13 Best Internet Providers for Gamers, Seniors, Students, & More


This guide will cover the best internet service providers for gamers, college students, and other groups of people or use cases.

As a gamer and someone who works from home, I want the best internet providers to optimize my experience. You’ll also need the best internet for your work and entertainment.

While reading, you’ll find the following:

  1. Best provider Overall
  2. Best provider for Gamers
  3. Best provider for Apartments
  4. Best provider for Senior citizens
  5. Best provider for Satellite internet
  6. Best provider for Folks living in rural areas
  7. Best provider for Remote workers
  8. Best provider for College students
  9. Best provider for Livestreamers
  10. Best provider for TV streaming
  11. Best provider for Mobile internet
  12. Best provider for Contract-free
  13. Best provider for Businesses

We have much to cover. So let’s make haste.

Best Internet Service Providers Compared

Compare the best internet providers to see who you should get:

Company* Lowest PriceNumber Of Available StatesSymmetric?Data Cap?Best for:
Verizon$50/mo.5G Home: 33
LTE Home: 50
Fios: 9
YesNoBest overall, rural areas (LTE) & remote work (fiber)
AT&T Fiber$55/mo.21YesNoApartment renters
Charter Spectrum$74.99/mo.42NoNoStreaming videos & live TV
T-Mobile$50/mo.50NoNoRV owners
Frontier$49.99/mo.25YesNoOnline gaming
Google Fiber$70/mo.9YesNoLivestreamers
Starlink$110/mo.33No1.2 TBRural areas
CenturyLink$50/mo.16NoNoCollege students
Xfinity Comcast$9.95/mo.40No0 –1.2 TBContract-free internet (Prepaid Internet)

Best internet providers in the United States compared.

* These prices don’t account for standard pricing, automatic payment discounts, taxes, and other fees.

Symmetric means the provider offers equal download and upload speeds. You’ll need to consider this when shopping for providers if you frequently upload data.

Instances where you’d upload data include livestreaming, using cloud security cameras, or uploading files to a cloud storage server.

With the growing size of files and more people downloading software online, data caps play a crucial role in choosing a provider.

Say you frequently torrent files. You’ll likely surpass that data cap in no time.

And pay a lot in data overage charges.

If you’re receiving government benefits, consider applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). It’ll give you a $30 recurring credit for participating internet providers. $75 if you live on qualifying Tribal Lands.

It’s a great program to help improve internet accessibility.

Visit fcc.gov/acp to learn more.

#1 Verizon: Best Overall Internet Provider

Verizon modems and routers

Best Plan300 Mbps
Plan Speeds300/300 Mbps
PerksFree router & other random perks
Equipment Installation Fee$99; waive when ordering online
Why It’s The BestSymmetric speeds, contract-free, & no data cap

Verizon’s the best overall internet provider (in my opinion) because of their vast service options. 4G and 5G LTE internet, fiber optic home internet, and fiber television.

Without contracts and a data cap, the 4G and 5G LTE plans serve as perfect home internet packages for those in suburban or rural areas.

They also make for excellent backup internet plans for remote workers. Much cheaper than satellite internet. I mention a Verizon Fios package later in this guide for remote workers.

Stay tuned.

Verizon has a 10-year price lock on all their home internet plans until early 2023. From thereon, they’ll likely have a 2- to 4-year price lock. Which means you won’t have to worry about price hikes.

Verizon 4G and 5G home internet are available nationwide. I’ll cover Fios availability in a bit.

#2 Frontier Fiber: Best Internet Provider for Gamers

Frontier Approved Modems

Best Plan500 Mbps
Plan Speeds500/500 Mbps
PerksFree Amazon eero gigabit router
Average Latency10–15 ms
Equipment Installation Fee$85
Why It’s The BestSymmetric speeds, contract-free, & no data cap

Frontier Fiber 500 Mbps costs $49.99 monthly for the first 12 months. And when you enable automatic payments on your account.

The “12 months” is their price lock. They don’t specify a price after this period. You’ll have to prepare for anything.

I recommend Frontier Fiber as the best ISP for online gaming because of the claims surrounding their low latency. Many claim to have 15 or fewer milliseconds of latency [1].

Some consider 40–60 milliseconds an acceptable latency [2].

You also get more reliable internet with fiber optic connections. Whether you’re livestreaming while gaming or playing the latest popular online shooter, you shouldn’t see much lag.

When using Frontier Fiber.

Livestreamers will also love Frontier because of its high upload speeds. Run over 10 home security cameras. And stream on Twitch in 1080p with more than 5 rigs without surpassing your upstream bandwidth.

The Amazon eero is a dual-band mesh 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) router that supports gigabit internet and usually costs $200. But is it good for gaming?

This isn’t a guide covering min/maxing your online gaming. Just the provider portion. You’ll have to find a separate post covering routers and services to lower your ping further.

Frontier Fiber internet is available in these states:

NebraskaNevadaNew MexicoNew York
North CarolinaOhioPennsylvaniaSouth Carolina
TennesseeTexasUtahWest Virginia

States where you can get Frontier Fiber internet.

They don’t support every city and county in these states. Enter your ZIP code at go.frontier.com/availability and see whether it’s possible to obtain.

#3 AT&T Fiber: Best Internet Provider for Apartments

AT&T Logo

Best Plan300 Mbps Fiber
Speed300/300 Mbps
Perks$150 gift card
Connection TypeFiber
Equipment Installation Fee$99
Why It’s The BestSymmetric internet speeds with no data cap

AT&T Fiber costs $55 monthly, doesn’t require a contract, and has no data caps.

It will enable apartments with 12 people to stream 4K videos simultaneously without buffering. A more realistic use case for AT&T Fiber 300 is quicker file downloads or uploads.

Homes that frequently upload/download files won’t have to worry about congesting your network’s bandwidth. Or data caps. This plan’s perfect if you manage a home media server, work from home, or download files frequently.

AT&T has no fees for its equipment rentals. No paying extra for a leased wireless router.

I recommend this plan for those living in apartments for multiple years. Because you may have to pay the installation fee again if the new place you’re moving to doesn’t support AT&T.

All the states you can get AT&T Fiber in include:

AlabamaGeorgiaFloridaNorth Carolina
South Carolina

States where you can get AT&T Fiber.

Follow this link and enter your address to ensure AT&T supports your city or county.

#4 Xfinity: Best Internet Provider for Seniors

Comcast Xfinity modem and router

Best PlanInternet Essentials
Speed50/10 Mbps (download/upload)
PerksNo credit check & free network gateway
Connection TypeCable/fiber hybrid
Equipment Installation FeeFree
Why It’s The BestGives you access to discounted laptops & potentially free internet

Xfinity’s Internet Essentials plan costs $9.95 monthly (taxes not included) and doesn’t require a contract. The 50 Mbps of download speed in this plan would allow up to 10 people to watch 720p videos online simultaneously.

Thus, it will accommodate most households’ online needs.

It’s available to households that participate in programs like:

  • Social security income (SSI)
  • Medicaid
  • Housing assistance
  • SNAP (food stamps)

To see if you qualify, visit their product’s landing page. If you do, consider also applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). It has similar requirements and gives you a $30 recurring credit.

That means you’ll get this plan free.

You’ll also have access to a $149.99 Dell laptop or Chromebook. They’re not the fastest laptops, but they’re ideal for online video calls and browsing.

You must visit Xfinity’s website and enter your address to know whether they provide internet in your ZIP code. To help determine whether it’s worth entering your address, here are all the states they support:

MississippiMissouriNew HampshireNew Jersey
NevadaNew MexicoNew YorkNorth Carolina
OhioOregonPennsylvaniaSouth Carolina
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsin

States where Xfinity offers internet services.

#5 Starlink: Best Satellite Internet Provider

Starlink Logo

Best Plan Price$110/mo.
Speeds50–200 Mbps (DL) & 10–20 Mbps (UL)
Perks30-day money-back guarantee
Hard Data Cap1.0 Terabyte (TB) during peak hours
Equipment Installation Fee$599
Why It’s The BestNo data cap & RV satellite internet product

Despite Starlink’s obscene equipment installation fee and recently added data cap [3], it’s still a better choice than Viasat or HughesNet.

Viasat has a soft data cap. This allowance lowers your speeds to an alleged 1.0–3.0 Mbps once you surpass 40 GB. And HughesNet charges a lot while still enforcing low hard data caps.

So long as your household streams videos online. Otherwise, you’d burn through these hard and soft data caps in under 40 hours of watching 720p HD videos.

Before choosing Starlink as a satellite internet provider, consider 4G LTE home internet. Or satellite providers who only offer services in your state.

You may pay a lot less.

As for Starlink’s data caps, homes that strictly browse online, watch 480p or 360p SD videos, and gaming online won’t pass it. You’ll need to become conservative regarding file downloads, though.

Also, avoid downloading an entire Steam game library in a month. That’s one of the best ways to burn through your data cap.

According to a cool satellite internet map, Starlink supports almost every region throughout the U.S.

#6 Verizon LTE Home: Best Rural Internet Provider

Verizon modems and routers

Best PlanLTE Home Internet
Speed25–50 Mbps (DL) 4.0 Mbps (UL)
PerksFree router included
Connection Type4G LTE
Equipment Installation FeeNone
Why It’s The BestNo data cap & affordable

Verizon 4G LTE Home costs $50 a month (with AutoPay) and doesn’t require a contract. During Verizon’s price lock promotion, the price won’t increase for 10 years.

Their LTE Home plan allows up to 10 people to simultaneously stream 1080p FHD videos online. Without worrying about data overage charges.

Due to the low upload and download speeds, you’ll need to monitor how frequently people upload and download files. Because this can devour your bandwidth and slow internet speeds for other devices.

Because there’s no hard data cap.

It appears there’s no soft data cap, either. You don’t need to worry about slower speeds once you pass the “X” GB threshold.

Since Verizon offers the most 4G LTE coverage to rural areas, choosing it as a rural internet provider makes sense. Their LTE Home package only requires you to set up a router.

If it’s available in your area, consider this over satellite internet. Overall, you can get Verizon in any state. You must check their website to see whether Verizon supports your ZIP code.

#7 Verizon Fiber: Best Internet Provider for Working From Home

Verizon modems and routers

Best Plan1 Gig
Speed940/880 Mbps
PerksFree Disney+ (6 mo.), 10-year price guarantee, cheaper when bundling w/ Verizon Wireless
Connection TypeFiber
Equipment Installation Fee$99 (can waive when ordering online)
Why It’s The BestHigh upload & download speeds without worrying about price hikes

Verizon Fiber 1 Gig costs $89.99 monthly when enabling automatic payments on your account. It includes a router rental and many perks. I’d love to list all the extras, but they appear to change daily.

The plan’s 940/880 Mbps speeds work perfectly for any freelancer, remote worker, or small business owner who frequently downloads and uploads files. Or manages home servers.

Engage in video calls with clients while uploading/downloading massive files.

Here’s an example of why such high download speeds are crucial for deadlines. Imagine you’re downloading an hour-long 4K UHD TV1 video from a client or coworker. The file’s 45 GB [4].

It’ll take you under 7 minutes to download that file.

Plus, Verizon has a 10-year price guarantee. No worrying about whether they’ll increase your internet prices.

The biggest downside to Verizon Fios is its lack of availability. Check out a coverage map before choosing them as a service.

In short, it’s available in these areas:

  • Washington DC
  • Virginia
    • Richmond
    • Norfolk
  • Rhode Island
    • Providence
  • Pennsylvania
    • Pittsburgh
    • Philadelphia
    • Harrisburg
  • Massachusetts
    • Boston
  • Delaware
  • New York
    • New York City
    • Buffalo
    • Albany
    • Staten Island
    • Syracuse
    • Plattsburgh
  • Maryland
    • Baltimore
  • New Jersey

#8 CenturyLink: Best Internet Provider for College Students


Best Plan100 Mbps
Plan Speeds100/12 Mbps
Connection TypeDSL
Equipment Installation Fee$15 (self-installation)
Why It’s The BestAffordable & decent download speed
Student discount?No

College students who only use home internet for watching videos, online classes, and gaming will get the most value out of CenturyLink’s DSL plan. It’s $50 monthly, doesn’t require a contract, and has no price hike.

1 device running a 720p Zoom group call demands 2.6 Mbps of upstream bandwidth [5]. Say you have roommates who also participate in online classes. 4 people could run Zoom group calls simultaneously without issues.

CenturyLink also participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This program gives those receiving certain government benefits a recurring $30 monthly credit.

If you qualify, you’ll pay $20 monthly for the plan. Check out their website to learn more.

Those with more disposable income and who frequently collaborate with people remotely will want symmetric internet speeds. Equal download and upload speeds.

You’ll need these speeds to download and upload files quickly. This “perk” will give you the extra time you would have wasted downloading or uploading project-related files.

But these plans cost more. And they have limited availability. You’ll need to explore local fiber providers and find one that suits your needs.

CenturyLink provides DSL internet in all states except Alaska and Hawaii [6].

You must visit shop.centurylink.com/uas and enter your address to see whether they support digital service line internet in your area.

#9 Google Fiber: Best Internet Provider for Streaming

Best router for Google fiber

Best Plan1 Gig
Speed1,000/1,000 Mbps
Perks1.0 TB free cloud storage, 
Equipment Installation FeeNone
Why It’s The BestSymmetric internet speeds at an affordable(ish) rate

Google Fiber’s 1 Gig plan costs $70 monthly, doesn’t require contracts, and has no data cap. It also includes a free mesh Wi-Fi router.

The plan works best for livestreamers who want to livestream without interruptions in high-definition content on multiple platforms simultaneously.

Or who runs a million browser tabs in the background.

You’ll need at least 5.7 Mbps upload speeds to livestream on Twitch in 720p 30 FPS [7]. The bandwidth you’ll need will increase and vary depending on your online activities while streaming.

For instance, reacting to a 1080p 30 FPS YouTube video will demand an extra 5.0 Mbps bandwidth.

Running home security cameras, smart devices, or home servers will demand even more bandwidth. The snowball effect from all these devices’ internet requirements will grow fast.

So long as you have disposable income and Google Fiber available in your city, get this plan. It’ll move you toward improving your stream’s quality.

The free terabyte of Google Drive cloud storage also gives streamers a place to store files and documents.

Google Fiber covers the following cities:

Atlanta, GAAustin, TXCharlotte, NCChicago, IL
Denver, CODes Moines, IAHuntsville, ALKansas City, KS/MO
Lakewood, COMesa, AZMiami, FLNashville, TN
Oakland, CAOmaha, NEOrange County, CAProvo, UT
Salt Lake Valley, UTSan Antonio, TXSan Diego, CASan Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA

Cities where Google Fiber is available.

#10 Spectrum Best Internet Provider for TV Streaming

Spectrum modem and router

Best Plan300 Mbps
Speed300/10 Mbps
Provider PerksFree modem
Connection TypeCable/fiber hybrid
Equipment Installation Fee$19.99 (self-installation fee)
Why It’s The BestBundle this with Spectrum TV Essentials & you’ll have an optimal live TV streaming experience

To make this provider (and plan) work, I recommend getting the Spectrum TV Essentials add-on product. It’s a live TV streaming service that’s $24.99 monthly.

It has 60 live TV channels and allows you to watch them on unlimited devices (at home) through the Spectrum TV app.


Any internet service provider works fine for watching content through live TV or regular streaming platforms (e.g., Netflix). So long as they don’t have data caps.

Because the data caps will lead to overage surcharges once you watch “X” TB/GB worth of videos. Spectrum doesn’t have a data cap, though.

It also offers a money-back guarantee and doesn’t require a contract. While not an ideal provider regarding customer service, they’re decent when it comes to video entertainment.

Here are all the states Spectrum offers home internet services:

New HampshireNew JerseyNew Mexico
New YorkNorth CarolinaOhio
OregonPennsylvaniaSouth Carolina
VirginiaWashingtonWest Virginia

States where Charter Spectrum offers internet services.

#11 T-Mobile: Best Mobile Internet Provider

T Mobile Logo

Best PlanPrepaid 5G Data
Speed40–196 Mbps (DL) & 10–27 Mbps (UL)
Connection Type5G
Why It’s The BestOffers the lowest rates for prepaid 5G data

T-Mobile prepaid 5G internet prices are as follows:

  • 2.0 GB: $10
  • 5.0 GB: $20
  • 10 GB: $30
  • 30 GB: $40
  • 50 GB: $50

Only get prepaid internet if you’re performing online tasks like checking emails or browsing image- or text-based pages. Otherwise, you’ll chew through your prepaid data quickly.

Use T-Mobile Prepaid for emergency internet. Or if you primarily contact people through social media and need to let them know you’re okay.

It would take you 71 hours of watching 480p videos to go through 50 gigabytes of data [8]. If you want to watch videos, use public Wi-Fi instead.

T-Mobile offers 5G coverage in every state. Visit t-mobile.com/coverage/coverage-map to see whether they cover your area.

#12 Xfinity Best for No Contracts & Renters

Comcast Xfinity modem and router

Best PlanXfinity Prepaid
Speed50/10 Mbps
PerksFree network gateway & no data cap
Connection TypeCable/fiber hybrid
Equipment Installation FeeNone
Why It’s The BestLow pricing, no term agreement, & access everywhere throughout the U.S.

Xfinity Prepaid internet charges $45 every 30 days you use their internet. Unlike other Xfinity plans, there’s no data cap. There’s also a free network gateway included.

No device rental fees.

The plan’s perfect for renters or anyone on a budget. The 50 Mbps download speeds allow 10 people to stream 1080p FHD videos simultaneously.

10 Mbps upload speed allows you to run 2 Nest Cameras.

So long as you don’t have anyone constantly downloading files, this plan should accommodate your home’s needs.

IF you qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), you’d pay $15 every 30 days for this plan. It’s a $30 credit low-income households can put toward internet plans.

Or $75 if you live in qualifying Tribal Lands. That credit would make this plan free.

You’d need to participate in at least one government benefits program to get this credit. Check out their website for more information.

#13 AT&T Business Fiber: Best Internet Provider for Businesses

AT&T Logo

Best Plan1 Gig Business Internet
Speed1,000/1,000 Mbps
Perks$500 visa card
Equipment Installation FeeFree; when ordering online
Why It’s The BestFree installation & symmetric internet speeds

AT&T Fiber costs $120 a month without considering taxes or other fees. Fortunately, installation fees aren’t one of those costs. Waive that fee when ordering your service online.

This business fiber internet plan works best for small businesses with more than 20 employees.

You shouldn’t encounter any issues when performing tasks like:

  • Online video calls: more than 20 people could participate simultaneously
  • Cloud security equipment
  • Large file download & uploads: 20 employees could download 50 GB files at once
  • Managing servers
  • Cloud point of sales (POS) systems
  • Offering free Wi-Fi 

I could spend an hour writing this list. In short, restaurants, bars, cafés, offices, clinics, and home-based businesses should get this plan.

So long as it’s available. Use the link in the above table to see whether AT&T Fiber is in your area.

What Internet Types Are Available?

Available internet connection types are as follows:

Internet TypeStrengthsWeaknessesBest For
FiberSpeed & reliability* Limited availability, expensive, & requires ONTRemote workers, home servers, & constant file downloads/uploads
DSLMost affordableAccessibility & low upload speedsHomes who browse the internet & want to budget
CableBalances affordability, speed, and reliabilityNot as accessible in rural areas & may slow during peak timesGaming & online video streaming
5GCompetitive pricing & high speedsReliability & low upload speedsThose in suburban areas who want fast internet
SatelliteMost accessibleSlow & expensiveAnyone living in rural areas
Fixed Wireless (Microwave)Reliable & quick installationMore users lead to throttled speedsBusinesses in remote locations

Internet connection types compared.

* ONT is short for Optical Network Terminal. Learn more about ONTs in this guide.

These connection types branch into other connectivity types. For example, asymmetric DSL versus symmetric DSL. I talk about these and compare each connection type further in a separate piece.

Check it out before deciding on a connection type you want.

Before I finish, I want to talk about 5G and satellite internet a bit more. Both connection types can serve as excellent backup internet options.

If you work from home and don’t want a network outage to interrupt your productivity, one of these types will help you regain your connection.

Those living in suburban or urban areas will likely benefit more from using 5G as backup internet. Meanwhile, rural folks should consider satellite internet as their backup.

FAQs: Best Internet Providers

Read on to find frequently asked questions regarding the best internet providers in the U.S.

Who Has the Fastest Internet Speeds?

Comcast Xfinity has the fastest internet speeds with its 6-gig internet. This plan gives you 6,000 Mbps download and upload speeds for $299.95 a month.

What Is the Best Internet Service for an RV?

T-Mobile Prepaid Data plans serve as the best internet service for RV owners. They charge as low as $1 per gigabyte and don’t require equipment installation.

What Is the Best Internet Service Without Cable?

5G home internet is the best internet service without cable. They only require you to set up 5G home routers.

What is the Cheapest Internet Provider?

It’s difficult to determine a cheapest provider because of factors like regional pricing. In general, 5G and LTE home internet from providers like Verizon offer the cheapest and most consistent pricing.

Wrapping Up

Not all these internet plans are available in every ZIP code. Research each provider’s availability before adding it to your shopping cart. Also check out local internet providers.

They may offer more value.

Otherwise, consider learning more about the providers I mentioned. We cover most of them in depth throughout various guides.

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