Cheap internet, Houston, and late-night football games go together nicely. But if you pay too much for the internet, you won’t be thinking about the game. You’ll be thinking about your budget.
Check out this guide to ensure you get the best cheap internet Houston offers. You deserve to enjoy your internet without paying astronomical fees.
How do you find cheap internet in Houston?
The quickest way to find cheap internet in Houston is through InternetAdvisor’s (free) toolset. To find the best internet providers near you, follow these steps:
- Enter your zip code from the InternetAdvisor’s provider page
- Look at the filters to see what services you need
- Scroll down under the “your budget” section
- Select the price range “$0-35”
Using these research tools will help you find cheap internet in Houston. Our filtering features make it easy to view internet providers by pricing, while we have even more detailed information on the plans and packages of each provider if you click on the company name.
10 options for cheap internet in Houston, Texas
Here is a quick round-up of the ten cheapest internet service providers in Houston:
- AT&T Fiber
- Rise Broadband
- AT&T Preferred Dealer
But while we’ve included each of these on the list due to their budget-friendly rates, many of these are also trusted, nationwide companies with a solid record of great service. It’s also worth noting that each internet service provider in Houston has an array of plans and packages to fit your needs.
Our focus today is simply on each provider’s cheapest available internet plan.
1. Starting at $20 per month: Xfinity
- Cheapest plan: Performance Starter+
- Speed: 50 Mbps
When looking for the best internet providers in Houston, Xfinity is one of the top names in the country, and is usually one of the fastest internet providers available in any given area. It is also one of the most widespread internet providers, not only in Texas, but all of the US.
Xfinity offers internet speeds up to one gig, but its most affordable internet plan is notably slower at 50 Mbps. Despite this, you might be able to find speeds up to 400 Mbps starting at $50. So looking at the whole picture, Xfinity definitely earns its place on any list about cheap internet in Houston.
To save yourself more money, pay for your own router. Xfinity does charge about $5 a month for equipment costs. It also charges for one-time installation. However, a higher upfront cost makes up for the overall savings.
2. Starting at $25 per month: Suddenlink
- Cheapest plan: Suddenlink Reliable Internet
- Speed: 25 Mbps
At $1 per megabyte, Suddenlink Reliable Internet isn’t known for being fast. However, it is incredibly affordable for most families. It is also available in 19 states and covers 1.5 million households, focusing primarily on providing cable internet services, enabling easy expansion to a better download speed.
Costs for its next level up, 100 Mbps at $39.99, still make this a solid option for cheap internet in Houston, as many providers can’t match that at their lowest pricing tier.
Suddenlink also offers bundling services. So if you want to save money on internet and television, you’ve come to the right place.
3. Starting at $35 per month: AT&T Fiber
- Cheapest plan: AT&T Internet 300
- Speed: 300 Mbps
AT&T Fiber offers very affordable fiber internet in Houston. And those who gain access to this service have incredibly high download speeds. Despite it being fiber-optic internet (known for being on the pricier end), it is incredibly cost-effective.
At 300 Mbps, it is the fastest and most cost-effective combination per megabyte. Even Xfinity doesn’t offer these speeds at comparable rates.
AT&T also has higher customer satisfaction ratings. So while it isn’t the cheapest internet provider on this list, it does deliver some of the best value one can buy.
4. Starting at $40 per month: Rise Broadband
- Cheapest plan: Economy Internet
- Speed: 5 Mbps
Rise Broadband provides fixed wireless internet. It is one of the few types of internet service that gives reliable internet access to rural locations. The result is an offering of weaker speeds. But if you don’t use the internet often, you might not need it. So don’t expect online gaming, but Rise does well if you want to check your email or do some casual browsing online.
Rise offers services in about 20 states, providing internet access to almost anyone who gets radio signals. Their technical support staff is excellent, but can vary from person to person and region to region.
Now to pricing: given that Rise offers internet where other providers fail to, the company is the most inexpensive rural offering. If you live in an underserviced area and your goal is to save money on your internet plan, Rise can help you accomplish this.
5. Starting at $45 per month: AT&T Preferred Dealer
- Cheapest plan: Internet 100Mbps
- Speed: 100 Mbps
AT&T offers internet through two sources: fiber and authorized retailers. The authorized retailers don’t have the faster speeds of fiber. However, they make up for it by offering services to a broader area - and that includes bringing cheap internet to Houston and surrounding areas.
It is generally more challenging to get an affordable internet plan in a low-traffic area. AT&T solves some of these problems by expanding its offer to many suburbs and mid-sized cities.
Just note, that the prices do go up if you need professional installation. However, self-install is available in some areas, so it’s worth the extra savings to ask the customer service rep if that’s an option for you.
You also don’t have to pay any annual contracts. So people who want to test AT&T’s cheap internet in Houston can do so without a yearly commitment.
6. Starting at $49.95 per month: EarthLink
- Cheapest plan: Earthlink Internet 12 Mbps
- Speed: 12 Mbps
When it comes to finding cheap internet Houston has a lot of options. EarthLink is certainly mid-range when comparing those options, but you might find them to be cheap in your unique circumstances.
Here’s why. EarthLink comes with free antivirus software across your computers. So if you plan on paying for protection - or already pay for it - you can save money by choosing EarthLink.
EarthLink is also a very hands-on provider, meaning they require professional installation. The initial costs are higher, but it prevents you from needing to hire technical support later.
EarthLink doesn’t advertise itself as one of the cheapest internet providers in Houston. But factor in free antivirus software, your time saved from doing a professional installation, and the headaches of dealing with poor customer service. That’s where the value adds up.
7. Starting at $49.99 per month: Spectrum
- Cheapest plan: Spectrum Internet
- Speed: 200 Mbps
When looking for a cheap internet service provider, Spectrum notably starts higher than most. However, its two distinct advantages include no need for contracts and no data caps. The result is a transparent model of speed with no hidden fees.
So while initial costs seem higher, you are paying for - and getting - a bit more service.
Spectrum initial installation is cheaper on average (usually about $50). You also might not need to pay any equipment rental fees for your router. Finally, the monthly price you see often has numerous built-in features. Given you need no annual contract to start, Spectrum is easy to pick up and try at a low cost.
8. Starting at $49.99 per month: Frontier
- Cheapest plan: Frontier FiberOptic 500/500
- Speed: 500 Mbps
Frontier is well-known for its fiber options. But despite focusing on more expensive services, it is a cheap internet service provider compared to other fiber internet providers.
Frontier is great if you want to balance service and your budget. Its starting rates for fiber internet (not gig internet) are more reasonable than most. Other providers typically charge an extra $20 on top of this rate. The company also follows suit with the “no data caps” policy.
Frontier does have other types of internet service they provide, though they charge similar rates for them (often with slower internet speeds). If your monthly budget needs to stay below $55 (counting taxes) and you want fast internet as badly as you want cheap internet in Houston, Frontier is a good choice.
9. Starting at $49.99 per month: ViaSat
- Cheapest plan: Bronze 12
- Speed: 12 Mbps
ViaSat is a satellite internet provider that offers cheaper internet in Houston than HughesNet (the other main satellite provider). It is near the bottom of this list but still provides reasonable rates given the complications of satellite internet in general.
Satellite internet is more expensive overall because it requires a connection to satellites in space. As you might imagine, distant signals are harder to reach. Therefore, speed suffers, but accessibility jumps through the roof.
ViaSat also has pretty good data caps at 40 Gigs. When your internet speed is slower, you aren’t likely to reach this cap unless you have excessive internet usage.
There are also no extra charges for installation or equipment rental fees. So while the month-to-month cost seems higher, it’s pretty comparable to premium providers, while providing an overall reliable service.
10. Starting at $59.99 per month: HughesNet
- Cheapest plan: 10GB
- Speed: 25 Mbps
HughesNet is a well-known satellite provider with excellent customer service history. Though we’ve already mentioned ViaSat, we’re still rounding out our list of providers that offer cheap internet in Houston with them.
We found that the lack of installation fees and most technician fees make up for the higher average cost. Additionally, there are no introductory prices, meaning your budget doesn’t shift after the first year.
Late-night internet viewers might also be able to leverage the HughesNet bonus zone. This is extra data for those who are up at unusual hours. If you are up early or stay up late, you could take advantage of this 2 am to 8 am time frame.
HughesNet is available in 98% of the country. So if you live outside of Houston, HughesNet is a great solution.
Tips for finding the cheapest internet service provider Houston has to offer
As you can see, if you want cheap internet, Houston residents have plenty of great options. It’s a large city with multiple companies - and provider competitiveness often means lower prices.
But cheap internet isn’t just about the number on your billing statement each month. Below, we have some other tips you can use to find a cheap internet service provider in Houston, that also offers a high value for your money.
Evaluate speed vs. cost
What do you plan on using the internet for? If you plan on working from home, you might need more speed. If you only check emails, you might not need 500 Mbps.
Generally speaking, faster internet costs more. However, if speedier internet is what is necessary for you to operate how you want, you’ll need to make a compromise.
Don’t forget to ask about hidden costs
Some internet providers aren’t great at disclosing costs. When rushing through the first payment, you might find some rental fees or installation costs.
After you find a cheap internet provider in Houston that you like, be sure to ask them about those costs. Get an accurate and clear monthly number before committing to starting service with them.
Also, ask them about introductory prices. While it may look like you’re getting very cheap internet at first, some providers have introductory costs (which means your plan pricing might increase by more than double after renewal).
Negotiate rates with your service providers
If you want to find cheap internet in Houston, sometimes you simply need to ask for it. While most providers are transparent with their pricing online, they are also willing to work with you and your budget.
When calling, be sure to have a list of local rates available. Come with some average costs of internet in Houston (and Texas in general). Don’t be afraid to ask the provider if they can match the competitor - or your desired rate.
Having a list of other providers gives you more negotiating power in this conversion.
The worst thing any given internet provider can tell you is no. So there is no harm in trying; just be sure to respect customer service throughout the conversation. You get better results from being kind.
Consider your location
Smaller cities and rural communities have fewer options regarding the internet. Typically, large providers don’t find desired profit in smaller population centers. To make their desired income back, they need to set rates incredibly high. To address this, smaller providers specialize in rural areas, allowing them to charge more.
That’s why, while focusing on cheap internet in Houston specifically, we also included some providers on this list that are likely to serve suburbs and the surrounding towns.
Thankfully, both ViaSat and HughesNet are competing against each other. This means you get more competitive rates.
When finding cheap internet, Houston has a massive variety of internet providers. Despite being suitable for many low-income households, speed is relatively good. So if you want cheap internet, you don’t have to try too hard.
To ensure you find cheap internet service near you, use InternetAdvisor’s tools. All you need is a zip code to get a comprehensive list of currently active providers in Houston.