Internet Service Providers in Philadelphia

philadelphia, pennsylvania in black and neon green glow

It’s hard to imagine life today without the internet. It’s a crucial part of both work and leisure, and in a city like Philadelphia, you have lots of options for providers. While all Philadelphia internet service providers will get you connected, you can get a wildly different experience with each.

Whether you’ve just moved to the city or want to make a change, here’s a rundown of the internet service providers in Philly.

Internet Service Providers Near Me in Philadelphia

Philadelphia has been growing steadily for more than a decade, so it has a fair share of providers. There are seven residential internet service providers (ISPs) in the area with varying rates and coverage areas. They are:

  • Xfinity.
  • Verizon.
  • RCN.
  • Viasat.
  • HughesNet.
  • PhillyWisper.
  • Hotwire.

Depending on where you are in the city, you may not be able to get service from every company. Be sure to check coverage at your exact address before deciding.

Cheapest Internet Service Providers in Philadelphia

Apart from availability, cost is probably the most important deciding factor for an ISP. From least to most expensive, the cheapest providers in Philly are:

  1. RCN ($29.99/month).
  2. Verizon ($39.99/month).
  3. Xfinity ($39.99/month).
  4. HughesNet ($49.99/month).
  5. PhillyWisper ($50/month).
  6. Viasat ($90/month).
  7. Hotwire ($109.99/month).

These prices reflect the lowest possible option from each provider. Many ISPs raise the price after a few months, so keep that in mind.

High-Speed Internet Options in Philadelphia

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines high-speed internet as 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds. All of the internet service providers in Philadelphia offer plans that meet this definition. Not all provide the same speeds, though.

The fastest service in Philly comes from Xfinity, which offers speeds up to a whopping 2,000 Mbps. Verizon comes in second with 940 Mbps downloads.

What Is a Good Speed for Internet?

While all Philly ISPs offer high-speed internet as defined by the FCC, that’s an old definition. The national average is 50.2 Mbps, and in some cities, the average goes as high as 100.8 Mbps.

For most people, the official FCC definition of high-speed internet will be sufficient. If you live with more than four people or stream and game online a lot, though, you’ll probably want speeds upwards of 40 Mbps.

Are Wi-Fi and Internet the Same?

When you’re looking through ISPs, you’ll see lots of terms that are easy to confuse. Wi-Fi has become synonymous with the internet, but they’re not the same thing. Internet refers to the data that makes up websites, and Wi-Fi is a technology that lets you access it.

All of the services here deliver internet through Wi-Fi, but you can connect to the internet without Wi-Fi. You could use an ethernet cable to connect a device directly to your modem. When you use cellular data on your phone, you’re connecting to the internet without Wi-Fi, too.

Can I Get Wi-Fi Without an Internet Provider?

It’s possible to connect to the internet without paying an ISP, but it’s not a great idea. You may be able to find a public Wi-Fi hotspot you can access from your home. Keep in mind, though, that these connections are typically slower, may have time limits, and aren’t necessarily safe.

A more secure option would be to use your cellular data instead of Wi-Fi. You can use your smartphone as a wireless hotspot for other devices if you want. While this is safer, since your data is likely encrypted, it won’t be very fast and may raise your phone bill.

Selecting the Best Internet Service Provider in Philadelphia

Let this guide help you narrow down your decision, but be sure to double-check everything with your address. Things vary from location to location, from prices to available packages.

No matter your budget or your internet needs, you can find an internet plan in Pennsylvania that works. Look through these options, compare what’s available in your neighborhood, and you’ll find the best internet for you.

Internet Service Providers in Pennsylvania by City

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