How Much Do Internet and Wi-Fi Cost?

Internet’s a necessity, but it doesn’t come cheap

Best overall
Google Fiber
Google Fiber
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Price:
$70.00–$150.00
/mo
  • pro
    Up to 8,000Mbps download speed
  • pro
    Unlimited data
  • con
    Limited availability
Best customer service
ATT
AT&T Fiber
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Price:
$55.00–$22.5.00
/mo
  • pro
    Up to 5,000Mbps download speed
  • pro
    Unlimited data
  • con
    Limited availability
Best for budget users
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet
4 out of 5 stars
4
Price:
$60
/mo
  • pro
    Wireless setup
  • pro
    Unlimited data
  • con
    Slower than other services
Best for content creators
Verizon Authorized Dealer
Verizon Fios Home Internet
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Price:
$49.99–$109.99
/mo
  • pro
    Up to 2,300Mbps download speed
  • pro
    Unlimited data
  • con
    Limited availability
Best cable provider
Spectrum
Spectrum Internet®
4 out of 5 stars
4
Price:
$49.99–$79.99
/mo
  • pro
    Some fiber available
  • pro
    Unlimited data
  • con
    Price hikes
Brianne Sandorf
Apr 09, 2024
Icon Time To Read4 min read

The average American has to fork over a little over $80 a month for their internet plan. That’s nearly $1,000 a year—no small chunk of change.

But of course, internet prices depend on your provider, plan, and location, so you may pay less or more. And the price doesn’t always directly correspond to the quality of your service: Fiber internet providers offer some of the best rates in the country. It offers a better value than cable and DSL plans that give you slower speeds and less reliable performance.

Here’s a guide to how much internet costs and how much you should be paying for it. We have details on prices for the best internet providers in the country and lots of suggestions for lowering your internet bill.

Info Box

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How much do the best internet providers cost?

Reviews.org’s top five internet providers range from $49.99 to $225 a month. The price differences are due to internet type, speed, and location.

The best internet providers
Provider
Monthly price
Download speeds
Upload speeds
Learn more
Google Fiber$70-$150*1000-8000 Mbps1000-8000 Mbps
AT&T Fiber$55-$225300-5000 Mbps300-5000 Mbps
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet$60.0072–245Mbps15–31Mbps
Verizon Fios Home Internet$49.99-$89.99^300-2300 Mbps10-2300 Mbps
Spectrum Internet®$19.99-$89.9930-1000 Mbps°4-35 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* 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.
Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms.
^ Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees
° 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.

How can you lower your internet bill?

If you want to slash internet costs, there are a few things you can try:

  • See and compare internet in your area to find the best deal for your Wi-Fi needs. You might even be able to use this information to negotiate a deal with your current provider.
  • Switch to a slower plan with fewer megabits per second. You probably need fewer of them than you think!
  • Look for promotions and deals. You can get some really good discounts, especially when you’re switching providers.
  • Buy your modem and/or router rather than renting from your ISP. The equipment costs a pretty penny in the beginning, but you’ll actually save money over the life of your internet plan.
  • Bundle your internet with another service. Think mobile phone, TV, or even home security.
  • Sign up for a government program if you’re eligible. It’s a great way to reduce costs if you have a lower income.
  • Negotiate with your provider for a lower price. This doesn’t always work, but what’s the harm in trying?
  • Switch to a cheaper provider. Occasionally, ISPs offer deals where they cover any fees you incur during the switch.

How much do different internet types cost?

There are several different internet types to consider when looking for service:

  • Fiber
  • Cable
  • 5G
  • Fixed wireless
  • DSL
  • Satellite

Each type has different strengths and weaknesses and comes at various price points. Fiber tends to be the fastest, while 5G or fixed wireless are usually the cheapest.

Internet type costs
Internet type
Monthly price range
Download speed range
Upload speed range
Fiber$49.99–$300.00100–10,000Mbps100–10,000Mbps
Cable$20.00–$140.0050–2,000Mbps3–1,000Mbps
5G$35.00–$70.0030–1,000Mbps15–50Mbps
Fixed wireless$15.00–$75.0025–1,000Mbps4–50Mbps
DSL$50.00–$64.9540–140Mbps3–100Mbps
Satellite$49.99–$500.005–220Mbps3–25Mbps

Some of the numbers on this table are a bit alarming, so we want to point out now that the fiber and satellite price ranges skew extraordinarily high due to Ziply Fiber and Starlink, respectively. Ziply Fiber offers a $300 10-gig plan, while Starlink just runs more expensive than competition, perhaps due to its almost-literal reputation as the Tesla of satellite internet.

So what do these price and speed ranges mean?

  • Data travels over fiber infrastructures lightning fast, which is why it can be so expensive. But as we mentioned before, most fiber internet plans don’t include fees, which actually make them a decent deal.
  • If you can’t get fiber, cable is a good substitute. It’s almost as fast as fiber but far more fee heavy, so with cable, you usually pay more for less.
  • 5G wireless internet is relatively new and kinda revolutionary. The installation is so simple that customers do it themselves, cutting out fees for activation, installation, and extra equipment.
  • There’s some overlap between fixed wireless and 5G: Some 5G services are fixed wireless and vice versa. Since fixed wireless is, well, wireless, it also features some price cuts. (Although a technician may need to install an antennae at your place, which will cost you extra in some cases.)
  • DSL isn’t yesteryear’s dialup internet, so it doesn’t make an unholy squawking noise, but it’s still slow and archaic. DSL isn’t the best value either. You get much more bang for your buck with other internet types (except maybe satellite).
  • Satellite internet is exactly what it sounds like—internet transmitted through a satellite. It runs both slow and expensive, but if you’re in a rural area with negligible internet infrastructure, it’s a lifesaver.
Internet vs. Wi-Fi
Info Box

Internet and Wi-Fi are technically different. Internet data is transferred over the World Wide Web and, while Wi-Fi is a wireless connection that runs over a router, hotspot, or cell phone.

Many internet providers charge extra for Wi-Fi, usually through router rental fees. However, you can sometimes avoid these fees altogether by providing a service-compatible router on your own dime. Buying a router outright may mean paying more in a lump sum at the start, but you’ll save cash over time.

What hidden costs or fees do internet plans include?

When researching internet plans, keep an eye out for any costs or fees not mentioned up front.

  • Installation fees are the fees you pay for an internet technician to install your equipment. This usually runs around $100.
  • Equipment rental fees are monthly payments for the use of your equipment, usually between $10 and $15.
  • Service activation fees are a one-time charge for turning on your internet service. They typically aren’t super high—usually less than $100.
  • Data overage fees are the cost you pay when you exceed your monthly data allowance. These vary based on providers, but our top recommended providers don’t have them.
  • A contract cancellation fee is the sum you pay when you cancel your internet contract prematurely. It could be a flat fee, or it could be a percentage of the money you’d pay over your remaining contract term.

Similarly, some internet plans require signing a contract or enrolling in an autopay service. Make sure you know what you’re agreeing to when you sign up.

Will my internet provider require an annual contract?
Heads Up

The internet industry is moving away from the traditional contract model. Most internet commitments now go month to month.

However, some providers still require a contract. When you look at the monthly price of those internet services, make sure you’re okay with paying it over the contract's lifetime.

What’s an internet price hike?

A price hike occurs when your internet plan's monthly price increases after a set time period. For instance, you might sign up for a plan for $25 for three months. After those three months, the price increases.

Some price hikes occur with month-to-month service, so cancel if you can't pay the increased cost. However, some price hikes occur within a long-term contract. In that case, you must either stick things out or pay the service cancellation fee.

Always read a plan's fine print when you sign up so there are no surprises, i.e., unexpected price hikes.

Methodology

To determine the average monthly cost of the internet in the U.S., we surveyed 1,500 Americans in 2023 and took the median price from that survey.

For price and speed ranges, we looked at the highest and lowest prices and the fastest and slowest speeds in each internet type.

Brianne Sandorf
Written by
Brianne Sandorf
Brianne has a degree in English and creative writing from Westminster College and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Before joining Reviews.org, she wrote safety and security content for ASecureLife.com. Her pieces and quotes are published across the web, including on MSN.com, Social Catfish, and Parents.com. Hobbies include wearing a seatbelt, wearing a life jacket, and keeping her arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Contact her at brianne@reviews.org.

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