The Fastest Internet Providers of 2018

We looked through the top internet service providers to find the fastest plans to support your streaming habit.

Overview

If you’re tired of waiting ten minutes for a video to download, or you keep getting that buffering symbol while streaming, then you might need a faster internet plan.

Luckily, more and more internet service providers (ISPs) are offering super-fast plans that will support your gaming habit, speed up your work-from-home job, and stream video for every member of your family all at once without skipping a beat. You just have to figure out which ones are available in your area.

Fastest internet providers prices and speeds

ProviderPricesDownload speedLearn more
Xfinity$29.99–$299.95/mo.15–2000 MpbsView plans
Verizon Fios$39.99–$79.99/mo.*100–up to 940 MpbsView plans
AT&T Internet$40–$80/mo.5–1000 MpbsView plans
Viasat$50–$200/mo.12–100 MbpsView plans

Data effective 9/20/18. Offers, speeds, and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Find a fast internet service near you

Xfinity—Best overall

Xfinity offers some serious speeds and it has plans available almost everywhere.

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 we have to acknowledge that when it comes to speed, Xfinity is top-of-the-line.

Xfinity plans, prices, and speeds

PlansPricesDownload speedsUpload speedsLearn more
Performance Starter$29.99/mo.*15 Mbps2 MbpsView plan
Performance Plus$39.99/mo.*60 Mbps5 MbpsView plan
Performance Pro$54.99/mo.*150 Mbps5 MbpsView plan
Blast! Pro$69.99/mo.*250 Mbps10 MbpsView plan
Gigabit$89.99/mo.*1000 Mbps35 MbpsView plan
Gigabit Pro$299.95/mo.**2000 Mbps2000 MbpsView plan

Data effective 9/20/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For 12 months with contract
**Requires 2-year contract

Pros

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

Cons

  • Lackluster customer service

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 2000 Mbps speeds (that’s two gigabits per second, for the tech nerds out there), you could download ten HD movies in just over three minutes.

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Heads up

Xfinity plans come with a 1 TB data cap, after which you’ll pay $10 for each additional 50 GB of data. The cap is really high, though, so we wouldn’t worry about it too much.

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. Its lower-priced plan, Gigabit, will still give you incredibly fast speeds—and for less than half the price.

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Terminology tip

As internet speeds continue to get faster, you’ll hear the word “gigabit” more and more. One gigabit is equal to 1,000 Mbps. That’s enough speed to download an HD movie in just over one minute.

Who is Xfinity best for?

Xfinity might be your best choice if you’re one of these types of internet users:

  • You play a lot of video games, or you live in a household of gamers who need breakneck internet speeds
  • You live in an area where Xfinity’s super-fast gigabit plans are available
  • You have a household with multiple people on multiple devices who use a lot of data (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.

Verizon Fios—Best for fiber

Verizon doesn’t mess around with multiple types of internet connections: Fios is all fiber all the time.

Fiber-optic internet is usually the fastest option out there. Xfinity’s gigabit cable plans aside, if you want the fastest possible speeds, then fiber is where it’s at. And Verizon Fios focuses only on fiber connections. You don’t have to wonder which plan to pick to get the fiber experience—it’s all of them.

Verizon Fios plans, prices, and speeds

PlansPricesDownload speedsUpload speedsLearn more
100 Mbps$39.99/mo.*Up to 100 MbpsUp to 100 MbpsView plan
300 Mbps$59.99/mo.*Up to 300 MbpsUp to 300 MbpsView plan
Up to 1000 Mbps$79.99/mo.*Up to 940 MbpsUp to 880 MbpsView plan

Data effective 9/20/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*Plus taxes, equipment charges, and other fees

Pros

  • Fiber-based connections
  • Cheaper than Xfinity for near-gigabit level speeds

Cons

  • Limited availability

Who is Verizon Fios best for?

Verizon Fios has pretty limited availability. Right now, you’ll see it almost exclusively in the Northeast, plus a couple of cities in Virginia. So make sure to check your zip code before you get too excited about a Fios plan.

AT&T Internet—Best availability

AT&T Internet’s fiber plan is fast, reliable, and has relatively wide availability across the country.

Xfinity might have the highest speeds on the market, but we’re still pretty excited about the future of fiber-optic internet. And if you want fiber and Google doesn’t cover your area, then AT&T might be your best bet.

AT&T’s DSL plans aren’t that impressive, but its fiber plan (Internet 1000) is super fast and you’ll pay the same price as you would for Xfinity’s lightning-fast Gigabit plan.

AT&T Internet plans, prices, and speeds

PlansPricesDownload speedsLearn more
Internet Basic 5$40/mo.*5 MbpsView plan
Internet$50/mo.*100 MbpsView plan
Internet 300$70/mo.*300 MbpsView plan
Internet 1000$90/mo.*1000 Mbps**View plan

Data effective 9/20/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For the first 12 months with a 1-year contract
**AT&T’s fine print states users’ actual speed is usually 940 Mbps.

Pros

  • Good intro pricing
  • Relatively good availability

Cons

  • Intro pricing goes up after the first year

Compared to other fiber providers, like Verizon Fios, AT&T has relatively good fiber availability. That’s not a guarantee you can sign on the dotted line—you’ll still have to check your zip code. And for what it’s worth, Verizon Fios and AT&T tend to cover separate places. For example, you can get Fios many places in the Northeast, but not AT&T.

Verizon Fios works best for these types of users:

  • You live in a covered area in the Northeast or Virginia
  • You want fast, near-gigabit speeds at a reasonable price
  • You’re interested in fiber internet and want a fiber-exclusive provider

We’ll get even more excited about Verizon Fios as it expands its coverage. In the meantime, you lucky Northeasterners get exclusive access.

Who is AT&T Internet best for?

AT&T’s internet plans, especially its fiber plan, works best for these types of people:

  • You live in a coverage area for AT&T Fiber (check your zip code)
  • You want super-fast speeds
  • You value affordable pricing (compared to other fiber plans)

AT&T is still building out its fiber coverage—it lists dozens of cities as being “underway” for fiber development. If your city doesn’t have AT&T Fiber right now, check back in a year or so.

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Alternate ISP option:

Cox Communications has been steadily expanding coverage of its high-speed Gigablast plans. If you can’t access AT&T Fiber in your area, Cox might have a similarly fast plan available. Check your zip code to find out.

Viasat—Best for satellite

Satellite internet is slower than many cable and fiber options, but Viasat has the fastest 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 has released some impressively high-speed plans (by satellite standards, anyway).

Viasat plans, prices, and speeds

PlansPricesSoft data cap**Download speedsLearn more
Unlimited Bronze 12$50/mo*40 GB12 MbpsView plan
Unlimited Silver 12$65/mo*60 GB12 MbpsView plan
Unlimited Silver 25$70/mo*60 GB25 MbpsView plan
Unlimited Gold 12$95/mo*100 GB12 MbpsView plan
Unlimited Gold 30$100/mo*100 GB30 MbpsView plan
Unlimited Gold 50$100/mo*100 GB50 MbpsView plan
Unlimited Platinum 100$150/mo*150 GB100 MbpsView plan

Data effective 9/20/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*For the first 3 months
**The amount of data after which Viasat may throttle your speeds

If you have 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 depend on where you live.

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Data tip

All Viasat’s plans have “unlimited” data, but they also have soft data caps. That means after a certain amount of data, Viasat will slow your speeds.

Who is Viasat best for?

Viasat is best for these types of users:

  • You live in a rural area without a lot of ISPs
  • You need fast internet for work or hobbies
  • You don’t need internet for gaming, video chats, or VPNs. (Satellite internet doesn’t work well for these activities)

If you have access to a cable or fiber plan, then we will 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.

Recap

If you need the speediest of speedy internet, then these four providers are your best bet. Of course, in the end, it comes down to which one is available in your area—but overall, we recommend choosing either a fast Xfinity cable connection or a fiber connection (if you can get it).

  • Xfinity: We know its customer service is frustrating at best, but Xfinity’s 2000 Mbps plan is the fastest we’ve seen. Plus, it’s the most widely available ISP in the country. Check your zip code to see if the speed you want is an option where you live.
  • Verizon Fios: Fios focuses on fast fiber-optic internet and delivers consistently speedy results. The only problem is it’s hard to find and probably not an option unless you live in specific areas on the East Coast.
  • AT&T Fiber: We don’t have much to say about AT&T’s DSL options, but its fiber plan is excellent and relatively affordable. Plus, AT&T Fiber is more widely available than Fios.
  • Viasat: Satellite internet is never the ideal connection for speed, but Viasat is the fastest satellite option out there for many rural folks. As always, exact speeds depend on where you live.

Methodology

We compared advertised speeds across a variety of ISPs to find the fastest plans available throughout the country. To determine which provider would work best for which people, we compared speeds, prices, and availability. We also included a satellite internet option that covers parts of the country where no other ISP offers service.

  • 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.