Whether you are playing an online game with friends, streaming your favorite movies or connecting with coworkers for your remote job, internet service has become a crucial part of day-to-day life. But different internet service providers offer services that cater to different kinds of customers — from DSL options with download speeds of 5 to 200 Mbps to fiber and 5G packages with speeds from 50 to 4,000 Mbps.

We’ve compiled this guide on the best internet service providers (ISPs) to help you compare each provider in terms of costs, service options, bundles, benefits and drawbacks. We’ve rated them on bandwidth options, service area availability, customer service and reputation to give you an idea of what companies you should connect with.

Our Top Picks

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

Xfinity: Best Overall

  • Monthly cost: $40–$300 (starting cost for 12 months) 
  • Broadband options: DSL, Cable and Fiber-Optic
  • Speeds: 200 Mbps–1,200 Mbps (download); 5 Mbps–40 Mbps (upload)

Xfinity provides some of the most comprehensive internet service options we have seen on the market. The company offers six different cable plans starting with a 50 Mbps plan. It also has two fiber plans: $80 for 1,200 Mbps and 2,000 Mbps at $300.

All of Xfinity’s plans feature 1.2 terabytes (TB) data caps, or the limit on how much internet you can consume on your home Wi-Fi every month. Though this means the company may charge you additional fees for overages, it is highly unlikely that the average consumer (a family of five or fewer) would surpass such a high data cap. Xfinity also provides comprehensive bundling options for TV and streaming platforms, mobile and home phone plans and even home security systems.

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) 

You already know AT&T for its phone company and its growing TV service, but it also offers excellent internet services. Except for its fixed wireless option, all of AT&T’s plans use fiber-optic cables to provide competitive speeds. Each of its packages includes AT&T Internet Security, which protects your computers from malware, Trojans and hackers via McAfee software.

AT&T fiber makes a great option for bundling with AT&T TV. A noteworthy bundle is AT&T Internet + Choice. This package includes strong Wi-Fi, more than 45,000 on-demand titles and regional sports networks, live TV options, 20 hours of DVR cloud storage and a full year of HBO Max for $129.99 per month. This makes AT&T a prime ISP for those that love to binge-watch movies and series. 

Spectrum: Best for High Data Use

  • Monthly cost: $45–$110 (starting cost for 12 months) 
  • Broadband options: Cable and Fiber-Optic
  • Speeds: 200 Mbps–1,000 Mbps (download)

With more than 25 years of history as part of Charter Communications, Spectrum is the second-largest ISP in the country with service in 41 states.  Spectrum provides excellent internet plans with no data caps. You won’t be charged extra or have your speeds slowed down no matter how much data you use. This makes Spectrum another great choice for those into online gaming or binge-watching movies and TV shows on streaming platforms. 

The company’s basic plan provides 200 Mbps for the starting rate of $44.99 per month for your first year. This speed works well for smaller households that stream shows and movies in HD, browse social media and do some remote work. 

In addition to no data caps, Spectrum supplies its modem for free and offers a reduced rate of $5 off when bundling your internet with Spectrum TV. 

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 one of the best ISPs in terms of bang for your buck. It offers a variety of five different plans and has a high data cap of 1.2 TB. Cox customers also get access to 24/7 remote, in-house tech support. And best of all, you can avoid an annual contract (except for its Internet Starter 25 plan) by paying a little more.

Customers can receive further value from its Cox plan by bundling it with phone, TV streaming and home security services.* One excellent package is Cox’s Internet Preferred 150 Plan paired with its Panoramic Wi-Fi Gateway and Contour Stream Player. This plan works well for light gaming, remote work and streaming of popular platforms like Netflix and HBO Max. 

*Cox’s bundles require a 12-month agreement.

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 Fios is the well-known telecoms giant’s internet service. It stands on its own through high-quality fiber-optic plans with a max download speed of 940 Mbps and a max upload speed of 840 Mbps. The company can easily handle the basic internet demands of gaming, streaming and remote work. 

Verizon Fios also adds various phone service perks to its internet plans, including $10 off your Fios plan and a $20 discount per month on an Unlimited Wireless phone plan if you purchase its 200 Mbps Plan. The company’s 400 Mbps Plan goes a step further with a total of $30 in discounts plus a Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite.*

*All phone bundles are accurate as of August 2021.

  • 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) 

If customer service is one of your major concerns, we suggest you look into CenturyLink. The company features higher customer review scores on popular sites like ConsumerAffairs and BroadbandNow than other providers in this guide. CenturyLink also provides various customer support tools, such as a speed test, service appointment manager, online chat, service troubleshooter and outage checker. 

CenturyLink provides three internet connection options in five plans, as well as an option for satellite internet for those in rural areas. The company provides a 60 Mbps plan for $50 per month that includes unlimited data, Wi-Fi connection for multiple devices and HD streaming on up to three devices. This is perfect for those in smaller households. CenturyLink has wide availability in 36 states.

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) 

If you live within Kinetic’s 18-state service area, you can receive excellent internet service options with no data caps and no annual contract. Similar to XFinity and other top providers, you are able to bundle Kinetic’s internet plans ranging from 200 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps with TV and phone services. These options include KineticTV, YouTube TV and DirectTV. 

Kinetic also offers an affordable and comprehensive security add-on through Kinetic Secure. For only an additional $10 a month, customers receive enhanced internet security via browsing protection and parental controls, safeguards against malware, ransomware and viruses and Identity Theft Protection for their entire family. Kinetic provides even more security and technical assistance through its 24/7 customer support line. This means Kinetic is a great option for parents that may be concerned about what their kids may come into contact with online.

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) 

An increasingly popular option in recent years, Google Fiber brings some of the most powerful fiber-optic internet to its service areas, which are mainly major metropolitan cities. Google Fiber currently offers some of the most powerful download and upload speeds on the market. 

Google also provides its Google Wi-Fi for its plans, which covers up 3,000 square feet. This is a great option for larger homes, as you will not experience any dead-zones in your home. 

Google Fiber may be bundled with live TV services via Fiber TV. Customers also receive the option to update to Google Fiber Phone. This is a home phone service with a variety of smart features, such as voicemail to text, 911 access, call forwarding and privacy controls. This is an excellent way to avoid racking up mobile phone data costs while receiving top-tier internet.

Picking the Right Internet Service Provider for You

There are a few factors to consider when picking an ISP. Here are some big ones:

  • Availability: This may be the biggest challenge for finding an ISP. One ZIP code may have access to Xfinity’s fiber-optic plan but the next block over may not. Before you get your heart set on any provider, check what’s available in your area.
  • Speeds: Next, consider how you use the internet. If you only use it to scroll social media, you can get away with less speed than someone that loves online gaming or has a large family with multiple users. Here is a brief breakdown of internet speeds and what they’re good for:
    • 0–10 Mbps: This is great for basic tasks on one device, such as checking email, streaming music and using search engines.
    • 11–40 Mbps: With this range you can browse social media, stream video on one device, conduct video calls via FaceTime or Google Meet and engage in most online gaming for one player.  
    • 41–100 Mbps: This range lets you stream HD video, download larger files and run multiplayer games. It’s also a good speed for remote workers.
    • 101–500 Mbps: This is perhaps the most popular speed range. These speeds allow you to stream HD video on multiple devices, download files faster and play online games for multiple people. 
    • 500+ Mbps: This speed will allow you to complete almost any task you desire online on multiple devices.

Bundles: Packaging your internet with other services can save money, earn you some cool perks and streamline your bills. Ask a customer service rep if there are any deals for bundling in cable TV, streaming services or cell phone services. Based on a focus group we conducted, we learned that participants were able to receive cheaper rates by bundling their service with cable and phone services rather than purchasing only internet services.


Internet Connection Types Explained

Let’s talk about the jargon. These are the different types of internet connections available and what they actually mean.

  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL): DSL internet tends to be the most common and cheapest internet available. Users get a high-speed internet connection through a phone wall jack using frequencies that the phone doesn’t.
  • Cable Internet: As the name implies, cable internet uses the same coaxial cable network as cable television. It’s usually faster than DSL, but your bandwidth is shared with others in your area. This means that it can be slower during busier times of the day. 
  • Satellite Internet: Instead of running through phone or cable wires, satellite internet is beamed down from satellites in orbit around Earth. This means it can be one of the slowest options available, but it also tends to be the only option for homeowners located in rural areas.
  • Fiber-optic Internet (FiOS): What is now becoming the most popular option for internet service, “fiber” is a broadband connection that uses fiber-optic cable to send data as fast as about 70% the speed of light. These cables are often buried underground and so are less susceptible to weather outages. It easily handles all tasks that most people do on the internet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Here’s a breakdown of the factors we consider when rating companies. Our top picks score well across all these factors.




Starting Price Cost


We considered the monthly starting price, most often set for 12 months, each provider offers. The lower the price, the higher the score.

Broadband Options


We reviewed 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


Though primarily focused on bundles with TV, streaming and phone services, we also weighed extra perks, such as deals or free equipment.

Download Speeds


Based on advertised download speeds, we ranked companies on their ability to supply ample downloads ranging from 100 Mbps to 500+ Mbps. If the company provides speeds lower than these, they receive a significantly lower score.

Customer Service


We considered whether the company offers customer support 24/7 or only during business hours, as well as if it offers a separate customer tech support line. We also look at customer satisfaction scores across sites like TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Technological Accessibility


We considered the availability of the company through an online customer portal, a mobile app or an online chat. The more options the provider offers, the higher the score.

Service Areas


We weighed each provider based on how many states it is available 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.



We considered the overall reputation a provider has received over time based on BBB scores and the number of years the provider has been in business,