Best Internet Providers in San Diego, California

Living in San Diego presents a few options for home internet service, but we feel AT&T Fiber is the best internet provider for most households. Service isn't available everywhere in America's Finest City, however, so Cox, Spectrum or T-Mobile may be your go-to depending on what's available in your area. Each provider differs slightly in terms of speeds and pricing, so the best provider for your home will vary based on what you're looking for and how much you want to pay for internet service. 

If you're just getting started in your search, you can plug your ZIP code into the tool on the right side of this post to see an overview of relevant options at your address. If you need some assistance sorting through them to find the best internet provider for your home's needs, keep reading for a full rundown of what's available in San Diego to get your home online, including our top provider picks, a look at the fastest plans available and a rundown of the most affordable plans you'll find.

Best internet options in San Diego

There are a few internet options in the San Diego area (and throughout California), and that can make it hard to know where to turn for the best plan at the best price. That's where we come in -- after extensive research and a close comparison of prices, speeds, terms, technologies and availability, here are our picks for the internet providers you should turn to first. All prices listed on this page reflect available discounts for setting up paperless billing. If you decide not to go with automatic monthly payments, your price will be higher.

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 internet provider in San Diego

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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

AT&T Fiber is one of the top internet options in the country right now with fast speeds, attractive terms and reasonable rates that don't go up after a year.

Availability: "AT&T Fiber is available to hundreds of thousands of customers in the San Diego area," an AT&T spokesperson said when I asked about fiber availability in San Diego. "AT&T will continue to roll out multi-gig speeds across its fiber footprint and densify fiber in San Diego, among other cities across California."

Ballparking it here, but that comes out to something like one in five San Diego residents with current access to AT&T Fiber. It's worth checking to see if you're one of the lucky ones, and it's worth signing up if you are, as AT&T Fiber is one of the best values for high-speed internet available anywhere.

According to the latest FCC data, serviceability for AT&T Fiber is random throughout San Diego, but those in the Loma Portal, Mission Hills and South Park communities will have the best chance of eligibility.

Plans and pricing: Matching near-gigabit upload and download speeds are available for $80 per month, ultrafast multi-gig speeds are available at a select but growing number of addresses, including in San Diego, and the base plan with matching speeds of 300Mbps is a terrific deal at $55 per month. There's also a mid-tier plan: 500Mbps starting at $65 per month.

Fees and service details: AT&T Fiber includes your router rental at no extra cost. All plans also come with unlimited data and no contract requirements.

Read our AT&T home internet review.

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T-Mobile Home Internet

Best 5G internet coverage in San Diego

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Product details

Price range $50 per month ($30 for eligible mobile customers) Speed range 72 - 245Mbps Connection Fixed wireless Key Info Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees

T-Mobile's home internet service uses 5G and LTE airwaves to deliver internet connections throughout the San Diego area without the need for ground-laid cable, DSL or fiber infrastructure. Signup and setup is simple, and the unlimited data, free equipment and no-contract requirements make the new service even more enticing.

Availability: T-Mobile's home internet service is available to just over 76% of San Diego households, according to the Federal Communications Commission. That's plenty enough availability to make it worth checking to see if T-Mobile is an option at your address, particularly if fiber isn't or if other alternatives enforce data caps.

Plans and pricing: T-Mobile's single 5G Home Internet plan advertises speeds between 72 to 245Mbps on the download side and 15 to 31Mbps for uploads. It isn't blazing fast by any stretch, but the all-in pricing of $50 per month helps to justify the middle-of-the-road speeds.

Fees and service details: The lack of data caps, contracts, equipment fees or prescheduled price increases makes T-Mobile Home Internet an appealing option.

Read our T-Mobile Home Internet review.

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Best cable internet provider in San Diego

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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

Availability: You won't find Spectrum available in downtown San Diego or the neighborhoods surrounding it -- that's Cox territory. But suppose you're living north of the Mission Valley Freeway (the 8, in California parlance). In that case, you're likely living in Spectrum's cable coverage map, which covers areas west of El Cajon and up north towards Encinitas and Escondido. Good thing, too: Between the two, we say Spectrum is the superior cable provider and a better pick for home internet.

Plans and pricing: A 300Mbps plan from Spectrum will cost you $50 per month. Faster speeds, 500Mbps and 1,000Mbps, are also available starting at $70 and $90 per month, respectively. After the first year, monthly pricing on all Spectrum plans jumps by $30.

Fees and service details: Spectrum doesn't enforce a data cap on any of its plans, so you don't need to worry about overage charges or throttling if you exceed a set amount of data in a given month. Additionally, Spectrum's router rental fee is lower than Cox at $5 per month and you don't have to sign a term agreement to get the lowest available price.

Read our Spectrum Internet review.

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Broadest coverage provider in San Diego

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Product details

Price range $40 - $100 per month Speed range 25 - 2,000Mbps Connection Cable, some fiber Key Info 1.25TB monthly data allowance, lots of plan options, unique gaming add-on

There's a decent chance that Cox will be an option at your address, and the list of plans you can sign up for includes one with download speeds as high as 2,000Mbps.

Availability: With a cable internet footprint covering most of downtown San Diego and its surrounding neighborhoods, as well as coverage across Chula Vista and El Cajon and regions north of the city like Poway, Ramona and Escondido, Cox is one of the area's most prevalent ISPs.

Plans and pricing: Cox offers four or five speed tiers in the San Diego area with speeds ranging from 100Mbps to 2Gbps and monthly pricing starting between $50 and $110. As with all cable providers, the downside is that your upload speeds will be much slower. But if fiber isn't available at your address, cable is still a serviceable option for high-speed internet at home.

Fees and service details: Cox charges $13 per month to rent a router, but you can skip the fee by using your own equipment if you choose. Unlike many San Diego ISPs, Cox internet comes with a data cap (1.25TB per month) and potential fees for going over. A 12-month contract may be required to get the lowest introductory pricing.

Read our Cox Communications internet review.

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San Diego internet options compared

Internet technologySpeed rangeMonthly price range (first year)Monthly price range (after 12 months)Data caps
AT&T Internet DSL10-100Mbps download, 1-20Mbps upload$55 $70 1.5TB (no data cap with 100Mbps plan)
AT&T Fiber Fiber300-5,000Mbps download and upload$55-$250$55-$250None
Cox Cable100-2,000Mbps download, 3-100Mbps upload$50-$150$50-$1501.25TB
Google Fiber Webpass Fixed wireless1,000Mbps download and upload$63-$70$63-$70None
Spectrum Cable300-1,000Mbps download, 10-35Mbps upload$50-$90$80-$120None
Ting Fiber1,000Mbps download and upload$89 $89 None
T-Mobile Home Internet 5G/LTE72-245Mbps download, 15-31Mbps upload$50 ($30 for eligible cellular customers)$50 ($30 for eligible Magenta Max customers)None
Ultra Home Internet 5G/LTE25-115Mbps download, 6-23Mbps upload$60-$190$60-$19025-150GB
Verizon 5G Home Internet 5G/LTE50-1,000Mbps download, 5-75Mbps upload$50-$70 ($35-$45 for eligible Verizon Wireless customers)$50-$70 ($35-$45 for eligible Verizon Wireless customers)None
Show more (4 items)

Other internet options in San Diego

An age-old name in home internet, Earthlink offers connections across the country by leasing infrastructure from other providers. In San Diego, that borrowed footprint is mostly made of AT&T DSL and fiber hookups and services leased from satellite and other fixed wireless providers. The company tells CNET that wired internet services like fiber and DSL are available to roughly three quarters of households in San Diego, while EarthLink Wireless Home Internet services are available to 99% of households.

Leasing infrastructure from other providers allows Earthlink to boast an extensive nationwide coverage map. In San Diego, you'll find Earthlink services in Alpine, Bonita, Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, La Mesa, Lakeside, National City, Oceanside, Poway, Rancho Santa Fe, San Luis Re and San Marcos. Still, the extra overhead costs involved with leasing out infrastructure mean that Earthlink plans typically cost a little more than average. It's still worth checking to see if Earthlink is available at your address, particularly if fiber is an option, but in most cases, the company shouldn't be your first choice for home internet.


Select buildings in downtown San Diego and surrounding areas are outfitted for Google Fiber Webpass, a fixed wireless service offering gigabit speeds.


Google Fiber Webpass
Google doesn't have full-fledged fiber infrastructure in San Diego. Still, select locations throughout the area are hooked up for Google Fiber's Webpass service, which uses receivers mounted to rooftops and building exteriors to offer the residents inside high-speed fixed wireless connections. Availability is somewhat limited, but the terms are reasonable -- gigabit speeds and no data caps for $63 per month with a year commitment or $70 per month without one.

The majority of the city's Webpass-ready buildings are located in downtown San Diego and its surrounding neighborhoods, including the Marina, the Gaslamp Quarter, the East Village and Cortez Hill, and you'll find other Webpass locations clustered further north, near Hillcrest, University Heights, Morena, and the Midway District, among other select spots. You can search for eligible addresses using Google's San Diego Webpass map.

Race Communications
Race is a hyper-targeted fiber-to-the-home provider servicing a scattering of small communities throughout California. That includes the 3,000 or so residents of Rancho Santa Fe to the north of San Diego.

As a fiber provider, Race offers two service plans: one for $25 a month with speeds of 25Mbps, and the other for $60 a month with 1,000Mbps speeds.

A satellite dish on a rooftop

Satellite internet service from Hughesnet and Viasat is almost certainly available at your address, and service from Starlink might be an option, too. In most cases, though, you've got much better alternatives.


Satellite internet
HughesNet and Viasat are the top two satellite internet providers in the US, and their services are available throughout the overwhelming majority of San Diego and surrounding regions. That level of availability makes them a worthy option in remote spots where literally nothing else is available.

Still, before you sign up, you'll want to consider the steep costs ($50-$175 per month after the first six months with Hughesnet, $100-$300 per month after the first three months with Viasat), the sluggish speeds (15-50Mbps with Hughesnet, 12-150Mbps with Viasat), the tight data caps (15-200GB with Hughesnet, 35-500GB with Viasat) and the mandatory two-year contract each provider enforces. Add all of that up, and you're looking at little more than an absolute last resort for home internet.

Starlink, the satellite internet service from SpaceX and Elon Musk, might be available at some addresses in the San Diego area at a recently-hiked flat rate of $110 per month, plus $599 upfront for the equipment. It's just as off-puttingly expensive as its satellite competitors. Still, there are no data caps to contend with, and speeds may be notably higher thanks to Starlink's satellites flying in low-earth orbit, giving your signal a shorter round-trip. If your home is short on internet options, it's worth looking to see if Starlink is available at your address, but you might need to wait until early 2023 or later before the company can ship you your hardware and start service. If any other providers are available, you'll probably want to start there first.

A part of the internet services company Tucows, Ting Internet now offers fiber internet service in select markets in the US. As of 2021, that includes Encinitas, where customers can sign up for gigabit speeds and no data caps at $89 per month, plus installation costs, a $9 monthly equipment fee and an additional "monthly access fee." Service appears to be centered south of the city, near Solana Beach. Ting's fast speeds and appealing rates make it well worth a look if you live in that region.

Ultra Home Internet
Like Earthlink, Ultra leases out cellular airwaves from T-Mobile to offer internet service at serviceable addresses throughout San Diego. That said, Ultra's plans aren't as good a deal as T-Mobile's $50 per month plan. 

For starters, you'll need to pay Ultra at least $60 per month for the same speeds ($55 if you set up autopay), and unlike T-Mobile, you'll need to pay an equipment fee of $12 per month for your modem and router, as well. Ultra's plans also come with a particularly tight monthly data cap of 25GB, which most homes would burn through quickly. You can raise that to 50GB if you're willing to pay $85 per month or as high as 150GB if you're willing to pay $190 per month, but even then, you'd only be getting about one-eighth as much data as you'd be getting with a cable provider that enforces a data cap, like Cox. It's cellular internet without the appealing terms of the major providers, making Ultra a provider worth skipping if you can.

Image of US map with Verizon 5G Home areas indicated

Verizon offers 5G Home Internet service in San Diego, but if you zoom in on this map, you'll see that 5G Ultra Wideband service is extremely limited in the area.


Verizon 5G Home Internet
The cellular provider now offers home internet service at addresses with a strong enough 5G signal, and service is available in San Diego. With speeds of up to 1,000Mbps in some areas, Verizon can claim to be the fastest cellular internet provider in the US. The flat monthly rate of $50 with no data caps or price increases is tempting. Verizon promises not to raise your price for two years; you can make that three years by paying $70 per month. 

That said, the company's 5G coverage in the city appears to be more limited than T-Mobile's. That means many addresses throughout San Diego will have to settle for Verizon's much slower 4G LTE service, which isn't as great a value. Other addresses may not be serviceable at all. It's still worth checking to see if Verizon is an option at your address, especially for the faster speeds and the Verizon customer discount, but in most cases, there's a better chance you'll find worthwhile service available from T-Mobile.

San Diego Harbor
David Toussaint/Getty Images

What are the cheapest internet plans in San Diego?

Most providers in San Diego offer home internet service starting at somewhere around $50 per month. If you just need a basic connection and you want to pay as little as possible, that's a good place to start.

If you're a Verizon mobile customer, I recommend checking to see if Verizon 5G Home Internet is available at your address. It's well worth considering if so -- with speeds potentially as high as 1,000Mbps, the base rate of $50-$70 per month is quite decent on its own. But eligible Verizon cellphone customers can cut those monthly costs down to $35 and $45 if they bundle home internet with their mobile service. That's with no data caps and no price increase after the first year.

Cheap internet plans in San Diego

PlanMonthly price (first year)Monthly price (after 12 months)Speed rangeInternet technologyData caps
Cox $50 $50 100Mbps download, 5Mbps uploadCable1.25TB
Spectrum $50 $80 300Mbps download, 10Mbps uploadCableNone
T-Mobile Home Internet $50 ($30 for eligible phone customers) $50 ($30 for eligible phone customers) 72-245Mbps download, 15-31Mbps upload5G/LTENone
Verizon 5G Home Internet $50 ($35 for eligible phone customers) $50 ($35 for eligible phone customers) 50-300Mbps download, 5-20Mbps upload5G/LTENone
AT&T Internet $55 $70 10-100Mbps download, 1-20Mbps uploadDSL1.5TB
AT&T Fiber $55 $55 300Mbps download and uploadFiberNone
Ultra Home Internet $60 ($55 with auto-pay)$60 ($55 with auto-pay)25-115Mbps download, 6-23Mbps upload5G/LTE25GB
Google Fiber Webpass $63 (with 1-year commitment)$63 (with 1-year commitment)1,000Mbps download and uploadFixed wirelessNone
Ting $89 $89 1,000Mbps download and uploadFiberNone
Show more (4 items)

Spectrum has a solid entry-level internet offering, too. For $50 per month during the first year and $80 per month after that, you'll get download speeds of up to 300Mbps and upload speeds of up to 10Mbps, which is a lot zippier than the base plan from Cox.

The other option worth mentioning is T-Mobile Home Internet, which boasts better availability than Verizon and that same flat rate of $50. Speeds aren't as fast, topping out with downloads of 245Mbps and uploads of 23Mbps, but that's still perfectly serviceable, making it a pretty good deal if your home has a strong enough signal to support it.

San Diego internet options for low-income households

Qualifying low-income residents of San Diego should take advantage of the Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers to knock $30 off the price of your monthly home internet bill. Apply the benefit to that entry-level Cox plan, for instance, and you're effectively looking at a broadband connection for $20 per month (save for equipment fees and the like).

You can find full details on provider-specific instructions for signing up at the links below:

Enlarge Image

Both Cox and Spectrum offer near gigabit download speeds, and between the two of them, plans like those are available almost everywhere in the San Diego area.


What are the fastest internet plans in San Diego?

Feel the need for speed, huh? While gigabit service is available from several San Diego internet providers, availability will depend upon your specific address. AT&T Fiber will be your best bet for gig speeds and higher, but Cox and Spectrum offer near-gigabit download speeds as well.

Between Cox and Spectrum, the latter's high-speed offering is a better value at $90 per month during the first year compared to $110 per month from Cox for the same speeds. Spectrum doesn't enforce a data cap, either, another point in its favor compared to Cox. However, the two providers mostly steer clear of each other throughout the San Diego area, meaning there aren't many instances where you'll be able to choose between the two. In most cases, only one will be available at your address.

Fastest internet plans in San Diego

PlanSpeed rangeMonthly price (first year)Monthly price (after 12 months)Internet technologyData caps
AT&T Fiber 5000 5,000Mbps download and upload$250 $250 FiberNone
Cox 2 Gig 2,000Mbps, 100Mbps upload$150 $150 Cable1.25TB
Google Fiber Webpass 1,000Mbps download and upload$63-$70$63-$70Fixed WirelessNone
Ting 1,000Mbps download and upload$89 $89 FiberNone
Cox 1 Gig 1,000Mbps download, 100Mbps upload$110 $110 Cable1.25TB
Spectrum 1,000Mbps download, 35Mbps upload$90 $120 CableNone
Verizon 5G Home Plus 300-1,000Mbps download, 50Mbps upload$70 ($45 for eligible phone customers) $70 ($45 for eligible phone customers) 5G/LTENone
T-Mobile Home Internet 72-245Mbps download, 15-31Mbps upload$50 ($30 for eligible phone customers)$50 ($30 for eligible phone customers)5G/LTENone
Ultra Home Internet 25-115Mbps download, 6-23Mbps upload$60 ($55 with auto-pay)$60 ($55 with auto-pay)5G/LTE25GB
AT&T Internet 100Mbps download, 20Mbps upload$55 $70 DSLNone
Show more (5 items)

Neither Cox or Spectrum have upload speeds that exceed triple digits -- for that, you'll need your home to be wired for fiber. AT&T Fiber's most affordable plan gets you matching upload and download speeds of 300Mbps for $55 per month, which would be more than enough for most households. If you're itching for gigabit speeds, you can go with the Fiber Internet 1000 plan, which gets you to download and upload speeds of up to 1,000Mbps for $80 per month. And, at select addresses, new multi-gig plans with matching upload and download speeds of 2Gbps or 5Gbps (2,000Mbps and 5,000Mbps) are available for $150 and $250 per month, respectively. That's currently as fast as home internet gets in San Diego.

If you aren't wired for AT&T Fiber, you might still be able to sign up for AT&T Home Internet, which uses DSL to deliver internet connectivity to peoples' homes. DSL is much slower than fiber, though, and the actual speeds available will vary from home to home. If the company's fastest DSL option is available, you'll be able to hit download speeds of up to 100Mbps, but don't count on that.

If fiber and cable aren't available at your address, then it's worth checking to see if a cellular, fixed wireless connection from T-Mobile or Verizon might be available. T-Mobile is my top pick for San Diego due to greater availability, but be sure to check with Verizon, as well, as the company might offer a connection with faster speeds than T-Mobile is capable of.

How CNET chose the best internet providers of San Diego

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 San Diego FAQs

Does San Diego have fiber internet?

How much does internet cost in San Diego?

Does San Diego have Google Fiber?

Updated on Sept. 4, 2023

Written by  Ry Crist
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
Ry Crist Senior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
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