The internet is vital for living in today’s world, and fast internet means that you have access to so much more at greater convenience. You can use more devices, stream content at a higher resolution, and ensure that there is always a connection for that vital video call with your boss or family. You may be looking for a better connection for your home, or you might be looking for your first internet plan that you are buying for yourself. Whatever the case, we have all the information you might need about a potential internet connection and what a high-speed internet provider can give you.
Yet a major part of this is picking the best internet service provider (ISP) for you. There are dozens of providers across the United States, and they can all look quite similar to those who do not know. They are anything but. A major part of what we want to do today is going over the major options so that you can decide what is best for you.
So if you’re looking for the best potential internet providers, and more particularly those that can offer high-speed internet in the United States, keep on reading. You’re sure to learn more about them and what you might be able to get by reading below:
What Matters Most When You’re Looking for High-Speed Internet
Before we dig into the plans and individual providers, let’s talk about some of the factors we will be looking at, and you will be eventually looking at. What matters when evaluating an ISP? While there are many things, here are the important bits:
Coverage and Reliability: In some ways, coverage is its own discussion. It’s either there, or it isn’t; if it isn’t there, you aren’t working with that provider. Yet some ISPs have a wider range of coverage than others, which means they will be more prominent across the country. And greater market dominance has its benefits and disadvantages for the customer. It’s helpful to take note of how widespread an ISP is.
Reliability is another matter entirely, and an unstable connection is unhelpful. In some cases, a drop in service cannot be helped (hurricanes and thunderstorms happen, after all), but some ISPs are better than others when it comes to getting things back up and running and preventing problems from occurring in the first place. The less your internet speed drops or your connection cuts out, the better.
Plans Available: Is there a plan from a given provider that will suit your household well? Are there enough options to switch if you realize you need something more or could do with something less? The plans a provider has available are effectively the services offered. We’ll discuss plans and pick the right one later in the article.
Connection Speed: Related to the plans available is how fast of a connection you can get from a given provider. At this moment, we mostly mean the highest speed you can get from this provider, though we’ll briefly talk about the different facets of speed. This is hard to rate as it heavily depends on the infrastructure in the area, and sometimes the ISP can do nothing about it in the short term. Still, high-speed plans generally mean high-speed service, which is better for you as an internet user.
Connection Type: How does the internet get to your home, and what is the basis of the infrastructure used? Are fiber optic plans supported in your area? What does the ISP in question use? Most ISPs only really work with one (maybe two) connection types. And some are absolutely better than others. For a brief breakdown:
- Fiber optic internet is simply the best option. It uses fiber optic cables to deliver information and is generally capable of at least gigabyte internet speeds. You can also expect a more consistent connection with them and better upload speeds. There are efforts to get fiber optic lines installed in many major cities if they aren’t there already.
- A cable connection will be able to provide high speeds, but you will also want to be careful about the low upload speeds and the less consistent connections. If too many people are using cable internet in an area, people can also expect a bit of a slowdown.
- DSL internet is based on phone lines to deliver internet signal, though it is not dial-up. While some of the ISPs we mention will offer DSL internet, we do not recommend it unless you have no other choice. It is very slow and provides horrible upload speeds. People with DSL internet are often complaining about their DSL internet.
- As for dial-up internet, it still technically exists, but don’t use it. It is not high-speed. It is not medium speed. And it's slower than low speed. It’s useless. Again, don’t use it.
- We will mention satellite internet providers here, but note that it’s not as high-speed as some other options and is quite limited in the amount of data you have each month. It is also expensive. Why bother with it? In some areas, people don’t have any other option than satellite internet, which makes it the best choice by default.
Customer Service: Dealing with customer service can be a trial for many, which is true for all of us. Over time, the telecommunications industry has not gotten a good reputation for customer service, and ISPs are not immune from this. Some companies have an abysmal reputation and are household names in bad service. We factored in customer service in our ratings as we know it will come up on several occasions. It might not be as important as some reviewers stress (day-to-day internet service matters most), but it is still important.
Price and Bundling Options: The best internet in the world doesn’t mean much if you can’t afford the connection. And internet is generally expensive by default in the United States. An ISP that can provide cheaper quality options or plans that do not offer extra bells and whistles might be for you. Alternatively, you might be ok with paying a premium for premium service and perks. There’s no absolute answer here, though some ISPs offer better value than others.
Regarding bundling, what is best will differ vastly depending on the wants and needs of your family. If you want pay TV service alongside your internet service, we are certain you’ll be able to get a bundle that will save you money. Some providers also provide bundles for landline phone service (if you still use that) and mobile phone plans (still relatively rare). We might mention bundles in our summaries below, but we evaluate options rather than just saying a bundle is the best. We understand many people just want internet access, and support that. You will want to make the best decision based on your circumstances and your circumstances alone. Don’t get a cable plan if you don’t watch TV. It will just be a waste.
Contract Options: When you sign up for internet service, you will either go by a monthly plan or get an extended service contract, usually for 12 months (occasionally 24). This is standard, if not universal, practice in the industry, but if you want to avoid that commitment, some ISPs can accommodate.
If you go by a contract, then you will be locked in for the contract period. However, you will likely get a lower monthly price out of it. If you don’t get a contract, you’ll have the freedom to switch providers without buying out the rest of the contract. Consider what might work best for you, and also note that if you need to switch providers, often a new ISP will be happy to buy out your old contract if you are willing to sign a new one.
Data Caps, Throttling, and Other Limitations: Something that ISPs might not put in big bold letters (unlike their download speed and low prices) are potential limitations on your service plan. More service providers have been putting monthly data caps on plans. After this limit is reached, users will either find their connection throttled (artificially slowed down) or their bill increasing substantially.
When looking at providers, we prefer ISPs that do not have data caps or engage in throttling, but of those that do, the ones with a higher monthly data cap are better. The cap is often much more than an average user will use in a month, but people who download many files will want to pay special attention.
You might also find other limitations depending on the ISP, so reading the fine print and checking for warnings, in general, is important.
Additional Perks, Features, and Benefits: Many ISPs provide extra features, perks, and options to their service plans to make them more appealing to potential customers and hopefully provide more value. They might take the form of security software for your network, a subscription to a streaming service, or something else (perhaps a discount or two on some services or additional options). They can be very nice and be a great deal if you would use those perks and services.
That being said, you should not base your decision solely on these perks. Ultimately most are meant to bring you into a service and are often for a trial period (perhaps six or 12 months). Additionally, most perks have an affordable alternative you can pay for that is affordable if you feel like you cannot go without. Be wary of what you see, and use it to your advantage if it fits into your life.
Providers Versus Plans
While we are talking about providers in this article, you are effectively shopping or deciding on two things: an ISP and a plan from that ISP. Both affect your ultimate experience. Your plan will determine your internet speed and what perks you get, and may affect some other priorities and service features. Your ISP will likely affect your service type, the level of customer service and your customer experience, and the policies you’ll need to know and abide by. We’ll be talking about providers as a base, but realistically we will have to discuss plans as part of the greater comparison between services.
Due to the limitations of your location, you might not have too much of a choice between providers. There might be two to three available in your area, less if you’re unlucky. At that point, it’s mostly comparing all the plans among those ISPs, which this website can help you do very easily. In a best-case scenario, you have as many options as possible.
What Is Internet Speed?
While we mentioned internet or connection speed as an important factor, it is a bit more nuanced than “downloads happen very fast.” Here are a few key terms to know:
Download Speed: Download speed is about what you would expect. It is a measurement of how long your device would take to download a file off the internet, usually measured now in Mbps. The faster your download speed, the better off you are. We recommend a speed of at least 100Mbps if you can get ahold of it, but anything more is a boon to your household and sometimes necessary if you have multiple members of your family that use a lot of bandwidth.
Upload Speed: Sometimes, you need to upload files or communicate outside to reach a network, and your upload speed is what matters there. In most cases, your plan will have a lower upload speed than download speed, and that’s perfectly fine. Working professionals who upload files frequently and people who are on many populated video calls will want a high upload speed. Otherwise, most people can get away with 10Mbps.
Latency/Ping Rate: Latency, or ping rate, depending on who you are talking to, is a measurement of how long your computer takes to send a request and get a response from a server. Latency is a lot more important than you might think at first, especially if you are on a lot of video calls or enjoy online gaming (high latency means a bad time). It is hard to measure latency ahead of time, and there isn’t as much information about it from the providers themselves, but poor internet service can lead to poor latency. Just know that it isn’t always in your hands or power to decide.
There are also a few other measurements you might find on speed tests and read in articles, but they are a bit more specialized and not something you need to worry about here.
If you want to know how fast your connection is now or test out your new connection once you buy it, we recommend using a speed test. There are plenty of apps and sites that can help you.
The Best High-Speed Providers 2022
We cannot go over every provider operating in the country (there are simply far too many of them), but there are a select few you should be on the lookout for in your area. These are the ones likely offering the best plans and the fastest service. You can see if they are offering services using this site, and you can also go to their website to learn more about what they offer. Just remember that you don’t have to commit to anything when you inquire about a service.
Here are the top high-speed providers you can find in 2022:
1. Comcast Xfinity
Comcast Xfinity can seem like there are two companies at work. Comcast Xfinity provides an amazing service at a reasonable price while making most customers feel satisfied, and the rest of Comcast doesn’t have the best reputation, and most people complain about it readily. This could be because of regional differences in Comcast service, a long-running history of the company, or simply due to its size. In fact, depending on your region in the United States, you might experience different prices for a similar plan.
Yet regardless, Comcast Xfinity is a force in fiber internet and thus high-speed internet. It provides connections to millions of people and, in some ways, is the leader in the field.
Here are the main general stats and notes about Comcast Xfinity:
- Comcast Xfinity has multiple plans available depending on the area, and in terms of high-speed plans, you can expect the following options. Note that they might come under different names and slightly different prices depending on your region:
- The Performance Pro plan is 300Mbps download speed and 10Mbps upload speed for $89/mo.
- The Blast! plan, which provides 600Mbps download speed and 20Mbps upload speed. It costs $94/mo.
- The Extreme Pro plan provides 900Mbps download speed and 20Mbps upload speed. It costs $99/mo.
- The Gigabit plan provides 1,200Mbps download speed and 35Mbps upload speed for $104 per month.
- There is also the Gigabit Pro plan, which provides a ludicrous 6 Gbps upload and download speed, and is more than almost anyone or family will ever need. It is not widely available and costs $300 per month.
- There’s one more important thing: Comcast is one of the largest, out of fiber or gigabit internet providers, being available in 39 states. It isn’t an experiment or a potential venture for them, it is their main business, and they are dedicated to expanding as much as possible (well, so long as there is profit to be had in doing so). You can trust they’ll be around for a long time and that there will be a few shakeups at the company that could affect your service. However, you might get higher prices and more bureaucracy to deal with as a result.
- Xfinity is expensive, yet you should know a few things about the pricing and fee structure. You may pay a $ 14-a-month fee for equipment rental. Additionally, you might expect a price hike after 24 months of your service. There may also be additional fees, depending on your service plan.
- In terms of bundling, you can bundle together your internet service with TV or home phone service, as well as home security service (not as common).
- Customer service is a mixed bag based on your region, but overall the company has a reputation that is well below the average, and there does not seem to be as much effort going into improvement as other companies are putting in.
- While Xfinity might be a bit more expensive on the whole, Xfinity can also provide more perks and options for users and allows you to customize your experience and handle more things regarding your plan online.
Xfinity offers both fiber and cable plans, and we strongly recommend that you focus primarily on fiber internet plans, especially when fiber is available. Their cable internet might not be bad, but it doesn’t compare. Try to do your research ahead of time and use sites like this one to get more information, as working with Comcast is confusing for some.
2. Google Fiber
You might have not heard much about Google Fiber in your area because Google Fiber isn’t commonly available. It’s a slowly building experimental concept in Google Fiber, and you can only see them operating in select cities. Sometimes the cities make sense, and in other cases, you might be asking why “that” city was chosen.
Yet notes about the growth and availability of Google Fiber aside, it is one of the best possible internet plans in those places where it is available. The slowest plan is gigabit internet for a reasonable price, and it is getting rave reviews across the board from critics and customers alike. While things can change, Google Fiber is doing things right where other companies are cutting corners or lacking.
Here are the main general stats and notes about Google Fiber:
- Google Fiber is able to offer a 2-gigabit plan to its customers for $100 a month, which is an amazing deal for people who want the best possible internet speed and connection available to consumers. Remember that while some rare cable internet plans go up to 4Gbps, fiber is more reliable and has a better upload speed on average. This makes Google Fiber one of the best options for someone looking for fast, affordable internet. And if $100 for two gigabits per second seems like a bit much, there is also usually a 1Gbps option for $70 per month. In either case, that is a decent value.
- Something nice that Google Fiber does is that it provides free internet service to its “fiberhoods” to the tune of 5Mbps download speed and 1Mbps upload speed. To anyone in the know, this is extremely slow. Yet the access is free, and that level of connection can make a world of difference to people. It’s a nice way to test the network and get people on board the program once they are able to.
- People who enjoy TV can still get a good deal with Google Fiber by getting live TV over the internet. Google Fiber has paired with some providers, such as YouTubeTV, to create what will feel like a bundle, though some separation is involved. Nonetheless, Google Fiber can support such services without a hitch, so it might be time to make the switch.
- Customers as a whole absolutely love Google Fiber and the services on offer. While other services by Google might not get as much support or love from the average user, Google Fiber regularly ranks first among the various internet service providers regarding customer satisfaction.
- There are no contracts required for Google Fiber as of this writing, though you may be able to get a large construction fee waived if it is applicable to you by agreeing to one year of service. There is no early termination fee and a minor $10 activation fee. There are equipment fees if you need replacement equipment, but overall, Google Fiber does a great job keeping fees minimal for customers and keeping pricing straightforward.
Yet while Google Fiber sounds amazing so far, not everything comes up roses. It can be difficult to come by, and installation of the service takes a while. Google often has other things to do, so it may not seem as motivated to roll out service at the same speed as a major ISP. And there are only so many cities where it is available in full. In some cities, it is only available to apartments and condos (perhaps to maximize the number of people reached). This may be known as Google Fiber Webpass, though you will find that it provides fast speeds, just like the two major fiber plans Google Fiber offers.
Compared to other providers, Google Fiber doesn’t offer too many extras, doesn’t offer much in the course of bundles, and usually, only one or two plans are available. Nonetheless, sometimes this simplicity is best, and for people who want fast internet: the main option is there. You need nothing else and nothing extra. You can get that on your own, we promise. And Google Fiber looks to be a promising experiment for years to come, perhaps expanding to change the landscape of United States internet service.
3. Quantum Fiber
If you haven’t heard of Quantum Fiber or felt like it popped up out of nowhere, there’s a good reason for that. It is the rebranded branch of CenturyLink that deals with fiber internet service. And while this might cause concern for some or confusion for others, at the moment, it is mostly the same service and options CenturyLink always offered, just focused on providing high-speed internet service.
And that speed is extremely fast, as advertised. While some of the company's logistics might still be working out, Quantum fiber provides fast and excellent internet connections.
Here are the main general stats and notes about Quantum Fiber:
- Century has their Price for Life plans for standard internet, but they are quite divided and have different price points compared to the speed and value fiber provides. There are two fiber plans worth mentioning from Quantum Fiber:
- The Quantum Fiber 200 plan has a 200 Mbps download and upload speed. It costs $50 a month.
- The Quantum Fiber Gigabit plan has a download and upload speed of 940Mbps. It costs only a bit more than the 200 plan at $65 a month and thus is our recommendation if available.
- Both of the above plans provide incredible value and make it a competitive option. It feels like another middling option would be best for some families, but none exists so far.
- If you want Quantum Fiber to provide equipment, there is an optional $15 per month for a modem/router rental. We do not recommend this if you can acquire a good compatible equipment setup, as this rental fee is high.
- There are no data caps to worry about with any Quantum Fiber plans.
- Quantum Fiber might not be easy to find with a close link to CenturyLink, but Quantum Fiber is actually available in 33 states, making it a viable option for millions of people.
- Customer service isn’t so well known yet, and there isn’t much information on it as a separate service yet. However, there are few reports of major problems, and people are generally happy with customer service so far.
- Depending on your area, there may or may not be bundles, but the bundles are generally nothing special. Quantum Fiber provides excellent internet service to customers at a good price and a little extra.
And while Quantum Fiber is excellent by many accounts, in case the two are still linked or advertised together, do be wary of what CenturyLink offers. It can offer great deals and decent connections or cable services in some areas, but we wouldn’t call it the fastest available country.
4. AT&T Fiber
AT&T has been providing internet services for some time now, but AT&T fiber is something of a newer development that is well-loved by those who have it. And if you haven’t heard of it, that is because it isn’t widespread as a service yet. Yet AT&T fiber also can provide some of the absolute fastest connections in the country to those who want them (practically no one needs 5Gbps download and upload speeds).
AT&T Fiber also can provide people with television service, though through the same lines, and it is effectively not that much different from streaming TV in a technological sense. This service is fine, but generally, AT&T Fiber customers will be primarily interested in high-speed internet service.
Here are the main general stats and notes about AT&T Fiber internet:
- There are quite a few different plans from AT&T, and we encourage you to review the available plans. We won’t be including the non-fiber plans below, but a half-dozen exist and might be mixed in with the following:
- The AT&T Fiber Internet 300 plan, with 300Mbps upload and download speeds for $55 a month.
- The AT&T Fiber Internet 500 plan, with 500Mbps upload and download speeds for $65 a month.
- The AT&T Fiber Internet 1000 plan, with 940 Mbps download speed and 840Mbps upload speed. It costs $80 per month.
- The AT&T Fiber Internet 2000 plan offers 2Gbps upload and download speeds for $110 a month.
- The AT&T Fiber Internet 5000 plan offers 5Gbps upload and download speeds for $180 a month. Note that this might be the fastest internet plan in the country if you can get ahold of it and are willing to pay such a high price for something you probably don’t need.
- Some of the country's best plans are on the list above and are only rivaled by Verizon Fios and Google Fiber. We aren’t even sure what people might want to do with that much bandwidth in some cases, but we’re also certain that people are finding inventive methods and getting the most out of them.
- You will want to check if AT&T fiber is in your area, as while it is expanding, it is anything but universally available. Most people in select cities will have access, and while AT&T internet and other services are widely available, Fiber is a different story.
- While some AT&T plans have a data cap or require an extra fee for unlimited data, all the fiber plans mentioned above have unlimited data.
- Customer service is adequate compared to other companies, but nothing special. However, it should be noted that AT&T is improving, and customer satisfaction has increased over previous years.
- A contract or commitment isn’t required to get AT&T Fiber service, though some promotional pricing might be available with a commitment. Fees are minimal, though you might need to pay a $10 a-month equipment fee and an installation fee of $35.
- There are bundling options with a landline phone and TV services which you might want to take advantage of. Availability might be limited on these bundles based on location.
AT&T provides DSL service on top of fiber service to many areas, but we would not recommend it under any circumstances. There is a data cap on DSL internet services, the DSL service is very slow, and there is little special making the plans stand out. Consider it an entirely different company and select it only as a last resort.
Yet optimistically, there are plans from AT&T to expand their fiber capacity dramatically, and the extra few million locations added in the last year show that they are trying to stay true to that goal. That makes AT&T Fiber a provider to look for, at least in the states where AT&T internet is already widely available.
5. Verizon Fios
Another of the country's most well-known internet providers, especially regarding high-speed service, Verizon Fios is almost an entirely different company with its own reputation compared to Verizon as a larger entity. Make sure to look for “Fios” in the name, so you don’t get confused and get a service or extra services you don’t want.
If you are getting Verizon Fios, you will be getting fiber internet. It is practically in the name. On top of this, you will be getting equal or nearly equal upload and download speeds. This makes it perhaps the best choice for professionals who have to upload files constantly and maintain a strong line of communication to the larger organization or their clients. It is a rare perk and one many people will want to take advantage of.
Here are the main general stats and notes about Verizon Fios:
- Generally offered plans are the following, with three options to choose from:
- The Fios 300 plan offers 300Mbps download and upload speeds. The price is $50 per month.
- The Fios 500 plan offers 500Mbps download and upload speeds. The price is $70 per month.
- The Fios Gigabit Connection plan offers a 940 Mbps download speed and an 880 Mbps upload speed. The monthly price is $90 per month.
- These provide amazing value and are among the plans that offer the best value in the United States. Additionally, it does not seem like there are any plans to increase the prices in the near future, as several high-speed providers have done.
- As far as we can tell, there are a few issues with service, and the advertised speeds are generally the speeds customers get.
- Customer service is generally one of the best talking points about Verizon Fios as of this writing, and few people have complained. If Fios expands more rapidly than Verizon can manage, we will have some concerns, but this is speculations at this point.
- Like the other companies that offer fiber internet service, the main issue comes down to availability. For a big name like Verizon, we hope to see Fios available in more areas. Yet alas, that is not the case, at least as of this writing. We can only hope they expand to other areas and cities while keeping the pricing and policies that make them one of the absolute best internet options available in the United States.
- Verizon Fios is also generous regarding its plans and policies (in addition to the great prices). There are no data caps, allowances, or throttling that we found or could detect. Use your fiber connection to your heart’s content and download what you’d like.
On the other side of the coin is Verizon’s DSL service, which we should hardly mention as this is an article about high-speed internet. Verizon’s DSL service is anything but high-speed and is best ignored in favor of other options. There are simply no redeeming qualities besides “it exists.” Again, make sure that you’re getting Fios and not DSL service.
Spectrum is generally a cable service provider that provides some extra services, including internet. Despite this, internet service has been on the rise, and Spectrum is capable in some areas of providing speeds of up to 2Gbps. It is less than reliable, but it is possible and often the best option for people who do not have fiber service in their area. Spectrum will likely be more widely available in suburban areas with cable infrastructure. In fact, it is one of the largest internet providers in the country, meaning millions will have to deal with Spectrum whether they want to or not.
And while Spectrum doesn’t really compare to the options already listed, that doesn’t mean it is not worth your consideration. It can provide high-speed internet to people with adjusted expectations and less of a need for high upload speeds. And there is good news: while we cannot, as of this writing, really say it is a fiber service provider, there are efforts to incorporate more fiber service and infrastructure into what they have to offer.
Here are the main general stats and notes about Spectrum:
- Spectrum might be the worst of the best high-speed internet providers because it is a cable internet provider. That means that the lines are subject to slowdowns if everyone uses them, and upload speeds are not as high as they would be with fiber internet. Some plans can actually beat out some fiber plans, but they are few and far between and, as we’ll discuss, will have disadvantages.
- As a general rule, most customers will have access to three high-speed plans from Spectrum (if high-speed internet is available):
- The Spectrum Internet plan has a $75 regular monthly rate. It has 300Mbps download and 10Mbps upload.
- Spectrum Internet Ultra, which has a $95 regular rate. It has a 500Mbps download speed and 20Mbps upload.
- Spectrum Internet Gig costs $115 per month but has 940Mbps download speed and 35 Mbps upload.
- As you can see, the download speeds are impressive if slightly expensive for what you are getting, yet the upload speeds leave a lot to be desired. Another provider might better serve professionals who must regularly upload large files from home.
- Spectrum will have the most issues regarding advertised speed versus people's actual speeds. Congestion in the network can really slow things down or even cause service interruptions for some people. There is little way around this, but another provider might be better if you look for a consistent high-speed option.
- Spectrum is not available across the country, though it is widely available. Check their website or ours to see if you have access to it.
- We are still waiting for more information regarding what Spectrum offers regarding future expansions and additional services. They have some of the most room to grow in terms of technology, if not wide coverage area.
- No contracts are required for Spectrum internet; as a general rule, the pricing is more straightforward and easy to understand than many of its competitors. While there are introductory rates, they are clear. Fees and the like are clearly labeled and understandable should they exist.
- Charter Spectrum used to have one of the worst reputations in the TV and internet industries regarding customer service. They acquired Time Warner Cable around 2016, and some improvements were made around then, but do not expect the best customer service possible. When compared to other internet providers, they were slightly below average, and people still have their fair share of general complaints.
While satellite internet and “high speed” are not concepts you usually see in the same sentence, we should discuss satellite internet and the fastest option as it might be the only option many people have to get internet access today. And while ViaSat and HughesNet have their established place, Starlink is clearly the fastest when it is available.
And that is the main topic to be concerned about with Starlink in the context of satellite internet: it is still developing itself and expanding rapidly. Some might say the company is still in the oven, so to speak.
Here are the main general stats and notes about Starlink:
- Starlink is incredibly expensive as far as internet service is concerned. As of this writing, you need to pay $99 to get on a waitlist for the service, assuming it is available in your area. Then you need to pay $599 for the equipment cost upon startup for residential service. Then you need to pay $110 a month as a subscription fee. The fee alone puts it on par with the fastest and most expensive internet plans in the United States. The extra fees will just be too much for some people. Starlink should not be people’s first choice for these reasons.
- Starlink can provide speeds of anywhere from 50-250Mbps, depending on the area and how good a link the dish has to the satellite. Given everything else, it might appear as though this is some trouble for an average speed, but Starlink is satellite internet and will hopefully be available in places that other ISPs just won’t go.
- There is only a residential plan, an RV plan, and a business plan. We won’t talk about business internet in this article, and the residential and RV plans are mostly identical except for a slight price hike on the RV plan.
- Upload speeds will range between 10-20Mbps. This is nothing special in the context of regular internet service, but amazing when compared to other satellite internet providers
- Finally, the average latency, according to most tests, falls between 40-50ms. This is generally good and outstanding compared to the 500ms+ of other satellite providers. People can game and be on video calls on a Starlink connection.
- Most important to some users that are used to satellite internet is that there is no data cap as of this writing. This is vital for people who need to use the internet regularly, as other satellite providers place heavy limits and expenses on users in this regard.
- Starlink is not available across the country. While the company is hoping to add more coverage, the current state of things means only certain parts of the continental United States are covered. This can lead to problems with reliability in some areas and means Starlink cannot be for everyone. However, there are plans to launch more satellites, increasing coverage and reliability worldwide.
- Self-installation is possible if not required and is generally easy to handle.
- There are no bundles or many special offers at this time. There are also no service contracts, and you can cancel anytime.
- Customer service does not have a great reputation, if only because there are long wait times for service and support. Starlink has become popular, but the company has not scaled its service in tune with the massive rise in popularity.
Don’t Neglect Looking for Regional or Municipal Internet Providers
One trend that is heartening to many is that plenty of smaller regional and municipal service providers can provide high-speed internet at a low cost to people in their area. There might not be as many perks or extra features, but the quality service is usually there, infrastructure is usually maintained well, and there is a sense of pride in the community that getting internet service from a major provider cannot provide.
You will likely see ads for one if it operates in your area, but a quick search can tell you more as well as let you know if one is starting up in your area. If this is the case, you can often snag a discount if you sign up early and promise to switch when it becomes available. If you are feeling particularly industrious, you can try and see if there is interest in setting one up from scratch in your town. Depending on the state, it may not always be possible, but it would be a project many people would appreciate.
Remember that the Region and Coverage Area Matters Most
As much as we wish it were otherwise, most of the ISPs we’ll be talking about in this article will not be available everywhere. In fact, chances are you have only two or three ISPs to pick from unless you live in a major city, in which case you might have a much better time of things.
You can check coverage easily using this website, and you can also check the provider’s website to see what areas they serve. Make sure to get as specific with your address as possible. A provider might operate in one part of a city and not another. There are instances where an ISP will simply not be available on one street and yet work fine in the rest of the town. It can be tricky, so doing your research and knowing what ISPs are available should be your first priority.
Local Ratings and Considerations Matter
There is one major limitation to this article: we cannot review everywhere at once and talk about every regional difference in service. The Comcast that exists in New England (or even just one state) might be very different from the Comcast that exists halfway across the country. Some of the policies will be the same, and pricing will be similar, but the people handling matters at different branches will be necessarily different. Company policy can be interpreted and bent in different ways.
You will want to look at local ratings and reviews for the ISPs in the area. And you will want to look at them carefully while analyzing them for larger trends. A single bad review can be someone having a bad day or expecting too much. Many bad reviews complaining about the same thing(s) indicate that a much larger problem exists.
Some problems you can disregard, but look at what people say about the service quality, the customer service quality, and how well matters are handled when they pop up. Some policies are country-wide, but the staff and operations are controlled or realistically affected on a regional level. You may also want to take some reviews with a grain of salt. Happy customers are much less likely to leave a review than deeply unhappy customers, skewing the reviews a bit.
We on this website can provide you with more information on your city and what is available, and there are plenty of other options that can help you get to know more about what people think about the ISP in question locally.
Things Can Change, and So Can Your Service
While all the above can be a lot to take in, there is one more point to internalize: all of the above points can change, and the best ISP of today can be the worst a few years from now. When you read this, an ISP that isn’t available in your area could move in within a few years. New plans might become available from your current provider, which amounts to a huge increase in internet speed. You do not need to and should not stay complacent with your ISP and plan once you pick them out. We recommend checking about every year to ensure you have the best plan and price available for your household, and you can use this site to quickly check that.
Finding a high-speed internet provider that’s perfect for you isn’t an easy task, and you may read this article differently depending on your current situation. If you’re moving but not sure where to yet, then knowing all about the different best providers can be helpful. If you are staying put in a certain location, you are probably just interested in learning more about a couple of providers that are working in your area. Regardless of your circumstances, we hope that the information here proved helpful to you and that you can get the service you deserve as soon as possible. Thank you for reading, and we encourage you to return to this page as you feel the need.