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AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?

Both providers have affordable 5G—but only Verizon has fast fiber

  • Best for former DSL customers
    • Customer rating: 3.9/5
    • Price: $55.00/mo.*
    • Speed: Up to 225Mbps
    • Internet type: 5G
    • Data cap: No cap
    • Contract: No contract
  • Best for fast speeds
    • Customer rating: 3.9/5
    • Price: $49.99–$94.99/mo.†‡
    • Speed: 300–2,300Mbps
    • Internet type: Fiber, 5G
    • Data cap: No cap
    • Contract: No contract

Compare AT&T Internet Air and Verizon head to head

You’re going to get a solid deal from either of these providers—but Verizon’s deal is more solid.

AT&T Internet Air is a new 5G-based wireless internet service meant to replace AT&T’s DSL services. In many ways it’s similar to Verizon’s 5G home internet service: Both cost a flat monthly fee and come with respectable speeds and unlimited data. Both also offer a monthly discount when you bundle your 5G service with a mobile phone plan.

But Verizon has been in the 5G home internet game longer than AT&T, and the provider has an edge on AT&T in some important ways. You get faster 5G speeds from Verizon’s plans, especially its 5G Home Plus plan.

Depending on where you live, you may also be able to access Verizon’s unbeatable Fios fiber internet service, which blows any kind of 5G out of the water in terms of speed and value.

Pros and cons: AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon

Pros:

  • Faster than DSL
  • Lower price than Verizon’s 5G

Cons:

  • Limited nationwide availability
  • Slower speeds than Verizon 5G

Pros:

  • Faster 5G speeds
  • More deals for new customers

Cons:

  • Limited fiber availability
  • Higher price for 5G

Want to know if AT&T Internet Air or Verizon are in your area? Take a look by typing in your zip code below.

Plans and pricing: AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon

AT&T Internet Air is a 5G home internet service originally designed for AT&T’s former DSL customers and now available in select states nationwide. Verizon’s 5G home internet service has been around longer and gets you faster speeds, while its Fios fiber internet packages remain the gold standard for top speed and reliability.

AT&T Internet Air plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedDetails
AT&T Internet Air$55.00/mo.*75–225MbpsView Plan

You get a solid deal from AT&T Internet Air, especially if you were previously stuck on a subpar DSL plan. The package costs a flat fee of $55 a month with no extra fees for installation or equipment and no need to sign an annual contract. In exchange, you get speeds of up to 225Mbps and unlimited data.

This plan is slower than Verizon’s 5G home internet options, but it costs a little bit less. And you get a $20 monthly discount if you bundle Internet Air with a qualifying AT&T mobile phone plan. Just $35 a month for internet? Sign us up!

Verizon plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedView on Verizon site
Fios Internet 300/300 $49.99/mo.*300Mbps
Fios Internet 500/500 $69.99/mo.*500Mbps
Fios Gigabit Connection $89.99/mo.*Up to 940Mbps
Fios Internet 2 Gig $94.99/mo.Up to 2,048Mbps
5G Home Internet $50.00/mo., $35.00/mo. for Unlimited mobile subscribersUp to 300Mbps
5G Home Internet Plus $70.00/mo., $45.00/mo. for Unlimited mobile subscribersUp to 1,000Mbps
LTE Home Internet $50.00/mo., $25.00/mo. for Unlimited mobile subscribers25–50Mbps

Verizon has a lot more plan options to choose from than AT&T. The provider lets you pick between two 5G home internet plans—5G Home and 5G Home Plus. The standard one is probably your best bet, just because it’s cheaper while still delivering excellent speeds.

Both 5G plans cost more than AT&T Internet Air, but they get you much faster speeds. And you can get a $15 monthly discount on your plan when you bundle with a Verizon unlimited phone plan.

Just like AT&T, Verizon also has a lot of fiber plan options. If you can get Verizon’s Fios fiber service in your area, you’re much better off going with that over 5G because it means you’re getting the most reliable connection out there. Fiber internet is especially great for remote workers and content creators, since a fiber connection gives you symmetrical upload and download speeds that you can’t get on any other tech type.

Deals and promotions: AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon

HSI badge deals

AT&T

Enter your address with AT&T Fiber to find deals and gift card promotions in your area.

Get the Deal for AT&T Internet Air

Get a $100 Verizon gift card plus either Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses or $400 toward Samsung home appliances at The Home Depot® when you sign up for a Fios 1 Gig or 2 Gig plan.

Get included Wi-Fi equipment and a digital gift card worth at least $50 with any new Verizon Fios plan. Deals ends July 1, 2024.

Want to know if AT&T or Verizon are in your area? Take a look by typing in your zip code below.

Extra fees: AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeEarly termination feeData overage charge
AT&T Internet AirN/AN/AN/AN/A
VerizonN/AFree for 5G Home; $99 for Fios (waived when you order online)N/AN/A

There are no extra fees from either of these providers. You don’t have to worry about forking over a monthly fee for a modem or router, and you don’t have to pay for installation. Verizon technically has a $99 fee on the books for fiber Fios installation, but it’s waived when you order online. You also don’t have to sign up for an annual contract or worry about data caps.

Customer ratings: AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon

Overall RatingSpeedPriceReliabilityCustomer service
AT&T3.9/53.9/53.7/53.8/53.8/5
Verizon3.9/54.0/53.6/54.0/53.9/5

AT&T and Verizon both got top rankings in our annual customer satisfaction survey. Verizon took a (slight) lead in speed, reliability, and customer service, but AT&T got a better rating for price.

At the end of the day, both of these providers have happy customers. Verizon and AT&T tie for second place out of 15 providers for overall satisfaction. They rank in the top three for all other categories, and fixed wireless 5G technology gets a standing ovation in the report too.

5G and other fixed wireless tech types got the highest ratings for overall satisfaction, price, and customer service—beating out even fiber-optic internet, the usual belle of the ball in our survey.

Best mobile and internet bundles

Bundle dealHow to get itView on provider’s site
$20/mo. off AT&T Internet AirOrder a qualifying AT&T mobile planView Plans
$15/mo. off Verizon 5G Home or 5G Home PlusOrder an unlimited Verizon mobile plan that has Ultra Wideband 5G

You can get $15–$20 off your monthly bill when you have a mobile plan with AT&T or Verizon and get a 5G home internet plan from the same provider. This applies to current AT&T and Verizon customers, so you may need the phone plan before you get the internet plan—but double check with customer service to see if you can still get the deal when you sign up for both at the same time.

Internet types: AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon

Internet typeView on provider’s site
AT&T Internet Air5G home internetView Plans
VerizonFiber, 5G home internet

AT&T Internet Air is a 5G home internet provider. Basically how it works is you get your internet connection through a cellular signal from a nearby radio transmitter. It’s similar to a hotspot or old-school fixed wireless connection, but the speeds are much faster, and you have a home gateway that can route the signal to all of your Wi-Fi devices.

Verizon’s 5G home internet service works the same way, only you get much faster speeds from Verizon. It’s also available to a much larger market in the United States, mostly because Verizon has been offering the service longer than AT&T has.

AT&T and Verizon also both have fiber-optic internet networks in some parts of their service areas. Fiber internet tends to cost a little more than 5G home internet, but it’s infinitely more reliable because it uses fiber-optic cable that’s been buried underground—no need to worry about scrambled signals or network congestion.

Fiber is also much faster than 5G, capable of hitting symmetrical internet speeds up to 2Gbps (in Verizon’s case) and 5Gbps (with AT&T).

Data caps and contracts: AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon

Data cap?Contract?View on provider’s site
AT&T Internet AirNoneNoneView Plans
VerizonNoneNone

Neither AT&T Internet Air nor Verizon impose data caps on their plans, and they don’t require annual contracts to sign up either. You can use as much data as you want without having to worry about overage charges. And if you need to cancel your plan, you can do so without having to fork over early termination fees.

Installation: AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon

Installation optionsView on provider’s site
AT&T Internet Air
  • No fee for installation
  • View Plans
    Verizon
  • Free installation for 5G Home; $99 installation fee for Fios (waived when you order online)
  • Installation is straightforward whether you’re ordering from Verizon or AT&T. With AT&T Internet Air, you get a self-install kit in the mail and use an app to get instructions on setting up a gateway called the All-Fi Hub. Verizon 5G Home Internet also comes with a self-install kit and easy instructions (available via app) showing you how to set it up. In both cases you can get your internet up and running within 15 to 20 minutes.

    Verizon’s Fios fiber service may be a little more complicated. If you don’t already have a fiber drop and optical network terminal (ONT) at your house, you’ll need to get a technician to come by and set that up. Aside from that, though, setup is relatively easy, mainly consisting of you setting up the gateway and choosing a Wi-Fi network name and password.

    Availability: AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon

    Verizon is a lot more widely available than AT&T Internet Air. AT&T’s new 5G service is available in limited parts of 16 major cities, including Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Verizon’s 5G service is available in dozens of U.S. cities while its Fios fiber service is mostly on the East Coast.

    To see if AT&T or Verizon is in your area, enter your zip code below:

    Final call: AT&T Internet Air vs. Verizon

    We choose Verizon over AT&T in this contest, but you really can’t go wrong either way.

    You should get AT&T Internet Air if you’re an AT&T DSL customer and want an upgrade. That, or if you live in one of the cities where it’s available. The service is cheap and relatively speedy, so it’s well worth a try.

    But if you ask us, you can’t really beat Verizon. Verizon’s 5G Home Internet service has been around longer, so the provider has had more time to work out technical bugs that you may be more likely to see on Internet Air. Also, Verizon has fiber internet, which is just the best type of internet you can get.

    Methodology

    Our HighSpeedInternet.com editorial team bases our analyses on customer input from our annual customer satisfaction survey, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. To strengthen our research, we look closely at provider contracts to get hard-to-find information on price hikes, data caps, and extra fees, and we keep tabs on the latest news reports and online reviews. When applicable, we also rely on our personal experiences testing these services.

    Author -

    Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.

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