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Best High-Speed Internet Providers of 2024

Cable internet providers look good on speed tests, but fiber ISPs have the fastest speed potential. Here are the best high-speed internet providers.

Article updated on April 7, 2024 at 12:00 PM PDT

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Written by 
David Anders
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
David Anders Senior Writer
David Anders is a senior writer for CNET covering broadband providers, smart home devices and security products. Prior to joining CNET, David built his industry expertise writing for the broadband marketplace Allconnect. In his 5 plus years covering broadband, David's work has been referenced by a variety of sources including ArcGIS, DIRECTV and more. David is from and currently resides in the Charlotte area with his wife, son and two cats.
Expertise Broadband providers, Home internet, Security Cameras
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Our expert staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and evaluates our top picks. The order in which our top picks are presented may be impacted by partnerships, and we may get a commission if you buy through our links.

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Cox - Fastest speed test results
  • Prices: $50 - $110 per month
  • Speeds: 100 - 2,000Mbps
  • Key Info: 1.25TB monthly data allowance, lots of plan options, unique gaming add-on
Or call to learn more: (844) 832-7636
Google Fiber - Best high-speed ISP for gig internet
  • Prices: $70 - $100 per month
  • Speeds: 1,000 - 2,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included
Or call to learn more: (877) 532-7552
Ziply Fiber - Fastest internet plan of any major ISP
  • Prices: $20 - $900 per month
  • Speeds: 100 - 50,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, no contracts, fast rural internet connection
Or call to learn more: (844) 215-8219
AT&T Fiber - Best high-speed internet plan selection
  • Prices: $55 - $250 per month
  • Speeds: 300 - 5,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included
Or call to learn more: (877) 642-1749
Xfinity - Fastest cable internet provider
  • Prices: $20 - $300 per month
  • Speeds: 150 - 6,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Lots of plan options, solid customer satisfaction numbers, data caps on some plans
Or call to learn more: (855) 861-3990
Frontier Fiber - Best low-cost, high-speed plan
  • Prices: $50 - $155 per month
  • Speeds: 500 - 5,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, no contracts, no equipment fee
Or call to learn more: (877) 719-1445
Verizon 5G Home Internet - Fastest 5G home internet provider
  • Prices: $50 - $70 per month
  • Speeds: 85 - 1,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment, 50% discount for qualifying Verizon mobile customers
Or call to learn more: (855) 379-6693
Verizon Fios - Best signup bonus offers
  • Prices: $50 - $120 per month
  • Speeds: 300 - 2,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment with gig service
Or call to learn more: (877) 742-3024

What's the best high-speed internet provider?

Regional provider Ziply Fiber offers the fastest speeds to the home of any major ISP, with advertised symmetrical upload and download speeds of up to 50,000Mbps, or 50 gigabits per second.

As for average speeds nationwide, Ookla speed test data from the fourth quarter of 2023 showed Cox had the fastest median download speeds, at around 260 megabits per second. Fellow cable internet provider Spectrum came in second, clocking an average speed of 252Mbps.

Shouldn't a fiber provider have the fastest speed test average? Though three of the top seven are fiber providers, there's a reason why cable often performs better than fiber on speed tests. Many fiber ISPs, including AT&T, Frontier, Kinetic and Verizon, also offer a much slower, less reliable, DSL-based service that brings down the provider's overall speed test averages. Cable internet doesn't have that problem, so ISPs such as Cox, Spectrum and Xfinity consistently appear at the top.

You’ll find a good mix of speed and value in my picks for the best high-speed internet providers below. The featured providers were selected for their multistate availability, plan selection, unlimited data, overall value and incredibly fast speeds.

Locating local internet providers

Best high-speed internet service providers

8 Internet providers
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Product image
Connection
Mostly cable, some fiber
Speed range
100 - 2,000 Mbps
Price range
$50 - $110 per month

Cox

Fastest speed test results

Our take - In the latest Ookla speed test report, Cox took the title of fastest overall with median download speeds of 260Mbps.

Read full review
Or call to learn more: (844) 832-7636
Check with Cox
Connection
Mostly cable, some fiber
Speed range
100 - 2,000 Mbps
Price range
$50 - $110 per month
Show more details
Product image
Connection
Fiber
Speed range
1,000 - 2,000 Mbps
Price range
$70 - $100 per month

Google Fiber

Best high-speed ISP for gig internet

Our take - Gigabit service, or speeds of around 1,000Mbps and higher, is the ultimate example of high-speed internet, and that’s what you’ll get with Google Fiber. Even the provider’s slowest plan comes with upload and download speeds of 1,000Mbps. Starting at just $70 per month -- lower than nearly every major provider for gigabit speed -- the plan also includes mesh Wi-Fi, 1TB of cloud storage and unlimited data with no contracts or installation fees.

Read full review
Or call to learn more: (877) 532-7552
Check with Google
Connection
Fiber
Speed range
1,000 - 2,000 Mbps
Price range
$70 - $100 per month
Show more details
Product image
Connection
Fiber
Speed range
100 - 50,000 Mbps
Price range
$20 - $900 per month

Ziply Fiber

Fastest internet plan of any major ISP

Our take - Ziply Fiber, a regional provider serving parts of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, recently became the fastest provider in the US by releasing an incredibly fast 50Gbps plan. 

Read full review
Or call to learn more: (844) 215-8219
Check with Ziply
Connection
Fiber
Speed range
100 - 50,000 Mbps
Price range
$20 - $900 per month
Show more details
Product image
Connection
Fiber
Speed range
300 - 5,000 Mbps
Price range
$55 - $250 per month

AT&T Fiber

Best high-speed internet plan selection

Our take - When it comes to internet speeds, what qualifies as "fast" will vary from one home to another. With speeds ranging from 300Mbps to 5Gbps, AT&T Fiber offers a plan to meet virtually any speed need.

Read full review
Or call to learn more: (877) 642-1749
Check with AT&T
Connection
Fiber
Speed range
300 - 5,000 Mbps
Price range
$55 - $250 per month
Show more details
Product image
Connection
Cable
Speed range
150 - 6,000 Mbps
Price range
$20 - $300 per month

Xfinity

Fastest cable internet provider

Our take - Cox clocked the fastest speed test average, according to Ookla, but Xfinity offers the fastest max speeds of any major cable internet provider. Xfinity offers a 1,200Mbps plan in most service areas, a good 200Mbps faster than max speeds available from Cox, Mediacom, Spectrum and Optimum cable internet. In other areas, Xfinity offers up to 2,000Mbps (along with 200Mbps up, also faster than any major cable ISP).

Read full review
Or call to learn more: (855) 861-3990
Check with Xfinity
Connection
Cable
Speed range
150 - 6,000 Mbps
Price range
$20 - $300 per month
Show more details
Product image
Connection
Fiber
Speed range
500 - 5,000 Mbps
Price range
$50 - $155 per month

Frontier Fiber

Best low-cost, high-speed plan

Our take - When it comes to fast speeds for a fair price, there's arguably no better plan than Frontier's Fiber 500. The entry-level plan goes for around $45 per month (with autopay) for max upload and download speeds of 500Mbps. 

Read full review
Or call to learn more: (877) 719-1445
Check with Frontier
Connection
Fiber
Speed range
500 - 5,000 Mbps
Price range
$50 - $155 per month
Show more details
Product image
Connection
Fixed wireless
Speed range
85 - 1,000 Mbps
Price range
$50 - $70 per month

Verizon 5G Home Internet

Fastest 5G home internet provider

Our take - Wireless internet doesn't have the same speed potential as cable or fiber-optic connections yet, but Verizon isn't letting that slow it down. Its 5G Ultra Wideband internet service is capable of delivering from 85 to 1,000Mbps to the home. 

Read full review
Or call to learn more: (855) 379-6693
Check with Verizon
Connection
Fixed wireless
Speed range
85 - 1,000 Mbps
Price range
$50 - $70 per month
Show more details
Product image
Connection
Fiber
Speed range
300 - 2,000 Mbps
Price range
$50 - $120 per month

Verizon Fios

Best signup bonus offers

Our take - Verizon Fios has three high-speed tiers offering symmetrical speeds of 300Mbps, 500Mbps and 1Gbps (plus a 2Gbps plan now available in NYC). Its speeds and pricing are on par with many ISPs, but the bonus offers help Verizon Fios stand out as a high-speed internet provider. 

Read full review
Or call to learn more: (877) 742-3024
Check with Verizon
Connection
Fiber
Speed range
300 - 2,000 Mbps
Price range
$50 - $120 per month
Show more details

What is a fast internet connection?

Ultimately, what's “fast” is relative to each household and its internet demands. The more people and devices you have connected to the internet and the heavier the use (lots of online gaming, streaming TV in HD, working from home, etc.), the more speed you’ll want to have. For some, download speeds of 25Mbps may be plenty fast, but many will prefer speeds of at least 100Mbps.

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission identified high-speed internet, or broadband, as speeds above 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up. I wouldn't consider that threshold fast by any means, and the FCC has since raised those speeds to 100Mbps down and 20Mbps up.

How much internet speed do I need?

Interestingly, most of what we use the internet for doesn’t require a lot of speed. Even streaming in 4K, arguably the most demanding internet task in most households, only calls for speeds of 35 to 50Mbps. For other activities, including online gaming, browsing social media and taking a video call, 10Mbps or below will often suffice.

A plan with speeds of 50Mbps should cover it all, right? Not quite. When you connect multiple devices, especially over Wi-Fi, those devices will compete with each other for available bandwidth. 

If you plan on streaming on at least one TV while five or so other devices are also connected to your network, I’d recommend starting with speeds of at least 100Mbps. Now, if you anticipate streaming on multiple TVs at once and adding eight to 10 devices (with smart speakers, phones, tablets, cameras, smartwatches and so on, the tally can add up quickly), speeds of at least 200Mbps will suit you better. 

Keep in mind that a provider’s advertised speed will not necessarily reflect the actual speeds you get in your home. Lots of things, like using Wi-Fi and distance from the router, the number of connected devices, interference from other networks and even the time of day can lower the speeds going to any particular device. To counter the speed loss, I’d recommend an internet plan with advertised speeds double the actual speeds you want in your home. 

For more help identifying your speed need, check out our guide to finding the right internet speed

Tips for choosing a high-speed internet service

Shopping for high-speed internet isn’t gigabit or bust. Many providers offer a few high-speed plans to choose from. Here are a few tips to help you get the best bang for your buck.

Know your speed needs, or at least have an idea of what speed will meet your household demands. If you know 100Mbps probably won’t be fast enough, go ahead and pass on anything below that, regardless of how tempting the low pricing is. Similarly, if you’re confident 200Mbps will satisfy your needs, you can rule out the pricey gigabit and above plans.

Consider providers with no contracts or promotional rates. A provider shouldn’t penalize you for wanting to change your speeds, but if you’re under a contract, switching plans could be a hassle. Even if you’re not in a contract, changing plans could disqualify you from getting lower promotional rates. 

The best way to avoid these potential hurdles is to select an ISP with no contracts or promo rates. That way, if you want to switch speeds at any time, you won’t be penalized for it.

Start low, then upgrade if needed. Unless there’s the threat of being locked into a contract, I’d recommend starting with the lowest speed tier that you think will meet your needs. Try it out for a couple of months, then if you notice your shows are buffering, online games are lagging or your social media feed is slow to load, you’ll know it’s time to upgrade to a faster speed.

Don’t neglect your Wi-Fi equipment. A 500Mbps connection can feel a lot slower if your router isn’t up to the task of sending a strong signal throughout your home. When you’ve got a high-speed connection but aren’t getting the speeds or consistency you expect, it may be worth upgrading to a mesh router system or adding Wi-Fi extenders. 

If you rent equipment from your provider, ask for an upgrade. They may give you a better device for no extra charge. 

How we evaluate high-speed internet providers

Contrary to many of the other products and services tested at CNET, there’s no reliable, repeatable way to test internet providers in a controlled environment. Instead, we perform frequent, in-depth evaluations of each provider to develop our reviews and recommendations. 

We evaluate each ISP based on three categories: Speed, Value and Customer Care. 

Speed includes not only the provider’s fastest download speeds but also the variety of speed tiers, upload speeds, reliability and other factors. 

Value focuses on price, of course, but also takes into account anything else that can affect upfront and ongoing costs such as equipment fees, installation costs, data caps, price increases and any signup bonus offers. 

Customer Care covers pretty much everything else, from contract requirements to expansion efforts, customer satisfaction scores, BBB ratings and even consideration for what people have to say about the ISP on Reddit.

Equipped with an understanding of everything a customer would need to know about an ISP to make an informed decision, we’re able to identify the providers and plans that stand out in a particular category, such as “best high-speed internet.” 

Occasionally, no single provider or plan strikes us as “best overall” because each provider is unique in what they have to offer. Such is the case with this page. The argument could be made for each featured high-speed ISP to be the “best overall” for a variety of reasons. Instead of singling out a definitive best overall, I focus on what each provider does best, then leave it to you to decide which makes the most sense for your needs.

For more information about our review process, check out our guide to how CNET reviews internet providers.

Best high-speed internet provider honorable mentions

These providers, along with regional providers that are too many to list here, also offer high-speed internet plans including gigabit service in select areas. In addition to the best high-speed internet providers listed above, these are certainly worth a look if available in your area.

  • Kinetic by Windstream: Kinetic is one of the fastest rural internet options with gig speeds available in many areas potentially underserved by cable or other fiber providers. With download and upload speeds up to 940Mbps, Kinetic Gig is available in select areas starting at $67 per month plus $10 for equipment.
  • Mediacom: Mediacom's 1 Gig plan features download speeds up to 1,000Mbps and upload speeds up to 50Mbps with a monthly data cap of 6,000GB starting at $80. Watch out for the price increase, though. After 12 months, the monthly price jumps from $80 to $140.
  • Spectrum: Before Cox claimed the top spot for the fastest Ookla speed test average in the third quarter of 2023, Spectrum held the title. Spectrum still came in second at around 246Mbps.
artistic image of fiber optic lines

You're likely to find the fastest speeds possible from a fiber provider, but cable internet providers offer gigabit download speeds, as well.

Oed/ullstein bild/Getty Images

Fastest internet service provider recap

You likely noticed a trend in our list of the best high-speed providers. Fiber-optic providers will often be your best bet for fast home internet, although Cox -- traditionally a cable provider -- boasts the fastest average download speeds. Other cable internet providers such as Xfinity, Spectrum and Mediacom offer decent gigabit plans, but watch out for comparatively low upload speeds.

When shopping for any internet service, be sure to compare the average internet speed, pricing and features of all providers in your area to make sure you're getting the best high-speed plan for your home.

High-speed internet FAQs

What is the fastest internet provider?

Regional provider Ziply Fiber has the fastest speed tier of any major, multistate ISP with symmetrical upload and download speeds of up to 50,000Mbps, or 50Gbps. Xfinity packs plenty of speed as well, offering a 10Mbps plan in select areas. Google Fiber, Quantum Fiber and Optimum are not far behind with an 8Gbps speed tier, and several providers including AT&T Fiber and Frontier Fiber offer up to 5Gbps in select areas.

Show more

What is considered high-speed internet?

The FCC defines broadband, or high-speed internet, as a connection with download speeds of 100Mbps and upload speeds of 20Mbps. That threshold, established in 2015 as 25/3, was updated in 2024.

Show more

Do I really need gigabit speeds?

Probably not, but they’re nice to have. Speeds of 1,000Mbps and higher will support a large household with numerous connected devices, but so will speeds of 500Mbps or possibly even 300Mbps.

The appeal to gigabit service is that it typically doesn’t cost much more than a 300 or 500Mbps plan, and the speeds will all but guarantee you’ll have enough to go around for every connected device.

Show more

Which city has the fastest internet in the US?

According to the most recent Ookla data, Raleigh, North Carolina recorded the fastest median download speeds in Q4 of 2023 at around 290Mbps, followed by Chesapeake, Virginia at 285Mbps. Google Fiber, which has a large presence in the Raleigh area, was noted as the area’s fastest provider with median download speeds of 346Mbps, although AT&T Fiber is a likely contributor to the capital city’s fast speeds, as well.

Show more

Is home internet service getting faster?

Absolutely. Major providers including AT&T Fiber, Frontier Fiber, Google Fiber, Optimum, Verizon Fios, Ziply Fiber and others have released multi-gigabit plans within the last two years. Furthermore, recent FCC data shows that the availability of download speeds of 1,000Mbps or higher increased from 27% of US households as of June 2022 to 33% by the end of the year.

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