Internet Service Providers in Pittsburgh

pittsburgh, pennsylvania in black and neon green glow

The internet has become a necessity for most people, with one UK-based researcher even going so far as to declare internet access a fundamental human right. Unlike many other utilities, though, you’ll have to get your internet from a private company, and in an area like Pittsburgh, that means deciding between many options. You’ll need to research Pittsburgh ISPs before making a decision.

Different internet service providers in Pennsylvania will offer varying speeds, prices and coverage. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Internet Providers Near Me in Pittsburgh

Some cities only have one or two ISPs, but there are seven internet service providers in Pittsburgh. These are:

  • Consolidated Communications
  • Earthlink
  • HughesNet
  • Verizon
  • Viasat
  • Windstream
  • Xfinity

Depending on your geographic location in the city, some of these may be unavailable. Similarly, if you live near a service area’s borders, you may have access to an ISP that’s not available throughout the city. Always double-check by entering your address on an ISP’s site to see if they’re available.

Cheapest Internet Service Providers in Pittsburgh

The cost of internet service can represent a significant portion of your monthly budget, so you probably want to know how much each ISP costs. From the most affordable to the most expensive, the lowest prices from each provider in Pittsburgh are:

  1. Consolidated Communications ($31.95/month)
  2. Windstream ($37/month)
  3. Verizon ($39.99/month)
  4. Xfinity ($39.99/month)
  5. HughesNet ($49.99/month)
  6. Earthlink ($59.95/month)
  7. Viasat ($65/month)

Remember, most ISPs offer lower introductory rates, then raise their prices after a few months or the first year of service. When you start looking at higher-speed plans, the order may change as well.

High-Speed Internet Options in Pittsburgh

If you’re looking for high-speed internet in Pittsburgh, you’re in luck. All seven Pittsburgh ISPs offer packages with high-speed connections. However, that’s going by the official FCC definition of 25 Mbps download speeds, which may not be enough for you.

While 25 Mbps is sufficient for many people, you may need more if you have lots of connected devices or like to play online games. Xfinity offers the fastest connections in Pittsburgh by far, providing up to 2,000 Mbps. Earthlink and Verizon both offer speeds close to 1,000 Mbps.

What’s the Best Home Internet Deal?

So, which of these ISPs has the best deal? That depends on your needs and budget. For example, though Xfinity has the fastest speeds, you need to pay substantially more for them, and they come with a data cap. 

Windstream offers unlimited data, but isn’t as fast. Consolidated Communications is affordable, but has spottier coverage. To decide which one’s best for you, consider your budget and what you want out of your ISP, then see what’s available at your specific address.

How Can I Get Wi-Fi at Home Without a Router?

When you get service from most ISPs, they’ll offer to provide a modem and router for you at an additional monthly cost. If you want to save some money, you can use equipment you already have. If you don’t want to spend money on a router, you don’t necessarily have to.

You can connect your computer or another device directly to your modem with an ethernet cable. Your connection will be just as fast, if not quicker. However, remember that you won’t have wireless access without a router, so you couldn’t connect your cellphone to your internet.

How Can I Access the Internet for Free?

No matter what ISP you go with, it won’t be cheap. If you don’t want to pay for internet access, you have a couple of options. Last year, the FCC announced the Keep Americans Connected initiative, in which many ISPs agreed not to charge some users under specific circumstances. This deal is both temporary and limited, though.

You may be able to reach a public Wi-Fi hotspot, which would be free, but is risky from an information security standpoint. These public networks are usually unencrypted, making users vulnerable to cybercriminals. They’re typically slow, too. Your best bet is to pay for internet service from a reliable company.

Find the Right Internet Service Provider in Pittsburgh for You

There are plenty of internet service providers in Pittsburgh, offering various plans. No matter what your needs are, you can find a deal that works. Look at this guide, compare what’s available at your address and get the best internet you can.