The 11 top Internet providers get their ranks based on many different criteria and preferences. Internet technology has gargantuanly evolved over the past few decades, starting from dial-up modem connection which would offer 56 Kbps maximum theoretical transfer speed and now we are talking about some ISPs offering up to 5 Gbps internet connection for domestic users !!!
It’s not just the speed of the internet that has changed so drastically, the technologies, medium of the connection, equipment and other aspects are also developed enormously which presents a wide range of options to internet service consumers.
So, the next question naturally arises from the customers is how to select the top internet providers that will ensure the best value for their money.
Although the technology has advanced significantly, it will cost you a fortune to get these services. So, you have to make educated decisions based on your locality, the purpose of the net connection, other related services offered by the ISP and much more. We have listed some top internet providers in the USA along with other pertinent information to guide you through the process.
How to choose the top internet providers?
Net access is equally important as other utilities for business and domestic purposes. Every smart device requires internet connectivity to function properly. Most businesses need the internet to process online transactions from credit or debit cards. On the other hand, video streaming and gaming online are quintessential for home entertainment.
Apart from that, many different ISPs use different technologies and focus on different aspects. Besides, all the ISPs don’t operate all over the country. You have to take these issues into account before selecting an ISP for your home or business. The key factors to consider are:
Based on those criteria, some top Internet providers are listed in 2022 below. To know the details please Keep reading and stay with us.
01. Xfinity Internet
Xfinity started its operation in 2010 in Philadelphia offering internet, TV, and phone services. For eligible households, Xfinity Internet provides free internet as part of the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (Lifeline Assistance Program). With a data cap of 1.2 TB, you don’t have to worry much about your streaming or download.
This is a sister concern of Comcast, one of the largest cable providers and its services are available for residential and commercial customers in 39 U.S. states. Comcast’s Xfinity is also one of the largest and the best internet service providers in the USA serving more than 31 million households.
Xfinity Internet service comes with a download speed ranging from 50 Mbps to 3,000 Mbps. The Internet is provided via coaxial cable the Mother company Comcast used to provide cable TV service. So, if you are already a Comcast customer, you may not require a new connection and you will save some cash.
The 300 Mbps plan of Xfinity internet will cost you only $39.99 per month capable of serving multiple devices. For Wi-Fi connectivity and controlling smart devices, Xfinity offers xFi Gateway devices for $14/month and xFi gateway complete for $25/month along with Xfinity App.
The coaxial cable connection for the internet has a downside, the upload speed is much lower than the download speed. Xfinity fiber internet service is only available in a few cities. However, the cable connection of Xfinity internet is adequate for most of the domestic requirements.
Pros & Con:
✔ High download speed
✖ Low upload speed
✔ Great bundle offers including premium TV channel subscription and home phone
✖ Fiber optic connection is limited to a few locations
AT&T has been a very famous brand in the telecommunication sector since 1876, when the telephone was invented. The fiber connection of AT&T is limited to metropolitan areas (more than 100 cities) and rural areas have AT&T’s DSL connection which is not accessible to new subscribers.
The most attractive feature of AT&T Fiber is its super-fast 5Gbps download speed crashing down the competitors! It’s rather difficult to compete with such speed. AT&T currently operates across 21 states, most in the South and Midwest but also California and Nevada, with access to over 100 metro areas.
This ISP uses a combination of fiber and hybrid fiber connections. Since 2020, AT&T has been phasing out its DSL (digital subscriber line) service and in the same year, it had 15.4 million subscribers in the U.S.
The upload speed of AT&T is also rather impressive, 20 Mbps, and not many service providers offer such upload speed for regular subscribers. But the monthly charge will rise after the first month and the company won’t let users buy their own devices. AT&T Business Internet Review: Plans
The equipment rent is around $10 which remains the same. The fastest hybrid-fiber plan comes with a 1 TB data cap which can be removed by paying an additional $30 surcharge. you can pay AT&T subscription fee by online or phone.
Pros & Con:
✔ Ultra-fast download and upload speed. Speed ranges from 300 Mbps to 940
✖ After 1st year, the monthly bill is increased
✔ Bundle offers
✖ Mandatory equipment rental fees
✔Fiber optic connection
✖ Not available in rural and remote areas
✔ Large data cap
✔ Affordable monthly charges, from $55 per month to $80
Frontier Communication is one of the top ISP in the USA established in 1935. Frontier Communication is a Fortune 500 company that offers its service across 25 states of the USA.
This ISP utilizes fiber optic communication technologies to provide internet service to the subscribers offering download speeds up to 940 Mbps and upload speeds up to 880 Mbps. There is no data cap for the user. But the DSL connection from Frontier is not very efficient and if the fiber optic network is not available in your area you should consider another operator.
The price for the Frontier service is very economic, and bundle offers will save more of your money. The bundle offer includes Frontier Home Phone which has voicemail, caller ID, and unlimited nationwide calling. Also, it is partnered with YouTube TV, DirecTV, and DISH for broadcasting TV channels.
The basic plan starts at $34.99 and it goes up to $79.99. With no data cap, these plans are excellent for 4K video streaming, online gaming, and downloading large files. You will also enjoy low latency while gaming online.
Pros & Con:
✔High upload speed
✖ Fiber optic connection is available to limited areas
The net speed from Cox’s broadband network is faster than the 5G providers. Apart from the fast internet, you will also get multiple bundle packages like Streaming Bundle, Smart Home Bundle, Home monitoring packages, Unlimited data bundle, Tech Support bundle and many more which may serve your purpose efficiently as well as help to save you some money.
For internet connectivity, Cox Internet utilizes cutting-edge technology called DOCSIS 4.0 enabling the customer to work with multi-gigabit symmetrical speed (download and upload speeds are equal).
Cox internet promises reliability along with speed and performance for critical establishments like fire service, hospitals, or any other which requires uninterrupted internet connectivity 24/7. This ISP mainly uses hybrid fiber networks but the existing cable internet from Cox is an excellent choice for homeowners since the monthly rate is quite competitive and the speed is fast enough to serve domestic users.
Pros & Con:
✔ Numerous customized bundle packages to choose from
✖ Poor customer services
✖ Data cap
✔Option for prepaid connection
✖ Limited area coverage
✔ Low-cost internet service for homes with K-12 children and federal assistance program participants
This is the fiber optic network venture of Verizon Communications Inc., the largest local telephone company in the United States, operating 63 million telephone lines in 40 states. Verizon Fios is a fiber-only internet service provider launched in 2005. You will get DSL internet, 5G internet and LTE internet from the mother company Verizon.
Verizon Fios offers certain privileges over the other options. For instance, the 100% fiber-optic connection ensures superior bandwidth and speed. Unlike many other ISPs, Verizon Fios data is transmitted across fiber optic cables all the way into your home without any bottleneck like “Hybrid Fiber” or “Fiber to Node” where the optical fiber line is connected to a junction near your home but not all the way.
The internet packages from Verizon Fios are quite rewarding since these packages have integrated bundle offers of premium TV channel, whole-home Wi-Fi, cloud storage facility etc. and all these packages have no data cap.
HughesNet is a very popular brand among satellite ISPs. If no other means of internet connectivity such as DSL, fiber optic, or cable is available to your location, HughesNet is the first one to consider for net connection.
For every plan, you will get 25 Mbps, no hard data limits, off-peak data bonus zone, and built-in Wi-fi. They have some data limits and when you reach them you’ll be able to stay connected at reduced speeds until the next billing cycle.
However, the satellite links suffer high latency which is not suitable for online gaming. Besides, obstacles like tall buildings or trees create problems for radio links. A clear view of the southern sky is suitable for such satellite connections. So, HughesNet is preferable for rural areas with plain lands and low-rise buildings.
another front runner in the satellite communication system. Viasat provides network support for airlines, governments, the military and other vital sectors. Founded in 1986, Viasat has given priority to technical research and developments of new technologies since the very beginning and they pioneered many cutting-edge technologies in satellite communication systems.
Viasat’s prime customers are other than household subscribers and these potential customers are the defense and aviation industries. However, the speed of the home satellite internet is 3X faster than typical DSL providers. Also, there is unlimited standard data without any provision for overages. Your equipment will be installed and ready to run within 3 to 5 days after you place your order. Most of the packages guarantee that the monthly charge will remain the same for 2 years.
For remote areas, 5G LTE mobile phone networks are another option for net connectivity other than satellite links. In this category, T-Mobile is our first pick due to its nationwide coverage and high-speed networks. The new service from T-Mobile, launched in 2021, is available in 49 states, except for Alaska. Currently, T-Mobile is serving more than 30 million households in over 634 metro areas.
T-Mobile is pretty confident about the reliability of their service and hence they offer a 15-day test run for the service for free. They also available “No credit” check plan.
The monthly rate is quite straightforward, $50 per month. They even pay up to $500 as a termination fee for your previous ISP. However, 5G is not available in some areas and 4G LTE network service is offered in those areas. T-Mobile helps the customers DIY install their equipment. You will also get a lot of free offers with the net connection from T-Mobile.
It’s one of the best cheap internet service providers, the basic plan starts at $39.99. But the speed and quality are not subpar, the download and upload speeds are 60 Mbps and 5 Mbps respectively.
Mediacom Internet operates in Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Apart from the basic plan, there are 3 bundle plans named 1 Gig, Variety TV + Internet 200, and Variety TV + 1 Gig + Phone. These plans charge competitive prices. You will get customized packages according to your budget, usually higher the speed, higher the cost and if you can pinpoint your exact requirement, you will get something from Mediacom satisfying your budget.
The data cap is also reasonable, starting from 1000GB and going up to 6000GB allowing you to connect as many as 20+ devices. You will also be able to enjoy surfing, streaming, and online gaming simultaneously.
In 2016, Spectrum was born when Charter Communication acquired Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Charter Communication is situated in Stanford, Connecticut and after the conglomeration, Spectrum has become one of the largest Internet Service Providers in the USA available in 44 states.
You can expect a nice balance of price and performance from Charter Spectrum without any data cap. The medium of internet connection of Spectrum is a cable network and the upload speed is less than the download speed.
Spectrum also provides cable TV services to an estimated 15.4 million households at the end of 2021 and it has mobile phone services utilizing the Verizon Wireless network.
You will get three bundle packages called Spectrum Internet, Spectrum Internet + TV Select, and Spectrum Internet + TV Select + Voice with a price tag of $49.99, $99.98 and $114.97 per month respectively.
The phone package offers unlimited Talktime nationwide and in some foreign countries.
The featured internet packages from Spectrum are Spectrum Internet ($49.99/mo.), Spectrum Internet Ultra ($69.99/mo.), and Spectrum Internet gig ($89.99/mo.). All these packages include free modem and antivirus software. The pricing method of Spectrum is straightforward and it doesn’t require any contract. The download speed will vary from 200 Mbps to 1000 Ma bps.
This is a venture of internet giant Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. which allocates fiber-to-the-premises service for broadband internet connection and IPTV.
This service is available in Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX, Charlotte, NC, Huntsville, AL, Kansas City, MO, Kansas City, KS, Nashville, TN, Orange County, CA, Provo, UT, Salt Lake City, UT, The Triangle and NC. And there is a wireless internet service from google called Webpass which is accessible in cities like Boston, Miami, Chicago, Denver, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.
The internet plans from Google fiber for residential users are Fiber 100 (speed: 100 Mbps, cost: $50/month) and Fiber 1000 (speed: 1000 Mbps, cost: $70/month). You don’t have to sign any annual contract and there is no data cap for those plans. Also, bundle offers including IPTV services are available at a competitive price tag.
Website: Google fiber Customer care: (for new residential customers) 1-833-942-0105
✔ No data cap
✖ Very limited coverage, since 2016, any expansion of service is postponed
✔ No annual contract
✖ Due to excessive cost, fiber to premises was converted to Webpass technology which is a hybrid version and less efficient.
✔ Hyper speed optical fiber connection
✔ Competitive price
Frequently Ask Question:
How much speed do I need?
Any internet connection having 25 Mbps is considered a standard one. However, it’s a very generalized figure. Your net speed requirements depend on the number of devices you wish to run concurrently, your activities and your location (especially for Wi-Fi connection). If you have 1 to 2 devices simultaneously and play 4K videos, 25 Mbps is enough. In the case of quality online gaming, 40 Mbps is a minimum requirement.
Is 100 Mbps of internet speed enough?
For quality online gaming and streaming 4K videos, 100 Mbps speed is acceptable. Besides, with this speed, you can run 3 to 4 devices simultaneously.
Which ISP is best for gaming?
Verizon Fios is the top choice for online gaming. Latency and jittering are minimum for this network. Apart from speed, these two parameters are essential for online gaming. 5 ms latency is best but up to 50 ms latency is tolerable for online gaming.
Which ISP is best for rural areas?
T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and HughesNet are considered to be the best options for remote rural and somehow inaccessible areas. The options for net access in rural areas are LTE mobile network, DSL, and satellite link.
How to choose internet service for business?
Enterprise networks demand lots of detailed analysis when selecting the right ISP and service packages. The bandwidth requirement for business infrastructure is a complicated issue and in some cases, it can only be determined by observing the average traffic over a long period.
If you fail to determine your exact requirement, you may be losing cash or your service will be interrupted unwantedly. In some critical cases, the net service must be available without any interruption and in those cases, you will need a good service level agreement.