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What’s the Best Google Fiber Plan?

How to choose a Google Fiber plan to get the most speed for your money

Google Fiber has been making headlines with its ultrafast fiber-to-the-home plans since the first Google Fiber city was announced back in 2010. With its recent announcement of 20 Gig fiber plans, the hype is ramping up once again.

If you’re thinking about switching to Google Fiber but aren’t sure if you want to shell out the cash for its fastest plans, let us walk you through the ins and outs of every Google Fiber plan to help you decide which one will give you the speed that you need without breaking the bank.

How much speed do you need?

If you’ve ever suffered with a slow internet connection that made everything take twice as long as it should’ve taken, you probably know how good it feels to finally upgrade to a faster plan. Faster is definitely better, but the difference isn’t always as noticeable at higher speeds. Your email won’t load noticeably faster when you upgrade from 100Mbps to 200Mbps, and even streaming high-definition video doesn’t improve much when you’re comparing between multigigabit connections.

Do you want to know how much speed you need for your online activities? Use our handy internet speed calculator to find out and avoid paying for unused bandwidth.

How Much Speed Do I Need?

Many people are surprised at how much speed you actually need for various online activities. You need a lot of speed to stream video, but you don’t actually need much download speed to play online games or to stream music.

If you sign up for a plan that gives you faster speeds than your combined household actually uses, you won’t notice a difference from that extra speed, though you might notice the difference on your budget. That’s why it’s a good idea to choose the least expensive internet plan that covers your online needs, rather than simply going for the fastest one you can afford.

Comparing Google Fiber Plans

Although Google Fiber has offered speeds up to 1 gig for over a decade, it has added even faster plans in the last few years, continuing to push expectations of what is possible in residential internet.

Google Fiber internet speeds and plans

PackageInternet typeSpeedPrice*Shop plans
Google Fiber 1 GigFiber1Gbps (1,000Mbps)$70.00/mo.
Google Fiber 2 GigFiber2Gbps (2,000Mbps)$100.00/mo.
Google Fiber 5 GigFiber5Gbps (5,000Mbps)$125.00/mo.
Google Fiber 8 GigFiber8Gbps (8,000Mbps)$150.00/mo.

As you might expect, every plan that Google Fiber offers is a fiber-optic connection. It also has nice round numbers for both speed and price, making so the plans are much easier to compare than those of most other providers. But let’s get into the gritty details of what you get with each plan and who can get the most value out of it.

The classic 1 Gig plan

  • $70.00/mo.
  • 14Mbps per dollar

This plan has been the mainstay of Google Fiber since its inception, and it’s still the plan we recommend to most households. You can do an awful lot with a gigabit connection. You could invite 39 friends over and each stream a different movie in 4K. You could download the entire Library of Congress Digital Collection once a week.

Joking aside, a 1Gbps connection will probably cover all your bases. It can handle kids or roommates watching Netflix in every room of the house without slowing down. It can handle large software downloads in minutes rather than hours. You can have the best looking video on your Zoom call and won’t have to worry about being the one whose connection starts glitching halfway through the meeting.

Unless you do a lot of bandwidth-intensive work online, you probably cover everything you need with the 1 Gig plan, and you wouldn’t notice much difference with upgrading to a more expensive option.

The beefy 2 Gig plan

  • $100.00/mo.
  • 20Mbps per dollar

If you want to be absolutely sure that you never have to stare at a loading screen any longer than absolutely necessary, you can upgrade your plan to Google Fiber’s 2 Gig internet plan. It’s only $30 to double your internet speed, but you’d be hard pressed to actually use this much bandwidth on a regular basis.

The extra speed may come in handy when uploading or downloading large files, so it can be useful  if you need to transfer those kinds of files regularly for work or school. There are definitely some times where 2Gbps would be useful, but this plan is probably overkill for most households.

The somewhat ridiculous 5 Gig plan

  • $125.00/mo.
  • 40Mbps per dollar

At 5Gbps, you start running into technical limitations before you run out of bandwidth. An individual Wi-Fi 6 device can only handle about 2.4Gbps over Wi-Fi, so if you want to use all that speed on one device, you’ll either have to upgrade your network and devices to Wi-Fi 7, or plug directly into your router using an Ethernet cable (though you need to have a fast enough cable, too).

The 5 Gig plan is only available in a handful of cities, but it is slowly expanding into other areas of the Google Fiber network. As impressive as it is, we can’t really recommend this plan as a practical choice. It’s great if you want bragging rights, but that’s about all you get with this upgrade.

The definitely ridiculous 8 Gig plan

  • $125.00/mo.
  • 53Mbps per dollar

Google Fiber’s 8 Gig plan puts the provider squarely ahead of other major fiber providers, most of which offer speeds only up to 5Gbps. It’s nice to see Google Fiber continuing to push other providers to up their game, just like they did back in 2010, but like the 5 Gig plan, there’s not much you get from this upgrade other than the coolness factor.

The upcoming 20 Gig plan

  • $250.00/mo.
  • 80Mbps per dollar

Google Fiber recently announced that it would be testing a new 20 Gig internet plan in a few cities. Google Fiber has built 20Gbps connections before, but they typically served larger organizations like universities or non-profits. A 20Gbps residential plan is unheard of.

It’s pretty hard to think of a use case for a plan that’s 20 times faster than most people will ever need. As with the other over-the-top plans, the 20 Gig plan would dramatically reduce upload and download times for large files, so it could save time for content creators that have to regularly upload large video files to sites like YouTube. But even in those niche situations, you’d have to upgrade a lot of your hardware to actually make use of those speeds.

The 20 Gig plan isn’t really built for today’s needs. Rather, it’s anticipating future scenarios—Google Fiber team members have basically said as much. This plan is looking toward applications like multiplayer VR games, new AI applications, and other innovations. For most of us, there’s no point in paying for all that speed in anticipation of maybe someday needing it.

Good features of all Google Fiber plans

Regardless of which plan you choose, there are some great features you get from Google Fiber that are common across all its plans.

Fiber-optic internet plans not only have high download speeds, they also have high upload speeds and low latency.

Upload speed is important for getting information from your computer onto the internet. Fiber connections are usually symmetrical, which means that whatever the download speed of your connection is, you should expect similar upload speeds. High upload speeds are good for content creators, file transfers, and two-way video.

Latency measures how long it takes for a signal to get from your computer to a remote server and back. High latency causes lag, which can cause problems for real-time activities like online games and video chat. Even slower fiber connections (if you can call 1Gbps slow) have incredibly low latency, making them ideal for these use cases.

In addition to great speeds, fiber connections are also very reliable. One of the main benefits of Google Fiber’s plans is its fiber-to-the-home connections—the best type of fiber infrastructure.

Many types of internet connections like DSL and cable can experience slowdowns during peak hours as people all start sitting down in front of their TVs to relax at the same time. Fiber connections aren’t as prone to congestion and also experience fewer outages due to maintenance.

Another nice feature of these plans is that even though new plan options keep getting added, the monthly cost of Google Fiber plans hasn’t ever gone up. You can still get a 1 Gig plan for the same price that you could back in the early 2010s. Hopefully this is a trend that Google Fiber continues in the future.

Are you looking for a fiber internet provider in your area? Enter your zip code below to see what options are available.

Choose the cheapest plan that meets your needs

All plans offered by Google Fiber are great, but there’s no point in spending money on something you’re not going to use. The 1 Gig plan easily meets most people’s household needs. Although the fastest plans are reasonably priced for their speeds, we wouldn’t recommend them as a practical choice.

Author -

Peter Christiansen writes about satellite internet, rural connectivity, livestreaming, and parental controls for Peter holds a PhD in communication from the University of Utah and has been working in tech for over 15 years as a computer programmer, game developer, filmmaker, and writer. His writing has been praised by outlets like Wired, Digital Humanities Now, and the New Statesman.

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