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Best Cable Internet Providers of 2021

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The best cable internet service in October

According to Statista, 44% of American households subscribe to cable service, making it the most common way for people to get online today.

This is largely due to the fact that the necessary infrastructure - coaxial cable - is already present in most households.

However, just what is cable internet? What makes it stand out from fiber-optic internet, DSL internet, or any other type of internet?

And most importantly - what's the best cable internet for you?

Take a look at our review of the best cable internet providers and we'll answer all your questions!

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Best cable internet provider

Spectrum Internet

Call to order now: (888) 495-3456
Download
400 Mbps
Channels
Calls
Monthly Price
$50
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 495-3456

Spectrum Internet Only Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet

400 Mbps

$49.99

Spectrum TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

TV Select

125 Channels

$44.99

TV Silver

175 Channels

$74.99

TV Gold

200 Channels

$94.99

Spectrum Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Triple Play Select

400 Mbps

125 Channels

Unlimited

$72.97

Triple Play Silver

400 Mbps

175 Channels

Unlimited

$102.97

Triple Play Gold

400 Mbps

200 Channels

Unlimited

$122.97

Call now to order: (888) 495-3456
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fast speeds

  • No contracts

  • No data caps

  • One-hour installation appointment window

  • Plenty of bundles

Cons

  • Mediocre customer service ratings

  • Pricier than some competitors

Provider Benefits
  • High speed wireless network away from home with wi-fi hotspots

  • 24/7 Tech support

  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

  • Unlimited download available

  • No contract required

Spectrum Internet offers solid coverage in a good chunk of the nation. We've chosen Spectrum for the best cable internet provider.

Here's why:

  • Coverage - Check Spectrums coverage map to see if you're in one of the 24 states they cover.
  • Buyout - Spectrum will buy out your old contract so you can switch to them. So if you're looking to switch and pair TV and phone with your internet Spectrum will cover your fees up to a certain amount.
  • Improvements - Ever since Charter acquired Time Warner Spectrum and rebranded into Spectrum customer service has drastically improved.
  • Promotions - Oftentimes Spectrum offers deals or sign-up bonuses. Just be sure to check the fine print.

But Spectrum isn't perfect. Here are some of Spectrums' downfalls.

  • Bill Increases - Remember those promo deals we mentioned earlier? Oftentimes your promo price ends before your contract is up.
  • Expensive - Spectrum is a pricier option than some other internet providers. So continue on if you're looking for a budget-friendly option.

Spectrum internet plans

PackageSpeedPrice
Spectrum Internet400 Mbps$49.99

Best cheap cable internet rovider

Optimum Internet

Call to order now: (888) 492-9415
Download
300-940 Mbps
Channels
Calls
Monthly Price
$40-45
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 492-9415

Optimum Internet Only Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet 300

300 Mbps

$39.99

Internet 1 GIG

940 Mbps

$45.00

Optimum TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Core TV

220 Channels

$74.99

Select TV

340 Channels

$99.99

Premier TV

420 Channels

$119.99

Optimum Landline Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Phone

Unlimited

$39.99

Optimum Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet 300 + Core TV + Phone

300 Mbps

220 Channels

Unlimited

$124.98

Internet 300 + Select TV + Phone

300 Mbps

340 Channels

Unlimited

$139.98

Internet 300 + Premier TV + Phone

300 Mbps

420 Channels

Unlimited

$159.98

Call now to order: (888) 492-9415
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No data cap

  • No contracts

  • Price for life option

  • Speed choices up to Gigabit

  • Access to over 2 million hotspots

Cons

  • Limited availability

  • Hidden fees that add up

Provider Benefits
  • Wi-Fi hotspots access

  • Free virus and malware detection from McAfee

  • No contract required

  • Smart Router included

  • Good range of plans to choose from

  • No data caps

  • Customer support available Monday to Sunday 8am to 6pm

Optimum Internet is the choice for you if you're looking to save some dough. And that's not their only perk.

Optimum has lots to offer including:

  • No Data Caps - Use your data whenever you want with their plans that are up to 400 Mbps.
  • Bundling Options - Reduce your monthly bill by bundling with Optimum TV.
  • Hotspots - Optimum can connect you to any of their millions of Wi-Fi hotspots so you can always be connected.

And now for the downside:

  • Coverage - Optimum is only available in a small portion of the country. Check out our Optimum coverage map to see if they're available in your area.

Optimum Internet Plans

PackageSpeedPrice
Optimum Internet 300300 Mbps$39.99
Optimum Internet 1 GIG940 Mbps$45

Fastest cable internet provider

Cox Internet

Call to order now: (888) 474-1303
Download
25-940 Mbps
Channels
Calls
Monthly Price
$30-100
Editors Take
3.5 / 5
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 474-1303

Cox Internet Only Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet Starter 25

25 Mbps

$29.99

Internet Essential 50

50 Mbps

$39.99

Internet Preferred 150

150 Mbps

$59.99

Internet Ultimate 500

500 Mbps

$79.99

Internet Gigablast

940 Mbps

$99.99

Cox TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Contour TV Starter

75 Channels

$50.00

Contour TV Preferred

140 Channels

$90.00

Contour TV Preferred Plus

170 Channels

$110.00

Contour TV Ultimate

250 Channels

$130.00

Cox Landline Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Voice Preferred

Unlimited

$29.99

Cox Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet Essential 50 + Contour TV Preferred + Voice

50 Mbps

140 Channels

Unlimited

$149.99

Internet Preferred 150 + Contour TV Preferred + Voice

150 Mbps

140 Channels

Unlimited

$169.99

Internet Ultimate 500 + Contour TV Preferred + Voice

500 Mbps

140 Channels

Unlimited

$189.99

Internet Gigablast + Contour TV Preferred + Voice

940 Mbps

140 Channels

Unlimited

$209.99

Call now to order: (888) 474-1303
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Wide range of speed options

  • Panoramic wi-fi to cover weak spots

  • Hotspot access away from home

  • No commitment required

Cons

  • Limited channel counts

  • Spotty customer support reputation

Provider Benefits
  • 30 day money back guarantee

  • 1 Gigabit connection available

  • 65,000+ wifi hotspots nationwide

  • Panoramic wi-fi to cover the whole house

  • 24/7 tech support

  • Customer service - Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm

Cox cable internet is a good choice if you're looking for great speed options. With speeds up to 1000 Mbps they can cover everything from your minimal user to a small business.

Want to know more?

  • Speed - Cox offers speeds up to 1000 Mbps. Crazy right?
  • Plans for every budget - Cox offers basic plans that can save minimal users tons of money per year.
  • Bundles - Cox takes it a step further. In addition to bundling internet, TV, and home phone you can also add a home security system with Cox.

However, there is a downside:

  • Price - Cox prices are a bit high so if you want anything above their 10 Mbps you may want to compare prices to other providers in your area.
  • Data Checks - Cox charges you a fee if you go over your set data limit.

Cox Internet Plans

PackageSpeedPrice
Cox Internet Starter 2525 Mbps$29.99
Cox Internet Essential 5050 Mbps$39.99
Cox Internet Preferred 150150 Mbps$59.99
Cox Internet Ultimate 500500 Mbps$79.99
Cox Internet Gigablast940 Mbps$99.99

Best internet bundle deal

Xfinity Internet

Call to order now: (888) 473-8957
Download
200-1,200 Mbps
Channels
Calls
Monthly Price
$40-80
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 473-8957

Xfinity Internet Only Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Performance Pro Internet

200 Mbps

$40.00

Blast! Internet

400 Mbps

$60.00

Extreme Pro Internet

800 Mbps

$70.00

Gigabit Speed Internet

1200 Mbps

$80.00

Xfinity TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Basic TV

10 Channels

$30.00

Extra TV

140 Channels

$67.00

Preferred TV

220 Channels

$70.00

Xfinity Landline Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Voice

Unlimited

$30.00

Xfinity Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Peformance Pro Internet + Extra TV + Voice

200 Mbps

140 Channels

Unlimited

$90.00

Blast! Internet + Extra TV + Voice

400 Mbps

125 Channels

Unlimited

$90.00

Peformance Pro Internet + Preferred TV + Voice

200 Mbps

220 Channels

Unlimited

$100.00

Extreme Pro Internet + Extra TV + Voice

800 Mbps

140 Channels

Unlimited

$100.00

Blast! Internet + Preferred TV + Voice

400 Mbps

200 Channels

Unlimited

$110.00

Gigabit Speed + Extra TV + Voice

1200 Mbps

140 Channels

Unlimited

$110.00

Extreme Pro Internet + Preferred TV + Voice

800 Mbps

220 Channels

Unlimited

$120.00

Gigabit Speed + Preferred TV + Voice

1200 Mbps

220 Channels

Unlimited

$130.00

Call now to order: (888) 473-8957
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightning fast options

  • Multiple speed choices

  • Large bundle selection

  • Contract and no-contract options

  • Widespread availability

  • Hotspot access away from home

Cons

  • Rate hikes after promotional pricing expires

  • Negative customer support ratings

Provider Benefits
  • Good variety of bundles available

  • No-cost equipment upgrades

  • Advanced Security to block online threats

  • 30 Day money back guarantee

  • 24/7 support

  • 4K streaming device available

Xfinity internet has wide coverage but that's not the only thing they have to offer. Xfinity TV packages can be bundled with internet for even more savings.

They also offer:

  • Speed - With speeds up to 1000 Mbps it's hard to imagine not finding a plan for you.
  • X1 DVR - Access Netflix and YouTube just like you would with any smart TV.
  • Availability - Xfinity covers covers a huge chunk of the US.
  • Price - Xfinity's plans are among the most competitive in terms of price.
  • Hotspots - Xfinity has millions of hotspots across the country.

It's hard to imagine a downfall to this network. There are a few things you should be aware of, however.

  • Data Caps - Xfinity will charge you if you go over your allotted data.

Xfinity internet plans

PackageSpeedPrice
Xfinity Performance Pro Internet200 Mbps$40
Xfinity Blast! Internet400 Mbps$60
Xfinity Extreme Pro Internet800 Mbps$70
Xfinity Gigabit Speed Internet1200 Mbps$80

Cable provider availability by ZIP code

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Considerations when comparing cable providers

Here are a few factors to take into consideration:

  1. Speed: 25 Mbps is sufficient for email, browsing the web, watching HD videos, and playing games. Look for 100 Mbps or more if multiple people in the house stream video, download large files, and/or engage in competitive online games.
  2. Pricing: Watch out for the limited time promotional offers: rates typically jump significantly at the end of the promotional period. Save money by shopping cable TV and internet bundles or internet and phone bundles.
  3. Equipment: The most economical choice is to buy your own modem. Most large internet providers provide their customers with a list of approved equipment you can purchase. Additionally, if you want wireless internet you'll need a decent quality router.
  4. Contract: Commitment terms vary widely. Cheap internet providers usually require at least a one-year contract in order to get their advertised pricing. If you want to avoid a contract you may end up paying a little more per month.
  5. Data caps: It's frustrating to hunt down, say, the best internet for gaming, only to find that you tear through your data allotment halfway through the billing cycle. Make sure you read the terms and conditions.
  6. Customer service: We've all been there - the internet suddenly goes down for no apparent reason. You don't have time to sit on hold for hours, waiting for a tech to get to you. Check out the American Customer Satisfaction Index to see which companies rate the highest.

Compare cable internet plans & packages

ProviderDownloadMonthly Price
MediacomMediacom60-1,000 Mbps$19.99-109.99
CoxCox25-940 Mbps$29.99-209.99
ArmstrongArmstrong12-500 Mbps$29.99-159.94
WOW!WOW!100-1,000 Mbps$29.99-64.99
RCNRCN50-940 Mbps$29.99-79.98
XfinityXfinity200-1,200 Mbps$30.00-130.00
SuddenlinkSuddenlink200-940 Mbps$30.00-124.99
OptimumOptimum300-940 Mbps$39.99-159.98
Atlantic BroadbandAtlantic Broadband400-1,000 Mbps$39.99-59.99
SpectrumSpectrum400 Mbps$42.98-122.97

Cable internet FAQs

Which cable provider has the fastest internet?

Google Fibre currently has the fastest internet with Verizon FiOS not far behind. Speeds and providers can vary by region though, so be sure to check providers available in your area.

Who are the best cable internet providers in my area?

Use our ZIP code checker to find out which cable internet providers are available in your area. Then you can compare the best deals whether you're looking for speed, reliability, or low-cost.

Is DSL more reliable than cable?

No, cable internet is commonly more reliable than DSL.


Recap

When it comes to the question of a DSL vs cable may still tip toward cable internet on certain fronts. Particularly of note is the fact that DSL internet connection data allowances are much smaller than those offered by cable internet providers.

Even though other technologies like fiber optics and G.fast Gigabit-capable DSL are gradually moving into the consumer internet landscape, cable internet isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Don't forget to use our zip code checker to find the best internet providers in your area.

Cable Internet is fast enough for the typical household. It provides a convenient and affordable way for the whole family to enjoy their online activities. You can also check out our buyers guide to the best Internet providers.

For some tips and strategies to secure a great deal on an Internet service package, consult our How-To guide to finding the best Internet deals.

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Rob Webber
Rob Webber

Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.