Practical Ecommerce

20 Top Internet Service Providers

Editor’s Note: We first published this article in 2011. The August 2017 update is below.

Internet service providers offer online access with a variety of technologies, speeds, and prices. For consumers, that means plenty of choices.

Here is a list of large ISPs in the U.S. These providers offer Internet service through DSL, copper, fixed wireless, cable Internet, fiber-optic services, and mobile broadband.

Top ISPs

Comcast Xfinity. Comcast Xfinity offers cable Internet service across 40 states to approximately 110 million people. It is the largest provider of cable broadband in the U.S. by coverage area. It has a variety of plans at different speeds, from 10 megabits per second to 2 gigabits per second. Its plans start at a one-year promo rate of $29.99 per month for 10 Mbps, with the regular rate at $64.95 per month. Bundled plans start at $39.99 per month.

Comcast Xfinity.

AT&T Internet. AT&T Internet — formerly AT&T U-verse — offers high speed Internet service to 22 states. In addition to DSL broadband, AT&T Internet also offers fiber and fixed wireless Internet service. Internet plans start at $40 per month (or $30 per month through bundling) for speeds up to 50 Mbps. Unlimited data allowance may be purchased separately for an additional $30 per month, or receive unlimited data at no additional charge through bundling. AT&T Fiber, delivering speeds starting with a 1 Gbps, starts at $80 per month.

Verizon Fios. Fios is an acronym for “Fiber Optic Service.” Verizon Fios is the largest fiber-optic provider in the U.S. by coverage area, offering service in 10 states. Verizon was one of the first U.S. carriers to offer fiber in the home. Fios began in 2005 and expanded in 2010. Plans start at $64.99 per month for 100 Mbps downloads and uploads. The promotional rate is for one year, with the regular rate at $74.99.

Charter Spectrum. Charter Communications is a telecommunications company that offers its services under the brand of Spectrum. It is the second largest cable operator in the U.S. by subscribers, having acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016. It offers cable broadband and fiber Internet service. Internet plans start at $29.99 per month for 12 months, when bundled, for speeds starting at 60 Mbps.

HughesNet. HughesNet provides satellite Internet access to the United States and Europe. Located in the southern skies for the United States, the satellite system is available to all 50 states and is a good solution for rural consumers. HughesNet requires a two-year contract. Plans start at $49.99 per month, with a $59.99 per month promo rate for 25 Mbps with a 20-gigabit data cap. After the two-year promo period, regular rate is $69.99.

HughesNet.

Exede Internet. Excede Internet launched in 2012 through the ViaSat satellite communications company. Excede offers 12 Mbps download speeds, with 25 Mbps speeds in select areas. The company requires a two-year contract, and offers a three-year promo rate. It has a free zone from 3 to 6 a.m. daily. Plans start at $49.99 per month for 12 Mbps download speed with a 12 Gb data cap.

CenturyLink. CenturyLink offers Internet service to 39 states to an estimated 48.4 million people. In addition to DSL, CenturyLink also offers fiber Internet service to approximately 3.5 million people. DSL plans start at $19.95 per month for 12 Mbps. The plans require unlimited nationwide calling, but no term agreement. Fiber service starts at $54.99 per month for a one-year term.

Frontier. Formerly Citizens Communications, Frontier Communications is one of the largest providers of DSL broadband, fiber, and copper Internet service in the U.S. It offers Internet service across 38 states, with its greatest coverage along the West Coast. Frontier Internet has plans starting at $19.99 for year one and $34.99 for year two, with no contract.

Cricket Wireless. With mobile broadband Internet service across 36 states, Cricket Wireless is the fifth largest provider of mobile broadband in the U.S. by coverage area. Plans start at $30 per month for 1 Gb of data.

Mediacom. Mediacom is a cable television and communications company. Founded in 1995, it offers Internet service across 21 states, with its greatest coverage to smaller markets in the Midwest. Plans start at $39.99 per month for 60 Mbps.

Mediacom.

Cox Communications. Cox is the fourth-largest cable television provider in the U.S., serving 18 states with cable Internet available to more than 20 million people. In addition to cable broadband, Cox also offers fiber Internet service, with speeds up to 300 Mbps. Plans start at $29.99 per month for 15 Mbps.

Sprint. The third largest provider of mobile broadband in the U.S., Sprint Internet service is available across 48 states to approximately 280 million people. Plans start at $50 per month for 6 Gb of data.

Windstream. Formed in 2006, Windstream provides Internet service across all 50 states, offering DSL, copper, fixed wireless, fiber, and cable internet services. Windstream is the fifth largest DSL provider in the U.S. Plans start at $44.99 per month for 15 Mbps.

T-Mobile. T-Mobile is the fourth largest provider of mobile broadband in the U.S. by coverage area, available to nearly 250 million people. Plans start at $70 per month.

WOW. WOW offers cable, fiber, and DSL Internet access across 10 states in the Central and Southeast regions. With no data caps, WOW offers Internet speeds of up to 1 Gb per second. Plans start at $29.99 per month for 10 Mbps with a two-year contract.

WOW

Dish Network. The third largest satellite provider in the U.S., Dish Network offers Internet service across all 50 states, with the greatest coverage in the Southwest. In addition to satellite broadband, Dish also offers DSL Internet service. Plans start at $49.99 per month with a two-year bundled package.

Cable ONE. Cable ONE offers cable Internet service, cable television, and telephone service in 21 states, mainly in the Midwest and Northwest. It is the seventh-largest cable company, serving more than 800,000 customers. Plans start at $50 per month for 150 Mbps — $80 after the first three months.

Suddenlink. Suddenlink offers Internet service across 16 states, primarily in the South and Southwest. Speeds start at 50 Mbps, reaching up to 1 Gb in select markets. Plans start at $59.99 per month for 200 Mbps.

U.S. Cellular. A regional carrier, U.S. Cellular offers mobile broadband Internet service across 23 states, mainly in the West and Midwest. Plans start at $50 per month for 2 Gb of data.

Google Fiber. Google Fiber currently offers up 1 Gbps Internet service to 28 cities across eight states, with potentially 10 more on the way. Plans start at $50 per month for 100 Mbps.

Google Fiber.

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?
      Sarah

  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 (http://www.calera.biz) 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 http://www.elkmonitor.com, 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 yours.you 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 companies.it 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.

      • Henry Patric November 9, 2017 Reply

        If you are living in USA newsatelliteservices.com is best ISP to fulfill your requirement.

  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

    Hello,

    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.

    Thanks

  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

  19. Emmanuel September 9, 2017 Reply

    I’m still confused, can you give me the best out of all, or write practically how to know the best ?

  20. New Satellite Services October 6, 2017 Reply

    I have good experience with directv its on every aspects.

  21. Noyon October 7, 2017 Reply

    Thanks a lot of for your best article about High-speed internet providers. I am Noyon from admin corner of Hotspotsetup and I read your article. Its really helpful content for everyone.