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The Best Charlotte Internet Providers
Money.com released its annual 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S. and a Charlotte neighborhood secured fifth place. Charlotte, NC has old-world southern charm and bustling cosmopolitan vibrancy. Additionally, there are several noteworthy internet service providers in Charlotte, NC.
If you’re a resident (or about to become one) of Charlotte, one of the first services you’ll probably be in search of is internet service. There are plenty of providers offering everything from DSL to cable broadband to high-speed fiber-optic service — how will you know which one is best for you? Our review of Charlotte internet providers can help you explore and compare your options.
The 4 Best Internet Providers in Charlotte
- AT&T: Best Bundles
- Google Fiber: Best Features
- Spectrum: Widest Charlotte Coverage
- Windstream: Best Value
AT&T: Best Bundles
If you prefer to keep your home phone, internet and TV on one bill, AT&T is a good option. The provider offers a small selection of affordable bundles to meet your needs. Take a closer look at what AT&T has to offer in Charlotte, NC.
- Price: Internet prices start at $50 per month for 100 or 300 Mbps download speeds. The fastest tier comes in at $70 per month.
- Speed and Data: AT&T Fiber is available in Charlotte at three speeds. Choose from 100 or 300 Mbps with a generous data limit of 1 TB. Or upgrade to their highest-tier plan of 1000 Mbps download speeds and no data cap.
- Plans/Packages: When you sign up for a package, AT&T will throw in free installation, saving you $99. The Internet and U-verse TV package features fiber optic internet and 180 channels of U-verse TV for $79.99 per month with no data limits on internet usage. Add digital home phone services to the bundle and pay just $99.98 per month.
- Contract Options: AT&T requires a 12-month service agreement for internet service or the bundles they offer.
Google Fiber: Best Features
Google’s foray into internet services ranks them as the provider with the most (and best) features in our review. Google Fiber is only available in 18 cities at this time, but that number is set to expand. When you sign up for Google Fiber high-speed internet, you’ll also receive free installation and 1 TB of free cloud storage.
- Price: Google Fiber in Charlotte costs $70 per month for fast 1000 Mbps speeds.
- Speed and Data: Most data providers only promote their download speeds, which are considerably faster than their upload speeds. Google Fiber is unique because they claim 1000 Mbps download and upload speeds, making uploads of photos and files just as fast as downloading a video game or movie. Besides lightning-fast download and upload speeds, Google Fiber doesn’t throttle speeds or cap data.
- Plans/Packages: You can add Fiber Phone for an extra $10 per month.
- Contract Options: Google Fiber doesn’t require any contracts or commitments.
Spectrum: Widest Charlotte Coverage
- Price: Spectrum offers 200 Mbps speeds for $49.99 per month to Charlotte area residents. The internet service plan also comes with free access to Spectrum hotspots nationwide. You can connect any of your devices when you’re away from home to an available hotspot and save on your mobile data.
- Speed and Data: Charlotte residents can expect Spectrum internet speeds up to 200 Mbps.
- Plans/Packages: Besides internet services, you can add Spectrum TV for live streaming of your favorite channels. You can use your TV subscription wherever you are through the Spectrum TV app.
- Contract Options: Spectrum doesn’t require you to commit to a contract. Internet prices are guaranteed for the first 12 months of service but you may cancel at any time.
Windstream: Best Value
Choosing an internet provider based solely on price often comes with drawbacks — lower speeds or limitations on your monthly data usage. Windstream tops our list for best value because they have one of the lowest prices for high-speed internet without many inconvenient restrictions you’d expect when you choose a low-cost provider.
- Price: Windstream provides internet to all Charlotte residents, starting at $37 per month for the first year and $45 per month after.
- Speed and Data: Windstream advertises a speed of 100 Mbps, although average project range of streaming is 73 to 125 Mbps. There are no data caps or overage charges, so you don’t have to worry about that affecting online streaming habits.
- Plans/Packages: For extra savings, you can bundle DIRECTV and phone service with your internet. The home phone service includes unlimited calls nationwide.
- Contract Options: Windstream doesn’t require you to sign a long-term contract — plus you can cancel the service at any time.
How We Found the Best Internet Providers in Charlotte
We analyzed a dozen companies to find the best internet providers in Charlotte. Some of the key features we looked for are:
Coverage: Internet providers who offer widespread coverage throughout Charlotte make our list of best internet providers. Being able to transfer your service if you move is a perk of being signed up with a provider with larger area coverage.
Value: We weighed the pricing vs. features of all the available Charlotte internet service providers in determining which offer readers the most value. Some of the features we looked at were speed, packages, contract lengths, and data caps.
Customer Satisfaction: Satisfaction ratings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and J.D. Power were also taken into consideration. Because most internet service providers earned mediocre customer satisfaction ratings, we examined industry averages to get a clearer view of which internet providers resolved customer service issues best.
Charlotte Internet FAQ
Google Fiber is Google’s new high-speed internet service. It’s only available in select cities including Charlotte, North Carolina. Packages start at $50 per month for 100 to 1,000 Mbps.
Depending on the Charlotte, NC neighborhood, you’ll have access to speeds of up to 1000 Mbps.
Yes, fiber internet is faster than broadband cable. Fiber optic internet is delivered straight to your home through fibers that can carry light. Broadband internet is carried on coaxial cable wires and is shared with other neighborhood users, potentially slowing down your speeds when several users are online at once.
The larger the movie or music files you stream, or the more photos or videos you may upload or download, the more data or bandwidth you use. Many internet providers will limit the amount of monthly data. If you reach your limit, your internet provider may shut off your internet or slow your speed down.