How to Lower Your Internet Bill

Price of home Wi-Fi got you turning your pockets inside out? Here’s how to fix that.

Brianne Sandorf
Jan 30, 2024
Icon Time To Read4 min read

You can’t get by without reliable internet, but at what cost? Once you factor in equipment fees, data overage fees, and price hikes, your monthly internet bill can be très expensive. We’ve found that Americans spend as much as $81 a month on internet. That’s a pretty big chunk of change.

But you don’t have to pay that much. There are ways you can slash internet costs—yes, without going back to the days of painfully slow dial-up.

Here are eight tips for lowering your internet bill.

1. See and compare the internet available in your area.

Before you can reduce your internet bill, you need to arm yourself with knowledge. Try our internet zip checker to learn how much services cost where you live.

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See the internet service providers in your area and compare prices.

Are you overpaying for your internet? Underpaying? Paying about the same as everyone else?

Lowering your internet service bill is easier if you’re overpaying or paying the same as others. If you’re underpaying, it’s more difficult.

2. Switch to a slower internet speed.

Once you’ve made price comparisons, check and see how fast your internet is.

If your download speed exceeds 400Mbps, you probably have much quicker internet than you need. That 400ish range is the sweet spot for a typical household. It covers streaming, gaming, working, learning, and smart home and home security devices.

You can easily save a few dollars by dropping your speed down to what you need.

3. Look for promotions and deals

Another simple way to reduce your internet price is to look for promotions and deals.

AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile 5G Home Internet are especially generous when it comes to offering internet deals. Take a look at our Best Internet Deals guide for the full rundown of the latest offers.

Most internet service providers offer deals when you sign up, so you probably need to switch providers if you want to take advantage of a good promo. But that’s not as big a deal as it used to be. Many internet providers don’t require annual contracts like they used to, making it easy to switch services since you don’t have to pay an early termination fee. You can even change back once your promo pricing runs out.

4. Buy your own modem and router.

Monthly equipment rental fees can bring up your internet service price. You can get rid of that extra cost by simply buying your own internet modem and router.

Sure, buying your own equipment costs more up front. But over time, you’re likely to save money. For instance, renting a router from AT&T costs $10 a month. If you go instead for  , you break even in under a year.

Not every modem or router works with every internet provider, so make sure whatever you buy is compatible with your service.

5. Bundle your internet.

Bundling your internet with a cellular plan from the same provider is an excellent way to save money.

A surprising number of internet providers also offer phone plans through their own company brands. You can bundle services through AT&T, Optimum, Spectrum, T-Mobile, and Verizon, to name a few.

Internet and phone bundles
Plan
Price
Bundle
Download speeds
Details
Xfinity Bundles - Central$59.95/mo.*Connect Internet + Choice TV + Xfinity Voice75 Mbps
Optimum Bundles West$80/mo.300 Mbps Internet + PhoneUp to 300 Mbps
Spectrum Bundles$69.98/mo. for 12 mos.Internet (Up to 300 Mbps) + VoiceUp to 300 Mbps
Cox Bundles$90/mo.^Go Faster + Voice PreferredUp to 250 Mbps
Verizon Bundles$74.99/mo.°Verizon High-Speed Internet + PhoneUp to 3 Mbps
AT&T Wireless$118.75/mo.**AT&T Unlimited Premium Plan + Internet 300Up to 300 Mbps
T-Mobile Mobile$40/mo.††Go5G Plus + Home Internet33 Mbps-182
* Internet: For 12 months. No term contract. Taxes and equipment not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. TV: No term contract. Broadcast TV fee extra; price subj to change. Taxes and equipment not included.
Internet w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill plus taxes. Terms apply. Not available in all areas.
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.
^ for 12 mos. w/ 1-yr. term agrmt.
° For 1 year plus taxes, equip. charges & other fees. Speeds 1.1-3 Mbps, 3.1-7 Mbps, and 7.1-15 Mbps. Verizon home phone service required.
** Avail. in select locations only. Subject to change at any time and without notice. Eligibility: Existing AT&T Internet customers with direct-billed service who sign up for an eligible unlimited plan will receive a 25% off per month discount on that plan so long as eligible AT&T direct-billed Internet remains active and in good standing. Fixed wireless internet service not eligible. Must be new AT&T wireless customer.
†† Not available in all areas. Savings with $20 monthly bill credit. Limited-time offer; subject to change. Qualifying credit, voice line, and unlimited Home Internet line required. Existing customers must visit myT-Mobile.com. Credits may take up to 2 bill cycles; credits will stop if you cancel any lines or change plans.

6. Sign up for a government program.

If slashing your internet budget is more of a need than a want, consider signing up for a government program that allows struggling households to get low-cost internet access for work, learning, and play.

To sign up for a program, you do need to meet certain criteria. Mainly, you need to have a household income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline or be eligible for other government benefits. You can learn more by reading How To Get Low-Cost Internet Assistance.

The Affordable Connectivity Program is on pause–for now

Since 2021, 22 million households in the United States have benefitted from monthly discounts ranging from $30 to $75 through the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). However, the ACP is now out of funding, and since the beginning of May, recipients have only received partial benefits. Not all is lost, though. There are legislative efforts that may save the program, and you can find plenty of other options for getting low-cost internet in the rest of this piece.

New funding could be slated for the ACP soon

Following the expiration of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), two bills have been introduced to save the program. The Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act seeks to provide $7 billion into the program's funds if passed, potentially providing a lifeline for low-income households.

The Promoting Affordable Connectivity Act, introduced on May 1 by Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman, proposes integrating the ACP into the Universal Service Fund (USF) for consistent funding. This second bill presents a more permanent solution than the Extension Act—it’s designed to finance the ACP without increasing costs for consumers, making broadband and edge service providers responsible for funding instead.

Many who have been following the ACP closely are optimistic about Fetterman’s new bill. “There is plenty of precedent for making it part of the Universal Service Fund because that’s how the Lifeline Program is funded,” says Peter Christiansen, a staff writer at HighSpeedInternet.com who has been following the developments closely.

The final vote on the Extension Act is still pending, but in the meantime, you can share your support for the bill with your Congressional representative. As for Fetterman’s new Promoting Affordable Connectivity Act, we’re eager to see how it will be received by the Senate.

7. Negotiate with your provider.

If your monthly bill looks too high, call up customer service and see if you can convince them to adjust it. And yes, you should call, not email. Charming and wheedling work best in real time. (That’s why door-to-door salespeople and telemarketers still exist.) 

This particular step isn’t for everyone. If it sounds like something that would make you drop dead of anxiety, don’t worry—there are other ways to save. But if you’re the kind of person who loves a challenge or enjoys bartering, have at it.

8. Switch to a cheaper provider.

Finally, if all else fails, you may simply want to switch to a cheaper internet provider.

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Look for cheap internet providers in your area.

5G internet is a lower-cost option than your typical cable internet setup. And these wireless 5G services use phone networks, so they’re available nearly everywhere.

You could also consider fiber internet. While a fiber connection may initially cost more than cable, once you calculate the cost of cable equipment rental and price hikes, fiber prices tend to be lower in the long run.

Whichever way you go, lowering your monthly bill for good can take a weight off your shoulders.

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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