Google Fiber Review 2020

Google Fiber offers extraordinary speeds at competitive prices, if you live in the right place.
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Price range:
$60–$70/mo.*
Speeds:
1000 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited
Recent Updates: 2 months ago
Are you experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19? Google Fiber offers the following resources that may help:
  • No late fees. Google Fiber doesn't charge late fees ever, only reconnect fees if your service is disconnected. You can contact customer service to have your reconnect fee waived.
  • No data caps. Every Google Fiber plan automatically comes with unlimited data.
  • Contact customer service if you're unable to pay your bill.
You can read more about Google Fiber's response to COVID-19, and we hope you and your family are staying safe.
More than 6 months
Google Fiber has signed the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) Keeping Americans Connected Pledge in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This means that, for the next 60 days, Google Fiber customers can expect the following:

  • No service disconnects (be sure to contact customer service if you receive a late payment notice)
  • Waived late fees (Google Fiber never charged late fees in the first place)
  • Public Wi-Fi hotspots for anyone in the US
  • No data caps—Google Fiber has always had unlimited data
You can read more about Google Fiber's response to COVID-19, and we hope you and your family are staying safe.

When I moved back to my hometown of Salt Lake City a few years ago, I found that it wasn’t the same podunk town I’d grown up in. There were now craft breweries, startup tech companies, and the fashion trends were only half a decade behind San Francisco.

But I realized we’d truly made it into the big leagues when I heard that Google had chosen Salt Lake as one of the places to test its new Fiber internet service. Of course, I signed up. And I haven’t regretted it.

Google Fiber provides affordable, fast, and reliable internet that does seem to live up to the hype. The biggest problem is that it still hasn’t landed in many places across the country. (Not every town can be as hip as Salt Lake City . . . right?)

Pros

  • Fastest internet provider in the US3
  • Affordable
  • Month-to-month contracts

Cons

  • Limited availability

Find out if Google Fiber is available near you.

Google Fiber prices and plans

Google wants my money? Can’t I just give it more of my personal information?

Google Fiber has two types of plans: Fiber and Webpass. Fiber operates like most other internet service providers (ISPs), by hooking up internet in individual residences. Webpass is a unique sort of internet service that is available only in certain apartment and office buildings (more on that below).

Google Fiber plans
PlanPrice Download speedDetails
Fiber 1000$70/mo.*1,000 MbpsView Plan
Webpass$60/mo. or $550/yr.*100–1000 Mbps (depending on location)View Plan

Data effective 05/24/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Plus taxes and fees. Service not available in all areas

As you can see, Google has a less-is-more philosophy when it comes to its plans. If you’re in a Fiber service area, you’re 1000 Mbps (enough bandwidth for a large family or a small business). If you’re in a Webpass service area, your download speed ranges from 100–1,000 Mbps, depending on where you are.

That means if you use your home internet only for updating your OkCupid profile and binging Jane the Virgin (admit it, you’re hooked), then you might want to consider companies with some slower, cheaper options, like Xfinity.

Google’s Fiber 1000 plan is one of the cheaper gigabit-speed plan available in the United States, putting it alongside big names such as Verizon Fios and Frontier. That’s real nice.

And what about this whole Webpass thing? Let us explain.

Google Fiber and Webpass

Google’s sluggish pace in rolling out its internet service definitely ruffled a few feathers. Maybe that’s why Google bought a company called Webpass to extend its service footprint into major cities like Miami, Seattle, and Atlanta.

Megaphone icon
Do I even have Google Fiber where I live?
Want to know if Google Fiber or Webpass is available in your area? Use Google Fiber’s tool to find out.

In these cities, Google Fiber uses Webpass’ network technology. Rather than running a cable into your house, Webpass has an extensive network of tower-to-tower wireless relays that connect nearby apartments and office buildings to a central hub.

This means Webpass is only available in equipped buildings, and your internet speed will depend entirely on your building’s infrastructure. It’s certainly not traditional internet, but it can be a screamin’ deal for gigabit speeds if you live in the right place.

Google Fiber Bundles

Not surprisingly, Google Fiber has limited (as in one) bundling options. Both options will get you HD-quality DVR, built-in Google Cast (so you can stream to your TV), and one free TV box rental. And you can opt to pay for additional premium channels if you want ‘em.

Google Fiber bundles
PlanPriceDownload speedChannelsDetails
Fiber 1,000 + TV$175/mo.*1000 Mbps150+View Plan
Home Phone+$10/mo.*N/AN/AView Plan

Data effective 12/13/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Plus taxes and fees. Service not available in all areas.

Google is a bit of a noob in the telecommunications industry, which makes it hard to compete with giants like AT&T that can bundle together offerings from multiple subsidiaries (like DIRECTV).

Our Google Fiber internet plan recommendation

Fiber 1000

Who it’s best for: Gamers, home-businesses, large families

Why we picked it: Sure, it’s Google Fiber’s only plan, but if you want a fast internet plan, this is the cream of the crop, the pick of the litter, the whole kit and caboodle.

Not only is Fiber 1000 one of the country’s best gigabit internet plans, it also tends to be one of the most affordable. This plan could go toe-to-toe with any of the top gaming ISPs and probably win.

Fiber 1000
Price*SpeedData capDetails
$70/mo.*1000 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan

Data effective 12/13/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Plus taxes and fees. Service not available in all areas.

A badge depicting this brand as the Reviews.org Editor's Choice for September 2020

Google Fiber internet speed and data

Google sets the bar with gigabit speeds, earning the title of the fastest internet provider and our Editor’s Choice pick for speed.

Some have suggested that Google developed Fiber just to spur competition in the ISP market, raising speeds for all internet users.1 Higher user speeds means more revenue for Google (which owns Youtube and many other online services).

Well, if that was Google’s goal, then it worked. Ever since Google’s announcement in 2009, there’s been a sort of race to the top among ISPs to develop gigabit speed internet networks. No one wants to lag behind in an industry that’s based on speed.

But the question is, now that other companies have started catching up, how does Google Fiber compare?

Google Fiber speeds
PlanDownload speedUpload speedData capLearn more
Fiber 10001,000 Mbps1000 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
Webpass100–1000 Mbps100–1000 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans

Data effective 12/13/19. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Just by looking at the numbers—1,000 Mbps—it’s clear that Fiber offers fast internet. But speed isn’t just about the numbers. If your ISP is unreliable or has a data cap, you could miss the new The Handmaid’s Tale episode no matter how many Mbps you’ve paid for.

Fortunately for Fiber customers, Google’s service runs on a brand-spankin’-new fiber-optic network that provides reliability, symmetrical upload/download speeds, and no data caps. Fiber-optic networks will almost always beat out older cable networks, no matter what the advertised speeds are.

Google Fiber internet speed score3
ProviderReviews.org weighted score
Google Fiber75.6 out of 100

Google Fiber earned the top weighted score in our latest analysis of the fastest ISPs in the US. It scored almost 10 points higher than the next fastest ISP, making it a no-brainer if you live in a city where Google Fiber is available.

Real quick: that weighted score isn’t a reflection of Google Fiber’s actual download speeds. Instead, it’s a combination of the average download speeds, upload speeds, and latency seen in more than 1 million speed tests from 2019.

Google Fiber fees, contracts, and equipment

You know, all the stuff your ISP hopes you’ll forget about.

Google Fiber service contracts

Contracts. Companies love ‘em, people hate ‘em.

You do have to sign a contract with Google Fiber, but this contract is relatively simple. Google Fiber offers just a single one-size-fits-all month-to-month contract with basically zero extra fees.

For its Webpass services, Google Fiber offers a month-to-month contract or a discounted yearly rate for its customers.

Google Fiber service fees

Google Fiber claims to have no hidden fees—and, in fact, that seems to be the case.

  • Installation fees: Fiber plans will sometimes charge a “construction fee” if installation requires extra work. (For what it’s worth, I never had to pay this for my residence.) Webpass has no installation fees.
  • Early termination fees: None! For real.

Google Fiber equipment and fees

We’re going to award a few bonus points to Fiber here for offering free fiber jacks and Wi-Fi network boxes to their customers (though you have to pay if you want more than one).

You can also get online with Webpass without renting any extra equipment. However, if you want Wi-Fi with Webpass, you’ll have to provide your own router. (We recommend this TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router from Amazon.)

Google Fiber customer service

It’s almost as helpful as a Google search.

Google Fiber has helped revolutionize the home-internet industry. However, it’s still a telecommunications company, and that means customer service complaints.

You can find plenty of horror stories online—mostly about installation and billing issues—from people who signed up for Google Fiber. But I challenge you to find a company that doesn’t have similar online complaints.

While Google Fiber certainly has its issues, a Consumer Reports survey suggests that customers are happier with Google than with pretty much any other ISP.3

You can also contact Google Fiber online here:

Recap: Is Google Fiber good?

A simple, reliable, and truly fast internet service with limited availability

As an objective researcher, I can say that Google Fiber is good. As a personal user, I can say that Google Fiber is great.

But even great services have their blind spots. And Google Fiber’s biggest blind spot is most of the United States. Until the company can get better coverage in suburban and rural areas, it will never be a real leader in the ISP world.

Fiber also lacks a variety of plan options. If you’re just in the market for a cheap, low-speed internet package for streaming Netflix, then you might want to check out some other options.

But if you do live in the company’s service area and you want gigabit internet speeds, then Google’s affordable Fiber 1000 plan is nearly unbeatable. At least, that’s our take. We’d love to hear yours too. Share your questions, concerns, and stories about Google Fiber in the comments section!

Google Fiber prices, plans, and download speeds recap

  • Fiber 1,000: $70/mo.*, download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
  • Webpass: $60/mo. or $550/yr.*, 100–1,000 Mbps download speeds

Make sure Google Fiber is available in your area.

Sources