Best Home Internet: Reviews and Comparisons
Internet access is basically a necessity these days. About 87% of Americans use the internet; we rely on it for everything from online banking to keeping up with friends. If you’re looking for the best home internet to help you stay connected, look no further. We’ve done the research to bring you the top five home internet providers.
What makes the best home internet?
As a home internet customer, you’re probably looking for the best value, speed, and service for your money. To evaluate the best home internet plans, we took all these important factors into consideration.
- Price: We looked at the advertised monthly price of an internet plan with a minimum 100 Mbps download speed. These prices don’t include additional fees such as service or equipment.
- Packages: Service providers sell several different tiers of packages, with faster speeds costing more per month. Some providers offer a wider range of options than others, giving you more control over your monthly bill.
- Customer reviews: For unbiased customer ratings, we referred to the J.D. Power U.S. Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study. This study awarded each service provider with a star rating between 1 and 5, taking five factors into consideration: performance and reliability, cost of service, billing, communication, and customer service.
- Speed: Internet speed and reliability are important to pay attention to, as not all home internet plans live up to their advertised speed. We used the PCMag Speed Test to judge each provider in this category, which uses a weighted scoring system to determine the fastest internet nationwide.
Best Home Internet
At the top of the list, Verizon offers a combination of top-rated service and speed for a reasonable price with its Verizon Fios service. J.D. Power gives the provider a perfect 5-star overall rating, with top scores in each category. At $39.99 per month for 100 Mbps download speed, you’re getting a good value for your money. PCMag agrees; Verizon Fios tops our list of fastest internet service for home with a score of 186.1, 50% faster than the second runner-up.
The only area where Verizon falls short is its variety of packages. There are only three plans currently advertised on the provider’s website. However, at $79.99 per month for the top tier 940 Mbps plan, you’ll still be getting a great deal no matter which speed you choose.
If you’re looking for highly customizable wireless home internet, Optimum is a good provider to look at. They have an incredibly diverse package lineup with seven basic speeds to choose from, not counting add-on features like extra modems and smart routers. A 200 Mbps plan costs $44.99 per month, the best value on this list. But if you’re looking for something even cheaper, Optimum offers low-speed plans for as little as $24.95 per month. The reliability isn’t too bad, either; PCMag gives it second place with an index score of 111.1.
Optimum’s customer reviews are somewhat mixed. J.D. Power gives the provider 3 stars overall, although it should be noted that a score of 4 stars was awarded for customer service. Billing and communication got less than ideal ratings, each with 2 stars.
Third on the list is Comcast, an internet provider that is well-known for its Xfinity service. The price is a bit high, at $54.99 per month for a 100 Mbps plan. However, PCMag acknowledges good speeds with a score of 102.3.
In terms of customer feedback, J.D. Power puts Comcast in second place with an overall score of 3 stars. The area where customers feel the provider is lacking is in value for money; Comcast only gets a 2-star rating for cost of service.
Cox offers a decent range of home internet plans, starting at $29.99 per month and going all the way up to $99.99 per month. For comparison, however, the provider’s 150 Mbps speed will set you back $59.99 per month, which isn’t a great value next to some of the other best home internet providers. Looking at speed, PCMag puts Cox in the middle of the lineup with a score of 90.4. This is a significant jump from 2018, when the provider’s score was just 71.3.
Customers give Cox an average 3-star rating according to J.D. Power. But if customer service is important to you, take note: the provider gets 4 stars in this category. Cox is also a great option if you’re looking for no-contract home internet, with options for prepaid internet plans.
At $44.99 per month for a 100 Mbps plan, Spectrum gives its customers fairly good value for their money. Unfortunately, the reviews don’t quite agree, as Spectrum only receives a 2-star rating from J.D. Power. PCMag gives the provider a speed index score of 76.7. Still, there’s plenty to like about this provider. If you like the idea of getting WiFi on the go for free, home internet customers who choose Spectrum get access to more than half a million hotspots nationwide included with their plan.
These best home internet providers are known for their nationwide consistency in speed, price, and service. For a more accurate analysis, look for reviews of providers specific to your geographic area.