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What is home Wi-Fi?

Instead of plugging in all your internet devices, Wi-Fi lets you connect them wirelessly. All you need is a modem and wireless router to get started.

For Wi-Fi internet to work, your modem translates the internet signal from your internet service provider (ISP), then your wireless router distributes the connection over airwaves to devices in your home.

Wi-Fi is a convenience many have come to depend upon, so it’s important to find the right Wi-Fi internet service and provider for your home. Click “Shop providers” below to search available Wi-Fi providers in your area.

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The best wireless internet providers for home Wi-Fi

As ranked by Reviews.com as of 08/12/19.

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 wireless internet plan that suits your needs from one of the top ISPs across the U.S., you’ll be ready to set up your home internet. Depending on the provider and the plan you choose, you may even receive free rentals on equipment, like a modem and/or wireless router.

The best home Wi-Fi plans with unlimited data

Some Wi-Fi internet providers offer internet-only plans without data limits. Here are some of the best home Wi-Fi plans with unlimited data that may be available at your address.

Internet providers with unlimited Wi-Fi plans

ProvidersStarting price*Speeds up toOffer perksLearn more
AT&T Internet
AT&T Wi-Fi plans
$70/mo. ($40/mo. + $30/mo. for unlimited data)1,000 MbpsWi-Fi Gateway router includedAT&T internet
Frontier
Frontier Wi-Fi plans
$27.99/mo.6 MbpsFree Wi-Fi router rental with select plansFrontier internet
Charter Spectrum
Spectrum Wi-Fi plans
$44.99/mo.200 MbpsFree internet modem and antivirus with Security SuiteSpectrum internet
Verizon Fios Logo
Verizon Fios Wi-Fi plans
$39.99/mo100 Mbps100% fiber-optic network Verizon FiOS internet

Xfinity Wi-Fi plans
$70/mo. ($20/mo. + $50/mo. for unlimited data)15 MbpsXfinity xFi allows you to control your home network remotelyXfinity internet
Windstream Logo
Windstream Wi-Fi plans
$19.99/mo.25 MbpsFree installation with select plansWindstream internet

*Price 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 08/09/2019.

Some Wi-Fi internet 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 Wi-Fi internet service providers offer great home internet deals available with TV and phone bundles. A bundle can help you save money compared to getting internet-only service and TV plans from separate companies.

How to choose a wireless internet provider in your area

When shopping for the best home Wi-Fi plan for your household, consider the following factors to determine the best wireless internet provider near you:

  • Connection type and availability – Multiple wireless internet providers offer different types of connections — cable, satellite, DSL and fiber-optic — that each work a little differently. First, 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 service 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 Wi-Fi providers advertise high download speeds because most people download information more than they upload. However, if you do a lot of live online interactions such as online gaming or video chat from home, remember to check the internet upload speeds too.

Choosing a Wi-Fi service speed

When choosing your Wi-Fi 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:

  • Email
  • Basic web browsing

Speeds of 3-6 Mbps are great for:

  • Streaming video in standard definition on one 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 three or more devices
  • Streaming video in high definition on multiple devices
  • Online gaming with one to two devices

Speeds of 25-50 Mbps are great for:

  • Online gaming with three or more devices
  • Large file downloads
  • Streaming video in 4K Ultra HD on one to two 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

One thing to keep in mind is there are many factors that can affect your Wi-Fi internet speed, such as actual vs. advertised speeds, the number of devices connected, the time of day you’re connected and your type of online activities. Additionally, Wi-Fi service, in general, can result is slightly slower speeds since it’s a wireless connection, not a hard-wired connection.

If you aren’t sure what speeds you need, check out our tips for finding the right internet speed, or call to speak with our Wi-Fi experts.

What equipment do I need to get home Wi-Fi internet?

  • Modem – This device receives the internet connection from your provider and uses Ethernet cables to connect with other devices. It doesn’t transmit your Wi-Fi signal through the house.
  • Router – This device takes the connection from your modem and sends the signal to devices like laptops, cell phones and smart TVs.
  • Wireless network adapter – This device connects your desktop PC to a Wi-Fi network. This is not required for newer PCs, laptops and smart devices as they have built-in Wi-Fi receivers.
  • Wi-Fi extenders (optional) – These devices can help boost your Wi-Fi signal so you get a stronger signal throughout your home.

Some providers also use devices with the modem and router built into a single device, often referred to as a Gateway router. Keep in mind that the equipment cost may not be included in your initial plan costs, and some wireless internet providers let you use your own Wi-Fi devices.

Wi-Fi service frequently asked questions

Some internet providers do offer Wi-Fi service at no additional cost to your monthly internet plan. Others may charge an added fee of $5/mo. or higher for Wi-Fi service, plus an additional fee for Wi-Fi equipment rental. If you’re looking for free Wi-Fi on the go, many internet providers and businesses offer free Wi-Fi hotspots.

It is common for wireless internet service to be slower than a wired, or LAN, connection. There are many factors that can affect Wi-Fi speeds, such as proximity to the router, the number of connected devices and the quality of the router itself. Even running your microwave can affect Wi-Fi speeds. If your home Wi-Fi internet speeds are slower than you’d like, here are a few tips for boosting your Wi-Fi connection.

It’s a good idea to set your router up in a central location in your home. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your router is free of obstructions, such as walls and furniture, that may block Wi-Fi signals. To help ensure a quality signal and whole-home coverage, you can also install Wi-Fi signal extenders.

No. Wi-Fi is not a service by itself, but rather a feature of your internet service. You need an internet service provider to get internet to your home via a modem and a router to transmit that signal throughout your home. Some ISPs include Wi-Fi service and necessary equipment at no extra charge.

Last updated 08/12/19.

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Moving or looking for a new deal? Let Allconnect help you find the right internet plan for your needs. Call now to start comparing providers, prices and speeds in your local area.

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