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Last updated on Sep 20, 2019

The Best Business Internet Providers

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How We Found the Best Business Internet Service Providers

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25 Hours of Research

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5 Experts Interviewed

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7 Top Picks

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Business owners have many critical decisions they need to make to ensure maximum productivity. Choosing the right business internet service is one of them. Many important operational aspects rely on the internet — from credit card processing, using payroll and accounting software, to communicating with customers and running an e-commerce store.

We’ve reviewed business internet service providers on factors including plans, internet speeds, and customer service to save you time in your search for the best business internet service.

The Best Business Internet Service Providers


Reviews.com ScoreAvailabilityBandwidthJ.D. Power Customer Service Ranking
AT&T4/521 statesUp to 1,000 Mbps5/5 stars
CenturyLink3/536 statesUp to 940 Mbps3/5 stars
Charter Spectrum4/541 statesUp to 940 Mbps3/5 stars
Xfinity Comcast4/540 statesUp to 1,000 Mbps3/5 stars
Verizon Fios3/58 states1 to 15 Mbps4/5 stars

AT&T

Best Most Transparent Pricing
Image for AT&T Internet
AT&T

AT&T Internet

Pros

High customer satisfaction ratings
Transparent pricing
Wide range of plans

Cons

Mixed customer service experience
Average contract terms

PROVIDER SCORE: 4/5

AT&T’s website beats its competitors when it comes to clarity and transparency. Plans are clearly listed online, along with pricing for features, equipment, and installation, which helps take the guesswork out of what you’re actually getting. 

✓ Best For: Not For:
Businesses needing a standard plan
Companies needing higher speeds


Businesses needing custom features
Businesses not ready for a longer contract


  • Availability: 2/5 – AT&T’s internet services are available in 21 states. Primarily focused in the Midwest and Southeast, service coverage is also available for businesses in select California and Nevada cities.
  • Bandwidth: 4/5 – AT&T offers businesses varying speed options. Depending on your location, you’ll have access to speeds up to 1 Gbps, which allows for downloading large documents of work.
  • Customer Service: 5/5 – Internet service providers typically don’t score well in customer service, but AT&T earned second place with a 69 out of 100 in the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and five out of five stars in the J.D. Power Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study.

Further Reading:

CenturyLink

PROVIDER SCORE: 3/5

Internet outages can cost your business significant money in lost sales from failed credit card transactions to an inability to respond to customers or fulfill internet orders. Most internet providers perform well when it comes to outages, but CenturyLink goes one step further by crediting you one day of paid service for every thirty minutes of downtime your company experiences.

✓ Best For:Not For: 
Businesses which can’t afford internet interruptions    

Flexible contractual commitments
Companies needing solid customer support

Businesses that would suffer from a 1 TB monthly data cap
  • Availability: 3/5 – CenturyLink is available in 36 states, which is a pretty wide area of coverage. The business internet service provider (ISP) isn’t found in California, Hawaii, and the Northeast, including New York.
  • Bandwidth: 3/5 – The bandwidth speeds vary widely from one city to another. The fastest Fiber Gigabit service of 940 Mbps is currently only available in 21 cities, which makes checking the availability essential before committing to any contracts.
  • Customer Service: 3/5 – CenturyLink’s customer service rating from the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is an underwhelming 59 out of 100. The ratings from J.D. Power were average at three out of five stars.

Further Reading:

Charter Spectrum

Most Flexible Contracts
Image for Spectrum Logo
Charter Spectrum

Charter Spectrum

Pros

Month-to-month contracts
Accurate advertised speeds
Decent customer service record

Cons

Unclear SLAs

PROVIDER SCORE: 4/5

If you prefer to avoid long-term commitments (and the hefty cancellation fees that come with), Charter Spectrum comes with month-to-month plans and no cancellation fees. The flexibility provides your company with the ability to make changes in your service as your business needs change.

✓ Best For:Not For:
 New businesses wanting to avoid long contracts

Businesses needing unlimited data
Companies who need excellent customer service
  • Availability: 4/5 – Charter Spectrum is available in 41 states. Business internet may not be available in all areas of the covered states, so it’s best to check ahead first.
  • Bandwidth: 5/5, Business customers who have Charter Spectrum’s fiber-optic available in their area can get up to 940 Mbps. The FCC reports that Charter customers experienced consistent speeds as advertised, which is extremely helpful for businesses counting on reliability.
  • Customer Service: 3/5 – Charter scored similarly to CenturyLink in customer service with 59 out of 100 rating from the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The ratings from J.D. Power were three out of four stars in all four regions.

Further Reading:

Comcast Xfinity

Most Reliable Speeds
Image for Xfinity Logo
Comcast

Xfinity Internet

Pros

Reliably fast speeds
Bundles with phone
Availability

Cons

Unfavorable contract terms
Poor customer service

PROVIDER SCORE: 4/5

Comcast offers business customers some of the fastest speeds, up to 1,000 Mbps, through its fiber network. Best yet, the Federal Communications Commission reports Comcast’s advertised speeds are accurate and sometimes faster than what the ISP promises. If efficiency, high speeds, and the ability to add other services are your top needs, then Xfinity is the go-to provider.

✓ Best For: Not For:
Businesses needing fast internet connectivity
               
Those wanting the option to bundle phone service


   Small businesses wanting to avoid long contracts
  • Availability: 4/5 – Business service is in 40 states, which makes Xfinity one of the most widely available internet providers.
  • Bandwidth: 5/5 – Comcast shines when it comes to bandwidth, with speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. Your business won’t have any data caps, so all your equipment and devices can stay connected for maximum business productivity.
  • Customer Service: 3/5 Comcast scored slightly below the national average in customer service with a 61 out of 100 in the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and an average of three out of five stars nationwide in the J.D. Power Internet Service Satisfaction Study.

Further Reading:

Verizon Fios

Best Customer Service
Image for Verizon-Logo-328x328
Verizon

Verizon Fios

Pros

Wide range of plans
Reliably fast speeds
Customer service
Contract flexibility

Cons

Unclear SLAs
Availability

PROVIDER SCORE: 3/5

Small businesses often don’t have the resources to fix technical issues related to the company’s internet infrastructure. For businesses in need of personal and reliable customer service from its internet service provider, Verizon ranks highest in customer service, which ensures the company is always available to answer your questions or help solve an internet-related issue.

✓ Best For: Not For: 
New businesses needing more technical support than average
Businesses needing fast and reliable connectivity


Companies outside the Northeast
  • Availability: 1/5 – Verizon Fios internet is currently only available in eight U.S. states and the District of Columbia (DC). Service is still not widespread in the states the company covers and in many cases, only available in the major cities.
  • Bandwidth: 3/5 – Verizon offers fiber-optic internet and DSL. Its high-speed fiber network comes with speeds up to 940 Mbps, while DSL business plans come with a bandwidth of 15 Mbps.
  • Customer Service: 5/5 – Verizon ranks No. 1  in customer service in the 2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) with a score of 70 out of 100. The ISP also wins the J.D. Power Internet Service Satisfaction Study with a four out of five stars.

Further Reading:

Guide to Business Internet

Check availability

Not all business internet service providers offer service in your area, so make sure to visit the ISP’s website to confirm. It’s likely the website will automatically locate where you’re visiting from and show the deals for your area. Or you can enter your ZIPcode to check business internet availability and specials.

Determine bandwidth needs

To determine how much bandwidth you’ll need, count how many computers and devices will connect to the internet. The more devices, the faster the service you should choose. Verizon lists the typical bandwidth according to your company’s internet use:

  • Basic emails:  1 Mbps each
  • Cloud backups:  2 Mbps
  • Sending an email with attachments:  15 Mbps
  • Web browsing:  0.33 Mbps/333 Kbps
  • Wi-Fi usage:  1 Mbps
  • Online banking and bookkeeping:  2 Mbps
  • Scheduling social media:  2 Mbps
  • Streaming webinars or online training courses: 5 Mbps or more
  • Video conferencing:  4 Mbps
  • VoIP calls: 1 Mbps/100 Kbps

Consider higher speeds

If you can afford the higher speed plan, it’s worth the money. You don’t want to deal with lag time when you’re running a credit card transaction or in the middle of a video conference.  Internet speeds can also vary by location, so try to compare what each internet provider can provide in your specific location.

Read the fine print

Take your time to read all the details before you sign up with an internet service provider. Lots of vital information is included in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). Providers must disclose its internet uptimes and how it will compensate you for outages. You’ll also find important information about contract lengths, equipment costs, and cancellation fees in the SLA.

Evaluate tech support

Good tech support can be critical to ensure your business can operate with as little interruption as possible. Larger companies may have their own IT department to handle any issues, but smaller businesses should consider paying for a tech support agreement to have access to help as soon as the company needs it.

Look for flexible contracts

New businesses may not be ready to sign a long-term service contract and a lot can change over six months to a year. Having the flexibility to cancel your plan or switch to a different one can save a small business money by avoiding paying early cancellation penalties. Consider an ISP offering a month-to-month contract or a maximum one-year commitment.

Bundle services

Bundling other services such as phone, mobile, TV, or security monitoring can save a business money. Most ISPs offer discounts on their business bundles and may even throw in free or discounted equipment or installation. If your business is in need of multiple services, checking the bundle opportunities from each provider can help consolidate costs.

Business Internet FAQs

What type of internet is best for businesses?

As more business tasks require the internet, companies with faster internet service are in a better position to compete. Fiber optic internet service is currently the fastest internet to date, although availability is often limited to major cities. 

Your business will probably use internet-based online banking, cloud, online-based accounting software, credit card processing, and customer service tools (to name a few). Higher bandwidth internet allows you to run several internet-based tasks at the same time, even during peak employee usage periods.

Why is business internet more expensive than residential service?

ISPs charge businesses higher for services because companies typically use more bandwidth. A residential customer usually comes home from work and accesses their home network for a couple of hours, while a business typically has several employees using bandwidth over eight hours per day at the same time.

Does my business need to pay for a technical support plan?

Depending on the complexity of your company’s network, your business may or may not need a plan. Smaller businesses that only need the internet to check emails may function with basic free support. If your company uses VOIP phone service and has multiple devices connected, investing in a plan with a tech advisor may be helpful in setting up your internet service correctly and troubleshooting any issues.

About the Authors

The Reviews.com staff is dedicated to providing you with all the deep-dive details. Our writers, researchers, and editors came together from Charlotte, Seattle, San Juan, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, and Chicago to put this review together.