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Last updated on May 19, 2021

Best Internet Providers for Gaming

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Although there are numerous internet service providers out there, finding the best internet in your area can be tricky. Some providers won’t be available at your location, and for the ones that are, offerings can vary significantly.

To find the best internet providers for gaming, we analyzed the country’s leading internet providers based on criteria like internet speeds, price, availability and customer service

These are our picks for 2020’s best internet providers for gaming.

The Top 10 Internet Providers for Gaming


AvailabilityBandwidthACSI ratingMonthly Prices starting at 
AT&TFiber, DSL.2 Mbps – 940 Mbps68$39.99
XfinityFiber, Cable15 Mbps – 2,000 Mbps66$24.99
FrontierFiber, DSL6 Mbps – 940 Mbps55$27.99
VerizonFiber, DSL  100 Mbps – 940 Mbps73$39.99
CenturyLinkFiber, DSL10 Mbps – 940 Mbps63$45
SpectrumCable100 Mbps – 940 Mbps63$49.99
RCNFiber, Cable10 Mbps – 940 MbpsNot rated$19.99
ViasatSatellite12 Mbps – 100 MbpsNot rated$30
CoxFiber, Cable10 Mbps – 1,000 Mbps61$29.99
SuddenlinkFiber, Cable100 Mbps – 940 Mbps57$34.99

*Data as of 10/1/2020.

AT&T

Among fiber providers AT&T offers cheaper plans with no data caps and several price levels. Plans range from 10 Mbps to 940 Mbps to easily accommodate simultaneous streaming for the many devices in your household.

Best For:Not For: 
Reliable broadbandSuper-fast fiber speedsExcellent customer serviceMinimum 12-month contract requiredPrice increase after first year 
  • Fast speeds: Choose from speeds from 10 Mbps to 940 Mbps with discounted first-year pricing.
  • Reliable network:  Latest reports from the FCC show that AT&T DSL speeds are over 86% accurate with 99% reliability for fiber.
  • Great support: User reviews praise AT&T for their friendly, helpful, and patient representatives.

Further Reading:

Xfinity

Xfinity is one of the nation’s largest internet providers, offering speeds from 25 Mbps all the way to 2,000 Mbps with its cable and fiber internet plans.

Best For:Not For: 
Reliable and dependable serviceBroad availabilityTons of room to bundleHave to sign a contract for best prices  Customer service is lacking
  • A bundle-friendly provider: Xfinity gives you plenty of opportunities to bundle multiple services for extra savings. 
  • Option for unlimited data: You will have to pay extra each month, but you can upgrade your plan to unlimited data. 
  • Available nearly everywhere: Xfinity offers excellent accessibility with service to most U.S. zip codes.

Further Reading:

Frontier

Frontier gives limited options for fiber but excels in its DSL coverage. Speeds are not as fast as competitors, and you have to rent your equipment, but plans are on the cheaper end, and you have a range of options to choose from.

Best For:Not For: 
No contractsNo data capsPrice-for-Life programLimited fiber availabilityLow customer service ratings
  • Multiple choices: Both DSL and fiber-optic internet is available through Frontier for your home internet service.
  • Extended DSL availability: Although fiber optic internet is limited to just a handful of states, DSL is available to most regions.
  • Price-for-Life: In addition to no contracts and no data overages, Frontier will lock in your pricing for life with its Price-for-Life option.

Further Reading:

Verizon

Verizon is not only a leader in fiber optic technology, but it boasts some of the very best customer service. You also have the ability to customize your plan when you bundle with TV. 

Best For:Not For: 
Some of the fastest speeds availableSuperb customer serviceVerizon Wireless customer discountHard to find coverageMore expensive than other providers
  • Lightning-fast speeds: Verizon is known for super-fast speeds, reaching as high as 940 Mbps with its Fios Gigabit Connection plan.
  • Unlimited data: It’s rare to see a big provider with such high speeds offer unlimited data with its plans, but Verizon does.
  • Tons of promotions: Verizon could give you $500 for transferring from another provider, as well as special introductory pricing and promotions. 

Further Reading:

CenturyLink

CenturyLink gives you reasonable speeds covering a wide variety of needs with no penalties for data limits. Customer service is lacking, but for many customers, it’s a worthwhile tradeoff to avoid contracts and termination fees. 

Best For:Not For: 
Locked-in pricing with DSL plansNo contractsNo termination feesLimited availability for Gig FiberSlower speed performance
  • Price-for-Life: CenturyLink lets you lock in your pricing with its Price-for-Life guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about bill increases.
  • Cheaper pricing: CenturyLink gives you some of the same speeds as other providers but for several dollars less each month.
  • No contracts: Many customers appreciate the lack of contracts, giving them the ability to avoid cancellation fees if they find a better deal elsewhere.

Further Reading:

Spectrum

Spectrum is known for its internet, cable TV, and phone service, making it easy to bundle for cheaper billing. It’s available in 43 states with speeds up to 940 Mbps for an all-around great pick. 

Best For:Not For: 
No contractsAvailable in most areasExcellent customer serviceCan get priceyFiber-optic connections
  • Contract buyout: Spectrum will help you switch over to its services with a $500 credit when you purchase a new internet plan.
  • No data caps: Stream without worries thanks to no data caps on Spectrum internet plans.
  • Reliable speeds: Spectrum delivers faster and more reliable speeds than other providers like AT&T.

Further Reading:

RCN

RCN may have a limited service area, but its pricing is some of the most competitive among internet service providers. Its fiber network is slowly increasing, but for now, service is mostly limited to larger metropolitan areas.

Best For:Not For: 
Affordable pricingFast fiber-optic speedsUnlimited streamingMinimal service areaLimited bundling options
  • Expanding fiber coverage: RCN fiber internet is not yet available in all service areas, but it’s especially prevalent in NYC, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
  • High customer satisfaction: As a smaller provider, RCN delivers more personalized customer service and support for your internet plan. 
  • No limits on streaming: RCN does not cap your internet usage, so you can stream all of your favorites without worrying about a higher bill. 

Viasat

With Viasat, speeds are limited, but service is far more widespread than most other cable or fiber optic internet providers. You have to commit to a contract, but you get unlimited data with some plans, saving you money in the long run.

Best For:Not For: 
Unlimited data with some plansCan bundle with DIRECTV for discountsExpanded satellite networksHas slower speeds than most providersNot the cheapest plans
  • Widespread coverage: Viasat covers 98% of the country, giving coverage to rural and less-populated areas that normally have a hard time finding internet coverage.
  • Unlimited data available with certain plans: Viasat won’t cap your data with some plans. 
  • Free installation: It’s not easy installing a satellite, so Viasat will do it for you and without any cost when you sign a contract.

Further Reading:

Cox

Cox is only available in a small percentage of the country, but its customers speak highly of the service and support that they receive. There’s a wide range of internet plans available, making it a great choice for both heavy and minimal streaming.

Best For:Not For: 
Wide range of plansBudget-friendly plans for lighter usageExcellent customer serviceMore expensive than other providersRequires a contract
  • Affordable speeds: Cox doesn’t make you pay for speeds you don’t need, offering cheap internet plans with slower speeds for light users.
  • Happy customers: Cox customers rate the company highly for its customer service and support, which isn’t easy to find in this industry.
  • Panoramic WiFi app: Cox gives you greater control of your internet with its Panoramic WiFi, which mimics mesh wifi for better internet coverage throughout your home.

Further Reading:

Suddenlink

Suddenlink offers speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, and its fastest plan will also give you locked-in pricing. Introductory pricing is great — just be prepared for price increases after your first year.

Best For:Not For: 
Cheap internetFast internet speedsPrice-for-Life on its fastest planHas more extra fees than other providersPrice increases for some plans after promotional first year pricing
  • Available in hard-to-find areas: Suddenlink gives you the option for fast internet in areas that typically do not have tons of choices for internet service.
  • Fast speeds: Even though Suddenlink is based in more rural areas, it still offers speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps.
  • Cheaper plans: Suddenlink gives you internet service that is cheaper than several of its competitors, with plans starting at just $35 a month.

Guide to Internet for Gaming

Check availability

Not all companies are available everywhere. While companies like Viasat and AT&T are known for their wide availability, other internet service providers like Suddenlink, Cox, Frontier and Verizon FiOS are harder to find in some areas of the U.S. 

Before you shop internet plans, research which internet service providers service your home address. 

The Best Speed for Internet Gaming

People frequently talk about fast internet speeds, but what does that mean exactly? When you shop internet plans, you should consider different factors like the appropriate internet speed and download versus upload speeds. Both of these will determine how quickly and smoothly your internet works, just as the type of internet you use will also affect your internet’s performance. You can also increase your internet speed by switching to fiber from cable internet.

To figure out what kind of internet speeds you need, check out our Online’s Gamer’s Bandwidth Calculator to find the right speeds for your home.

Study pricing

The cost for high-speed internet can vary significantly, depending on which plan you choose. Providers can vary significantly in their pricing for similar speeds, and others may specialize in certain types of internet, like cable or fiber optic. Be sure to consider any hidden costs that can impact your overall pricing, especially after any promotional periods end.  

Equipment recommended

When you purchase an internet service plan, there is some additional equipment that you may need for your internet to work properly, including these.

  • Modem — Your modem, typically rented through your internet service provider, will connect your devices to the internet through your cable, fiber or phone line.
  • Router — To power your home with internet access, you can either purchase your own or rent one with your internet plan.
  • Cables — Most of the cables you will need will come with your router so you can connect all of your devices.

Consider bundling

Many internet service providers also offer other services, such as home or wireless phone service or TV packages. When you bundle multiple services, you can enjoy the convenience of a single provider with easier and cheaper billing. The best internet bundles can save you a ton of money on your phone, internet, and TV bills each month. 

Look for flexible contracts

Another point to consider is whether your internet service provider requires a contract. Some providers will require that you commit to a contract in order to benefit from discounted pricing. If you are happy with your provider or don’t have a lot of other options, this could be a way to get cheaper pricing, but typically, there are price increases that come later once the promotional period ends.  

FAQs

About the Authors

Lena Borrelli

Lena Borrelli Contributing Writer

Lena Borrelli is a freelance writer for Reviews.com. Over the last year, she has covered insurance, finance, and more. She has been featured in TIME with NextAdvisor, Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, MYMOVE, Million Mile Secrets, Coverage.com and more. My favorite article is “How to Invest in Real Estate During COVID?” on Reviews.com.