How to Get Gigabit Internet

You can get gigabit internet with speeds up to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) from fiber and cable internet providers for around $60 to $80 a month. It’s great for big households and heavy internet users, ensuring a smooth connection for streaming, gaming, and working from home.

Multi-gig internet offers speeds faster than 1,000 Mbps. The fastest home fiber internet service you can get is 10,000 Mbps (10 Gbps). With cable, the fastest speed is 1,200 Mbps, although that will change in the coming years.

You can often find gigabit internet and faster in large cities and towns—but can you get it where you live? And if so, do you even need it? We go into all the specifics in our gigabit guide below.

Want to see if gigabit internet is available in your area? Run a search with our zip code tool.

Where can you find gigabit internet 0r faster?

ProviderMax speedsPricesView plans
2,000 Mbps$70.00–$100.00/mo.*
Xfinity 6,000 Mbps$79.99–$299.95/mo.View Plan
Up to 940 Mbps$89.99/mo.
5,000 Mbps****$80.00–$180.00/mo.§
Spectrum Up to 1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.**View Plan
Xtreme powered by Mediacom 1,000 Mbps$79.99/mo.††View Plan
Cox Communications 1,000 Mbps$99.99/mo.‡‡View Plan
CenturyLink 940 Mbps$65.00/mo.§§View Plan
Frontier 2,000 Mbps$74.99–$149.99/mo. w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill***±View Plan
Astound Broadband 940 Mbps$44.99–$54.99/mo.†††####‡‡‡‡§§§§View Plan
Optimum 5,000 Mbps$65.00–$165.00/mo.‡‡‡§§§View Plan

You can find gigabit internet speeds and faster from fiber and cable internet providers. They’re available mostly in densely populated cities and towns where the network can handle large amounts of bandwidth.

How much speed do you really need?

Gigabit internet is awesome because it’s so incredibly fast—but you can save money by going with a slower plan. Use our How Much Internet Speed Do I Need? Tool to see if you’re in need of gigabit speeds.

What is gigabit internet?

Gigabit internet is a cable or fiber connection with speeds of 940–1,000 megabits per second (Mbps). It’s called gigabit internet because 1,000 Mbps equals 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), which is a far shorter number to read and write.

However, multi-gig internet has speeds faster than 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps). These plans are still commonly referred to as “gigabit internet” because multi-gig speeds are relatively new compared to the more common gigabit plans.

When it comes to home internet, Xfinity has the fastest cable internet plan with speeds up to 1.2 Gbps. It also has fiber internet service at 6 Gbps, but smaller, localized providers have plans that reach up to 10 Gbps. However, fiber availability is scarce compared to cable.

Internet speedThings you can do
0–5 MbpsSend an email, browse and search, stream video in HD on 1 device
5–40 MbpsStream in HD on 2–5 devices, play online games, operate 1–2 smart home devices
40–100 MbpsStream 4K video on 2–5 devices, play online games with multiple players, quickly download large files (500 MB–2 GB), operate 3–5 smart home devices
100–500 MbpsStream 4K video on 5+ devices, download very large files in seconds or minutes (2–30 GB), run 5+ smart devices
500–1,000 MbpsStream in 4K on 5–10+ devices, download 40+ GB files very quickly
1,000 Mbps and fasterStream in 4K on 10+ devices, do basically anything on 10+ devices with no slowdowns

You most often find symmetrical gigabit speeds with fiber internet. Many cable providers can also get you gigabit download speeds, but their upload speeds will be a mere fraction of 1,000 Mbps—usually in the range of 20–50 Mbps. Fiber upload speeds are symmetrical, meaning they’re often just as fast as the download speeds.

You need more than just a gigabit connection

Don’t get a gigabit internet plan or faster if you don’t have the equipment to support it. You need the proper Ethernet cables, ports, and a router that can support gigabit speeds. We list the best gigabit routers if you need an upgrade.

Search your zip code to see if gigabit internet is available in your area.

Is gigabit internet worth the money?

Gigabit internet is well worth the money if everyone in your home spends a lot of time doing bandwidth-heavy tasks online.

A gigabit speed pretty much ensures that you’ll never have to worry about long load times, excessive buffering, and other bandwidth-related inconveniences. A connection that’s 1,000 Mbps or faster gives you ample speeds to support practically anything and leave plenty of capacity left over for whatever friends or family members might be using your internet for too.

However, if you live with only one or two other people and don’t have very pressing internet needs, then you can definitely save money by springing for a slower plan. Even an internet speed of just 100 Mbps will be enough for many users to stream videos, play online games, and Zoom.

Not all gigabit plans list 1 Gbps

A lot of internet providers list gigabit plans with speeds up to 940 Mbps and not 1,000 Mbps. That’s because all wired and wireless connections have an overhead, most of which is data used to define your larger, main flow of data in the transmission. For example, if a 1,000 Mbps connection were this entire page, the heading would use 60 Mbps. Some internet providers like Spectrum list the entire bandwidth (1,000 Mbps) while others like Cox list your usable bandwidth (940 Mbps).

Are fiber internet and gigabit internet the same?

No, technically fiber and gigabit internet are not the same. Fiber internet is a type of internet connection, while gigabit internet refers to the speed of the connection.

The terms “fiber internet” and “gigabit internet” are often conflated because most fiber-optic internet packages come in gigabit speeds—meaning anything of around 1,000 Mbps or faster. But some fiber internet providers offer slower speeds at a lower price in addition to gigabit packages. And many cable internet providers are also capable of providing gigabit download speeds.

What are the best gigabit internet plans?

Google Fiber’s 1 Gig plan is the best gigabit internet plan you can get. It comes at a reasonable price, with a flat fee of $70 per month that also covers equipment and installation. It gives you symmetrical speeds, so your upload speeds will be just as fast as your downloads. And it comes with unlimited data, so you can get the most out of your gigabit speeds without worrying about using too much data.

There are a bunch of other great gigabit plans out there, though, so don’t be worried if you can’t get Google Fiber in your area. We have more details in the table below.

Best gigabit internet plans

PlanPriceDownload/upload speedConnection typeView plans
Google Fiber 1 Gig$70.00/mo.*1,000 Mbps/1,000 MbpsFiber
Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection$89.99/mo.Up to 940 Mbps/Up to 840 MbpsFiber
CenturyLink Fiber Internet$65.00/mo.940 Mbps/940 MbpsFiberView Plan
AT&T 1Gig Internet$80.00/mo.§940 Mbps/880 MbpsFiber
Frontier Fiber Gig$74.99/mo. w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill§§940 Mbps/880 MbpsFiberView Plan
Xfinity Gigabit$79.99–$94.99/mo. (depending on service area)**1,200 Mbps/35 MbpsCableView Plan
Astound Broadband 940 Mbps Internet$44.99–$54.99/mo. (depending on service area)††940 Mbps/20 MbpsCable, fiberView Plan
Spectrum Internet® Gig$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.‡‡Up to 1,000 Mbps/Up to 35 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)CableView Plan
Optimum 1 Gig Internet$65.00/mo.##***Up to 940 MbpsCable, fiberView Plan

Most gigabit internet plans cost between $60 to $100 a month. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a bargain price on a gigabit internet package from a provider like Astound Broadband. Generally, though, you should expect to pay more than usual for gigabit internet speeds.

Are you getting the gigabit speeds you’re paying for?

To find out, run our speed test. For the most accurate reading, close out your browser tabs and any apps and try taking the test multiple times to average the results.

Can you get gigabit upload speeds?

Yes, fiber internet providers can get you gigabit upload speeds.

Fiber is the only internet type that can deliver gigabit uploads. Cable providers can get you gigabit downloads, but uploading will be way slower—usually around 20–50 Mbps. Spectrum is the only exception with 500 Mbps uploads with its Gig plan in certain areas.

Internet users typically spend most of their time online downloading things (like with streaming, checking email, and downloading files), so you may not notice a difference. But good upload speeds will come in handy if you do a lot of upload-heavy activities, such as attending Zoom calls, hosting livestreams, or uploading files to Google Drive.

Activities that use upload speeds:

  • Zoom calls and webinars
  • Streaming on Twitch or Instagram Live
  • Posting video to social media
  • Uploading large files to Google Drive, iCloud, or other cloud servers

How do you know if you can get gigabit internet?

You can get gigabit internet if an internet provider with gigabit speeds operates in your area and if your equipment and Wi-Fi device support gigabit speeds.

Cable and fiber-optic internet providers both have gigabit internet plans available to a large number of customers. So if you can get either of those internet types in your area, chances are that you can get gigabit speeds.

Run a search with our zip code tool below to see what type of internet is available where you live:

Of course, you’ll also need equipment at home to deliver gigabit performance. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • DOCSIS 3.0 modem or newer (for cable internet only)
  • Router with a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port or faster.
  • Router with Wi-Fi 6 for Gigabit wireless connectivity
  • A computer with a Gigabit Ethernet port (or faster) or a USB 3 port (paired with a compatible adapter)
  • Gigabit Ethernet (or faster) adapter for mobile devices (for wired connectivity)

The most important thing is to make sure you have a Wi-Fi 6 router or newer and a Wi-Fi 6 device or newer for wireless gigabit speeds.

Most recently manufactured computers, routers, and phones support Wi-Fi 6, so you should be good to go. If you have a device that was manufactured earlier than 2013, it’s probably for an upgrade to turn on the gigabit juice.

How fast is Gigabit Ethernet?

Gigabit Ethernet is fast enough to transfer data at a rate of up to 1,000 Mbps.

This Ethernet standard gives you fast speeds when you plug your device into a router’s Ethernet port. Home routers typically come with multiple Ethernet ports, which are also known as LAN (local area network) ports. Connecting your device to a router with an Ethernet cable gives you a faster and more direct internet connection.

Your sustained wired speeds will vary between 800 Mbps and 950 Mbps due to hardware and software overhead. But gigabit Ethernet is still the best way to go, since it’s much faster than the older Ethernet standard, called “Fast Ethernet,” which tops out at 100 Mbps.

Many modern routers allow you to link two Gigabit Ethernet ports together for a 2 Gbps multi-gig connection to a compatible device, like a modem or a NAS. Some newer routers even include a Multi-Gig Ethernet port for wired speeds up to 10 Gbps.

Running out of LAN ports on your router?

You can buy a Gigabit Ethernet switch to connect more wired devices. Take a look at our guide to the best gigabit Ethernet switches.

Gigabit internet and gaming

Online gaming doesn’t take up a whole lot of bandwidth, so you don’t necessarily need gigabit internet speeds to enjoy League of Legends, Overwatch, or other popular games. But you will want an internet connection with low latency when you’re gaming, making fiber your best option even if it’s not necessarily at gigabit speeds.

Latency, also known as ping rate, is the brief delay that happens when a signal goes from your device to the network and back—for example, when you click a button on your game controller or move your character with the joystick.

High latency creates lag, causing delays and other problems—especially when you’re playing fast-paced games like Call of Duty: Warzone. Fiber internet has the lowest ping rate out of all internet types, followed by cable internet. You can also reduce latency by getting a cable internet plan, closing out excess apps and browser tabs, or plugging your computer in directly to your router with an Ethernet cable.

Run a search with your zip code to see if gigabit internet is available in your area.

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.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.