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Best internet providers of 2020

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A good home internet provider will offer reliable service over a broad area with multiple speed options at competitive prices. The best internet service providers (ISPs) have these qualities plus unique features that set them apart from all other providers. Our list of the best ISPs below highlights eight national home internet providers that are the “best” in their own way.

Allconnect’s top providers of 2020

Provider
AT&T logo

AT&T

Best fiber-optic availability

AT&T internet covers 40% of U.S. residents with nearly a third of their network consisting of 100% fiber-optic lines.

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Download speeds
5 Mbps – 1,000 Mbps
Monthly price range*
Technology
DSL, fiber-optic
Contract
One year
Data cap
1 TB/mo, unlimited with AT&T 1000 and qualifying bundles
Provider
CenturyLink logo

CenturyLink

Best for fast DSL speeds

With speeds of up to 100 Mbps or higher where available, CenturyLink is one of the fastest DSL providers available.

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Download speeds
3 Mbps – 940 Mbps
Monthly price range*
Technology
DSL, fiber-optic
Contract
None
Data cap
1 TB/mo.
Provider
Cox logo

Cox

Best for internet bundle discounts

Cox makes bundling internet and TV rewarding by extending deep discounts, up to $50/mo. or more, off the total price.

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Download speeds
10 Mbps – 940 Mbps
Monthly price range*
$29.99-$99.99
Technology
Cable
Contract
One year
Data cap
1 TB/mo.
Provider
Frontier logo

Frontier

Best for low-cost DSL

Frontier is one of the best cheap internet options in many areas with plans starting at just $27.99/mo.

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Download speeds
1-940 Mbps
Monthly price range*
$27.99-$74.99
Technology
DSL, fiber-optic
Contract
None
Data cap
None
Provider
HughesNet logo

HughesNet

Best satellite internet provider

HughesNet fills the broadband gap in many areas where cable, DSL and fiber-optic internet providers do not reach.

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Download speeds
25-25 Mbps
Monthly price range*
$39.99-$139.99
Technology
Satellite
Contract
Two years
Data cap
No hard data caps
Provider
Spectrum logo

Spectrum

Best for low fees

Spectrum internet plans include unlimited data plus a modem at no extra cost, and your router rental fee is only an additional $5/mo.

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Download speeds
60-940 Mbps
Monthly price range*
$49.99-$109.99
Technology
Cable
Contract
None
Data cap
None
Provider
Verizon Fios logo

Verizon Fios

Best fiber-optic provider

Verizon has arguably the best plan options of any major fiber-optic provider with 200, 400 and 940/880 Mbps speeds.

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Download speeds
200- up to 940 Mbps
Monthly price range*
$39.99-$79.99
Technology
Fiber-optic
Contract
None
Data cap
None
Provider
XFINITY logo

XFINITY

Best for fastest max speeds

Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro internet plan boasts the fastest residential download speeds of any provider, up to 2,000 Mbps.

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Download speeds
15-2,000 Mbps
Monthly price range*
$20.00-$299.99
Technology
Cable
Contract
No long-term agreement required
Data cap
1 TB/mo. for most plans

Search internet providers for plans in your area

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Or call us today:
(844) 451-2720 (844) 451-2720

Our approach: We determine the best internet providers for you

When narrowing down our list of the top internet providers, we sought to

When narrowing down our list of the top internet providers, we sought to highlight providers that are available to many people in different areas. Using the most recent FCC data, we identified the top internet providers available to at least 5% of U.S. residents.

From there, we leveraged our own in-house technology to further accumulate availability, speed and pricing details and for each provider. Specific plan, pricing and service details were sourced directly from the providers, both via our professional relationships with them and their official websites.

We also sought inspiration from Reviews.com, who is owned and operated by an affiliate of Allconnect, Inc. However, Allconnect, Inc. is not involved in or responsible for the production of Reviews.com content, including rankings cited on this page.

Equipped with an accurate, up-to-date portfolio of each provider, we then carefully examined each provider’s attributes to identify a provider’s exclusive advantage over the rest. The result is our list of the best internet providers of 2020.

Learn more about our research

Internet availability and service areas

When shopping for a new internet service provider (ISP), it’s likely you’ll discover internet options you previously didn’t know were available. It’s just as likely, however, that some ISPs you thought were (or hoped would be) available are not.

Aside from HughesNet and Viasat, which offer nationwide coverage, the internet providers listed below have combined coverage of more than 90% of U.S. residents, so there’s a good chance one or more of them are available in your area.

Where to find the best providers

Why are internet providers only available in select areas?

Operating costs and the expense of bringing new technologies, such as fiber-optic cables, to new locations can limit the areas where internet service providers operate.

Cable internet providers, including Cox, Spectrum and Xfinity, offer coverage to around 89% of the U.S. Around 6% of U.S. residents have access to more than one cable internet service provider. Cable internet providers tend to avoid extending coverage where another cable provider already offers service. 

Many U.S. residents also have the option of DSL internet service (88% coverage) and/or fiber-optic internet (41% coverage) from providers such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, Verizon and Windstream. DSL service is available nearly anywhere with telephone line access while fiber internet is typically limited to larger cities. Like cable providers, DSL and fiber-optic ISPs tend to operate in select states or ZIP codes where they are the sole provider.

Depending on your address, you could have internet options from a cable provider such as Xfinity, as well as DSL and fiber-optic internet from providers like AT&T or Verizon. It is unlikely, however, that you will have multiple options of the same internet connection type.

Find internet providers near you

Whether you’re shopping for cheap internet service, a faster plan or the all-around best internet provider for your home, we can help you find the service that’s right for you.

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    Allconnect

    Internet shopping tips from our experts

    How much should you pay for internet? What’s a good internet speed? After 20+ years of helping people find the best internet service for their homes, we’ve become experts at answering internet questions like these and ones you may not know you had.

    Find your speed, present and future

    Speed is one of the most important considerations when choosing the best internet service. Discover what speeds you need and take our speed test to see what you’re currently getting.

    Test your current speed

    Data caps, contract requirements and equipment fees will have an impact on your internet use and what you pay. We break down what to look for and what you can truly expect the cost of internet to be.

    Compare available providers

    Look to our Resource Center for tips on how to find the best internet service in your area and guides to help you make the most of your service.

    View all

    Compare internet service providers

    Comparing internet service providers head-to-head is one of the best ways to avoid overpaying for internet service or signing up for a plan that doesn’t fit your needs. The table below shows pricing, speed, tech, data cap and contract info for more than a dozen of the most widely-available internet providers, so you can easily compare one provider to another.

    Search internet providers for plans in your area

    Or call us today: (844) 451-2720 (844) 451-2720

    Internet technology types

    Not all home internet connections are the same. Each internet type presents specific advantages and potential disadvantages.

    Does it matter which internet type I get?

    The type of internet you choose can make a big difference in speed and performance. Here’s a look at which each internet tech type is best for.

    • Best internet for fast download speeds – cable, fiber-optic, 5G
      Cable and fiber-optic internet providers offer the fastest speeds, up to 1 Gbps or higher. However, the fastest speeds are typically found only in metro areas. 5G technology will help bring faster speeds to more areas, but likely won’t live up to the speed potential of cable and fiber.
    • Best internet for fast upload speeds – fiber-optic
      Fast upload speeds are best for things like video conferencing and uploading large files such as homework assignments. Fiber-optic connections are capable of delivering the fastest upload speeds that are typically symmetrical or close to your download speeds. 
    • Best internet for cheap plans – cable, DSL
      In most areas, you’ll find cable and DSL providers to have the cheapest plans with many starting under $30/mo. These plans often won’t come with a lot of speed, though, so they may not be the best value.
    • Best internet for rural areas – DSL, satellite, fixed wireless
      Residents of rural areas have fewer available internet options. DSL, satellite and fixed wireless internet providers boast high availability even in rural areas.

    Internet provider FAQs

    How much is internet only?

    Depending on what internet options are available in your area, you may be able to find cheap internet-only plans ranging from $20 to $50/mo. For higher-tiered internet plans with faster speeds, monthly costs for internet could easily reach $100 or more.

    Cable, from providers such as Xfinity, Spectrum and Cox, is likely available in your area. DSL is another commonly available internet service, from providers including AT&T, Verizon and Frontier. Fiber technology is available primarily in select metro areas and includes providers such as CenturyLink and AT&T. Rural areas will likely have the fewest internet options and may only be eligible for satellite internet providers such as HughesNet.

    The fastest available internet speeds will depend on which internet providers are near you. Gigabit download speeds, around 1,000 Mbps, are available in many areas from providers including AT&T, CenturyLink, Cox, Mediacom, Spectrum, Verizon Fios, Windstream and Xfinity.

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines a broadband connection as one with download speeds of 25 Mbps or higher and upload speeds of 3 Mbps or higher. These speeds are perfect for basic internet use, streaming shows and gaming online. Speeds of 100 Mbps or higher are ideal for connecting five or more devices and streaming in HD or 4K video quality. Check out our guide to finding the right internet speeds for your home and check your internet speeds with our speed test.

    Fees for installation, Wi-Fi equipment and data will vary by provider. See our full breakdown of added fees by provider.

    Take our internet speed test to test your download speeds, upload speeds and ping. Not sure what it all means? Refer to our article on how to read and understand your speed test results.

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    David Anders

    Written by:

    David Anders

    Staff Writer

    David joined the Allconnect team in 2017, specializing in broadband and TV providers. He is our transactional content lead and responsible for the most popular post in our Resource Center. Prior to Allconnect… Read more