How Much Do Internet and Wi-Fi Cost?
If you’re like us, you think of internet in much the same way you do hot water and electricity: it’s essential. Your internet connection is just one more utility bill to pay for—especially if the neighbor whose Wi-Fi you’ve been stealing just locked down their signal with a password. Shh, we won’t tell.
But how much should you expect to shell out each month for internet service? We’re here to tell you.
How much does internet cost per month?
We compared prices across a bunch of different internet providers and found the average internet plan will cost you around $70 per month. If that seems high, it’s just because so many ultra-fast gigabit plans are coming out lately and they tend to skew the price.
If you don’t need the fastest service, you can find a more basic internet plan for closer to $50 per month—not counting those sweet promo prices you sometimes get for the first year or so.
|Provider||Monthly price||Download speeds||Learn more|
|Xfinity Internet||$19.99–$299.95*||15–2000 Mbps||View Plans|
|CenturyLink Internet||$49–$65†||15–940 Mbps||View Plans|
|AT&T Internet||$39.99–$50‡||5–100 Mbps||View Plans|
|Verizon Fios||$39.99–$79.99^||200–940 Mbps||View Plans|
What about Wi-Fi?
Some ISPs charge an extra fee for Wi-Fi enabled modems. But if you already have a router then you don’t even need that feature and you can usually just call your internet service provider (ISP) and have it turned off. It’ll save you a few bucks each month.
If you don’t have a router, you might want to get one of your own. In case you’re wondering, the router is the little box that distributes your Wi-Fi signal through your house so your connection doesn’t drop while you’re playing Alto’s Adventure in the bathroom.
If you want a super fancy router, you might pay over $100. But you can get more basic models for between $20 and $60.
How much is high-speed internet?
Technically, high-speed internet is a connection with 25 Mbps or more of download speed. That’s fine for one person, but if you have multiple people in your house all watching HD shows at the same time, you’ll need to double, triple, or even quadruple that.
That said, don’t pay extra for speed you don’t need. You don’t have to pay for one of those lightning-fast gigabit plans if all you really do is browse Facebook. But if you have nine kids and they all want to watch Hulu at the same time, maybe a gigabit sounds about right.
Those luxury gigabit plans will cost you around $100 per month. But before you get too excited about them, make sure there’s a gigabit plan available in your area.
Can you just get Wi-Fi?
The short answer is no. Wi-Fi is just the radio signal that lets you connect to the internet without hooking up a wire—it’s not an internet connection in and of itself.
Should you bundle internet with other services?
Yes! Well, sometimes.
If you want a traditional TV service (or *gasp* a landline phone), then bundling with your internet service could save you some money. But don’t sign on for cable TV just to get the lower internet price. In the long term, bundling can cost you more than a single internet plan if you don’t actually want or need the services you’re bundling with.
Can you get internet for just a short amount of time?
Does internet service have any hidden fees?
These are some common fees your ISP might tack on to your bill:
- Installation fee
- Equipment rental fee
- Data cap fees
Installation fees are a one-time thing and they usually cost around $100. Some ISPs will give you free installation. Even if they don’t, you can ask them to waive the fee. No harm in trying, right?
An equipment rental fee is the price you pay to lease equipment (like a modem, a router, or both) from your ISP. You can get around this fee if you buy your own equipment. But only do that if you plan to keep your service for at least a couple years.
Data cap fees are what you might pay if you use more than your allotted data each month. These are kind of rare these days. Most ISPs either don’t give you a limit at all or give you a limit so high (like 1 terabyte) that you’ll probably never reach it.
Sometimes you can have lower data caps but not have to pay fees for going over them. For example, satellite internet providers often have soft data caps where they’ll slow down your speeds if you use too much data but you don’t have to pay any fees.
A standard internet bill will probably cost you around $50 per month. You’ll pay double that if you want a super-fast gigabit plan, but you probably don’t need that much speed.
Don’t forget that you also have to pay for things like routers or equipment rental fees. You might also have to pay early termination fees if you sign a contract but decide to cancel early.
How much do you pay for internet every month? Any extra costs you didn’t see coming? Let us know in the comments!