Choosing an internet provider can be almost as stressful as apartment shopping. There are so many factors and questions to consider. Can you get good service at a low cost? How fast will the internet be? Will you be locked into a contract? Though there are a lot of choices available, some providers can turn out to be less than satisfactory. That's why it's important to do your research -- or at least let CNET do it for you.
Roughly 94% of New York residents have at least three broadband providers to choose from as fiber-optic, cable, fixed wireless and now 5G connections run throughout most of the city. First, you'll need to research the different internet service providers in your area and then find the best internet provider among them. That's why we've done the research and testing to find the best internet provider in New York, so you don't have to do the testing for yourself.
By the way, when I say New York City, I'm mostly referring to New York County -- that is, Manhattan. Still, most of the top providers listed below are available throughout much of the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island as well. There are also other providers in the greater New York City area, though perhaps less available or less recommended, mentioned farther down the page. And if you're looking specifically in Brooklyn, you might want to skip over to our page covering the best internet providers in Brooklyn. With that out of the way, let's get right to my picks for the best internet providers in New York City.
Best internet providers in NYC
These internet providers provide Manhattan and the greater NYC area with fast speeds, fair introductory rates and favorable service terms such as contract-free service and unlimited data. Here are our picks for the best internet providers in New York City.
Verizon Fios: Best ISP in New York City
$50 - $120 per month
300 - 2,000Mbps
Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment with gig service
You'll find Verizon internet throughout New York City, though Verizon Fios, the provider's fiber service, is not available in all locations. Roughly 90% of Manhattan is serviceable for Verizon Fios, including much of Midtown Manhattan, Chelsea, Soho and the Lower East Side. Service starts at $40 per month for symmetrical download and upload speeds of up to 300Mbps. That's a generous amount of speed for an entry-level plan, and the low price makes it one of the best cheap internet plans in New York City.
Speeds of 300Mbps are suitable for most households, especially apartments, but if you need a faster connection for serious streaming, gaming or remote work, Verizon Fios offers a 500Mbps plan and a gig plan, as well. Select areas may also be eligible for Verizon's new multigig plan with speeds up to 2.3Gbps starting at $120 per month. All Fios plans come with unlimited data and no contracts, along with other special promotional offers like free Wi-Fi equipment, gift cards or streaming services, depending on the plan you choose.
Bonus promotional offers are enticing, but I'd say the company's customer satisfaction record is even more attractive. Both the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power placed Verizon Fios at the top among ISPs for customer satisfaction in recent years, so it's safe to say that many New Yorkers are largely satisfied with their Verizon Fios service, even after the free stuff may have lost its value.
Spectrum: Best high-speed internet coverage in New York City
$50 - $90 per month
300 - 940Mbps
Simple pricing, unlimited data, no contracts, modem included, free access to nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots
Bundle discounts, free Peacock Premium for up to 12 months
Like Verizon Fios, Spectrum has a fairly straightforward plan and pricing structure with service terms favorable to the customer, attributes that led to CNET naming Spectrum the best cable internet provider overall. Most New Yorkers will find Spectrum services available at their address, as coverage spans all of Manhattan and Staten Island along with most of Queens. That said, coverage is a little sparser in Brooklyn and nearly nonexistent in the Bronx.
Spectrum's fastest download speeds, up to 940Mbps, are available in more than 99% of service areas, so you can count on the provider for a high-speed connection no matter where you are within Spectrum's service area. Even the slower speed tiers, 200Mbps and 400Mbps, deliver a decent amount of speed for the price, and all plans are free of data caps and contracts.
The only drawback to Spectrum is that it uses a coaxial cable connection. Cable internet comes with significantly slower upload speeds (Spectrum's top out at 35Mbps) and your connection will be susceptible to slowed speeds due to network congestion during peak usage times, which could be anytime in a city that never sleeps.
Astound Powered by RCN: Lowest introductory internet rates in New York City
$25 - $65 a month
100 - 1,200Mbps
Unlimited data, no contracts, free modem or free service with select plans, ultra-competitive promo rates
Astound (formerly RCN, now Powered by RCN) has arguably the best internet deal in the New York City area: 600Mbps starting at $35 per month with two months free plus free installation. Speeds and free stuff aside, the offer is one of the outright cheapest internet plans in New York. Other Astound plans are priced cheaply as well, including the provider's gig service, which starts at $40 per month and includes two free months and free installation.
If you're looking for cheap internet from Astound, you'll find the greatest Manhattan availability from the Upper East Side and Bloomingdale down to the Financial District. Serviceability is a bit scarcer to the north in Harlem, Manhattanville and Sugar Heights, though there are random blocks scattered throughout the coverage map. Those on the northside of Brooklyn or Queens may also be serviceable for Astound internet.
If your New York address is serviceable for Astound, it's worth checking out for the low pricing alone, but beware of potentially steep price increases after the first year. Over time, the $35-per-month, 500Mbps plan will quadruple in price to a regular rate of $151 per month. The spike may not happen all at once, but expect the price to go way up if you stick with Astound after 12 months. The good news is that Astound doesn't enforce long-term service contracts, so there's nothing stopping you from jumping to another provider once your bill goes up.
Verizon 5G Home Internet: Best 5G home internet provider in New York City
$50 - $70 per month (50% off for eligible 5G mobile customers)
85 - 1,000Mbps
5G home internet
No contracts, unlimited data, free equipment, 50% discount for qualifying Verizon mobile customers
Price-lock guarantee (two or three years, depending on the plan you purchase), a free year of Walmart Plus for Verizon 5G Home Plus customers
5G technology is great for our phones, but what about for home internet? With Verizon 5G Home Internet, it's possible to get speeds and pricing rivaling a cable or even fiber internet connection. At $50 or $70 per month depending on whether you want a two- or three-year price guarantee (or half as much if you already have an eligible Verizon mobile plan), you can expect download speeds ranging from 300Mbps to 940Mbps.
That's a wide range in possible speeds for a single plan, and the actual speeds you can get will vary by location. Still, even the lowest advertised speed, 300Mbps, is a good deal for $50 per month. If you can get faster speeds, the deal is even more worthwhile. Equipment and unlimited data is also included in the cost.
Currently, you'll find the best 5G Ultra Wideband coverage along the outer edges of Manhattan. It's difficult to bounce 5G signals around and through tall buildings, so the most central locations in Manhattan, starting at around Union Square and going up 5th Avenue through Midtown and the Upper East Side, will have limited 5G availability. On the other hand, areas like Hell's Kitchen, Harlem, Washington Heights and the Lower East Side have excellent Verizon 5G coverage.
Starry Internet: Best fixed wireless internet provider in New York City
$15 - $80 per month
30 - 1,000Mbps
Unlimited data, free equipment and installation, no contracts
30-Day Happy Interneting Guarantee promises a full refund if you're not satisfied with the service and cancel within the first month
Starry Internet service works by beaming wireless internet signals to a fixed location, typically a receiver located at the top of a building. The wireless delivery method helps keep operational costs relatively low, especially when compared with the high cost of laying fiber lines, and Starry passes those savings on to customers with its high-speed, low-cost and low-hassle internet service.
Starry plans start at $30 per month for symmetrical download and upload speeds of up to 50Mbps in select areas, but your New York address is most likely to be serviceable for the provider's flagship plan of 200Mbps down, 100Mbps up starting at $50 per month. Faster plans, 500Mbps and gig service may also be available in select areas throughout NYC, as well as Starry's affordable internet plan, Starry Connect. All plans come with unlimited data, no contract requirements and no equipment fees.
All available New York City residential internet providers
The providers listed above aren't the only ones that may be available at your New York address, just the ones we'd recommend most. Check out the full list of providers and service details below.
New York City internet provider details
||Price range||Speed range (Mbps)||Equipment cost||Approximate availability||CNET review score|
|Verizon Fios||$40-$120||300-2,300||$15 (skippable)||92%||7.6|
Other internet providers in New York City
These internet providers may also be available at your New York City address.
Consolidated Communications: Largely a DSL-based rural internet provider, Consolidated Communications also offers fiber internet service in select parts of New York City. Availability is spotty in Manhattan, but those in the Bloomingdale and Lincoln Square districts will have the best coverage. Where available, the provider is worth considering for its $70-per-month gig service, but you'll probably want to pass on lower speed tiers in favor of Spectrum or Verizon Fios.
Optimum: The second-largest cable internet provider in the greater New York City area, Optimum is available to much of Brooklyn and the Bronx, but not Manhattan. Optimum speeds and pricing are comparable to Astound, including a gigabit plan starting at $50 per month. Optimum also employs a fiber network through much of New York City with 100% fiber connections available to roughly 1 million residents.
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet: Like Verizon's 5G home internet service, T-Mobile's coverage area reaches a good portion of NYC, save for the dead zones between and inside tall buildings. Though the two are in the same price range and share roughly the same service features, T-Mobile is not as fast as Verizon 5G, with max speeds ranging from 33 to 182Mbps.
Verizon Internet: Verizon's DSL service fills in the gaps where Verizon Fios isn't yet available. Speeds are slow for the price, so you'd be better off checking out other internet options -- possibly Verizon 5G if you want to stick with Verizon, or cable internet from Spectrum or Astound.
Xchange Telecom: Available in Central Park and throughout much of Lower Manhattan, Xchange Telecom primarily uses a fixed wireless network, but fiber or DSL service may also be available at select addresses. Pricing and speeds will vary by location.
Satellite internet: For the sake of truly covering all your internet options, I'm mentioning satellite internet from HughesNet and Viasat here. Technically, they are available, but there are too many other faster, cheaper and all-around better internet options in New York City to even consi