Best High-Speed Internet Providers

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May 22, 2020

Why is Fast Internet Important?

Accessing information on the go quickly, streaming your favorite movie or playing games are all good reasons to want high-speed internet. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to obtain it. Many internet providers offer high-speed plans that vary in download and upload speeds depending on your area and the type of service.

Download speeds measure how fast it takes to fulfill your request, like downloading a movie. Your upload speed measures how fast you publish something to the internet, such as posting a video to YouTube. For high-speed internet, a good download speed is at least 25 Mbps. Some examples of speeds:

  • Downloading a movie: Slow: 5 Mbps Fast: 20 Mbps
  • Uploading a video: Slow: 2 Mbps, Fast: 25 Mbps
  • Downloading large files: Slow: 5 Mbps, Fast: 40 Mbps 
  • Email browsing: Slow: 1 Mbps, Fast: 20 Mbps 
  • Streaming video: Slow: 3 Mbps, Fast: 25 Mbps

Fastest Speeds Offered by Internet Providers

Finding the best internet provider with the highest internet speed can be a challenge. To make it a bit easier, we put together a list of internet providers that offer the fastest speeds. We also give you an idea of what they cost per month and if they have data caps.

ProvidersSPEED DATA CAPFASTEST PLAN PRICE
AT&TUp to 1,000 MbpsNone$49.99/mo.
CenturyLinkUp to 940 Mbps1 TB$65.00/mo.
CoxUp to 940 Mbps1 TB$99.00/mo.
FrontierUp to 500 MbpsNone$44.99/mo.
MediacomUp to 1,000 Mbps400 GB$79.99/mo.
SpectrumUp to 940 MbpsNone$109.99/mo.
Verizon FiosUp to 940 MbpsNone$79.99/mo.
XfinityUp to 1,000 Mbps1 TB$79.99/mo.

Compare High-Speed Internet Providers

Along with connection speeds, there are other factors you should consider when choosing a high-speed internet provider. Most important is availability as all providers won’t be in your area. 

What’s more, does the provider have data caps? Data caps are the amount of data usage you have in one month before they throttle your connection speeds. This is where you’ll still be able to connect to the Internet, but you’ll have slower download and upload speeds. If you do a lot of gaming online, then it’s vital to consider if the provider has a data cap. 

Lastly, does the provider make you commit to a contract to have service? Some do, and if you go with one that does and cancel early, you could have to pay an early termination charge.

With these factors in mind, here are how each of the top providers measures up:

Xfinity

Xfinity internet

Starting at $40 /mo for 12 months

Plans Include

  • Up to 1,000 Mbps download speed
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Xfinity has internet plans ranging in speed from 15 Mbps up to 1,000 Mbps. They also provide mid-range plans of 100, 200, 300 and 600 Mbps. They currently offer services in 40 states. Xfinity does have data caps of 1 TB per month and some of their plans do include a two-year contract, especially if you bundle your internet with a cable package.

AT&T

AT&T internet

Starting at $39.99 /mo for 12 months

Plans Include

  • Download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
  • 12 packages to choose from

AT&T has plans ranging in download speeds from 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps with a data cap of 1 TB per month, which provides more than adequate usage – even for most gamers. AT&T currently offers its internet service in 23 states. And they require one-year contracts where you can lock in a promotional rate for each of their internet plans.

Cox

Cox internet

Starting at $19.99 /mo for 12 months

Plans Include

  • Download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
  • Options to bundle cable TV, home phone or home security

Cox offers a wide range of internet plans starting from 10 Mbps up to 940 Mbps, with 150 and 500 Mbps plans also available. Similar to other providers, they cap internet usage at 1 TB per month, which is an ample amount for most households. However, they only cover 17 states, so it’s important to check their coverage map to determine if they’re in your area. And when you sign up for an internet plan, you must commit to a one-year service agreement.

Verizon Fios

Verizon Fios internet

Starting at $39.99 /mo for 12 months

Plans Include

  • Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
  • No data caps

Verizon offers a good mix of internet speeds starting at 15 Mbps and 100 Mbps for its basic packages, and if you require the quickest download speeds, their Gigabit Connection plan delivers with download speeds of up to 940 Mbps.

Unlike many providers, Verizon doesn’t have data caps. They do require you to sign service agreements if you want to lock in the promotional rates, but you can also pay more for month-to-month commitments with no long-term contracts. Additionally, Verizon Fios is more regional, as they only have coverage in 10 states and Washington, D.C, mostly sticking to major metropolitan areas on the East Coast.

Frontier

Frontier internet

Starting at $27.99 /mo for 12 months

Plans Include

  • Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
  • No data caps

Frontier has a good mix of internet plans ranging from download speeds of 6 Mbps, 50 Mbps, 150 Mbps and up to 940 Mbps. They don’t have data-caps, but they do have two-year terms for their internet plans, not giving you as much flexibility as you would find with other providers. Moreover, Frontier offers its services in 33 states, so you can check its availability to see if you live in one of those states.

CenturyLink

CenturyLink internet

Starting at $49.00 /mo for 12 months

Plans Include

  • Internet speeds up to 940 Mbps
  • No contracts

CenturyLink offers a good mix of internet plans ranging from download speeds of 10 Mbps up to 940 Mbps. Their 100 Mbps plan starts at $49/mo. With their Price For Life plan, you can receive download speeds of up to 100 Mbps for the same locked-in rate for as long as you’re with them. Meanwhile, CenturyLink does have a data cap of 1 TB with no long-term commitments. They’re currently available in 36 states. You can check to see if you’re in a state they service. 

Spectrum

Spectrum internet

Starting at $49.99 /mo for 12 months

Plans Include

  • Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
  • No contracts

Spectrum offers a good assortment of download speeds ranging from as low as 25 Mbps and 100 Mbps up to 940 Mbps. They are unique in that they don’t have data caps, nor do they force you into a service contract. Instead, you pay month-to-month. Moreover, Spectrum is available in 41 states. Check to see if Spectrum is available in your state.

Mediacom

Mediacom internet

Starting at $39.99 /mo for 0 months

Plans Include

  • Download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
  • No contract

Mediacom has an assortment of packages ranging in speeds from 60 Mbps, 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps. Unlike other providers, they have data caps relative to the speed you select. To demonstrate, Mediacom’s Internet 60 plan comes with 400GB of data usage while its Internet 1 Gig plan comes with 6,000 GB of data usage. One benefit of using them is you won’t have to sign a long-term contract. Furthermore, Mediacom is currently available in 22 states, so you can enter your ZIP code to see if they service your area.

Choosing the Best High-speed Internet Provider

These eight high-speed internet providers represent the best of the best. To determine which one is right for you, it’s important to take into account the ways you use the internet, how many devices are in your household, the provider’s data caps and service contract requirements. Then, based on these factors, you can find the provider and plan that best aligns with your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest internet speed I can get? 
It depends on the provider in your area. 1,000 Mbps or 1 GIG internet is the fastest internet available, but is not available in all areas. It also depends on the kind of internet available: fiber, cable or DSL. 

Is 100 mbps considered a fast internet speed?
In the U.S., 100 Mbps is fast. If you have an internet provider that has 100 Mbps plans, you can do most things, like gaming, downloading files or streaming videos, without lag times or buffering issues. However, a lot of cable and satellite providers only offer lower speeds and 100 Mbps is not available in all areas. 

How can I boost my internet speed?

There are a couple easy ways to boost your speed. Change your current modem or router, scan for viruses, check for external interference, shorten and replace cables, update firmware and software regularly, find your router/ISP’s best settings, check the cabling and do a line test. 

How much does fast internet cost?

That depends on your internet provider. In the eight providers above, fast internet is priced between $44.99 and $109. Sometimes new customers can find a deal or a provider will run a promotion that will help keep costs down initially. It’s also good to know that not all providers can offer fast internet in all areas of the country, so it’s best to do your research before signing up.