Practical Ecommerce

20 Top Internet Service Providers

The Internet service provider (ISP) is the gatekeeper to online commerce. However, consumers now can choose from several ISPs, each offering multiple levels of speed and price.

Here is a list of 20 large domestic ISPs. There are cable, DSL and dial-up providers. Most of the ISPs offer multiple ways to access the Internet. The larger ISPs are at the top.

ISP Providers

Comcast. The largest cable provider in the U.S., Comcast provides services to over 17 million internet customers at speeds of up to 105 Mbps. Comcast also provides additional features such as internet security and parental controls. Accounts come with 7 email accounts, but storage is limited to 10 MB/ea. Plans start at $29.99/month for 6 months.

AT&T. AT&T provides DSL and dial-up services, as well as fiber optic connections with its U-Verse service, to over 17 million subscribers. DSL delivers speeds up to 6.0 Mbps. U-Verse fiber optic delivers speeds up to 24 Mpbs and includes 10 email accounts with unlimited email storage. Dial-up is $22.95/month. DSL starts at $14.95/month. U-Verse starts at $19.95/month.



Time Warner Cable. Time Warner Cable serves 14 million customers in 39 states. Through its cable network, it delivers speeds up to 50 Mbps. Its Road Runner service delivers speeds from 768 Kbps to 30 Mbps. Plans start at $19.99/month.

CenturyLink. With its recent acquisition of Qwest Communications, CenturyLink has become the third largest telecommunications company in the U.S. and has 6.4 million Internet subscribers. It offers DSL and fiber optic services with speeds up to 40 Mbps. Plans start at $14.95/month.



Charter. In 2009, Charter declared bankruptcy and sold off assets to clear $8 billion worth of debt. Now it has over 5 million customers in 25 states with cable speeds up to 60 Mbps. Accounts include Internet security, parental controls, and ten 1GB email accounts. Charter does not offer services in the western mountain states. Plans start at $19.99/month.

Verizon. Verizon provides fiber optic, DSL, and dial-up. Its fiber optic service, which is called FiOS, is available in California, Texas, Florida, and a group of northeastern states. DSL plans starts at 0.5 to 1 Mbps and include nine email accounts and 10 MB of storage. FiOS offers speeds of 15 to 50 Mbps. Dial-up is $14.99/month. DSL starts at $29.99/month. FiOS starts at $49.99/month.

Cox. Cox provide cable Internet services to approximately 4 million customers in 16 states. It provides speeds of 3 to 50 Mbps. Accounts also feature 10 email addresses, security software, and responsive customer support. Plans start at $15.99/month for 3 months.

Optimum. Optimum is part of cable provider Cablevision. Optimum provides cable Internet to over 3 million subscribers in the New York metropolitan area and the Rocky Mountain states. It offers speeds up to 50 Mpbs. Each subscription comes with five 2GB email accounts, security and parental controls. Added features include 12GB site hosting. Plans start at $29.95 for 6 months.

Frontier. Frontier provides Internet access to over 3 million subscribers in primarily rural areas. It offers a DSL service. Subscriptions come with eight email accounts, security and parental software, and call waiting. Plans start at $14.99/month.



Suddenlink. Suddenlink is a cable broadband company that provides service to 1.4 million subscribers in primarily southern states, such as Texas and Louisiana, and rural communities. It features Suddenlink2GO, which can access TV and movie content from any computer across the U.S. Plans start at $19.95/month.

EarthLink. Earthlink offers dial-up and DSL to over a million customers. DSL provides speeds from 1.5 to 6 Mbps. Cable offers speeds up to 15 Mbps. Subscriptions feature a security center for virus scanning, anti-spy ware, email and chat protection. Dial-up is $9.95. DSL starts at $14.95. Cable starts at $29.95.

Windstream. Windstream provides Internet access to over a million people in the eastern half of the U.S. It offers three DSL residential plans ranging from 3 Mbps to 12 Mbps. It also has bundled plans for small businesses. Plans start at 39.99/month.

Cable One. Cable One is a cable company that provides Internet, phone and TV to approximately 750,000 customers in 19 states. It offers three plans: 1.5 Mbps with 2 email accounts; 5 Mbps with 15 email accounts and 100 MB of web space; and up to 50 Mbps with 15 email accounts and 50 GB data plan. Plans start at $20/month.

NetZero. NetZero provides dial-up, accelerated dial-up and DSL to over 6,000 cities. Each subscription gets eight email accounts that can store 100MB each. Also it provides a personal home page with social networking status and a Google search box. Internet security and parental controls are add-ons. Plans start at $9.95/month.



Juno. Juno offers dial-up, accelerated dial-up and DSL with virus and spam protection to over 6,000 cities. The basic plan provides speeds up to 55 Kbps and comes with eight email accounts. Dial-up subscribers receive a one-time free support session during the first month, but have to pay per minute after that. Dial-up starts at $10.95/month.

AOL. AOL provides dial-up services. It also offers high-speed services, such as security and AOL media tools, if you purchase high-speed Internet from you cable or telephone company. Dial-up features McAfee security, an email account with limited storage, and AOL media content. Dial-up plans start at $9.99/month.



MSN. MSN provides dial-up, as well as dial-up with an accelerator. Accounts feature anti-spyware tools, a personal firewall, a photo editor, organizer, and an email account that can hold up to 10GB. You can try your first month of MSN dial-up free. Dial-up is $18.95/month.

Mediacom. Mediacom is a cable company that offers service to over 1,500 communities in 22 states. It provides speeds up to 12 Mbps. Plans start at $29.95/month.

Basic ISP. Basic ISP offers dial-up and DSL access and provides over 46,000 access numbers in the U.S. and Canada. It also offers satellite broadband through a third-party provider. Subscriptions feature call alert, and email archiving. Also, Basic ISP’s dial-up accelerator is Mac-compatible. Dial-up starts at $8.95/month. DSL starts at $19.95/month. offers dial-up and DSL access and provides over 3,000 dial-up numbers in the U.S. and Canada. It provides DSL to over 20 metropolitan areas. Subscriptions come with 10 email addresses, spam and virus protection and free customer service. DSL provides speeds from 786 Kbps to 15 Mbps. Dial-up starts at $8.95/month. DSL starts at $14.95/month.

Editor’s Note: We’ve updated this list for 2015, at “32 Leading Internet Service Providers.”

Sig Ueland

Sig Ueland

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  1. Robert Lee Naramore December 12, 2011 Reply

    No way can AT&T be a viable ISP. They cannot even give my GF a dialup connection over 26.8kbps. AT&T is a sorry company they are just totally useless.

    • Sarah miller-Rayburn January 7, 2017 Reply

      Is this Robert Lee in Canada?

  2. bill_b December 15, 2011 Reply

    A question:

    A couple of years ago I switched my residential internet service with Comcast to their business class, due to their bandwidth limit on the residential service and the fact that I use Carbonite and back up a lot of data, which would have put me over it most months. At $59.95 a month it isn’t a whole lot more expensive than the residential price, and you get Norton Business Suite free, which makes it more than worth the extra cost (it’s faster, too). But here’s my question: I have heard others say that after your contract period is up, Comcast really jacks up the prices on you. Does anybody know if that is true? I signed a three year contract that will be up a year from next month.

    • Sergio September 26, 2013 Reply

      That is true, that happened to me, this is the answer they gave me: The Blast Plus promotion you signed up which started 9/25/12 was $39.99/mo for 9 months. Then it goes up to $59.99/mo for months 10-12. After 12 months, regular rate of $79.95 will apply.

    • karl August 29, 2014 Reply

      yeah. my bill just jumped $30.00 and i wasnt even notified anything was changing. and i went from almost 60Mbps to 42Mbps.

  3. Maestro January 27, 2014 Reply

    Good list, but I see it’s from 2011 so probably needs to be updated. Calera ( is the top ISP in my area. Your list should take into consideration rural ISPs like HughesNet. There’s no way they didn’t make this list!

    • jack March 10, 2014 Reply

      Besides what is happening currently with Comcast and TWC what is the next two most aggressive companies looking to obtain new subscribers. Welcome any input

    • John May 1, 2014 Reply

      Calera? Well, I looked at it – An entire 10GB, 20GB or 30GB a month? That’s a joke right?

  4. Mechelle February 6, 2014 Reply

    This website needs to be updated it’s 2014 now. I’m with Verizon and I pay for 75 down and 35 up. But, the speeds also depend on what a pc can handle. My DL and UL speed I get are actually 84/39 because of my pc capabilities.

    • Dee September 10, 2014 Reply

      What do you mean by 75 down and 35 up mean? Right now I have ATT DSL but according to a sales person, ATT is getting rid of their DSL and going to fiber optics. I do not like Verizon because they have terrible Customer Service as does Comcast

  5. krishna February 24, 2014 Reply

    that’s great list, how ever there will be some people who are good in their geo locations like Bravo tele communications, who are good
    internet providers Canada
    , we need choose such persons by checking local people also.

  6. korey May 23, 2014 Reply

    This may seem like a stretch, but when looking for an internet service provider I also think of, who is a website / internet service provider of website availability services. These 2 services should really go hand in hand, but that’s the consumers call ultimately. I would recommend pulling of MSN and AOL as they are not really service providers anymore. I would add up XO Communications.

  7. ali August 28, 2014 Reply

    I just was looking for iSPes in America because
    I actually live in Iran and I wanted to compare ours with don’t belive if I say that here the maximum speed for home users is 128 which is also limited (you should by some gigabytes to use) and it’s about 30$ per month. And unlimited speed is up 2 mb that is allowed for costs about 400$.it is really hard to have an internet access but when you have to ther is no way.

  8. fatheredpuma81 December 17, 2014 Reply

    Wow I can’t believe Wikipedie lied! They said that Wowway was 9th and it isn’t even in the top 20 most popular.

  9. Jeffery Tomzak September 10, 2015 Reply

    This should be titled “List of companies that don’t care about providing good service.”

    I have used a few of these listed providers and always had to deal with rising rates and horrible customer service. I ended up switching to a smaller ISP and now have faster speed, a bill that never changes, and amazing customer service. INTERLYNC.COM is a much better choice then any of these listed above.

  10. r0nam September 11, 2015 Reply

    Oh, read this and amazed to very high prices. Now, I live in Russia, and our prices for the internet hugely lower. Almost all apartment houses are connected by FTTB tehnologiy. To give an example prices of my provider (all tariffs are unlimited):
    10 Mb/s – 2$
    20 Mb/s – 3$
    40 Mb/s – 3.5$
    70 Mb/s – 4$
    100 Mb/s – 5$.

    P.S. If you find any grammar mistakes, please forgive me, I teaching English :)

  11. Daniel December 4, 2015 Reply

    I have Cable One, They recently upgraded lines and came out with new packages
    (1) – $25 a month 50 MBPS Down, 1 MBPS up
    (2) – $50 a month 100 MBPS Down, 5 MBPS up
    (3) – $75 a month 500 MBPS down, 10 MBPS up
    (4) – $100 a month 1 GBPS down, 25 MBPS up

    They have improved so much, just last year there top package was only 100 MBPS.

    • Don February 22, 2016 Reply

      Daniel, can you tell me more about Cable One? I have never heard of them. I presently have Verizon, but would like to get rid of them. I would like the website for Cable One to see if they provide service in my area. Thanks for your help.

  12. Grace March 14, 2016 Reply

    Great service. Phone numbers would help. Thanks

  13. Oghogho O Endurance March 25, 2016 Reply

    i love good internet providers, i really want to be a Representative in Nigeria for any Good provider thank you +2348063132827

    • Jennifer June 2, 2016 Reply

      Who is your internet provider? If you have a name please send it.

  14. Jolt San April 13, 2016 Reply

    Actually, just looked at Comcast’s website and it is 10 GB per email.

  15. xavie June 30, 2016 Reply

    HI, can any one help me? i a lookin for a vps o proxys with an residencial isp, any ieda? thanks

  16. Timothy September 12, 2016 Reply


    Is there an Internet provider that allows to disable spam filter at email so my spam filter app could filter emails freely?

    It is an android spam filter app, from play market.


  17. Hennie Botha January 31, 2017 Reply

    Yahoo is having issues with POP mail server. I have to think that some fairly smart users have tried the settings corrections – probably multiple times and spent a good deal of time trying to get their mail to function. It seems like Yahoo support needs to engage to resolve the actual server issue. Since there is no direct way to contact them, or speak to a human there, it is hard to know how long this will persist. It is impacting a lot of users world wide that have web hosting with them.

  18. Annesha Banerjee April 24, 2017 Reply

    Please also tell us the Indian ISP provider names