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Verizon Fios Comes Out on Top in Broadband Survey

Verizon's fiber internet service turned in the fastest average download speed, edging AT&T Fiber and Google Fiber.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
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If you're in the market for a broadband provider, you might be hard pressed to find a better option than Verizon Fios.

The fiber-optic internet service has the fastest average download speeds in the US, according to OpenSignal's latest Fixed Broadband Experience Report. The report, released in May, also found that Fios provided the best consistency in broadband quality.

A fast, reliable internet connection has become an essential part of our daily lives, with more people working remotely than ever. Knowing who has the fastest download and upload speeds -- and at what price -- can help you identify the best internet service provider in your area, so CNET has created a list of the best ISPs across the US with all those details and more.

Locating local internet providers

OpenSignal's report analyzed users' broadband experiences over four areas: broadband download speed, broadband upload speed, broadband consistent quality and broadband video experience.  

Verizon Fios had an average national download speed of nearly 158Mbps, beating AT&T Fiber and Google Fiber, which essentially tied for second place at about 140Mbps. Fios users also seemed more satisfied with the quality of their connection, giving the service a score of 84.3% ahead of Frontier Fiber, Google Fiber and TDS Fiber, which all scored within 1% of each other at the 82% mark.

Locating local internet providers

Currently, Fios is available only in eight states: Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia (plus Washington, DC). But, says CNET broadband expert Trey Paul in his review of Fios, "if you live within Verizon's East Coast coverage area and Verizon Fios is available at your address, its internet service is tough to beat."

For most people, the most important component of their internet service is the download speed, but there are plenty of people whose work relies on getting large files uploaded quickly. Google Fiber was the only provider to top the 100Mbps threshold, with an average upload speed of nearly 107Mbps, edging second place AT&T Fiber by more than 10Mbps and third place Fios by over 12Mbps.

Google Fiber and Fios essentially tied for first in broadband video experience, a category in which most of the 26 broadband providers scored a rating of very good. That rating means users for each service, on average, could stream 1080p or better video with satisfactory load times and little stalling.

It's worth noting that some of these services may not be available in your area, so be sure to read CNET's reviews of the top-scoring services (linked above) for more information.