AT&T vs. Mediacom 2020

Best for families
  • Offers affordable family plans
  • Bundles with TV and phone
  • Requires an annual contract

 
Plans start at $39.99/mo.
 

View AT&T Plans

Best for high data caps
  • High data caps
  • Flexible month-to-month contracts
  • Massive price hikes

 
Plans start at $19.99/mo.
 

View Mediacom Plans

Bottom line

AT&T offers family plans with decent speeds at a good price. Bundling your internet plan with TV and phone gets you even lower prices—plus it gives you unlimited data. With one of the highest rankings in customer satisfaction nationwide, AT&T is a good choice for most people.

Mediacom gives you a lot of choices for speed. And with no annual contract, you’re never stuck with a plan that’s not working for you. Mediacom also offers tremendous amounts of data in its upper-tier plans, though as more and more providers are raising data caps or removing them altogether, this isn’t as impressive as it once was. Plus, the low initial cost of these plans lasts only for the first year, after which they are subject to some absolutely brutal price hikes that can have you paying around twice as much for the same plan.

AT&T vs. Mediacom internet

AT&T Mediacom

Type of service

DSL, fiber

Type of service

Cable

Price

$39.99–$49.99/mo.*

Price

$19.99–$79.99/mo.†

Contract

12 mos.

Contract

Month-to-month

Download speeds

Up to 100–1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)

Download speeds

60 Mbps–1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)

Equipment fees

$10.00/mo.

Equipment fees

$11.50/mo.

Installation fee

$99.00

Installation fee

$99.00

Customer satisfaction

(3.92/5)

Customer satisfaction

(3.60/5)

View AT&T plansView Mediacom plans
AT&T

Type of service

DSL, fiber

Mediacom

Type of service

Cable

AT&T

Price

$39.99–$49.99/mo.*

Mediacom

Price

$19.99–$79.99/mo.†

AT&T

Contract

12 mos.

Mediacom

Contract

Month-to-month

AT&T

Download speeds

Up to 100–1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)

Mediacom

Download speeds

60 Mbps–1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)

AT&T

Equipment fees

$10.00/mo.

Mediacom

Equipment fees

$11.50/mo.

AT&T

Installation fee

$99.00

Mediacom

Installation fee

$99.00

AT&T

Customer satisfaction

(3.92/5)

Mediacom

Customer satisfaction

(3.60/5)

AT&T View AT&T plans
Mediacom View Mediacom plans

AT&T vs. Mediacom packages and pricing

Both AT&T and Mediacom have a lot of the same perks and a lot of the same drawbacks. Both of them offer a lot of choices in terms of plans, but both have a lot of hidden costs buried in the fine print.

The differences between the two are subtle but important. Let’s take a closer look at them side by side.

AT&T packages

PackagePriceSpeed*Internet type
AT&T Internet$49.99/mo.**Up to 100 MbpsDSL
AT&T Internet 1000$49.99/mo.‡940–1,000 MbpsFiber
AT&T Internet (bundled)$39.99/mo.**Up to 100 MbpsDSL
AT&T Internet 1000 (bundled)$39.99/mo.‡940–1,000 MbpsFiber
PackageAT&T Internet
Price$49.99/mo.**
Speed*Up to 100 Mbps
Internet typeDSL
PackageAT&T Internet 1000
Price$49.99/mo.‡
Speed*940–1,000 Mbps
Internet typeFiber
PackageAT&T Internet (bundled)
Price$39.99/mo.**
Speed*Up to 100 Mbps
Internet typeDSL
PackageAT&T Internet 1000 (bundled)
Price$39.99/mo.‡
Speed*940–1,000 Mbps
Internet typeFiber

AT&T has some really affordable packages that offer a lot of speed. However, to get the best deals, you have to bundle your internet with TV or phone plans. If you’re planning to do this anyway, it works out great. If not, you can end up paying a lot more than you need to. Prices also start to go up for both TV and internet after the first 12 months, and unlike its internet plans, AT&T’s TV plans have a two-year contract.

Another important point is that while AT&T is available in many areas, very few of these areas are wired for its fiber connections. If you’re looking only at its slower DSL plans, suddenly its selection of packages isn’t quite as enticing.

Mediacom packages

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Mediacom is not currently offering TV service.

PackagePrice††Speed*Internet typeData cap
Access Internet 60$19.99/mo.60 MbpsCable60 GB
Internet 60$39.99/mo.60 MbpsCable400 GB
Internet 100$49.99/mo.100 MbpsCable1,000 GB
Internet 200$59.99/mo.200 MbpsCable2,000 GB
Internet 500$69.99/mo.500 MbpsCable4,000 GB
1Gig$79.99/mo.1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)Cable6,000 GB
Family TV with Box & Internet 60$89.99/mo.60 MbpsCable400 GB
Xtream Silver 60$79.99/mo.60 MbpsCable400 GB
Xtream Silver 100$99.99/mo.100 MbpsCable1,000 GB
Xtream Silver 200$109.99/mo.200 MbpsCable1,000 GB
PackageAccess Internet 60
Price††$19.99/mo.
Speed*60 Mbps
Internet typeCable
Data cap60 GB
PackageInternet 60
Price††$39.99/mo.
Speed*60 Mbps
Internet typeCable
Data cap400 GB
PackageInternet 100
Price††$49.99/mo.
Speed*100 Mbps
Internet typeCable
Data cap1,000 GB
PackageInternet 200
Price††$59.99/mo.
Speed*200 Mbps
Internet typeCable
Data cap2,000 GB
PackageInternet 500
Price††$69.99/mo.
Speed*500 Mbps
Internet typeCable
Data cap4,000 GB
Package1Gig
Price††$79.99/mo.
Speed*1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)
Internet typeCable
Data cap6,000 GB
PackageFamily TV with Box & Internet 60
Price††$89.99/mo.
Speed*60 Mbps
Internet typeCable
Data cap400 GB
PackageXtream Silver 60
Price††$79.99/mo.
Speed*60 Mbps
Internet typeCable
Data cap400 GB
PackageXtream Silver 100
Price††$99.99/mo.
Speed*100 Mbps
Internet typeCable
Data cap1,000 GB
PackageXtream Silver 200
Price††$109.99/mo.
Speed*200 Mbps
Internet typeCable
Data cap1,000 GB

Mediacom’s biggest attraction is its rock-bottom prices on its basic internet plan (at least at first) combined with its huge data allowances on its more expensive plans. Its wide selection of plans allows you avoid wasting money on unnecessary features by choosing the precise speed that you need—at least to begin with.

As with AT&T, the devil’s in the details. Many of the plans go up in cost after the first year, and some continue to increase after that. Its 1Gig plan, which is a bit pricey to begin with, can be almost double the monthly cost after a few years.

Fortunately, unlike AT&T, Mediacom doesn’t lock you into an annual contract, which means that you can bail at any time. Its cable network is also a lot more reliable than DSL, which is another big advantage.

While a 6,000 GB data cap is probably one of the highest you’re ever going to see, it’s worth remembering that many providers offer unlimited data plans at much lower prices.

AT&T offers unlimited data in bundled plans, but unlimited data can also be purchased separately for those who only want to sign up for internet service. This can be a substantial price increase, especially if you’re using one of AT&T’s lower-cost plans, but it still comes out to much less than you would be paying for Mediacom’s top-tier plans.

AT&T vs. Mediacom: Who has the fastest internet speed?

Internet speeds

Both AT&T and Mediacom offer plans with 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) download speeds, but AT&T’s is cheaper and more reliable, but it’s only available in areas with access to AT&T’s fiber network, so it’s much less widely available than AT&T’s DSL service.

AT&T’s Internet 1000 plan delivers gigabit speeds over AT&T’s fiber-optic network. Fiber is the fastest and most reliable type of internet connection available. AT&T’s fiber plans do go up in price after the first 12 months, but even then they’re still cheaper than Mediacom’s gigabit plan.

Although Mediacom’s cable internet can sometimes match the speed of a fiber network, cable connections share bandwidth with your neighbors, which means that you’re often not getting the gigabit speeds you’re paying for.

Cable is, however, much faster and more reliable than DSL, so in areas where AT&T is offering only DSL connections, Mediacom reigns supreme in terms of dependable speeds.

Test your speed:

Curious to see how fast your internet connection is right now? Use our speed test to find out.

Internet types

AT&T offers both fiber and DSL plans. Fiber is the best internet connection available because it’s both fast and reliable. It also offers symmetrical upload speeds, which means that if you stream video or upload large files, those uploads will benefit from the same gigabit speeds that your downloads do.

The only real downside is that fiber networks are still available only in a very limited number of places.

DSL hits a max speed of only 100 Mbps, and depending on the distance between your house and the provider, it could be much less than that. Nowadays, phone lines are often laid with DSL in mind, which can improve speeds, but DSL is still one of the slower options for broadband internet.

Mediacom offers only one type of internet: cable. Its cable speeds can vary between 100 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps, with its top speeds rivaling those of fiber networks. The downside of cable networks is that they can get bogged down at peak usage times, so if you and your neighbors are all hoping to enjoy some HD videos after work, you could be disappointed.

Despite these drawbacks, cable is still much faster and more reliable than DSL, often making it the best choice in areas without fiber coverage.

AT&T vs. Mediacom fees and contracts

Nobody likes surprises when they’re paying their bills, and both of these providers have a lot of hidden fees tucked away in their fine print. Here’s a roadmap to help you navigate through these unexpected costs.

Internet fees

AT&T fees

FeesAmountMore info
Modem rental$10Learn more
Installation$99Learn more
Activation$35Learn more
Declined paymentUp to $30Learn more
Late feeUp to $10Learn more
Cancellation fee$180 (prorated ETF)Learn more
TaxesCost may varyLearn more

AT&T has a lot of upfront costs, but it does allow you to install your equipment yourself, so professional installation is optional. Its cancellation fees are also prorated, so you won’t necessarily have to pay the full amount if you decide to cancel your contract.

Mediacom fees

FeesAmountMore info
Modem rental$11.50/mo.Learn more
Installation$99.99Learn more
Activation$10.00Learn more
Declined paymentCost may varyLearn more
Late feesUp to $10.00Learn more
Cancellation fee$120.00–$240.00Learn more
TaxesCost may varyLearn more

Mediacom requires professional installation, so you can’t install it yourself. Fortunately, if you order online, it’ll waive your installation fee.

One of the big advantages of going with Mediacom is that you can typically avoid the annual contracts that you get with AT&T, which can be a lifesaver once those price hikes hit you. If you do sign a contract with Mediacom for a year or more, make sure you don’t do it lightly, as the early termination fees are pretty steep.

Bundled packages

Both AT&T and Mediacom offer bundled packages with internet, TV, and phone all in one. Bundling your internet plan can save you money by giving you lower monthly prices, but it can also end up costing you money if you don’t read the fine print.

AT&T allows you to bundle your internet connection with either DIRECTV or AT&T TV. Bundling with DIRECTV offers over 155 channels and comes with an HD DVR for recording your favorite shows. AT&T TV gives you access to both live TV and thousands of on-demand titles. One important thing to note, however, is that the cost of the bundle goes up after the first year and the TV plan comes with a two-year contract. This means that there’s no getting out of the higher prices without paying early termination fees.

Mediacom also provides bundles with TV service, offering over 170 channels. As with its standard internet service, its bundled plans go up in price not just after the first year but every year until you hit the standard rate.

That means that if you go with their Xtream Silver 200 plan, you’ll be paying $199.98 a month after four years. Fortunately, you don’t have an annual contract, so unlike with AT&T, you can change your mind at any time.

As previously stated, Mediacom has currently suspended their TV service due to COVID-19. We don’t yet know when or if it will resume.

Internet contracts

All of AT&T’s plans come with a contract of at least one year, if not more. Mediacom does monthly contracts, which makes it much easier to switch providers without incurring penalties.

Editor’s pick:

Both AT&T and Mediacom have a lot of hidden fees to tiptoe around, but we prefer Mediacom’s month-to-month plans that give you the flexibility to hopefully avoid most of them.

AT&T vs. Mediacom equipment

Renting a modem and router

Renting your equipment from your provider saves a lot of time and hassle. Additionally, some of the features of bundled plans, such as on-demand video, require specialized equipment that you can get only from your provider.

Both AT&T and Mediacom have very low monthly equipment rental fees, which also makes this an attractive option. If you plan on staying with the same provider for two years or more, buying the equipment will probably save you money in the long run, but it also makes it more difficult for you to switch providers, as you’ll end up buying a new router every time you switch.

We recommend using your provider’s equipment. It will be faster and easier to resolve tech issues, and you won’t have to deal with connection cutoffs and other glitches that may come when you’re using something that the company isn’t already familiar with.

Buying a modem and router

You can buy a modem and router yourself if you’d prefer to pick something that’s up to your personal specifications. Owning your router gives you more control over security settings and advanced features. It’s also helpful if you’d like to boost your Wi-Fi signal to a wider reach.

AT&T vs. Mediacom customer service

AT&T outperformed Mediacom by a significant margin in our customer satisfaction survey. Customers rated AT&T near the top in all categories, while Mediacom’s results ranged from the low end to dead last. AT&T was also the top-ranked ISP for several geographic regions in the 2019 J.D Power Survey, while Mediacom, when it made the list, was at the very bottom.

Here are some key points from the survey data.

Installation and setup

AT&T

Installation fee: $99.00 (Pro install)

Installation type: Pro and self-install

Installation customer satisfaction rating:

(4.01/5)

Schedule an installation

Mediacom

Installation fee: $99.99 (free with online signup)

Installation type: Pro install

Installation customer satisfaction rating:

(3.72/5)

Schedule an installation

Compared with other nationwide service providers, AT&T was just below the leaders, coming in fifth place. Mediacom didn’t fare so well in our survey, and it was dead last in terms of installation and setup satisfaction among those who responded.

Customer satisfaction

AT&T

Overall customer satisfaction rating:

(3.92/5)

Mediacom

Overall customer satisfaction rating:

(3.60/5)

AT&T was one of the highest-ranked internet service providers in our customer satisfaction survey, taking second place overall. Mediacom, on the other hand, was second to last nationwide.

This was similar to customer responses in the 2019 J.D Power Survey, where AT&T was ranked “among the best,” while Mediacom was down at the bottom of “the rest.”

AT&T vs. Mediacom availability

AT&T

Top 5 states:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Florida
  4. Illinois
  5. Michigan

Mediacom

Top 5 states:

  1. Iowa
  2. Illinois
  3. Missouri
  4. Minnesota
  5. Indiana

AT&T can be found in much of the US. Its network covers an area that spans from Florida to Texas and as far north as Wisconsin and Michigan. It also covers large parts of California and Nevada, though it has some noticeable gaps in the northeastern and western United States.

Mediacom has a much smaller coverage area, which is focused around the Midwest. The important thing to remember is that while most of AT&T’s service area provides DSL connections with fiber networks available only in large population centers, Mediacom’s high-speed cable internet is available in every area they service.

To see if either AT&T or Mediacom is available in your area, enter your ZIP code in the search bar below.

Find internet providers in your area.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Cheap family plans and bundles
  • High-speed fiber in some areas
  • Self-install option available

Cons

  • Limited fiber availability
  • Price hikes after the first year
  • Tricky contracts, especially with bundles
 

Pros

  • Reliable cable internet
  • Lots of plans to choose from
  • Free installation if you sign up online

Cons

  • Massive price hikes after the first year
  • Very limited availability
 

Our verdict: Go with AT&T fiber if it’s available.

When it comes to AT&T versus Mediacom, we like AT&T the best because it’s got affordable plans and incredibly high ratings for customer satisfaction across the board. It’s also got a blindingly fast and reliable network . . . in some areas. If DSL is all that it offers in your area, it’s still worth checking out. But if speeds up to 100 Mbps won’t cut it, Mediacom might be the better option for you if it’s available.

One thing we do like about Mediacom is that it doesn’t lock you into annual contracts. It definitely earns some points with that, but, man, are its price hikes ever huge. With a lot of different options and the ability to jump ship at any time, Mediacom can be a good choice if you’re willing to dance with them. Just remember that one misstep can be very expensive.

Find internet providers in your area.

AT&T vs. Mediacom FAQ

Is AT&T internet any good?

AT&T Internet is a great choice for people looking to bundle TV and phone along with their internet plan. It’s also an incredible option if you happen to live in an area where AT&T’s gigabit fiber network is available.

Is Mediacom internet any good?

Mediacom is a good choice for people who want a lot of flexibility and options in their plan.

It’s also a great choice for people who need to download massive amounts of data every month, though there are many other providers (including AT&T) that have plans with unlimited data. Still, you’d really have to try to pass your data caps with Mediacom’s more expensive plans, so it might be an option to consider.

Mediacom internet comes with some pretty hefty price hikes after the first year, but there are no annual contracts, so you’re free to switch providers as soon as it gets too pricey for you.

Who has the fastest internet: AT&T or Mediacom?

AT&T and Mediacom both offer fast gigabit internet plans with speeds up to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps), but AT&T delivers its gigabit plan over an ultra-reliable fiber-optic network. Cable internet can deliver gigabit speeds, but it is often slowed by heavy traffic, which leaves AT&T Fiber as the clear winner.

In areas where AT&T offers only DSL, however, even the fastest DSL connection won’t be able to compare with Mediacom’s cable internet.

Author -

Peter Christiansen has been working in tech for over 15 years, working as a computer programmer, game developer, filmmaker, and writer. His writing has been praised by outlets like Wired, Digital Humanities Now, and the New Statesman. He is currently finishing his PhD at the University of Utah.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has edited for HighSpeedInternet.com for three years, working with smart writers to revise everything from internet reviews to reports on your state’s favorite Netflix show. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span (buffering kills). With a degree in English and editing and five years working with online content, it’s safe to say she likes words on the internet. She is most likely to be seen wearing Birkenstocks and hanging out with a bouncy goldendoodle named Dobby, who is a literal fur angel sent to Earth.

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