What’s the Best Gigabit Internet Provider?
For the last 25 years, we’ve had a front-row seat to watch the evolution of internet speeds and we’ve come a long way from the days of dial-up. While gigabit internet is not widely available to all households at this time, those who do have access enjoy faster streaming, smooth gaming, and the ability to have many different users sharing the bandwidth all at once.
But with more and more internet service providers (ISPs) offering gigabit internet plans, how do you know which one is the best fit for you? We’ve compiled everything you need to know about the biggest players in the gigabit internet market to help you find a provider to check all of your boxes.
The big players
AT&T leads the gigabit internet provider pack in terms of speed as they recently added a plan with speeds up to 5000Mbps. They currently offer fiber internet plans in parts of 21 states and gigabit internet starts at $80/month, with no service agreement.
Xfinity offers cable internet service to almost 112 million households, but their fastest fiber internet plans are currently available to less than 1% of those homes. Despite this limitation, if Xfinity gigabit plans are available in your area you can expect prices to range between $70 to $299.99/month (depending on service region) and you won’t have to sign a long-term contract.
Rounding out the big three, Verizon Fios also offers gigabit speeds with no contract requirements starting at $89.99/month, making it a slightly pricier option compared to AT&T and Xfinity. Gigabit internet from Verizon Fios is available in 8 states including New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.
Giving the big three a run for their money, CenturyLink offers fiber internet to 18.1 million households in 37 states and has the cheapest gigabit price, at $65/month with no contracts required.
While each of these providers offers gigabit internet, there are a few things you’ll want to consider when making a choice between them.
If you don’t want to get stuck in a lengthy contract and worry about early termination fees, AT&T, Verizon Fios, CenturyLink, and Xfinity gigabit internet plans are available contract-free.
Set-up and equipment fees
No one likes to be surprised by unexpected costs, so it’s important to understand any upfront set-up fees and recurring monthly fees you might incur.
Xfinity offers a self-install kit for their internet service which costs around $40, though you can also opt for professional installation at a price of $89.99. Xfinity also charges a monthly equipment fee of $14/month. AT&T allows you to self-install for free or pay $99 for professional installation and when you comes to AT&T plans, you won’t be charged any equipment rental fees.
Verizon charges a set-up fee of $99, though this fee is typically waived if you order service online and their equipment fee is $15/month. CenturyLink generally charges $149 for set-up and installation, or you can self-install for $15. If you need to rent equipment from CenturyLink, the fee is $15/month.
AT&T, Verizon Fios, and CenturyLink gigabit internet plans all offer unlimited data with no overage fees, while Xfinity has a monthly data cap of 1.2TB/month. However, this data cap doesn’t apply to Xfinity internet plans for customers in the Northeastern US, who receive unlimited data.
What others are saying
“Xfinity by Comcast has steadily risen in customer satisfaction metrics over the last few years. When you look at its 2021 American Customer Satisfaction Index numbers, Xfinity was up a point from its 2020 score, which itself was up five points from 2019.” – CNET
“Like many fiber optic internet services, AT&T’s fiber-optic broadband has spotty availability, with its service confined to select areas of particular urban markets. However, users able to get service will enjoy fast downloads and uploads without a data cap.” – US News & World Report
“If you live within Verizon’s East Coast coverage area and Verizon Fios is available at your address, its internet service is tough to beat.” – CNET
“Professional reviews praise CenturyLink for providing a lot of value for a low price.” – US News & World Report
Gigabit internet provider FAQs
We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about the best gigabit internet.
Which ISP has the fastest gigabit internet plan option?
AT&T currently offers the fastest gigabit internet, with speeds up to 5000Mbps in select areas.
Which ISP has the cheapest gigabit internet price?
Though prices change frequently, the CenturyLink gigabit internet plan starts at $65/month.
Which ISPs offers low prices, no contracts, and no data caps?
Although it has a small footprint and offers middle-of-the-pack pricing, Verizon Fios has no contracts, no data caps, and the company consistently ranks high in customer satisfaction ratings.
Interested in a new internet plan?
Enter your address to find out what providers and plans are available to you
Internet providers need your apt/unit to get accurate plans
*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our internet service page. Prices as of 3/13/22.
Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.