What’s the Best High-Speed Internet Provider?

Having fast internet means being able to stream shows, play online games, download large files, and more, all without interruption. But some types of internet service, as well as some internet service providers (ISPs), are faster than others. Fiber internet is the fastest option on the market today, providing high upload and download speeds. The fastest fiber internet providers are currently AT&T and Google. Another option is Xfinity, a cable provider that offers 1000Mbps plans with upload speeds up to 35Mbps, and it is available in 40 states.

Xfinity offers excellent speeds at a fair price, but you need to sign an annual contract, and the availability of their fastest plans can be limited. Google Fiber offers fast speeds, no contracts, and free equipment. However, this high-speed internet service can come at a higher cost and has less coverage than other providers, with availability in just 11 cities. AT&T fiber offers fast speeds, affordable plans, and promotional credits. Plus, it has an installation fee and limited availability. Let’s take a closer look at these high-speed internet providers, who they’re best for, some ratings and reviews, and more!

Who this is for

AT&T offers five fiber plans: a 300Mbps plan for $55/month, a 500Mbps plan for $65/month, a 1000Mbps plan for $80/month for 12 months, a 2000Mbps plan for $110/month, and a 5000Mbps plan for $180/month. Xfinity offers two high-speed cable internet plans: a 1000Mbps plan for $79.99/month, and a Gigabit Pro plan for $299/month, with speeds up to 3000Mbps. Google Fiber offers three plans: a 1000Mbps plan for $70/month, a 2000Mbps plan for $100/month, and a Google Webpass plan for $70/month or $63/month with a yearly plan, with speeds up to 1000Mbps.

Small families, college students, and teachers who need an affordable fiber plan that provides high upload and download speeds at affordable prices may favor AT&T. AT&T’s entry-level internet plans range from $55/month to $65/month, with speeds of 300-500Mbps.

Smart-home owners might need a high-speed plan to connect up to 12 devices at once, including smart fridges, smart TVs, personal computers, and more. AT&T and Google offer entry-level plans starting at $55/month and $70/month for smart-home owners that have few smart devices connected at the same time. Xfinity speed is good for unlimited devices at the same time. Xfinity offers a 1000Mbps plan for $70/month and an Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan for $299/month.

Gamers, Youtubers, influencers, or remote workers need the fastest internet speeds. With the fastest internet speeds, you get ultra-low lag for pro-level gaming. Plus, you can live stream, upload videos to Youtube, send large files, and have Zoom meetings without experiencing internet issues. The fastest internet plans allow you to use all of your home’s devices at once. Good options include AT&T’s 1000Mbps plan starting at $55/month, Google Fiber’s 1000Mbps plan for $70/month, and Google Fiber’s 2000Mbps plan for $100/month.

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Key considerations

Choosing the right ISP means making a few key considerations. First, you should check for early termination fees, data caps, equipment fees, and installation fees. If you want to save some money, you should check if you can buy a modem and router to save money rather than renting. You also should check if these ISPs offer any special deals, including free installation, free equipment, or unlimited data.

Data caps

AT&T, Xfinity, and Google Fiber don’t have data caps for their fiber plans. Xfinity’s data cap is 1.2TB for non-fiber plans. While this is high, those who need more data will have to pay a fee if they go over that amount. Xfinity charges you $10 for each additional block of 50GB, with a limit of $100/month.

Annual contracts

AT&T and Google Fiber are contract-free services, so you’ll never have to worry about being locked in. Xfinity offers both contract and no-contract packages. If you cancel your Xfinity subscription before the contract ends, you might pay $10/month remaining on the contract.

Installation fees

AT&T charges a $149 installation fee or a $99 self-installation fee. Google Fiber offers free professional installation or a self-install kit. Xfinity offers free installation. At $40, you can opt to self-install your Xfinity equipment.

Modem fees

AT&T and Google Fiber give you the modem and router for free, so you don’t have to pay this extra fee every month. Xfinity charges $14/month for your WiFi modem and router, or $25/month for their premium in-home mesh xFi Pods.

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What others are saying

In the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study, AT&T and Xfinity scored higher than the industry average.

  • In the East region, Xfinity earned a 725 score, out of 1,000.
  • AT&T ranked highest in the North Central region with a score of 732, followed by WOW! and Xfinity with a 716 score.
  • AT&T ranked highest in the South region with a score of 753, followed by Xfinity with a 740 score.
  • Midcontinent ranked highest in the West region with a score of 754, followed by AT&T with a 728 score, and Xfinity with a 723 score.

In the American Customer Satisfaction Index study, AT&T has the best customer service score with 71 out of 100, followed by Xfinity with a score of 67. In the American Customer Satisfaction Index national reports, Google Fiber is grouped in with “All Others” ISPs. So, we don’t have a customer satisfaction score to compare them to other ISPs. However, Google Fiber got the highest score in the PCMag Readers Choice Winner in 2020. They praised Google Fiber for the ease of setup, costs, and customer service, as well as their speeds.

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High-speed internet provider FAQs

Why do I need the fastest internet?

With a fiber plan, you don’t have to worry about any internet issues when you’re playing games online, video chatting, streaming TV, and sending or downloading large files. Another internet service like DSL or cable internet won’t give you the same benefits.

What is fiber-optic internet?

Fiber-optic internet, commonly called fiber internet, utilizes pulses of light to transmit data faster. So, it’s a broadband connection that can reach high speeds, with low lag time.

Who has the fastest internet?

The fastest internet provider is AT&T. At $180/month, AT&T offers a 5000Mbps internet plan.

What is a fast internet speed?

The fiber-optic internet speeds are faster than average cable and DSL internet speeds. Cable and DSL internet has fast download speeds and low upload speeds. A fiber internet plan lets you stream, play games without lag, and send large files faster than DSL and cable. The only way to get high upload speeds is by getting a fiber internet plan.

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*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 2/3/22.

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.