How Allconnect reviews internet service providers

See how we grade broadband providers in affordability, performance, value and customer satisfaction.

The Allconnect team of editors and writers adhere to ethical guidelines that prioritize objective and unbiased reviews of internet service providers (ISPs). We recognize that our content must be perceived as independent, honest and of the highest quality. 

What makes up the Allconnect score?

Our team specifically looks at affordability, performance, value and customer satisfaction to help you make the right choice for your home internet needs. Each category has multiple sub-factors, weighted differently to impact the provider’s overall score.

We only considered standardized data points in our scoring system of ISPs. More abstract data like the consistency of service and brand reputation is still part of our analysis, but we let our writers address them in the context of each review.

Overall factors of ISP evaluations

For each sub-factor, we scored every provider on a continuous scale of one to five, relative to the industry as a whole. We update the sub-factors monthly as prices and features change by ISP.

If the average download speed in America is around 190 Mbps, for example, we assigned all plans with download speeds between 100 and 299 Mbps a score between three and four. Using this scale, Xfinity’s 200 Mbps plan received a 3.50 score for download speed, while Spectrum’s 400 Mbps plan got a 4.16. 

We utilized as many reliable sources as we could find to decide which factors to consider and how to weigh them.

Third-party research like New America’s Cost of Connectivity Report, Ookla’s Global Speed Index and market analysis from Leichtman Research Group all helped us hone in on what matters most to the average broadband customer. 

Finally, we relied on our more than 20 years of experience as a broadband marketplace. This included conversations with our sales team to identify some of the most common questions and pain points from shoppers, user feedback on our articles and internal data from tens of thousands of speed tests each month.


Over and over, our research told us that price is the most important factor for most people shopping for internet.

Affordability is our most heavily weighted category, accounting for 40% of each provider’s overall score. Under that umbrella, we looked at five subcategories. 

For each one, we took the prices that were listed directly on provider websites using a sample of several service addresses — the most up-to-date and reliable method we’ve found. Here’s how each section was scored: 

Promotional pricing

This is the number that most people see when shopping for internet, and while it’s useful, it doesn’t tell the complete story. Think of promotional pricing as an introductory cost to your new service. Once that initial period is over, the pricing will revert to your ISP’s standard fee. 

We used the Consumer Reports results to determine our ranges for this category, which found the average price for an internet plan before taxes and fees to be $74.99/mo. From there, we factored in average promotional discounts of around $10 to $20 to give us the ranges for our scores.

Rate increases 

Anyone who’s ever paid an internet bill knows the feeling of a surprise price hike once the sign-up promotion ends. With this score, we wanted to capture just how painful or negligible that increase would be. Rate hikes to your monthly bill can happen anytime, but you do often get a heads-up from your provider.

To calculate the ranges for this category, we calculated the average price increases from several major internet providers. 

Average price over 24 months

We also wanted to capture the average price you can expect to pay over a two-year period — the typical one-year of promotional pricing and the year paying full price after that.

To get a baseline for this metric, we used the most recent updates to the Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which puts the all-in price for internet at $78.63/mo. 

Taken together with the promotional pricing and rate increase metrics, we felt this gave us a strong baseline for understanding the true price of internet plans relative to one another. 

Installation and equipment fees

Finally, we assigned 5% weight to both installation and equipment fees. Nearly all ISPs have fees for renting their equipment, like modems and routers. We used average fees from every major internet provider for both metrics to determine our baseline scores.


After price, speed consistently came up in our research as one of the top considerations for people shopping for internet. We gave significantly more weight to download speed here — 18% compared to 4% for upload speed — as it’s far more important to most peoples’ daily internet activities.

To find the right baselines for download and upload speeds, we utilized Ookla’s Global Speed Index.

Data caps were also factored into this category but with even less weight than upload speeds. Our research showed that the vast majority of broadband plans now have no data cap and the ones that do have an average of 977GB — far more than the 400GB/mo. that the average household uses.


Providing clear comparisons of price and performance was essential to our scoring process, but we also wanted to show how the two interact. In other words, how much bang for your buck will you get from each provider?

The best way to determine that was to divide the price of each plan by the speed it provides. This gave us a clear dollar value for each Mbps of bandwidth that you’ll receive.

For this metric, we used the 24-month average prices we discussed above. The higher the price per Mbps, the worse the value you’re getting.

Like our performance metric, we gave considerably more weight here to the value of download speed (20%) than upload speed (5%). 

Customer satisfaction

Finally, we wanted to give readers a sense of what real customers think of each provider.

For this section, we relied on independent surveys from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and Consumer Reports.

If a provider has been rated by both sites, we gave 5% weight to each one. In cases with only one rating, we assigned the full 10% weight for customer satisfaction. 

For both ACSI and Consumer Reports scores, we selected ranges that ensured there was a relatively equal spread of providers across our point system.

The ACSI’s scores are more condensed because low scores are much more of a rarity than with Consumer Reports. 

How we keep internet info fresh

We partner with over 30 internet and TV providers to keep the information on our site as up-to-date as possible. 

Not every internet provider can service every area, so we ask for your address to accurately show you which internet service providers are available at your exact location.

Sometimes, the provider that your neighbor uses may not even be available at your address, just across the street.

Internet providers change their prices and plans often, and we conduct monthly audits of all the information on our site to ensure everything you see is as up-to-date as possible, incorporating brand information directly from our partners. 

We use our in-house technology and federal and provider data to bring you quick, accurate and current info on plans no matter where or when you use our site.

Meet the Allconnect content team

Camryn Smith, Writer

Robin Layton, Editor

Joe Supan, Senior Writer

Senior writer Lisa Iscrupe

Lisa Iscrupe, Senior Writer