Best Internet Providers in McAllen, Texas

Written by  Amanda Kooser
Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
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
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What is the best internet provider in McAllen?

Spectrum is the best internet service provider overall for most households in McAllen because of its wide coverage. AT&T Fiber or Verizon 5G Home Internet are also solid picks, depending on what’s available in your area. Also, keep an eye out for Vexus Fiber and Austin Fiber Optics, two ISPs that are expanding in McAllen.

If you’re hunting for the lowest prices or fastest speeds, we’ve also got that info. The cheapest internet in McAllen is essentially a tie between the entry-level plans from Spectrum, Vexus Fiber and Verizon 5G Home Internet, all of which cost $50 per month. The fastest internet speed in McAllen comes from AT&T Fiber and Vexus Fiber, which offer 5,000Mbps plans but with very limited availability across town. 

Best internet in McAllen, Texas

McAllen internet providers compared

ProviderInternet technologyMonthly price rangeSpeed rangeMonthly equipment costsData capContractCNET review score
AT&T Fiber
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AT&T Internet
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DSL$55 10-100MbpsNone1.5TB on most plansNone7.4
Read full review
Cable$50-$80100-1,000MbpsFree modem; $7 router (optional)NoneNone7.2
T-Mobile Home Internet
Read full review
Fixed wireless$60-$70 ($40-$50 with eligible mobile plans)72-245MbpsNoneNoneNone7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet
Read full review
Fixed wireless$50-$70 ($35-$45 for eligible Verizon Wireless customers)50-1,000MbpsNoneNoneNone7.2
Vexus Fiber Fiber$40-$110150-5,000Mbps$10-$15 (optional)NoneNoneN/A
Show more (1 item)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Other available internet providers in McAllen

  • AT&T Internet: AT&T’s old-school DSL network reaches some homes in McAllen, but strongly consider fiber or cable before you sign up for it. Speeds top out at 100Mbps but may be much slower depending on your location. The plans cost $55 per month with no equipment fees or contracts. All but the 100Mbps plan have a 1.5TB data cap. 
  • Austin Fiber Optics: Local ISP Austin Fiber Optics recently expanded into residential broadband and plans to expand in McAllen. It will offer symmetrical plans at 400Mbps, 600Mbps and gig levels with no data caps. More fiber choices are always welcome, so keep an eye out for Austin Fiber Optics as it rolls out its home internet offerings.
  • Satellite internet: Satellite internet from Starlink, Hughesnet or Viasat is best suited for rural or remote homes that don’t have a decent fiber, cable, DSL or fixed wireless internet connection. Satellite tends to be pricey and may have variable or slow speeds, so check into other ISPs first.
  • T-Mobile Home Internet: The basic T-Mobile Home Internet plan costs $60 (as low as $40 when bundled) per month and offers typical speeds of 72-245Mbps. There are no data caps, equipment fees or contracts. T-Mobile has begun rolling out a Plus plan for $70 per month (as low as $50 when bundled). The Plus plan offers the same speeds but comes with a Wi-Fi Mesh system.
McAllen City Hall in McAllen, Texas, on a sunny day with flags flying and palm trees waving.
Denis Tangney Jr./Getty Images

Cheap internet options in McAllen

You won’t find much in the way of dirt-cheap internet in McAllen. Expect to pony up around $50 monthly for an entry-level plan from any major ISP. Spectrum will give you 300Mbps download speeds and Vexus charges $40 per month (but tacks on a $10-per-month network access fee) for 150Mbps symmetrical speeds. AT&T Fiber comes in with 300Mbps symmetrical for $55 per month. You may be able to squeeze a better deal out of Spectrum if you also have a fiber competitor at your home, but you’ll need to talk with Spectrum about that (and sharpen your negotiating skills). One way to lower your home internet bill is to check into bundling a phone plan with T-Mobile or Verizon’s 5G home internet service. With Verizon, you can knock your home internet bill down to as low as $35 per month.

What’s the cheapest internet plan in McAllen?

ProviderStarting priceMax download speedMonthly equipment fee
Vexus Fiber $40 150Mbps$10 (optional)
Read full review
$50 300MbpsFree modem; $7 router (optional)
Verizon 5G Home Internet
Read full review
$50 ($35 with eligible mobile plans)300MbpsNone
AT&T Fiber
Read full review
$55 300MbpsNone
AT&T Internet
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$55 100MbpsNone
T-Mobile Home Internet
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$60 ($40 with eligible mobile plans)245MbpsNone
Show more (1 item)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

How to find internet deals and promotions in McAllen

The best internet deals and top promotions in McAllen depend on what discounts are available during a given time. Most deals are short-lived, but we look frequently for the latest offers. 

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How many members of your household use the internet?

McAllen internet providers, such as Spectrum, T-Mobile Home Internet and Vexus Fiber, may offer lower introductory pricing or streaming add-ons for a limited time. Others, including AT&T Fiber, run the same standard pricing year-round. 

For a more extensive list of promos, check out our guide on the best internet deals

How fast is McAllen broadband?

McAllen delivered a nearly 291Mbps median fixed internet download speed in a recent Ookla speed test report. That reflects the widespread availability of Spectrum’s 300Mbps plan all over town. McAllen’s speeds are right in line with those of nearby Rio Grande Valley communities. It beats the Texas overall state average of about 256Mbps. Spectrum tops out at a gig for download speeds. Multi-gig plans are harder to find but look to AT&T Fiber or Vexus Fiber if they reach your address. The growth of Vexus will bring faster speeds to more residents.   

Fastest internet plans in McAllen

ProviderStarting priceMax download speedMax upload speedData capConnection
AT&T Fiber Internet 5000
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$250 5,000Mbps5,000MbpsNoneFiber
Vexus Fiber Internet 5 Gig $110 5,000Mbps5,000MbpsNoneFiber
AT&T Fiber Internet 2000
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$150 2,000Mbps2,000MbpsNoneFiber
Vexus Fiber Internet 2 Gig $90 2,000Mbps2,000MbpsNoneFiber
AT&T Fiber Internet 1000
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$80 1,000Mbps1,000MbpsNoneFiber
Vexus Fiber Internet 1 Gig $50 1,000Mbps1,000MbpsNoneFiber
Spectrum Internet Gig
Read full review
$80 1,000Mbps35MbpsNoneCable
Show more (2 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

What’s a good internet speed?

Most internet connection plans can now handle basic productivity and communication tasks. If you're looking for an internet plan that can accommodate videoconferencing, streaming video or gaming, you'll have a better experience with a more robust connection. Here's an overview of the recommended minimum download speeds for various applications, according to the FCC. Note that these are only guidelines and that internet speed, service and performance vary by connection type, provider and address.

For more information, refer to our guide on how much internet speed you really need.

  • 0 to 5Mbps allows you to tackle the basics: browsing the internet, sending and receiving email and streaming low-quality video.
  • 5 to 40Mbps gives you higher-quality video streaming and videoconferencing.
  • 40 to 100Mbps should give one user sufficient bandwidth to satisfy the demands of modern telecommuting, video streaming and online gaming. 
  • 100 to 500Mbps allows one to two users to simultaneously engage in high-bandwidth activities like videoconferencing, streaming and online gaming. 
  • 500 to 1,000Mbps allows three or more users to engage in high-bandwidth activities at the same time.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in McAllen

Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen tool, it's impractical to personally test every internet service provider in a given city. What's our approach? For starters, we tap into a proprietary database of pricing, availability and speed information that draws from our own historical ISP data, partner data 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 consider every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for residents. We look at sources, including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power, to evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP's service. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as 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. When selecting the cheapest internet service, we look for the plans with the lowest monthly fee, although we also factor in things like price increases, equipment fees and contracts. Choosing the fastest internet service is relatively straightforward. We look at advertised upload and download speeds and consider real-world speed data from sources like Ookla and FCC reports.

To explore our process in more depth, visit our how we test ISPs page.

What’s the final word on internet providers in McAllen?

ISP availability is key in McAllen. If the fiber providers don’t reach your home, Spectrum is your best bet for solid speeds. Alternatively, look into Verizon or T-Mobile’s 5G home internet services, especially if you can bundle with a phone plan for savings. If you’re fortunate to have fiber, give weight to that option. You’ll get much faster uploads and the potential for speeds up to 5,000Mbps from AT&T Fiber or Vexus. Fiber expansion by Vexus will change the home internet landscape in McAllen, but it takes time to build out a new network. 

Internet providers in McAllen FAQs

What is the cheapest internet provider in McAllen?

Expect to pay around $50 per month for internet in McAllen. Spectrum offers 300Mbps, Vexus Fiber 150Mbps (the price includes a $10 network access fee), and Verizon 5G Home Internet offers speeds up to 100Mbps. 

Which internet provider in McAllen offers the fastest plan?

Though fiber availability is limited in McAllen, both AT&T Fiber and Vexus Fiber offer 5,000Mbps plans with symmetrical speeds. Vexus is actively expanding its fiber network in the city. Austin Fiber Optics is also working on reaching homes in McAllen. 

Is fiber internet available in McAllen?

There’s a small amount of fiber availability in McAllen from AT&T Fiber and Vexus Fiber. Vexus has embarked on an ambitious plan to wire up the town with fiber, so expect symmetrical speeds to reach more addresses soon. Austin Fiber Optics is a local ISP that works with school districts and businesses. It recently moved into residential internet with plans to service parts of McAllen.

What internet provider has the best coverage in McAllen?

Spectrum has the broadest coverage in McAllen. The cable ISP reaches nearly 90% of homes, the most of any wired provider. 

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