If you’re tired of your internet glitching in the middle of streaming a TV episode or playing an online game, consider switching to an internet service provider (ISP) that offers fast internet speeds. Our Advisor team has researched the best internet providers on the market and compared them on speeds, services and pricing to help you find an ISP that provides the best internet speeds for your situation.

Our Top Picks

  • Xfinity
  • Google Fiber
  • Spectrum
  • AT&T
  • Kinetic
  • Cox
  • Verizon Fios
  • CenturyLink

Xfinity: Best Overall

  • Monthly cost: $40–$300 (starting cost for 12 months)
  • Broadband options: DSL, cable and fiber-optic
  • Speeds: 200 Mbps–2,000 Mbps (download); 5 Mbps–40 Mbps (upload)

Xfinity offers one of the most comprehensive selections of internet services on the market. The Comcast-backed company provides six different cable plans that max speeds out at 800 Mbps and two fiber-optic plans that max out at 2,000 Mbps. If you want high-speed internet for online gaming, video streaming and browsing on multiple devices at the same time, Xfinity’s 1,200 Mbps plan is a solid choice and costs $80 per month.

Xfinitiy does place a 1.2 terabytes (TB) data cap on its plans, but it’s unlikely that you’ll get near that amount if you live in a small household. However, a family of six or more that uses the internet often may need to be aware of this cap. Xfinity also provides excellent bundling options for TV and streaming platforms, mobile phone plans and home security systems.

Google Fiber: Best Fiber Plans

  • Monthly cost: $70–$100 (starting cost for first 12 months)
  • Broadband options: Cable and fiber-optic
  • Speeds: 1,000 Mbps–2,000 Mbps (download); 1,000 Mbps (upload)

Google Fiber offers fiber-optic plans that can reach an impressive speed of 2,000 Mbps. The company also provides strong Wi-Fi networks through Google WiFi. This Wi-Fi network covers up to 3,000 square feet, allowing customers to stream, game, work and browse from anywhere in their home with no dead zones.

Google Fiber also features competitive pricing on its two fiber-optic plans. You can buy its Gig plan for $70 per month, or you can purchase the powerful 2 Gig plan for $100 per month. This allows you to receive 2,000 Mbps speeds for a significantly lower price than other providers like Xfinity and AT&T. You can also use Google Fiber’s high speeds with Fiber TV and Fiber Phone. Google Fiber generally services major metropolitan cities.

Spectrum: Best for High Data Use

  • Monthly cost: $45–$110 (starting cost for 12 months)
  • Broadband options: DSL, cable and fiber-optic
  • Speeds: 200 Mbps–1,000 Mbps

If you’re interested in fast speeds and are looking to use a lot of data, consider Spectrum. Backed by industry-titan Charter Communications in 41 states, Spectrum provides unlimited data and includes its modem completely free with all plans. Spectrum’s Internet Gig plan (1,000 Mbps) for $110 per month is a good option for those who play a lot of online games, binge-watch series on Netflix or watch a lot of livestreams on Twitch.

Spectrum doesn’t have contracts or charge termination fees, and you can try out the company risk free for 30 days. You can save an additional $5 when you bundle Spectrum’s 400 Mbps plan with its TV service, Spectrum TV. This plan, though slower than the Internet Gig plan, is a great choice for those who engage in moderate online gaming and streaming.

AT&T: Best TV Bundle

  • Monthly cost: $35–$60 (starting cost for 12 months)
  • Broadband options: DSL, fixed wireless, cable and fiber-optic
  • Speeds: 300 Mbps–1,000 Mbps (equal download and upload)

AT&T is known for its 4G and 5G cell phone services, but the company also stands out for its reputable customer service and high internet speeds. The company’s strongest plan is its Internet 1,000 plan. With this plan, you’ll receive a 940 Mbps–1,000 download speed. AT&T charges $60 per month for this plan, plus taxes and equipment fees. AT&T’s Internet 1,000 plan is ideal for larger homes, serious gamers and those who work from home.

AT&T also offers impressive bundling options. The AT&T Internet + Choice bundle includes a 1,000 Mbps connection for strong Wi-Fi, over 45,000 on-demand titles, regional sports networks, live TV capability, 20 hours of DVR cloud storage and a full year of HBO Max for $130 per month. Though this bundle has a 1 TB data limit, it’s unlikely that smaller households will go over that limit.

Kinetic: Best Security Add-On

  • Monthly cost: $37 and up (starting cost for 12 months)
  • Broadband options: DSL, cable and fiber-optic
  • Speeds: 200 Mbps–1,000 Mbps (download); 1 Mbps–1,000 Mbps (upload)

Kinetic is a high-speed internet provider that prioritizes internet security and privacy. Kinetic’s Gig plan provides 1,000 Mbps speeds for around $57 per month and is great for people who want to stream, game, work and browse without data caps. Kinetic customers will also receive a strong Wi-Fi network and smart-home capabilities across all plans.

Kinetic offers an exceptional security add-on with Kinetic Secure. This add-on costs an extra $10 per month and protects your devices from malware, ransomware and viruses. It also offers browsing protection with parental controls and Identity Theft Protection. Additionally, Kinetic offers bundles with phone services and TV services, namely Kinetic TV, DirecTV and YouTube TV. Kinetic is available in 18 states.

Cox: Best Value

  • Monthly cost: $20–$100 (starting cost for 12 months)
  • Broadband options: DSL, cable and fiber-optic
  • Speeds: 20 Mbps–940 Mbps (download); 3 Mbps–940 Mbps (upload)

Cox is available in 19 states and provides some of the best value on the market with competitive pricing on its Gigablast plan (940 Mbps) for $100 per month. The company also offers 24/7 remote, in-house tech support, as well as the option to avoid a term agreement for an additional $10 monthly fee.

Cox can provide even further value to your internet plan with its TV and phone service bundles. Its most comprehensive package combines Internet Gigablast with Contour TV Preferred, which provides access to popular cable channels like ESPN, HGTV, USA, TBS and Food Network and popular streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO Max and Hulu. This package also includes Voice Preferred, which is an HD home phone service with features like caller ID and robocall blocking. This all-inclusive package costs $210 per month.

Verizon Fios: Best Phone Perks

  • Monthly cost: $40–$90 (starting cost for first 12 months)
  • Broadband options: DSL, cable and fiber-optic
  • Speeds: 200 Mbps–940 Mbps (download); 200 Mbps–840 Mbps (upload)

Verizon is making a name for itself in the internet services industry with its fiber-optic internet connection that it combines with comprehensive phone plan perks. Verizon Fios’ strongest plan is its Gigabit Connection plan that boasts a maximum download speed of 940 Mbps and a maximum upload speed of 840 Mbps. This plan is powerful enough for remote office work, online gaming and streaming HD video content.

Verizon Fios also offers excellent perks when it comes to bundling its internet plans with phone services. You can receive unlimited data on both your mobile phone plan and Fios plan as well as additional discounts. Its Gigabit Connection includes a Samsung Chromebook 4 11.6” (32 GB), 12 months of AMC+, 2 TB of Verizon Cloud storage and $40 in discounts on unlimited data plans ($25 on your mobile plan and $15 on your Fios plan).

  • Monthly cost: $50 and up (starting cost for 12 months)
  • Broadband options: DSL, cable and fiber-optic
  • Speeds: 10 Mbps–940 Mbps (download); 940 Mbps (max upload)

Customer service remains a major point of contention in the internet service provider sphere, but CenturyLink provides some of the best customer service in the industry. In addition to higher-than-average customer review scores on ConsumerAffairs and BroadbandNow, CenturyLink provides various support tools on its user-friendly website, including a speed test, service appointment manager, service troubleshooter, an online live chat and an outage checker.

CenturyLink’s fiber-optic plan provides speeds up to 940 Mbps for $85 per month. The company also offers its Secure Wi-Fi for a monthly fee, which allows users to connect multiple devices within one household and includes privacy and parental control tools. Additionally, CenturyLink features a user-friendly mobile app, My CenturyLink, which allows customers to easily control their network.

Picking the Right Internet Service Provider for You

To help you choose an ISP that’s right for you, we’ve listed some major factors to consider: 

  • Availability: Before choosing an internet service provider, determine which companies offer services in your area. Due to the infrastructure of the internet, one ZIP code may have access to Xfinity’s fiber-optic plan, but another nearby ZIP code may not.
  • Speeds: Once you know which providers you have access to, determine which companies provide the best internet speeds. Overall, fiber-optic internet plans will cover gaming, streaming and browsing across multiple devices. However, you may be able to save money depending on what activities you typically perform online and what speeds are required for them. Here’s a brief breakdown of internet speeds:
    • 0–10 Mbps: This is a great speed range for basic tasks on one device, such as checking email, streaming music and using search engines.
    • 11–40 Mbps: With this range, you can stream video on one device, conduct video calls via FaceTime or Google Meet and engage in most online gaming for one player. This is a decent plan for those who work remotely or browse on social media.
    • 41–100 Mbps: This internet speed range allows you to perform the above activities in addition to streaming HD video on a couple of devices, playing multiplayer online games and downloading large files.
    • 101–500 Mbps: The speeds in this range allow you to stream HD video on multiple devices, play multiplayer online games and download files faster than you can with lower internet speeds.
    • 500+ Mbps: This speed will allow you to complete almost any task you desire across multiple devices.
  • Bundles: Bundling multiple services from the same internet provider is an effective way to save money, receive additional perks and have one place to maintain services. AT&T’s bundles provide integration with streaming platforms, free HBO Max and live TV channel offerings. Verizon Fios provides excellent phone bundles that include unlimited cell phone data and free devices such as tablets and Chromebooks. Whether you want TV, streaming or phone services, ask a customer service representative about the types of bundles or packages available.

Tips for Faster Internet Speeds

If you’re experiencing speeds slower than what your provider claims you should be receiving, there are a few steps you can take to improve the speed of your internet:

  • Turn off other connected devices: Each of your devices can slow your internet down as it attempts to provide proper speeds to all of them. If you have any devices you’re not using currently, turn them off to help support your bandwidth.
  • Check your data use: ISPs will sometimes throttle speeds if you go over your data cap. Check your provider’s customer portal or mobile app to make sure you haven’t gone over your allotted data. If so, contact a customer service representative to fix the problem.
  • Reboot your system: Sometimes a simple reset can help with your internet speeds. Unplug the power cord to your modem, wait for roughly one minute and then plug the power cord in to reboot your system.
  • Install Wi-Fi extenders: You can purchase Wi-Fi extenders to use throughout your home to provide a stronger signal over more square footage. You can also invest in a mesh Wi-Fi router that provides a stronger Wi-Fi signal.
  • Change your virtual private network (VPN): If you use a VPN, it’s possible that it’s slowing your internet speeds. Consider either changing the VPN or trying out a new VPN provider if the problem persists.
  • Contact your ISP: It’s possible that some external factors, such as a loose connection in a utility box, may cause speed problems. Contact your internet service provider to send out a professional technician to test your internet connection for potential problems. Our team held a focus group and observed that many participants would learn about scheduled or unscheduled maintenance when they contacted their ISP. Some participants shared that their ISP, namely Spectrum and AT&T, provide user-friendly outage maps online that estimate how long a repair might take.
  • Consider switching internet providers: Your current provider may be limited with the types of connections or speeds it can provide to your home. Internet access changes from ZIP code to ZIP code, so it may be worth it to investigate other providers that offer better connection options.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which internet service providers are best for online gaming?

    High-speed internet is crucial for online gaming, and a fiber-optic connection is the best choice for online gaming due to its ability to maintain a steady yet strong internet connection. Fiber-optic internet helps you avoid lags in speed during gameplay. Consider Xfinity, Spectrum and Google Fiber for high-speed internet connections best for gaming.

  • Which internet service provider offers the fastest internet speed?

    Xfinity and Google Fiber offer some of the fastest speeds on the market. Both providers offer a 2,000 Mbps plan.

  • Which internet providers are best for rural areas?

    It can be difficult to get high-speed internet in rural areas, since the internet infrastructure in those areas isn’t as robust as the infrastructure around cities. Xfinity and CenturyLink offer satellite internet connection in rural areas, and AT&T offers an impressive fixed wireless internet plan for rural homeowners. We also find that HughesNet is a great option for rural homeowners as it provides satellite internet, and we named ViaSat as ‘Best for Rural Areas’ due to its competitive speeds, wide availability and affordable satellite internet pricing.

  • Is 1,200 Mbps fast?

    Ultimately, anything above 1,000 Mbps is considered a fast internet speed. This allows for plenty of download speed to engage in online gaming, stream HD videos and browse social media.

Methodology for Rating Internet Service Providers

Our Advisor team has created a detailed methodology that we use when we rank and research internet service providers. We have analyzed ISPs on their cost, speeds, connection types, additional perks, service availability and more. Because of this methodology, we are able to objectively provide accurate rankings and reviews of popular brands in the internet service industry.

Below is a breakdown of the factors we consider when rating companies. Our top picks score high across all these factors.

Factor

Weight

Criteria

Starting Price Cost

15

This factor considers the monthly starting price, most often set for 12 months, each provider offers. Based on a starting package, the cheaper the price the higher the score.

Broadband Options

12

This factor considers whether the provider is able to offer DSL, satellite, cable, and/or fiber-optic connections for the internet. The more connection types a provider is able to supply, the higher the score they receive.

Additional Benefits

10

Though primarily focusing on bundles, this factor weighs what extra perks or deals a potential customer can receive. Outside of bundles that emphasize TV, streaming platforms, and phone services, does the company offer other unique bundles and free equipment?

Download Speeds

10

Based on advertised download speeds, this factor considers if a company can supply ample downloads ranging from 100 mbps to 500 or more mbps. If the company provides speeds lower than these, they receive a significantly lower score.

Customer Service

10

Customer service is a major concern when it comes to internet services. We base this factor on whether or not the company offers customer support 24/7 or only during business hours, as well as if it offers a separate customer tech support line and holds an average customer review score of three or higher across sites like TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Technological Accessibility

15

In addition to customer service, we also consider if the company allows easy access to contact it. Does the company offer an online customer portal, a mobile app, and an online chat? The more options the provider offers, the higher the score.

Service Areas

10

This factor weighs each provider based on how many states the provider offers its services in. If the provider offers its services in more states, then it receives a higher score. A provider may also receive a higher score if it is in less states, but it provides excellent services for those in rural areas.

Reputation

13

Based on BBB scores and the amount of years the provider has been in business, this factor considers the overall reputation a provider has received over time.