Frontier Internet Review 2021
|Plan||Price||Download speed||Data cap||Details|
|FiberOptic 500 Mbps Internet||$49.99||500 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|FiberOptic Gig Service||$74.99||940 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
Frontier has some good things going for it—namely, no data caps, no contracts, and a fiber-optic network.
Between Frontier’s FiberOptic internet service and its DSL service, we think FiberOptic is the better deal. But we know not everyone has access to fiber internet. That said, Frontier’s DSL internet isn’t a bad deal, though we wish it offered faster speeds than a max of up to 115 Mbps.
So should you get Frontier internet? Let’s dig into the details and find out if Frontier’s prices, internet speeds, and data caps make the cut.
- Great prices for fiber internet plans
- DSL internet options for rural areas
- Unlimited data for all internet plans
- DSL speeds max out at 115 Mbps
Frontier internet prices and plans
Prices for Frontier’s FiberOptic plans are limbo low, but you may find better deals when it comes to its DSL plans.
If you ‘re lucky enough to live where that Frontier’s FiberOptic internet is available, then we recommend getting it.
Fiber internet like this is faster and most often more reliable than cable or DSL internet. And Frontier’s fiber internet comes at some of the lowest prices for the speeds you get.
|Plan||Price||Download speed||Data cap||Details|
|FiberOptic 500 Mbps Internet||$49.99*||500 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
|FiberOptic Gig Service||$74.99†||940 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
The fastest Frontier fiber plan with 940 Mbps speeds rings in at about $80 a month. That’s a pretty average price for gig speeds when compared to other internet providers. And if you want the fastest internet possible, then those speeds will certainly do the trick.
We’ll help you figure out which speed is right for you in our guide to download speeds.
That said, you may not need gigabit internet speeds if you’re a smaller family who just streams an HD movie or two on the weekend. And the prices for Frontier’s and 500 Mbps plans are even better than the price for its gigabit plan. So, we’d say you’re looking at a win-win if you go for either of these plans.
But if you don’t live in an area where Frontier FiberOptic is available, you’re not out of luck. Frontier also has DSL options that come at fairly low prices—but its DSL speeds max out at up to 115 Mbps.
|Plan||Price||Download speed||Data cap||Details|
|Frontier Basic Internet||$32.99‡||Up to 6 Mbps||Unlimited||View Plans|
Still, if Frontier DSL is all you’ve got, know that it’s all right. For about $55 a month, you get up to 115 Mbps download speeds and unlimited data. That’s not a bad price compared to other DSL internet providers—most of which won’t give you unlimited data on top of a good price.
But we wouldn’t recommend download speeds a slow as Frontier’s up to 6 and up to 45 Mbps plans for anyone doing some serious online activities. (Think working from home, gaming, or streaming a lot of YouTube videos.) And if you’ve got more than two people using the internet in your home, you’ll likely need more speed.
That said, we know that Frontier DSL internet might be one of your only—if not the only—choice in your area. Still, we recommend checking out these other rural internet options to see if you have any alternatives.
Where can you get Frontier internet?
Frontier internet is available across most of the US, but you’ll mainly find it in West Virginia, Connecticut, and Illinois.
Frontier internet speed
Frontier maintains fast internet speeds, earning 12th place out of 38 ISPs we analyzed.
Frontier’s FiberOptic internet service comes in 500 and 940 Mbps download speeds, which pretty much suits any need you could have.
The 500 Mbps plan offers great speeds for medium- to large-sized families—or homes full of roommates. These download speeds should support more than a few people streaming, gaming, and working from home all at the same time. (Especially since it’s a fiber connection, which gives you reliably fast upload speeds too.)
|Plan||Download speed||Upload speed|
|FiberOptic 500 Mbps Internet||500 Mbps||500 Mbps|
|FiberOptic Gig Service||940 Mbps||880 Mbps|
And if you mostly use the internet for your home business, freelancing, or streaming on YouTube, you might want to consider the Gig Service plan. With 940 Mbps download speeds, you won’t have to worry that your hour-long Zoom meeting will put a damper on your kiddos’ Disney+ time.
With 50 to 880 Mbps upload speeds, Frontier’s FiberOptic internet plan upload speeds should keep things running smoothly no matter what you’re uploading. That’s the magic of fiber internet.
But its DSL internet plans may struggle to get your newest YouTube video or photo gallery uploaded in a timely manner. Frontier doesn’t list upload speeds for these plans, but we’d imagine they’re 10 Mbps or lower.
On the other end of the Frontier speed spectrum is its DSL plans. Although its fastest plan can reach up to 115 Mbps speeds, DSL tends to be less reliable in terms of speed performance. That’s mainly because it’s an older technology.
We wouldn’t recommend grabbing anything slower than Frontier’s up to 25 Mbps DSL plan if you can avoid it.
Even 25 Mbps is pretty slow—especially if you have more than one person or multiple devices using your internet at the same time. That’s because the more people or devices that use your internet, the more speed you need to keep everyone’s internet connection running smoothly.
|Frontier Basic Internet||Up to 6 Mbps|
How fast is Frontier internet?
But how does Frontier’s internet speed stack up? Not too bad, actually.
In our latest analysis of the fastest internet providers in the US, Frontier ranked 12th out of 38 ISPs. That puts it ahead of other well-known internet providers like Spectrum, AT&T, and Cox.
|Provider||Reviews.org weighted score|
|Frontier||36 out of 100|
One thing to note is that this weighted score isn’t representative of any download speeds you’ll get from Frontier. Instead, it’s a combination of the average download and upload speeds, plus latency, that Frontier internet users saw in more than 1 million speed tests taken between January and December 2019.
That said, Frontier’s score is a lot lower than we expected. Other fiber internet providers scored much higher: Google Fiber topped our list with 75.6 out of 100, and Verizon Fios Home Internet was a close second with 65.1 out of 100.
Frontier’s low score is likely due to its slow DSL internet service. So we can hazard a guess that Frontier FiberOptic internet speeds will be good, but its DSL speeds will be lackluster.
Frontier internet data caps
A big selling point for Frontier is that it doesn’t put any data caps on its plans. That’s right: zero caps—even on its DSL plans.
Frontier doesn’t even do that sneaky thing some internet providers do where their data is “technically” unlimited, but there are actually soft data caps—after which your speed slows down to a slow crawl. (We’re looking at you, satellite internet providers.)
Unlimited data is especially important in today’s day and age as most of us continue to work, study, and play at home. If you’re like us, you’ve found that your data usage spiked in 2020. So not paying for extra data is definitely a blessing.
Frontier contracts, equipment, and fees
Frontier recently did away with a handful of confusing fees, making it easier to get a handle on your monthly bill.
We’re pleased as punch to not see any mention of contracts on both Frontier FiberOptic and DSL plans. That doesn’t mean your monthly bill won’t go up after the 12-month promotional period, but it gives you the freedom to change things up without paying a penalty.
The Frontier FiberOptic Gateway Router is an Arris NVG468MQ wireless gateway. That means it can be used as a modem and a router, and comes with Wi-Fi already set up. And it comes included with any FiberOptic internet plan. *fist pump*
The gateway used to cost $10 a month to rent, and Frontier used to charge you the rental fee even if you brought your own modem and router. Thankfully, a new law that went into effect in late 2020 now bans ISPs like Frontier from charging you a rental fee for your own router.1
Frontier service fees
Just like any other internet provider, Frontier’s service comes with a few fees. Though we’re excited to say it recently trimmed these fees down. So, aside from taxes, which change based on your location, here’s what you can expect to pay in terms of Frontier fees:
- Activation fee: $85 one-time fee
- Disconnect fee: $10 one-time fee when your service is disconnected
- Installation fee: None
- Equipment rental fee: None, equipment is included with your FiberOptic internet plan
Frontier customer service
According to the scores, Frontier has the worst customer service out of all internet providers.
No ISP gets amazing marks for customer service, but even among the bad, Frontier is dead last. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) gives Frontier’s customer service a low score of 552, which ranks it below 10 other ISPs—and an eleventh catch-all category of “All Others.”
|Provider||ACSI 2019 score|
|Frontier||55 out of 100|
Like with most ISPs, we recommend using online chat instead of phone calls. But watch out—Frontier’s live chat feature can be a little unreliable. It’s not available 24/7 and it can have some long wait times that make you wish you’d just called.
So if you don’t hear back on chat, schedule a call back or pick up the telephone and give Frontier a call.
Our recommended Frontier internet plan
Best for most families: FiberOptic 500/500
Who it’s best for: Families that use a lot of data for videos, gaming, and uploading—or all three.
Why we picked it: This plan gives you a killer combo of high speeds for a low price. Its fast fiber connection will keep your family happy—and your bank account too. Just make sure it’s available in your area.
Recap: is Frontier internet good?
We think Frontier’s FiberOptic internet service is the better deal, but we like that it also offers DSL service to country-dwelling folks out there. Frontier also lets its customers live the unlimited data dream—even if they have its DSL internet.
And we’re thankful that Frontier recently trimmed down its fees and swapped to no contracts. Oh, and your equipment is now included with your internet plan. Still, it has some work to do in the customer service area.
- Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, “Law Banning ‘Rental’ Fees for Customer-Owned Routers Takes Effect Sunday,” December 2020. Accessed February 25, 2021.
- American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), “ACSI Telecommunications Report 2019–2020,” June 2020. Accessed December 7, 2020.