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How Much Should I Be Paying for High-Speed Internet?

Ways to avoid getting ripped off on your internet bill

  • Best price for cable internet
    Xfinity Connect More
    • Wide availability
    • Low price
    • Data caps
    • Price: $25–$35.00/mo.*
    • Speed: 200Mbps
  • Best price for fiber internet
    Optimum 300 Mbps Internet
    • Superfast speeds
    • Price hikes after promo period ends
    • Limited availability
    • Price: $30.00/mo.
    • Speed: 300Mbps
  • Best price for gigabit internet
    Ziply Fiber Internet Gig
    • Free installation and unlimited data
    • $10 monthly router rental fee
    • Limited availability
    • Price: $50.00/mo.
    • Speed: 1,000Mbps
  • Best price for DSL internet
    Brightspeed Internet DSL
    • Rural availability
    • Low price
    • Slower speeds
    • Price: $50.00/mo.§
    • Speed: Up to 50Mbps

Most people can get good high-speed internet for about $70 per month. If you’re just starting your search for home internet, or hoping to switch providers, that’s the benchmark we recommend. Ideally, that $70 price tag will cover:

  • Download speeds of 100Mbps or better
  • Included Wi-Fi equipment (modem+router or gateway)
  • Extra fees such as Wi-Fi access or infrastructure fees

Exactly what’s available to you will depend on where you live and which providers offer internet service in your area. According to our in-house research, internet plans range in price from $20 to well over $100 a month.

Read on for our guide on getting the best price for internet service. We also have some tools to help you find the best deals near you.

Want affordable internet?

Use your zip code to find money-saving options available in your area.

How much does internet cost per month?

The median price for internet access is about $75 per month. That’s according to an December 2023 analysis from Consumer Reports, which found that about two-thirds of US households pay between $50 and $100 per month for internet service.

For those prices, you can get a standard broadband internet plan, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines as any internet service connection that gives you 100Mbps download speeds and 20Mbps upload speeds or faster. Your internet download speed may be slower than the max speed advertised on your plan, but you can still get solid and reliable service.

The type of internet connection you have is the most significant factor in how much you should be paying for your Wi-Fi plan. Internet type determines the kinds of download speeds you can get and has a big impact on the overall quality of your service. DSL and satellite internet plans tend to be slow and expensive, while cable internet costs are mid-range for both speed and price.

Fiber internet is the fastest and most reliable, but often lacks true budget pricing. Home internet from 5G providers has been a great bargain for decent speeds for the last few years, but providers are slowly raising their prices as their networks grow.

Internet prices by connection type

Internet typePriceMax speedAvailability (for % of US addresses)*Get it
Fiber$20.99–$300.00/mo.10,000Mbps (10Gbps)40.43%View Plans
Cable$20.00–$120.00/mo.1,500Mbps (1.2Gbps)83.16%View Plans
DSL$50.00–$64.95/mo.140Mbps51.65%View Plans
5G$35.00–$70.00/mo.1,000Mbps (1Gbps)47.58%View Plans
4G LTE$60.00–$129.00/mo.50Mbps67.44%View Plans
Fixed wireless$15.00–$90.00/mo.1,000Mbps77.56%View Plans
Satellite$19.99–$250.00/mo.220Mbps99.95%View Plans

How can you pay less money for internet?

If you’re looking for affordable rates and better offers on your internet bill, here’s a quick rundown of tips and tricks. There are a lot of things you can do to get a great internet deal–you just have to be resourceful and take some extra steps.

$50 internet deals | Look for a provider that offers internet deals for less than $50 a month. Potential savings: $200–$600 per year.
No annual or data cap internet plans | Get an internet plan with no annual contract and no data caps. Then you don’t have to pay early termination fees or overage fees. Potential savings: $10–120 per year.
Internet deals rewards | Look for internet deals such as rewards cards and waivers on extra fees. Potential savings: $50–$100. 
Buy your own internet equipment | Buy your own equipment such as a modem + router or gateway to avoid paying a rental fee from your provider. (Just make sure you’re using compatible equipment.) Potential savings: $120–$180 per year. 
Downgrade your internet plan | Downgrade your plan to a slower internet speed. There’s no point in paying for bandwidth you don’t use. Use our “How Much Internet Speed Do I Need?” tool to see what works best. Potential savings: $200–$600 per year.
Use a public wifi hotspot | Use a public Wi-Fi hotspot at a library or public park to avoid paying a monthly bill altogether.

Pro tip:

Take a speed test to figure out how fast your internet is right now. If you need a connection with more firepower, it might be time to switch to a new plan.

Test My Speed

What factors determine your internet’s price?

Here’s a quick rundown of factors that influence internet prices:

  • Internet speed—Faster speeds usually cost more.
  • Availability—Urban areas have more options for low-priced plans, while rural areas tend to have fewer options and higher prices.
  • Installation, equipment, and extra fees—An internet plan often includes extra fees on top of the basic monthly fee.
  • Internet connection type—Reliable connection types like fiber and cable cost around the same (or even less) as slower connection types like DSL. All else being equal, though, faster plans mean higher prices.
  • Price hikes—Some plans look cheap because they start with low introductory prices, but watch out for price hikes that kick in after a year of service.
  • Data caps—Internet providers usually put a monthly cap on the amount of data you can use, with overage fees tacked onto your bill if you go over.
  • Annual contracts—The best annual contract is no annual contract. Having no contract means you can cancel without paying early termination fees.

Looking for an easy way to test and track your internet speed?

Take our internet speed test or download our free speed test app to test your speed from anywhere.

Download our free, easy-to-use speed test app for quick and reliable results.

Internet cost and availability

Usually there’s only a handful of internet service providers available in any given area. However, some areas have only a single provider. No matter where you live, you’ll be limited to a set number of internet plans, prices, and download and upload speeds.

Looking for internet options in your area? Run a search with your zip code to see a list of providers near you.

Internet cost and extra fees

Your total cost for home internet is more than just your plan price. You should also factor in prices for installation, fees for any equipment you need to rent, any additional hidden fees, and taxes. Navigate to the “Fees” section each of our expert reviews for details on final costs vs. quoted prices.

There may also be other ways to reduce your extra fees—or get rid of them entirely. Here are a few suggestions:

How to save on extra internet fees

  • Shop for deals and promotions. We keep track of the best internet deals each month from major internet service providers nationwide.
  • Buy your own router or gateway. You can save money on rental costs by buying your own modem and router.
  • Get a fiber internet plan. Most fiber internet providers offer free Wi-Fi gear and free installation. Order online for the best possible pricing.
  • Give 4G or 5G home internet a try. Neither T-Mobile Home Internet nor Verizon 5G Home Internet charge for installation or equipment rental, and both regularly offer deals and promotions to sweeten the pot.

Pro tip:

Looking to buy your own modem and router? We have lots of recommendations, whether you need a long-range router or a router for streaming. Our favorite overall is TP-Link’s Archer AX11000 thanks to its long range, free security, and ease of use.

Internet cost and government subsidies

If you’re concerned about the cost of your internet bill, you can look into government subsidies to help lower the price.

The biggest federal benefit is the Lifeline program, which pays $9.95 per month toward qualifying mobile phone or broadband plans for certain low-income households. Learn more about cheap internet plans and taxpayer-supported initiatives for free and low-cost internet in our expert library.

Pro tip:

To find out about more state and local subsidies where you live, search “internet assistance” and the name of your state in a search engine. In most states, you’ll find an office of broadband or an assistance agency.

Internet cost and price hikes

Internet providers often seek to attract new customers by offering low “promotional” prices on their internet packages—only to hike up the monthly price when the promo period ends (usually after 12 or 24 months). Cable and DSL providers tend to be the worst culprits, but we’ve seen it across the board.

Sometimes price hikes aren’t a big deal—maybe just $5 per month. But, in other cases, the price hike buried in the fine print can increase your bill by $30 per month.

How to deal with internet price hikes

  • Look at the fine print. See if there are price hikes buried in your bill and do some number crunching to make sure the price will still be worth it.
  • Try to get a no-contract internet plan. That way, you can cancel your plan without paying early termination fees when the price goes up
  • Negotiate with customer service. When you’re getting close to the end of your 12-month honeymoon period, give your provider a call and push for a new deal.
  • Look for fixed rates. Switch to an internet provider that gives you a fixed monthly rate, including equipment and installation.

Pro tip:

Find out how to lower your internet bill—there are lots of things you can do!

Internet cost and data caps

Many providers put a cap on the amount of internet data you can use per month—going over can lead to extra charges on your bill. But not all providers do this.

If possible, avoid overage fees and speed slowdowns by picking a plan that gives you unlimited data.

Internet providerData capOverage feeGet it
AT&T UnlimitedN/A
Brightspeed UnlimitedN/A
Xfinity 1.2TB$10/50GB
Cox Communications 1.28TB$10/50GB
Mediacom 350GB–Unlimited$10/50GB
300–1,000GB in WA, OR, and CA$6.50/25GB
Frontier NoneN/A
Google Fiber NoneN/A
Windstream NoneN/A
Spectrum NoneN/A
Optimum NoneN/A
T-Mobile Home Internet NoneN/AView Plan
EarthLink NoneN/A

Pro tip:

We’ve got all the details on which internet providers have data caps. Learn which ones do and which ones don’t—because knowledge is power.

Internet cost and annual contracts

Depending on your internet plan, you may be required to sign an annual commitment with your provider. This means you’ll have a contract that renews every year. To cancel your service early, you’ll need to pay early termination fees (ETFs)—usually $10 to $12 for each month you have left on your contract.

Annual contracts probably won’t be a big deal for you if you’ve been with the same provider for a long time and haven’t had any issues. But they can be really inconvenient if you move around a lot or have a provider that delivers subpar service.

Thankfully, more and more internet service providers offer plans with no annual contracts. You can sign up for service and cancel any time.

We recommend going with a no-contract provider if one is available in your area; otherwise, just be prepared to pay out some extra moolah if you want to break your contract early.

Best no-contract internet plans

PlanPriceTypeDownload speedGet it
Google Fiber 1 Gig$70.00/mo.*Fiber1Gbps (1,000Mbps)View Plans for Google Fiber
T-Mobile Home Internet$40.00–$60.00/mo.Cable75Mbps
Astound Broadband 300 Mbps Internet$20.00/mo.††Cable, fiber300Mbps

The plans above all give you internet service with no annual contract required. These are hardly the only options out there. If you’re curious to know more, run a search with your zip code below to find which no-contract internet providers are available in your area.

Author -

Chili Palmer covers breaking news, satellite internet, mobile connectivity, and streaming services for Previously writing under the name Rebecca Palmer, Chili is passionate about providing accurate and accessible information any time you're trying to connect … whether you already speak geek or just got your first smartphone.

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 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.