How to Get Gigabit Internet
You can get gigabit internet from fiber and cable internet providers. Costing around $60 to $80 a month, a gigabit internet package gives you speeds of 1 Gbps (equaling 1,000 Mbps) or faster. It’s the best internet you can get for big households and heavy internet users, ensuring a smooth connection for streaming, gaming, and working from home.
You can often find gigabit internet 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.
Where can you find gigabit internet?
|Provider||Max gigabit speeds||Prices||View plans|
|Google Fiber||2,000 Mbps||$70.00–$100.00/mo.*||View Plan|
|Xfinity||2,000 Mbps||$70.00–$299.95/mo.†||View Plan|
|Verizon Fios||Up to 940 Mbps||$79.99/mo.‡||View Plan|
|AT&T||940 Mbps||$60.00/mo.§||View Plan|
|Spectrum||Up to 940 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)||$109.99/mo.**||View Plan|
|Mediacom||1,000 Mbps||$79.99/mo.††||View Plan|
|Cox||940 Mbps||$99.99/mo.‡‡||View Plan|
|CenturyLink||940 Mbps||$65.00/mo.§§||View Plan|
|Frontier||940 Mbps||$79.99/mo.***||View Plan|
|RCN||940 Mbps||$49.99–$59.99/mo.†††||View Plan|
|Optimum||940 Mbps||$75.00/mo.‡‡‡||View Plan|
|Suddenlink||1,000 Mbps||$74.99/mo.§§§||View Plan|
*Plus taxes and fees. Service not available in all areas. If you live in an apartment or condo, Google Fiber’s ability to construct and provide Fiber is subject to the continued agreement between Google Fiber and the property owner. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
†For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
‡w/ Auto Pay + taxes & equip charges
§Ltd. avail/areas for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. Autopay & Paperless Bill req’d. $10/mo equip. fee applies
**Change to read as: $109.99/mo for 12 mos.
††For the first 12 months. Plus, activation, installation and monthly modem rental fees.
‡‡for 12 months with 1-yr. term agreement
§§Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Speeds may not be available in your area.
***for 12 months. One-time charges apply. Max wired speed 940/880. Actual speeds may vary. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions.
†††For the first 12 months.
‡‡‡for Life. Plus taxes, fees and other charges. Includes Auto Pay and Paperless Billing. Price for Life. Customer must remain in good standing and up to date on bill payments to remain on Price For Life.
§§§for 1 yr. Plus taxes, fees, and other charges. Includes Auto Pay and Paperless Billing.
You can find gigabit internet from fiber and cable internet providers. It’s a provider’s top-tier plan, available mostly in densely populated cities and towns where the network can handle large amounts of bandwidth.
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 any internet connection that can reach speeds of 1 Gbps or faster. It’s called gigabit internet because the data transfers at a rate of “gigabits” per second. One Gbps equals 1,000 Mbps (megabits per second).
When it comes to home internet networks, 1 Gbps is often the fastest speed you can get from an internet service provider (ISP). Xfinity and Google Fiber both have 2 Gbps plans, but those speeds are much less common.
|Internet speed||Things you can do|
|0–5 Mbps||Send an email, browse and search, stream video in HD on 1 device|
|5–40 Mbps||Stream in HD on 2–5 devices, play online games, operate 1–2 smart home devices|
|40–100 Mbps||Stream 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 Mbps||Stream 4K video on 5+ devices, download very large files in seconds or minutes (2–30 GB), run 5+ smart devices|
|500–939 Mbps||Stream in 4K on 5–10+ devices, download 40+ GB files very quickly|
|940 Mbps–2,000 Mbps (gigabit internet)||Stream in 4K on 10+ devices, do basically anything on 10+ devices with no slowdowns|
Speed standards taken from HighSpeedInternet.com’s How Much Internet Speed Do I Need? guide.
You most often find gigabit internet from fiber ISPs. 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.
A gigabit internet package isn’t the only thing you need to break the 1 Gbps speed barrier—you’ll also need an up-to-date router tuned to the latest Wi-Fi standards. Find the best gigabit routers.
Is gigabit internet worth the money?
Gigabit internet is well worth the money if you share your home Wi-Fi with a lot of people or spend 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 Wi-Fi 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.
A lot of internet providers sell gigabit internet that falls just under the gigabit definition. In the table above, you’ll see a lot of plans that give you 940 Mbps—that means you’ll get really excellent, gigabit-esque speeds, even if they don’t quite break the 1,000 Mbps threshold.
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
|Plan||Price||Download/upload speed||Connection type||View plans|
|Google Fiber 1 Gig||$70.00/mo.*||1,000 Mbps/1,000 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
|Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection||$79.99/mo.†||Up to 940 Mbps/Up to 840 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
|CenturyLink Fiber Internet||$65.00/mo.‡||940 Mbps/940 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
|AT&T Fiber Internet 1000||$60.00/mo.§||940 Mbps/880 Mbps||Fiber||View Plan|
|Xfinity Gigabit||$70.00–$79.99/mo. (depending on service area)**||1,000 Mbps/35 Mbps||Cable||View Plan|
|RCN Gig Internet||$49.99–$59.99/mo. (depending on service area)††||940 Mbps/20 Mbps||Cable||View Plan|
|Spectrum Internet® Gig||$109.99/mo.‡‡||Up to 940 Mbps/Up to 35 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)||Cable||View Plan|
*Plus taxes and fees. Service not available in all areas. If you live in an apartment or condo, Google Fiber’s ability to construct and provide Fiber is subject to the continued agreement between Google Fiber and the property owner. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc
†w/ Auto Pay + taxes
‡Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Speeds may not be available in your area.
§Ltd. avail/areas for 12 mos, plus taxes & equip. fee. Autopay & Paperless Bill req’d. $10/mo equip. fee applies
**For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
††For the first 12 months.
‡‡Change to: $109.99/mo for 12 mos.
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 RCN. Generally, though, you should expect to pay more than usual for gigabit internet speeds.
Are you getting the gigabit speeds you’re paying for? Run a speed test to find out. 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.
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 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 speeds may vary based on a range of factors, so you won’t always get a gigabit connection from a gigabit Ethernet port. 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.
If you run out of LAN ports on your router, you can buy a gigabit Ethernet switch to connect more networking 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.
Author - Peter Holslin
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.