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Best Internet Providers in Helena, Montana

Montana has notoriously slow internet, but its capital city has some speedy options. Do you know where to get gigabit internet in Helena? CNET can help.

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.
Lara Vukelich
5 min read
Spectrum - Best overall among internet providers in Helena
  • Prices from $50 - $90 per month
  • Speeds from 300 - 940Mbps
  • Unlimited data
Or call to order: (877) 641-6538
T-Mobile Home Internet - Best fixed wireless service among internet providers in Helena
  • Prices from $50 per month
  • Speeds from 33 - 182Mbps
  • Unlimited data
Or call to order: (877) 246-3848
Viasat - Best satellite coverage among internet providers in Helena
  • Prices from $70 - $300 per month
  • Speeds from 12 - 150Mbps
  • No hard data cap
Or call to order: (844) 885-8449

Montana is known for its wide-open spaces, big-sky country and Wild-West mentality. Fast internet? Not so much. It might be a good thing that so many of Montana's amenities are found outdoors -- because it's harder to stay inside and stream 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, DC (with only Wyoming and Alaska trailing). That said, 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

Spectrum logo on a phone
Sarah Tew/CNET


Best overall among internet providers in Helena

Or call to order: (877) 641-6538
Product details
Price range $50 - $90 per month Speed range 300 - 940Mbps Connection Cable Highlights Unlimited data, simple pricing, no contracts, modem included, free access to nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots

Availability: Ookla data has identified Spectrum as the fastest internet provider in Montana. While the median download speed in Montana is just 103 megabits per second, Spectrum's median speed in Montana is just over 210Mbps. That being said, speeds in Helena may vary. Spectrum is widely available in the city. 

Plans and pricing: The most affordable plan in Helena starts at $50 per month, with download speeds up to 300Mbps. For $90 per month, customers can enjoy speeds up to 1Gbps. 

Fees and service details: No caps, contracts or equipment fees are required. Your modem is included, but Wi-Fi is an additional $5 monthly.

Read our Spectrum home internet review.

Or call to order: (877) 641-6538
T-mobile logo
James Martin/CNET

T-Mobile Home Internet

Best fixed wireless service among internet providers in Helena

Or call to order: (877) 246-3848
Product details
Price range $50 per month ($30 for eligible T-Mobile Magenta Max customers) Speed range 33 - 182Mbps Connection Fixed wireless Highlights Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees

Availability: If you're already a T-Mobile customer, leveraging the company's 5G service may be the right choice. T-Mobile home internet has coverage across central Helena and south across Montana City and Clancy. There's also some coverage to the north.

Plans and pricing: Internet costs $50 per month with autopay. If you have certain cell phone plans with T-Mobile, the monthly price drops to $30. 

Fees and service details: There's a $35 activation fee, but beyond that, there are no additional monthly fees and no contract is required. 

Read our T-Mobile Home Internet review.

Or call to order: (877) 246-3848
Viasat logo
Sarah Tew/CNET


Best satellite coverage among internet providers in Helena

Or call to order: (844) 885-8449
Product details
Price range $70 - $300 per month Speed range 12 - 150Mbps Connection Satellite Highlights No hard data cap, nationwide availability

Availability: Some rural customers can't connect to cable or fiber lines. Satellite internet can help fill that gap, and Viasat is the more affordable satellite option in Helena. Viasat has coverage in Libby, Helena Valley Northwest, Dillon, Miles City and other surrounding areas. 

Plans and pricing: Plans start at $70 per month after an introductory three-month promotional price, and speeds can reach up to 50Mbps.

Fees and service details: The equipment costs are on par with HughesNet, at $15 per month. Contracts are 24 months. 

Read our Viasat internet review.

Or call to order: (844) 885-8449

Internet providers in Helena overview

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

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. 

  • 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. Though 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

Helena's internet details at a glance

Helena internet providers offer limited coverage outside the city center, given the rural nature of Montana. But the city is growing its fiber availability, and cable options are available in the more urban parts of the city. 

Pricing details 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, however.

Cheap internet options in the general Helena area

To get the most bang for your buck, 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. Additionally, the Affordable Connectivity Program could enable an internet subsidy that brings down your monthly costs. 

What's the cheapest internet plan in Helena?

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

Here are the internet speeds you can find in Helena

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

Download speeds

Helena - 120 Mbps
MT - 93 Mbps
US - 133 Mbps

Upload speeds

Helena - 15 Mbps
MT - 30 Mbps
US - 46 Mbps
*Data sourced from M-LAB speed tests taken by real users in Helena.

Fastest internet providers in Helena

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 940Mbps880Mbps$65 NoneNone
Spectrum Internet Gig 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. 

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. 

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. 

Which internet provider in Helena offers the fastest plan?

Spectrum has an internet plan in Helena with speeds up to 940Mbps, 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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