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The best wireless internet service providers for home Wi-Fi
As ranked by Reviews.com as of 01/04/19.
- AT&T – Stellar customer service
- CenturyLink – Price-lock guarantee
- Charter Spectrum – Contract buyout offer
- Comcast XFINITY – Fastest top speed
- Frontier Communications – No-contract plan options
- Verizon Fios – Unlimited data
Reviews.com 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 the rankings cited on this page.
Once you find a plan that suits your needs from one of the top internet service providers across the U.S., you’ll be ready to set up your home Wi-Fi. Depending on the provider and the plan you choose, you may even receive free rentals on equipment, like a modem and/or wireless router.
Unlimited home Wi-Fi plans near you
Here are some internet-only plans without data limits from top Wi-Fi service providers ordered by price.
|Providers||Starting price*||Speeds up to||Offer perks||Learn more|
|$20/mo.||6 Mbps||Free Wi-Fi router rental with select plans||Frontier internet|
|$44.99/mo.||200 Mbps||Free internet modem and antivirus with Security Suite||Spectrum internet|
|$39.99/mo||100 Mbps||100% fiber-optic network||Verizon internet|
|$99.95/mo.* ($49.95/mo. + $50/mo. for unlimited data)||15 Mbps||XFINITY xFi allows you to control your home network remotely||XFINITY internet|
*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. Last updated 2/12/2019.
If any of these unlimited data plans don’t quite fit your price range, some Wi-Fi service providers, such as Cox, offer low-cost internet plans with additional data you can purchase. This may be an option if you want to get cheap Wi-Fi and not pay for more data than you need.
Many of our Wi-Fi service providers offer great home Wi-Fi deals available with TV and phone bundles. A bundle can help you save money compared to getting internet-only service and cable TV plans from separate companies. Call Allconnect at to shop internet-only plans or bundles in your area.
How to choose a wireless internet provider in your area
When setting up your home Wi-Fi, consider the following factors to determine the best wireless internet provider near you:
- Connection type and availability: Multiple Wi-Fi service providers offer different types of connections — cable, satellite, DSL and fiber-optic — that each work a little differently. First, use Allconnect to find internet service providers in your area, and then determine what connection type might be best based on your internet usage.
- Data usage and online activities: How you use the internet determines what download speeds you need to set up a solid home Wi-Fi network. Most casual users need speeds of 1-10 Mbps to send emails and browse the web making DSL and satellite good choices. However, if you game or stream TV, music and videos regularly, then you’ll want a home Wi-Fi speed of 3-25 Mbps or above. This will help you minimize buffering and lag.
- Number of devices: The more devices you have connected to your home Wi-Fi network, the more your wireless internet performance will suffer. Each connected device, and what it demands of the Wi-Fi signal, will affect how quickly the network performs. The higher your internet bandwidth, the more devices you can connect without causing lag
- Internet upload speeds: Many providers advertise high download speeds because most people download information more than they upload. However, if you do a lot of online gaming or video chat from home, remember to check the internet upload speeds too. Fast upload speeds help to improve live online interactions and usually come with download speeds that are twice as fast.
How does home Wi-Fi work?
Wireless home internet is a wire-free internet connection that lets you connect all your devices wireless — anytime, anywhere. All you need is a modem and wireless router to get started.
An internet modem translates the internet signal from your internet service provider and your wireless router distributes your internet connection over airwaves to devices in your home. Instead of plugging in all your devices, they can wirelessly communicate with each other and the internet.
What equipment do I need to get home Wi-Fi?
In addition to choosing a Wi-Fi service provider, you’ll also need to get the proper Wi-Fi equipment. Whether you decide to rent or buy your Wi-Fi equipment, here’s what you may need to get started:
- Modem: This device connects to the internet using a coaxial cable (same as your cable TV service) or an optical network terminal (for fiber internet) to bring the internet into your home. However, it doesn’t transmit your Wi-Fi signal through the house.
- Router: In order to transmit your Wi-Fi signal, you’ll need to set up a wireless router. This device sends the signal to devices like laptops, cell phones and smart TVs.
- Wireless Gateway: Sometimes referred to as a cable modem router, this device functions as a dual modem and router. Combining the modem and router into one piece of equipment reduces the number of devices you have to set up.
Keep in mind that the cost of equipment may not be reflected in your initial plan costs. For instance, the Frontier Simply Broadband Core internet plan starts at $20 per month*, but also has a $75 one-time installation fee, a $10 per month* broadband router charge, plus taxes, fees and surcharges.
Some providers offer free equipment rental with select plans. In many cases, you may be able to buy your own. Just make sure that any modem and/or router you purchase is compatible with your provider and plan.
*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. Last updated 02/12/2019.
How to choose a Wi-Fi service speed
When choosing your wireless internet plan, think about how you plan to use the internet and your home Wi-Fi network.
Speeds of 1-3 Mbps are great for:
- Basic web browsing
Speeds of 3-6 Mbps are great for:
- Streaming video in standard definition on 1 device
Speeds of 6-18 Mbps are great for:
- Casual web browsing
- Streaming video in standard definition on multiple devices
- Streaming video in high definition
Speeds of 18-25 Mbps are great for:
- Online shopping on 3+ devices
- Streaming video in high definition on multiple devices
- Online gaming with 1-2 devices
Speeds of 25-50 Mbps are great for:
- Online gaming with 3+ devices
- Large file downloads
- Streaming video in 4K Ultra HD on 1-2 devices
Speeds of 50+ Mbps are great for:
- Streaming video in 4K Ultra HD on multiple devices
- Working from home
- Families with multiple connected devices
- Downloading large files and HD movies
- Video chatting and screen sharing
It’s important to remember that due to multiple factors, your internet may not perform at optimum speeds. You may have internet that tends to perform slower than advertised or you might need to upgrade some equipment. Consider getting a speed slightly faster than your ideal wireless internet service speed, or you can try boosting your Wi-Fi signal.
What speeds do I need?
Not quite sure what speeds are best for your favorite online activities? Here’s what we recommend based on typical internet usage:
Still not sure which speeds you need? Take our quiz to see which speeds would be best for you and your household, so you only pay for what you actually need.
Last updated 02/12/19.