The best internet service provider (ISP) for your home depends largely on your priorities, such as price, internet speeds, contracts, type of connection, and more. It will also depend on where you live since different internet providers are available in different areas. Once you figure out what you’re looking for in an internet service provider and plan, you can start your search.
In this internet guide:
- Best cheap internet service providers
- Best high-speed internet service providers
- Best prepaid internet service providers
- Best internet service providers for gaming
- Internet service providers near me
Best cheap internet service providers
The average adult in the US spends an estimated $65/month on their internet plan but there are far cheaper plans out there. In fact, there is a wide variety of cheap internet providers offering plans between $19/month and $50/month. We’ve compiled a list of the top ten cheap internet service providers to check out below. And keep in mind, regardless of provider, DSL and cable internet plans are going to be the most affordable plan options, no matter which state you live in.
The best cheap internet service providers include:
- Comcast Xfinity
- AT&T Internet
- Charter Spectrum
Let’s Talk Tip: Most ISPs offer affordable introductory rates, which typically apply for 1 or 2 years. Once that introductory period is up, plan prices tend to increase by a lot. One way to keep your monthly plan price low is to switch to a new ISP so you can get a cheap intro price somewhere else.
Wave is at the top of our cheap internet service provider list because the most affordable Wave internet plan costs just $19.95/month, and it’s a great deal too—you get 50Mbps speeds and 400GB of data on this cable plan. And that’s not all—you can get super-fast speeds for less than $40/month. All Wave plans are contract-free and you’ll keep your introductory price for 1 year. The only downside is that Wave internet is only available in Oregon, California, and Washington right now. 5 stars for value, but 1 star for availability.
Wave internet plans
CenturyLink DSL internet plans start as low as $45/month, and unlike many other internet service providers, your price is set for life, meaning the monthly cost won’t ever increase. Trying a CenturyLink internet plan is easy and risk-free—it offers no-contract internet plans that you can cancel any time.
CenturyLink internet plans
Comcast Xfinity cable plans start at just $35/month—some require a 1-year contract while others are no-contract, so you’ll want to take that into consideration when choosing a cheap internet plan that works best for you.
Xfinity internet plans
AT&T, which has made a name for itself in both the cell phone and internet game, offers inexpensive DSL internet plans starting as low as $50/month. All AT&T internet plans require a 1-year contract and then your plan price will increase.
AT&T internet plans
Charter Spectrum is an excellent cheap internet service provider offering cable plans starting at $50/month. Spectrum internet plans don’t have data caps so you can enjoy the benefits of unlimited data without having to worry about paying overage fees or having your internet slowed down. Not to mention, Spectrum will buy out your contract for up to $500 if you’re stuck with your current provider and want to switch to Spectrum. Spectrum is also a no-contract provider so you can terminate service whenever you want.
Spectrum internet plans
RCN offers cheap internet plans to residents in urban areas, such as Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. Cable plans start at just $30/month and there is no shortage of plan choices, all of which include unlimited data. Your introductory price will last 1 year before increasing.
RCN internet plans
Cox is a great option for cheap cable internet plans ranging from $30/month to $60/month. Most Cox plans require a 1-year contract, after which your plan price increases.
Cox internet plans
Suddenlink cheap cable internet plans cost between $35/month and $45/month and its fiber internet plan costs just $55/month (which is very cheap for fiber). Some of these cheap plans include slower internet speeds than the typical person may desire, but there are still a few good options with speeds 50Mbps or faster. Suddenlink internet plans do not require a contract and you’ll enjoy your intro rate for 1 year before it increases.
Suddenlink internet plans
Windstream plans, which are either fiber, DSL, or VDSL (a faster version of DSL), start as low as $26/month with many options below $50/month. All Windstream internet plans include unlimited data, which is always a great perk. Windstream is another great no-contract service provider and plan prices increase after 1 year.
Windstream internet plans
Frontier offers economical DSL internet plans ranging from $20/month to $50/month. One disadvantage of the cheapest Frontier plans is that the speeds may be as slow as 6Mbps, but there are some affordable plans with 45Mbps and higher. If you go with Frontier, you’ll be locked into a 2-year contract, after which your plan price will go up.
Frontier internet plans
Best high-speed internet service providers
The fastest internet service providers generally offer fiber internet plans; however, fiber internet is only available in about one-quarter of the country and fiber installation fees can be quite high. Cable internet plans are far more widespread and can still achieve lightning-fast speeds up to 1Gbps. And don’t discount DSL plans—some DSL providers offer fast internet speeds as well.
With so many internet service providers to compare, we’ve done the dirty work for you and compiled a list of the best high-speed internet service providers who are going to offer you the fastest internet speeds on the market.
The fastest internet service providers include:
Let’s Talk Tip: Fiber internet has the fastest download and upload speeds, as well as lowest latency. Often referred to as “lag” or “ping” to online gamers, latency refers to how long it takes your signal to travel from your device to your ISP’s server and back to your device. 100 milliseconds or fewer is considered decent latency, but with fiber, your ping may be as low as 25 milliseconds.
Verizon Fios, Verizon’s fiber internet service provider, offers speeds up to 940Mbps, as well as several other high-speed fiber plans. Verizon Fios is a no-contract ISP, although pricing is subject to increase.
Verizon Fios fiber internet plans
Google Fiber offers fiber internet plans with speeds up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps), plus Google Fiber doesn’t include contracts or data caps with its plans. That said, if you do choose to commit to a 1-year contract, Google Fiber will waive the $100 installation fee, which may be worth it if you know you’re going to stick with Google Fiber for a while.
Google Fiber internet plans
AT&T Fiber is one of the best high-speed internet providers, with speeds up to 1Gbps. Plus, all AT&T Fiber plans include unlimited data so you don’t have to worry about using up your data while binging Netflix or playing online games with your friends. AT&T Fiber plans require 1-year contracts after which your plan price will go up.
AT&T Fiber internet plans
Xfinity makes an appearance twice, for being one of the cheapest and fastest internet service providers, offering speeds up to 2Gbps (2,000Mbps) on its fiber plans and 400Mbps on its cable plans. These internet speeds are blazing fast and can handle all of your family’s online activities, such as downloading audiobooks, streaming videos, and gaming.
Xfinity fast internet plans
Not only does Cox offer affordable plans but it also includes incredibly fast speeds with its fiber and cable plans—Cox internet plans include speeds of up to 1Gbps. The majority of Cox internet plans require a 1-year contract and price lock.
Cox fast internet plans
Charter Spectrum makes our list not only for best cheap providers but also for fastest internet providers, with speeds up to 400Mbps and unlimited data. As we stated before, Spectrum will buy out your current contract up to $500 so it is a great provider to consider if you’re stuck in a contract.
Spectrum fast internet plans
Optimum offers fast cable internet plans with internet speeds up to 400Mbps. It is a no-contract provider and your price is locked in for 1 year before it increases. One drawback to Optimum is that it is only available in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
Optimum internet plans
RCN also makes our list twice, as this ISP offers blazing-fast speeds up to 1Gbps. With those kinds of speeds, you can stream and game and download to your heart’s content—plus, you don’t have to worry about hitting a data cap.
RCN high-speed internet plans
Wow! offers fiber and cable internet plans with speeds reaching 1Gbps, and Wow!’s plans don’t include data caps so you and your family can enjoy the perks of unlimited data. These plans require a 2-year contract, after which your plan will increase.
WOW! internet plans
Best prepaid internet service providers
Just like with cell phone plans, you pay prepaid internet plans upfront at the beginning of each month before receiving service. The benefits of a prepaid internet plan are similar to the benefits of a prepaid phone plan—you can typically avoid a credit check and contract. Some popular ISPs that offer prepaid plans include:
- Verizon Fios (pay as you go)
- Xfinity Prepaid
Best internet service providers for gaming
The best internet service providers for online gaming are going to be ISPs that offer fiber internet plans, such as Verizon Fios, Google Fiber, AT&T Fiber, Xfinity, Cox, and more. This is because fiber internet offers the fastest speeds and lowest latency or “ping.” If fiber internet isn’t available in your area, then you’ll want to find a cable internet plan with speeds of 300Mbps or above.
Best gaming internet service providers
Find internet service providers near me
If you’re searching to compare internet service providers in your area, you’ll want to use our internet search tool. It’s super easy to use—all you have to do is enter your address and choose the internet speed you’re looking for.
You also have the option to choose your current ISP and select whether you’re looking for a TV or phone bundle at this time. Once you’re done filling it out, click “Search” and our results page will provide you with a list of internet providers and plans available near you.