How Much Do Internet and Wi-Fi Cost?

We sifted through internet prices for 20+ large providers and found that Americans can expect to shell out about $61 a month for internet.

Catherine McNally
Feb 23, 2024
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The amount of money Americans spend on their internet service each month varies a lot depending on connection type and location.

Aside from connection type and location, other features like data caps and download speeds can throw your bill for a loop too. That means you need to consider a lot of items when you buy an internet plan.

Let’s take a look at how the pricing breaks down to see if you’re getting a good deal on your internet—and what to do if you’re not.

How much does internet cost per month?

We compared prices across our favorite internet providers and found the average internet plan costs around $72.09 per month.

The best internet service providers
Provider
Monthly price
Download speeds
Upload speeds
Data cap
Connection type
Learn more
Xfinity Internet$19.99-$120*75-2000 Mbps10-35 Mbps1200 MbpsCable/Fiber
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet$60-$60245-245 Mbps31-31 MbpsUnlimitedFixed Wireless
Spectrum Internet®$19.99-$89.9930-1000 Mbps4-35 MbpsUnlimitedCable
AT&T Fiber$55–$225^300-5000 Mbps300-5000 MbpsUnlimitedFiber
Verizon Fios Home Internet$49.99-$89.99°300-2300 Mbps10-2300 MbpsUnlimitedFiber
Viasat Internet$69.99-$299.99**12-100 Mbps3-3 MbpsUnlimitedSatellite
CenturyLink Internet$50-$75††100-940 Mbps10-940 MbpsUnlimitedDSL/Fiber
Cox Internet$9.95-$149.99‡‡100-2000 Mbps5-100 Mbps1280 MbpsCable
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Pricing for some packages are for the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms.
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.
^ Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
° Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees
** Offer available to new qualifying customers. One-time standard installation fee may be due at checkout. Minimum 24-month service term required. Equipment lease fee is $12.99/mo. Taxes apply. Service is not available in all areas. Offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time.
†† Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply.
‡‡ Prices exclude taxes, surcharges, usage-based charges, certain equipment, and other fees or charges, which are subject to change.

If $72.09 a month seems high, it’s not just you.The average internet cost was just $57 a month back in December 2020. The good news is that although internet service has gotten more expensive, it’s also gotten faster—up to nearly 3,000 Gig on average.

But most people don’t need the fastest service, so if you can go for something slower, you might be able to save some cash.

For instance, both fixed wireless and 5G plans are slower than average but cost less, around $50 a month. (Satellite plans are slower but cost more.) Unfortunately, fixed wireless and 5G internet services aren’t available everywhere, so it really depends on where you live.

Going for a cable or DSL internet plan instead of fiber (or instead of satellite) can also save you some cash, although we would definitely recommend cable over DSL. DSL service availability is shrinking by the day.

Here’s what the average monthly cost looks like when you break it down by all internet connection types.

Average internet cost per month by connection type
Connection type
Average monthly cost
Download speed range
Cable$85.283–500 Mbps
Fiber$98.12300–8,000 Mbps
5G$51.8372–940 Mbps
Fixed wireless$51.053–500 Mbps
DSL$64.99Up to 2,000 Mbps
Satellite$81.2415–100 Mbps
All connection types$72.0988–2,840 Mbps

Data as of 11/27/2023.

A quick note: our DSL data isn’t complete here. AT&T offers its DSL with a DIRECTV package, which makes it a little different (and a lot more expensive) than other internet offerings. If we add this combo back into our data, it skews the monthly DSL average to $104.37.

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What is the average monthly cost of Wi-Fi?

If we’re being pedantic, we would say there is no monthly Wi-Fi bill, since Wi-Fi is technically not internet itself, just how you access your internet wirelessly.

But pedantry aside, some internet service providers charge an extra fee for your Wi-Fi-enabled modems and routers. Usually, the average Wi-Fi cost for this is $5–$15 a month. Generally, your cost won’t change if you choose to use Ethernet instead of your equipment’s wireless functions since you need a modem and router to use your internet anyway.

If you prefer to skip the equipment rental fee, you can grab a Wi-Fi-enabled modem or router for fairly cheap. These cost anywhere from $50–$200, depending on the features you’re looking for.

So the average monthly Wi-Fi cost is your equipment rental fee or purchase price on top of your monthly subscription fee.

How much is cable internet?

The average bill is $85.28 a month for anyone the rocking cable internet providers we recommend.

Whereas once cable internet was more of a luxury, with the fall of DSL, it’s actually one of our default recommendations. It’s quite fast but not as expensive as other internet types

Cable internet prices and providers in the US
Provider
Monthly price range
Download speed range
Details
Spectrum Internet®$19.99-$89.9930-1000 Mbps
Buckeye Internet$39.99-$89.99^^200-1000 Mbps
Cox Internet$9.95-$149.99‡‡100-2000 Mbps
Astound Broadband Powered by Grande$25-$60°°300-1500 Mbps
Mediacom Internet$34.99-$54.99***100-1000 Mbps
Optimum Internet$30-$265†††300-8000 Mbps
Astound Broadband Powered by RCN$25-$60‡‡‡300-1500 Mbps
Sparklight Internet$25-$115^^^50-940 Mbps
WOW! Internet$30-$185°°°100-5000 Mbps
Xfinity Internet$19.99-$120*75-2000 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
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.
^^ Offer available to new customers that have not had Video and Internet with Buckeye Broadband within the last 60 days.
‡‡ Prices exclude taxes, surcharges, usage-based charges, certain equipment, and other fees or charges, which are subject to change.
°° Includes $10 discount for 12 months w/ ebill & autopay. Experienced speeds may vary. Excludes surcharges and fees. New residential customers only.
*** For the first 12 months.
††† Prices w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Terms apply. Not available in all areas.
‡‡‡ Observed speeds may vary. Exludes surcharges and fees. Equipment extra. New residential customers only.
^^^ Equipment, taxes, fees, and any applicable surcharge extra. Actual speeds vary and are subject to equipment limitations. Wi-Fi speeds will be substantially lower.
°°° With AutoPay & paperless billing. Equipment, taxes, data allowance, and other fees extra. Other restrictions apply to usage-based plans.
* Pricing for some packages are for the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.

Most cable internet plans cost $100 or less, but there are a few exceptions: Cox, Sparklight, and Spectrum all offer gig plans with steep monthly prices over $100.

How much is fiber internet?

Our top fiber internet provider recommendation costs average out to $98.12 a month. That’s more than you’ll pay, on average, for any other type of internet. But fiber might be worth it thanks to its ability to deliver faster download and upload speeds.

Here’s a look at some of the top US fiber internet providers’ price ranges.

Fiber internet prices and providers in the US
Provider
Monthly price range
Download speed range
Details
AT&T Fiber$55–$225^300-5000 Mbps
CenturyLink Internet$50-$75††100-940 Mbps
Earthlink Internet$54.95-$189.95****45-5000 Mbps
Frontier Fiber Internet$44.99-$154.99††††500-5000 Mbps
Google Fiber$70–$150‡‡‡‡1000-8000 Mbps
Astound Broadband Powered by Grande$25-$60°°300-1500 Mbps
MetroNet$29.95-$69.9^^^^100-1000 Mbps
Optimum Internet$30-$265†††300-8000 Mbps
Verizon Fios Home Internet$49.99-$89.99°300-2300 Mbps
Windstream Internet$39.99-$169.99°°°°100-2000 Mbps
Xfinity Internet$19.99-$120*75-2000 Mbps
Ziply Fiber$20-$300100-10000 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^ Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
†† Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply.
**** With a 12 month contract.
†††† Requires Auto Pay or $5/mo. fee applies. Beginning April 2022, a printed bill fee of $2.99/mo. will apply, NY, PA and select customers excluded. A $10 fee applies when Internet is disconnected. Equipment return required at disconnection, up to $150 per device if not returned. Multi-Device Security covers up to 10 devices. Other applicable charges and additional services are extra. Service subject to availability. Cannot be combined with other offers. Other restrictions, Frontier policies and service terms apply.
‡‡‡‡ 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.
°° Includes $10 discount for 12 months w/ ebill & autopay. Experienced speeds may vary. Excludes surcharges and fees. New residential customers only.
^^^^ Offers available to new residential customers only and may not be combined with other offers. MetroNet reserves the right to revoke or modify offers at any time. Taxes, fees, and other terms apply.
††† Prices w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Terms apply. Not available in all areas.
° Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees
°°°° With Auto Pay for 12 months
* Pricing for some packages are for the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
For new residential customers only. No annual contract required. Prices shown are before taxes and fees and require autopay and paperless billing. Standard month to month pricing.

Despite the high prices for fiber internet, if you want download speeds for days that don’t kick the bucket during peak usage hours and fast upload speeds to match, fiber’s the way to go. It goes without saying that, if you have a choice, fiber internet is the créme de la créme for livestreamers, YouTubers, and WFH hustlers.

Some fiber internet plans might not be fully fiber

Many providers, like CenturyLink, Windstream, and Comcast Xfinity, use a fiber-hybrid type of connection that uses existing cable or DSL networks and enhances them with fiber-optics. These lines are still able to get you those fiber-optic download speeds, but might be lacking when it comes to upload speeds.

How much is 5G internet?

Our recommended 5G providers come in at $51.83 per month on average. That’s a pretty good deal—although right now, 5G providers start at 72 Mbps (which is fine but not amazing) and don’t even get up to a Gig! So if you want the swiftest service around, this isn’t for you.

Most of the time, we recommend 5G in rural areas. But if swapping high speeds for lower prices appeals to you, you might want 5G even if you aren’t rural—just cross your fingers that you live in a service area.

5G home internet prices and providers in the US
Provider
Monthly price range
Download speed range
Details
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet$60-$60245-245 Mbps
Verizon 5G Home Internet$35-$70300-1000 Mbps
AT&T Fiber$55-$225^300-5000 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms.
w/ Auto Pay. Available in select areas.
^ Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.

How much is fixed wireless internet?

Fixed wireless is not only fixed and wireless, it’s also surprisingly affordable (but not super speedy). Our favorite fixed wireless providers come in at a monthly average of $51.05.

Again, fixed wireless speeds aren’t super speedy—although some of our recommended providers do get up to a Gig, and none of them ever fall below the definition of high-speed internet. Like 5G, we mostly recommend this one in rural areas, although it may meet your needs even if you’re more urban.

Fixed wireless internet prices and providers in the US
Provider
Monthly price range
Download speed range
Details
Rise Broadband$39.95-$6525-250 Mbps
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet$60-$60245-245 Mbps
Verizon LTE Home$60-$6050-50 Mbps
Zentro$29.00–$59.0025–1,000Mbps
AT&T Internet Air$55-$55140-140 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
w/ Auto Pay. Regulatory fees included in monthly price for qualified accounts. See full terms.

How much is DSL internet service?

The average monthly bill for the DSL internet we suggest is $64.99.

As DSL infrastructures age, we’re seeing DSL internet costs increase as providers upgrade their networks.

Some of the biggest DSL providers in the US are AT&T, CenturyLink, Earthlink, Frontier, Windstream, and Verizon. Here are DSL internet plans for each of those providers.

DSL internet prices and providers in the US
Provider
Monthly price range
Download speed range
Details
AT&T Internet$55^Up to 140
CenturyLink Internet50100
Earthlink Internet$49.95/mo.45
Earthlink Internet$59.95/mo.45 Mbps
Earthlink Internet$69.95/mo.60 Mbps
Earthlink Internet$69.95/mo.80 Mbps
Earthlink Internet$64.95/mo.75 Mbps
Frontier High Speed Internet64.990-0 Mbps
Kinetic Internet by Windstream Up to 100 Mbps$39.99/mo.Up to 100 Mbps
Kinetic Internet by Windstream Up to 500 Mbps$39.99/mo.Up to 500 Mbps
Verizon High Speed Internet$25.00/mo.°0.5–1 Mbps
Verizon High Speed Internet$0-$0°1.1–3 Mbps
Verizon High Speed Internet$0-$0°3.1–7 Mbps
Verizon High Speed Internet$70.00/mo.°7.1–15 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^ Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
With Auto Pay for 12 months.
° Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees

How much is satellite internet?

Connecting to our recommended satellite internet providers costs Americans $81.24 a month on average. That’s a pretty steep price, but when you’re out in the country and your city hasn’t even run water lines to your home, you may not have much of a choice.

Have a peek at prices for the top satellite internet providers in the United States.

Satellite internet prices and providers in the US
Provider
Monthly price range
Download speed range
Details
Hughesnet Internet$49.99-$79.9950–100 Mbps
Viasat Internet$69.99-$299.99**12-100 Mbps
Starlink$120-$50040-220 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Service plans require a 24-month commitment. Pricing not available in all areas.
** Offer available to new qualifying customers. One-time standard installation fee may be due at checkout. Minimum 24-month service term required. Equipment lease fee is $12.99/mo. Taxes apply. Service is not available in all areas. Offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time.
Plus hardware, shipping & handling fees, and tax. Fully refundable. Depending on location, some orders may take 6 months or more to fulfill.

If satellite internet is the best choice for you, take a look at our comparison review of Viasat vs Hughesnet.

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How much does extra-fast internet cost per month?

When looking at internet, apart from looking at the type, you also might want to consider whether the internet is high-speed and whether it features a gigabit (or gigabit-plus) plan.

How much is high-speed internet?

How much is gigabit internet?

As of time of writing (November 2023), our favorite high-speed internet providers cost an average of $74.33 per month.

That’s excluding any internet plans with speeds below 25 Mbps, since high-speed internet comes with 25 Mbps or more of download speed. And just to be clear, internet speeds of 25 Mbps are likely 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 speed.

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, gigabit internet might justify the cost versus listening to complaints 24/7.

If you’re feeling the need for one-gig speed, the average bill for gigabit internet is $71.74 a month.

We’re seeing more affordable gig and near-gig speeds across the board, which is great news as working and learning from home still persist in many areas.

Some of our favorite internet service providers that offer fast speeds at low prices include AT&T Fiber, CenturyLink, Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, and Xfinity.

Have a peek at prices for the top satellite internet providers in the United States.

Gigabit internet prices and providers in the US
Provider
Plan
Monthly price range
Download speed range
Details
Spectrum Internet® GigSpectrum Internet® Gig$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.Up to 1000 Mbps
AT&T Internet 1 GigAT&T Internet 1 Gig$80/mo.1000 Mbps
CenturyLink Fiber GigabitCenturyLink Fiber Gigabit$75/mo.Up to 940 Mbps
Go Super FastGo Super Fast$109.99/mo.Up to 1000 Mbps
Frontier Fiber InternetFiber 1 Gig$69.99/mo. w/ Auto Pay and Paperless Bill1000 Mbps
Astound Broadband, powered by Grande1500 Mbps Internet$60/mo.Up to 1500 Mbps
Optimum Internet East1 Gig Internet$55/mo.Up to 940 Mbps
Optimum Internet East1 Gig Fiber Internet$45/mo.Up to 940 Mbps
RCN Internet - DC1500 Mbps Internet$60/mo.Up to 1500 Mbps
Earthlink InternetFiber 1 Gig$89.95/mo.1000 Mbps
Google Fiber1 Gig$70/mo.‡‡‡‡1000 Mbps
Mediacom InternetPrime Internet 1 GIG$54.99/mo.1000 Mbps
MetroNet1 Gb$59.95/mo.1000 Mbps
Sparklight InternetInternet Gig$115/mo.Up to 940 Mbps
Optimum Internet West1 Gig Internet$55/mo.Up to 940 Mbps
Verizon Fios Home Internet1 Gig without mobile plan$89.99/mo.°Up to 940 Mbps
Windstream InternetKinetic Internet by Windstream 1 Gig$69.99/mo.1000 Mbps
WOW! InternetFiber 1 Gig$80/mo.°°°Up to 1000 Mbps
Xfinity Internet - WestGigabit$65/mo.Up to 1000 Mbps
Ziply FiberFiber Internet Gig$50/mo.1000 Mbps
For 12 months when bundled. 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. Spectrum Internet® Gig promotion price is $89.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra.
Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge in TX, OH, NV applies. Ltd. availability/areas.
Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing required. Taxes and fees apply. Offer details. Offer includes professional installation at customer’s eligible location
for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement
w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Max wired speed 1000/1000 Mbps. Location dependent. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary. One-time charges apply.
For 1 yr. w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill w/Unlimited Mobile plan. ($80/mo. without Unlimited Mobile plan.) Terms apply. Wired connection up to 940 Mbps. WiFi speeds may vary. Not available in all areas.
24 Month Internet Pricing. No contract required. Equipment priced separately. Includes $5 discount for 12 months w/ ebill & autopay. Observed speeds may vary. Excludes surcharges and fees. New residential customers only.
with a 12 month contract.
‡‡‡‡ 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.
For the first 12 months. Plus, activation, installation and monthly modem rental fees.
For 6 months. Offers available to new residential customers only and may not be combined with other offers. MetroNet reserves the right to revoke or modify offers at any time. Taxes, fees, and other terms apply. Pricing and speeds not available in all areas
Equipment, taxes, fees, and any applicable surcharge extra. Actual speeds vary and are subject to equipment limitations. Wi-Fi speeds will be substantially lower. Up to $30/mo. Prices vary depending on location. Not all packages available in all locations.
For 1 yr. w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill plus taxes w/Unlimited Mobile plan. ($80/mo. without Unlimited Mobile plan. Terms apply. Wired connection up to 940 Mbps. WiFi speeds may vary. Not available in all areas.
° Price per month with Auto Pay & without select 5G mobile plans. Fios plan prices include taxes & fees
With Auto Pay for 12 months. Limited-time, non-transferable offer for residential customers that may not be combined with other promotions. Credit restrictions may apply. Subject to availability
°°° With AutoPay & paperless billing. Equipment, taxes, data allowance, and other fees extra. Other restrictions apply to usage-based plans.
For 24 months. No term contract. Taxes not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. Not available in all areas. Prices may vary by location.
For new residential customers only. No annual contract required. Prices shown are before taxes and fees and require autopay and paperless billing.

But do you really need one full gig of eyeball-popping download speed? Chances are, no.

So before you go hog wild, get an idea of how many Mbps you really need. It’ll save you some money.

Does internet service have any hidden fees?

Just like most purchases, internet service comes with a few hidden fees. These are some of the common fees your ISP might tack on to your bill:

  • Installation fee
  • Equipment rental fee
  • Data overage fees
  • Early termination fee
  • Reconnection/reactivation fee
  • Late payment fee

Installation fees are a one-time thing and they usually cost around $50–$100. If you can get a self-install kit from your provider, that’s typically free or a lower cost than professional installation.

Some ISPs also offer free installation deals. 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 internet service provider. You can get around this fee if you buy your own equipment, which may also save you money in the long run.

Data overage fees are what you might pay if you use more than your allotted data each month. Some internet plans have lower data caps but don’t make you pay fees for using too much data. For example, satellite internet providers often have soft data caps that range anywhere from 10 GB to 300 GB. If you use more data in a month, the ISP slows your download speeds—but you don’t have to pay any fees.

An early termination fee (ETF) only applies if you subscribe to an internet plan with a contract, or term of service. Usually, contracts last one to two years, and if you cancel your subscription before that time is up, you’ll need to pay an ETF.

ETFs range in cost from around $100 up to $500, depending on the provider and how much time is left on your contract. So be wary of canceling your service too early—or look into another provider that offers a contract buyout program, like Spectrum.

Reconnection or reactivation fees are charged when your internet service is suspended, either by you or by the ISP. These fees normally cost between $30–$50.

Late payment fees are fairly explanatory: If you’re late paying your bill, you’ll pay an additional fee on top of your normal bill. This usually amounts to $5–$10 per late payment, but be wary since that can add up quickly.

Having trouble paying your internet bill? You may be eligible for subsidies.

Don’t wait to rack up late payment fees, contact your internet provider ASAP if you’re struggling to pay your bill. Most ISPs have assistance or payment programs, and you may also be able to downgrade your service. Many providers also offer special internet plans for low-income families.

What other features affect your internet bill?

Aside from fees, there are a few other things that might make your internet bill jump up or dip down.

Download speed: In general, the faster your download speed is, the more you’ll pay per month. And if you have multiple devices or multiple people connected to the Wi-Fi, the more speed you’re going to need. Learn more about getting the right internet speed in our Mbps guide.

Internet Connection type: We usually see higher internet prices for fiber internet and satellite plans—but this is due to the high maintenance costs of building, launching, and keeping those satellites in Earth’s orbit.

That’s not to say you can’t find a great deal on satellite internet. When it comes for the best price for the fastest internet speeds, we recommend Viasat. But if you can make do with 15–25 Mbps speeds and not a lot of data, check out Hughesnet‘s Select plans.

Promotional deals: Promotions, like limited-time offers, can drop your final bill like a hot potato. These typically offer a low starting price for your internet service that lasts for a short while—usually one year.

On the other hand, once your promotional period is up, you can expect your final bill to shoot up like a pack of Mentos in a Coke bottle.

After the promotional price, you’ll start paying what most ISPs call a “standard” price. How much the standard price differs from the promo price depends on the provider and the deal you got, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $10–$20 more per month.

Price hikes: Sometimes your provider will raise the price of your internet above the original agreed-upon price. This is especially true in an inflated economy, so fully read your service agreement to know beforehand if your provider allows this.

Dwelling: If you live in a house that you own, your internet provider and therefore price are up to your discretion. If you live in a rental, you may have to get the internet provider your landlord dictates. But there’s good news with this—sometimes apartments have a uniform Wi-Fi provider with a bulk discount, and sometimes your Wi-Fi may even be included in your rent.

Where you live: Most ISPs that are available nationwide break their pricing down by region. For example, Xfinity offers different prices and plans for the northeastern, central, and western US. Astound Broadband, powered by RCN offers internet in a small part of the Northeast, but its prices change depending on whether you’re in DC, Lehigh Valley, Boston, or another city. And don’t even get us started on rural internet.

Even if you can’t get service from a provider that breaks down prices by location, you’ll likely see different prices if you ever tried to compare with, say, a friend who lives on the other coast. ISPs have even been known to charge different prices on different sides of the same street, so be sure to do a thorough comparison of what’s available in your area.

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Recap: How much should you pay for internet?

If your internet bill is at or near $61 a month, you’re right on par with most of the country. If you’re paying more, don’t worry. We can help you lower that bill.

And hey, depending on how you use the internet, paying more than the national average might be A-okay. For example, let’s say your family does a lot of video streaming and gaming. That means you’re likely paying more for faster internet speeds than the elderly couple next door who just sends emails and checks their granddaughter’s photos on Facebook.

Methodology

How’d we get these averages? We’re glad you asked.

We took a look at plans and prices for 22 different well-known ISPs available across the US: AT&T, Buckeye Broadband, CenturyLink, Cox, EarthLink, Frontier, Google Fiber, Astound Broadband, powered by Grande Communications, Hughesnet, XTREAM powered by Mediacom, MetroNet, Optimum, Astound Broadband, powered by RCN, Sparklight, Spectrum, Verizon Fios Home Internet, Viasat, Windstream, WOW! Internet, Comcast Xfinity, and Ziply Fiber.

To get the overall average for broadband internet costs and each internet connection type, we added up the promotional internet prices for all plans and divided by the number of plans. If a provider also offered no-contract plans, we did not include that pricing data in our calculations.

FAQ

Still have questions about the cost of internet and Wi-Fi in the US? We can help.

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.

Since you're unable to simply purchase and connect to Wi-Fi alone without an internet connection, an average Wi-Fi and internet package is $61 a month. But if you're looking to save some internet dollars, check out our roundup of the cheapest internet and wi-fi providers.

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.

Yes, but you might have to shop around. A lot of ISPs require you to sign a 1–2-year contract and charge early termination fees if you cancel early. But there are a few providers with no-contract options. (CenturyLink, Xfinity, and Spectrum are three of them.)

Catherine McNally
Written by
Catherine McNally
Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel guides to stories on Medium. She’s been online since AOL CDs were a thing and is an unapologetic PC gamer. She believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and writes reviews and guides to help everyone stay connected. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

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