The Fastest Internet Providers 2019

by | Feb 15, 2019 | Brand Guides, Featured, Internet Speed Guides | 1 

Looking for the fastest connection you can get? We’ve got you covered with the five fastest ISPs in the US.

Nothing’s worse than finding out your actual internet speed is about 30 Mbps slower than what you’re paying for. But how can you tell which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are good on their word and which ones might not cut it?

We’ve got the answers—and a list of the fastest ISPs in the US. We collected a huge amount of data from our internet speed test and analyzed the latest Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report to pinpoint which providers keep you in the internet fast lane.

Your results may vary based on where you live and which internet plan you pick, but overall we think these providers are a safe bet for supersonic speeds.

Top Advertised Speeds in the US

ISPConnection TypeMax Advertised Download Speed*Learn More
#1 Xfinity Cable2,000 MbpsView Plans for Xfinity
#2 Frontier Fiber1,000 MbpsView Plans for Frontier
#3 Mediacom Cable1,000 MbpsView Plans for Mediacom
#4 Cox Communications Cable1,000 MbpsView Plans for Cox Communications
#5 Verizon FiberUp to 940 MbpsView Plans for Verizon
#1
ISP Xfinity
Connection TypeCable
Max Advertised Download Speed*2,000 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for Xfinity
#2
ISP Frontier
Connection TypeFiber
Max Advertised Download Speed*1,000 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for Frontier
#3
ISP Mediacom
Connection TypeCable
Max Advertised Download Speed*1,000 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for Mediacom
#4
ISP Cox Communications
Connection TypeCable
Max Advertised Download Speed*1,000 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for Cox Communications
#5
ISP Verizon
Connection TypeFiber
Max Advertised Download Speed*Up to 940 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for Verizon

*Data current as of 1/4/2019. Speeds and availability vary by location.

Take a look at the top speeds you can get from each ISP, and you’ll notice most offer at least a gig (1,000 Mbps). That’s pretty wild, considering it was just a couple of decades ago most folks were excited about 56K dial-up internet. And ISPs are still pushing those gig speed limits.

To narrow down that long list of ISPs offering top speeds of at least 1,000 Mbps, we looked at the ISPs that had actual-to-advertised speeds at 100% or higher on the FCC’s 2018 report.

One interesting thing to note here is that your top advertised internet speeds come from fiber and cable connections. You won’t find any DSL or satellite here—though satellite is making moves to match cable provider speeds.

Ok, advertised speeds are all well and good, but which ISPs have the fastest recorded speeds? We’re glad you asked.

Want to know your current internet speed?

It’s as easy as clicking the link to our internet speed test. No, seriously. Just press “Start Speed Test” and see your results in seconds. Yeehaw!

Fastest Internet Speed Scores in the US

ISPConnection TypeWeighted Average*Learn More
#1Fiber90.9View Plans >
#2 Verizon
Fiber86.7View Plans for Verizon
#3 RCN
Fiber56.6View Plans for RCN
#4Cable53.4View Plans >
#5 Xfinity
Cable52.2View Plans for Xfinity
#1
ISP
Connection TypeFiber
Weighted Average*90.9
Learn MoreView Plans >
#2
ISP Verizon
Connection TypeFiber
Weighted Average*86.7
Learn MoreView Plans for Verizon
#3
ISP RCN
Connection TypeFiber
Weighted Average*56.6
Learn MoreView Plans for RCN
#4
ISP
Connection TypeCable
Weighted Average*53.4
Learn MoreView Plans >
#5
ISP Xfinity
Connection TypeCable
Weighted Average*52.2
Learn MoreView Plans for Xfinity

How’d we get these rankings? Find out in our Methodology section below.
*Weighted scores are calculated using 80% average download speed and 20% average upload speed and are not representative of actual speeds in Mbps.

We’re not shocked to see two fiber internet providers topping the list of fastest internet speeds.

That’s not to say that cable providers don’t put in the work to get you the speeds you signed up for. It’s mainly a difference between the technology used: your internet signal stays stronger for a longer distance over fiber lines than it does over cable internet’s copper lines.

But still, the strong performance by cable ISPs RCN, Grande Communications, and Xfinity is promising for those of us who can’t yet get fiber—or afford it. Chances are if you’re in this boat, a cable connection will keep you streaming and gaming to your heart’s content.

Fastest Internet Speed Scores in Each Region

Those are the fastest ISPs nationwide, but what about the fastest ISPs closer to home?

We also dug into the data to find the fastest ISPs in the four main regions of the continental US. Take a look, and see if you’re signed up for one of the five fastest ISPs in your area.

Is your internet speed not cutting it?

Find out if one of our top ISPs is available near you by entering your zip code.

Northeast

Includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont

The Fastest ISP Speed Scores in the Northeastern US

ISPConnection TypeRegional Weighted Average*Learn More
#1 Verizon Fiber100.5View Plans for Verizon
#2 AT&T DSL, Fiber99.4View Plans for AT&T
#3 Optimum Cable30.8View Plans for Optimum
#4 RCN Cable24.9View Plans for RCN
#5 Mediacom Cable20.6View Plans for Mediacom
#1
ISP Verizon
Connection TypeFiber
Regional Weighted Average*100.5
Learn MoreView Plans for Verizon
#2
ISP AT&T
Connection TypeDSL, Fiber
Regional Weighted Average*99.4
Learn MoreView Plans for AT&T
#3
ISP Optimum
Connection TypeCable
Regional Weighted Average*30.8
Learn MoreView Plans for Optimum
#4
ISP RCN
Connection TypeCable
Regional Weighted Average*24.9
Learn MoreView Plans for RCN
#5
ISP Mediacom
Connection TypeCable
Regional Weighted Average*20.6
Learn MoreView Plans for Mediacom

*Weighted scores are calculated using 80% average download speed and 20% average upload speed and are not representative of actual speeds in Mbps.

We’re not surprised to see Verizon Fios topping the chart for the Northeast. This fiber ISP has great customer service ratings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and stellar actual-to-advertised speed ratings from the FCC.

AT&T is yet another fiber provider topping the northeastern charts. (It also offers DSL, but we recommend fiber if you can get it.) The best part of an AT&T internet plan? The bundling options, which hook you up with sweet deals and all the sports you could ever want, thanks to DIRECTV.

Rounding out the list is Optimum, RCN, and Mediacom. Don’t be fooled by their lower scores though. While fiber provides upload speeds that match its download speeds, cable normally doesn’t, resulting in higher scores for fiber in general.

That said, cable internet still offers download speeds that match fiber’s download speeds. RCN and Mediacom top out at 1,000 Mbps, while Optimum goes up to 400 Mbps. Both of those speeds are more than enough to keep most families streaming and gaming together all weekend.

Midwest

Includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

The Fastest ISP Speed Scores in the Midwestern US

ISPConnection TypeRegional Weighted AverageLearn More
#1Fiber109.3View Plans >
#2 Mediacom Cable36.7View Plans for Mediacom
#3 AT&T DSL, Fiber35.5View Plans for AT&T
#4 Xfinity Cable28.3View Plans for Xfinity
#5 RCN Cable25.7View Plans for RCN
#1
ISP
Connection TypeFiber
Regional Weighted Average109.3
Learn MoreView Plans >
#2
ISP Mediacom
Connection TypeCable
Regional Weighted Average36.7
Learn MoreView Plans for Mediacom
#3
ISP AT&T
Connection TypeDSL, Fiber
Regional Weighted Average35.5
Learn MoreView Plans for AT&T
#4
ISP Xfinity
Connection TypeCable
Regional Weighted Average28.3
Learn MoreView Plans for Xfinity
#5
ISP RCN
Connection TypeCable
Regional Weighted Average25.7
Learn MoreView Plans for RCN

*Weighted scores are calculated using 80% average download speed and 20% average upload speed and are not representative of actual speeds in Mbps.

If you told us Google Fiber topped this list, we wouldn’t be shocked. It seems like anywhere this fiber ISP goes, it provides outstanding service.

But if you can’t get a Google Fiber plan, don’t throw the next four providers out with your two-day-old hotdish. Mediacom and RCN offer speeds up to 1,000 Mbps, which is sure to keep everyone connected to the internet at your next family gathering.

AT&T offers speeds up to 100 Mbps on its DSL plans, but if you can grab one of its fiber plans, we say go for it. Those fiber speeds zoom along at up to 1,000 Mbps.

Coming in at number four, Xfinity tops the charts with speeds up to 2,000 Mbps. But if you can’t get that 2 GB plan, it also offers competitive speeds of 1,000 Mbps. Uff da!

South

Includes Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, District of Columbia, and West Virginia

The Fastest ISP Speed Scores in the Southern US

ISPConnection TypeWeighted Average*Learn More
#1Fiber98.6View Plans >
#2 Verizon Fiber94.3View Plans for Verizon
#3 AT&T DSL, Fiber73.4View Plans for AT&T
#4Cable30.8View Plans >
#5 RCN Cable28.7View Plans for RCN
#1
ISP
Connection TypeFiber
Weighted Average*98.6
Learn MoreView Plans >
#2
ISP Verizon
Connection TypeFiber
Weighted Average*94.3
Learn MoreView Plans for Verizon
#3
ISP AT&T
Connection TypeDSL, Fiber
Weighted Average*73.4
Learn MoreView Plans for AT&T
#4
ISP
Connection TypeCable
Weighted Average*30.8
Learn MoreView Plans >
#5
ISP RCN
Connection TypeCable
Weighted Average*28.7
Learn MoreView Plans for RCN

*Weighted scores are calculated using 80% average download speed and 20% average upload speed and are not representative of actual speeds in Mbps.

If you call the South home, you’re sitting pretty with a few fiber ISPs topping the charts. Yet again Google Fiber takes the gold medal, but Verizon Fios isn’t far behind. And AT&T Fiber can also connect you to those reliably fast fiber speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. So if you’re fixin’ to switch ISPs, now’s the time to check out fiber.

If fiber is out of the question, don’t worry. Grande Communications and RCN will keep you streaming, gaming, and surfing the web ‘til the cows come home. Yup, these cable ISPs’ download speeds will have you singing along as you stream the “Sweet Home Alabama” music video.

West

Includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming

The Fastest ISP Speed Scores in the Western US

ISPConnection TypeRegional Weighted AverageLearn More
#1Fiber69.4View Plans >
#2 AT&T DSL, Fiber44.9View Plans for AT&T
#3 Optimum Cable38.8View Plans for Optimum
#4 Xfinity Cable21.1View Plans for Xfinity
#5 Cox Communications Cable20.7View Plans for Cox Communications
#1
ISP
Connection TypeFiber
Regional Weighted Average69.4
Learn MoreView Plans >
#2
ISP AT&T
Connection TypeDSL, Fiber
Regional Weighted Average44.9
Learn MoreView Plans for AT&T
#3
ISP Optimum
Connection TypeCable
Regional Weighted Average38.8
Learn MoreView Plans for Optimum
#4
ISP Xfinity
Connection TypeCable
Regional Weighted Average21.1
Learn MoreView Plans for Xfinity
#5
ISP Cox Communications
Connection TypeCable
Regional Weighted Average20.7
Learn MoreView Plans for Cox Communications

*Weighted scores are calculated using 80% average download speed and 20% average upload speed and are not representative of actual speeds in Mbps.

Call the curving coastlines, sprawling deserts, or jagged peaks of the western US home? Google Fiber’s your best bet for a solid internet connection and hella fast speeds.

But if you don’t live in a Google Fiber city, you still have plenty of choices for reliable internet speeds. AT&T, Optimum, Xfinity, and Cox landed in the top five for fastest ISPs in the West.

Cox and Xfinity might give Annie Oakley a run for her money when it comes to speed on the draw. Cox tops out at 1.000 Mbps, and Xfinity races past with speeds up to 2,000 Mbps.

AT&T can also get you speeds up to 1,000 Mbps on its fiber plans, but if you grab a DSL connection, you’ll max out at 100 Mbps. Optimum lands right in the middle with max speeds of 400 Mbps. Nice.

Fastest Providers by Connection Type

ISPConnection TypeMax Advertised Download speed*Learn More
Xfinity Cable2,000 MbpsView Plans for Xfinity
AT&T Fiber1,000 MbpsView Plans for AT&T
Frontier Fiber1,000 MbpsView Plans for Frontier
Cable, Fiber1,000 MbpsView Plans >
Verizon FiberUp to 940 MbpsView Plans for Verizon
Frontier DSL115 MbpsView Plans for Frontier
Viasat Satellite100 MbpsView Plans for Viasat
ISP Xfinity
Connection TypeCable
Max Advertised Download speed*2,000 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for Xfinity
ISP AT&T
Connection TypeFiber
Max Advertised Download speed*1,000 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for AT&T
ISP Frontier
Connection TypeFiber
Max Advertised Download speed*1,000 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for Frontier
ISP
Connection TypeCable, Fiber
Max Advertised Download speed*1,000 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans >
ISP Verizon
Connection TypeFiber
Max Advertised Download speed*Up to 940 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for Verizon
ISP Frontier
Connection TypeDSL
Max Advertised Download speed*115 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for Frontier
ISP Viasat
Connection TypeSatellite
Max Advertised Download speed*100 Mbps
Learn MoreView Plans for Viasat

*Data current as of 1/4/2019. Speeds and availability vary by location.

If you’re looking for the fastest advertised speeds by connection type, Xfinity’s 2,000 Mbps plan is by far the zippiest–although chances are you won’t be able to get it in your area. Even fiber internet providers have yet to catch up, but we’re excited for the day they do. And we’re eagerly watching as Xfinity, AT&T Fiber, Frontier FiOS, Grande Communications, and Verizon Fios all play a game of speed tag.

Speaking of fiber, you may wonder why we included four different fiber ISPs in our list. It mainly comes down to the fact that most large fiber providers offer speeds up to 1,000 Mbps, so instead of leaving any of them out, we included them all.

Want to test your speed?

See if your internet speed grabs the gold medal or rolls up in last place. Take our internet speed test to find out.

Satellite and DSL internet certainly lag behind fiber and cable internet in terms of maximum speeds, but we’re excited to see satellite push those boundaries. Of the two satellite internet providers, Viasat (formerly Exede) breezes past HughesNet’s 25 Mbps with speeds up to 100 Mbps. That’s a huge improvement from years past when that 25 Mbps was pretty much the fastest connection you could get with satellite.

DSL internet’s fastest ISP is Frontier HSI, which tops out at 115 Mbps. We’ll be genuinely stunned if we see much faster speeds from DSL since this technology is pretty dated by today’s standards. Instead, we’re looking to fixed wireless and satellite internet to fill the gap and connect more rural folks to fast internet speeds.

Comparing Internet Connection Types

But why do all these connection types come with such different maximum speeds? It all comes down to technology.

Cable: Cable TV and cable internet both share the same coaxial cables to serve up your nightly entertainment. Distance and high-traffic times can affect cable internet’s performance, but you’ll still see ludicrous speeds and steadier connectivity compared to DSL or satellite.

Fiber: Instead of phone lines (DSL) or copper wires (cable), fiber uses fiber-optic cables to send information via light. Yup, lightspeed is what makes fiber internet so fast—and so expensive to install.

Satellite: Pop a satellite dish on your roof, and it’ll transfer your computer’s data to satellites orbiting the Earth 22,300 miles away, then to a website server, and then back to you. Because of this distance, satellite speeds are lower than fiber and cable—but they keep improving.

DSL: The speed you get from DSL internet depends largely on how far your home is from the ISP hub. Plus, DSL relies on dated technology and phone lines to bring you service, so don’t look to it for the fastest overall speeds. Still, it’ll get you logged onto your email and Facebook no problem. And it’s certainly better than nothing if it’s your best option.

Wanna dig into all the juicy tidbits and find out more about internet connection types? We’ve got a guide for that.

How much internet speed do you need?

Ok, but seriously, how much speed do you really need? Is it best to aim for the max? Or can you settle for a more budget-friendly 100 Mbps?

The answer depends on you. You’ll want to consider how many people use the internet in your home, how many devices are connected, and what things you like to do online.

The more people and devices that use your internet, the more speed you’ll need. And if you game or stream lots of videos, you’ll want faster speeds than if you just check Facebook every so often.

To get a better picture of how much speed you need, why not take our internet speed mini quiz?

 

Methodology

Wondering how we got our fastest ISP rankings? We’re glad you asked. Here’s how we crunched our numbers.

We started with over 500,000 HighSpeedInternet.com speed tests taken in the US between June 21, 2018, and December 3, 2018. Then we calculated the average download speed and average upload speed of all large ISPs represented in those speed tests.

Once we gathered average download and upload speeds, we created a weighted score for each provider to analyze both download and upload speed together. Average download speed represents 80% of the weighted score, while average upload speed represents 20% of the weighted score. Weighting the score provides a better one-on-one comparison between every internet speed plan in an easy-to-read format. But we can’t stress this enough: the scores you see aren’t actual internet speeds in Mbps!

From there, we ranked each ISP’s speeds, with the fastest having a larger weighted score. We also broke down our speed rankings by region, calculating and analyzing weighted scores for ISPs available in each major region throughout the continental US.

And that’s that. May the fastest speeds be ever in your favor.

About the Author

After earning a degree in journalism at the University of Minnesota, Catherine McNally has been writing professionally for 10+ years. After falling head over heels into the black hole that is the internet in 1998, she taught herself to code websites and build computers. She has a soft spot for gadgets that make life easier (hello, Roomba!) and loves RPGs and MMOs. #PCMasterRace

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