Best Internet Providers in Oakland, California

Oakland appreciates having a wide choice of internet service providers. The Internet Choice Ordinance -- a directive that prohibits many owners of multiunit properties from restricting tenants' choice of ISP -- went into effect in 2022. That was a win for renters who want to shop around among Oakland ISPs. 

With options from fiber to 5G, there's plenty to consider when it comes to finding the best ISP for your needs. AT&T Fiber, our top pick for Oakland, dukes it out with regional fiber company Sonic, a local favorite that's been expanding its availability in recent years. Cable provider Xfinity and fixed wireless ISPs Verizon and T-Mobile round out the top options. Your ultimate choice will depend on availability, your need for speed and your budget. Here are the best, most affordable and speediest home internet options for Oakland. 

Best internet providers in Oaktown

AT&T Fiber tops our recommendations for best overall home internet provider in Oakland, thanks to its broad coverage area and fast speeds. Fiber competitor Sonic, however, is worthy of strong consideration if it services your address. If you're not fortunate enough to have fiber as an option, or if you're looking for a bargain deal, then check out Xfinity for cable or Verizon and T-Mobile for affordable fixed wireless plans.

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.

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AT&T Fiber

Best overall among internet providers in Oakland

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Product details

Price range $55 - $250 per month Speed range 300 - 5,000Mbps Connection Fiber Key Info Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included

Wide availability and fast speeds of up to 5 gigabits push AT&T Fiber to the top of our recommended list of ISPs for Oakland. But AT&T has stiff competition from beloved local provider Sonic, our choice for the best regional internet provider in Oaktown. AT&T also offers DSL plans in some areas not serviced by its fiber network, but keep in mind those DSL speeds won't be able to touch the zippiness of fiber.

Availability: California's interactive broadband map tracks internet availability across the state and shows AT&T fiber reaching much of Oakland, with especially strong coverage in neighborhoods like Glenview, Longfellow and the Dimond District. The communities of Piedmont and Alameda are also well covered.

Plans and pricing: AT&T's budget fiber plan is $55 for up to 300Mbps with no annual contract or data caps. Keep an eye out for deals, like a recent $55-per-month offer for up 1,000Mbps. The fastest speed tier, a whopping 5 gigs, will cost you a pretty penny at $180 per month (though it offers solid value with a cost per Mbps of under 4 cents). The lowest monthly prices require signing up for autopay and paperless billing. 

Fees and service details: Equipment is included, and there is no data cap or annual contract. AT&T often dangles carrots like a $150 reward card for ordering online. A $99 installation fee may apply, but you may be able to get that fee waived or opt for a no-fee do-it-yourself setup.

Read our AT&T home internet review.

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Best regional internet provider in Oakland

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Product details

Price range $40 - $50 per month Speed range 5 - 10,000Mbps Connection DSL, fiber Key Info No data caps or contracts

If you eavesdrop on Oakland Reddit discussions about internet providers, many residents will share their love for Sonic, an independent ISP that services parts of Northern California. Sonic brings the goods with up to 10 gigabits in some areas, making your internet feel like a Lamborghini. 

Availability: Sonic has been expanding its coverage across the Bay Area, though the fastest 10-gigabit speeds are available to a select few. More likely, you can expect speeds around 1 gigabit. Ookla ranks Sonic as the fastest internet provider in Oakland, with a median download speed of about 297Mbps.

Plans and pricing: Sonic keeps pricing pretty simple. Its standard plan runs $50 monthly for whatever speed is available at your address. A $60 service level adds a home phone into the mix, but most customers will likely opt for the savings and skip the phone. Sonic offers a free first month to let you test-drive the service with no worries.

Fees and service details: Sonic encourages new customers to rent equipment for an additional $10 per month, but you can opt out of that and use your own gear. However Sonic won't help troubleshoot your equipment should you run into any problems. There are no contracts and no data caps.

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Verizon 5G Home Internet

Best fixed wireless among internet providers in Oakland

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Product details

Price range $50 - $70 per month (50% off for eligible 5G mobile customers) Speed range 85 - 1,000Mbps Connection Fixed wireless Key Info Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment, 50% discount for qualifying Verizon mobile customers

There's a battle in the 5G home internet arena, but Verizon edges out T-Mobile in our evaluation because it offers speeds up to 1,000Mbps in some areas of Oakland. If fixed wireless is your thing, then the choice between Verizon and T-Mobile may come down to availability and which phone service you prefer. Both companies offer generous bundling discounts. 

Availability: Verizon's 5G coverage map shows its fastest 5G offering, dubbed 5G Ultra Wideband, blankets the Oakland area except for a few pockets. Parts of Emeryville, for example, aren't well covered, but the community still has access to Verizon's regular 5G network and home internet speeds up to 300Mbps. 

Plans and pricing: An autopay discount brings the starting price of Verizon 5G internet down to $50 per month, but mobile customers with select mobile plans can get internet for just $25 when bundling the services. Verizon's typical speeds hit from 85 to 300Mbps, but your mileage will vary depending on the strength of the signal at your location and how much demand is on the network. Some customers may be able to pull down up to 1,000Mbps with the 5G Home Plus plan. That'll run you $80 normally, $70 with auto pay or just $35 with select mobile plans.

Fees and service details: With equipment included, no contract and no data caps, it's easy to start with Verizon's 5G Home Internet. It's an especially tempting deal if you're bundling with mobile service and have a strong home connection.

Read our Verizon 5G Home Internet overview.

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Best cable internet provider in Oakland

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Product details

Price range $20 - $300 per month Speed range 75 - 6,000Mbps Connection Cable Key Info Data caps on some plans, lots of plan options, solid customer satisfaction numbers

Xfinity may not have the absolute fastest internet service around, but it offers a wide variety of plans with different pricing options and is widely available. If fiber isn't an option for you, then chances are Xfinity will be there for you instead.

Availability: When you check California's broadband map, you'll find that Xfinity's cable service covers almost all of Oakland. That fact and a variety of internet speed plans make Xfinity a strong choice when budget is a top factor or when fiber isn't available at your address.

Plans and pricing: Xfinity's Connect plan gets you hooked up to 75Mbps for the low price of $20 per month, with a few caveats. That price requires a one-year contract, autopay, paperless billing and a stored bank account. Equipment is not included, but you can rent or provide your own gear. Where available, Xfinity offers speeds up to 1,200Mbps, with that tier clocking in at $80 per month for two years. There are multiple speed and pricing options between those two, but keep an eye on future price changes and be prepared to negotiate if needed. 

Fees and service details: Xfinity's many options can be a little confusing, so dial into the details of your preferred plan. Some deals require a contract, and some don't include equipment. There's a 1.2TB monthly data cap, but you can get around that by paying an extra fee or renting equipment that comes with a no-data-cap perk.

Read our Xfinity home internet review.

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Internet providers in Oakland overview

ProviderInternet technologyMonthly price rangeSpeed rangeMonthly equipment costsData capContractCNET review score
AT&T Fiber Fiber$55-$180300-5,000MbpsNoneNoneNone7.4
AT&T Internet DSL$55 768Kbps-100MbpsNone1.5TB (no data cap for 100Mbps plan)None7.4
Google Fiber Webpass Fixed wireless$70 Up to 1,000MbpsNoneNoneNoneN/A
Sonic Fiber$50-$605-10,000Mbps$10 (skippable)NoneNoneN/A
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless$50 (as low as $30 with  mobile plan)33-182MbpsNoneNoneNone7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet Fixed wireless$50-$80 (50% off with select mobile plans)85-1,000MbpsNoneNoneNone7.2
Xfinity Cable$20-$8075-1,200MbpsVaries1.2TBVaries7
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All available Oakland residential internet providers

  • AT&T Internet: If AT&T Fiber doesn't reach you, then you may have the option for AT&T DSL instead. Prices start at $55 per month for speeds up to 100Mbps. That introductory deal is good for a year, but after that your rate may jump to $70. You may also bump into a $149 installation fee, but you could avoid that with a self-installation kit. The price-to-speed ratio isn't great, so this may be a fallback option if there isn't a faster or cheaper service available to you. 
  • Google Fiber Webpass: Google acquired fiber provider Webpass in 2016. Availability is pretty limited in Oakland, but some apartment buildings are hooked up to the service. The up-to-1,000Mbps plan runs $70 per month or $750 if paid annually. That works out to $63 per month, but keep in mind that yearly subscriptions aren't refundable, so don't commit if you think you might move. A router is included and there is no data cap.
  • Satellite internet: Chances are your Oakland address is covered by cable, fiber or fixed wireless. Satellite internet providers like Starlink, Viasat and HughesNet aim to fill in for remote areas that aren't serviced by other ISPs. So why would you consider satellite internet if you're a city dweller? It's not likely to be your first choice, but an option like Starlink's RV plan could make sense for people who travel a lot and need to stay connected on the road.
  • T-Mobile Home Internet: T-Mobile's fixed wireless offering doesn't reach the same max speeds as Verizon is capable of, but it's an affordable way to get connected to the internet. Typical speeds range from 33 to 182Mbps for $50 per month. T-Mobile phone customers may qualify for a bundle deal that brings that cost down to $30.
Lake Merritt in Oakland shimmering with reflections of buildings in the water.
Thomas Winz/Getty Images

Oakland broadband at a glance

Fiber internet is the premium option for Oakland. You can access reliable and fast download and upload speeds from AT&T Fiber or Sonic. For budget options or wider availability, look to Xfinity for cable, or to Verizon or T-Mobile for 5G fixed wireless internet. Your ultimate decision will come down to your speed needs, budget range and which companies service your address.

Pricing for Oakland home internet service

Home internet pricing is all over the map in Oakland. The average starting price for Oaktown's ISPs works out to $50. AT&T Fiber offers the priciest plan at $180 per month for 5-gigabit service. If you're lucky to have access to Sonic's fastest 10-gigabit fiber speeds, then you'll pay a bargain price as low as $50 per month. Down on the low side of the fee scale, you can find deals from Xfinity starting at just $20 per month.

Cheap internet options in the Oakland metro area

Oakland ISPs have you covered when it comes to affordable options for getting online. Xfinity's Connect plan comes in at just $20 per month. That's super-cheap, but be mindful of the 75Mbps limit, the one-year contract and the need to either rent equipment or provide your own. Be sure to check into the federal Affordable Connectivity Program. Eligible households can get a chunk of their bill knocked off, usually $30. That could make your internet free if you qualify.

What's the cheapest internet plan in Oakland?

ProviderStarting priceMax download speedMonthly equipment feeContract
Xfinity Connect $20 75Mbps$15 (skippable)1-year
Sonic $50 10,000Mbps$10 (skippable)None
T-Mobile Home Internet $50 ($30 with eligible mobile plan)182MbpsNoneNone
Verizon 5G Home Internet $50 (50% off with eligible mobile plan)300MbpsNoneNone
AT&T Fiber $55 300MbpsNoneNone
AT&T Internet $55 100MbpsNoneNone
Google Fiber Webpass $70 1,000MbpsNoneNone
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Fastest internet providers in Oakland

Oakland is in the top half of Ookla's ranking of internet speeds for the 100 most populous US cities. Oaktown's 39th-place showing is due to a median download speed of about 218 Mbps, with Sonic reigning as the city's fastest ISP. Sonic's 10,000Mbps option should be enough for even the most demanding residential needs. On the other end of the spectrum, you'll find Xfinity's budget $20-per-month deal delivering 75Mbps.

Sonic's 10,000Mbps plan blows everyone else out of the bay, but it's not available everywhere. AT&T Fiber's 5,000Mbps option is the next closest competitor. Here's our rundown of the best multi-gigabit internet plans. AT&T offers lower gigabit tiers for much less than the high-end $180 plan. You may also be able to pull down near-gigabit speeds with Verizon 5G Home Internet if you're in a good location. 

What are the fastest internet plans in Oakland?

ProviderMax download speedMax upload speedStarting priceData capContract
Sonic 10,000Mbps10,000Mbps$50 NoneNone
AT&T Fiber 5000 5,000Mbps5,000Mbps$180 NoneNone
AT&T Fiber 2000 2,000Mbps2,000Mbps$110 NoneNone
Xfinity Gigabit Extra 1,200Mbps35Mbps$80 1.2TBNone
Google Fiber Webpass 1,000Mbps1,000Mbps$70 None None
AT&T Fiber 1000 1,000Mbps1,000Mbps$80 NoneNone
Verizon 5G Home Plus Internet 1,000Mbps50Mbps$70 (50% off with eligible mobile plan)NoneNone
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What's the final word on internet providers in Oakland?

Sonic's fiber service has a lot of fans in Oakland. If your address qualifies, you're in luck with a very affordable multi-gigabit fiber plan. Otherwise, look to AT&T Fiber for fast speeds or check into Xfinity, T-Mobile Home Internet or Verizon 5G Home Internet for widely available budget plans.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Oakland

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. So 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

But 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 Oakland FAQs

Is fiber internet available in Oakland?

Who is the cheapest internet provider in Oakland?

Which internet provider in Oakland offers the fastest plan?

Is T-Mobile Home Internet or Verizon Home Internet better?

Updated on May 14, 2023

Written by  Amanda Kooser
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
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.
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