Best Internet Providers in Helena, Montana

Written by  Lara Vukelich
Lara Vukelich
Lara Vukelich is a freelance writer in San Diego, California. She writes creative content and SEO-driven copy that can be found everywhere from Huffington Post and Quiet Revolution to Expedia, Travelocity, MyMove and more. She has a master's degree in mass communication and media studies.
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Montana might not be the go-to immediate thought when considering internet connection options but its capital city might surprise you. While you are enjoying the wide-open spaces, big-sky country and Wild-West mentality of the beautiful state, you might wonder how you can connect to help you with that great American novel. You might have to wait a bit if you're looking for fast internet. It could be a good thing that so many of Montana's amenities are found outdoors because it's harder to stay inside and stream entertainment here than in most places. 

Despite Montana's speed challenges, its capital city, Helena, gives you some internet options with a little pep. You can choose between satellite, 5G, cable and fiber internet. Recently, telecommunications company TDS announced that it's expanding its fiber coverage to Helena, projected to cover about 27,000 customers. 

Shopping for the right internet in Helena should focus on how to get the speed you need since Ookla data reveals that Montana ranks in 49th place in internet speed across all US states and Washington, D.C. (with only Wyoming and Alaska trailing). Price and coverage are also important factors. Some internet service providers in Helena cover 60% or more of the area. Your choices include Spectrum, T-Mobile and Viasat

Best internet providers in the Queen City of the Rockies

We've compared speed, availability and other important factors to identify some of Helena's best internet service providers

Note: The prices, speeds and features detailed in the article text may differ from those listed in the product detail cards, which represent providers’ national offerings. Your particular internet service options -- including prices and speeds -- depend on your address and may differ from those detailed here.

Internet providers in Helena overview

ProviderInternet technologyMonthly price rangeSpeed rangeMonthly equipment costsData capContractCNET review score
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DSL/fiber$50-$6560-940Mbps$15; Included in 1GB planNoneNone6.7
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Satellite$65-$15025Mbps$15 15-200GB24 months5.7
Montana Internet Fiber/fixed Wireless$65-$898-25Mbps$8 routerNoneNoneN/A 
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Cable$50-$90300Mbps-1GbpsFree modem; $5 routerNoneNone7.2
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Satellite $120 20-100MbpsOne-time payment of $599NoneNoneN/A
T-Mobile Home Internet
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Fixed wireless$50 33-182MbpsNoneNoneNone7.4
Viasat  Satellite$50-$20025-50Mbps$15 60-500GB24 months6.1
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All available Helena residential internet providers

Helena offers other ISPs besides our top picks. If you're looking to compare and contrast even more options, you may want to consider some of the following alternatives in Helena. 

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  • CenturyLink: This company offers DSL/fiber connections across 67% of Helena. Monthly plans start at $50, and you can get pretty fast speeds by Helena standards; at least 100Mbps in most locations and up to 940Mbps in areas with fiber service. 
  • HughesNet: HughesNet is a satellite provider that might be a good option for people in rural areas who can't get fiber or cable. The company has plans starting at $65 per month. It does charge an equipment fee of $15 per month and requires a two-year contract. 
  • Montana Internet: You can find fixed and fiber internet from Montana Internet, which specifically caters to rural customers who want Wi-Fi. Plans begin at $65 per month, and the monthly router fee is just $8.
  • Starlink: Starlink is SpaceX's satellite internet offering. It promises high-speed broadband, but you must pay a hefty one-time equipment fee to access coverage. Download speeds are up to 100Mbps. Although you get unlimited data, Starlink says it prioritizes business and mobile customer data over residential plans, so you may not get maximum speeds with standard residential service.  
On the front lawn of the Montana State Capital in Helena, looking back at the Capitol building.
Michael S. Lewis/Getty Images

Pricing info on Helena home internet service

Most internet plans in Helena start at $50-$65 per month. You may need to pay close to $100 monthly if you require fast download speeds.

Cheap internet options in the general Helena area

To get the most value, it's worth checking out fiber coverage at your address. If it isn't available now, the TDS expansion may soon bring fiber to your neighborhood in Helena.

What's the cheapest internet plan in Helena?

ProviderStarting priceMax download speedMonthly equipment feeContract
T-Mobile Home Internet
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$50 ($30 with eligible mobile plans)182MbpsNoneNone
Spectrum Internet
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$50 300MbpsFree modem; $5 routerNone
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$50 100MbpsNoneNone
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$65 25Mbps$15 2 years
Montana Internet $65 8MbpsNoneNone

Fastest internet providers in Helena

Montana doesn't have particularly fast broadband as a whole, but there are still internet speeds in Helena that make it possible to browse and work at home. Even a few internet service providers in Helena reach gig speeds. 

Spectrum offers an Internet Gig plan with up to 940Mbps, while other providers in the area top off at much slower speeds. Still, you can find enough speed in Helena to complete most online tasks. Spectrum's top plan -- and CenturyLink's fastest fiber option -- may be the only ones that work for you if you're a gamer. 

What are the fastest internet plans in Helena?

ProviderMax download speedMax upload speedStarting priceData capContract
CenturyLink Fiber Internet
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940Mbps880Mbps$65 NoneNone
Spectrum Internet Gig
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940Mbps35Mbps$90 NoneNone

What's the final word on internet providers in Helena?

The best internet providers in Helena when it comes to speed are Spectrum and CenturyLink, while the satellite providers may offer more consistent coverage for rural customers. Keep your eye on the fiber expansion coming to Helena, as this will surely provide residents with speedier downloads than most current plans offer. 

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Helena

Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen tool, it’s impractical to personally test every ISP in a given city. What’s our approach? We start by researching the pricing, availability and speed information drawing on our own historical ISP data, the provider sites and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov.

It doesn’t end there: We go to the FCC’s website to check our data and ensure we’re considering every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for residents. To evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP's service, we look at sources including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as of the time of publication. 

Once we have this localized information, we ask three main questions: 

  • Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds? 
  • Do customers get decent value for what they're paying? 
  • Are customers happy with their service? 

While the answer to those questions is often layered and complex, the providers who come closest to “yes” on all three are the ones we recommend. 

To explore our process in more depth, visit our How We Test ISPs page.

Internet providers in Helena FAQs

Is fiber internet available in Helena?

Yes. CenturyLink and Montana Internet currently have fiber. TDS, a major telecommunications company, announced in 2023 an expansion to Helena that'll bring fiber internet to more than 27,000 new customers. 

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Who is the cheapest internet provider in Helena?

T-Mobile Home Internet, Spectrum and CenturyLink all have internet plans starting at $50 per month in Helena. 

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Which internet provider in Helena offers the fastest plan?

Spectrum has an internet plan in Helena with speeds up to 1000Mbps, available at all Spectrum locations. CenturyLink has a fiber gig plan to equal that one, but it isn't as widely available in the area, only at select addresses in Helena. 

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