Finding the right internet service provider is challenging. It can be even more challenging if you don’t know anything about choosing an internet service. If the only thing you know is finding the cheapest provider, then you may end up making a mistake.
There are other factors that you need to take into consideration such as:
- Your internet requirement
- Your family members
- Total connected devices
- How much data do you consume in a month
- Type of internet service
Overview of Top 10 Internet Service Providers
To help you make an educated decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 internet service providers. Let’s start.
- 10 GB monthly data allotment in the basic plan
- Bonus internet available between 2 P.M – 5 A.M
- Serves over million customers across USA
- Basic internet plan starts @ just $59.99
- Unlimited internet plans in some parts of Houston, TX
- Internet speed up to 25 Mbps
- Serves over million customers across USA
- WiFi Modem included in most plans
Breakdown of Top 10 Internet Service Providers
AT&T doesn’t have a very wide plan offering, but whatever it offers is perfect. The pricing is clear and highly affordable, and the customer service is improving significantly. Plus, the 1,000 MBPS speed plan is a beast. You can practically throw any kind of online activity at it and you’d be impressed.
If you’re looking to set up a smart home, then AT&T Fiber will provide you with the most reliable service even during peak hours. Combine that with unlimited data and AT&T seems like the clear winner.
Pros of AT&T Internet
- 99% reliability rating
- Incredibly fast speeds in fiber plans
- Great customer support
Cons of AT&T Internet
- Limited coverage for some plans
- Extra fees can sneak up on you
Xfinity is one of the best internet providers in the USA according to us. What they do best is bundle plans. But if you just need internet, then you’ll probably find a plan that’s suitable for you.
Xfinity Internet is ideal for gamers, streamers, and huge families. If you don’t like to be bound by a contract, then you can even opt for a month-to-month prepaid payment plan. Based on where you live, you’ll be able to choose between cable and fiber internet service.
Xfinity is available in 40 states, so chances are you’d be able to avail of their incredible services.
Pros of Xfinity Internet
- Fast and reliable speeds
- Exciting bundle deals
- Multiple plans to choose from
- No contract options are available
Cons of Xfinity Internet
- Can’t purchase Xfinity equipment
- Equipment rental is expensive
CenturyLink has a user base of around 20 million users in the USA. The speeds offered range between 100-940 MBPS. The top speeds are only available in selected areas. They rely on the WiFi 6 tech to offer better connectivity and reliability inside your home.
There’s nothing bad to be said about CenturyLink. What we like the most about them is that they offer a price-for-life guarantee. Also, there are no contracts. So, you can pay the same price forever without having to worry about the price increase.
Pros of CenturyLink Internet
- Wireless modem and router in a single device
- No contracts
- Built-in privacy and parental controls
Cons of CenturyLink Internet
- DSL plans are a bit expensive
- $99 installation fee
Cox is not as old as other providers on our list, but it has some great things to offer. You get some incredible security features with all the plans. You don’t have to pay anything extra for them. Cox also offers fast internet speeds that are reliable and convenient.
Plus, you can use 3 million+ hotspots around the country so you can stay connected wherever you go.
Pros of Cox Internet
- Flexible pricing and plans
- Special gamer mode for seamless gaming
- Affordable prices
Cons of Cox Internet
- Limited Availability
- Pricing can be a bit confusing
If you’re looking for plans that are affordable and reliable, then EarthLink has you covered. You can choose a plan according to your needs. If you just need basic internet surfing, then a low-end plan will do. For hardcore gamers and streamers, you can get speeds up to 5,000 MBPS. Moreover, there are no data caps to be worried about, so you can enjoy the internet to the fullest.
Pros of EarthLink Internet
- No data caps
- Wide range of plans
- Good customer service
Cons of EarthLink Internet
- Some plans can be expensive
- Availability based on location
If you want consistently high speeds in your home, then Verizon 5G home internet may be ideal for you. With fiber plans, you can get speeds up to 940 MBPS which is more than enough for huge families. The best part is that there are no long-term contracts, and all the plans are reliable. As an added bonus, you get unlimited data.
Pros of Verizon Internet
- 99.99% reliability guarantee
- Service bundles for better pricing
- Great for gamers, streamers, and big families
Cons of Verizon Internet
- Available in just 10 states
- No public WiFi hotspot network
Viasat is a satellite internet service provider. The only reason why you should get a satellite internet plan is if you don’t have any other options available. Viasat is great in its offerings. But, when you compare it with cable or fiber plans, it falls short.
It’s available all throughout the USA, and it even services Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The selection of plans is good, you can get good download limits, but the plans are expensive. Plus, you’ll have to pay a rental fee for all the equipment.
Pros of Viasat Internet
- Reliable internet in remote areas
- Great nationwide coverage
- Speeds can be good at times
Cons of Viasat Internet
- Limited data
- Expensive plans
- Equipment rental costs
HughesNet is the second largest satellite internet service provider in the USA. Similar to Viasat, HughesNet is also available in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Once again, satellite internet only makes sense for those living in remote areas.
HughesNet’s best speeds reach up to 25 MBPS compared to Viasat’s 100 MBPS. You’ll also have to bear price hikes after every 3 months. Plus, to get HughesNet, you’ll have to sign up for a 2-year contract.
Pros of HughesNet Internet
- No hard data limit
- Available in all 50 states
- The plan you choose will be reliable
Cons of HughesNet Internet
- 2-year contract
- Speed reduction after you consume your allotted data
Spectrum is a beast. The speeds, the plans, data limits, everything is ideal. The minimum download speed that you can get is 200 MBPS, so it’s sufficient to say you’ll be getting great speeds.
One of the best things about Spectrum is that there are no data caps on any plans. Spectrum is available in 41 states across the nation. We can definitely call it the best internet service provider. What makes it rank so low in our list is the slow upload speeds. This makes it a not-so-ideal provider for businesses. But if all you need is download speeds for gaming and streaming, then you can’t go wrong with Spectrum.
Pros of Spectrum Internet
- No contract
- No data caps
- Affordable prices
Cons of Spectrum Internet
- Customer service needs improvement
- Sometimes you may experience dips in speed
Ultra Home Internet
Ultra Home Internet offers reliable 5G coverage all across the US at affordable prices. The provider has the largest 5G network in the US, and they’re available in 49 states. They’re not available in Alaska, and we don’t know why. The plans are affordable and offer reliable speeds. Unfortunately, there’s no truly unlimited data plan in their offering.
- Pros of Ultra Home Internet
- Largest 5G network in the US
- No contract plans are available
- Affordable plans and prices
Cons of Ultra Home Internet
- No service in Alaska
- No unlimited data plans
- Some plans can be expensive
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Almost all the top internet service providers try to hide some kind of hidden fees in their plans. These costs can include equipment rental, installation costs, going over the data limit, and contract break costs.
While it is true that there are some providers that just use the word unlimited while they have data limits. But providers like Google Fiber actually offer unlimited data with no data caps. This means you won’t experience slower speeds once you hit the data cap.
It depends on your needs. If you do more streaming and gaming, and browsing then you would require a plan with high download speeds. But, if you tend to upload videos to YouTube, or upload documents a lot then upload speeds will matter too.
The best thing to do is choose a provider that offers simultaneous internet speeds on their plans. So, you’ll get the same upload and download speeds.
Almost all internet service providers use false speeds to trick their providers. If you don’t want to be tricked by the speeds advertised, then read the terms and conditions. Some providers advertise speeds as “Up to 940 MBPS,” which means that you can get any kind of speed between 1 – 940 MBPS. Read the terms and conditions or ask your provider upfront about the minimum speeds on your plan.
Fiber is definitely the superior internet service, but cable providers can also offer speeds up to 1 GBPS. Fiber uses light to transfer data. The cables are not susceptible to weather conditions and external factors so you can experience reliable speeds all day long. All in all, fiber internet is the better option than the two.
How We Choose the Top Internet Service Provider?
There’s a way we choose the best internet service providers. We do thorough research about the providers and then corroborate our research with customer reviews. It’s not always about the quality of the product/service that’s offered. Some providers offer value far beyond just their main services.
To be able to provide as accurate information as possible, we use official websites. We try our best to provide information that is accurate, reliable, and true, Here are the main factors we consider while comparing internet service providers:
- Connection Type
- Download speed
Types of Internet Service Providers
Before you choose a plan, you should know about the type of service available to you. Some of these services offer speeds beyond your imagination, while some are exceptionally slow. Let’s break these services down into parts:
Fiber is the fastest type of internet connection that you’ll find out there. The internet signal is delivered to your home using fiberglass mesh cables. The data is transferred at the speed of light, thus ensuring data transfer is lightning fast.
Cable internet service is the second fastest type of internet service. It is available more widely than fiber internet service. The level of reliability and consistency is usually less than fiber internet.
Digital Subscriber Line or DSL is one of the slowest forms of internet services. It uses telephone lines to deliver internet to homes. External elements like weather and wire cuts can affect the internet speed.
Mobile internet is ideal for personal use, but it’s not a good solution if you need WiFi connectivity throughout your home. It is slower than DSL but it is available widely. Also, mobile broadband plans are expensive.
Satellite internet is without a doubt one of the slowest internet services in the USA. It’s good only for users who are living in remote areas. People who have access to fiber/cable internet shouldn’t spend too much money on it.
Final Thoughts – Choosing the Best Internet Provider
It’s vital that you stay patient while choosing a high-speed internet service provider. Don’t get confused by the terminology, and make sure to do as much research as possible. You don’t want to be stuck with a provider that you hate for 2 years.
Once you’re sure about the type of internet service you want to choose, it’s a good idea to set a budget and how much speed you’d need. Then, make a list of internet providers in your area that offer the service type you want. Compare plans, see customer reviews and see if the provider looks good.
If you’ve ended up trying everything without any results. Just choose any of the providers from our list above and you’ll be fine.