The best cheap internet service in 2023
While there are some cheap internet options, they are not all created equal.
Some are truly bare-bones and will end up being hugely frustrating even for watching something as typical as a YouTube video. Others cost a bit more but come with better connection speeds and data packages.
The good news is that with so many different service options and pricing tiers, you can generally customize your choice to your needs and budget.
We'll help you find the cheapest internet service and keep your internet and cable bills as low as possible.
Cheap internet providers
- 100-940 Mbps
- Monthly Price
CenturyLink offers internet & landline services with plans starting at $49. To order service call: (859) 559-4352
Speeds up to 1000 Mbps
Price for life option
Mediocre customer service reputation
Slow DSL speeds
Price for Life contract - No contract, no rate hikes.
Fiber-Optic speeds available in 18 prominent cities
DSL high speed internet speed options
24/7 technical support
Price for life option with speeds up to 100 Mbps
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is one of the cheapest high-speed internet options available. Its connection speed and reliability rival that of cable internet and it's typically less expensive.
When it comes to budget-friendly DSL look no further than CenturyLink. On top of the price benefit, here's what else they have to offer:
- Speed - Although CenturyLink isn't nearly as fast as satellite or fiber, is by far the fastest of its main competitors when it comes to speed.
- Plans - CenturyLink offers more plans than their regular 12 Mbps DSL one. They have a second plan that's broadband and offers 40 Mbps.
But of course, there's always a catch:
- Contracts - CenturyLink requires you to enter quite a lengthy contract to begin services with them.
- Fees - CenturyLink charges high early termination fees should you decide to leave that contract early.
Cheap home internet
- 300-1,000 Mbps
- Monthly Price
Optimum offers internet & TV services with plans starting at $40. To order service call: (888) 492-9415
Optimum Internet Only Plans
Internet 1 GIG
Optimum TV Plans
No data cap
Price for life option
Speed choices up to Gigabit
Access to over 2 million hotspots
Services only a few states
Limited plan selection
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
Cable Internet is one of the most popular options for internet usage due to the fact that it's delivered through the same wiring as your cable television. Furthermore, cable is faster than satellite and basic DSL services.
When it comes to cheap cable internet, Optimum is the choice for you. Optimum offers:
- No Data Caps - Don't worry about overage fees or service slowing down as there are no data caps with Optimum.
- Bundling Options - One major perk of cable internet is that you can bundle it with TV.
- Hotspots - Optimum has millions of Wi-Fi hotspots available to you when you choose them as a provider
It's not all good though:
- Coverage - Unfortunately, Optimum is only available in a small portion of the country. So if they aren't available in your area you'll have to look elsewhere.
Find out more about cable television and internet bundles to examine your options for bringing down the costs of both cable services. Just be sure to read the terms because the cheap cable internet plans typically come at a temporary introductory rate that expires after six months to a year.
Cheapest TV and internet packages
- 400-1,200 Mbps
- Monthly Price
Xfinity offers internet, TV & landline services with plans starting at $40. To order service call: (888) 473-8957
Xfinity Internet Only Plans
400 Mbps Internet
800 Mbps Internet
1000 Mbps Internet
1200 Mbps Internet
Xfinity TV Plans
Xfinity Triple Play Bundles
Extra TV + Internet 400 + Voice
Preferred TV + Internet 1000 + Voice
Lightning fast options
Multiple speed choices
Large bundle selection
Contract and no-contract options
Hotspot access away from home
Less than stellar customer service ratings
Known for its occasional outages
Good variety of bundles available
No-cost equipment upgrades
Advanced Security to block online threats
30 Day money back guarantee
4K streaming device available
XFINITY offers coverage for the majority of the US. Along with speeds they also offer package bundles that can save you some serious dough.
They also offer:
- Speed - XFINITY packages offer speeds up to 1000 Mbps.
- X1 DVR - If you bundle your internet and XFINITY TV you'll get the X1 DVR that allows you to access Netflix and YouTube just like you would with any smart TV.
- Availability - XFINITY covers a large portion of the US.
- Price - XFINITY's plans are among the most competitive in terms of price especially if you bundle.
- Hotspots - XFINITY gives you access to millions of hotspots across the country.
XFINITY has very limited downsides. One to consider though is:
- Data Caps - XFINITY will charge you if you go over your allotted data.
Cheap internet without a phone line
- 300-940 Mbps
- Monthly Price
Verizon FiOS offers internet, TV & landline services with plans starting at $50. To order service call: (888) 512-1582
Verizon FiOS Internet Only Plans
Fios Internet 300 Mbps
Fios Internet 500 Mbps
Fios Gigabit Internet
Verizon FiOS TV Plans
Your Fios TV
More FIos TV
The Most Fios TV
Verizon FiOS Triple Play Bundles
Your Fios TV + Internet 300 + Home Phone
More Fios TV + Internet 300 + Home Phone
The Most Fios TV + Internet 300 + Home Phone
100% fiber network
Speed options up to Gigabit
Equal upload and download speeds
Good customer service reputation
Fees can add up
Service is run on 100% fiber optic network
No annual contracts
Plans with speeds up to Gigabit
Fast upload and download speeds
Live online chat support
24/7 Facebook messenger support
- Speed - Verizon FiOS offers speeds from 100-1000 Mbps. That's enough to cater to a family of four to a small business.
- No Contracts - That's right, pay monthly through Verizon's fiber options
- Price - Verizon FiOS options are competitively priced for the most part.
Now the downside:
- Larger Package - If you're looking to purchase a plan of 1000 Mbps there are definitely cheaper options out there.
Cheapest internet near me
Comparing cheap internet services
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Cheap internet for low income
In March of 2016, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) expanded their Lifeline program to include subsidization for broadband internet service.
The program has been in place since 1985, providing discount phone service to low-income Americans in order to enhance their access to job opportunities and other essential life functions.
The FCC has broadened the Lifeline program with the goal of making vital technology in today's global world affordable for low-income families.
The program has been in place since 1985, providing discount phone service to low-income Americans in order to enhance their access to job opportunities and other essential life functions. The FCC has broadened the Lifeline program with the goal of making vital technology in today's global world affordable for low-income families.
The best part of this expansion is that the FCC is working with partner companies to provide cheap high-speed internet that is the same as any other customer would receive at the same level. It's not a watered down version with slower speeds or fewer features. Here are the essentials:
- Your service is provided by one of the big industry players, like AT&T Internet and Comcast Internet.
- Prices sit right around $10 per month, typically with no installation fee.
- You get speeds up to 10Mbps.
- Most partner companies provide in-home Wi-Fi.
- Depending upon your state, you must provide either proof of participation in a public benefits program, or proof of low income (either 135% or 150% of the poverty level, depending on where you are).
If you fall into the low-income category, this program is an ideal way to gain access to cheap home internet. Just remember that it is your responsibility to notify your provider if you no longer fall within the income guidelines for the program.
Internet Essentials are one such provider that offers high-speed internet to low-income families. Even better is that with Internet Essentials, there are no credit checks, no installation fees, no contracts, and in-home WiFi is included at no additional cost.
Cheap internet plans
|Ultra 5G Home||100 Mbps||$54.99|
|Atlantic Broadband||400-1,000 Mbps||$39.99-59.99|
Cheap internet FAQs
Who has the cheapest internet in my area?
There are a number of providers offering low-cost internet plans. You can get a basic internet package from Xfinity for around $20 if Xfinity is available in your region.
Who has internet for $10 a month?
For qualifying low-income families, students, and seniors a small selection of providers offers internet service for around $10-$15 a month. Including AT&T, Xfinity, Optimum and Suddenlink, and Spectrum.
Can low-income families get free internet?
You can't get free internet, but if you qualify you may be able to get internet service for around $10-$15 a month.
Who are the cheapest internet providers for my address?
You can check your ZIP code to see which internet providers are available in your area and then compare the best deals.
As stated earlier, you can see that "cheap" depends on what you plan to do online. The cheapest internet service may not pack a punch to your wallet, but it won't do you much good if you need to stream a lot of media or deal with large files for work.
On the other hand, there are ways to make high-speed internet cheaper if you're willing to do a little legwork to find the best deal. Also, don't forget to call your provider's phone number for a rate cut - they'll often work with you rather than lose a customer.
There are so many options for affordable internet access these days, you shouldn't have much trouble finding a provider and a plan that suit your budget and your needs.
To make things easier, we've provided you with a convenient zip code checker so you can quickly assess which of the best internet providers offer affordable service in your local area.