of course, we do our homework too. As part of our comprehensive ISP reviews, we dive deep into each of these providers’ prices, speeds, and connection capabilities, comparing them with others and getting direct input from customers who use these services across the country. See our How We Test page for more info on how we review ISPs.

A few things to keep in mind as you read this guide: Not all of these providers are available everywhere, but we include lots of insights on how to select the internet provider of your dreams. (To boil it down: just know that fiber is an internet user’s best friend.) We love Google Fiber, but customers can only find it in a handful of cities nationwide, so it doesn’t get number-one billing. We only recommend satellite internet providers for rural users, but Starlink is the best of those options.

how we review products and services

Looking for internet in your area? Search your zip code

Internet service is a utility, not a commercial product—you don’t get the same exact service in Honolulu that you would in Huntsville, Alabama. Network availability depends a lot on geography, and some providers are only available in limited parts of the country. To find the best internet provider where you live, search with your zip code below to see what’s available in your area.

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Find internet on your block

No matter what part of the country you’re in, Reviews.org can get you a detailed look at internet providers, plans, prices, and speeds available to you. Our proprietary database is updated regularly, ensuring that you have accurate information about the internet providers that run the network cables and 5G transmitters on your block.

What if I can’t get any of the internet providers on this list?

If none of these best providers are available where you live, aim to sign up with a fiber or cable internet provider that gives you speeds of 300Mbps or faster for a price that fits your budget. Home internet costs about $81 a month on average, but you can get decent Wi-Fi for less in many parts of the country. In a rural area, try a fixed wireless or satellite internet provider.

Scroll further down this page to see a crash course on buying internet for your humble abode.

Best overall: AT&T Fiber

ATT
AT&T Fiber
Plans and pricing:
Speeds:
225–5,000Mbps
Prices:
$55–$225/mo.
Contract:
Month to month
Data caps:
None
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Our take: AT&T has invested heavily in building out its fiber footprint across the country, making it the best bet for a fast and reliable fiber connection. Although the company offers speeds up to 5,000Mbps, you can get the most bang for your buck from one of the midtier plans—symmetrical 300Mbps download and upload speeds still pack a ton of firepower for a small or midsize household.

AT&T has excellent customer-service ratings and generous terms—including unlimited data, no annual contract, and frequent deals (including bill credits and other monetary benefits) offered to new customers. The provider no longer offers DSL service, but rural users may be interested in trying out AT&T’s affordable new 5G package, Internet Air. Read our review.

AT&T internet plans and prices

Plan
Price
Download speed
Details
AT&T Internet 300$55/mo.**300 Mbps
AT&T Internet 500$65/mo.††500 Mbps
AT&T Internet 1 Gig$80/mo.‡‡1000 Mbps
AT&T Internet 2 Gig$150/mo.‡‡Up to 2000 Mbps
AT&T Internet 5 Gig$250/mo.‡‡Up to 5000 Mbps
AT&T Internet Air$55/mo.^^225 Mbps
** Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. One time install chrage may apply. Ltd. avail/areas. Call or go to www.fiber.att.com to see if you qualify. Speeds based on wired connection. Actual speeds may vary. For more info, go to www.att.com/speed101.
†† Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. One time install charge may apply. Ltd. avail/areas. Call or go to www.fiber.att.com to see if you qualify. Speeds based on wired connection. Actual speeds may vary. For more info, go to www.att.com/speed101.
‡‡ Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. Ltd. availability/areas. Speeds based on wired connection. Actual speeds may vary. For more info, go to www.att.com/speed101.
^^ AutoPay and paperless billing required. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. . Service subj. to Internet Terms of Service at att.com/internet-terms. Offers may be modified, or discontinued, at any time without notice. Other conditions may apply to all offers. Speeds based on wired connection. Actual speeds may vary. For more info, go to www.att.com/speed101.

Best fiber speeds: Google Fiber

Google Fiber
Google Fiber
Plans and pricing:
Speeds:
1,000–8,000Mbps
Prices:
$70–$150/mo.
Contract:
Month to month
Data caps:
None
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Our take: Although prices look high (at least up front), Google Fiber offers you some of the best value you could possibly get from an internet provider. Even the baseline plan is incredibly fast, delivering symmetrical uploads and downloads of 1,000Mbps, and the $70 a month price tag doesn’t look so shabby when you consider that slower plans from many competitors end up costing about the same once you factor in extra fees and price hikes. Speaking of, Google Fiber doesn’t have price hikes, data caps, or fees for installation or equipment.

Most users don’t need any of Google Fiber’s faster plan options—that baseline plan is plenty of bandwidth for even large households with 10 or more Wi-Fi devices going simultaneously. But a multi-gig plan may be worth exploring if you host online servers or run a crypto-mining farm in your basement. Read our review.

Google Fiber plans and prices

Plan
Price
Download speed
Details
1 Gig$70/mo.1000 Mbps
2 Gig$100/mo.2000 Mbps
5 Gig$125/mo.°°5000 Mbps
8 Gig$150/mo.°°8000 Mbps
Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
°° Available in select markets only. Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.

Best cable provider: Spectrum

Spectrum
Spectrum Internet®
Plans and pricing:
Speeds:
300–1,000Mbps
Prices:
$49.99–79.99/mo.
Contract:
Month to month
Data caps:
None
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Our take: Cable providers are sometimes seen as monopolistic megaliths that lord over internet users with arbitrary fees and price hikes, but Spectrum is as fair as a cable provider gets. The brand delivers excellent download speeds for decent prices—the baseline plan starts at under $50 a month and offers enough bandwidth to support a small or midsize home for plenty of gaming and streaming.

Spectrum gets average ratings in public satisfaction surveys, and the provider’s slow upload speeds certainly can’t top fiber. But you don’t have to worry about data caps or annual contracts, and Spectrum customers in some parts of the country can even access a fiber-to-the-home connection that promises superior performance. This is clearly a cable company that more-or-less gets customers’ needs. Read our review.

Spectrum Internet plans and prices

Plan
Price*
Speed
View plans
Spectrum Internet® $49.99/mo. for 12 mo.***Up to 300 Mbps
Spectrum Internet Ultra$59.99/mo. for 24 mo.†††Up to 500 Mbps
Spectrum Internet® Gig$69.99/mo. for 24 mo.†††Up to 1000 Mbps
*** For 12 months when bundled. Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra.
††† For 24 months when bundled. Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.

Best for budget users: T-Mobile 5G Home Internet

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet
Plans and pricing:
Speeds:
72–245Mbps
Prices:
$50.00–$70.00/mo. ($10.00–$20.00/mo. discount w/ T-Mobile cellular plan)
Contract:
Month to month
Data caps:
None
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Our take: A relatively new service, T-Mobile’s 5G Home Internet runs over the provider’s 5G cellular network and delivers solid speeds for a competitive price. It’s basically your next-best option if you can’t get fiber internet and don’t want to deal with a cable or DSL provider. The speeds aren’t the greatest (you may see fluctuations due to the wireless connection), but it doesn’t cost too much—and it’s even cheaper when you pair it with a qualifying T-Mobile cellular plan. Unlimited data, no extra fees, and sign-up promotions for new customers sweeten the deal. Read our review.

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet plans and prices

Plan
Price
Price with mobile plan
Speed
View plans
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet Unlimited$50/mo.^$40/mo.72-245 Mbps
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet Plus$70/mo.$50/mo.72-245 Mbps
^ w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms.

Best satellite internet provider: Starlink

Starlink
Starlink
Plans and pricing:
Speeds:
5–220Mbps
Prices:
$120.00–$500.00/mo.
Contract:
None
Data caps:
None (unlimited data)
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Our take: There are certainly cheaper satellite internet plans out there, but in terms of sheer performance, Starlink can’t be beat. Elon Musk’s much-hyped satellite service offers unlimited data at 100Mbps+ download speeds, which is surprisingly fast considering that you’re getting a connection beamed from 342 miles above Earth.

Having satellite internet once meant rationing your data usage to a maddening degree, but Starlink’s unlimited data and tiered soft limits give you more flexibility than what you get from rivals Viasat and Hughesnet. You still need to shell out a pretty penny—$599 minimum just for the hardware! But Starlink’s low-Earth orbit satellites chart shorter distances for data to travel, giving you and everyone else in your household (or boat … or RV …) a more established connection. Read our review.

Plan
Price
Speed
Details
Starlink Standard$120/mo.‡‡‡20-100 Mbps
Starlink Priority$140.00–$500.00/mo.40–220Mbps
Starlink Mobile$150.00–$200.00/mo.5–50Mbps
Starlink Mobile Priority $250.00–$5,000.00/mo.‡‡‡40–220Mbps
‡‡‡ Plus hardware, shipping & handling fees, and tax. Fully refundable. Depending on location, some orders may take 2 weeks or more to fulfill.

Shopping for internet? Here’s what you need to know

Since not every reader lives in an area with access to these providers, let’s give you some context to help understand how to pick an internet provider. The main things to consider are availability, connection type, price, and speed.

Provider availability is the main deciding factor

Internet brands used to operate as monopolies, setting the agenda for price, speeds, and other technical capabilities as they operated without competition in specific geographic areas.

This situation has evolved somewhat with the expansion of fiber-optic networks and emergence of cost-friendly alternatives like 5G home internet. But the fact remains that many internet customers have only one or two realistic internet options where they live. Make sure to run a search with your zip code below to see what you can get in your area.

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Search to see what internet is in your area.

Once you know what internet you can get, you can base your buying decision on which provider gives you the speeds you need for a price that meets your budget.

Connection type: Fiber internet is the best, but cable and 5G are great too

Connection type
Prices
Speeds
Should you get it?
Fiber internet$19.99–$265.00/mo.100–10,000MbpsDefinitely
Cable internet$9.95–$120.00/mo.25–1,200MbpsYes, if you can’t get fiber
5G home internet$35.00–$75.00/mo.72–1,000MbpsSure, especially if you don’t want cable or DSL
DSL internet$50.00–$64.95/mo.1–100MbpsNo, unless there’s no other option
Satellite internet$49.95–$500.00/mo.5–220MbpsNo, unless you’re a digital nomad, a full-time yachtsman or live in a remote mountain cabin

You should definitely get fiber internet if it’s available in your area. Fiber runs over bundled strands of fiber-optic cable, beaming data at the speed of light (or something close to it). Fiber providers like AT&T, Google Fiber, and Verizon offer the best internet speeds and often have the best prices too.

But it’s not the end of the world if you can’t get fiber. Cable internet from a provider like Spectrum or Xfinity is another reliable option with fast speeds at affordable prices. The speeds aren’t as fast as fiber, nor are the deals quite as good, but cable internet has a proven track record for dependable connectivity.

How much should you pay for internet?

Expect to pay about $60–$80 a month for a home internet plan that gives you enough bandwidth to handle your daily Wi-Fi needs.

Most Americans pay $81 a month on average for their internet connection, but you may be able to find a cheaper plan that still gets the job done. On the other hand, you may need to consider paying upwards of $100 a month or more to cover the cost of an upper-tier gigabit or multi-gig internet plan if you live in a big household or rely on ultrafast internet for remote work, VR gaming, or content creation (or perhaps all three).

How much internet speed do you need?

Most people need speeds of at least 25Mbps per person in their household to ensure a smooth connection with minimal slowdowns or buffering. So if you live in an apartment with three other people, you want an internet plan with minimum 100Mbps download speeds.

You’re better off not overspending if you can get away with a slower plan. But make sure the Wi-Fi package you get comes with enough speed to support all of your Wi-Fi devices, and consider upgrading to a faster plan if you share the Wi-Fi with a larger group of people.

Internet speed
Number of users it can support simultaneously
Activities you can do
5–100Mbps1–2Casual web browsing, heavy text-based social media, light video-based social media, streaming HD video on 1–3 devices, making video calls
100–300Mbps3–5Streaming 4K video on 2–3 devices, online multiplayer gaming, making video calls on 3 or more devices, operating 3–5 smart-home products
300–500Mbps6–9Streaming HD or 4K video on 4–5 devices, posting video content regularly to social media, operating 6–8 smart-home products
500–1,000Mbps10+Streaming HD or 4K video on 5 or more devices, hosting a livestream, VR gaming, operating 9 or more smart-home products
1,200Mbps or faster20+Doing anything you want online on as many devices as you need while sharing your Wi-Fi with dozens of other users

The Federal Communications Commission defines high-speed broadband internet as any connection that delivers minimum download speeds of 100Mbps and minimum upload speeds of 20Mbps. Getting a plan with 100Mbps is a great starting point if you live in a small household and do regular stuff like streaming Netflix and making the occasional video call.

Hardly anybody needs the fastest-possible speeds offered by an internet provider—gigabit and multi-gigabit options are mostly good for influencer mansions and Bitcoin miners.

Rural customers have to settle for less

If you live in a remote area, your best bet is DSL internet or a low-cost 5G home internet package from a company like T-Mobile or Verizon. But you may be stuck with fixed wireless or satellite internet, which cost more money and have stricter limits on speed and data.

When internet providers invest in network infrastructure, they tend to focus on areas where they can make money serving lots of customers—so major cities and metro areas often get better served than rural parts of the country. Still, there are some solid options for rural internet. And while satellite internet used to be the slowest of the slow, it’s turned into a more flexible and reliable internet option thanks to SpaceX’s Starlink and revamped plan options from Hughesnet and Viasat.

Find the best internet for your needs

At the end of the day, the best internet provider is the fastest, most affordable one that you can sign up for on your block. You don’t need the fanciest plan or tons of deals to be a happy Wi-Fi customer, but you definitely should shop around to explore your options before committing to an internet service provider. Run a search with your zip code below to see what’s available in your area.

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Peter Holslin
Written by
Peter Holslin
Peter is a journalist and editor who has been covering tech, culture, and music since the late 2000s. Prior to joining the Reviews.org team, he was the senior staff writer at HighSpeedInternet.com, where he covered 5G, mobile hotspots, and internet services. As a freelancer, he’s also written for Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, Pitchfork, LA Weekly, and many other publications. He studied writing and journalism at The New School University in New York City and got his start in the media industry as the music editor of the California alt-weekly San Diego CityBeat. He’s also a musician and DJ and owns too many vinyl records for his own good.

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