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Best Internet Service Providers of 2021

Compare cheap high speed internet providers in my area

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The best internet providers in December

Selecting the best internet provider in your area may seem like a daunting task if you're not familiar with the features each one offers.

In addition, you may only have a choice of one or two internet providers available at your address, which means it's even more important to be able to evaluate the available packages.

As technology advances, new types of connections become available, such as fiber optic internet. In this guide to broadband internet and more, I'll give you tips and information that will help you choose the right internet service for your household.

Quickly and easily find out which internet companies operate in your area by entering your ZIP code into our convenient ZIP code checker tool. Get information on speeds, packages, and pricing, all with the click of a button.

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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 (formerly Charter), is well known across the country - and for good reason. Their internet plans start at 200 Mbps and they also offer fiber coverage.

We've chosen Spectrum for best internet cable provider. Here's why:

  • Large Coverage - Spectrum covers 24 of the 50 states. Check our coverage map to see if they're available in your area.
  • Contract Buyout - Spectrum offers an awesome contract buyout promotion for qualifying packages. That means if you're looking to pair TV and phone with your internet Spectrum will cover your fees up to a certain amount.
  • Improvements - Since charter acquired Time Warner Spectrum, customer service has drastically improved.
  • Promotions - Oftentimes Spectrum offers deals or sign-up bonuses that can help you out for up to a year.

You've heard the ups but we all know every provider has its downs:

  • Bill Increases - Remember those promo deals we mentioned? Keep in mind that they do end and oftentimes when your contract is still in play. Additionally, customers often say that their prices increase the longer you stay with them.
  • Expensive - Spectrum isn't exactly known for the best provider for consumers on a budget. While their promo deals can be tempting you'll want to make sure of what the price will be when they end and factor that into your budget.

Spectrum internet plans & prices

PackageSpeedPrice
Spectrum Internet400 Mbps$49.99

Best 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 Landline Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Fios Digital Voice

Unlimited

$29.99

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

There are some awesome fiber Internet providers out there like Google Fiber or AT&T Fiber. But of all those providers we've picked our favorite - Verizon FiOS.

  • FiOS has Speed - Verizon FiOS offers speed up to 940 Mbps. This works well for high-streaming households, gaming households, or even a small business.
  • Customer Service - Verizon has the best customer service rating amongst all other providers.
  • Discounts - Like most providers, Verizon FiOS offers promo discounts for new users. And unlike Spectrum, the longer you commit, the better the deal.

Sounds great right? Now here is the downside:

  • Coverage - Verizon FiOS is only available in nine states. Check out our coverage map of Verizon FiOS to see if it's available in your area.

Verizon FiOS internet plans & prices

PackageSpeedPrice
Verizon FiOS Fios Internet 200 Mbps200 Mbps$39.99
Verizon FiOS Fios Internet 400 Mbps400 Mbps$59.99
Verizon FiOS Fios Gigabit Internet940 Mbps$79.99

Best DSL internet provider

AT&T Internet

Call to order now: (855) 458-2223
Download
100-1,000 Mbps
Channels
Calls
Monthly Price
$35-60
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
See all plans
Call to order now: (855) 458-2223

AT&T Internet Only Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet 100

100 Mbps

$35.00

Internet 300

300 Mbps

$45.00

Internet 1000

1000 Mbps

$60.00

AT&T TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Entertainment

65 Channels

$69.99

Choice

90 Channels

$84.99

Ultimate

130 Channels

$94.99

AT&T Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet + Entertainment + Phone

100 Mbps

65 Channels

Unlimited

$134.98

Internet + Choice + Phone

100 Mbps

90 Channels

Unlimited

$149.99

Internet + Ultimate + Phone

100 Mbps

130 Channels

Unlimited

$159.99

Call now to order: (855) 458-2223
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Flexible bundling options

  • Quickly expanding fiber network

  • DSL service available

  • Extensive rural availability

Cons

  • Contract required

  • Rate hike after the first year

  • Limited availability

Provider Benefits
  • Fiber optic availability

  • 30,000+ Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide

  • Flexible options for bundles

  • AT&T Smart Wi-Fi - Stay connected room to room

  • Combine your services with phone, TV and Internet bundles

  • Availability in some rural areas

  • 24/7 Technical support

  • Customer service available 8am to 7pm local time

DSL Internet (Digital Subscriber Lines) is not a thing of the past. In fact, they're only improving. As far as best of the best go we've chosen AT&T. Take a look at why:

  • Budgeting - AT&T DSL is great for any consumer on a budget. You'll pay far less than what you would with any cable internet or fiber-optic consumer.
  • Customer Service - AT&T has you covered with their customer service. They've blown the competition away in every one of J.D. Power's Provider Satisfaction Study including performance and reliability, cost, billing, communication, and overall satisfaction.

Unfortunately, there is a downside:

  • Speed - If you've got the need for speed you'll want to look elsewhere. DSL isn't exactly known for its fast download speeds.

AT&T Internet Plans & Prices

PackageSpeedPrice
AT&T Internet 100100 Mbps$35
AT&T Internet 300300 Mbps$45
AT&T Internet 10001000 Mbps$60

Best satellite internet provider

HughesNet Internet

Call to order now: (844) 684-5427
Download
25 Mbps
Channels
Calls
Monthly Price
$40-130
See all plans
Call to order now: (844) 684-5427

HughesNet Internet Only Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet 10GB

25 Mbps

$39.99

Internet 20GB

25 Mbps

$49.99

Internet 30GB

25 Mbps

$79.99

Internet 50GB

25 Mbps

$129.99

Call now to order: (844) 684-5427
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No surprise mid-contract rate hikes

  • Clear and simple plans and pricing

  • Available nationwide

Cons

  • Very low data caps

  • Only one speed option

Provider Benefits
  • Nationwide availability

  • 24/7 customer service

  • Live online web chat

  • Good choice of plans

  • Tech support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Satellite internet providers offer nationwide coverage, meaning you can almost certainly choose this provider. But with coverage not being an option what else do they have to offer? Lots.

In the battle of HughesNet vs Viasat (the two largest satellite providers) HughesNet comes out on top. Here's why:

  • Speed - HughesNet service can support up to several devices no matter what plan you choose.
  • Coverage - obviously.
  • Price - Compared to ViaSat, HughesNet offers cheaper plans.

As a consumer, you should keep in mind that there's often cons that come with pros like the ones HughesNet has.

  • Customer Service - HughesNet has low customer service rating with complaints from tech support to reliability.
  • Speed Limitations - HughesNet has data caps that reduce your speed after you allocated billed amount.

HughesNet internet plans

PackageSpeedPrice
HughesNet Internet 10GB25 Mbps$39.99
HughesNet Internet 20GB25 Mbps$49.99
HughesNet Internet 30GB25 Mbps$79.99
HughesNet Internet 50GB25 Mbps$129.99

Best cheap internet provider

Frontier Internet

Call to order now: (888) 475-7478
Download
50-1,000 Mbps
Channels
Calls
Monthly Price
$50-80
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 475-7478

Frontier Internet Only Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

FiberOptic 50

50 Mbps

$49.99

FiberOptic 500

500 Mbps

$59.99

FiberOptic Gig

1000 Mbps

$79.99

Call now to order: (888) 475-7478
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No data caps

  • Solid speeds to some rural areas

  • Good range of plans

  • TV and phone bundles available

  • Price lock or no-contract options

Cons

  • Limited service areas

  • Only available bundled with internet

Provider Benefits
  • 24/7 tech support

  • No data caps - All plans offer unlimited data

  • 2 year price lock guarantee

  • Cloud drive storage

  • Live online chat

  • 30 day money back guarantee

  • BYO compatible modem

  • Wide availability - Covers 38 states

We know the internet is a "must-have" these days but let's be honest.. it comes with a price.. literally. And it's not cheap! If you're looking for internet on a budget, Frontier is your provider.

  • Speed - As far as cheap internet goes, this will be your fastest provider.
  • Bundle and Save - Frontier offers both TV and home phone and the more you bundle, the more you save.
  • Data - Does your household require high data? You're in luck. Frontier supports streaming and gaming.

Remember what we've taught you though, there's always some sort of downside. For Frontier it's:

  • Data Caps - your service will slow after you've reached the allotted amount.

Frontier internet plans & prices


Internet provider availability by ZIP code

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Considerations when comparing 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.

Compare Internet plans & packages

ProviderDownloadMonthly Price
MediacomMediacom60-1,000 Mbps$19.99-79.99
CoxCox25-940 Mbps$29.99-99.99
WOW!WOW!100-1,000 Mbps$29.99-64.99
RCNRCN50-940 Mbps$29.99-59.99
SuddenlinkSuddenlink200-940 Mbps$30.00-45.00
ArmstrongArmstrong12-500 Mbps$34.95-149.95
AT&TAT&T100-1,000 Mbps$35.00-60.00
WindstreamWindstream200-1,000 Mbps$35.00-55.00
Verizon FiOSVerizon FiOS200-940 Mbps$39.99-79.99
HughesNetHughesNet25 Mbps$39.99-129.99

Internet service providers FAQs

Who has the best internet service?

The best internet service varies due to where you live and what you're looking for from your internet. You can find out what providers are available in your area and compare internet plans depending on your needs.

Which is the best and fastest service provider?

Xfinity often comes up as one of the best and fastest providers on its fiber-based service.

What's the best home internet deal?

There's a large choice of internet providers, but AT&T, Verizon Fios, Spectrum, Optimum, and Xfinity are commonly voted to have the best internet deals.

Who are the best internet providers in my area?

The best depends on your budget and internet needs. Check your ZIP code to find internet providers available in your area for the best deals.


Recap

Location, location, location. That's ultimately going to be the dictating factor when it comes to choosing an internet provider. Be sure to check your area using our convenient internet provider ZIP code checker 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.

For urban dwellers, the fastest internet provider available will likely be one that offers cable or fiber. If you live in a rural area, far from the reach of cable internet providers, you might need to consider satellite internet.

Though it's not the fastest connection type, it can reach virtually anywhere in the U.S. For those looking for the cheapest Internet option available, DSL service will do the trick.

No matter where you live, you'll be sure to find an option that works for your household and budget.

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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.