Best Internet Providers in Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina’s capital city has some of the fastest broadband in the country. Here are the top fiber, cable and fixed wireless plans you can get.

AT&T Fiber - Best overall among internet providers in Raleigh
  • Prices: $55 - $250 per month
  • Speeds: 300 - 5,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included
. . . Or call to order: Call to Learn More () -
Spectrum - Best availability among internet providers in Raleigh
  • Prices: $30- $70 per month
  • Speeds: 100 - 1,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, simple pricing, no contracts, modem included, free access to nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots
. . . Or call to order: Call to Learn More () -
Verizon 5G Home Internet - Best fixed wireless among internet providers in Raleigh
  • Prices: $50 - $70 per month
  • Speeds: 85 - 1,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment, 50% discount for qualifying Verizon mobile customers
. . . Or call to order: Call to Learn More () -

Raleigh, North Carolina, is known for its gorgeous oak trees, giving it its “City of Oaks” nickname, but it also wants to be known as the “Smithsonian of the South” for its art, history and science museums. It’s an anchor of the Research Triangle and a haven for foodies. Add fast fiber internet to the list of perks available to Raleigh residents. No wonder the city often ranks high on “best places to live” lists.

Another list Raleigh is in the habit of ruling is Ookla’s ranking of internet speeds for the 100 most populated cities in the US. Raleigh currently resides in first place, beating out Irvine, California, Jersey City, New Jersey and San Antonio. Ookla gives a shout-out to Google Fiber as the fastest ISP in the city, but we’re giving AT&T Fiber the nod as the best provider because of its wide coverage area. Fiber isn’t the only option, though. Here’s our guide to the best internet providers in Raleigh.

Best internet providers in the City of Oaks

Raleigh’s reputation for high-speed internet rests on the services of AT&T Fiber and Google Fiber. They have Raleigh and the surrounding communities well covered between the two of them. Spectrum blankets the region with cable internet, overlapping with the fiber providers and filling in areas where fiber doesn’t reach.

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.

AT&T Fiber

Best overall among internet providers in Raleigh

. . . Or call to order: Call to Learn More (877) 553-7931

Product details

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

If there’s room in your budget for fiber internet, go for it. AT&T Fiber delivers speeds up to an impressive 5,000Mbps in parts of Raleigh. While Google Fiber also has a notable presence in the city, AT&T Fiber covers more ground and has a faster top speed, earning it our nod for best ISP.

Availability: There are a few dry spots in the heart of Raleigh, in parts of the Warehouse District and some scattered patches around the city, but AT&T is your best bet for widely available fiber. Some residences will have the option to go with either AT&T or Google. In that case, consider your speed needs and compare prices. 

Plans and pricing: AT&T Fiber’s fastest speed tier of 5,000Mbps for $180 a month will satisfy even the most demanding internet users. If that price tag is too spendy, look to the 300Mbps plan for $55 or one of the intermediate-gig plans like 1,000Mbps for $80 or 2,000Mbps for $110.

Fees and service details: AT&T Fiber often dangles reward cards to sweeten the deal, which already comes with unlimited data. There are no contracts and equipment is included. AT&T also promises no price increase after the first year so that you won’t get an unwelcome jump in your bill down the line.

Read our AT&T Fiber 300 overview.

. . . Or call to order: Call to Learn More (877) 553-7931


Best availability among internet providers in Raleigh

. . . Or call to order: Call to Learn More (855) 386-4118

Product details

Price range $30- $70 per month Speed range 100 - 1,000Mbps Connection Cable Key Info Unlimited data, simple pricing, no contracts, modem included, free access to nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots

While AT&T and Google reach much of Raleigh with fiber, it’s not everywhere. If you’re in a forgotten pocket, look to Spectrum for cable internet with near-gig speeds. Spectrum offers some affordable plans, but watch for rate increases after one or two years. 

Availability: It’s tough to find a spot in Raleigh that Spectrum’s cable network does not cover. While cable hasn’t kept up with fiber’s speeds, it still takes the crown when it comes to availability. 

Plans and pricing: Hot tip: Call Spectrum to get the skinny on all the plans available for your address. The website may nudge you toward only its most popular options. For Raleigh, that means $40 a month for 500Mbps or $60 a month for up to 940Mbps. Those prices jump to $100 or $120, respectively, after the first two years. Spectrum typically offers slower plans, such as a 300Mbps level and a 30Mbps Internet Assist plan for $20 a month for qualified low-income households. 

Fees and service details: Spectrum’s array of plans requires some scrutiny, but it has no contracts or data caps. A modem is included, and you can rent a router for $5 a month. Watch for special deals, like $50 off your bill, if you order online.

Read our Spectrum Internet review.

. . . Or call to order: Call to Learn More (855) 386-4118

Verizon 5G Home Internet

Best fixed wireless among internet providers in Raleigh

. . . Or call to order: Call to Learn More (877) 980-9461

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

Verizon and T-Mobile are making a strong argument for fixed wireless internet as an affordable alternative to getting online. The speeds won’t knock your socks off, but bundling your internet with an eligible phone plan makes it easy on your pocketbook. While Verizon offers top speeds of 1,000Mbps in some parts of the country, you can expect to get 85 to 300Mbps in Raleigh.

Availability: As befits a key part of the Research Triangle, Raleigh is well covered by Verizon’s fanciest and fastest 5G Ultra Wideband network. Verizon’s coverage map shows the area blanketed in dark red, with only a few small spots of lighter colors indicating regular 5G or slower 4G LTE networks. Here’s what you need to know about 5G home internet.

Plans and pricing: Verizon offers two pricing tiers. The 5G Home tier runs $50 per month (with autopay) and comes with a two-year price guarantee. The 5G Home Plus plan is $70 (with autopay) and includes a three-year price guarantee and access to Verizon’s cloud storage service. Bundle with an eligible phone plan and take 50% off your monthly home internet bill. 

Fees and service details: No contracts. No data caps. Equipment is included. It’s no sweat to give the service a shot if it’s available at your address and you’re looking for a budget option or an alternative to cable or DSL. Look for special gift card offers when you sign up online.

Verizon 5G Home Internet.

. . . Or call to order: Call to Learn More (877) 980-9461

Internet providers in Raleigh overview

Provider Internet 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
Frontier DSL/fiber$50-$15510-5,000MbpsNoneNoneNone6.3
Google Fiber Fiber$70-$1001,000-2,000MbpsNoneNoneNone7.5
Spectrum Cable$40-$120300-940MbpsFree modem; $5 router (skippable)NoneNone7.2
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless$50 72-245MbpsNoneNoneNone7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet Fixed wireless$50-$7085-1,000MbpsNoneNoneNone7.2
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All available Raleigh residential internet providers

Fiber is fantastic and Spectrum is everywhere, but there are a few other ISPs to consider when you’re shopping in Raleigh. T-Mobile, in particular, is worthy of consideration as a no-fuss option with simple pricing and a tempting bundle discount.

  • AT&T Internet: Remember those AT&T Fiber dry spots I mentioned earlier? Those areas may be serviced by AT&T’s outdated DSL network instead. Speeds can vary greatly. You may only get 10Mbps in some areas of Raleigh for the standard price of $55 a month. So basically, this is me saying, please look for a better option. Only go with AT&T DSL if you don’t have faster fiber, cable or fixed wireless available to you.
  • Frontier Internet: Frontier’s DSL network sneaks into Raleigh from the northwest so that you will find it as an option up around Brier Creek and Bethesda and around the Durham area. Speeds, however, can be variable. You may only be able to pull down speeds of 12Mbps, or you may be able to get 25Mbps. The price is $50 a month. Residents of Durham can look for Frontier’s faster fiber offerings, which are much preferable to DSL. Raleigh folks, however, will want to skip the Frontier DSL and opt for Google or AT&T fiber, if available, or Spectrum’s speedier cable plans.
  • Google Fiber: AT&T Fiber’s toughest competitor is Google Fiber, which doesn’t quite match AT&T’s top speed or availability across town. However, it’s worthy of strong consideration if it services your address. While Google Fiber has speeds of up to 5,000Mbps in some areas of the US, you’ll be looking at speeds up to 2,000Mbps in Raleigh. That will cost you $100 a month, or you can get 1,000Mbps service for $70 a month. There are no contracts or data caps, and equipment is included, making it one of the best deals for fast, reliable internet. 
  • T-Mobile Home Internet: Availability of either T-Mobile or Verizon home internet services is a roll of the dice that depends on your address and whether any slots are available. Verizon made our best list thanks to its speeds, but check into T-Mobile if you’re interested in trying fixed wireless internet and Verizon isn’t available. T-Mobile costs $50 a month for typical speeds up to 245Mbps. Equipment is included and there are no data caps. It’s a particularly good deal for T-Mobile phone customers. Bundle an eligible phone plan and get your internet for just $30 a month.
  • Satellite internetStarlink, Viasat and HughesNet are competitors in the satellite internet market. They likely won’t be your first choice for getting online unless you’re in a rural area with few options. However, digital nomads with a home base in Raleigh might consider Starlink’s on-the-go plan for staying connected while traveling.
Raleigh city skyline at dusk.
Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

Raleigh broadband at a glance

Raleigh residents are in the enviable position of having two major fiber providers competing for their dollars. It’s hard to go wrong with either AT&T Fiber or Google Fiber, but pricing is a factor that can influence which ISP you go with. It may push you to explore options from Spectrum, Verizon or T-Mobile.

Pricing info on Raleigh home internet service

The average starting price for home internet in Raleigh is around $50 a month. It will cost you a little more to get started with fiber. AT&T’s 300Mbps runs $55 a month while Google’s lowest-cost plan is $70 for 1,000Mbps. Look to Spectrum, Verizon and T-Mobile if you’re searching for budget options. 

Cheap internet options in the Raleigh metro area

One of the cheapest ways to get online is to bundle Verizon or T-Mobile home internet with an eligible phone plan. That knocks your home internet price down to as low as $25 for Verizon and $30 for T-Mobile. If you’re shopping for Google Fiber, keep an eye out for the ISP’s Neighborhood 100 Meg plan, which is available in some areas. It’s for households with an annual income under $40,000, and it only costs $20 a month. You’ll be asked to confirm your income when you sign up. 

Low-income households have some good options for getting connected. Your first stop should be checking your federal Affordable Connectivity Program eligibility. Qualified households can get at least $30 off their monthly internet bills. The program can help you get free or cheap internet, and most ISPs participate. For example, Spectrum’s Internet Assist plan for Affordable Connectivity Program participants will get you 30Mbps for $20 a month. 

What’s the cheapest internet plan in Raleigh?

Provider Starting priceMax download speedMonthly equipment feeContract
Spectrum Internet Assist $20 (must meet eligibility requirements)30MbpsFree modem; $5 routerNone
Verizon 5G Home Internet $50 ($25 with eligible mobile plan)300MbpsNoneNone
T-Mobile Home Internet $50 ($30 with eligible mobile plan) 245MbpsNoneNone
Frontier Internet $50 VariesNoneNone
AT&T Fiber 300 $55 300MbpsNoneNone
Google Fiber  $70 1,000MbpsNoneNone
Show more (2 items)

Fastest internet providers in Raleigh

Wanna go fast? AT&T Fiber’s got your back with a 5,000Mbps plan that’s available in Raleigh. That’s in stark contrast to the other end of the speed spectrum. Pokey DSL service in some locations may only reach 10Mbps. But chances are good your Raleigh address qualifies for fiber, or at least Spectrum’s cable offerings that reach up to 940Mbps. 

AT&T Fiber and Google Fiber duke it out for the fastest ISP in Raleigh, but AT&T has an edge with the wide availability of its 5,000Mbps plan. Google Fiber is catching up in some markets but hasn’t yet hit that speed in Raleigh. AT&T’s offering comes with a hefty price tag of $180 a month, which may encourage you to consider a different option, like AT&T’s 2,000Mbps plan for $110 or Google Fiber’s rival 2,000Mbps plan that trims that to $100 monthly. Check out our guide to the best multi-gigabit internet plans.

What are the fastest internet plans in Raleigh?

Provider Max download speedMax upload speedStarting priceData capContract
AT&T Fiber 5000 5,000Mbps5,000Mbps$180 NoneNone
AT&T Fiber 2000 2,000Mbps2,000Mbps$110 NoneNone
Google Fiber 2,000Mbps2,000Mbps$100 NoneNone
Google Fiber 1,000Mbps1,000Mbps$70 NoneNone
AT&T Fiber 1000 1,000Mbps1,000Mbps$80 NoneNone
Spectrum Internet Gig 940 Mbps35Mbps$90 NoneNone
Show more (2 items)

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

In case it’s not obvious already, I’m a fan of fiber. It’s fast. It’s reliable. Upload speeds are just as fast as download speeds. Your decision on whether to go with AT&T Fiber or Google Fiber may be made for you if just one of those ISPs services your address. If both do, consider the price (Google’s plans are a little cheaper) and speed (AT&T tops out at a faster 5,000Mbps). If it comes down to it, Spectrum almost certainly services your Raleigh home, but future price hikes aren’t appealing. I’ve also tested out and been happy with fixed wireless, so don’t sleep on Verizon or T-Mobile as an affordable alternative.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Raleigh

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.

Locating local internet providers

Internet providers in Raleigh FAQs

Is fiber internet available in Raleigh?

Which internet provider in Raleigh offers the fastest plan?

Is AT&T Fiber or Google Fiber better in Raleigh?

Updated on July 6, 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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