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Best Cheap Internet Service of 2021

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The cheapest internet service in July

The high cost of staying connected in today's technology-driven world has many people on the hunt for cheap internet service providers. The dilemma, however, is that "cheap" is a relative term.

While there are some options for low-cost internet access, 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 easily customize your choice to your needs and budget.

By the end of this review, you'll understand how to get cheap internet service and keep your internet and cable bills as low as possible.

Need help choosing a plan? Call now: (888) 343-5422Find deals in my area

Best cheap internet service provider

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.

CenturyLink internet plans

Package

Speed

Price


Best cheap cable internet provider

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 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

Call to order now: (888) 492-9415

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.

Optimum internet plans

Package

Speed

Price

Optimum Internet 300

300 Mbps

$39.99

Optimum Internet 1 GIG

940 Mbps

$45


Fastest cheap internet provider

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 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

Call to order now: (888) 473-8957

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.

Xfinity internet plans

Package

Speed

Price

Xfinity Performance Pro Internet

200 Mbps

$40

Xfinity Blast! Internet

400 Mbps

$60

Xfinity Extreme Pro Internet

800 Mbps

$70

Xfinity Gigabit Speed Internet

1200 Mbps

$80


Best cheap fiber internet provider

Verizon FiOS Internet

Call to order now: (888) 512-1582
Download
200-940 Mbps
Channels
Calls
Monthly Price
$40-80
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 512-1582

Verizon FiOS Internet Only Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Fios Internet 200 Mbps

200 Mbps

$39.99

Fios Internet 400 Mbps

400 Mbps

$59.99

Fios Gigabit Internet

940 Mbps

$79.99

Verizon FiOS TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Your Fios TV

125 Channels

$56.00

More FIos TV

300 Channels

$76.00

The Most Fios TV

425 Channels

$96.00

Verizon FiOS Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Your Fios TV + Internet 200 + Digital Voice

200 Mbps

125 Channels

Unlimited

$109.99

More Fios TV + Internet 200 + Digital Voice

200 Mbps

300 Channels

Unlimited

$129.99

The Most Fios TV + Internet 200 + Digital Voice

200 Mbps

425 Channels

Unlimited

$149.99

Call now to order: (888) 512-1582
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 100% fiber network

  • Speed options up to Gigabit

  • Equal upload and download speeds

  • No contracts

  • Good customer service reputation

Cons

  • Limited availability

  • More expensive than competitors

Provider Benefits
  • Service is run on 100% fiber optic network

  • No annual contracts

  • Plans with speeds up to Gigabit

  • Reliable service

  • Fast upload and download speeds

  • Live online chat support

  • 24/7 Facebook messenger support

Call to order now: (888) 512-1582

When it comes to the best Fiber network option, look no further than Verizon FiOS.

  • 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.

Verizon FiOS internet plans

Package

Speed

Price

Verizon FiOS Fios Internet 200 Mbps

200 Mbps

$39.99

Verizon FiOS Fios Internet 400 Mbps

400 Mbps

$59.99

Verizon FiOS Fios Gigabit Internet

940 Mbps

$79.99


Cheap internet availability by ZIP code

Need help choosing a plan? Call now: (888) 343-5422Find deals in my area

Considerations when comparing cheap internet 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.

Cheap internet service 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.

Compare cheap internet plans & packages

Provider

Download

Monthly Price

MediacomMediacom

60-1,000 Mbps

$19.99-79.99

CoxCox

25-940 Mbps

$29.99-99.99

WOW!WOW!

100-1,000 Mbps

$29.99-64.99

RCNRCN

50-940 Mbps

$29.99-59.99

SuddenlinkSuddenlink

200-940 Mbps

$30.00-45.00

ArmstrongArmstrong

12-500 Mbps

$34.95-149.95

AT&TAT&T

100-1,000 Mbps

$35.00-60.00

WindstreamWindstream

200-1,000 Mbps

$35.00-55.00

Verizon FiOSVerizon FiOS

200-940 Mbps

$39.99-79.99

HughesNetHughesNet

25 Mbps

$39.99-129.99

Cheap internet service 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.

Recap

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.

Need help choosing a plan? Call now: (888) 343-5422Find deals in my area
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.

Call now: Find the best internet deal - (888) 343-5422