The Alamo, perhaps San Antonio's most famous attraction, signifies a tale of brave, defiant loss. But this Texas city is a frontrunner regarding the speed of its broadband connections. Of the country's top 100 cities, San Antonio was second only to Jersey City, New Jersey, for the fastest fixed internet speeds on average.
According to the latest results from the speed-testing site Ookla, which tracks city speeds based on daily tests run by customers across the US, San Antonio residents enjoy median download speeds of nearly 239 megabits per second and median uploads of approximately 23Mbps. This solidifies the San Antonio metro area in the country's top five and ahead of kindred Texas cities like Austin, Dallas and Houston.
What does that mean for you? If you live in the San Antonio-New Braunfels area, or plan to move there, you'll have some zippy options, from fiber providers like AT&T and Google Fiber to reliable cable connections from Spectrum. Even if you venture beyond city limits, you should have some reasonable options available. If not, satellite providers like HughesNet and Viasat always ensure you can get your home online. But before you go that route, explore fixed wireless solutions, including 5G home internet, which made significant strides in 2022.
Best internet providers in the Alamo City
Our pick for the best overall ISP in San Antonio is AT&T, but there was plenty of close competition. Here's what you need to know about the best internet providers in San Antonio.
AT&T: Best overall among internet providers in San Antonio
$55 - $180 per month
300 - 5,000Mbps
Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included
$100 to $150 gift card if you sign up online
AT&T Internet has a strong presence in the San Antonio area. Fiber availability reaches most of the city, including Alamo Heights, Blue Star, Columbia Heights, Five Points, Prospect Hill and other neighborhoods. Other AT&T serviceable areas will feature the company's DSL service, which doesn't compare. Don't believe me? AT&T said so, essentially -- it publicly announced a goal of halving its copper coverage by 2025.
But back to AT&T Fiber. With symmetrical download and upload speeds, it offers five plans -- 300Mbps, 500Mbps, 1,000Mbps, 2,000Mbps and 5,000Mbps. Additionally, customers get unlimited data, no term agreements and equipment included in your monthly fee. That's an excellent value.
Google Fiber: Best fiber service among internet providers in San Antonio
$70 - $100 per month
1,000 - 2,000Mbps
Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included
I know what you may be thinking. Didn't I just sing the praises of AT&T? Yes, but not all San Antonio customers within AT&T's reach get access to AT&T Fiber. Some still only get DSL service, which features top download speeds of around 100Mbps, and in some cases, maxes out at around 25Mbps, the bare minimum to be considered broadband speed.
On the other hand, if you can access Google Fiber, you know what you will get -- 100% fiber-optic internet service with symmetrical download and upload speeds. That consistency led Google Fiber to the title of the fastest fixed broadband provider in the city, featuring median download speeds of nearly 282Mbps.
Google Fiber features just two plan options -- 1,000Mbps and 2,000Mbps. Each boasts fast internet speeds, unlimited data, no term agreements and all equipment included. Is Google Fiber cheap? No. But in terms of value, it's tough to beat: The $70 per month gigabit plan has a cost per Mbps of 7 cents, while the two gig plan ($100 monthly) is an even better 5 cents per Mbps.
Google Fiber can't match the wide availability of some other providers in the greater San Antonio metro area. Still, within city limits, you should be able to find it in Balcones Heights, Castle Hills, Encino, Leon Valley, St. Mary's University, Shavano Park and Stone Oak.
Spectrum: Best availability for internet providers in San Antonio
$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
Charter Communications' broadband service reaches more households in the San Antonio metropolitan area than even AT&T does. They're essentially even in San Antonio proper, but Spectrum stretches out more significantly into neighboring New Braunfels. Why might that matter? It could come in handy if you need to move within the region and don't want the hassle of changing your ISP.
Spectrum is an appealing choice -- especially for a cable internet provider -- because of its straightforward approach. There are three plan options -- 300, 500 or 940Mbps download speed -- and no data caps. Spectrum also includes the monthly modem costs but charges an additional $5 a month for a Wi-Fi router. As a cable provider, its upload speeds will only reach 35Mbps (far short of fiber internet), but customers can count on greater reliability compared to DSL and satellite internet options.
T-Mobile Home Internet: Best fixed wireless option among internet providers in San Antonio
$50 per month ($30 for eligible T-Mobile Magenta Max customers)
33 - 182Mbps
Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees
Price Lock guarantee, 15-day Test Drive, free Paramount Plus for 12 months, $10 off per month on Philo TV for a year
T-Mobile made some significant strides in 2022 with its 5G internet service. It ended the year with over 2 million subscribers, availability to over 40 million people and an eye on continued expansion. Most impressively, T-Mobile says that nearly a third of its customers are from rural areas, so if you're in an area where DSL or satellite have been your only choices, T-Mobile Home Internet is a very intriguing option.
Though the greater San Antonio-New Braunfels area is included in T-Mobile's coverage list for Texas, confirm it's available at your location. Plug in your address (or your mobile phone number, if you're already a T-Mobile customer) on the T-Mobile Home Internet site to make certain.
Internet providers in San Antonio overview
|Provider||Internet technology||Monthly price range||Speed range||Monthly equipment costs||Data cap||Contract||CNET review score|
|Astound Broadband/Grande||Cable||$26-$60||400-1,200Mbps||$15 (skippable)||None||None||7|
|Spectrum||Cable||$50-$90||300-940Mbps||Free modem; $5 router||None||None||7.2|
|T-Mobile Home Internet||Fixed wireless||$50 ($30 with Magenta MAX discount)||33-182Mbps||None||None||None||7.4|
All other available San Antonio residential internet providers
You can find many broadband options across the San Antonio-New Braunfels metropolitan region. Availability is dependent on your address, of course, but you may be able to find some appealing choices beyond our highlighted picks.
- Astound Broadband/Grande: You'll be hard-pressed to find better starting rates in the region than what you'll get from this cable internet provider. In San Antonio, Astound's cheapest plan is a 400Mbps tier for $26 per month. At 7 cents per Mbps, that's excellent value for a provider's opening offering. Most ISPs, especially cable providers, will have a starting plan of around 50 to 100Mbps. If you're looking for speed, Astound's fastest plan -- 1,200Mbps -- is also one of the best values in the city, ringing in at 5 cents per Mbps, or $60 monthly. It also comes with a free year of HBO Max. All Astound plans come with a two-year price guarantee but beware of a potentially steep increase after that.
- Frontier: You can't get Frontier anywhere within San Antonio city limits. But the provider's mix of DSL and fiber service is an option to the southeast, specifically in the suburb of Floresville. Similar to our guidance on AT&T service, you'll want to check your address to see if you can get fiber service rather than DSL. Frontier Fiber -- with symmetrical plans of 500Mbps, gigabit or 2Gbps speeds -- is an appealing choice. But you could probably do better if you get the slower, less reliable DSL.
- Ranch Wireless: This rural wireless provider covers markets throughout south-central Texas. While it doesn't operate in San Antonio, it does reach many towns on the outskirts, including New Braunfels in the northeast, Adkins and Calaveras in the east, and several rural locations to the south, including Campbellton, Charlotte, Jourdanton and Pleasonton. Ranch Wireless features plans ranging from $30 per month for 1Mbps download and 30GB of data to $120 monthly for unlimited data and 25Mbps download speed.
- Rise Broadband: This fixed wireless provider offers internet service on the far east and upper northwest portion of San Antonio. It offers speeds up to 50Mbps and unlimited data too. That makes it an especially viable option for residents outside city limits, in towns like Floresville, Jourdanton, Pleasanton and San Geronimo.
- Satellite internet: If you live in San Antonio proper, you should have little need for satellite internet service. There are much faster (and cheaper) alternatives to be found. But suppose you're part of the significant number of suburban and rural San Antonio-New Braunfels region residents. In that case, you might have reason to consider HughesNet or Viasat, the leading satellite broadband providers. A big drawback to both is they each require a two-year contract commitment. Elon Musk's Starlink has them beat on that front -- it nixes all term contract agreements. However, per the Starlink map, availability is short and potential customers must wait until later in 2023.
- Verizon 5G Home Internet: This provider's 5G fixed wireless home internet product has a higher average download speed (300Mbps) than T-Mobile Home Internet and also claims a similar all-in price that includes all equipment and fees for $50 per month (with eligible Verizon mobile customers getting a 50% discount on top of that). So why have I listed T-Mobile higher? Verizon's coverage is strongest in metro areas, while T-Mobile flexes its muscles more capably in rural areas. That better fits the San Antonio-New Braunfels region.
San Antonio internet details at a glance
We've taken a bird's eye look at the internet providers in San Antonio, but let's get more specific about the broadband plans you can find in the Alamo City.
Pricing for San Antonio home internet service
The average starting price for home internet in San Antonio is approximately $48 per month. That considers the promo prices you'll get at the beginning, not the standard rates you'll get hit with a year later. $48 monthly puts San Antonio toward the higher end of markets CNET has covered so far, including Brooklyn ($36 a month), Los Angeles ($38 a month), Denver ($39 per month), San Francisco ($40 a month), New York City ($41 per month), Seattle ($42 monthly), Dallas and Philadelphia (both near $43 per month), Houston ($45 monthly), Phoenix ($46 per month), Atlanta ($47 monthly), Orlando ($48 a month) and Charlotte, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Diego and St. Louis (all approximately $50 monthly).
Cheap internet options in the River City
Although the lowest starting price in San Antonio is Rise Broadband and its 25Mbps plan for $25 a month, the best value is Astound's 400Mbps plan at $26 monthly, only a dollar more than Rise's opening bid but exponentially faster.
Sticking with the topic of value, most providers we've listed are also participating in the Federal Communication Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program. It provides a $30 monthly discount to eligible, low-income homes for affordable, high-speed internet. If you qualify, the ACP can be used towards any internet plan from participating providers and in some cases, you might be able to get internet service for free.
What are the cheapest internet plans in San Antonio?
|Provider||Starting price||Max download speed||Monthly equipment fee|