How Much Should I Be Paying for High-Speed Internet?
Ways to avoid getting ripped off on your internet bill
Mar 31, 2023 | Share
- Best price for cable internetXfinity Fast
- Wide availability
- Low price
- Data caps
- Price: $55.00/mo.*
- Speed: 400Mbps
- Best price for fiber internetOptimum 300 Mbps Internet
- Superfast speeds
- Lowest fiber price
- Limited availability
- Price: $40.00/mo.†#
- Speed: 300Mbps
- Best price for gigabit internetGoogle Fiber 1 Gig
- No extra fees for install or equipment
- Unlimited data
- Limited availability
- Price: $70.00/mo.‡
- Speed: 1,000Mbps
- Best price for DSL internetAT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps
- Wide availability
- Low price
- Slower speeds
- Price: $55.00/mo.§
- Speed: Up to 100Mbps
*For 24 months. No term contract. Taxes and equipment not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount.
†w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Terms apply. Not available in all areas.
‡Terms and Conditions: 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.
§Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).
# w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill plus taxes. Terms apply. Not available in all areas.
You should pay about $70 per month for high-speed internet service. That’s roughly how much most people pay for internet plans.1 While prices for internet have been going up in the past year, $70 is still fair for a plan with fast speeds (100Mbps or better) and a reliable connection.
In general, internet plans range in price from $20 to well over $100 a month. The price you pay depends on a range of factors, including your internet speed, the type of connection you have, and what’s available in your area.
Read on below for our rundown on how to make sure you’re getting the best price for internet. We also have some tools to help you shop around.
How much does internet cost per month?
The median price for internet access is about $75 per month. That’s according to a November 2022 analysis from Consumer Reports, which found that about half of US households pay between $60 and $90 per month for internet service.1
For those prices, you can get a standard broadband internet plan, which the Federal Communications Commission defines as any internet service connection that gives you 25Mbps download speeds and 3Mbps 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.
Internet prices by connection type
|Internet type||Price||Max speed||Availability (for % of US population)*||Get it|
|Fiber||$29.99–$300.00/mo.||5,000Mbps (5Gbps)||37.5%||View Plans|
|Cable||$19.99–$125.00/mo.||1,200Mbps (1.2Gbps)||83.1%||View Plans|
|5G||$25.00–$149.99/mo.||1,000Mbps (1Gbps)||N/A**||View Plans|
|4G LTE||$25.00–$100.00/mo.||100Mbps||N/A**||View Plans|
|Fixed wireless||$35.00–$249.00/mo.||100Mbps||94.0%||View Plans|
Data as of 2/14/23. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Percentages are based on internet availability data from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
**Data not identified by the FCC.
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.
- Internet connection type—Reliable connection types like fiber and cable cost around the same (or even less) as slower connection types like DSL. But faster plans mean higher prices.
- 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.
- 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.
How can you pay less money for internet?
If you’re looking to save money on your internet bill, here’s a quick rundown of tips and tricks. Read on farther down this page for more detailed explanations.
- Look for a provider that offers internet for under $50 a month
- Get an internet plan with no annual contract and no data caps
- Look for internet deals like rewards cards and waivers on extra fees
- Apply for government subsidies like the Affordable Connectivity Program, which could potentially get you internet service at no cost at all
- Use a public Wi-Fi hotspot at a restaurant or coffee shop to avoid paying a monthly bill altogether
Take a speed test to figure out how fast your internet is right now. If you need a connection with more firepower, consider switching to a faster connection type like fiber.
Internet cost and availability
Usually there’s only a handful of internet service providers available in any given area; some rural areas have only a single provider. So no matter where you live, you’ll be limited to a set number of internet plans, prices, and download and upload speeds.
Internet cost and extra fees
Along with the monthly fee on your bill, you’ll also have to consider extra costs for things like installation, modem rental, and sales tax. These fees are sometimes tucked away in the fine print of an internet provider’s bill, so make sure to look into how much these will cost before you sign up.
There are some 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. You can save money on rental costs by buying your own modem and router
- Sign up for a gigabit internet plan. Some providers will waive installation and modem rental costs for gigabit customers.
- Get Google Fiber. A Google Fiber plan folds extra costs into the total bill—you’ll get no monthly surprises and no annual price hikes.
- Try out 4G or 5G home internet. 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.
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.
Amazon.com Price (as of 11/14/22 10:15 MST). See full disclaimer.
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 government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides up to $30 per month toward a household’s internet bill (and up to $75 per month for eligible households on Tribal lands). In recent months, 20 major internet providers agreed to adjust their speed and pricing tiers to allow for plans that don’t cost qualifying users anything once they’ve implemented the monthly stipend.2
To qualify, someone in your household must be enrolled in certain social programs: Lifeline, SNAP, WIC, National School Lunch Program, and others. Or you can qualify based on your income.
Read our guide to getting affordable internet to find other programs that can lower your monthly Wi-Fi bill.
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 months). This is a common practice with cable, fiber, and satellite internet service providers.
Sometimes price hikes aren’t a big deal. But, in other cases, the price hike buried in the fine print can turn a very cost-effective plan into a complete rip-off. When you’re signing up for new internet, we recommend taking the following precautions to make sure a seasonal price hike won’t bust your wallet in half.
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 like Google Fiber, gives you a fixed monthly rate that includes equipment and installation.
Find out how to lower your internet bill—there are lots of things you can do!
Internet cost and data caps
Data as of 2/14/23. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
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.
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 bill.
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, some internet service providers offer Wi-Fi plans with no annual contracts. You can sign up for service and cancel any time afterwards without needing to pay those dreaded ETFs.
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
|Plan||Price||Type||Download speed||Get it|
|Google Fiber 1 Gig||$70.00/mo.*||Fiber||1Gbps (1,000Mbps)|
|Xfinity Prepaid Internet||$45.00/mo.‡||Cable||50Mbps|
|Cox StraightUp Internet||$50.00/mo.§||Cable||Up to 100Mbps|
|Astound Broadband 300 Mbps Internet||$14.99–$25.99/mo.**††‡‡§§||Cable, fiber||300Mbps|
*Terms and Conditions: 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 download speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
‡Requires a $35 modem purchase
§Per month internet plan. Download speeds up to 25 Mbps
║Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Offer Details based on network uptime or availability.
**12 Month Internet Pricing. Equipment priced separately. Includes $10 discount for 12 months w/ ebill & autopay.
†† 12 Month Internet Pricing. Equipment priced separately.
‡‡ 12 Month Internet Pricing. Equipment priced separately. Includes $10 discount for 12 months w/ ebill & autopay.
§§ 14 month Internet Pricing. Equipment priced separately. Experienced speeds may vary.
- Jonathan Schwantes, Consumer Reports, “Fight for Fair Internet: Consumer Reports White Paper on Broadband Pricing,” November 17, 2022. Accessed December 12, 2022.
- The White House, “Fact Sheet: President Biden and Vice President Harris Reduce High-Speed Internet Costs for Millions of Americans,” May 9, 2022. Accessed May 23, 2022.
- Consumer Reports, “Broadband: A Nationally Representative Multi-Mode Survey” (PDF), June 2021. Accessed May 23, 2022.
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. HighSpeedInternet.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
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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.