It’s hard to imagine life at home without internet access. We know there are a few people out there who still resist, but between remote work, digital school assignments, and streaming entertainment, it probably can be described as a necessity. But which provider in your area offers the cheapest, most reliable service? That likely depends on which companies offer internet access in your neighborhood or municipality, yet plenty of national providers offer broad internet coverage that’s available to consumers on a consistent basis regardless of location.
Verizon came out ahead in our study due to the quality of their internet services, as well as rankings from third-party agencies like J.D. Power. However, we compared all the top providers that offer coverage on a national level based on pricing, customer service, reputation, and other important factors, and we include details on all the top plans you should consider below.
The Most Important Factors When Looking for Cheap Internet Service
- Speed of Service: Whether you’re a gamer who needs fast internet service or you simply hate waiting around for pages to load, internet speeds are one of the most important factors consumers should consider. Fortunately, advancements in technology have made it so the top cheap internet providers still offer connections as fast as 1,000 Mbps.
- Customer Service: Internet providers tend to have a poor reputation for customer service, which is why comparing companies in this category is so crucial. Fortunately, third party rankings from companies like J.D. Power can help you gain insights into each provider’s customer service standards.
- Reliability: Internet access is so integral for the way that we live that any interruption can become a problem in a hurry. Make sure to consider reliability as you compare and price out cheap internet plans in your area, but also know that reliability has improved with underlying technology advancements.
The Best Cheap Internet Providers of 2021
|Highly Rated||Get Started|
|Best Satellite Option||Get Started|
|Best for Cheap Plans||Get Started|
|Best Bundling Options||Get Started|
|Best for No Contracts||Get Started|
Best Cheap Internet Provider Reviews
The best cheap internet providers make it easy to set up access at home without any hassle or stress, yet they also tend to get high marks for customer service and reliability. While not all of these providers may be available in your area, the following cheap internet companies provide some of the broadest access for prices most people can afford.
Verizon Wireless — Highly Rated
Verizon Wireless promises lightning fast internet speeds, which they are able to deliver via fiber-optic light bursts to the home. They also promise a powerful connection that maintains its integrity with 10 or more connected devices at a time.
While the exact speeds you’ll enjoy depend on where you live and the plan you select, Verizon Wireless currently offers speeds up to 940/880 Mbps. Note, however, that plans with the fastest speeds typically cost more, and that their Fios connection with speeds up to 940 Mbps starts at $79.99 per month plus applicable taxes and fees. You may be able to get a price guarantee good for up to three years, however, so you could rest assured that your pricing wouldn’t increase for a while.
Why It’s Made the List: Verizon Wireless has received numerous awards for their internet access speeds and quality, along with customer service. This includes top rankings in several regions of the United States in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study.
What Holds it Back: Verizon isn’t overly transparent about their pricing for plans on a national level, although this is likely due to the fact that pricing can and does vary depending on where you live and the local infrastructure. You should be aware, however, that Verizon does require contracts for their internet plans, and that you may have to pay for an initial set-up fee.
DISH Network — Best Satellite Option
While most people think of DISH Network as a satellite television provider, this company also offers high-speed internet access. While not ideal for everyone, satellite internet is often one of a handful of options (or the only option) for consumers who live in an area where cable and fiber aren’t available. However, you should also be aware that, if you do live in an area with cable or fiber, DISH Network may partner with another provider to offer you faster internet speeds in a plan that is bundled with your satellite television service.
How much does DISH Network internet service cost? That depends on where you live, the plan you select, and whether you bundle internet access with other services. DISH Network also promises 24/7 customer service support and 99.9% reliability, and they make it easy to see their offerings in your area just by entering your zip code.
Why It’s Made the List: Not only is DISH Network more readily available than some other providers, but they make it easy to bundle television and internet for one low price.
What Holds it Back: DISH Network only offers internet speeds up to 40 Mbps, which is significantly slower than many competitors offer. This speed is likely sufficient for regular household internet use, but gamers and telecommuters may need to pay for a plan with faster service.
Comcast (Xfinity) — Best for Cheap Plans
While Comcast (Xfinity) has a fairly poor reputation for its customer service, this company may be turning things around. According to J.D. Power’s recent customer service satisfaction study, this company scored higher than the industry average in terms of reliability and customer service reliability in three regions nationwide — the North Central Region, South Region, and West Region.
Comcast also posts transparent pricing on their website, although we recognize that plans and promotions change all the time. Currently, though, you can snag their basic “Performance Starter” high-speed internet plan with up to 20 Mbps for just $20 per month with a 12-month agreement and autopay. Meanwhile, a similar plan with speeds up to 100 MBPS starts at just $40 per month.
Why It’s Made the List: Comcast (Xfinity) has affordable plans for high-speed internet access, but they also make it easy to bundle your internet with television service to score even more discounts. They also frequently throw in gift cards and other “extras” in order to entice you to make the switch.
What Holds it Back: Comcast’s best pricing requires you to jump through some hoops. Not only will you have to sign a contract, but you will need to sign up for autopay and paperless statements.
AT&T — Best Bundling Options
AT&T is another “big name” internet provider that offers high-speed internet access in different parts of the United States. We like AT&T because they offer some of the most affordable and inclusive “bundling” options that can include internet access, cable television, and even phone service.
In terms of their internet coverage, AT&T reports their network has 99.9% reliability, and that their speeds are fast enough you can stream movies and download large files on multiple devices at once. They also offer a mobile app that lets you control your internet service and devices, including the application of parental controls, using your mobile device.
Plan speeds and pricing can depend on where you live, so you’ll need to enter your zip code on the AT&T website before you can shop around. However, it’s common to find internet-only plans in your area for as little as $49.99 per month with a 12-month agreement.
Why It’s Made the List: AT&T has a solid reputation for quality and even received the #1 ranking in J.D. Power’s residential internet study in both the South and West regions of the United States.
What Holds it Back: In some parts of the country, high-speed plans are limited to just 50 Mbps. Also be aware that pricing can vary widely depending on where you live, although you can typically save money by bundling your internet and television together in one plan.
Spectrum — Best for No Contracts
Finally, don’t forget to consider the lesser-known Spectrum, who actually receives high marks from third-party ranking agencies on a national level. Spectrum offers plans with speeds of up to 200 Mbps for as little as $49.99 per month, and they promise no data caps or speed throttling. However, they do offer plans that can vary depending on where you live, so make sure to enter your zip code on the Spectrum website so you can make a true price comparison.
Also note that, if you need television service or would consider bundling plans for more savings, Spectrum also offers Spectrum TV with thousands of movies and current seasons of your favorite shows.
Why It’s Made the List: Spectrum promises a 30-day money-back guarantee, as well as no contracts, no hidden fees, and no early termination fees.
What Holds it Back: Spectrum doesn’t offer as much availability nationwide as some other providers on this list. You’ll need to enter your zip code on the company website to see if Spectrum is available in your area.
How We Found the Best Cheap Internet Providers
The best cheap internet providers stand out due to the quality of their offerings and their reputation with current and past customers. Here are all the factors we considered as we compiled providers for this ranking.
Comparing pricing on a national level is tricky since most internet providers don’t offer standard rates that are available nationwide. For the purpose of this guide, however, we looked for national internet providers that advertise low or reasonable rates that are available to large swaths of the country.
Fast Internet Speeds
We looked for cheap internet providers that offer speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. However, we also considered providers that offer lower speeds for a competitive price point or in areas where faster service may not be available. Also note that, according to the Federal Communications Commission, the current FCC broadband definition is a minimum of 25 Mbps download.
We also considered third party rankings from companies like J.D. Power, which spends time surveying internet customers nationwide to learn about their experiences. Fortunately, all the companies in our ranking received excellent or acceptable ratings from third party agencies.
What You Need to Know About Residential Internet Access
According to a 2019 report from Pew Research Center, as much as 90 percent of the U.S. adult population utilizes the internet for work or personal use. Further, 73 percent of U.S. households reported having home internet access as of February 2019. How has this changed over the years? In the year 2000, only 52 percent of U.S. adults used the internet at all, and only 1 percent of U.S. households had internet access in their homes.
This just goes to show how quickly we adopted internet usage in our daily lives, but it’s also the reason internet access and speeds have had to improve dramatically over the years. As more and more consumers have learned to use the internet over time, internet providers have rushed to improve their services and expand their networks to meet demand.
This is good news for consumers, and especially those who live in areas where multiple cheap internet providers are forced to compete. In any case, everyone should shop around and compare internet providers in their area to find the best deal. Make sure to compare not only on price, but also on internet speeds, customer service availability, and whether other services like cable television can be bundled for even more savings.
Also, check out our review on the best internet services for your business.
Summary: Best Cheap Internet Providers
Can I get free broadband? Currently free broadband isn't generally available in the UK. But jobseekers on universal credit who don't have broadband already may be able to get six months' worth of free broadband from TalkTalk under a partnership with Jobcentre Plus.Can I get cheaper broadband on pension credit? ›
Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them 'essential' or 'basic' broadband. They're delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price.Do pensioners get free broadband? ›
As of 2022, there are no programs offering free internet service for pensioners. However, there are a variety of low-cost plans suitable for older users with fixed incomes.How do I get free internet on benefits? ›
MONEY Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis has urged Universal Credit claimants to take advantage of free broadband. Jobseekers can claim six months of TalkTalk's Fibre35 broadband with no contract. You must be claiming Universal Credit and have a work coach through the Job Centre to qualify.What can I get free on Universal Credit? ›
- Help with health costs, including prescriptions and dental treatment.
- Additional help towards housing payments if your Universal Credit payment is not enough to pay your rent.
- Free school meals.
- Free early education for two-year-olds.
- Sure Start maternity grants.
- Cold Weather Payments.
- Paying for your own care (self-funding)
- When the council might pay for your care.
- Personal budgets and direct payments.
- NHS continuing healthcare.
- NHS-funded nursing care.
- Benefits if you're under State Pension age.
- Work and disability.
Introduction. If you're a pensioner currently receiving support through Centrelink, you may be eligible for extra help with bills and medicine costs through the Pension Supplement. This supplement is a combined payment of Pharmaceutical Allowance, Utilities Allowance, GST Supplement and Telephone Allowance.How do you qualify for pensioners credit? ›
To qualify for pension credit you must:
Have reached state pension age. If you're in a couple, you'll BOTH need to have reached state pension age. You don't have to be married or in a civil partnership, you're considered a couple if you live together.
- Buy your own modem and router.
- Reduce your internet speed.
- Negotiate your internet provider bill.
- Bundle your services.
- Check on government subsidies.
- Get bare-bones internet service.
Average costs for internet service in 2022 range from around $36 to $58 per month, depending on speed.
- #1 Suddenlink Internet.
- #1 Mediacom.
- #3 Astound Broadband.
- #4 Frontier Internet. #5 Verizon Internet.
- Ride the Rail. It's really important for older people to keep a strong social network. ...
- Iceland Over-60s Discount. ...
- More Points at Boots. ...
- Movie Savings. ...
- Free TV. ...
- Cheaper Haircuts. ...
- Free Bus Pass. ...
- Free Prescriptions.
In the UK, everyone over the age of 60 gets free prescriptions and NHS eye tests. You can also get free NHS dental treatment if you're over 60 and claiming pension guarantee credits or other benefits if you're under state pension age.What benefits can over 60s claim? ›
- Pension credits. ...
- Free prescriptions and Sight tests. ...
- Subsidised travel. ...
- Annual flu jab. ...
- The job seekers allowance. ...
- Special support grant. ...
- Student support grants. ...
- State Pension.
Free internet access must be considered as a human right, as people unable to get online – particularly in developing countries – lack meaningful ways to influence the global players shaping their everyday lives, according to a new study.What benefits do you get if you have internet at home? ›
- Information, knowledge, and learning. ...
- Connectivity, communication, and sharing. ...
- Address, mapping, and contact information. ...
- Banking, bills, and shopping. ...
- Selling and making money. ...
- Collaboration, work from home, and access to a global workforce.
How do I apply for help from the Flexible Support Fund? Ask your local Jobcentre Plus/Jobs and Benefits adviser how you apply. You will need to tell them what you need the money for and give evidence that you cannot pay for the items yourself.What to do if you have no money? ›
- Enroll in a hardship program. ...
- Make a budget and prioritize your expenses. ...
- Cut your spending. ...
- Manage credit cards wisely while unemployed. ...
- Apply for government assistance. ...
- Think before withdrawing money from your 401(k) ...
- Take out a home equity loan to pay off debt.
If you're part of a working household that receives tax credits, you may be eligible for a new one-off payment of £500. The new payment is being introduced to provide extra support when the temporary increase in Working Tax Credit ends as planned on 5 April 2021.What is Universal Credit loophole 1500? ›
A glitch in the application process saw some land several of these DWP loans. This was despite not being entitled to the money. Claimants were usually looking for extra cash and were approached by fraudsters posing as jobcentre staff or personal loan advisors. As payment, scammers took £500 from every £1,500 secured.
The full new State Pension is £185.15 per week. The only reasons you can get more than the full State Pension are if: you have over a certain amount of Additional State Pension. you defer (delay) taking your State Pension.What is adult disability payment? ›
Adult Disability Payment is extra money to help you if you have a disability or long-term health condition that affects your everyday life. We refer to these things as your condition.What benefits can a 75 year old claim? ›
Hospital Travel Costs
- Guarantee Pension Credit.
- Income Support.
- Jobseeker's Allowance.
- Employment and Support Allowance.
In April 2022, there was a 3.1% increase in the full new state pension. Whether you actually get the full amount is based on your national insurance record when you reach state pension age.Are pensioners getting a one-off payment in 2022? ›
A one-off $250 Cost of Living Payment will be paid to eligible recipients from the end of April 2022. The Cost of Living Payment is a one-off payment of $250 for eligible payment recipients and concession card holders.Are pensioners getting a bonus in 2022? ›
Budget October 2022-23
Eligible pensioners will get $4,000 credited to their Work Bonus balance from 1 December 2022. The maximum Work Bonus balance will increase from $7,800 to $11,800 until 30 June 2023. The Work Bonus concession of $300 per fortnight will remain unchanged.
You can claim Pension Credit regardless of whether you're still working or have retired. You can also claim if you have other income, savings or own your own home.How much money can you have in the bank on Pension Credit? ›
There isn't a savings limit for Pension Credit. However, if you have over £10,000 in savings, this will affect how much you receive.How do I get the best Internet connection? ›
- Restart your computer. ...
- Close unnecessary apps and programs. ...
- Disconnect other devices. ...
- Download one file at a time. ...
- Scan for viruses. ...
- Update drivers and firmware. ...
- Clear cookies.
- Mobile Hotspot. The best way to ensure you have the internet on your laptop is to use a mobile hotspot. ...
- Tether Your Smartphone or Tablet. 2 Images. ...
- Find a Public Wi-Fi Network. ...
- Use a Wi-Fi USB Dongle. ...
- Share Someone's Internet.
According to the most recent Broadband Pricing Index report, the average monthly cost of internet service is $36.33. At this price point, you can expect basic internet with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps. But you'll pay slightly more for the highest speeds, with averages closer to $58.12, according to the report.Whats the difference between WiFi and internet? ›
Comparison between WiFi and Internet
WiFi is a wireless network to connect nearby devices with each other and share the Internet via hotspots. Internet is a global network of networks where computers communicate with each other via Internet Protocol. WiFi uses radio frequency waves to transmit data.
Who has the fastest and cheapest Internet? Spectrum Internet has the fastest cheap internet after its recent increase from 200 Mbps to 300 Mbps download speeds. It's available for just $49.99 per month, which is great considering its competitors like Verizon charge that much for only 200 Mbps.What does mcdonalds give for seniors? ›
As of 2022, McDonald's does not offer a company-wide senior discount. Some McDonald's locations offer senior discounts on small-sized drinks to those ages 55 and up; however, this discount varies by location. By downloading the McDonald's app, customers of any age can get additional discounts or promotions.What can you do for elderly with no money? ›
- Get your siblings on board. ...
- Invite your folks to an open conversation about finances. ...
- Ask for the numbers. ...
- Address debt and out-of-whack expenses first. ...
- Consider downsizing on homes and cars. ...
- Brainstorm new streams of income.
Typically, the elderly has been defined as the chronological age of 65 or older. People from 65 to 74 years old are usually considered early elderly, while those over 75 years old are referred to as late elderly.How much money can you have in the bank and still claim benefits UK? ›
Below are examples of capital limits and how they can affect your benefits claim. The lower capital limit is how much you can have in savings and investments before it affects your benefits claim. These benefits have a lower capital limit of £6,000 and an upper capital limit of £16,000.How much is the over 80 pension? ›
The over 80 pension is a State Pension for people aged 80 or over. To be eligible you must get either a basic State Pension of less than £85.00 a week, or no basic State Pension at all. It can give you £85.00 a week in the 2022 to 2023 tax year.How much is the Winter Fuel Payment to pensioners? ›
From today (23 November 2022), over 11.6 million pensioners in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will start to receive payments of up to £600 to help with their energy bills this winter.
A Winter Fuel Payment is a one-off, tax-free payment made during the winter to help with heating costs. It is made to households that include someone over State Pension age. Most people born on or before 25 September 1956 will usually qualify for a payment in 2022/23 (the date changes every year).What perks do you get when you turn 65? ›
- Senior discounts.
- Travel deals.
- Tax deductions.
- Retirement account limits.
- Insurance policy conversion.
- Veteran-Specific Financial Assistance.
In most cases, it is better to receive disability benefits until you reach full retirement age. If you collect early retirement, your benefits are permanently reduced. If you receive SSDI payments until you reach full retirement age, there is no permanent reduction in your retirement benefits.Can I get a laptop from Universal Credit? ›
So, in practice, individuals or families looking to access the subsidy scheme would need to be in receipt of means tested benefits like Universal Credit, living in a deprived community or have a disability. If so, they can buy equipment from the following prices: PCs from £99. Laptops from £199.What is covered by Universal Credit? ›
Universal Credit is made up of a basic allowance plus different elements for things like housing costs, bringing up children, caring or sickness and disability. The amount you get in Universal Credit can go down or up, depending on what income you get from: working. a pension.What things does Universal Credit cover? ›
- Housing Benefit.
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
- Child Tax Credit.
- Working Tax Credit.
- Income Support.
Looking into local charities and non-profit organizations in your area is the quickest way to get hooked up with a free computer. Many organizations aim to help low-income communities with all the necessary technology to work and learn in the world's current state.Can I get free food on Universal Credit? ›
Pupils in England can get free school meals during term time up to the end of Year Two. Families on Universal Credit can only get free school meals if their annual income is less than £7,400, not including benefits.How much rent will Universal Credit pay for a single person? ›
£296.35 a week for single adults who don't have children, or whose children don't live with them.How much Universal Credit does a single person get? ›
|Your circumstances||Monthly standard allowance|
|Single and under 25||£265.31|
|Single and 25 or over||£334.91|
|In a couple and you're both under 25||£416.45 (for you both)|
|In a couple and you are 25 or over||£525.72 (for you both)|
This means the DWP will directly look into bank accounts to see if the claimants have too many savings or are living abroad which would make them ineligible for UC, the Record reports.Who will get the 150 disability payment? ›
You may get a lump sum payment of £150 if you get any of the following: Attendance Allowance. Constant Attendance Allowance. Disability Living Allowance for adults.
Universal Credit and the benefit cap
This limits the maximum you can get in benefits to (2022-23): £1,916.67 a month for couples and lone parents if you live in London. £1,666.67 a month for couples and lone parents outside London. £1,284.17 a month for single person with no children in London.