With almost every business online, you need fast and reliable internet. But with so many options available, how do you know which is the most suitable for you?
Simple question, simple answer: Compare the best internet service providers available! Today, we’re taking a deep dive into the market. With Oppuous leading the way, you’re guaranteed to get the best offers from the top ISPs.
Now, let’s look at the 10 best current internet service providers and their benefits.
Types of Internet Service Providers
We’ll have to take two small detours before we begin our list. People may not know this, but internet service providers have types too. Your current ISP type can depend on where you’re located.
For example, satellite is the only option in rural areas where line cables are unavailable.
Conversely, internet service providers in urban areas have more perks. Here are some of the most commonly used types of internet services:
Let’s start with the most well-known one – DSL internet. The term stands for “Digital Subscriber Line.” It uses your current home or office telephone lines to transfer data. You don’t need to have an active landline, but you can use landlines and the internet on the same wire.
The biggest advantage of DSL is the price. It’s cheaper than most alternatives. Additionally, its wide range of availability is an added benefit. The only catch here is your distance.
Here’s how it works:
- Far from the main operator — decreased internet speed.
- Close to the main operator — increased internet speed.
Cable providers use your current cable TV lines to provide internet, and distance is not usually an issue. In fact, cable internet can reach a maximum speed of 100 Mbps.
The only thing to worry about with cable internet is the number of users. That’s because users in a local area share the available bandwidth. If you and twenty others in the same area use it, you’ll see a decrease in the overall speed.
The leading ISP type is optic fiber, which is considered the holy grail for many consumers. In fact, almost all internet service providers are trying to provide it to their customers.
Optic fiber is the leading internet service with a maximum bandwidth of 10 Gbps reaching greater distances.
Fiber wires are different from regular copper wires. They carry in the form of light rather than electric signals. Right now, there are only two main drawbacks to optic fiber:
- Fiber wires cost more than regular wires.
- Since it’s still growing, not all regions have access to it.
Wireless Internet Service
Wireless has gained the most popularity among various internet connections in the past decade. The main reason is its flexibility. Multiple users can go online without requiring a modem.
Two of the most common wireless internet services are wi-fi and mobile data.
Users can enable high-speed data with monthly plans on carriers like AT&T. Some carriers also offer 5G home internet with family plans. These can include a fixed price for multiple lines. Different internet service providers may have a larger variety of offer bundles.
Note: The functionality of mobile data depends on the weather. As with any cell service, your mobile data won’t work if the weather is bad.
Satellite internet is mainly for people in rural areas. Internet service providers have to spend a lot of money to provide good service. The speed with satellite internet isn’t the greatest, but you can manage simple tasks like web browsing.
At best, satellite internet can match the speed of DSL or cable internet connections. However, similar to mobile data, it’s heavily reliant on good weather.
How to Choose Between Internet Service Providers
The second part of our detour lists factors that help us choose from the best internet service providers. Today, all of them claim to be the best. This can cause confusion for those consumers who have unique or specific needs.
Here are five factors you should consider before reviewing the top 10 internet service providers.
The first (and most obvious) thing to note is broadband speed. You’ll require more speed if you work from home and need the internet 24/7. You won’t require high-speed internet for common use, such as checking emails or web browsing.
Here’s a small list to help you understand how much bandwidth you need:
- Web browsing, email, and texting online: 10-25 Mbps.
- Basic tasks and video streaming: 25-40 Mbps.
- Gaming and 4K video streaming: 40-300 Mbps.
Don’t neglect your upload speed, either! It’s safe practice to have a minimum of 10% of your download bandwidth for uploads. Check with local internet service providers in your area to see how much bandwidth they offer.
Subscription prices are another key factor for customers. Higher bandwidths are usually more expensive, but internet service providers typically offer similar prices across the board.
What may be different is their customer service. Check which plans align with your needs. Once you know your required bandwidth, you can determine which ISP offers the best price. Remember that your speed may be based on how many people use the internet.
A common trend among internet service providers is to limit how much data you can use. Some may cap your data at 100 GB, and this factor can reduce customer satisfaction by quite a bit.
Regardless, track how much data you typically use. That way, you can let your ISP know how much data you need.
If you can afford it, choosing an unlimited data plan is almost always best. Not all internet service providers offer unlimited data, but it’s worth asking. And follow up by checking if there’s a budget-friendly unlimited offer at hand.
The overall price depends on how much data you choose. Be on the lookout for so-called “unlimited plans,” where an ISP provides desired speed to a limit and then drastically lowers your internet speed with no data cap.
Type of Connection
Depending on where you live, you may have restricted internet connections. Ask your nearby internet service providers what tech they’re using. Is it DSL? Cable? Fiber?
Choose one that does not cause frequent interruption in service and is not affected by external sources like weather.
Customer service is what everything boils down to. If your ISP isn’t helpful, their service has little value. We’re not all born tech-savvy. Life happens, and a lot of internet service providers understand that.
Look for an ISP that is quick to reply and solve queries. Check past customer reviews. If possible, get a referral. After all, spending countless hours in troubleshooting is the last thing anyone wants to deal with.
Top 10 Internet Service Providers Available in 2023
Verizon is one of the largest data providers in the U.S. To give some perspective, Verizon covers approximately 99% of the population nationwide! Verizon also ranks at the top of the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Most northeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. customers are connected with Verizon Fios fiber. Verizon offers this specific service to provide fiber optic and cable internet. Needless to say, their DSL is not as good as their fiber service.
What makes this company a common choice is its fast upload and download speeds without a data cap.
Verizon delivers a fast internet speed ranging between 25-2000 Mbps. Their download and upload speed ranges from 25 Mbps to 2 Gbps.
Verizon Fios provides three monthly business internet plans:
- 200 Mbps priced at $69/month.
- 500 Mbps priced at $129/month.
- 940 Mbps priced at $249/month.
- Offers unlimited data.
- Speed up to 1 gigabit per second.
- No data cap or contracts.
Cox Communications is ranked as one of the third largest internet service providers in the U.S., connecting over 233 million people. Plus, it is currently known as America’s biggest private telecom business, providing internet services in 19 states.
This company also covers large cities such as Las Vegas, Oklahoma, and Phoenix. Additionally, Cox customers can subscribe to home phone, home security, digital video, and home automation services.
Although their main business is to deliver cable internet, they’ve now also stepped into delivering optic fiber. An interesting feature is that you can take Cox internet with you wherever you go with their public wi-fi network or Cox Hotspots at no additional charge.
On average, Cox provides a download speed of 25-940 Mbps.
Cox business fiber plans vary from one location to another. Their cheapest option starts at $49. You can visit their website here and enter your location to get a personalized quote.
- Cox has 30,000 miles of “Metro Fiber” for cable internet.
- Offers hotspots for on-the-go internet users.
- Unlike many internet service providers, Cox offers home automation services too.
AT&T is one of the country’s oldest providers of telecommunications, media and tech services. It’s also the third largest mobile broadband provider in the country. Their data services have two divisions: AT&T Wireless and AT&T Internet.
AT&T Internet utilizes optic fiber and DSL to provide internet at home. Their wireless service caters to mobile cellular and data services. It’s one of the few internet service providers with holistic data services.
A great feat of AT&T is that they’ve enabled certain rural areas like Kenwood, Oklahoma, with 5G internet.
Wireless connections at AT&T provide a download speed of 40-140 Mbps and an upload speed of 5-25 Mbps. Their wired service ranges from 5-5000 Mbps, for download and upload speeds, respectively.
Wireless business plans range from $70-$100/month, depending on speed, while wired business connections range from $70-$395/month.
- 5G Internet is available in rural areas.
- Offers a wide range of plans for businesses.
- A holistic solution for cellular and data needs.
It was only a matter of time before Google offered the internet, too, right? Using fiber tech, Google is one of the fastest internet service providers. The problem here is its availability: Google Fiber is only available in 10 U.S. states.
In addition to Fiber, Google also provides wireless internet. This service is available in 7 U.S. metropolitan areas. Called “Google Fiber Webpass,” it runs on ethernet using fixed wireless technology.
Overall, Google’s an emerging ISP, but its impressive speed is tough to match.
Google’s Fiber provides the same download and upload speeds of 1-8 Gbps. Webpass, on the other hand, has a download and upload speed of 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, respectively.
Google Fiber has four main plans:
- 1 Gbps priced at $70/month.
- 2 Gbps priced at $100/month.
- 5 Gbps priced at $125/month.
- 8 Gbps priced at $150/month.
Google Fiber Webpass only has one plan: 1 Gbps, priced at $70/month.
- Fiber internet speed up to 8 Gbps.
- Competitive pricing among all internet service providers for gigabit speed.
- Provides free routers with each fiber plan.
Offering its local internet plans across 16 states, CenturyLink is part of some of the largest internet service providers. With a DSL network serving around 50 million users, it’s also listed among the top 10 internet service providers in the U.S.
In addition, they mainly have two plans to choose from, including their digital subscriber line (DSL) and fiber internet. Customers can install the internet setup or opt for standard or professional installation.
CenturyLink doesn’t fix a data cap on its plans, giving you access to unlimited data. While their fiber plans provide high-speed internet at an affordable price range, availability will depend on your area.
You can get up to 100 Mbps for their DSL plans and have download and upload speeds of up to 940 Mbps with their fiber plan.
CenturyLink offers the following pricing:
- Simply Unlimited Business Internet – $50 per month.
- Business Fiber – $70 per month.
- Requires no contract for plans.
- Offers in-app management with guest access and controlling connected devices.
- No activation or cancellation fees.
Spectrum serves 32 million customers and covers over 40 states, including California, Florida, New York, and Texas. Following its acquisition by Charter Communications, Spectrum has become one of the biggest internet service providers in the U.S.
The ISP can deliver internet download speeds up to 1 Gbps using a Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial or fiber-rich network connection. Similar to CenturyLink, another of the major internet service providers, Spectrum also does not impose a data cap nor does it require long-term contracts.
The download speed offered by Spectrum differs per its plans, ranging from 300 Mbps to 1 GB. Its upload speeds range from 10-35 Mbps.
Pricing plans can be selected as per the desired internet speed:
- $49.99 per month for up to 300 Mbps.
- $99.99 per month for up to 600 Mbps.
- $164.99 per month for up to 1 Gbps.
- Easy-to-understand price plans.
- Business plans include integration with RingCentral.
- No data caps.
Now this is an interesting one. Viasat is one of the few internet service providers on this list that use satellite technology. They have plan coverage for 99% of the U.S. population.
However, as with any satellite connection, users must ensure their satellite dish has a clear view of the southern sky. Although service can be disputed temporarily by weather events, ground issues and downed power lines are not an issue. This solution works best in remote and rural areas.
Viasat offers download speeds ranging from 12-150 Mbps. All plans have a maximum of 3 Mbps upload speed.
There are three main data plans at Viasat:
- 25 Mbps capped at 40-60 GB high-speed data.
- 75 Mbps capped at 100-150 GB high-speed data.
- 150 Mbps capped at 300-500 GB high-speed data.
Note: Prices vary according to region. You can check available price plans in your state here.
- Provides high-speed data in rural areas.
- Reasonable data caps.
- Available in all 50 U.S. states.
Among the well-known satellite internet service providers is HughesNet. This ISP offers its services in multiple regions, including the U.S., Puerto Rico, Brazil, India, and some parts of Europe.
Within the U.S, HughesNet is the largest satellite ISP. Like Viasat, it requires users to have no obstructions between their reception dish and the sky.
While HughesNet restricts users with data caps, it doesn’t discontinue service if you exceed your monthly limit. Rather, you’ll have slower but unlimited data. One potential snag here is the subscription plans: HughesNet does not offer monthly plans. The only way to use it is to enter a 2-year contract.
HughesNet offers a fixed download speed of 25 Mbps and an upload speed of 3 Mbps.
The cheapest plan is priced at $49.99/month. Prices vary with data caps (15-200 GB). You can also purchase “data tokens,” allowing you to buy more data. Their pricing is as follows:
- $9 for 3 GB.
- $15 for 5 GB.
- $30 for 10 GB.
- $75 for 25 GB.
Note: Data caps are lifted from 2 A.M. till 8 A.M. Users can use unlimited data during this time.
- Largest satellite internet provider in the U.S.
- Available in multiple countries.
- Works efficiently in rural areas.
Xfinity is America’s largest cable company. Unlike other internet service providers, Xfinity also offers home security bundles. Reaching over 40 states, it delivers both cable and fiber internet.
Its price plans by state with different promos and offers. However, most of these plans are affordable and consist of multiple services. It’s also one of the country’s fastest cable internet service providers.
Xfinity’s cable internet boasts a download speed ranging from 50 Mbps to 1.2 Gbps. Its upload speed can reach 35 Mbps. Its fiber internet speed can be as high as 10 Gbps download and 35 Mbps upload.
The most basic plan at Xfinity is 200 Mbps, priced at $35/month. Other offers depend on your location. You can check their plans here.
- All-in-one solution for internet, phone service, home security, and cable.
- High internet speed plans reaching 10 Gbps.
- Reasonable prices are available for low-income households.
T-Mobile 5G Home network is one of the best alternatives among internet service providers. It is gradually becoming a major competitor as it has expanded its 5G network coverage in rural areas.
Another good thing about the T-Mobile 5G network is that you won’t have to deal with installation fees and data overage fees. This is because they simplify internet home access and its costs for users.
At Oppuous, you can access T-Mobile’s latest 5G internet service. Users can also visit our marketplace to find their favorite cloud applications. Browse, purchase, and manage 1000+ solutions under one single roof!
T-Mobile 5G Network usually has a download speed of about 33-245 Mbps. This speed may vary according to location, signal strength, and availability. You can get an upload speed of around 15-31 Mbps.
Unlike many internet service providers, T-Mobile 5G Network only offers one data plan. So, for non-T-Mobile cellular subscribers, the internet plan costs $50/month.
If you are a T-Mobile subscriber with a voice line service, it’s $40/month. And T-Mobile cell users with a Go5G or Magenta® MAX plan, pay $30/month.
- Unlimited data with no contracts.
- Free installation and equipment included.
- Provides a 5G network to rural areas unlike other internet service providers.
Benefits of Internet Service Providers (Fiber) Over Mobile Data
The usual choice for businesses is to contact an ISP. But the advent of 5G data has caused people to reconsider this. As fast as it is, 5G isn’t here to take ISPs out entirely.
Here are three reasons why internet service providers are preferred over cellular data:
Slow internet is a big no for businesses. Companies must be proactively online to engage with their audience and be able to handle a surge in traffic or network load, which can often slow down mobile data.
This is not an issue if you opt for optic fiber. The overall internet speed does not slow, regardless of traffic surges, network load, or number of users.
Mobile data services often come with data caps or throttling (limited speed). In contrast, many internet service providers offer high-speed internet and often have unlimited data plans.
This allows businesses to enjoy uninterrupted internet service. In fact, it’s far more helpful since it’s difficult for firms to analyze their monthly data usage.
Unaffected By Weather
Another added benefit of using internet service providers is the option of choosing optical fiber. These wires are typically resistant to harsh weather, such as heavy rains, high winds, or heat waves.
This helps internet connectivity stay stable despite unfavorable weather conditions. Cellular data, however, will face disturbances in service during heavy rains or thunderstorms.
To keep your business connected with online users, you need a secure network. Internet service providers are the ones that ensure your systems or devices receive high-speed internet at all times.
If you’re looking for reliable options, it’s best to compare the well-known internet service providers and choose accordingly.
At Oppuous, you can find multiple internet service providers and their best offers. We’re here to support and help scale your business’s IT throughout. Book your free consultation session with us here today!
1) Can I use the internet without internet service providers?
Yes. However, setting up the internet by yourself is really tedious and expensive. Alternatively, you can access the internet using public wi-fi in cafes, libraries, etc.
2) Is 5G mobile data better than fiber internet service providers?
No. 5G data can peak at 10 Gbps. Conversely, fiber internet service providers can provide speeds of up to 100 Gbps.