What’s the best cable Internet Service Provider in Chicago?
AT&T, RCN, and Xfinity internet services all have a lot to offer, but based on our customer satisfaction survey and reviews, RCN is your best option and AT&T is a close second. Both AT&T and RCN offer internet services with download speeds up to 1000 Mbps, but RCN edges out AT&T in customer satisfaction.
What’s the best deal on internet service in Chicago?
If you’re simply looking for the lowest price, Xfinity offers internet services starting around $30.00 per month. (Keep in mind that this is a promotional price that increases after the first year.)
If you want the most speed for the price, you want the Xfinity gigabit package (if it’s available in your area) for at least the first year. It costs over $100.00 per month, but it delivers the best ratio of speed to price.
For a good speed-to-price ratio in a more affordable price range, you have several provider options. Xfinity has the best promotional rates, but they go up after a year. Bundling with AT&T actually offers the best long-term deal. By bundling you can get AT&T internet service for $40.00 per month. And, since it’s a bundle, that price won’t increase, but you will have the additional cost of the TV, home phone, or mobile service you bundle with.
What’s the best Chicago provider for bundling TV and internet?
While most of the providers in Chicago offer some sort of TV bundle, your two best options are AT&T and RCN. Both offer discounts for bundling and high customer satisfaction scores. Choose AT&T U-verse if its available. It has the highest combined customer satisfaction scores for TV and internet.*
If U-verse isn’t available in your area, RCN is a great second choice. It has the highest customer satisfaction scores for internet service, and it scored well in customer satisfaction for TV.*
Will my apartment management set up my internet service?
Many Chicago residents can get internet service included in their monthly rent. While this is common, it’s not universal. It will vary by area and even by each individual landlord.
Getting internet service through your apartment management can be a good deal because they can sometimes negotiate a bulk rate with the Internet Service Provider (ISP). However, because the ISP has a deal with the management instead of the individual customers, it may not be as responsive. Plus, going through your landlord can limit your choices.
Whether you should go with the internet option included with your apartment or find your own will vary in each individual case, but here’s some more information to help you decide.
What do I need to install AT&T?
If you’re on a tight budget, you could save money up front by installing your internet service yourself. We recommend using the installation guides in our resources section. (Here’s the AT&T Installation Guide as an example.) They’ll walk you through the process and help ensure you don’t make any mistakes that will cost you more than you’re saving.
Most of the greater Chicago area has only two major options for broadband internet, but people living
near the shoreline—either in the Hyde Park area or around Wrigley Field—will have a few more.
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) defines broadband as internet service with at least 25 Mbps
download speed and at least 3 Mbps upload speed. Those speeds are enough for most internet activities,
including streaming video or playing games online.
“My At&t internet service is fast and reliable and they have been more than generous in giving me good deals in pricing my service.”
Willie Listenbee | Chicago, IL AT&T Customer 2014-10-17
Based on the latest available census data, 100% of Chicagoans have access to broadband internet. AT&T
and Xfinity offer broadband to most communities around Chicago. RCN and Atlantic Broadband also offer
broadband internet service to some neighborhoods close to Lake Michigan.
The provider WOW! also offers internet service in a few blocks around UIC (University of Illinois at
Chicago) and in areas north of O’Hare or south of Midway, as well as some of the western suburbs. If these
options don’t work for you, Viasat offers satellite internet service to nearly the entire Chicagoland
Most of these providers also offer TV service, which means you can save when you bundle the two services
together. Even AT&T, the major internet provider for much of Chicago, offers discounts when you bundle
Highest-Rated Internet Service Providers in Chicago
AT&T, Xfinity, and RCN all average 3.5 out of 5 stars for their respective internet services in our
customer reviews. All three ISPs also scored well in our 2018 independent customer satisfaction survey.
AT&T and Xfinity both earned overall customer satisfaction scores of 3.9 out of 5. RCN placed just ahead
of them and was the highest-rated ISP for overall customer satisfaction, scoring a 4 out of 5.
Despite Atlantic Broadband offering fast internet speeds, its customer scores are a little behind its
competitors, with an average of 3 out 5 stars. That’s not a bad score, but the other provider options in
Chicago are a bit higher.
AT&T is a very dependable provider. Only problem is during peak hours, it slows down. In the early morning hours, it runs fast. During the late afternoon and evening, it slows down traffic. I'm not sure if it's AT&T or their modem/ router that makes it run slow. Some people change their routers and the problem is gone.
Internet speeds are frustratingly inconsistent. The variance is between one hundred Mbs and one point zero Mbs. Periods between four PM and eleven PM are particularly problematic.
Service is fair to poor. Scheduling a service technician a few days out, does little to remedy a drop in service, right now. When the technicians do arrive, nothing out of order is discovered and no remedy is rendered. I wish there were a viable option.