High speed internet providers
Compare fastest internet providers, plans and prices
These days, just about every provider claims to have the fastest internet in the world, with terms like “gigabit” and “high speed” thrown around at will. The truth is, most people who have access to a cable or fiber optic internet plan will be able to get all the fast speed they need without going near the top plans. For context, 1,000 Mbps is enough to stream Netflix in 4K on 40 TVs at the same time.
Fiber optic internet is almost always the fastest option, but if it’s not available in your area, cable internet can also reach gig speeds. DSL and satellite internet rarely reach speeds that could be considered “high speed,” but fixed wireless 5G service is quickly becoming another option for fast internet.
Fortunately, just about every major fiber optic or cable internet provider has a gig plan available in most of their service areas. Not all providers and plans listed below are available in all areas.
Fastest plans from top ISPs
|Provider||Max download speed||Max upload speed||Monthly price|
|Google Fiber||2,000 Mbps||1,000 Mbps||$100.00/mo.|
|AT&T Fiber Internet||4,700 Mbps||4,700 Mbps||$180.00/mo.|
|Verizon Fios||940 Mbps||880 Mbps||$89.99/mo.|
|Frontier Fiber||5,000 Mbps||5,000 Mbps||$154.99/mo.***|
|WOW! Internet||5,000 Mbps||5,000 Mbps||$190.00/mo.|
|Xfinity||6,000 Mbps||6,000 Mbps||$299.95/mo.|
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 05/03/23.
**Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection.
***per month w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Max wired speed 5000/5000. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary. One-time charges apply. 05/03/23.
How we evaluated high speed internet providers
To find the best high speed internet providers, we focused on four categories: affordability, performance, value and customer satisfaction.
We gave the most weight to performance, which includes both download and upload speeds. Download speeds are what matter for most internet activities — streaming, browsing social media, downloading files — but upload speeds are also essential for things like Zoom meetings and online gaming.
Each category also contains multiple sub-factors, all of which are weighted differently to impact the provider’s overall score. For each sub-factor, we score all providers on a continuous scale of 1 to 5, relative to the industry as a whole. Because the average download speed in America is currently 180 Mbps, for example, we assigned all plans with download speeds between 100 and 299 Mbps a score between 3 and 4. Xfinity’s 200 Mbps plan received a 3.50 score for download speed, while Spectrum’s 400 Mbps plan got a 4.16.
We only considered standardized data points in our scoring system. More abstract data like consistency of service and brand reputation is still part of our analysis, but we opted to let our writers address them in the context of each review.
Providers with multi-gig internet plans
Multi-gig internet can power large households with multiple simultaneously connected devices, people who work from home or those who need high bandwidth for large file transfers — like gamers, coders, content creators, etc.
However, these high-speed plans aren’t for everyone as they are expensive and could require new equipment to accommodate high internet speeds that you may not even need. For many everyday internet users, 1 gig plans would more than suffice.
AT&T: Fiber 2000 and Fiber 5000
AT&T offers two multi-gig internet options, Fiber 2000 and Fiber 5000, which have great value for their speeds. At $110/mo., Fiber 2000 offers speeds up to 2,000 Mbps. AT&T’s Fiber 5000 is a 5 GB internet plan for $180/mo.
Xfinity: Xfinity Gigabit Pro
Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan offers multi-gig speeds of up to 6,000 Mbps for almost $300/mo., not including activation, installation or rental fees. You’ll also have to sign up for a two-year contract with early cancellation fees.
Frontier: Fiber 5 Gig internet
Frontier’s Fiber 5 gig internet plan has no contract or activation fees, free Wi-Fi 6E equipment rental with installation and unlimited data for $154.99/mo.
Google Fiber: 2 Gig internet
Google Fiber offers the most affordable 2 GB internet plan for $100/mo. And no contract or data caps and free Wi-Fi 6 equipment.
Ziply Fiber: 2 and 5 Gig fiber
Ziply Fiber has two multi-gig plans: 2 GB fiber and 5 GB fiber. At $120/mo., the 2 GB plan is close in price to AT&T and Google Fiber’s 2 GB options, but the 5 GB plan at $300/mo. is a more expensive option compared to AT&T’s 5 GB internet.
High speed internet breakdown
4.50 / 5
Google Fiber: Best overall
Google Fiber is one of the newer internet providers on the block, but it’s already one of the best around. It only has two plans available — 1 Gbps speeds and 2 Gbps — but they’re both excellent values starting at just $70/mo. Google Fiber 2000 offers upload speeds of up to 2,000 Mbps and download speeds of 1,000 Mbps. Neither plan has a data cap or contract. In fact, you can pay month by month and drop service any time.
Why we like Google Fiber
Fast speeds – Google Fiber doesn’t have any plans below 1,000 Mbps, so you’ll never have to worry about your internet stalling.
No contracts – You won’t have to commit to anything longer than a month.
Equipment included – Both Google Fiber plans include a router and mesh network.
Things to consider
Expensive – At $70/mo., Google Fiber is pricier than some internet plans, but it’s still cheaper than most other gigabit internet plans.
Availability – Google Fiber has much smaller coverage than other providers on this page. It’s currently available in 11 cities.
4.43 / 5
AT&T Fiber: Fastest speeds
If you can get AT&T Fiber in your area, it offers the best high-speed internet plans of any nationwide provider. Plans start at just $55/mo. for 300 Mbps of upload and download speeds — plenty for all but the most connected households. And if you need more bandwidth, AT&T Fiber has speeds all the way up to 5 Gig. AT&T received our highest score for performance and value of any internet provider, with download speeds ranging from 300 to 4,700 Mbps. AT&T Fiber also got our highest score for value, which measures the price per Mbps on every plan.
Why we like AT&T
Fast speeds – With plans going up to 4,700 Mbps download speeds in some areas, AT&T Fiber has all the bandwidth you’ll need.
Affordable plans – Prices start at just $55/mo. for AT&T Fiber, and equipment rental is included.
Visa Reward Card – AT&T offers a $300 bonus card when you activate internet service.
Things to consider
Expensive – AT&T’s top speeds cost as much as $180/mo.
Limited availability – AT&T’s fiber optic internet isn’t available in all locations, and its DSL and fixed wireless options are much slower.
4.42 / 5
Verizon Fios: Best customer satisfaction
Verizon Fios is another great option for fast fiber internet, scoring just slightly below AT&T in our evaluation. Its prices are slightly lower — $49.99/mo. for 300 Mbps compared to AT&T’s $55/mo. for 300 Mbps. Verizon Fios also has the highest customer satisfaction scores of any internet provider from J.D. Power. While Verizon pricing and speeds may vary based on where you live, a Verizon Fios internet plan is one of your best options without having to sign an annual contract.
Why we like Verizon Fios
Fast speeds – Verizon Fios tops out at 940 Mbps download and 880 Mbps upload speeds.
No price increases – You won’t have to worry about any surprises on your Verizon bill after a promotional period ends.
High customer satisfaction – Verizon tops J.D. Power’s ratings for customer satisfaction.
Things to consider
More expensive – Verizon’s top plans are a little pricier than competitors, with gig speeds costing $89.99/mo.
Equipment fee – Verizon charges $15/mo. for equipment rental, which is higher than most providers.
4.16 / 5
Frontier Fiber: Best for gamers
Frontier offers both fiber and DSL internet service. Its fiber service provides superb speeds for a reasonable price. Households with numerous bandwidth-draining devices like game consoles will appreciate the added fast speed of the Gig plan. We like the 500 Mbps plan the best and you won’t have to worry about data caps or equipment fees. If you can only get Frontier’s DSL service (called Frontier® Internet) in your area, you’re probably better off searching out a cable provider.
Why we like Frontier
No hidden fees – Frontier Fiber internet plans include your equipment rental and unlimited data.
Frontier Fiber delivers fiber-fast speeds at competitive prices – With 500 Mbps speeds starting under $50/mo., Frontier Fiber plans are as fast and competitively priced as about any on the market.
Things to consider
Availability: Their fiber optic option is not widely available.
3.94 / 5
WOW: Cheapest plans
If you want high speed internet at the lowest price around, it’s hard to beat WOW! Internet. Fiber plans start at just $35.00/mo. for 100 Mbps, which is one of the most affordable rates in the country. Prices increase by $10 to $20 in the second year, but even with that factored in, WOW! is still cheaper than most other providers. If you need more bandwidth, you can go all the way up to 5,000 Mbps of download speed, which is typically the max offered by internet providers. WOW! doesn’t require a contract and also offers a customizable Wi-Fi service.
Why we like WOW! Internet
Four plans – WOW! has five fiber plans available, so you can find the right speed for your home without paying extra.
Fast speeds – You can get download speeds up to 5,000 Mbps with WOW!
High customer satisfaction – WOW! scored a 71/100 with Consumer Reports — higher than any other provider on our list.
Things to consider
Limited availability – WOW! isn’t as widespread as other providers on our list, with coverage primarily in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee.
3.57 / 5
Xfinity: Best for heavy users
If you’re looking for the fastest internet speeds, Xfinity goes up to 6,000 Mbps in some areas. For most households, Xfinity’s 300 Mbps plan is an affordable choice. Because it’s a cable provider, Xfinity’s upload speeds aren’t as fast as fiber optic plans. You’ll also have to deal with a 1.2TB data cap with Xfinity plans.
Why we like Xfinity
Availability – Xfinity provides service to over 20 million people across 40 states, making it one of the most accessible providers nationwide.
No-contract options – No worries about long-term commitments and early termination fees (ETFs) when you select Xfinity no-contract plans.
Speeds – Xfinity is one of the few providers that offers internet speeds up to 3 GB. Get up to 3,000 Mbps with the Gigabit Pro plan.
Things to consider
Hidden fees – Xfinity plans can get pricey once you add on the cost of equipment rentals, DVR and HD service.
Promotional rates – Watch out for rate increases of $30 or more once promotions end.
Regional pricing – Xfinity prices vary from region to region, so you could end up paying more depending on where you live.
Other internet providers with high speed options
We listed many of the top high-speed providers by availability above, but it’s possible that other high-speed providers are available at your address. When shopping for high-speed internet, take the time to compare plans from national and local providers available near you.
In some cases, regional providers can be the faster internet option. For example, EPB, a local Chattanooga, TN, fiber optic provider, has a 10 Gbps plan for around the same price as Xfinity’s 2 Gbps plan.
Below are well-known internet providers who may also be available in your area. They offer fast gigabit plans, but they can be pricey. You can save money by buying a plan with speeds that suit your needs, rather than picking the fastest option.
|Provider||High speed plan||Speed||Price||Features|
|Cox||Gigablast||1,000 Mbps||$99.99/mo.||• 1.28TB monthly data cap
• Price hike in year 2
|Centurylink||Fiber Gigabit||Up to 940 Mbps||$70.00/mo.||• DIRECTV and phone bundles available • No contracts|
|Spectrum||Internet Gig||1,000 Mbps*||$89.99/mo.||• 12 mo. price hikes • No data caps|
|Kinetic by Windstream||Kinetic Fiber 2 Gig||2,000 Mbps||$169.99/mo.||• Good for rural customers • No data caps or contracts|
|Optimum||Fiber 5 Gig||5,000 Mbps||$180.00/mo.||• 12 mo. price hikes • No data caps or contracts|
*Speed based on wired connection. Available Internet speeds may vary by address. Gig capable modem required for Gig speed. For a list of Gig capable modems, visit spectrum.net/modem.
Tips to speed up your internet connection
For times when your speeds are consistently much slower than your plan’s advertised speeds, consider resetting your modem and router. Also, be sure to check for any unwanted devices on your connection that may be hogging your bandwidth. Wireless internet is also inherently slower than wired, or Ethernet, connections, so don’t be alarmed if your wireless speeds are 50% or less than your plan’s advertised speeds.
Here are some more troubleshooting steps you can take to help boost your Wi-Fi signal:
- Take a speed test to find out what you’re currently getting.
- Update the security settings on your router to cut off bandwidth leeches.
- Optimize your router’s settings.
- Purchase a new wireless router every five years.
- Angle one Wi-Fi antenna up and one to the side.
- Move your wireless router to an elevated, clear spot.
- Add a Wi-Fi extender.
Actual vs. advertised speeds
According to the report, 9 of 12 ISPs performed at or better than their advertised speed during the peak hour. “For most of the major broadband providers that were tested, measured download speeds were 100% or better than advertised speeds during the peak hours (7 p.m. to 11 p.m. local time).” Those providers include Frontier (DSL & Fiber), Windstream, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Mediacom, Optimum and Verizon.
Providers that returned median download speeds lower than advertised speeds include DSL services from CenturyLink and Cincinnati Bell.
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FAQs on fast internet
Internet plans with advertised speeds of at least 100 Mbps are typically good enough for streaming and gaming over a Wi-Fi connection. But, if you have a smart home with 3 or more internet users, a fast plan would be anything with 300 Mbps and up, with a fiber connection.
Speedtest.net reports that fixed broadband speeds as of March 2023 show Singapore with the fastest mean download speeds at 235.40 Mbps. In comparison, the United States ranked 8th with a download speed of 197.84 Mbps.
In their 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the FCC updated the threshold for an internet connection to be considered broadband to 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. The way we use the internet has changed significantly since then, so while 25 Mbps is still technically broadband internet, we wouldn’t consider it to be “fast” anymore.
The fastest internet speed in the U.S. is 10,000 Mbps by companies like Ziply Fiber. Xfinity offers a 6,000 Mbps plan and Google Fiber offers a 2,000 Mbps plan, but Xfinity is more widely available for the average U.S. consumer.
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Written by:Joe Supan
Principal Writer, Broadband Content
Joe is a senior writer for CNET covering home technology and broadband. Prior to joining CNET, Joe led MYMOVE’s moving coverage and reported on broadband policy, the digital divide, and privacy issues for the br… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
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