If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we really can’t seem to live without our internet. Roughly two years of zoom calls and Netflix marathons have made it all too clear to us that Wi-Fi is now considered an essential utility, not a luxury. And for many of us who now have remote or hybrid work schedules, it is. Without the internet many would not be able to log in to meetings, communicate with teams, or upload documents at our jobs. If the internet plays a part in how you make money, you’re not going to tolerate laggy video or slow speeds. The best internet service providers have a wide range of reliable coverage and fast speeds for a reasonable price.
Americans have found that internet services give them so much capability that many households are getting rid of other subscriptions. If such a variety of online streaming platforms are available, who needs to watch TV using cable or satellite anymore? Users can even make calls and send messages to communicate online through Wi-Fi, rendering landline telephones useless. The internet has become such a part of our lives that most people can’t even survive vacation without staying connected. In fact, a survey of 2,000 adults found that 49 percent of Americans said they consider having no access to the internet on vacation a “disaster.”
Research has gone as far as to say that having a Wi-Fi connection should be as necessary as food, shelter, and water. A recent study says free internet should be a basic human right due to freedom of speech and expression. “Without such access, many people lack a meaningful way to influence and hold accountable supranational rule-makers and institutions. These individuals simply don’t have a say in the making of the rules they must obey and which shape their life chances,” says author Dr. Merten Reglitz, a lecturer in global ethics.
Whether you want to insure you have a voice in today’s society or simply scroll through TikTok without lag, reliability and connection speed are important factors when choosing a home network. StudyFinds researched the best internet service providers available, compiling a list of the most common recommendations across 10 expert websites. Which ISP does your household use? Let us know in the comments below!
The List: Best Internet Service Providers, According to Experts
AT&T is the largest provider of fiber internet, the fastest option available for those in certain metro areas. “Those in metro areas have access to the best options from AT&T, whereas other locations outside of cities might access its DSL or fixed internet services,” says U.S. News.
AT&T no longer requires a contract for their services, offers unlimited data for fiber plans, and plans start at around $55 a month. Lifewire mentions “For one, the network offers a symmetric-speed gigabit connection, which is an invaluable add-on for offices that rely heavily on video-conferencing services.”
“With a wide variety of plans featuring both high 1,000-plus Mbps speeds for gamers and the more affordable ‘Internet Basic 1.5’ which offers 1.5 Mbps for those who just need to occasionally check email. AT&T has a speed option for everyone,” writes Forbes.
2. Comcast Xfinity
Xfinity is the largest cable company in the United States. They offer contract-free plans and many Wi-Fi hotspots to connect to all over the country. Forbes reports, “In most regions, Xfinity offers the lowest-priced internet plan and is often the provider with the fastest download speeds, since its cable internet gets up to 1,200 Mbps and its fiber gets speeds up to 2,000 Mbps.”
Plans start at $39.99 a month and the company offers a wide variety of data plans to choose from to suit your streaming and internet needs. “Xfinity internet by Comcast is a good choice if you’re considering cutting the cord or simply want a high-quality streaming experience,” adds Money.
“Among cable internet providers, it is rated first in customer satisfaction,” says Internet Advisor. “Among all internet service providers, they are among the top five in every region.”
3. Verizon Fios
Verizon is generally only available in the Northeast, but is one of the best and most affordable providers of fiber speed internet. Internet Advisor writes “We cannot stress enough that these are fair prices for fiber service, especially the lower-tier plans. They are perfect for a household with one or two users that might not need a gigabit plan but don’t need the benefits (and costs) of a full gigabit plan.”
There are three main plans available, ranging from $50-$90 a month according to the speed you need. Cancel easily on short notice if you aren’t happy with the service. “Verizon plans don’t come with contracts or data caps, either, and your price won’t automatically go up after a year the way it will with most other providers,” says CNET.
“Fios also guarantees truly unlimited data on all of its service plans meaning you will never run out of data and supposedly won’t see a slowdown,” writes Forbes.
Spectrum is also widely available across the United States. Their speeds are not the best on the market when it comes to pricing, but if Spectrum is one of few providers available near you, your service will be reliable. “Spectrum Internet comes with a few extras that you might not get from other internet providers in the same area. That includes no contracts and no data caps—plus Spectrum’s prices are fairly competitive,” explains Reviews.
Spectrum also offers mobile phone services, and if you are an internet customer already, you will receive a significant discount on mobile services. CableTV adds “All of Spectrum’s internet plans are contract-free, so you can leave at any time without having to deal with early termination fees. Plus, if you’re searching for a deal, Spectrum’s TV and internet bundle is one of the most affordable around at only $109.99 a month.”
Forbes mentions, “Spectrum also offers a two-year price lock deal, so if you’re happy with your internet plan you can lock it down for longer.”
Viasat is one of the two major U.S. satellite internet providers that offer service to nearly 100 percent of the country. Pathofex writes “Viasat provides the best high-speed internet to the locations where standard domestic internet providers do not reach.”
The plans range from $49.99 to $199.99 per month, and mainly charges customers based on usage. The more you use, the more you pay. “The greatest coverage is in California, Texas, and New York; Viasat is accessible to an estimated 308.5 million people. In rural areas, satellite internet has proven to provide better coverage than wired broadband providers,” adds Broadband Now.
Pro-tip: “Even though it markets itself as ‘unlimited,’ Viasat’s plans slow down once you’ve reached your limit, so if you’re able to, pick a plan with a lot of data like Unlimited Platinum 100,” according to CableTV.
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.
Where is Frontier? 500/500Mbps for $55 is the best around Tampa.
If any of you people have ever had Viasat you would not have listed them. You guys fail to note that Viasat’s service will drop in any kind of poor weather, and their customer service is horrible. We have had less outages in the last year then we would have in a months time with Viasat. Plus download and upload speeds rairly got close to advertised. We averaged between 5-10mbs on a good day.
And the latency was huge even on a good clear day. We had them for 10yrs and I can say, I forgot what broadband truly was till I switched.
You have to be kidding me! I’ve been a Spectrum 3 times now, twice because they were the only available service for a period of time. The only Top Ten lists I would put them on are for worst customer service, worst percent of promised speed, and volume of junk mail.
I would be very surprised if their network budget is even 10 percent of their marketing budget. My mental picture of their annual budget meeting is the CMO raging that he HAS to have a 50% increase for next year while the network VP hides quietly in the corner, hoping to not be noticed so the CMO doesn’t take the rest of the network budget.
Viasat and the fcc that let’s these scam artists exist need prosecuted for fraud! Their advertised speeds are absolutely fraudulent. Their only customer service skill is avoidance. Good thing starlink exists so people can get usable internet.
Suddenly link the worst company to do business with.
What a joke of a paid article. These companies don’t make them the best but conglomerates or cartels with no competition.
Xfinity #2. This must be a comedy piece or PR cop-out.
Who paid for this article. Comcast and ATT are two of the most hated providers out there. Many times they are the only choice. I finally ditched Comcast after Verizon home internet showed up. Great speeds and tax included.
Comcast is a terrible service provider.
I agree who paid for this ad?
They’re always telling you that your speed is better than it actually is. They’re not using normal metrics
Anyone who’s had HughesNet or ViaSat knows how unpredictable the download rates are and latency is abysmal. Starlink saved my bacon during COVID while going to school through Zoom. Starlink is better than both on it’s worst days of performance. Latency allows for true two-way video conferencing, as well.
I have had Spectrum for several years now. Internet and TV went from $140 per month,to $247 per month in 6 months.There are outages in my are daily.I am diving to drop them,worst customer service ever..
The worse it’s probably frontier every time I’ve check the speed it’s only about 60 to 100 on their 500 Mbps service.
Nice list of the most well known providers but not necessarily the most reliable by any means. Even some listed with abysmal customer service. As if the writer simply Googled “Internet Providers” and started writing a story.
AT&T? Best? Give me some of whatever it is you are smoking! I have had my Internet through AT&T the past 15 years and it is by far…GARBAGE! When you can’t even get enough signal to email, there’s a problem. When you wait for service (2 months in a row) and it takes 8 days to get someone to your home(2 months in a row) there’s a problem. When you have to file FCC Complaints three different times, there’s a problem. I had to pay to have three separate DSL lines in my home just to maintain basic service for four users, and basic wifi needs. It was to the point I offered to mark a spot at my home for AT&T service vehicles only. They didn’t see the humor in that one, but I did. 😉 So yes, AT&T is in fact GARBAGE!
I have been using feontier and i am getting over 500 up and down speed. Preety happy with it
The “no contract” selling point may sound sweet, but it’s simply a disguise. By having a “no contract” deal, in my opinion, clearly states providers can continually raise the service prices. Spectrum is notorious for implementing this. During the days of Cablevision, one could simply exit a contract by submitting proof one was moving out of the immediate service area and not have to pay exit fees.
“No contract” deals are just sponges absorbing more of our money each year as Spectrum inserts a rate increase. Retention plans, providing a customer can obtain one as I did last year, appears to be a one-time plan. I can say this because after speaking with a Spectrum phone rep recently, I was told my plan will increase by $25 on March 3rd, 2023, the day my retention rate ends. From there, it will be a continued yearly rate increase.
Note that I have near about stripped my Spectrum plan down to the bare minimum. I turned in my cable box and reverted to accessing the Spectrum app. The app doesn’t include local or premium channels. I mounted a TV antenna on my house to obtain local channels (32 in total). Due to the need for reliable bandwidth for when I am on call for work (I work for a leading hospital system in the IT department), my bandwidth package is the 500 meg package. (500 down and 23 up). On March 3, 2023, I will see if Spectrum will continue to honor my current retention plan price ($78). If not and the plan does go up, then I will cancel the Spectrum app access. I was told last month by a Spectrum rep that doing that will balance out the rate increase. Is there even a cap on the rate increases when one doesn’t add services? Answer: That is a hard “no” when it comes to “no contract” packages. “No contract” is basically the golden ticket for providers to continually increase rates at will.