Find Internet Providers in Your Area
By on in Broadband
If you are in the market for new internet service, you might be tempted to Google, “internet providers near me.” While this can be a great place to start, it won’t tell you much about the different provider options and what they offer. Everyone has different needs, so the provider that is perfect for your neighbor may be all wrong for you. Differences between internet service providers include, but are not limited to, speeds, equipment, pricing, and even the type of service. Here’s what you need to know to find the right internet provider in your area.
How to shop for internet services in your area
By now you might be wondering, “What are the internet options in my area?” When you are ready to make a list of ISPs (internet service providers) to consider, you will need to decide what you want from your internet provider. Then you can look more closely at each provider. Things to consider include:
- Speed: Faster speeds allow you to get more done online in less time, and can help to reduce lag when you have multiple devices connected. However, higher speeds carry a premium price tag. Figure out whether you’re a power user or an occasional emailer to decide whether super fast speed is a priority.
- Price: As speeds rise, so do prices. Slower options such as DSL tend to be more cost-effective. If you’re on a tight budget, cheaper internet might be important to you.
- Availability: Even the best provider in the world does you no good if you can’t access it. Before falling in love with a particular ISP, always ask, “Is this an internet provider in my area?”
- Deals: A common dilemma is this: “Two internet providers in my area seem very similar. Which one should I choose?” In this case, look for deals, discounts, or promotional offers. Sometimes these deals can be significant enough to make the choice easy.
- Bundling options: If you’re searching for “internet services for my area,” you may also be on the hunt for TV and/or phone services. Be sure to check into bundling options, which can save you a significant amount of money each month.
- Added perks: Many internet providers offer bonus perks, such as free installation or a network of free Wi-Fi hotspots. Be sure to check for anything extra that may be available.
How to find internet providers near you
Although ISPs are not exactly monopolies, the biggest players tend to dominate their markets. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), nearly 73% of homes in the United States have access to at least one broadband provider with speeds of 250 Mbps or higher.
But less than 23% of households have access to two broadband providers, and less than 2% have three or more broadband options. Urban areas are the most likely to have multiple options, while nearly 62% of rural households have no access to high-speed internet at all. Depending on where you live, Googling “ISP in my area” might result in one or two DSL options and/or satellite internet.
DSL and satellite are also readily available even in big cities. If your primary concern is price, it’s worth looking into these options to see if they might be right for you.
The best way to answer the question, “Who offers internet service for my area” is to perform a zip code search. This will let you see exactly what choices you have.
Top Internet Providers
Internet providers vary widely by area, and a smaller local provider that you find through a search for “internet for my area” could turn out to be your best option. If you want to stick with the national brands, though, these eight internet providers are among the most widely available and highest rated by consumers.
|Provider||Type of Internet||Availability||Top Speed||Satisfaction Rating||Starting Price|
|AT&T||DSL, fiber||21 states||Up to 940 Mbps||69/100 2019 ACSI score||$30/mo.|
|Cox||Cable||22 states||Up to 940 Mbps||60/100 ACSI score||$19.99/mo.|
|HughesNet||Satellite||50 states||25 Mbps||N/A||$39.99/mo.|
|Mediacom||Cable||22 states||Up to 1,000 Mbps||56/100 ACSI score||$39.99/mo.|
|Spectrum||Cable||41 states||Up to 940 Mbps||59/100 2019 ACSI score||$49.99/mo.|
|Verizon Fios||Fiber||8 states and the District of Columbia||Up to 940 Mbps||70/100 ACSI score||$39.99/mo.|
|Viasat||Satellite||50 states||Up to 30 Mbps||N/A||$50/mo.|
|Xfinity||Cable||41 states||Up to 1,000 Mbps||61/100 ACSI score||$20/mo.|
*As of 1/29/2020
Provider availability and pricing vary by location. To find the prices and plans that are available to you, use the zip code finder tool.
Compare internet providers in your area
AT&T began many years ago as a phone company and media innovator. The company partnered with Warner Bros. in the 1920s to add sound to the first “talkie” motion picture, The Jazz Singer. Today, AT&T is a full-scale media company with many subsidiaries.
The company offers a variety of DSL and fiber-optic internet packages designed to meet the needs of everyone from those who send the occasional email to heavy power users. You can bundle your service with DirecTV or AT&T U-Verse TV for additional savings, and installation is free when you order online. You will also receive access to a national network of free Wi-Fi hotspots.
AT&T is second only to Fios in ACSI customer satisfaction scores. It is widely available nationally, and the company’s pricing is competitive.
Cox Communications is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, which got its start in 1898. James Middleton Cox, then 28, borrowed money to purchase the Dayton Daily News. Following a brief political career, Cox went on to acquire two TV stations, four radio stations, and several newspapers. The company continued to grow, and today it is a massive media conglomerate.
Cox offers internet speeds from 10 Mbps to 940 Mbps. The optional Panoramic Whole House Wi-Fi ensures complete wireless coverage throughout your home. You can bundle with TV and home phone services for additional savings, and some plans provide access to a national network of more than 650,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.
Fios is the fiber-optic internet service wing of telecommunications powerhouse Verizon, which was formed by the 2000 merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE. J.D. Power has ranked Fios #1 in customer satisfaction seven years in a row.
All Fios packages are high speed, ranging from 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps. Perks are frequently offered, such as free equipment, free streaming services, or even Visa gift cards.
Satellite is not the cheapest way to get internet service, but it is available in even the most remote areas of the country. A major advantage of HughesNet is its consistency, with the same plans and pricing across the country. Speeds are limited to just 25 Mbps, and HughesNet plans are based on monthly data caps. However, the company offers 50 GB of free data each month to use overnight.
Mediacom was founded in 1995 with the express goal of bringing advanced internet, phone, and TV services to American small towns. Today, the company offers a variety of internet plans and bundles, ranging from 60 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps. Mediacom offers a powerful Wi-Fi booster system that can cover even large homes of more than 3,000 square feet.
Spectrum is a subsidiary of Charter Communications, founded in 1993. Today, the company’s 98,000 employees serve more than 28 million customers in 41 states. Spectrum exclusively offers broadband cable internet with speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps. Perks include a free modem and, unusual for a cable internet provider, no data caps or overage charges.
Viasat satellite internet is available even in remote parts of the United States, with speeds up to 30 Mbps. Unlike HughesNet, though, plans, pricing, and even speeds may change depending on your area of the country. An advantage of Viasat is that there are no data caps, though your speed may be throttled during periods of network congestion once you reach a certain threshold (40 GB to 100 GB, depending on the plan).
Xfinity is a subsidiary of entertainment titan Comcast, which owns, among other things, NBC-Universal and the Universal theme parks. Comcast was founded in 1963 and rapidly expanded over the next decades. Today, Xfinity offers high-speed internet ranging from 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps. Perks include the Xfinity xFi digital dashboard, a Flex 4K streaming player, and bundling options for additional savings.
Frequently asked questions
1. How can I find internet providers in my area?
The best way to find your local internet providers is to use the zip code search tool.
2. How much should I pay for internet near me?
Internet prices run the gamut, with some national brands starting at less than $20 per month. Prices rise as speed increases, though, with gigabyte plans approaching $100 per month.
3. What is the fastest internet in my area?
It depends on where you live. Fiber-optic and some cable internet providers offer gigabyte plans, but they are not yet available in many small towns and rural areas.
4. What internet is available in rural areas?
Satellite service is available even in the most remote areas. DSL and even cable internet may be available, depending on exactly where you are.
5. What internet speeds do I need?
It depends on what you do online. If you live alone or with one other person and don’t stream TV and movies or play online games, speeds as low as 10 Mbps may be enough. If your household has several connected devices that are regularly used for streaming or gaming, it may be worth signing up for the fastest speed that is available in your area.
Call now to find internet providers near you
Choosing internet service is a highly personal decision. Your options are limited to what’s available in your neighborhood, but exactly which provider and plan to select depends on your needs. To learn which providers offer service in your area, use the zip code tool. If you have any questions or are looking for additional guidance, don’t hesitate to call us today.