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These Are the Best Internet Providers

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Editor’s Note: This story comes from CableTV.com.

Whether you’re looking for the absolute best internet service or the fastest home internet, we’ve got you covered.

Out of our five recommendations for the best home internet providers, Verizon Fios is our top pick, but each internet service provider (ISP) below offers something special to fit your needs.

Best internet service providers head to head

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Here are the best internet providers with price, max download speed, and data cap.

  • Verizon: $49.99–$89.99/mo., 300–2,300 Mbps, None
  • Ziply Fiber: $20.00–$300.00/mo., 50–10,000 Mbps, Unlimited
  • Google Fiber: $70.00–$150.00/mo., 1,000–8,000 Mbps, Unlimited
  • Spectrum: $49.99–$89.99/mo., Up to 300–1,000 Mbps, Unlimited
  • Optimum: $40.00–$180.00/mo., 300–5,000 Mbps, Unlimited

Best internet service providers overview

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There are a lot of great internet options out there, from both large-scale and local internet companies. These are our picks of the best major ISPs.

If you want to love your ISP’s customer service and reliability, Verizon Fios is the way to go.

If money is no object and internet speed is the one thing that matters to you, Ziply’s 10,000 Mbps internet plan is the fastest one available for a home internet connection.

If you’re fortunate enough to have Google Fiber coverage in your area, you’ll get speedy and reliable fiber internet service. Google Fiber was one of the highest-rated regional ISPs in our internet customer satisfaction survey.

For affordable fiber internet, Optimum will make every dollar count. When you want to avoid a contract, Spectrum is one of your best cable internet options.

But those aren’t the only reasons these ISPs are the ones we recommend. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of each.

Editor’s choice: Verizon Fios

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  • Price: $49.99–$89.99/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 300–2,300 Mbps
  • Data cap: Unlimited


  • High customer satisfaction
  • Matched upload and download speeds in most cases


  • Pricey DSL plans

About Verizon Fios

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For four years in a row, Verizon Fios has scored very high on our annual customer satisfaction survey.

Its impressive scores take into account its stellar customer service, its well-priced plans, and the reliability of its 100% fiber network. (It also landed on top of our best ISPs for streaming guide.)

As with many of our top ISPs, Verizon Fios offers you unlimited data and no contracts. Verizon Fios also frequently offers internet deals that include free hardware, subscription services, and waived installation fees.

If you’re interested in TV service, consider Verizon Fios TV and internet bundles. Verizon Fios’ TV plans come with an excellent mix of channels, and you can add home VoIP phone service for an additional $20 per month.

More About Verizon Fios

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Also, video calls will look fabulous for you and the people watching you, thanks to these high upload speeds. Go ahead and treat yourself to an animated Zoom background—these speeds can handle it.

A word of caution: We’re talking about Verizon Fios, which is fiber internet, not Verizon High-Speed Internet, which is DSL internet. The latter reaches speeds only as high as 15 Mbps, but it will run you $74.99 per month. That’s not a fair shake.

One more word of caution: Verizon Fios is located in only nine eastern states.

  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • Washington, DC

If you’re shopping for internet in one of these states, we’d recommend Verizon Fios, but if you’re elsewhere, you’ll be out of luck.

Fastest: Ziply Fiber

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  • Price: $20.00–$300.00/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 50–10,000 Mbps
  • Data cap: Unlimited


  • Unlimited data
  • Fiber plans with matching download/upload speeds


  • DSL speeds that vary by area

About Ziply Fiber

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If you’re looking for speed, you’ll find it with Ziply Fiber. The ISP sports the fastest internet plan on the market thanks to its Fiber 10 Gig plan, which comes with ludicrous 10,000 Mbps download and upload speeds.

But Ziply is hamstrung by its small regional footprint—the provider operates only in Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho.

Another big plus of Ziply: their plans don’t have annual contracts, so you can leave and switch providers whenever you please.

Ziply Fiber’s internet plans get our stamp of approval with their fast speeds and affordable prices. If you’re on Ziply Fiber’s DSL internet plan, though, it’s a different story.

We’ve seen download speeds as slow as 1 Mbps, which is ridiculously lethargic. Look at competitors for faster speeds if you’re in a DSL area.

Best in customer satisfaction: Google Fiber

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  • Price: $70.00–$150.00/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 1,000–8,000 Mbps
  • Data cap: Unlimited


  • Excellent fiber internet service
  • No annual price increases


  • Limited availability
  • No budget options

About Google Fiber

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Google Fiber might not have the best reach—at the moment, it’s available in only 20 US cities—but when it’s available, it’s impressive.

Fiber internet will always be faster and more reliable than the competition (read our fiber internet review to find out why), and with only two plans, Google makes it easy to access high speeds right away.

Google Fiber was one of the top performers in our 2023 internet customer satisfaction survey. An impressive 90% of respondents were extremely satisfied with Google Fiber’s speeds, and 85% of respondents were equally satisfied with Google Fiber’s service reliability.

If you’re looking for high-performance fiber internet service, Google Fiber will deliver, and it won’t go down.

Google doesn’t roll out deals or price cuts very often, but its customers enjoy no data caps and the 2 Gig plan comes with a Wi-Fi 6 router and Google’s mesh Wi-Fi extender. The new 5 Gig and 8 Gig plans also come with a Wi-Fi 6 router, plus up to two of the mesh Wi-Fi extenders.

Like other internet providers, Google Fiber has an option to bundle internet and phone together, although if you’re looking for fiber TV, you won’t find it here: Google refers customers to YouTube TV instead.

Most flexible: Spectrum

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  • Price: $49.99–$89.99/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 300 Mbps–1 Gbps
  • Data cap: Unlimited


  • Contract-free internet
  • Great TV plans


  • Expensive prices compared to competitors
  • A small price increase after 12 months

About Spectrum

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All of Spectrum’s internet plans are contract-free, so you can leave at any time without having to deal with early termination fees.

Plus, if you’re searching for a deal, Spectrum’s TV and internet bundle is one of the most affordable around at only $109.99 a month. Its channel lineup isn’t enormous, but the à la carte channel add-ons are well-priced if you want more TV.

When it comes to performance, Spectrum’s internet plans are no slouch, either.

Although the provider’s internet plans are generally pretty average when compared to competing cable internet providers, Spectrum still earned strong scores in our annual customer satisfaction survey.

Plus, Spectrum occasionally offers deals like two-year price guarantees.

If your neighborhood qualifies for this promotion, you can lock in your promotional price for an extra year and won’t have to deal with a second-year price increase.

Cheapest fiber internet: Optimum

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  • Price: $40.00–$180.00/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 300–5,000 Mbps
  • Data cap: Unlimited


  • Wide availability
  • Fast fiber speeds


  • Middling customer service
  • A scheduled price increase

About Optimum

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Optimum’s internet plans check off a lot of the boxes we like to see from ISPs: with it, you’ll get unlimited data, decent fiber internet availability, no contracts, and fast download speeds.

If your neighborhood has Optimum fiber internet coverage, you’ll also get some of the cheapest and fastest fiber internet plans around.

Optimum Fiber Internet 300 includes 300Mbps upload and download speeds for only $40 monthly for your first year.

By comparison, most competing fiber internet providers start their pricing at around $50 to $60 monthly, and you’ll have to settle for slower 100Mbps or 200Mbps speeds.

Although Optimum had lackluster marks on our customer satisfaction survey, its strong network still helped the ISP earn a spot on our best ISPs for gaming list.

Other top internet providers

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Whether you’re in the sticks or the suburbs, there are ISPs for virtually any budget and situation these days.

While these ISPs missed out on our best ISP rankings, they’re still worth checking out if you’re within their coverage map.

For a complete list of providers, visit our internet service provider guide, or if you’re looking for something more specific, consider our list of the best internet service providers.


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  • Price: $19.99–$80.00/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 75–3,000 Mbps
  • Data cap: 1.2 TB

If you’re looking for cheap budget internet service, you’ll find a lot to like with Xfinity. Xfinity’s one of the few major ISPs with internet plans that cost less than $40 per month.

Granted, these plans (75 Mbps and 200 Mbps) don’t have the fastest download speeds, and they come with short one-year price guarantees.

But considering most ISPs have made $50 the de facto starting price for internet plans, we’ll always shout out ISPs that offer affordable pricing.


senior woman studying information on her tablet or laptop
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  • Price: $30.00–$75.00/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 100–940 Mbps
  • Data cap: Unlimited

CenturyLink has some excellent fiber plans that are bookended with a serviceable—but aging—DSL network.

We’d recommend CenturyLink’s fiber internet plans if your neighborhood has CenturyLink fiber coverage. Along with excellent download and upload speeds, you’ll also get unlimited data and won’t have to worry about a contract or second-year price increase.

But if your address isn’t covered by CenturyLink fiber, you’ll have to settle for its DSL Simply Unlimited Internet plan. As with most DSL networks, your maximum speed depends on CenturyLink’s DSL service in your area.

Depending on your location, your home might get 100 Mbps service or be saddled with a meager 10 Mbps connection. Still, CenturyLink’s straightforward DSL pricing makes the provider a great fit if you’re looking for rural internet service.

CenturyLink doesn’t offer TV service, but you can still bundle CenturyLink phone service with your internet plan (although you won’t get a bundle discount).


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  • Price: $55.00–$250.00/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 75–5,000 Mbps
  • Data cap: 1 TB–Unlimited

AT&T’s 5 Gig Internet plan is one of the fastest gig plans out there. Whether you’re working from home or gaming online, internet speeds like that let you run rampant on the ole information highway.

We always recommend getting fiber internet if it’s in your neighborhood because you’ll get the best internet performance and it’ll be much better than cable or DSL internet.

As of August 2023, AT&T no longer offers their DSL plans. However, for those in rural areas or who are interested in AT&T’s now-defunct 75Mbps or 100Mbps plans, check out AT&T Internet Air.

It costs the same as AT&T’s old DSL plan ($55.00 per month) and offers nearly the same download and upload speeds. We think Internet Air is a solid alternative to DSL, but you’ll quickly hit its performance ceiling if you need more than just the basics from your internet connection.

But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. AT&T offers plans without annual contracts, so you can tuck and roll out of a plan whenever you want without paying extra fees.

AT&T also offers some internet, TV, and phone service bundles. DIRECTV STREAM, which is AT&T’s main option for bundled TV service, has a sizable number of cable and broadcast TV channels for between $69.99 and $139.99 per month.


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  • Price: $39.95–$69.95/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 100–1,000 Mbps
  • Data cap: Unlimited

Despite having a network that only runs across parts of 14 states, MetroNet has some of the most affordable fiber internet plans we’ve seen on the market.

Customers can get fiber internet plans with download and upload speeds between 100 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps with plans starting at $39.95 per month.

MetroNet customers also found a lot to like about MetroNet service.

MetroNet was the fourth-best ISP in our 2023 internet customer satisfaction survey, beating out larger competitors like Xfinity, Spectrum, and CenturyLink.


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  • Price: $49.99–$149.99/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 100–2,000 Mbps
  • Data cap: 1 TB

Cox’s internet prices aren’t the greatest compared to competitors like Xfinity, but its StraightUp Internet offers decent performance and value for prepaid internet service.

Cox’s starting 100 Mbps plan earned a spot on our list of the best cheap internet plans, and the ISP also had decent marks on our annual customer satisfaction survey.

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet

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  • Price: $50.00/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 72-245 Mbps
  • Data cap: Unlimited

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet offers great prices and decent download speeds for customers interested in a cable internet alternative.

T-Mobile cell phone customers can also get a $20 discount on T-Mobile home internet. But with T-Mobile’s city-by-city rollout approach, its availability in your area can be hit or miss.

Vyve Broadband

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  • Price: $39.99–$79.99/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 105 Mbps–960 Mbps
  • Data cap: 1–2 TB

Rural and small-town broadband can be a hit-or-miss experience, but Vyve Broadband fills in more gaps than we’d typically expect from a regional provider.

Vyve’s availability can be unpredictable, but if you’re in a rural area with Vyve coverage, you’ll thankfully have an alternative between slow DSL service and expensive satellite internet.


Excited homeowners on a laptop
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  • Price: $19.99–$94.99/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 50–1,200 Mbps
  • Data cap: 1.5 TB–3 TB

WOW! is a great option for a no-contract internet—if it’s available near you. Unfortunately, WOW! is only available in nine states in the eastern half of the US.

If you are lucky enough to have WOW! service near you, their fast, inexpensive internet plans are solid choices, even when competing with larger ISPs like Xfinity or Spectrum.


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  • Price: $69.99–$299.99/mo.*
  • Max download speeds: Up to 100 Mbps
  • Data cap: 60 GB–Unlimited

If you live in a rural area, you might not have many options for internet service. For that, you’ll probably want satellite internet. However, this service often comes with a catch: slower upload speeds, slower download speeds, and low data caps.

Viasat’s plans slow down once you’ve reached your limit, so if you’re able to, pick a plan with a lot of data like Choice 100.

As satellite internet goes, Viasat isn’t bad. Read more about its strengths and weaknesses and how it compares against its main competitor in our Viasat vs. HughesNet face-off.

*Prices and availability vary by location. Installation fees, monthly equipment lease fees, and taxes may apply. After 100 GB of High-Speed Data usage, you still have unlimited access to Standard Data, which may result in slower speed.


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  • Price: $40.00–$115.00/mo.*
  • Max download speeds: 50–1,000 Mbps
  • Data cap: 700 GB–Unlimited

If you’re an internet user who just occasionally checks email and social media, Sparklight, formerly called Cable ONE, is an acceptable option.

However, if you want to stream, video call, or even just upload photos to social media, you may face issues with Sparklights data caps and overage fees—you might even get moved to a more expensive plan without consent if you go over your data cap.

*Equipment, taxes, fees, and any applicable surcharge extra. $10 charge for each add’l 100GB; Up to $30/mo.

Internet Gig: Equipment, taxes, fees, and any applicable surcharge extra. Actual speeds vary and are subject to equipment limitations. Wi-Fi speeds will be substantially lower. Up to $30/mo.


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  • Price: $49.99–$174.99/mo.
  • Max download speeds: 50 Mbps
  • Data cap: 15–200 GB

If you’re in a rural area and looking for speed, you probably shouldn’t go with HughesNet.

It has much lower speeds than competitors—but you can’t beat its low prices if you just want something cheap that lets you check emails and read the news.

For anything more than light web surfing, look elsewhere, unless you want to hit your plan’s data cap and endure throttled speeds.

The exception? HughesNet offers a “Bonus Zone” period that gives you an extra 50 GB of data between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. RIP to your sleep schedule after that.

For more about internet service in rural areas, head over to our rural internet guide.

What to look for in top internet service providers

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Some internet services have exciting deals and freebies that look super impressive.

But when you want the best home internet, make sure the price per month, download speed, and data caps meet your standards before you sign a contract.

Price per month

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Since there’s no standard for internet pricing, even 25 Mbps plans can run anywhere from $19.99 to $60.00 per month. It’s a big range, we know.

Price depends a lot on your provider and location.

If you’re looking for budget-friendly internet service, we recommend trying to find a deal around $50 per month. Most providers have basic internet plans that are at or below this price point.

Download speed

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines broadband—high-speed internet—as 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds. Unless you’re in a rural area, it’s easy to find internet speeds like that nowadays.

But our internet usage is growing all the time. People stream more, game more, and telecommute more. Add to that cool smart home devices, and our bandwidth usage is higher than ever.

With that in mind, we recommend trying for faster internet speeds. Going from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps will make a world of difference, but jumping up to 100 Mbps is the best fit for most homes.

Unless you’re a super internet user, you probably don’t need 1,000 Mbps, but if you feel like your internet connection is too slow, go ahead and kick it up a notch.

Check out our internet speed guide if you need help deciding what internet plan best fits your household.

Data caps

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Data caps—also called data allowances—are limits on how much an ISP will let you use the internet before it charges you extra fees.

Every time you upload or download something, whether it’s clicking a link, sending a Facebook message, or streaming a show from Netflix, you’re using data.

We didn’t talk about data caps much in this article because our top five recommendations all meet our standards.

That means they’re all around 1,024 GB (1 TB), which is more than plenty for the average household. (Should you be concerned about going over 1TB of data, we’ve got the answer.)

But knowing your provider’s data caps and how much it will charge you can save you a lot of heartbreak.

Final take

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There are some excellent internet providers out there with stellar deals and fast internet speeds. But providers vary by area, so you’ll need to figure out your options before setting your heart on one.

Here’s what you’ll need to know about our best ISP picks:

  • Verizon Fios—best overall: Verizon Fios combines excellent fiber internet plans with superb customer service. It’s not the most widely available ISP, but if you’re in one of the nine states with Verizon Fios coverage, we’d recommend getting a plan.
  • Ziply Fiber—fastest: Ziply offers affordable gigabit internet plans up to 10,000 Mbps, the fastest on the market today.
  • Google Fiber—best for performance: Google Fiber’s fiber internet service combines stellar speeds with high reliability.
  • Spectrum—best no-contract internet: If you’re interested in a TV and internet bundle, Spectrum’s TV plans are a great deal thanks to its excellent channel lineups filled with premium channels.
  • Optimum—cheapest fiber internet: Optimum’s fiber internet is among the most affordable on the market.

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