Get the Best Wi-Fi Plan for Your Home

Find every internet provider in your area to get connected to Wi-Fi service.

What is Wi-Fi?

Simply put, Wi-Fi is a way of distributing internet signals via radio waves. Many people connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, and it has become so ubiquitous that people often use “Wi-Fi” and “internet” interchangeably. They’re not quite the same thing, but that’s mostly semantics.

To get Wi-Fi in your home, all you need is an internet connection, a modem, and a router. Any type of internet connection can create a Wi-Fi network. Your modem translates internet signals into usable information for your network. Your router manages your home network and creates a Wi-Fi network.

Most modern devices that can use the internet—like smartphones, laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles—can also connect to Wi-Fi networks. And if you don’t have Wi-Fi set up in your home, you have to connect to the internet with an Ethernet cable.

Top mobile wireless providers

ProviderPricesSpeeds
Xfinity
$20.00–$299.95/mo.

25–2,000 Mbps
View Plans for Xfinity
Frontier Communications
$27.99–$74.99/mo.

6–1,000 Mbps
View Plans for Frontier
Spectrum
$49.99–$109.99/mo.

100–940 Mbps
View Plans for Spectrum
AT&T
$49.99/mo.

100–940 Mbps
View Plans for AT&T
Cox
$39.99–$99.99/mo.

50–940 Mbps
View Plans for Cox Communications
ProviderXfinity
Prices
$20.00–$299.95/mo.
Speeds
25–2,000 Mbps
View Plans for Xfinity
ProviderFrontier Communications
Prices
$27.99–$74.99/mo.
Speeds
6–1,000 Mbps
View Plans for Frontier
ProviderSpectrum
Prices
$49.99–$109.99/mo.
Speeds
100–940 Mbps
View Plans for Spectrum
ProviderAT&T
Prices
$49.99/mo.
Speeds
100–940 Mbps
View Plans for AT&T
ProviderCox
Prices
$39.99–$99.99/mo.
Speeds
50–940 Mbps
View Plans for Cox Communications

Data as of 6/25/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Pros

Wireless connections

Going wireless is more convenient than a fully wired network, especially if you ever want to move your laptop to your couch or set up a new smart home device in an area without wired Ethernet. Plus, some devices work only with wireless connections, like smartphones and tablets.

More devices

Wi-Fi networks can support dozens of devices while wired networks are limited by the number of Ethernet ports you have available.

Cons

Slower than Ethernet 

Wireless connections are often slower than wired ones due to signal interference and degradation over distance. Wi-Fi works well for most devices, but in computers or gaming consoles where top speeds are necessary, Ethernet is usually better.

Signal interference

Wi-Fi signals can get interrupted by physical obstructions like walls or ceilings as well as interference from other radio wave signals that come from things like baby monitors, Bluetooth devices, or microwaves.This can lead to dropped signals or slower speeds in certain areas of your house.

Final Analysis

Setting up home Wi-Fi service is a great way to connect multiple devices and stay connected everywhere in your home. But it might not cut it at very long distances, especially for activities that need top speeds like gaming.

Compare every provider in your area to get the best Wi-Fi plan for your home.

How to Find Wi-Fi Hotspots

Don’t have Wi-Fi at home? This guide will help you find a place to get connected near you.

Read more about How to Find Wi-Fi Hotspots

Improve Your Wi-Fi Speed in 10 Simple Steps

If your Wi-Fi speeds aren’t up to snuff, read on to learn how to troubleshoot your network and get faster speeds.

Read more about Improve Your Wi-Fi Speed in 10 Simple Steps

How to Use a Mobile Hotspot: Make Your Phone a Wi-Fi Machine

Create your own Wi-Fi hotspot using smartphone tethering with the help of this step-by-step guide.

Read more about How to Use a Mobile Hotspot: Make Your Phone a Wi-Fi Machine

Wi-Fi service FAQ

Can I get Wi-Fi without an internet provider?

To get Wi-Fi in your home, you need some sort of internet provider. Wi-Fi is a way of wirelessly connecting to an internet network, so in order to use Wi-Fi, you need an established internet connection.

Technically, you can get Wi-Fi without personally signing up with an internet provider—for example, your apartment might already have an internet connection that you just need to tap into. Or you may live close enough to a public hotspot to use it regularly. But all those connections still originate with an internet provider.

If you’re trying to get online without paying for an internet subscription, check out our guide to free internet.

Is Wi-Fi secure?

Public Wi-Fi networks have various levels of security, but home Wi-Fi networks give you more control over who can and can’t access them and tend to be safer.

If you’re using public Wi-Fi, choose a network that is password-protected. We also recommend avoiding activities that require you to log in—like email or online banking—because your credentials could get compromised.

You can secure your home Wi-Fi network by making sure your router is up to date and setting a strong network password. Newer secure routers that use WPA2 or WPA3 are also more secure than routers that use older security protocols.

What are Wi-Fi standards?

Different generations of Wi-Fi have different technical specifications. Currently, the latest standard is Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax), but Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) is still the most widely used.

Newer Wi-Fi standards offer faster speeds and better efficiency supporting multiple connections. For example, Wi-Fi 6 can support max speeds up to 10 Gbps, while Wi-Fi 5 maxes out just under 7 Gbps (and most WI-Fi 5 devices are much slower).

On top of speeds, newer standards often implement improved features. For example, Wi-Fi 5 introduced beamforming and MU-MIMO for stronger connections between the router and individual devices. And Wi-Fi 6 brings Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) technology to handle more connected devices and Target Wake Time (TWT) to save your devices’ battery life.

How much does home Wi-Fi cost?

Getting Wi-Fi in your home can cost as little as $20 per month or more than $100 per month, depending on your internet provider and plan speed. Faster Wi-Fi generally costs more than slower speeds, but there are plenty of cheap internet plans out there.

Some Wi-Fi plans also have equipment rental fees that you should factor into your internet budget. As long as you don’t plan on moving and changing internet providers soon, you can usually save money by purchasing your own modem and wireless router instead of renting them from your internet provider.

What is a good Wi-Fi speed?

What a good Wi-Fi speed is for you depends on how many people use your network and what you’ll do online. As a broad recommendation, we suggest about 10 Mbps for each person using the internet in your household. So if it’s you and three family members, we’d recommend around 40 Mbps.

Some people use more or less bandwidth. For example, someone who likes to stream in 4K would need 25 Mbps all to themselves. And some people simply like having the fastest connection possible (if that’s you, check out our comparison of the fastest internet providers). But if you need the internet only for email, you could get away with less.

If you want a personalized internet speed recommendation, check out our How Much Speed Do You Need? Tool.

Why is my Wi-Fi slow?

There are dozens of factors that could be affecting your Wi-Fi speeds, including provider outages, malfunctioning equipment, signal interference, or network traffic. And, in general, Wi-Fi speeds are slower than the internet speeds you’ll see from wired, Ethernet connections.

If your Wi-Fi is slower than normal, try turning your router off and on again to reset it. If that doesn’t fix your problem, check out our complete internet troubleshooting guide to get your Wi-Fi connection back on its feet.

How do I get an Xfinity Wi-Fi plan?

Xfinity internet plans start at just $20 per month for certain plans, and you can set up Wi-Fi with any Xfinity package. All you need is an Xfinity wireless gateway or your own router to get Wi-Fi throughout your whole home.

Check out the best Xfinity internet and Wi-Fi services in our Xfinity internet review.

What home Wi-Fi providers are available in my area?

You can find and compare every Wi-Fi company in your area by running your zip code below.