What’s the Best Internet for Seniors?
If you’re over 65 and looking for quality internet service, we have good news! There are great options from well known internet service providers (ISPs) that offer reliable service for a reasonable price.
However, choosing the best plan without having all the facts can be difficult. Luckily, we’ve done the research and found that AT&T, Spectrum, Cox, and Xfinity offer great internet plans for seniors.
The big players
AT&T has earned a reputation for offering high-quality fiber service starting at $55/month for 300Mbps, a reasonable price for fiber internet. However, if you’re looking for something more affordable, you can consider AT&T’s Access program, which offers discounted wireline service in 21 states. The program is not specifically for seniors, but people with low incomes or who receive Social Security qualify. Through the AT&T Access program, you can get internet service for $30 or less per month with speeds up to 100Mbps, depending on your location.*
Cox is another well-regarded ISP, and the company uses cable instead of phone lines or fiber. Cox’s Starter plan is the company’s best option when it comes cheap internet for seniors, and it’s $29.99/month for 25Mbps. Also, Cox participates in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), and many seniors can qualify for a $30 credit toward internet service each month. This means you may be able to get your internet service free from Cox.
Spectrum is another cable company, and is part of Charter Communications. Their internet service is very reliable and available across the US, with plans starting at $49.99/month for 200Mbps.
However, seniors on Social Security and others receiving government assistance may qualify for the Spectrum Internet Assist program. Through the Internet Assist program, you can receive a free modem and internet service with speeds up to 30Mbps with no contracts or data caps.
Xfinity is one of the largest lSPs in the US and offers fast and reliable internet. The company’s low-cost Connect plan is just $25/month for customers in the Central US with speeds up to 50Mbps. Additionally, seniors can look to the Xfinity Essentials program, which offers 50Mbps for only $9.95/month. Seniors on Social Security qualify, and participants also get a chance to buy a computer for $149.99.
Before deciding which ISP offers the best internet plans for seniors, it’s a good idea to think about which factors are most important to you.
While some plans offer unlimited data, others limit data usage per month. Cox internet plans include 1.25TB of data per month, and unlimited data is available for an additional charge. With Xfinity, you’ll get 1.2TB/month unless you live in the Northeastern US where Xfinity plans have unlimited data. Additional data for Xfinity’s capped plans will cost $10 per 50GB and the company caps internet overage fees for its Essentials customers at $30/month.
All Spectrum internet plans have unlimited data. While AT&T’s standard plans don’t have a data cap, if you choose a plan under the Access program you’ll have data allowances between 50GB and 1TB per month. If you need additional data, AT&T charges $10 per 50GB.
Monthly charges for a modem can add up over time, and some seniors may have trouble affording these fees. AT&T and Spectrum don’t usually charge equipment fees and while Xfinity charges $14/month for its standard plans, there are no equipment fees with the Essentials plan. With Cox, you can buy or rent a modem and prices vary depending on the type of modem and the plan*.
What others are saying
“Xfinity is the one broadband service most likely to offer fast service across America, meaning it’s also the one most likely to let people keep the same connection when moving from one home to another. That’s a major advantage.” – U.S. News & World Report
“AT&T’s customer service continues to outperform every internet service provider, finishing at the top in every market it operates in – South, West, and North Central.” – ZDNet
“As an internet service provider, Cox offers fast speeds and good reliability. According to tests by the FCC, Cox performed well in achieving its advertised speeds, exceeding them in some cases by up to 116%.” – U.S. News & World Report
“Charter Communications made news late in 2021 when they announced a partnership with Peacock Premium to give Spectrum customers free access for three to 12 months depending on eligibility. Charter can also boast that its Spectrum Internet service features no contracts, includes no termination fees and provides new customers with a 30-day money-back guarantee.” – CNET
Internet for seniors FAQs
Are any discounts available for seniors?
You are unlikely to find specific senior discounts available directly from ISPs, but there are programs to help defray the costs of internet service. For instance, the FCC offers those with lower incomes a credit of up to $30/month through the Affordable Connectivity Program and many seniors receiving Social Security will qualify for this program.
Seniors often qualify for the FCC’s Lifeline program as well. The Lifeline program aims to provide affordable communications for people with lower incomes to help bridge the digital divide. To qualify for the program, you must have income equal to or less than 135% of the Federal poverty line.
Can seniors get free internet?
It is possible to get internet service for free, but you’ll need to qualify for either the ACP or the Lifeline program. If you use Cox, for example, you can use the monthly $30 ACP credit to cover service fees and receive internet for free. Most ISPs can provide information to help guide you through the qualification process.*
*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 3/1/22.