What High-Speed Internet Service Is Available in My Area?
From work to leisure, modern life depends on the internet. No matter where you are or why you’re using the web, chances are good you want as fast a connection as you can afford. You’ll want to know what high-speed internet service is available in your area.
The FCC defines “high-speed internet” as at least 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads. Most major internet service providers (ISPs) across the U.S. meet this benchmark, and many offer considerably higher speeds. When you’re looking for high-speed internet service in your area, you probably want these faster options.
Not every ISP serves every part of every state, so your options vary depending on where you are. Some smaller companies may offer faster connections than major players but aren’t as widely accessible. With that in mind, here are five of the most widely available ISPs with the highest speeds.
Comcast, Xfinity’s parent company, has been the nation’s largest broadband internet company for some time. According to ISP comparison site BroadbandNow, Xfinity covers more than 112 million people across 40 states. That makes it one of the most widely available high-speed internet services.
Xfinity is a top contender when it comes to speed, too. The internet giant offers connections up to 1,000 Mbps, but keep in mind that this won’t be available everywhere. Not every city has the infrastructure to support those kinds of connections. So, you’re less likely to experience these speeds in a rural area.
There’s also a gap between advertised speeds and actual ones. Even if you pay for 1,000 Mbps, you won’t always reach it. Still, user speed tests show that Xfinity is one of the fastest ISPs in the nation.
EarthLink may not be as large a company as Comcast, but it rivals its internet coverage. The ISP covers at least 31 states and more than 165 million people. So, while it may not serve as wide a geographic area as Xfinity, it covers more users.
Like Xfinity, EarthLink provides plans up to 1,000 Mbps. That’s enough to download a 1 GB file in just eight seconds if you get the company’s advertised speeds. As such, it could be one of the fastest high-speed internet services available in your area.
Something to keep in mind, though, is that most EarthLink customers get DSL connections. DSL is considerably slower than fiber, which is what provides those 1,000 Mbps speeds. Even if you can get EarthLink in your area, you may not get its fastest options.
AT&T is probably more recognizable as a phone company, but it provides internet services as well. The mobile giant’s internet plans cover just 21 states, but more than 122 million people within them. While perhaps less accessible than Xfinity and EarthLink, AT&T still reaches a considerable number of customers.
Like the previous entries on this list, AT&T has gigabit internet plans. You should note, though, that AT&T’s “gigabit” internet doesn’t quite reach the 1,000 Mbps marker. Its fastest plans have a maximum download speed of 940 Mbps, so it technically counts as gigabit internet but is actually slightly slower.
AT&T is one of the few high-speed internet services that doesn’t cap your data. That means you can download as much as you want without incurring extra charges.
Verizon is another mobile company that has moved into the home internet business. Compared to other major ISPs, it doesn’t cover as many areas, but it’s still reasonably accessible. The company serves 11 states, covering almost 50 million people.
Depending on where you are, Verizon could be the fastest high-speed internet service available in your area. Like AT&T, it offers up to 940 Mbps, achieving the “gigabit internet” badge but not reaching true gigabit speeds. 940 Mbps is most likely more than enough to handle whatever you want to do online, though.
Ultra-HD streaming and online gaming require between 50 and 100 Mbps for comfortable, reliable performance. A 940 or 1,000 Mbps connection will meet any of these needs, even if you don’t reach max speeds.
Google Fiber is a relatively new service and is far from widespread right now. Still, it deserves mention on this list from its speed alone. According to speed tester and ISP reviewer HighSpeedInternet, Google Fiber is the fastest internet provider in the U.S.
Google Fiber advertises 1,000 Mbps speeds, like many other major ISPs. What makes this service different is that its users report far higher actual speeds than other options. The average download speed on Google Fiber is 144.2 Mbps, or more than 20 Mbps faster than the second-fastest ISP.
Only 18 cities have Google Fiber access right now, making it the least accessible service on this list. If you live in one of these cities, though, it’ll be the fastest high-speed internet service available in your area.
Find High-Speed Internet Wherever You Are
If you’ve been wondering, “What high-speed internet service is available in my area?”, you should have a better idea now.
These five ISPs are some of the fastest and most widely available internet providers in the U.S. No matter where you live, you can most likely get service from at least one of these companies. Be sure to check with each one by putting in your address to see if they’re available to you.
High-speed internet has never been more accessible. Even if none of these five are available in your area, you can likely find a high-speed internet option.