The Best Major ISPs to Consider in 2020

July 20, 2020 • Devin Partida

Picking an internet service provider (ISP) is a significant decision, especially for people who work from home or 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. 

Exceptions exist, but companies usually build a presence in a country or region, then appeal to customers there. This list features five of the top American ISPs to make the content relevant for U.S. readers looking for new internet access options. 

1. Comcast

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 recently 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. 

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. 

2. Verizon

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. 

3. AT&T

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. 

4. Frontier Communications

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. 

5. Spectrum 

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. 

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. 

Top American ISPs to Consider

The five companies listed here are some of the most popular and widely available internet providers in the United States. Plus, Comcast intends to branch out to Europe. It’s not yet one of the top ISPs in the world, but could soon have a notable presence globally. 

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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