A lot of people are being drawn to AT&T’s Fiber plans, and the most affordable of them, the 300 Mbps one, is proving to be a big hit. That could be because this kind of speed is more than enough for even a large family.
Here at Networks Hardware, we’ve been doing our homework on the AT&T Fiber 300 plan to find out just how good it is and who it’s best for.
We’ve also been scoping out many other plans from other providers to see how AT&T holds up compared to them.
So is AT&T Fiber 300 right for you? Perhaps you need even more speed, or could you save some money by joining a different plan elsewhere? These are the key questions, and we’re about to help you find out the answers.
An Intro to AT&T Fiber
Let’s start with the basics. The AT&T Fiber plan, as you might expect, offers a speed cap of 300 Mbps. Plus, the upload speed cap is the same amount so you’ll be able to share files and carry out other internet processes much quicker, as we will discover shortly.
The plan is available to customers in particular locations across the US (mostly in the East plus a lot of California), but you’ll need fiber readiness in your area if you want to get your hands on it.
AT&T Fiber is actually the most available fiber service in the US right now. You won’t find another provider who gets fiber into more homes than this one.
Who’s the AT&T 300 Mbps Plan Best For?
While the 300 Mbps speed is the ‘slowest’ of the five AT&T Fiber plans (the others being 500 Mbps, 1000 Mbps, 2000 Mbps and the almighty 5000 Mbps), it should be enough for most people. When we tested 300 Mbps for ourselves, we found that it’d be enough for as many as 8-10 people.
The AT&T Fiber 300 plan is particularly good for those who want to carry out internet processes that demand a high upload speed such as gaming, sharing files or making video calls.
That’s because this plan’s upload speed cap is the same as its download speed. This is pretty rare, as many providers will limit upload speed to just a tenth of download speed or sometimes even less. It’s one of the exciting things about where fiber is going though.
Check out the next section for an insight into the potential effects of that.
What 300 Mbps Could Do For You
Before you decide that 300 Mbps is the right speed for your own circumstances, read below for a breakdown of its capabilities.
You’ll need 25 Mbps if you want to stream in Netflix’s highest video quality, Ultra HD . So with 300 Mbps, you could technically stream 12 super high quality flicks at the same time!
Of course, there will be some drawbacks to this such as the distance you are from the router and other connected devices running background processes, but it goes to show the extent of this speed. So, a realistic prediction for a medium-sized home would be six streams.
When it comes to gaming, we need to look at upload speed as well as download speed. And that’s where the AT&T Fiber 300 plan really comes into its own.
Gaming is about as demanding on upload speed as it is on download speed. And because the upload speed is also capped at 300 Mbps, you’ll be able to game to your heart’s content with this plan.
The most intense gaming sessions require an upload speed of 25 Mbps max, but generally you can get away with speeds as low as 1-3 Mbps . But even in the worst case scenario, you could still enjoy 12 gaming sessions at the same time. Time for a gaming party, perhaps?
A lot of gamers will also know how tedious it can be to download large files on a slow connection. Some of the largest files many of us ever have to download are game installations, after all!
Let’s take the example of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for PC. That’s a massive 231 GB in size, but at 300 Mbps, it would take just 12 minutes to download. Just enough time to brew some coffee before you get started with your gaming campaign.
Making calls and more
We need to go back to upload speed for the most part when looking at video calling, and that’s because a lot of video calling platforms are more upload-intensive than they are on downloading.
Zoom demands an upload speed of 3.8 Mbps for its highest quality video calling , so you could make almost 79 simultaneous calls with 300 Mbps. Perfect for an office environment…?
Is AT&T 300 Mbps Worth the Price?
So, this is really what it all comes down to. If the plan can offer good value for money, why wouldn’t you go for it?
Value isn’t just about price. We also need to look at the length of the contract and other terms and conditions such as data caps. So let’s do that.
Contract length and cost
The AT&T Fiber 300 is fairly well-priced. At $55 per month plus taxes , there are certainly cheaper plans available, but you could do worse.
But here’s the thing: there is no minimum contract for this plan. That means you can take it up for just one month and then move onto something else if you decide that it’s not quite right for you.
The only thing you will need to bear in mind is that an installation fee may apply, and that could cost up to $99 depending on your current setup and your location. So, it’s not going to be financially effective to simply take up the plan and then move on after a short time.
However, if you’re not an AT&T customer already, you can get paid to make the switch. Right now, they’re offering customers a $150 gift card for starting a plan and paying any cancellation fees from previous contracts. That certainly helps to sweeten the deal.
Also note that customers in TX, OH and NV will have to pay the Monthly State Cost Recovery Charge on top of this amount.
Is there a data cap?
Absolutely not! It’d be rare to see a data cap with a fiber plan as they’re all about speed and relishing in maximum internet power. So, you could use your 300 Mbps to download files and stream indefinitely forever.
How about equipment rental?
Nope. Unlike many other provider plans, you won’t need to pay to rent your router or any of the cables . The $55 you pay for this plan is all you have to pay.
The only time where an equipment charge will come in is if you fail to return the router to the provider at the end of the plan, so make sure you don’t simply dispose of it.
AT&T Fiber & AT&T Wireless
If you’re in the market for a new cell phone plan, it’s probably a good idea to bundle it all in with one provider. You can often save a bit of cash as a loyal customer.
While there are no monthly savings by doing this with AT&T, you can get cash back by being a customer of both AT&T Fiber and AT&T Wireless, their cell phone plans.
If you’re already a Wireless customer and want to take up AT&T Broadband, they’ll give you a $300 reward card for making the switch . On the flip side, AT&T will pay their broadband customers $250 in bill credits if they transfer their phone over to Wireless.
AT&T Fiber & AT&T Internet
These days, AT&T is really trying to push its fiber plans. But it still offers regular wireless internet. So what’s the difference?
Fiber vs wireless
Fiber optic internet is a completely new technology compared to regular wireless broadband. It uses light to transmit a connection instead of the older method of converting data into electromagnetic waves.
Realistically, you don’t need to understand the physics behind it. But it is useful to know what’s what so that you can decide what’s best for you. And the bottom line is that fiber is a heck of a lot faster but also can be more expensive.
You’re also much less likely to experience network congestion with fiber, which means you’ll get consistently faster speeds 24/7.
Fiber absolutely is the future, and it will only be a matter of time before every household in the US is able to get it.
AT&T Fiber vs AT&T Internet
AT&T’s wireless is branded as AT&T Internet and it’s currently available in a far greater percentage of the US than its Fiber – only a third of its full reach as a provider can get the fiber plans.
Interestingly, AT&T Fiber works out to much better value than regular Internet plans. For the same $55 price you’ll be capped at 75 Mbps with Internet, and that’s not going to be enough for a family. 75 Mbps is only good for 2-3 people at most.
You’ll also be locked into a 12 month contract with this plan and there’s a 1 TB p/month data cap which could be very problematic for some people.
In the future, we could (and perhaps probably will) see the two combine as fiber takes over and becomes the mainstream. But right now, AT&T and some other providers are in a limbo period where they’re offering both depending on area. So, hopefully you can get fiber where you live.
Where Can I Get AT&T Fiber?
AT&T Fiber is still pretty new so they’re still in the process of rolling it out to as much of the US as they can. Right now, it’s limited to a few towns and cities in California and in the East of the US, but not New York or Pennsylvania.
Even then, your ability to get fiber will vary from town to town and even from street to street so you’ll need to enquire with the company. If you want to find out whether you can get AT&T Fiber in your home, you can simply head over to their website and input your postcode.
What Else Comes With the AT&T Fiber 300 Plan?
If you are lucky enough to be able to get AT&T Fiber in your area, here’s what you’ll get if you decide to take up the plan.
The router you get with your AT&T Fiber 300 plan is developed by the company itself and is a pretty neat looking piece of kit. It will be more than effective to provide the speeds of the plan.
You’ll also get all the necessary cables for your setup including an Ethernet cable to plug into any external hardware.
If you want extra range from your Fiber 300 network, you can also pick up a Wi-Fi extender from AT&T at the cost of $10 per month. That might work out cheaper than just buying third-party hardware.
But, you could go one better with your hardware and convert it to a Mesh system of your own, to keep. Check out our guide to the best Wi-Fi 6 Mesh systems. These will be perfect for your new home if it’s over 3000 sq ft or so in size.
AT&T ActiveArmor internet security
We love the fact that AT&T provides free network security for its users. If your Wi-Fi network were to become compromised, so too could all the devices connected to it, and this could prove to be pretty catastrophic.
AT&T Smart Home Manager app
All your internet settings such as the network name and password can be controlled through the neat Smart Home Manager app, downloadable directly from the App Store or Play Store.
This makes taking control of your network a lot easier and more satisfying than using the standard network configuration page on a desktop computer.
AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spot
Customers with AT&T will also be able to take advantage of their nationwide internet plan, which is basically cloud Wi-Fi. You should be able to find this in many areas across the US.
AT&T 300 vs Other AT&T Fiber Plans
300 Mbps is the slowest of the Fiber plans from AT&T, and nowadays you can go a heck of a lot faster. The next step up is 500 Mbps, followed by 1000 Mbps or 1 Gbps. Then, things go crazy at 2 Mbps followed by the fastest of all, the brand new 5 Gbps.
|Who It’s For
|AT&T Internet 300
|Smaller families and single users
|AT&T Internet 500
|Large families and small businesses
|AT&T Internet 1 Gig
|AT&T Internet 2 Gig
|AT&T Internet 5 Gig
|Super intensive work among many
Anything from 1 Gbps onwards will be fairly rare at this point, and only a fraction of AT&T’s customers will be able to get their hands on the 5 Gbps plan.
The monthly prices for these plans are as follows. They each come with the same terms as the 300 Mbps plan, such as no equipment rental fees and no minimum contract.
A Look at the Competition
|Provider & Plan
|Price per month
|Who It’s For
|AT&T Internet 300
|Smaller families and single users
|Verizon Fios 300
|Large families and small businesses
|Google Fiber 1000
|Optimum Fiber 300
|Large families and small businesses
Could you get a better deal elsewhere? Well, the second most available Fiber provider in the US is Verizon Fios. Their 300 Mbps plan currently costs $50, $5 less than that of AT&T, and there’s no data cap, equipment fees, or minimum plan. That means it offers better value for money than AT&T.
In third place for availability, there’s Google Fiber. Their minimum speed is 1000 Mbps, and it costs $70. That’s $10 less than the equivalent plan from AT&T with similar terms again.
However, there’s also the question of being able to get the plan in the first place. Right now, not many will be in a position to ’shop around’ when it comes to fiber, such is the limited reach of each provider.
Because AT&T Fiber 300 is only available to a small-ish percentage of the American population, it might have to be the case that users who want fiber sign up with a different company.
In New York City, for example, fiber is not available from AT&T, but you can get it from Verizon Fios, Optimum, and one or two others. Optimum is, in fact, one of the most affordable examples of 300 Mbps fiber at just £30 per month
AT&T is generally a little more expensive than the competition, but that’s not quite as much of a big deal right now because of the difference in the area. In the future, they might want to make their prices a bit more competitive as other providers start to invade their zones.
Last Thoughts on AT&T Fiber 300
While AT&T Fiber 300 isn’t the fastest way to get 300 Mbps fiber internet in the US, it’s still a pretty neat package overall. The fact that it comes with a powerful router for free, antivirus technology and no minimum plan is very interesting indeed.
It’s a good plan for any family or even a small workplace. However, if you’re looking to supply internet to a larger place of work, or if you feel like you want to download a lot of large files very quickly, you might want to opt for the 500, 1000, 2000, or even the 5000 Mbps plan.
If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you can choose between providers, make sure you shop around and find the price that’s right for you. But remember, it’s not just about money. Make sure you consider the plan length, the data cap, and the other terms as well.
Plus, there’s always the matter of upload speed to consider if you make a lot of calls or do a lot of gaming.