Across the country, there are hundreds of companies offering internet. The ironic thing about internet options is that about 88% of Americans use the internet but the majority of people only end up having one, maybe two options available to them at their home.
For the most part, with every internet provider, the pricing will vary mainly because of the upload and download speed. The amount of time you spend on the internet browsing, streaming, downloading and the number of people who use the internet at one time are all factors that contribute to the necessary megabits per second (Mbps) you will need to meet your needs. DSL, Cable, Satellite, Fiber-Optic and Fixed Wireless are all different types of internet connection offerings that may or may not be available at your home.
Fiber-Optic is the fastest option for internet services at this time. Fiber optic internet is often up to 20 times faster and although it isn’t available at every home its reach is growing. Fiber optics send information coded in a beam of light through a cable instead of through wires. Fiber optic options have much greater bandwidth than metal cables. The greater the bandwidth the more data can be transferred at a given moment. The more you require of your internet at one given point, the greater bandwidth you will need. Essentially Fiber-Optic connections are just a faster, more efficient method of transferring data. If you plan on using multiple devices at once while maintaining fast speeds fiber optic will be of great value to you.
Out of the hundreds of companies across the country, the six biggest hitters with the most coverage and statistically the best services are Frontier Communications, Verizon FiOS, Spectrum/Charter/Time Warner Cable, Comcast, AT&T, CenturyLink, and Bright House.
Best Internet Providers
Verizon Fiosstarted providing broadband internet services around 2004. Frontier Communications was known as Citizens Utilities Company from 2000- 2008. In 2009 Frontier Communications acquired 4.8 million landlines from Verizon Communications across various states. In 2015 Frontier fully acquired Verizon’s wireline, broadband, and Fios operations in California, Texas, and Florida. Verizon Fios still services many states but in California, Texas, and Florida “Verizon Fios ” is no longer available because Frontier Communications has taken over the area and its contracts. Over time Frontier Communications has acquired various components from Verizon including wireless, broadband and Fios operations as well as the name Fios all over the country. The acquisition was challenging as it’s takeover was spotty in location and service. Overall the transition has not been a smooth one. Many consumers struggled with the take over as prices changed and new customers were frequently frustrated with the customer service operations.
Verizon still services 11 states with DSL and/or fiber-optic options. Verizon Fios is primarily found in the northeast, particularly in the District of Columbia, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Verizon matches their download and upload speeds up to 500 Mbps, which is extremely fast and can handle. They are particularly known for their upload speeds. Many providers will offer a fast download speed but a slower upload speed. With Verizon, you can get fast downloads and uploads. The upload speed will be noticed most when uploading photos, videos or other large files to the web. Verizon is known for maintaining performance levels during peak hours. Verizon is known for a lot of positive components of its service but is also known for its high prices. If you can fit their prices into your budget and you have Verizon Fios available at your address this is an excellent option for reliable, fast internet.
Ever wonder who acquired who? Did Comcast buy Xfinity or did Xfinity buy Comcast? Spoiler alert: Neither. Comcast rebranded its consumer services to be primarily branded under the name Xfinity in 2010. Comcast’s corporate name remains Comcast but their TV, Internet, and phone services are known as Xfinity.
As we have served thousands of movers across the country we rarely hear complaints about Xfinity’s customer service. They offer tons of different options for packages as well as bundle options. There is a wide range of prices that allow you to customize your plan. Xfinity is unique in its contract offerings. Some of their contracts are month to month, which is great for people renting, living in apartments or who move frequently. Xfinity offers fiber optic anywhere they service which allows them to offer really high speeds. They offer plans that span 25 Mbps to 200 Mbps. Xfinity is typically a more expensive option because their equipment is not built into their plans like AT&T or Spectrum. They also typically offer faster speeds than their competitors unless you live under the rare offering of AT&T’s 500-1000 Mbps plans.
AT&T Internet Services
AT&T is one of the most recognized brands across all industries. AT&T is one of the largest providers of mobile telephone services and fixed telephone services in the United States and has been around in some capacity since 1885. In 2004 AT&T revealed its fiber-optic network known as “U-verse”. From 2006 to 2010 U-verse expanded aggressively to cities across the country. In 2014 AT&T acquired DirecTV for $67 billion; can you say killer bundle deals?!
We hear many great things about AT&T but also some complaints from customers. Many customers find that when they speak with AT&T representatives they spend most of their time trying to upsell them to different plans. (Luckily with My Utilities you never have to talk with an AT&T Rep.) Prices can be more expensive with AT&T U-verse stand alone but because of their speed and reliability if you have the option it can be worth it.
AT&T provides more limited package options but seems to have the best prices because of their all included deals. If you plan on getting internet and TV/cable AT&T has great bundle options. If you bundle your internet you can even save $99 on your activation. AT&T’s internet speeds range from 6-1000 Mbps and include fiber optic as an option. AT&T includes your modem and router in the price which is nice but you are required to use their modem and router instead of buying one from Amazon. Internet plans are a one year contract but a 2-year price lock. If you live in a home and plan to bundle internet and cable/tv AT&T typically is your best option.
Best Internet Bundles
Time Warner Cable / Spectrum Interner
TWC: Will the real Charter Spectrum Internet please stand up? Did you know Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Spectrum Internet are all related? Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cable, which includes Bright House Networks, and renamed the brand as Charter Spectrum for $55 billion in 2016. In some areas “Time Warner Cable” and “Bright House” will still be the face and branding in some areas of the country but branding will all phase over to Charter Spectrum over time. Time Warner Cable is notorious for poor customer service ratings and Charter Spectrum is hopeful to change customers’ perception and experience across the nation. Your internet and bundle options may offer Time Warner Cable, Bright House or Spectrum now but your bill may reflect something different over time as Charter Spectrum completes their rebranding efforts.
If you are just getting internet and no bundle option we recommend Charter Spectrum. With Charter Spectrum there is just one speed offered which is 100 Mbps. To give you an idea about your internet needs, Netflix recommends 6 Mbps for streaming. With 100 Mbps you could have multiple people online at once streaming Netflix without any issues.
Charter Spectrum does not have contracts, they charge you month to month and there is no termination fee. This is great for people with short leases or for those who move frequently. The issue with no contracts is the price variation from month to month. If you don’t sign a multiple month contract then there is no price lock guarantee. If you are just getting internet and not bundling Spectrum is typically your best option, if available. Charter does not offer many package options but it does have great perks like no modem fees, contract buyout options, and contract-free service.
Centrury Link Internet
CenturyLink is an internet service that services about half of the united states. CenturyLink offers a wide variety of plans with speeds from 1mbps to 40 in some areas. 40 Mbps should be enough for multiple people to surf the web, watch videos and play games online at the same time. CenturyLink offers a couple plans without contracts if you need their service but don’t want to be locked into a contract but you will end up paying a lot more for those plans. CenturyLink has great phone and internet bundle plans if you want both internet and phone. They even offer a 5-year price lock if you bundle internet and phone.
CenturyLink offers great download speeds but their upload speeds are on the lower end. If you plan to upload videos or photos to the web you might have issues if you get a plan slower than 5 Mbps upload speed. Speed, pricing, and packages will vary from home address to home address but if CenturyLink is an option at your home make sure you consider how much uploading you plan on doing as well as the number of users you will have because you will be charged varying installation costs depending on how many devices you have. Many homes that have CenturyLink also offer Xfinity and overall we would suggest going with Xfinity over CenturyLink.
The team at My Utilities exists to make sure you never overpay on your internet services and for that matter any of your utilities. Type in your address to MyUtilities.com and see the available services at your home for internet, electricity, gas, tv/cable and home security. We will make the connections for you then and their. Join the rest of our users and save an average of $600 a year on your utility bills.