Cheapest Internet Provider: Top Affordable Plans Revealed

May 25, 2024
Justin Lumiere

When it comes to finding affordable internet plans, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the myriad of options available. In this guide, we’ll break down some of the best cheap internet providers and their key offerings, along with some useful tips to help you choose the right plan for your household.

Top Cheap Internet Providers

Xfinity: Best Overall

Speeds: Up to 200 Mbps

Prices: Starting at $25.00/mo

Key Features: Low pricing for the speed tier, data allowance around 1.2TB/month

Mediacom: Cheapest Plan

Speeds: Up to 100 Mbps

Prices: Starting at $24.99/mo

Key Features: Extremely low starting price, waived installation fees (with caveats), decent follow-up speeds at affordable prices

Cheap Internet!
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Spectrum: Low Equipment Costs

Speeds: Up to 300 Mbps

Prices: Starting at $49.99/mo

Key Features: Low equipment fees, no contracts, no data caps, possible contract buyouts incentive

Frontier: Cheapest Fiber Plans

Speeds: 200 – 5,000 Mbps

Prices: Starting at $29.99/mo

Key Features: Great value for fiber plans, no data caps, no contracts

ProviderSpeedsPricesKey Features
Xfinity: Best OverallUp to 200 MbpsStarting at $25.00/moLow pricing for the speed tier, data allowance around 1.2TB/month
Mediacom: Cheapest PlanUp to 100 MbpsStarting at $24.99/moExtremely low starting price, waived installation fees (with caveats), decent follow-up speeds at affordable prices
Spectrum: Low Equipment CostsUp to 300 MbpsStarting at $49.99/moLow equipment fees, no contracts, no data caps, possible contract buyouts incentive
Frontier: Cheapest Fiber Plans200 – 5,000 MbpsStarting at $29.99/moGreat value for fiber plans, no data caps, no contracts
WOW!: Best Value PlansUp to 300 MbpsStarting at $30.00/moFantastic pricing for higher speeds, price lock option, no contracts or data caps
Verizon 5G: Cheapest 5G Plans300 – 1,000 MbpsStarting at $35.00/moAvailability of 5G service, no data caps, no contracts

WOW!: Best Value Plans

Speeds: Up to 300 Mbps

Prices: Starting at $30.00/mo

Key Features: Fantastic pricing for higher speeds, price lock option, no contracts or data caps

Verizon 5G: Cheapest 5G Plans

Speeds: 300 – 1,000 Mbps

Prices: Starting at $35.00/mo

Key Features: Availability of 5G service, no data caps, no contracts

Comparisons and Considerations

To give you better insight, we sorted plans by total estimated cost, including the price per month and potential equipment fees. Some providers like Optimum and Verizon stand out for their low-cost per Mbps.

Important Factors to Consider

Introductory Prices: Be aware that the initial low rates often increase after the promotional period (typically 12-24 months).

Additional Fees: Look out for equipment fees, installation fees, early termination fees, and data overage fees.

Autopay/Paperless Billing Requirements: Some of the cheapest rates come with requirements for opting into these services.

Service Availability: Availability may vary by location, with regional providers like Breezeline, Astound, and Sparklight offering competitive rates but limited coverage.

Special Savings and Offers

Contract Buyout Incentives: Spectrum, for instance, offers up to $500 to help you out of existing contracts if you bundle their services.

Free Equipment Options: Some providers, such as Frontier and AT&T, include equipment rental at no additional charge with higher-tier plans.

Limited-Time Promotions: Many providers offer limited-time deals like gift cards, free streaming subscriptions, and more, rewarding new customers.

Expert Tips for Selecting a Plan

Equipment Fees: When possible, use your own router/modem to save on rental costs.

Data Cap Monitoring: If you're a heavy internet user, look for plans with no data caps to avoid extra charges.

Speed Requirements: Assess your household's internet use to determine optimal speed requirements. Plans at 100 Mbps can suffice for light users, while 200-400 Mbps is better for larger households or those with higher internet usage.

Low-Cost Assistance Programs

Several ISPs, including Cox, Mediacom, CenturyLink, AT&T, WOW!, Spectrum, and Optimum, offer programs for low-income households. For example:

Cox and Mediacom: The Connect2Compete program offers affordable rates for households with students.

CenturyLink and Xfinity: Both offer low-cost plans ideal for eligible seniors or those on public assistance programs.

AT&T: Partnering with the Affordable Connectivity Program, AT&T provides affordable options for qualifying families.

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