Best High Speed Internet Providers: Compare the Fastest ISPs

Looking for the fastest internet providers? We’ll tell you which ones actually get you the speeds you pay for.
Best Overall
Monthly price:
$50$90
Download speeds:
1001000 Mbps
Also Fast Fiber
Monthly price:
$39.99$79.99
Download speeds:
100Up to 940 Mbps
Fastest Cable
Monthly price:
$29.99$299.95
Download speeds:
152000 Mbps
Fastest DSL
Monthly price:
$40$50
Download speeds:
5100 Mbps
Fastest Satellite
Monthly price:
$50$150
Download speeds:
12100 Mbps

Tired of waiting for your games to download on Steam? Or maybe that buffering icon is beginning to frustrate you a little too much?

We’ve all been there. And likely what we all need is faster internet access.

If you’re on the hunt for the fastest internet, these internet service providers (ISPs) will give you more than just something to brag about. We took a look at the cold, hard data and it shows all of them actually deliver on the speeds they promise you. (A dream come true!)

Read on to find out which internet plans are worth their speed in gold.

The fastest internet providers price and speed comparison
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsLearn more
AT&T Fiber$50$90*1001000 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Fios$39.99$79.99100Up to 940 MbpsView Plans
Xfinity Internet$29.99$299.95152000 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Internet$40$50*5100 MbpsView Plans
Viasat Internet$50$150^12100 MbpsView Plans
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 autopay for 1 yr, plus taxes, equip. charges & other fees
For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
^ For the first 3 months.

See which of these fastest ISPs are available near you.

AT&T Fiber: Fastest internet speeds overall

AT&T’s fiber internet leads the pack—and it’s one of the most widely available fiber networks.

Fiber internet is usually the fastest option out there. Sure, Xfinity’s got a 2,000 Mbps cable plan, but if you want the fastest possible speeds, there’s a reason we always recommend fiber. If you want it but Google or Verizon Fios don’t cover your area, then AT&T is likely your best bet.

As a whole, AT&T ranks just above Verizon Fios on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report.1 Of course, in HighSpeedInternet.com’s rankings, AT&T does get edged out of the top five overall fastest providers. But if you drill down into each region, you’ll see its fiber plans show up in second or third place depending on the location.2

But neither report tells us whether these companies looked at just AT&T’s fiber plans, its DSL plans, or both.

That makes it difficult to really gauge what kind of performance you’re going to get—but since AT&T scored well on both the FCC and HighSpeedInternet.com reports, we think that’s a good sign you’ll get the speeds you were promised.

AT&T Fiber speed test scores 20181, 2
SourceRankAverage actual speed
FCC6 out of 16108.9%
HighSpeedInternet.com: northeastern US2 out of 5
HighSpeedInternet.com: midwestern US3 out of 5
HighSpeedInternet.com: southern US3 out of 5
HighSpeedInternet.com: western US2 out of 5

Data effective 8/1/2019.

We admit it, AT&T’s DSL plans aren’t mindblowing, but its fiber plans are super fast and you’ll pay similar prices—or sometimes even less—than what Verizon charges for its Fios plans.

AT&T Fiber plans, prices, and speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedUpload speedDetails
Internet 100$50/mo.*100 Mbps100 MbpsView Plan
Internet 300$70/mo.*300 Mbps300 MbpsView Plan
Internet 1000$90/mo.*1000 Mbps1000 MbpsView Plan
Data effective 12/10/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.

We mentioned AT&T’s fiber network is more widely available than Verizon Fios, right? If you take a look at the AT&T fiber coverage map, it’s clear you can get it almost anywhere in the US—including the West Coast, South, and even some of the Midwest.

Who is AT&T Fiber best for?

AT&T’s fiber plans work best for these types of people:

  • Anyone who lives in an area with AT&T Fiber (check your zip code)
  • People who need super fast download and upload speeds for livestreaming or server hosting
  • Those who value affordable pricing (compared to other fiber plans)

Pros

  • Great intro pricing
  • Better availability than Verizon Fios

Cons

  • Intro pricing goes up after one year
  • 1 TB data cap on all but 1,000 Mbps plan

Verizon Fios: Also fast fiber internet

Verizon Fios is a reliably fast 100% fiber-optic network, but it takes a hit for availability.

Verizon Fios provides a true Fiber to the Home (FTTH) experience. That means you won’t wonder if your connection is fiber-optic all the way to your house or if you’ve got a DSL line or neighborhood node slowing things down.

And this focus on fiber pays off. You can see Verizon Fios reliably delivers on the speeds it promises in the FCC’s 2018 report and in HighSpeedInternet.com’s speed rankings.1, 2

Verizon Fios speed test scores 20181, 2
SourceRankAverage actual speed
FCC7 out of 16107.9%
HighSpeedInternet.com2 out of 10

Data effective 8/1/2019.

If you live in one of Verizon’s “gig” areas, prices for its Fios fiber internet match up with competing fiber internet providers. Yup, you can fist pump for joy knowing you won’t be stuck paying more—even though we think a reliably fast internet connection is totally worth it. (We gotta get our Path of Exile fix!)

Verizon Fios plans, prices, and speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedUpload speedDetails
Fios Internet 100/100$39.99/mo.°100 Mbps100 MbpsView Plan
Fios Internet 300/300$59.99/mo.**300 Mbps300 MbpsView Plan
Fios Gigabit Connection$79.99/mo.††Up to 940 Mbps880 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.
** w/ Auto Pay + taxes, equip. charges & other fees.
†† w/Auto Pay + taxes, & other fees.

Ok, let’s have a quick heart-to-heart chat about Fios’s top speed: 940 Mbps. This doesn’t sound quite as awesome as 1,000 Mbps or even one gigabit. (Just saying that gets our hearts racing with adrenaline.)

But we look at that max speed of 940 Mbps as Verizon’s attempt to be transparent. Or at least not get your hopes up that your speed will reach 1,000 Mbps, then be let down if it doesn’t. (Though you can clearly see Verizon usually delivers what it promises.)

Right now, Verizon Fios has somewhat limited availability. You’ll see it almost exclusively on the East Coast, including New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Washington DC.

So make sure to check your ZIP code before you get too excited about a Fios plan—or check out AT&T Fiber as our overall pick for fastest internet above.

Who is Verizon Fios best for?

Verizon Fios is a pro choice if you meet these criteria:

  • Live in an area on the East Coast with Fios service
  • Want some of the zippiest speeds in the country at a reasonable price
  • Want a true FTTH connection

Pros

  • True FTTH connections
  • Reasonable prices for fast speeds in “gig” areas

Cons

  • East Coast availability only

Xfinity: Fastest cable internet

Xfinity offers some serious speeds—and delivers on them.

We know, we know: Xfinity has a massive reputation for lackluster customer service. And it’s warranted. A phone call with Xfinity representatives can feel like a battlefield.

But while its customer service may leave something to be desired, Xfinity scores well in both the FCC’s and HighSpeedInternet.com’s speed rankings.1, 2

Here’s how those shake out.

Xfinity speed test scores 20181, 2
SourceRankAverage actual speed
FCC4 out of 16112.5%
HighSpeedInternet.com5 out of 10

Data effective 8/1/2019.

Xfinity delivers decent speeds across the board and a wide range of prices so you can choose the exact plan you need.

But we’re most impressed with Xfinity’s massive Gigabit Pro plan. With 2,000 Mbps speeds (that’s two gigabits per second, for you tech nerds out there), you could download 10 HD movies in just over three minutes.

That’s some serious speed. Just keep in mind that you’ll pay for it.

Xfinity’s fastest plan is also its most expensive at a ludicrous $299.95 per month. (Not to mention its availability is extremely limited.) Its lower-priced plan, Gigabit, will still give you incredibly fast speeds—and for less than half the price.

Xfinity plans, prices, and speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedUpload speedDetails
Performance Starter$29.99/mo.*15 Mbps2 MbpsView Plan
Performance Plus$39.99/mo.*60 Mbps5 MbpsView Plan
Performance Pro$54.99/mo.*150 Mbps10 MbpsView Plan
Blast! Pro$69.99/mo.*250 Mbps10 MbpsView Plan
Gigabit$70/mo.‡‡1000 Mbps35 MbpsView Plan
Gigabit Pro$299.95/mo.^^2000 Mbps2000 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.
^^ With a 2-year agreement.
Light Bulb icon
Still looking for fast cable internet?
If Xfinity isn’t your jam, you might check out Mediacom, Spectrum internet, or Cox, which scored 2 out of 16, 3 out of 16, and 9 out of 16, respectively, on the FCC 2018 report.1

Who is Xfinity best for?

Xfinity might be your best choice if you’re hopping on the ‘net to do these types of things:

  • Pwn some noobs in online games, either solo or with family members in the same house
  • Connect multiple devices and multiple people to all the data—this includes gamers, HD video addicts, remote workers, etc.

You can probably find an Xfinity plan in your area, since it has wider availability than most ISPs. But be sure to double-check exactly what speeds, plans, and pricing you can get. Those gigabit plans aren’t an option everywhere quite yet.

Pros

  • Great actual speed scores
  • Fastest speeds on the market (but check availability)
  • Decent pricing for everyday plans

Cons

  • Lackluster customer service

AT&T Internet: Fastest DSL internet

Fast speeds for DSL, competitive pricing, and a good showing on speed performance reports make AT&T our pick—again.

We know, we know. We’ve already given AT&T it’s 15 minutes of fame for its fiber plans, but honestly, its Internet 10–100 DSL plan is pretty hard to beat too.

Again, we’ll point out that neither the FCC nor the HighSpeedInternet.com report clarifies whether AT&T’s DSL plans were included in the analysis of its speed performance.

But we do know that other DSL options, like CenturyLink, Frontier, and Cincinnati Bell, don’t even break 100% actual-to-advertised speeds on the FCC report.1 And they didn’t make an entrance on the HighSpeedInternet.com rankings (except Frontier as the fastest DSL pick).2

So we’re more willing to bet on AT&T.

AT&T Internet speed test scores 20181, 2
SourceRankAverage actual speed
FCC6 out of 16108.9%
HighSpeedInternet.com: northeastern US2 out of 5
HighSpeedInternet.com: midwestern US3 out of 5
HighSpeedInternet.com: southern US3 out of 5
HighSpeedInternet.com: western US2 out of 5

Data effective 8/1/2019.

We can’t honestly say that AT&T’s lowest tier DSL plan is well-priced. For the same price, you can get plans from competing ISPs with a little more speed juice.

But its Internet 10–100 plan plays fair and square in the price department, and it’s a natural pick for one of the best value DSL plans out there.

AT&T Internet DSL plans, prices, and speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedUpload speedDetails
Internet Basic 5$40/mo.*5 Mbps1 MbpsView Plan
Internet 10-100$50/mo.*100 Mbps20 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.
Megaphone icon
Need a fast alternative to AT&T?
Whatever your reasons, if you’re looking for an alternative to AT&T’s DSL plans, we think CenturyLink is worth a look.

It ranks 12 out of 16 on the FCC’s 2018 report for actual-to-advertised speed performance—above other DSL contenders Frontier and Cincinnati Bell.1 It also comes with a Price for Life guarantee, which no other ISP offers.

Who is AT&T Internet best for?

Here’s who we think AT&T’s DSL plans are best for:

  • Anyone looking for a cheaper internet plan
  • Those who live in rural areas with limited internet options
  • People who do a little video or music streaming here, a little online gaming there

Pros

  • High-value Internet 10–100 plan
  • Better speed performance than most other DSL ISPs

Cons

  • Intro pricing goes up after one year
  • 1 TB data cap on all plans

Viasat: Fastest satellite internet

Satellite internet may be slow, but Viasat tops the chart for satellite speeds.

Satellite internet has historically been a little slow, but if you live in a rural area, it might be your only choice. And luckily for you, Viasat released some impressively high-speed plans (by satellite standards, anyway).

Not so impressive were Viasat’s scores on the FCC report—however, we strongly believe there’s a good reason for that. You see, the FCC report tested ISPs during September 2017, and Viasat’s newest ViaSat-2 satellite didn’t start offering service (and faster speeds) until February 2018.3

And while HughesNet, the only other satellite ISP in the US, scored a whopping 177% for actual-to-advertised speed performance on the FCC report, it caps out at 25 Mbps.1 (That’s sooo slow compared to Viasat’s current speed cap of 100 Mbps.)

Viasat speed test scores 20181, 2
SourceRankAverage actual speed
FCC14 out of 1689,6%
HighSpeedInternet.com1 out of 2 satellite ISPs

Data effective 8/1/2019.

If you live in the country but still feel the need for speed, then Viasat’s fastest plan—Unlimited Platinum 100—is most compelling, but it’s also the plan with the least availability.

Because of the way satellite internet works, Viasat’s plans, prices, and speeds change a lot based on your location. How much you pay and what speeds you can get both depend on where you live.

Viasat plans, prices, and speeds
PlanPriceDownload speedData capDetails
Unlimited Bronze 12$50/mo.^12 Mbps40 GBView Plan
Unlimited Silver 12$65/mo.^12 Mbps60 GBView Plan
Unlimited Gold 12$95/mo.^12 Mbps100 GBView Plan
Unlimited Bronze 25$50/mo.^25 Mbps35 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.

The other thing to watch out for with satellite internet is data caps. While cable and even DSL come with comparably sky-high data caps, you’ll need to keep a close eye on how much Peppa Pig your kiddo is streaming on YouTube with satellite internet.

Info Box icon
There are only two satellite ISPs? What gives?
Along with steep prices, satellite internet comes with only two options: Viasat and HughesNet. We recommend Viasat for speed, but HughesNet internet might be worth checking out if you don’t mind a slower speed and want to see if you can get a better deal in your area.

Who is Viasat best for?

Viasat might be your best bet if this sounds like you:

  • Live in a rural area without a lot of ISPs
  • Need fast internet for work or hobbies
  • Don’t need internet for gaming, video chats, or VPNs

If you have access to a cable or fiber plan, then we’ll always recommend those over satellite internet. Satellite costs a lot of money, even for relatively low speeds—and you usually get less high-speed data than you would from a non-satellite provider.

But if you live somewhere where your only other option is dial-up, then Viasat’s an easy choice.

Pros

  • Better prices than HughesNet even with the 3-month price hike
  • Faster available speeds than HughesNet

Cons

  • Low data caps on all plans
  • Not-so-great speed scores from the FCC report

Recap: The 5 fastest internet providers of 2019

Which ISPs made the cut for fastest internet based on the FCC’s 2018 report and HighSpeedInternet.com’s rankings? Let’s take another quick look at the fastest broadband plans out there:

  • AT&T Fiber: Fastest speeds overall. AT&T trumps Verizon Fios with equally impressive fiber speed performance but better availability across the US (and sometimes lower prices).
  • Verizon Fios: Also fast fiber internet. Verizon Fios tends to operate in fewer areas, but those areas typically aren’t covered by competing fiber ISPs. It also has speed performance scores worth writing home about.
  • Xfinity: Fastest cable internet. With widespread availability and some of the best speed performance scores for cable ISPs, Xfinity is hard to beat.
  • AT&T Internet: Fastest DSL internet. Though it offers only two DSL plans, AT&T Internet performs well when it comes to speed. Its Internet 10–100 plan also offers a lot of value for the price.
  • Viasat: Fastest satellite internet. If you want the fastest speeds satellite internet can provide, choose Viasat. It even has better prices than the single competing satellite ISP.

Compare the fastest internet speeds in your area.

Methodology

How’d we get these speed performance scores, anyway? We’re glad you asked.

Our FCC scores were taken from the commission’s 2018 Measuring Broadband Across America: Fixed Broadband Report.

We looked at the actual speeds compared to advertised speeds for 16 different ISPs and 54 different speed tiers, as measured by the FCC in September 2017. We then added those scores up and divided them by the number of different plans the FCC reported on to get the average actual-to-advertised speed scores we referenced here.

We also turned to HighSpeedInternet.com’s Fastest Internet Providers 2019 report. This report used weighted scores calculated from data collected from the site’s own speed test, which included both download and upload speeds.

Last but certainly not least, our rankings for fastest internet also took into account each ISP’s pricing and availability (and, to a lesser extent, data caps).

Sources

  1. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), “2018 Measuring Broadband Across America: Fixed Broadband Report
  2. HighSpeedInternet.com, “The Fastest Internet Providers 2019
  3. Viasat, “Viasat’s Growing Fleet of Satellites
  • Jose Francisco Fernandes

    We like Optimum and Suddenlink communications from Altice USA

  • NMI

    What is the fastest internet choice for Brooklyn NY

  • NMI

    What is the fastest internet for brooklyn, new york

  • Siflbiscuit

    This is great and all except in a lot of places, one cable company has a monopoly and you have ZERO choices. I have Suddenlink where I live. You have no other options for cable internet. DSL can’t even match the speeds. The problem is, Suddenlink rips you off monthly. I pay for 400 Mbps and I barely get 70. This mess started when I noticed I was paying for 100 mbps, was barely clearing 30, and they instituted a data cap which I was perpetually passing. We’re a family of four. 350gig per month is nothing. They keep raising the speeds they claim to offer, then raising the unlimited data cap to whatever max speed they offer, then charge more for speeds they have no intention of actually providing. I have changed modems three times, now using one of their own, and I STILL don’t get what I’m paying for. I’m beginning to think they aren’t even able to offer 400, they just claim they can so they can continue to rip people off who need an unlimited cap. I’m just disgusted with this entire company but don’t know who to go to or what to do.