Picking an internet service provider (ISP) is a significant decision. The number of people working from home or attending virtual school has increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Choosing a viable ISP is crucial for those who simply do not want to deal with slow speeds, outages and other inconveniences.
Here are some major ISPs to think about using for internet connectivity needs. While perusing the list, readers should understand that no major brands are asserting dominance as the top ISPs in the world. Each ISP offers value to its customers, but these are some of the most well-known, highest-performing ISPs.
Exceptions exist, but companies usually build a presence in a country or region, then appeal to customers there. Depending on your location, it’s critical to research which ISPs are available to you. Usually, ISPs have options on their website to search any given location, and the ISP will provide you with available plans in your region.
Keep in mind that each household requires a unique internet connection based on their desired speed and how many members are in the household. For example, if one family member has multiple devices and uses them simultaneously, it may impact speed performance. Be sure you’re looking for a plan that will accommodate your family’s internet usage.
This list features six of the top American ISPs to make the content relevant for U.S. readers looking for new internet access options.
1. Comcast — 1-800-934-6489
Xfinity is Comcast’s internet service. It promises the largest gig-speed network available, plus millions of free hotspots for subscribers to connect to around the country when traveling. The company also launched a comprehensive COVID-19 response plan that includes removing data caps and giving free internet to low-income households.
An xFi app comes with each internet plan to give households more control over aspects such as network names and passwords. Parents can also pause the Wi-Fi service to limit their kids’ screen time. Initial installation is made easier with the Xfinity app, and the best part? No technician is needed to get your network up and running.
Comcast also wants to expand its overseas footprint. An autumn 2018 deal resulted in Comcast bidding for and winning the Sky brand, which is popular in the European market. However, it’s still unclear how much this deal may open opportunities for Comcast to expand in Europe.
The lowest internet plan at Xfinity starts at $20 in some locations, and depending on your desired speed, prices can range anywhere from $45 to $299. Keep in mind that the higher the speed of your internet, the more you’ll end up paying monthly.
2. Verizon — 844-967-2143
The Verizon Fios internet service offers a 100% fiber-optic broadband network, and it promises that people can engage with streaming content and online games without experiencing lags. Those claims seemingly hold up, mainly since PC World chose Fios as the fastest option among major ISPs. The publication pointed out that the network is nearly seven times faster than it was in 2012 when it presented those rankings.
People who don’t like the idea of locking into a lengthy commitment with a new ISP don’t have to worry when going with Fios. Customers do not agree to annual contracts, so they can cancel agreements early without termination fees.
Verizon’s internet costs range between $39.99 and $79.99. Verizon users can reap the benefits of speeds between 50Mbps to 940Mbps. The company also offers DSL plans and prepaid internet plans for those interested.
3. AT&T — 855-906-0237
AT&T is another of the top American ISPs that does not require signing up for annual contracts. It also mentions how users get consistent speeds, even when browsing the internet during peak usage times. The brand also offers its Smart Wi-Fi technology. It works by selecting the best and fastest available connection depending on a person’s location in the home.
When J.D. Power conducted a 2019 poll to gauge the satisfaction of residential internet users, AT&T topped the list for those in the South and West regions of the United States.
Most of AT&T’s internet plans range from $35-$60 per month, varying based on speed. Because of AT&T’s affordability and flexibility in plan options, it’s considered one of the best ISPs. Additionally, AT&T offers bundled cable and TV plans for users looking to pay one price for multiple services.
4. Frontier Communications — 844-912-1548
People on tight budgets may find that service from this ISP is just what they need. When ranking the major ISPs of 2020, Lifewire had this to say about the company: “Even as the price increases, their services tend to be cheaper than other leading providers.” Plans start at $30 per month, which is, indeed, less expensive than alternatives covered here.
Customers subscribing to an internet package get speeds of up to 940/880 Mbps, plus there are no data caps or overage charges to dampen someone’s browsing opportunities. Another thing worth noting is that Frontier operates on a monthly billing cycle. That’s good news for people who want to give it a try without signing something long-term.
Frontier’s internet plans start at $34.99 and go up to $79.99 for its highest-tier plan. All plans also offer unlimited data, so you never have to worry about paying extra fees for data overages.
5. Spectrum — 877-260-0656
While setting its service costs to start at $49.99 for 12 months, Spectrum claims the fastest internet speeds for the price. A modem and antivirus software are among the freebies the company offers to entice new customers.
People who love streaming and other intensive internet activities can engage in them freely since Spectrum does not enforce data caps or use speed throttling. Spectrum is considered the second largest provider and is available in 41 states.
The company also offers one of the same benefits as Comcast — a nationwide network of internet hotspots. Those are particularly convenient for people who are on the go frequently and want to save on money spent on a mobile data plan.
Spectrum’s monthly internet plans start at $49.99 but could be lower if you choose to bundle your TV and internet. Bundling typically saves you some money each month, but it’s becoming more common for people to cut the cable cord and spend their cash on streaming services.
6. Cox Internet — 844-913-7278
Last but not least, Cox Internet offers five internet plans for its customers. No matter what speed you’re looking for, there’s an option for every internet user. They also offer a handful of internet bundle options to make payments streamlined for customers.
According to Cox’s website, Nielsen rates their streaming services as number one. Cox offers its 4K Contour Stream Player, which is only $5.00 and serves all of your streaming needs. Cox offers over 3 million WiFi hotspots, free equipment upgrades, loads of data and network and device security as well. Most of Cox’s plans require an annual contract, so keep that in mind if you’re perusing the company’s internet plans.
Cox’s lowest internet plan starts at $29.99 per month for 25 Mbps and goes up to $99.99 per month for 940 Mbps. Every internet user can find a suitable plan through Cox Internet.
The six companies listed here are some of the most popular and widely available internet providers in the United States. It’s always suggested that you research these ISPs and speak to a company representative if you’re interested in purchasing one of their internet plans.
Top American ISPs to Consider
Deciding which ISP to use is not something to do overnight or even over several days. Doing further research and comparing one’s needs with what a company can do is the ideal approach to take.
Moreover, a person should verify the expected coverage level offered by a provider for a given location. Beyond those specifics, this list will get consumers off to a well-informed start and help them feel more confident about selecting an ISP.
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