Even before the pandemic hit early this year, finding the best Internet Service Providers known for cheap rates and fast speed was a daunting task. If your friend praised one, it turned out loathsome in your state. Or nonexistent. Getting one that checked on all accounts; speed, pricing, amount of data provided, customer service, favorable bundling, and availability was never easy.
Then came the ‘stay at home’ hashtag and its enforcement by the law of the land. The opportunity to dethrone Internet Service Providers (ISP) with over-glorified claims became the name of the game.
Today, most of those ISPs you thought were up to task have faced the wrath of extensive usage.
Their customer support has gone through the furnace and burned. Their data caps have proved to be deco on the wall and the speed a total waste of time.
And that is where we come in. This review will help you pick the right ISP for your needs. Hop in!
Born of the telecommunication giant, Verizon Communication started as Bell Atlantic Corporation in 1983. The same grew, acquired other companies in the same industry, and later became Verizon.
The shocking bit in history is this Bell Atlantic was one of the 7 babies born of Bell Systems, the system company that was once led by AT&T Corporation.
The babies came up after the United States Department of Justice instructed AT&T Corporation to split Bell Systems. More on the other babies later in this review.
Fast forward to 2005, Verizon popped the internet service, Fios (Fiber Optic Service) which uses Fiber to transmit data to your home.
You may have heard of it from the internet standalone perspective, but it has the muscle to bundle internet, television services, and telephone in one cable and bring all that to your home.
Unlike other fiber-based services available today, Fios by Verizon is using fiber all the way to your home, Fiber To The Home (FTTH).
So the speed is as it claims. After all, the word Verizon is a portmanteau of Veritas, the Latin word for ‘truth’ and horizon. They are supposed to remain the horizon of truth.
Other fiber-based services such as Fiber to the Premises, Fiber to the Neighborhood, Fiber to the Node, Fiber to the Curb dilute the speed by deploying copper cable in the mile.
How much does FIOS cost per month?
The Fios comes in 3 different internet plans. The slowest speed is 200Mbps, a middle child running at 400Mbps, and the Gigabit type at a crazy 940Mbps downstream and 880Mbps upstream.
This Gigabit plan comes with a free router. The starting prices are $40, $60, and $80 per month respectively. All of them provide you with the internet only. No TV. No landline.
What is the cheapest Verizon Fios package?
The lowest starting prices you can pay for Verizon's Fios at the moment is about $40 per month for a download and upload speed of 200Mbps, uncapped!
Swim in it if you can but its real purpose is to make your photo sharing, HD video streaming, movie, and music downloading processes smooth.
If you must watch any kind of TV, you have the likes of YouTube TV and Google Stadia at your disposal.
Verizon however feels you may need some Disney+ so they squeeze it in and make it free for a year.
After falling in love with the Marvel, reminiscing over High School Musical, and drooling over the Muppets, paying $6.99 per month for the following year will be automatic.
If you are setting up internet for the first time, you may need to pay for your own modem and router for Wi-Fi, about $300, or let Verizon supply you with their recommended type for $15 per month.
Does Verizon have Internet and cable?
Verizon offers the Internet via Fiber, Fios in the areas it is available, and DSL for the rest.
In a funny mix of words, Verizon High-Speed Internet has ugly low internet speeds while the famous Verizon Fios is the fastest you may ever get in the market. Whoever did their naming.
Though Fios is marketed first as the Internet only, there is a bundling option that comes with Verizon FIOS TV and phone. There are about 7 TV plans with the price ranging between $50 and $90 per month.
One of the lower range options is FIOS TV Test Drive with over 425 channels that you watch for 60 days before they recommend your ideal channel lineup.
Seems they study how you flip that remote and serve your best cookies just how you like them. The upper side of the TV plans slaps you with options such as The Most FIOS TV which is packed with sports, the best movies spread in the same number of channels.
Does Fios have senior discounts?
The lowest standalone plan, Verizon FIOS 200/200Mbps Internet plan is made to entice students and seniors.
It has no termination fees, no annual contract but allows you to hang around YouTube TV and Google Stadia instead of being tethered to the usual TV.
An enticing offer meant to end on September 30, 2020, has been on the loose targeting seniors but it was not on Verizon's website.
HotDeals posted it. Discount seekers who owned up to going after it have had to consider the Tripleplay discount or the 15% discount on Verizon Wireless targeting veterans.
Does Verizon have a low-income plan?
Just because your salary prohibits you from parting with $40 per month for the lowest Fios internet-only plan does not mean Verizon does not want you in their bed.
They still believe you should download movies, watch your favorite shows, stream and share photos like everyone else with the 200Mbps plan while allowing $20 saving. In English, half the price!
The same size of the discount is allowed for the 400Mbps plan but with the ability to stream, share large files, and host more users.
Do you need it that badly?
Enroll with Verizon and activate your account by January 28, 2021. You will enjoy 12 months of Disney+ for free from the moment you enroll.
After the year, you will need to pay about $7 plus tax per month unless you cancel with Verizon. Be sure to prove you are 18 years or older.
New subscribers need to part with monthly router fees, opt for paperless billing and autopay after credit approval.
The Gigabit connection allows you to save up to $30 with extra advantages. You are treated to a free router, Stream TV, and a copy of Marvel's Avengers game. There is no reason why you cannot get what you want how you want it!
Remember the AT&T story we started earlier on?
Out of the 7 babies of Bell Systems, 3 survived. We just talked about one, this is the second one. But there is a catch.
The earlier mentioned AT&T Corporation that leads the mama Bell merged with another company, SBC Communication, and decided to retain the name AT&T but changed the surname to Incorporation.
The culprit of the moment. Hang on for some hot gossip about the third Baby Bell.
AT&T offers internet using DSL for the rural United States and fiber in the dense urban areas.
Though fiber availability has been on the far left portion of the half, their addiction to pleasing their customers has led to a vigorous expansion of their fiber network. The exorbitant cost of installation does not hold them down.
Their lowest internet speed is 5Mbps based on DSL with a cap limit of 1 TB. This should meet your email, social media, and light surfing needs for up to 3 devices. The upper side is governed by fiber with 940Mbps for unlimited usage.
It serves you the right to upload a 4-minute HD video in a second, stream 4K Ultra HD videos, share humongous files and collaborate on jobs from various locations on multiple devices. It serves at least 12 devices.
How do I call AT&T customer service?
When you are ready for an affair with AT&T, send a direct message on Facebook to hint at your attraction. Their attention is guaranteed. You could also use their webchat and voice your concerns.
If you must speak to a real human call them on 800-288-2020 for 24/7 technical support, billing, and accounts sections or 844-886-4258 to order.
They even have an appointment booking option to make a physical visit to any of their stores near you. That explains why their customers praise their support.
Is AT&T as good as Verizon?
It is a tough job of comparing two goliaths when you know they have the same origin.
However, AT&T's commitment to offering great services left us drooling. That does not mean they raided Verizon. It is their attention to the little things that matter that warmed our hearts.
But there is a lot of dirty laundries we believe you need to know about.
While AT&T's 1Gbps plan sells at $49.99 and promises to take you to the Gigabit Land, there are complaints that it does not take you there.
Their calming customer support seems to hypnotize customers to stay despite the mischief and their introductory fee runs for 1 year.
On the other hand, Verizon's Fios claim on 940Mbps seems grounded but at $30 higher before shooting even higher after 24 months. You have one more year to save.
Both giants could waive installation fees when you are new in the dating game. They also have no data caps for Gigabit connections. AT&T however introduces such on the lower speed plans, maybe to entice you to move up.
The knockout punch for Verizon is on availability. And while we want to believe they are working on it, AT&T is working round the clock to get their services all over the United States. The competition may be stiff, but they are winning.
How can I pay my AT&T bill?
The two most convenient ways to pay your AT&T bill are online payment and the fast payment option.
The online payment requires you to sign in to your online account on att.com/myatt, view your bill, set the date of payment if you want to do it later, and make the payment.
Or use your mobile app for a more direct payment.
With the fast payment method, go to https://www.att.com/acctmgmt/fastpay and either key in your account number or your AT&T phone number that is active.
Then enter the 5-digit billing ZIP Code for the account you want to clear and proceed to make the payment. You must know the exact payment amount beforehand.
Is AT&T a good phone service?
Comparing to T-Mobile and Verizon, AT&T is a little shy in the competition. It is however praised for extensive network coverage, expanding low-band 5G network, the best-unlimited plan at $85 per month, and a $50 per month prepaid 8GB plan.
The unlimited plan though $15 more expensive than that from T-Mobile comes with HBO Max streaming services with a100GB cap. They also include 5G coverage without charging you anymore.
This kind of growth has attracted many unsatisfied clients threatening to migrate to other carriers because they feel ignored. Whether AT&T will win this battle, only time can tell.
What is the 30 dollar plan for AT&T?
While its competitors try to lower their internet prices to match a threatening economy, AT&T is adamant to keep the price where it is reasonable.
The lowest you can expect to pay for decent internet here is $39.99 per month for the first year into the marriage.
AT&T is fair enough to allow 100Mbps bundled with DIRECTV or AT&T TV for streaming videos, gaming, social media, large file sharing, and music downloads.
And if you are in a fiber-powered region, you can pay the same amount for the 940Mbps package and venture into hardcore gaming or office use.
This is the former Comcast Cable founded in 1981 but using the name Xfinity as a tradename.
Xfinity is the household name for cable internet servicing over 40% of the United States’ market.
They have been in this game since 1996 and have not slowed down since then. Expect a lot of discounts at competitive prices throughout the year.
Besides the internet services, Xfinity offers TV, home security and has Wi-Fi hotspots spread throughout the country. Such can be used when your home internet decides to ditch you.
What is the cheapest Xfinity package?
Xfinity's cheapest package comes with no contract offer you download speeds of up to 25Mbps and 5Mbps upload for $30 per month for the first year.
But if you sign the contract, you save about $5 through the upload speed lowers to 3Mbps.
If that speed does match your internet needs, their Performance Pro+ plan gives 200Mbps download and 5Mbps upload for $50.
This way, you can game online, stream on several devices, download HD movies, share large files, and watch videos as the rest of your crew surfs the web.
Is Xfinity better than ATT?
Picking on a common speed, AT&T's 100Mbps on Internet 100 plan versus Xfinity's Performance Select, the former charges about $60 while the latter is $10 cheaper.
And when focusing on AT&T's Internet 1000 plan offering 1000Mbps, it is about $30 cheaper than Xfinity. That creates some kind of balance, so none wins.
But that is not all that counts in this race.
Xfinity is known for budget-friendly plans, up to 10 of them. They are also available in most states across the United States.
On the flip side, the company scores low on customer service. America's darling on customer care, AT&T, is patching the availability problem by expanding its fiber network far and wide.
For the loath of complexity, they keep their plans simple with the Internet 100 and 1000 plans.
Remember, Xfinity offers internet services in cable and fiber while AT&T does DSL and fiber. The only sensible comparison here is on fiber internet.
Where price is concerned AT&T wins, but do not forget the complaints about speed made by their own customers. That makes the expensive option better. A case of ‘cheap is expensive’.
Point to note, before crucifying one over the other, find out which of the two is available in your region. Comparison only works well if both can reach you.
How can I get Comcast to lower my bill?
Despite their persistent claim that you are better off with their equipment, the monthly fee is about $13. Get your own equipment and slide the dollars in your rear pocket!
The second way is asking for a lower price. Literally, call Xfinity and negotiate for a rate you can afford.
The internet war is crazy and no one wants to lose a customer, so let customer service know you can get good services elsewhere if they will not tone down that bill.
And while you are at it, make serious your claim by downgrading your TV streaming so you can only pay for what you use. After all, you will still enjoy your local broadcast stations and HBO.
Should I buy my own modem and router for Xfinity?
If you are looking to keep your monthly fee down and home Wi-Fi speed up, do yourself a favor; buy your own modem and router.
There is no ISP in America or anywhere in the world that will ever give you the best performing modem or router. Such are expensive. So they provide you with a standard modem that gives good services.
But good is not enough for a traffic-hogging home. You need a modem and router, or a combination of the two that is devoted to flooding your home with Wi-Fi such as those made by TP-Link or Netgear.
Can I install Xfinity Internet myself?
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us to look beyond our assumed disabilities and Do It Yourself. Setting up your Xfinity is no different.
The good news is you can either follow one of the many YouTube videos online featuring the installation process or download the Xfinity app that walks you through the whole process.
There is no harm in taking that networking class from YouTube University the same way you would a cooking or workout class. Pros are made there!
Xfinity has even made the process easier by creating a self-install kit they can mail to you for $15 as you sign up for their services.
If you are allergic to acquiring technical skills, maybe for the love of your career, try engaging a teen in your locale, most know their way through those almost by default.
Should you run into any serious difficulties though, either contact Xfinity Customer Support online or call 1-800-XFINITY.
Since the coming together of Time Warner Cable, Brighthouse Network, and Charter Communication to form Spectrum, the company's footprint all over the United States has given other ISPs a run for their money. There is a chance someone you know uses their services by now.
In 2019, Spectrum offered the best value for cable internet. Whether they will still hold the title a whole year later is a different story altogether.
Is AT&T or Spectrum Internet better?
Sampling these two beauties left us leaning towards Spectrum even though they did not want to give us fiber at home. Here is why.
First, Spectrum gives unlimited internet with no contract no matter the plan and they are not worried if you bath with data.
By now you know AT&T caps the lower internet plans at 1TB and may want you to stay in the marriage for a year. Their Giganet connection has no limit though.
Second, where a customer is not tech-savvy, AT&T may need you to pay $99 for standard installation but waives the charges if you opt for a TriplePlay plan. Spectrum charges $49.99 and your whole setup is done.
Finally, Spectrum gives you a free modem with an option to rent a router at $5 per month, the lowest in the market. And they are available in at least 44 states while AT&T plays around 21 states.
But if you give preference to pricing, Spectrum's Internet Gig costs around $110 per month while its counterpart is slightly below half that price.
And while the low price may warm your heart, Spectrum's reputation despite sticking to cable most of the time is indisputable.
Not to mention, they are keen to buy you out of a contract so you can enjoy their great services.
Does the spectrum have 24-hour customer service?
With their massive cable infrastructure in place, Spectrum ensures that you are well-taken care of when you show interest to date them. Their customer service personnel is famous for empathizing with their clients even if it means exceeding time.
Contact them on 1-833-780-1880 for technical support, installations, and bill related issues for residential connections anytime. It is toll-free.
What is the cheapest spectrum TV package?
If you want Cable TV without the Internet, Spectrum's lowest package, TV Select goes for $44.99 delivering 125 channels.
But if you want the best of both worlds, adding 100Mbps internet to the cheaper TV plan, Spectrum Double Play Select package costs you $89.98.
Better still, you could opt for Spectrum Triple Play Select for an unlimited phone plan at $89.97. The prices increase after the 12-month promotional period. It could go up by an amount between $10 and $35.
Spectrum Triple Play Select got you covered with kids Channels such as Disney Channel, Boomerang, Disney XD, Nick Jr, and TeenNick. On sports, you have NHL Center Ice, NFL Network, Redzone, MLB Extra Innings, and NBA League Pass.
They may seem pricier than their competition, but the picture quality is worth the extra dollar.
Does Spectrum charge extra for Wi-Fi?
Yes and No. If you want the internet with home Wi-Fi, which you should, Spectrum offers a free modem but rent you a router for the Wi-Fi at $5 per month. Quite affordable if you ask us.
But you can say no to a rented router and buy the kind that matches your demands so you can save the $5 every month.
Which is the best compatible router or modem for Spectrum?
Say you turn down the rental Wi-Fi router and you have a $100 to spend. The IPv6-compatible TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router will flood about 2500 square feet of your home supporting up to 50 devices, no questions asked.
That is an investment saving you 20 months of rental fees for a router that may never give you the services you need.
If you are a gamer, for up to $350, the ASUS ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 router will thrust the Wi-Fi 5000 square feet breathing life into your gaming throne.
Consider that close to 6 years of savings for making the right buying decision.
But if you want to keep a cool face, go for NETGEAR Nighthawk X10 AD7200 at $250. It supports more than 20 devices and is suitable for large homes.
Gratitude calls for you to accept Spectrum's free modem but saying ‘No thanks’ to a rental router that will enslave you with bills.
The Louisiana headquartered telecommunication company is among the oldest in this list. They have been in the game since 1930, began as Oak Ridge Telephone company giving them mileage over their competitors.
You would expect them to blanket the entire United States with a high-speed fiber connection while keeping the prices within reach. We are yet to see that.
But first, CenturyLink’s presence in this list completes the story of the Baby Bells. CenturyLink, the evolved version of Oak Ridge Telephone Company bought a company that was part of the third Baby Bell.
The company’s name was US West but was called Quest by the time of the merger in 2011. The overall company retained the stronger name.
The sunny side of CenturyLink praises their fast DSL internet to a point of being considered the third in the country.
They are also known for price locking and great promotional pricing. But as technology grows, more company merging takes place and new entrants pop, this glory may be threatened. Their history with Verizon and AT&T is hard to ignore.
How much is CenturyLink Internet monthly?
The best value Internet plan from CenturyLink is DSL-based delivering speeds up to 100Mbps at a starting cost of $49 per month.
It is suitable for HD streaming on multiple devices, online shopping, and working from home.
It has a Price For Life guarantee if you stay in the same location and plan for the rest of your affair with them. It has no contract but has a 1TB data cap.
The company also offers blazing Gigabit speeds on fiber with up to 940Mbps starting at $65 per month. This plan is good for virtual learning, HD streaming on multiple devices, and has no data caps. Unlike the former, its price may vary at a later date.
CenturyLink prefers that you keep all bills paperless so they can ensure low pricing within and after the promotional period.
Is CenturyLink a good Internet provider?
For a company whose internet availability is verifiable in over 39 states, beats satellite internet providers in rural areas, and serves internet on both fiber and DSL, you cannot go wrong dating them.
Where speeds are concerned, they have packages starting as low as 10Mbps on DSL going all the way to 940Mbps on fiber.
You are assured of a secure connection, your backup needs are catered for, and have access to 24/7 customer support.
Even at 1.5Mbps, browsing is fun!
How can I boost my CenturyLink Wi-Fi signal?
Like other ISPs, CenturyLink prefers that you use their equipment so they can manage them. That puts the burden of maintaining the devices on them so you can focus on the main reason you bought the service.
The modem or router you get from the ISP provides a good internet connection.
But if you want the best speeds so your home Wi-Fi, buying your own NETGEAR DGND3300 RangeMax dual-band wireless-N router with a built-in DSL modem seals the deal.
It makes online gaming, HD and 4K streaming and everyday surfing blissful.
You could also use the TP-Link TD-W8980 N600 Wireless Gigabit ADSL2+ modem router which costs about $400.
Can I buy my own modem for CenturyLink?
Your ISP cannot force you to take their modem if you do not want to. They understand that you crave for outstanding Wi-Fi speeds.
That calls for a good modem from the TP-link or Netgear. Some even come with a router making your home internet setup and management easy.
On matters regarding equipment, CenturyLink rules stating, "CenturyLink provided modem may be required for the Internet" gives some allowance for their customers to propose their own modem routers. After all, buying your own modem saves you $15 every month or the one time of $300 plus tax.
Unlike other companies in the list, Optimum is a brand that came about as an internet service by an American cable company, Cable Systems Corporation.
At one time it was bought out by a French Telecommunication conglomerate, Altice Netherlands.
But at the moment, it belongs to Altice USA, an American cable television provider that is independent of the French company.
What is the cheapest optimum package?
Falling in love with Optimum is easy when you realize they want to set you free. Their business comes without contracts and no data caps!
Then comes their affordable plans. They have four main plans offering speeds between 200Mbps and 1000Mbps.
The Optimum 300 allows 300Mbps on download and 35Mbps upload for $39.99 per month. That is their lowest offer, it uses a wired connection and can support up to 15 devices in your home.
On the upper side has the fiber-based Optimum 1Gig offering 940Mbps for about $70 per month Price for Life!
Is Xfinity better than Optimum?
If you have to compare the two, note that Optimum's lowest package, Optimum 300 is cable-based while their best speed offer is fiber-based. Xfinity also has cable internet plans.
The Blast! A plan offering 300Mbps and allows up to 10Mbps upload for about $65 per month for the first year then the price shoots up.
That shows a 25Mbps upload speed and a $25 price difference between the two ISPs for the same download speed.
But the battle does not end there. The fiber-based Optimum 1 Gig wins the race letting you save about $15 over Xfinity's similar plan.
Add the no-contract rule and the 3.88/5 rating on CableTV's 2020 Customer Satisfaction survey compared to the competitor's 3.86 in the mix and Optimum scoops the throne.
The only war Xfinity wins is on availability; up to 39 states while Optimum is stuck in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut areas.
How do I get optimum to lower my bill?
Even with such a strong resume, Optimum has a way of lowering your bill. Here is how.
First, keep your relationship online from the word go and they will set up the internet for free. Again, by opting for paperless billing with an autopay option, you save $5.
Then buy your own equipment so they never have to charge for monthly equipment fees.
If your current provider insists on you holding you till you complete their contract, let Optimum buy you out with up to $500 and you will not have to sign such anymore.
And since your demand for better speeds is insatiable, go for the Optimum 1 Gig plan. The price is fixed forever!
How much is optimum triple play?
Optimum ensure your happiness with the triple play bundles; internet, TV, and phone at competitive prices.
Bundling the Optimum 300 internet with over 220 TV channels and unlimited calls to the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands costs up to $85 per month.
There are other bundles to consider but no ISP has been able to beat Optimum in a long time.
While everyone else is talking cable, DSL, and Fiber, Viasat sits in a special league. The American communication company provides broadband internet via satellite and secure networking systems for the military and the commercial sector.
No matter where you are in the United States, if the cable cannot get to you, satellite internet is your sole savior. That covers the rural areas and urban alike without worrying about cables. Their media is air.
Though they are not the sole satellite internet service providers, they have at the moment conquered the territory providing good satellite speeds.
We say good because if you have had an affair with DSL or Fiber, the satellite feels like an insult. This is despite the company operating its resources on four satellites.
How much does Viasat cost per month?
Viasat makes the affair worth having as they provide the largest data caps in the market so far.
Their highest speed, 100Mbps spoils you with 150GB for $200 per month for the first 3 months into the deal. Of course, the price rises after the honeymoon.
Their speeds start at a low 12Mbps speed for 12GB for $50 per month. This is a good plan if you and your partner only browse, hang around social media with no addictions and check your email.
Fall in love with YouTube at your own peril.
But if you have an internet-hogging family like most of us, the Unlimited Platinum 100 plan offering 150GB will come in handy. And so will adjusting your pocket to folk out $200 per month.
This plan allows about 5 users with allowance for browsing, checking emails, social media, and even streaming up to 1080p HD!
That is according to Viasat's pricing in March 2020.
In between the 12Mbps speed and 100Mbps are eight other options giving you enough room to wiggle. Regardless of your choice of download speed, Viasat keeps all the users at 3Mbps upload speed.
On a good day, it may surprise you with a faster push of your YouTube video. But you cannot bet on it.
Is Viasat really unlimited?
The word 'unlimited' and satellite internet comes with strings attached. What Viasat really means is that they will never deny you internet services even when you exhaust the threshold in your plan. But that comes with a patience test.
This is what happens. Say you go for the Unlimited Platinum 100 plan and due to your unending love for Netflix your cap limit is threatened.
Well, you may have to let go of your love, but you can still browse and get your email. But not at your usual speed.
From this point on, every data request you make will have to queue behind those of your fellow users who have not exhausted their capacity. Opening that website will be a painful crawl.
It may sound mean when the word unlimited comes to mind, but then beggars are not choosers.
So what happens when you have to work from home and need your good old speeds back?
You pay for it. At least until the month wears out and you are back in the high-speed game. Just log in to your Viasat account and go for the 'Buy More Data' option. It will only cost you $10 for every GB of data.
That is a fair price where work is concerned. For entertainment, waiting for the month to end and proper management of your bundle is the best way forward.
Where do we rate Viasat on streaming?
Satellite internet is not our first recommendation if you have to stream. The main reason being the latency problem followed by the fact that streaming eats your data fast.
But having said that, if you can discipline yourself to stream a few times in a week you will survive. Assuming you go for Viasat's second-best plan, the Unlimited Gold 50 offers 50Mbps speed and 100GB per month.
You can stream music for 180 hours, HD videos for 10 hours, and play online games for 100 hours every week. And this will not affect your web browsing escapades because the data consumption there is negligible.
Why do we recommend Viasat?
Their services are available all over the United States, whether in the mountains in Nashville, Tennessee or Fountain Hills, Arizona, Viasat got you covered.
On pricing, since Elon Musk's StarLink has not declared war and Hughesnet, the other satellite ISP is not a threat, we decided to give you what works in case you find yourself where cables never go.
And with the recent speed upgrades, we doubt the latter will have much to say.
Once you have conquered the worries of the 2-year contract, the notorious data caps, and equipment costs, you are good to go.
How can I speed up my Viasat internet?
Welcome to satellite internet 101.
Speeding up your internet revolves around your satellite dish, an orbiting satellite you have no control of, and the network inside your home, you can speed up your internet. Here is how.
First, go to your ISP’s account and find out what speed you are supposed to get. That way you will understand what speed you are supposed to get.
Second, run several speed tests at various times of the day and record each one of them. Run the speed test from speedtest.net to know the upload and download speed as well as the ping results.
Run internet health too from internethealthtest.org to see if your network is congested.
Then climb up to where your satellite dish is and ensure there are no leaves, branches, or snow on the dish obstructing the communication between the dish and its receiver.
Clean it with warm water to get off any dirt stuck on it and then tighten the cable on the receiver.
The satellite dishes in America are meant to face the Southern part of the sky to communicate with the orbiting satellite. Since you cannot adjust the latter, use the Compass App to find the South and rotate your dish to face that way.
You could also call your ISP and ask for more precise coordinates just like their techies do.
They will even tell you if you are doing it right even from their offices!
When done with the dish, focus on the network devices in your house. Reset your modem and router by turning them off then on after a few seconds.
Then disconnect the devices on the network one by one and run the speed test every time you do. This will help you find the data hogging culprit. Then compare the results.
By the end of these tests, you can decide what devices need to stay online all through and those that do not if the speed does not increase.
Use Ethernet cables for gaming devices to reduce latency and ensure you connect to local gaming servers for even better speeds.
If all devices have to stay on, it could be time for a faster internet plan. The overload is definite. Talk to your ISP.
Who has the cheapest TV and Internet packages?
Bundling TV with the Internet comes with its own pack of benefits. The main one being cost.
While paying for two services from separate providers comes with a failsafe mechanism, it ends up costing more and the headache of calling both when hell breaks loose is nothing to look forward to.
Again, if the customer support is lacking and you have both eggs in the same basket, the pain is unbearable. A reason to rejoice for companies that offer buyout options so you can go where you are treated best.
Of the 7 ISPs we have reviewed above, we picked the top 3 using the price criteria.
Coming first is Optimum's package; the Core TV and Optimum 300 plan going for $65 a month while on promotion.
That guarantees over 220 TV channels and 300Mbps internet. The downside of this deal is the limited coverage of the ISP while compared to the next 2.
Following closely is Verizon's 200Mbps + Your FIOS TV package that costs $89.99 per month as the promotion price. That gives you internet with 200Mbps download speed and over 125 TV channels. Unfortunately, there is no money to save in bundling here.
We also fell in love with AT&T TV Entertainment that starts at about $89.98 per month. You are treated to over 65 TV channels alongside 100Mbps of the internet for $89.98 for the first year in the affair.
You save about $20 for bundling.
Before you settle for bundles, ensure they have the TV channels you need and worthwhile internet speed.
What is the best Internet in rural areas?
If you choose to embrace the free fresh air of the rural areas, realize that staying connected with folks around the world may not come cheap. Unless you are out there unwinding with no desire to nurse virtual conversations.
But if you are out writing your next bestselling novel and must keep in touch with your publisher, your internet choices are reduced to cable, DSL, Satellite, Dialup, and on a good day cellular hotspot. Forget fiber's blazing speed.
Our top three contestants based on availability were Viasat, CenturyLink, and Xfinity.
As a satellite-based ISP, Viasat won the race. Their services may in overall seem expensive but you will never go without. For $50, you have access to 12Mbps for browsing and emailing. It is however capped at 12GB.
In the second position comes Xfinity with cable internet. They charge $30 for their lowest package offering 25Mbps on download speed and 5Mbps. But you are better off in the 100Mbps realm for $39.99 per month in the first year.
The third position goes to CenturyLink based on DSL. Their widespread availability makes them memorable though pricier than the competition. Their 100Mbps plan starts at $49.
In some rural areas, you may also find AT&T services. They use DSL and can afford low speeds up to 5Mbps.
How to choose the best internet provider
The journey of undressing America’s best internet service providers known for cheap rates and fast speed has been long but exciting.
You now know better than to trust every word pasted on their websites because they cannot hang their dirty laundry in public. So, it is up to their customers to give reviews that show their true colors.
Does that make the ISP liars?
Well, to err is human. So we hope you will forgive them for the self-praise before jumping into an affair with any.
And since you need the fastest most efficient internet you can get in your region, let us help you make the right choice. This is what you need to do.
Find out which internet plans available in your area.
Except for Viasat, all other ISPs have limitations on coverage. Meaning, your friend’s favorite may not serve you if you live in another state.
So before signing any contracts with those who demand such or call those who freestyle, there is a way to find out if your preferred ISP can serve you.
Each one of the ISP listed above has an availability checking tool on their website. You only need to key in your zip code and/or your home address and let them examine the location for their services.
They will let you know the kind of services they offer there, internet speeds possible, and the cost.
Spectrum saves you the agony by denying you access to their website if they are not able to service the location indicated by your IP address. Chances are they do not see the need for incoming investors to dig into their affairs!
Determine your monthly budget.
You know you need the internet for your home. But do you know how much money you can spend every month without failing to pay your bills?
Go through your personal monthly expenditure and see what you can do without to make space for the internet you need and the right plan for you.
From your preferred ISP, go through their different plans to see how much money you need to put aside for the internet.
Always put aside a higher amount than stated because the taxes and other unforeseen prices tend to show up in the bill and you will be required to foot it.
Figure out how much download speed you need.
This review gives you a clear picture of what to expect.
If you are a cord-cutter and have up to 5 devices demanding internet, the lowest download speed you should go for is 100Mbps.
This will service your desire for watching YouTube tutorials, sharing your product on social media, uploading videos, and the once in a while streaming over the weekends.
If your ISP of choice has passed the availability test and can serve you with the 100Mbps needed, the highest you can pay is $60 per month for the first year with AT&T.
All others are below the figure. See if that figure fits the monthly figure you just set aside in the previous step.
This is a good time to contact the ISP for a more exact quote due to taxes and possible equipment rental fees. But remember you do not have to use their equipment when you can buy your own that is more advance.
If you have a gaming bone in your system, aim for a plan offering 200Mbps download or more. Better still, if the ISP can give you the famous fiber connection and you can afford it, your starting fee should range between $65 and $150.
These figures should not scare you. Each one of the best ISP has a way of toning down costs for their customers to keep them.
Make that call and ask for a discount. The chances of having an extra service tucked in the bill that you do not need are high. Go paperless and keep everything online to save as much as you can.
Estimate how much data you need.
Except in a few cases, internet services up to 100Mbps attract a data cap. AT&T has such a set at 1TB.
The figure seems rather huge at first, but if you have installed a wireless router, the temptation to go online with more than a few devices is high.
That means more data usage translating to possibilities of exhausting the limit.
Some ISPs warn you ahead of time so you are aware of a possible increase in your budget at the end of the month.
Any more data served above the cap is charged as overage. Something to be cautious about.
To avoid the overage, keep account of every device that needs to connect to the internet, what service they access, and the impact on the data cap.
But if your devices hog a lot of data in gaming, large files transfer, and virtual learning, go for fiber. Of course, this depends on availability in your region. Most ISPs do not cap the fiber data.
Look to see if you can save by bundling.
If you are not a cord cutter, the ISPs have something more for you; TV and/or phone. Bundling involves packaging services you need from the ISP for easy management.
Your internet may solve your virtual learning problem but it may not the longing for sports or favorite shows. That is where the TV comes in; the Double Play packages.
Again, if your mobile service provider has not provided ways to call 911 in case of emergency, consider the Triple Play packages. That offers you unlimited phone usage but the internet has a cap limit. Packages here attract occasional discounts to please you.
After pursuing a la carte prices from the best ISPs, we decided to settle for bundling for easy bills management, increase chances for regular discounts, and the ability to seek a price reduction. It pays to be faithful to the one.
Compare your top two or three choices.
Whether you go for standalone internet services or bundle such up with TV and phone, what matters most is the price, availability of the desired service in the preferred state, good customer service, and flexibility in the relationship.
Verizon Fios gives their customers confidence by serving them exactly what they promise.
Their Gigabit plan retains the speeds promised hence encouraging their customers to foot the full bill. And their customer service is worth writing home about.
If Verizon and Xfinity fiber can service your areas, stick to Verizon. The 2 companies’ internet only price for gigabit speeds are the same. And if you want a lower speed, Verizon’s 200Mbps starts at around $40.
Again, Verizon’s TV plans give a fair variety and you can start at $89.99 for 200Mbps internet speed with over 125 TV channels.
Xfinity’s Standard plan promises 200Mbps internet speed with over 130 TV channels for close to $80 per month as a starting price for the next 12 months. The problem is they tie you down in a 2-year contract. The way out of the marriage comes with consequences.
But if there is no fiber within your locale, go for Xfinity. They deserve the second position for their budget-friendly prices and are available in about 40% of the United States.
They have several internet plans and each delivers the promised speed while keeping the costs fair.
The main pain with Xfinity is their desire to tie you down with contracts. And even their no-contract option comes with strings attached; higher price. That puts Verizon back on top.
The process of selecting the best internet service provider may seem long, but an informed decision saves you money, gives you peace of mind, and makes your home or office the haven it is supposed to be.