AT&T vs. Frontier

Best for speed demons
  • Affordable 1 gig package
  • Better customer satisfaction scores
  • Expensive installation

Plans start at $35.00/mo.

View Plans for AT&T

Best for users on a budget
  • Symmetrical upload speeds on fiber plans
  • Faster budget plans
  • Monthly equipment fees

Plans start at $24.99/mo.

View Plans for Frontier

Bottom line

AT&T offers fantastic speeds at a reasonable price. In fact, they have one of the most affordable 1 gig plans in the business. However, if speed isn’t everything for you, you can get better value with other providers, like Frontier.

Frontier offers the same top-tier speeds as AT&T, but at a slightly higher price. Frontier’s lower-tier plans, on the other hand, offer faster speeds at a better price than AT&T. This makes Frontier an ideal choice for users looking to spend less. Frontier also offers much better upload speeds on its FiOS plans, so it’s a natural choice for content creators.

Update on Frontier:

On April 14, 2020, Frontier Communications filed for bankruptcy. The company is continuing operations and has said that Frontier’s customers won’t face any service interruptions. If you want to know more about the situation, read our full guide on what Frontier’s bankruptcy means for customers

AT&T vs. Frontier internet

AT&T Frontier

Type of service

Fiber, DSL

Type of service

Fiber, DSL

Price

$35.00–$60.00/mo. for 12 mos.

Price

$27.99–$74.99/mo. for 24 mos.

Contract

12 mos.

Contract

Up to 24 mos.

Download speeds

768k–1,000 Mbps

Download speeds

6 Mbps–1,000 Mbps

Equipment fees

Included in package price

Equipment fees

$10.00/mo.

Installation fee

Up to $99.00

Installation fee

$75.00 (waived with 2-year contract)

Customer satisfaction

(3.83/5)

Customer satisfaction

(3.77/5)

View AT&T plansView Frontier plans
AT&T

Type of service

Fiber, DSL

Frontier

Type of service

Fiber, DSL

AT&T

Price

$35.00–$60.00/mo. for 12 mos.

Frontier

Price

$27.99–$74.99/mo. for 24 mos.

AT&T

Contract

12 mos.

Frontier

Contract

Up to 24 mos.

AT&T

Download speeds

768k–1,000 Mbps

Frontier

Download speeds

6 Mbps–1,000 Mbps

AT&T

Equipment fees

Included in package price

Frontier

Equipment fees

$10.00/mo.

AT&T

Installation fee

Up to $99.00

Frontier

Installation fee

$75.00 (waived with 2-year contract)

AT&T

Customer satisfaction

(3.83/5)

Frontier

Customer satisfaction

(3.77/5)

AT&T View AT&T plans
Frontier View Frontier plans

AT&T vs. Frontier packages and pricing

Although AT&T and Frontier offer similar download speeds, there’s a gap in pricing.

AT&T packages

PackagePriceSpeedInternet type
Internet up to 100 Mbps*$35/mo. for 12 months100 MbpsDSL
Internet 1000$60/mo. for 12 months1,000 MbpsFiber
PackageInternet up to 100 Mbps*
Price$35/mo. for 12 months
Speed100 Mbps
Internet typeDSL
PackageInternet 1000
Price$60/mo. for 12 months
Speed1,000 Mbps
Internet typeFiber

AT&T offers a wide range of speeds all the way up to a screaming 1,000 Mbps. The lower-end DSL plan is not a great value. Generally, if you’re trying to keep your bill as low as possible without sacrificing speed, we’d recommend looking elsewhere.

That said, the fiber Internet 1000 plan is a fantastic value. This is one of the most affordable 1 gig plans you’ll find anywhere. If you’re looking for speed, you can find it with AT&T and save some cash at the same time.

Frontier packages

PackagePriceSpeedInternet type
Simply FiOS 50/50$29.99/mo. for 12 mos.§50 MbpsFiber
Simply FiOS 500/500$39.99/mo. for 12 mos.§500 MbpsFiber
Simply FiOS Gig Service$74.99/mo. for 12 ms.¶1,000 MbpsFiber
Frontier Internet$27.99/mo. ˚6 MbpsDSL
Frontier Preferred Internet$34.99/mo.˚25 MbpsDSL
Frontier Premium Internet$44.99/mo.˚45 MbpsDSL
PackageSimply FiOS 50/50
Price$29.99/mo. for 12 mos.§
Speed50 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageSimply FiOS 500/500
Price$39.99/mo. for 12 mos.§
Speed500 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageSimply FiOS Gig Service
Price$74.99/mo. for 12 ms.¶
Speed1,000 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageFrontier Internet
Price$27.99/mo. ˚
Speed6 Mbps
Internet typeDSL
PackageFrontier Preferred Internet
Price$34.99/mo.˚
Speed25 Mbps
Internet typeDSL
PackageFrontier Premium Internet
Price$44.99/mo.˚
Speed45 Mbps
Internet typeDSL

Frontier’s lower-tier packages are a solid value, especially the 500 Mbps plan. However, as the speed gets faster, the price goes up, with Frontier’s 1 Gig plan costing around five bucks more than what you’d pay AT&T. It’s an affordable rate, but AT&T still has Frontier beat.

Frontier’s fiber plans offer symmetrical upload speeds. What this means is that your upload and download speeds are the same. With most internet services, upload speeds are only about 10% of download speeds. These speeds are mostly noticeable when sharing large files. Anyone who uploads lots of videos to YouTube or similar sites will probably be happier with fiber rather than DSL.

AT&T vs. Frontier: Who has the fastest internet speed?

Internet speeds

AT&T and Frontier both offer the same fastest internet speed of up to 1,000 Mbps (1 gig), which is enough speed to handle even the most demanding tasks with ease. At 1,000 Mbps, you can download an entire HD movie in less than 30 seconds! Needless to say, this makes for a fantastic online experience.

Both providers offer those speeds at comparable rates. The AT&T Internet 1000 plan is $60.00 per month, whereas Frontier’s Simply FiOS Gig Service is $74.99 per month.

Pro tip:

Not sure how much speed you need? Test your current internet speed with our easy-to-use speed test tool.

Internet types

AT&T offers both DSL and fiber-optic internet. DSL (digital subscriber line) is an old technology that aimed to improve on dial-up, and the speeds reflect that: it can get fast in some areas, but generally you’ll see between 5–10 Mbps with DSL.

Fiber, on the other hand, is a newer technology in the internet world, and it’s fast. Fiber is also known for its reliability, making it a great choice for high-speed internet.

Frontier offers fiber service through two different brands: FiOS and Vantage. The two services are fairly similar, but Vantage is available only in Connecticut, so we’ve focused on FiOS here. You’ll probably be happy with whichever service is available in your area: both offer the symmetrical upload speeds that make Frontier’s fiber plans so great for content creators.

AT&T vs. Frontier fees and contracts

AT&T customers can save money on equipment rentals, but they may pay it back in installation fees.

Internet fees

AT&T fees

FeesAmount
Professional installationUp to $99
Self-install kitNo charge for kit, but $35 activation fee (DSL plans only)
Equipment rentalIncluded in package price
Early termination fee (ETF)$15 for each remaining month, up to $180

AT&T fees are pretty standard. The nicest thing here is that there’s no additional rental fee for the modem and router: it’s already rolled into the price of your service package. The ETF is a bit cheaper than Frontier, but this makes sense since the contract term is also shorter (one year for AT&T and two years for Frontier).

The big standout here is the installation fee: up to $99 for a professional install. That’s one of the highest in the industry. It’s also worth noting that self-install is an option only for the DSL packages, not fiber. This is mostly because fiber requires some special equipment, but it’s still a bummer to have to pay.

Frontier fees

FeesAmount
Professional installation$75 (waived with 2-year contract)
Self-install kitNot available with fiber plans
Equipment rental$10/mo.
Early termination fee (ETF)Up to $200

Like AT&T, there’s no self-installation option for Frontier fiber plans. Unlike AT&T, however, the fee is waived when you sign a two-year contract. Since basically every FiOS plan requires a two-year agreement, you shouldn’t have to worry about installation fees at all. Nice.

Internet contracts

AT&T and Frontier both require contracts for their service packages, and neither provider allows for a contact-free option. AT&T requires a one-year service agreement, while Frontier requires a two-year commitment.

On the upside, these contracts lock in your price for the length of the term, so you won’t be affected in the event of a price increase. However, if you want to switch providers before your term is up, you’ll have to pay the hefty early termination fees. These fees are based on how much time is remaining in your contract ($15 per remaining month for AT&T and $20 per remaining month for Frontier).

Editor’s pick:

AT&T’s Internet 1000 plan offers blazing 1 gig speeds at just $60 per month on a one-year contract.

AT&T vs. Frontier equipment

Renting

Renting your modem and router from the provider is the easiest way to get online. You’re guaranteed compatibility, and if something goes wrong, the ISP will repair or replace the equipment at no additional charge (usually). This is the way to go for most people.

Typically, the downside of renting equipment is the monthly fee. Frontier does charge a modest $10 per month. AT&T, however, rolls the rental fee right into the package price. And since AT&T packages are already pretty affordable, it makes sense to use what they offer.

Buying

We really recommend buying your own router only in a few specific circumstances:

  • You need more security or performance than your ISP’s equipment can provide.
  • You already have a modem and router lying around from a previous internet service.
  • You intend to stick with the provider for a long time (several years), and so the cost will end up being lower.

In these situations, buying your own equipment can make sense. Just know that it can often be a big up-front expense, especially for advanced routers.  You’ll also be on your own for tech support and troubleshooting, so it helps if you’re tech-savvy or know someone who is.

Some of the routers we recommend include the following:

Pro tip:

If you plan to stick with your provider for several years, you can save a little money by buying your own router. The TP-Link Archer AC1750 is a great, affordable option.

AT&T vs. Frontier customer service

AT&T offers some of the strongest customer service in the industry, but Frontier won’t go down without a fight.

Installation and setup

AT&T

Installation fee: $99

Installation type:Pro and self-install (DSL only)

Installation customer satisfaction rating:

(4.05/5)

 

Schedule an installation

Frontier

Installation fee:$75 (waived with 2-year contract)

Installation type: Pro

Installation customer satisfaction rating:

(3.89/5)

 

Schedule an installation

AT&T may have a hefty installation fee, but it would seem you get what you pay for: the company ranked very highly in installation satisfaction in our survey. If you happen to be ordering a DSL plan, you can also opt to do it yourself and save a little.

Frontier technically charges a fee, but it’ll be waived for most customers because nearly all of their plans require a two-year contract. There’s no self-install option, but it’s hard to argue with free.

Customer satisfaction

AT&T

Overall customer satisfaction rating:

(3.83/5)

Frontier

Overall customer satisfaction rating:

(3.77/5)

AT&T consistently scores near the top in our customer satisfaction surveys, not only overall but across several individual categories. Frontier tends to score more towards the bottom of the pack.

AT&T vs. Frontier availability

Top 5 states:

  1. Illinois
  2. Kansas
  3. California
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Texas

Top 5 states:

  1. Connecticut
  2. West Virginia
  3. Oregon
  4. Washington
  5. California

Ready to see the plans available in your area? Just enter your ZIP code below.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Wide availability
  • Affordable 1 gig package
  • Better customer satisfaction scores

Cons

  • Expensive installation
  • No great budget packages

Pros

  • Wide availability
  • Symmetrical upload speeds with fiber plans
  • Faster budget plans

Cons

  • More expensive 1 gig package
  • Longer contracts

Our verdict

If speed is your main concern, AT&T offers it at a very affordable price. It’s tough to beat 1 gig speeds for less than a hundred bucks a month. However, Frontier makes up ground in the budget department, with very fast plans available in some areas for less than $50 per month.

Enter your ZIP code to see packages near you.

AT&T vs. Frontier FAQ

How fast is Frontier high-speed internet?

Frontier high-speed internet offers speeds up to 1,000 Mbps (1 gig). That’s the fastest it gets. But if you don’t need that much speed or it’s not available in your area, Frontier offers plenty of high-speed internet plans with speeds ranging from 50 Mbps to 500 Mbps that would still be considered plenty fast.

How much is Frontier internet?

Frontier internet prices range from $27.99 to $74.99 per month, depending on how much speed you need. The more you pay, the more speed you’ll get.

How fast is AT&T Internet?

AT&T Internet offers speeds up to 1 gig (1,000 Mbps) in select areas. If AT&T speeds that fast aren’t available in your area, you can still get fast internet with a plan that offers speeds up to 100 Mbps.

How much does AT&T internet cost?

AT&T Internet charges $35–$60 per month for 12 months, depending on which plan you choose.

Author -

Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at HighSpeedInternet.com get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has edited for HighSpeedInternet.com for three years, working with smart writers to revise everything from internet reviews to reports on your state’s favorite Netflix show. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span (buffering kills). With a degree in English and editing and five years working with online content, it’s safe to say she likes words on the internet. She is most likely to be seen wearing Birkenstocks and hanging out with a bouncy goldendoodle named Dobby, who is a literal fur angel sent to Earth.

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