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What is wireless home internet?

Wi-Fi gives you wireless access to the internet from anywhere in your home.

An internet modem translates the internet signal from your internet service provider. Then, your wireless router distributes your internet connection over airwaves to devices in your home. Instead of plugging in all your devices, they can communicate with each other, and the internet, wirelessly.

You can get Wi-Fi via DSL, cable, satellite or fixed wireless internet modems. AllconnectⓇ can help you browse a variety of internet providers and types of internet.

How to choose Wi-Fi service for your home

When setting up your Wi-Fi at home, consider the following factors to figure out what kind of Wi-Fi home service you need.

Connection type and availability

Companies such as AT&T, Cox, Spectrum, Verizon and XFINITY have been bringing internet into homes across the country for decades. They are some of the most widely available and popular home Wi-Fi providers.

Each connection type, cable, satellite, DSL and fiber-optic, works a little different. Depending on where you live, some home Wi-Fi providers might not be available. Use Allconnect to find out which internet providers and connection types are available in your area.

Data usage and online activities

If you only use internet to casually send emails and browse the web, download speeds of 2-10 Mbps should be enough for your home Wi-Fi service. That means many basic internet plans, as well as DSL and satellite internet plans, are solid internet choices.

However, if you game or stream TV, music and videos regularly, then you’ll want a home Wi-Fi speed of 10-15 Mbps or above. This will help you minimize buffering and lag.

Number of devices on your home Wi-Fi network

If you overload your home WiFi network with too many connected devices, then your web 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 bandwidth, the more devices you can connect without causing lag.

Internet upload speeds

Many providers heavily advertise high download speeds because most people download more than they upload. But if you do a lot of online gaming or video chat from home, remember to check the internet upload speeds too. High upload speeds, which help improve live online interactions, usually come with download speeds that are twice as fast.

How to choose a Wi-Fi service speed

Low-speed internet options (56 Kbps - 10 Mbps)

  • 40-50 Kbps: Downloads last 10-15 minutes and online video streaming is a no-go. Dial-up internet offers this level of speed.
  • 2-4 Mbps: Works well for casual web surfing and emails, but doesn’t support video streaming very well.
  • 4-6 Mbps: Works for casual web surfing and limited video downloads, but downloads may take up to 20 minutes. Performs fast enough to support standard video streaming and limited high-definition video streaming.
  • 6-10 mbps: Gives fast web browsing and generally good HD video streaming. Hulu recommends 8 Mbps for streaming Hulu with Live TV. Supports a couple of connected devices at home.

Medium-speed internet options (10 Mbps - 40 Mbps)

  • 10-25 Mbps: Works for small households with fewer devices. Performs generally well for online gaming and occasional video downloads. Works with multiple devices streaming HD videos on Netflix (each device requires 5 Mbps). DIRECTV NOW recommends 12 Mbps at home. Downloads on one device can slow speeds on other devices.
  • 25-40 Mbps: Works great for multiple, connected devices. Performs well for consistent online streaming, large file downloads and online gaming. Netflix and iTunes video both recommend 25 Mbps for 4k Ultra HD streaming.

High-Speed internet options (40+ Mbps)

  • 40-70 Mbps: Performs excellent for constant streaming, gaming and large file downloads. Can support Ultra HD streaming on multiple devices. Has bandwidth for many connected devices. Recommended for cord-cutters.
  • 70+ Mbps: Great for instant access for a large number of connected devices. Best option for downloading large files and HD movies. At 75 Mbps, it takes around 8 minutes to download an HD movie. At 100 Mbps, it takes about 6 minutes to download an HD movie. Recommended for the upload speed requirements of video chats, screen sharing, online gaming and high-quality video uploads.

It’s important to remember that due to multiple factors, internet speeds may not perform at optimum speeds, so consider getting a speed slightly faster than your ideal Wi-Fi service speed.

Internet-only plans with Wi-Fi and unlimited data

Here are some internet only plans without data limits from our top internet with Wi-Fi service providers.

  att internet cox internet HughesNet spectrum Verizon Fios xfinity t
Price $70/mo.* ($40/mo. + $30/mo. for unlmtd data) $89.98/mo.* ($39.99/mo. + $49.99/mo. for unlmtd data) $49.99/mo.* $44.99/mo.* $39.99/mo.* $74.99/mo.* ($24.99/mo. + $50/mo. for unlmtd data)
Term length 1 yr 1 yr 2 yr 1 yr No contract 1 yr
Internet speeds 50 Mbps 30 Mbps Up to 25 Mbps Up to 100 Mbps Up to 100 Mbps Up to 25 Mbps

*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 5/23/18.

 

If any of these unlimited data plans don’t quite fit your price range, some of these providers, such as Cox, offer lower cost internet plans with additional data you can purchase. Multiple Wi-Fi providers offer an additional 50 GB per month for $10 per month.

Many of our providers offer great Wi-Fi service deals available with TV and internet packages. A package can help you save money compared to getting internet only service and cable TV service from separate companies.

Compare Wi-Fi service plans

Home internet plans with Wi-Fi and no contract

Some of the most popular Wi-Fi service providers for homes offer internet services without contracts. Check out internet-only plans with no contracts below.

  spectrum Verizon Fios xfinity t
Price $29.99/mo.* Bundle with qualifying Spectrum services req’d. $74.99/mo.* $45 for 30 days, $15 for 7 days
Offer perks Offers credits to break out of other contracts Offers credits to break out of other contracts Refill as you go
Internet speeds Up to 100 Mbps Up to 500 Mbps Up to 20 Mbps

*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 5/23/18.

Why people choose Wi-Fi over dial-up

Home Wi-Fi service makes for a more interconnected house. Some major benefits are:

  • Large bandwidth: Depending on your internet plan speeds, you can connect all of your devices to your home Wi-Fi service without compromising internet speed.
  • Fast speeds: Stream, game, browse the internet and upload with ease.
  • Control: Interact with your smart home devices (like a smart thermostat, smart lock or smart lighting system) both from inside your home or remotely.
  • On-the-go access: Many home Wi-Fi providers include wireless hot spots in their internet packages, so you can stay connected even when you aren't home.

 

Last updated 6/3/18.

Get cheap Wi-Fi service for your home

Enter your ZIP to see home internet with Wi-Fi providers in your area. Compare your options online, or give us a call. Our experts will  help you choose a home Wi-Fi plan that can handle all your wireless home internet needs.

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