Use the internet the way you want to. Here are the best internet providers with no data caps.
Everything you use the internet for consumes data. Some things, like streaming in HD, are more data hungry than others, but the point stands that all internet activity involves either downloading or uploading data. After a month, household internet data use can really add up.
That doesn't matter if you've got an internet service provider with unlimited data. On the other hand, if your ISP enforces a data cap, going over could result in added fees or throttled speeds.
I'd recommend passing on a home internet provider that comes with a data cap altogether, if possible. These are some of the best internet providers that offer unlimited data. Not all providers and plans are available in all areas.
Locating local internet providers
Speeds, pricing and special offers from Astound are a bit all over the place from one market to the next, but unlimited data is one perk available in all service areas.
Along with unlimited data, Astound stands out for its low introductory pricing, with plans at as little as $20 per month for speeds up to 300Mbps. Pricing is good for two years in most locations, but you'll see a steep increase once the price guarantee expires.
AT&T is our pick for best fiber internet provider overall thanks to its high availability, competitive pricing, fast speeds and unlimited data. All AT&T Fiber plans come with no data cap, which means you can stream, game and browse social media to your heart's content without fear of incurring overage fees. Starting prices for AT&T Fiber plans range from $55 per month for up to 300Mbps to $180 per month for multi-gig speeds up to 5,000Mbps.
Not all AT&T internet plans are free of data caps, however. AT&T Internet, a copper-based service, and AT&T Fixed Wireless plans come with a data cap, and potentially hefty fees for going over. AT&T Internet service comes with a 1.5TB per month cap while fixed wireless caps your monthly data at 350GB.
CenturyLink internet plans previously came with a monthly data cap of 1TB. There was no fee or speed throttling for going over, but frequent or excessive overages could violate the terms of service.
Now CenturyLink customers don't have to worry about data caps at all as the provider recently lifted the soft data cap on all DSL and fiber plans. The DSL service, which makes up the greatest portion of the provider's network, starts at $50 per month for the fastest speeds available, up to 140Mbps.
CenturyLink Fiber recently rebranded to Quantum Fiber but, other than the name change and now offering unlimited data, service is essentially the same. Customers have two plan options with symmetrical upload and download speeds: 100 or 200Mbps starting at $30 per month or gig service starting at a monthly rate of $70.
Unlike AT&T, Frontier offers unlimited data with both its DSL and fiber-optic internet services. Equipment costs are also included in the monthly cost and no contracts are required, making Frontier one of the more straightforward providers when it comes to pricing.
Unlimited data adds to the value of any internet plan, but some Frontier plans are a better value than others. Frontier's DSL service starts at $50 per month (remember that includes your equipment) but max speeds vary widely by location.
You'll find more value in Frontier Fiber plans. Frontier Fiber 500 starts at $60 per month and is among our top picks for the best internet deals. Other Frontier Fiber plans include gig service starting at $70 per month and the provider's 2-gig and 5-gig plans, starting at $100 and $155 per month, respectively.`
Kinetic is another service that comes with unlimited data regardless of whether it's DSL or fiber optic. Speeds and pricing can and do vary by location with Kinetic, more than just about any major provider it seems, but unlimited data is one standard customers across all markets can enjoy.
Kinetic service areas largely span rural and suburban areas, making the provider a great option for unlimited internet in rural areas. On top of that, Kinetic offers faster DSL speeds than many competing providers with speeds of 100Mbps or higher available to more than 64% of its customer base.
Optimum includes unlimited data with all plans. Along with that advantage, Optimum plans are priced lower than most considering the speeds you get.
Pricing just went up a bit in most markets, and the company voluntarily opted to lower upload speeds, just because, but you can still find good value and unlimited data in Optimum internet plans.
Starting prices for Spectrum internet are a little higher than most, but all plans come with fast speeds, no contracts and, you guessed it, unlimited data. That, plus a modest equipment fee of just $5 per month if you choose to rent a router puts Spectrum right up there with Frontier when it comes to straightforward pricing.
Spectrum's cheapest internet plan starts at $50 per month, which is on the high side compared to other providers. The speeds you get, though -- up to 300Mbps or 500Mbps in select areas -- are worth the cost.
In my review of Starry Internet, I was impressed by the provider's ability to offer affordable, high-speed service over a fixed wireless network. The provider's flagship plan offers up to 200Mbps starting at $50 per month, but gig service is available in select areas starting at $80 per month.
Regardless of the Starry plan you choose, it's going to come with unlimited data as well as no contract requirements or additional equipment fees. Considering the speeds, pricing and extra perks like unlimited data and free equipment, Starry is worth checking out if you happen to live in a city where service is available.
5G may be the future of home internet, at least in underserved areas where cable and fiber internet is either unavailable or too expensive. Enter T-Mobile. The provider is available to more than 30 million homes, a third of which are in rural or suburban areas.
T-Mobile's 5G home internet customers will only have one plan option -- speeds of 33-182Mbps starting at $50 per month -- but the plan does come with unlimited data, no contracts and no additional equipment fees.