Best High Speed Internet Service
You, more than likely, have at least two or three internet service providers (ISP) in your area to choose from. Selecting the best internet provider may seem like a daunting task if you're not familiar with the features each one offers.
I've taken a deeper look at each of the top providers. This is my extensive research of internet service providers.
Best Internet Providers: What to Consider
The average download speed in the US is 11.9 Mbps. However, your speeds vary based on your location and the wireless internet provider you choose. As I did my research, I looked at providers on a nationwide scale, but as you look at your options, it's important to consider providers specific to your area. You can use the the search bar above to look for wireless internet providers by zip code. This can help you look for the best internet in your area.
Time is money, and my goal is to save you tons of it so I've done the work for you by laying out the pros and cons for each provider.
There are a few different ways of connecting to high-speed internet: DSL, cable, fiber optics, satellite, and 4G. Many companies offer one or many of these options.
There are several other factors that should influence your decision when you are considering which internet provider is right for you:
- Speed - What do you plan on using your high speed internet connection for? The more demands you are going to put on your connection the more speed you will need. Don't always buy the hype when an ISP claims to have a certain connection speed. They often report and boast the highest possible speeds which can often be a lot higher than the average speed. Remember that the speed of your connection is largely dependent on your location, the time of day, and your personal high speed internet activity.
- Location - Your location has a lot to do with your ISP choices. Finding internet providers by zip code is the best way to see what services you are limited to. Certain services are exclusive to a specific area and urban areas typically have more options than rural areas. Some more remote areas may be limited to just a few options to choose from.
- Bundles - If finding cheap internet providers is your goal,many of the top providers offer service bundles. That is, any combination of services like TV, internet, and phone all under one price. These can often be much more affordable than paying for each service individually.
- Customer service - This is an important aspect of any product or service, but especially whom you choose for your ISP. Since so much of our work and play is online these days, it is vital that you have some way of contacting your provider in case your internet goes down, so that you can find out why and for how long.
- Security and extra services - Take the extra features into consideration. What forms of security does an ISP offer? Can you put up parental blocks?
My research into the best internet providers offering high speed options over the most coverage areas turned up top picks XFINITY, Time Warner Cable and AT&T. ISP's with the largest geographic coverage in the US are XFINITY, Time Warner Cable and AT&T.
Finding the Best Internet Provider: Check with Your Friends
The advertising you see about an ISP or bundle provider will certainly try to make the company look good. The top speeds mentioned are likely to be the top speeds they offer in some areas, but it may not be the top speed offered in your area. Be aware that a particular company may not be able to provide enough servers in your area to be able to ensure any Internet availability throughout the day. This can happen when a lot of people subscribe to certain companies within a short period of time.
In order to find out how a particular company is doing in your area, talk to some of your friends and family members that are using that particular company. They will be able to tell you what is happening and how good their service is through the day. Just because they offer good service in one area, it does not mean that it will be good where you live.
Bundling the Best High Speed Internet with other Services
When looking for the best internet deals, one of the first features you check should be bundles. Companies often offer the cheapest high speed internet option bundled with other services. There are many different types of bundles available, and choosing the right one may save you a considerable amount of money. The choice depends on what you already have and what you want. For instance, you can get TV in a bundle, and if you like to watch TV a lot, you may not need some of the other Internet of phone features. Or, you may already have a TV service and just want to get a package offering Internet and phone service - or just Internet.
The choice partly depends on what services are available to you and the cost involved. You want to compare internet providers by the cost of bundles available in your area before buying one. This will enable you to get the best service designed to meet your needs for internet, TV, and phone, or a combination of just one or two of them - if that is all you need. By comparing them before buying, you may also be able to save money by going with one company rather than another one.
Since broadband internet providers are definitely competitive, you may find that one offers a feature that could be really useful to you, rather than a company that just offers the basics.
Watch for caps placed on your usage. A cap means the maximum amount of internet you can use per month. It will generally be a limit on how much time you can spend online. If you go over this amount, it can result in extra charges.
Other Factors to Consider When Looking for the Best Internet Service
In addition to the cost of the monthly charges, there will also be a number of charges for installation. These costs can be considerable, but will vary between the best ISP's. Make sure you know what the total cost will be before signing up and find out if you will need to pay this fee all at once or if they can spread it out over several months.
If you need to have email accounts, some ISP's will provide them. They will offer anywhere from one email address when you buy a package deal, up to 25 email addresses.
Compare the Terms
Each ISP in your area will offer package deals. You should determine your own budget before ordering the service, and then compare the packages carefully. Figure out which features you need and don't buy a more expensive package that what you really have a need for. If you change your mind later, you can always upgrade.
Who are the Fastest Internet Providers
When you are wondering who has the best internet service, speed may be the first qualification you consider. Although speed is not the only variable you should consider when choosing a high speed internet service provider, it is an important one. Today, education, business and general day-to-day interactions are conducted over the web. When so much of our lives are dependent on internet connections, it is essential that your internet speed can keep up with your network and the world at large.
Speed is a major selling point for many wireless internet providers, especially when you are looking for the best wireless high speed internet provider, and many of them advertise incredibly fast downloads. However, when home internet provider stalks about their speeds, they are typically referring to the best possible speed not the average speed that you are likely to receive. So who truly does have the fastest speeds? Well, the answer to that question depends on the region in which you live; some of the fastest speeds are only available in a small area.
For instance, Google Fiber is an extremely fast internet service, boasting a whole gigabyte per second downloads and uploads. However, this service is currently only available in Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. Nonetheless, there are plans to expand to Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah and possibly 34 other cities. Though it is limited, it is the fastest internet provider by far.
Verizon FiOS is another extremely fast speed, claiming to have 500Mbps for downloads and 100Mbps for uploads. Although typical speeds are slower, this is still one of the fastest major internet providers. However, Verizon FiOS also covers a relatively small area. Verizon's highest concentration is on the eastern coast but it is also available to some degree in Texas and parts of the west coast.
For the Midwestern region, Midcontinent Communications (Midco) is available in North and South Dakota, as well as some areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Despite the remote area and small size, this company has pretty fast speeds with 100Mbps.
As for the providers that offer service to a wide national area, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox, each have comparably decent speeds, but no national provider sticks out among the rest.
What about Satellite Internet?
Satellite internet providers like HughesNet and Exede do cover the majority of the United States. However, Satellite internet does not offer the same speed and reliability as a network of physical high speed wires and filaments. While web surfing speeds are perfectly acceptable, signal latency will make low latency required activities like live streaming, downloading, uploading and internet gaming a problem.
Unless you live in one of the previously mentioned areas with excellent high speed internet, the best thing to do is to look into your local options as well as the large national providers in your area. Also, be sure to consider other factors like pricing, bundles and customer service before you make a final decision.
Meet the Best Internet Providers
- Fast speeds up to 105mbps
- Great security and parental controls
- Largest provider in the U.S.
- Reliable service
- Save money with bundles
- Customer service issues
One unique feature that XFINITY offers is its additional Wi-Fi service. The company enables anyone to be able to purchase access passes to their Wi-Fi internet. These passes can be used on one device to be able to obtain access to the internet for an hour, a day, a week, or a month, and there is no contract needed. Since Comcast already has service in many areas, people looking for a Wi-Fi connection can get access easily. The one possible catch to it is that the internet can only be accessed by the device you use to sign up with. After signing up, the Internet is instantly available. Another unique feature is that XFINITY offers a package deal for the home that includes in-house monitoring for security purposes. Users are enabled to get live video monitoring inside and outside of their homes on a smartphone, letting them check to make sure their homes are secure.
Time Warner Cable Internet
- Save money with bundles
- Good speeds at 50mbps
- Competitive price
- Large provider in the US
- Not available everywhere
- Customer service issues
When it comes to sizes, Time Warner Cable (TWC) is the smallest of these three. It is growing larger in the field of ISP services, and does offer some competitive packages. It also offers packages of phone, Internet, and TV. They boast of having almost 500,000 WiFi hotspots, and also a library of over 25,000 movies that can be viewed on demand. TWC also offers a special program for your home. Not only does it offer video monitoring from your smartphone or computer, you can also control your lights and thermostat from those devices, too. You can even get emails or text messages from door, window, and other motion sensors. Doors can be locked or unlocked, and you can even arm or disarm the system, too, from your device.
- Fast speeds
- Offers Dial-up, DSL, and fiber optics
- Save money with bundles
- Competitive price
- Not available everywhere
There is little doubt that AT&T is the specialist in phone services. This means that it was largely AT&T that established the infrastructure used to provide phone, Internet, and TV services in most places. In many cases, other ISP companies simply rent AT&T's lines to provide their own services. Because of this, you can expect to find some great deals with this well-known company. AT&T offers some excellent deals on their Internet bundles. Prices, however, are only guaranteed for one year, but you must sign up for at least two years to get the package. The massive company offers lots of channels with their DirecTV package, starting out with 145 and going up to 240.
Verizon FiOS Internet
- Very fast connection speed
- Consistent reliable service
- Save money with bundles
- Very limited service area
- Security and Parental controls are add-ons
Verizon offers its Internet services through fiber-optic cables. They claim that this enables them to offer movies, music, and videos without any interruptions - no buffering. There is no doubt that Verizon FiOs provides the fastest Internet speeds around - up to 500mbps! Their lowest speed also clearly beats many of the competitor's upper speeds at 50mbps. On top of that, which none of the major competitors do, is that the upload speeds are equal to their download speeds, and their prices are still highly competitive. FiOs also offers a special Gateway router to ensure that you can get a Wi-Fi signal throughout your house. They advertise that the signal has a 325-foot range, and it operates on two different frequencies. It has enhanced controls for parents, and it also enables them to set time limits. There is also a guest Wi-Fi network, which enables your guests to have access to the Internet without giving them your passwords. Another great feature of this particular router is that there is a downloadable app for your smartphone which will enable you to control it from your phone. There is an additional cost for this particular router.
- Contract buy outs when you switch
- No contract required
- Good internet speeds
- Limited service area
Charter offers all of its Internet speeds at 60 mbps. This speed comes with all packages. It offers free DVR services with its better packages, and a free modem. Members get access to 125 channels in its lowest cost package and over 200 free HD channels in its best package. There are more than 10,000 movies in its On Demand program, and more than 5,000 of them are free. When you add the phone service, users get to make an unlimited number of calls in the U.S., and to some foreign countries. The company currently offers service to 28 states. Two of its better features are that it offers its packages without a contract. This means you do not have to worry about getting locked in to a service that is no good. A second excellent feature is that Charter will pay for your fees for when you get out of your contract with your current Internet, TV, and phone provider company, and sign up to get Charter's service. This is the only one of these five companies that will do this.
Cheap Internet Providers
If your main concern is price, there are a number of ways to find cheap internet providers in your area. Again, it's important to explore smaller companies that may be exclusive to your area. Some of these companies offer deals that larger companies can't compete with. Generally, smaller companies offer service that isn't quite as good as the top providers but you may find one that offers surprising quality.
One way to find the cheapest high-speed internet, is to look for service bundles. Many of the best internet providers also offer packages that bundle TV, cheap wireless internet and phone service today. If you are paying for those services separately, you may be able to save a considerable amount on your bill if you bundle.
Compare Internet Providers
Before making your final decision, it's important that you compare internet providers side by side. Take a look at the services that are offered, the speeds they claim and the prices that they offer. Think about what you'll need in terms of internet speed and compare internet plans that offer the most attractive value. If you know anyone with the service you are considering, it's helpful to compare internet providers in your area. This can help you find out the speeds they actually provide in your area.
High Speed Internet Service Providers Advice
Before you choose your best home internet provider, spend some time in our advice section to learn more about the industry. Peruse the guides to find in depth answers to questions that may help you make a better purchase. Here are some topics to explore:
- What should you look for if you need a satellite internet provider? If you live in a rural area, satellite internet may be your only option.
- What causes your internet speeds to slow down? Does your internet seem to be moving slower than it was before? There are a number of factors that can bog down your internet speeds.
- How can you save money with TV, phone and internet? If you need multiple services you might be able to save significant amounts of money by bundling.
Best Internet Providers Review Recap
Location, location, location. That seems to be the main theme when it comes to choosing and internet provider. Be sure to check your area to see what is available to you. With many great options on the table, knowing what you can actually get in your home should be the first thing you consider when shopping for an internet provider.
Each of these high speed internet service providers s has slightly different benefits. Some of the unique aspects of each company may benefit you more then another one, and some may not be available in your area. For each of the companies that require a contract, be aware that they generally do not offer any price guarantees for the second year.
This means that because you are locked in, you may see a hefty price increase in that second year. A couple of the companies do not require contracts with all of their packages - Charter doesn't require any contracts at all. Another thing you want to consider is that most packages say that you will get speeds up to a certain number, but realize that those numbers are only the top speed and it is unlikely that you will see anywhere near that speed during busy hours.
If you live in a rural area, far away from the reach of cable internet providers, you might need to consider the best satellite internet providers as an option. Though it's not the fastest option, it can reach virtually anywhere in the US.
Also, if you are considering the option to bundle services, take a look at the prices and services available with the best satellite TV and cable providers first.