How Do I Find The Best Internet In My Area?

Compare plans, prices, & check availability for internet providers in your zip code.

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The "Most Accurate" List of Internet Service Providers¹

Largest Wired and Wireless ISPS:

How do you find the best high speed internet provider in your area?

Enter your zip code or address to see the best internet providers ranked by download speed and broadband availability.

Is AT&T, XFINITY, FiOS, Comcast, Charter, Frontier, Windstream, CenturyLink, Cox, Optimum, Mediacom, Suddenlink, RCN, Cable ONE, FairPoint available in my area?

Every Internet Service Provider (ISP) has a different footprint or availability map of where they offer service. Each city has an average of three wired providers that have created an infrastructure of copper, cable, or fiber in trenches or hung from utility and telephone poles, however, most homes only have service from one or two of these providers. Even though a provider may offer service in your city or zip code, there is the possibility they won't be able to connect every home because of distance limitations with broadband signals or lack of infrastructure. Homes outside of the city limits, in rural areas, might not have access to a wired internet connection but can get service from a Wireless or Satellite provider. Whether you have recently moved and need your utilities connected, or you are buying a home and want to verify you can get a fast internet connection to compliment your investment, or you have had a bad experience with your existing provider and are looking for a change, we can help educate you on your options and find a provider that works for your needs.

How it works

We analyze hundreds of millions of rows of data in real-time, examine every street, city and zip code in the United States, calculate how likely you are to be connected by each provider, check the speeds available, and display the results. We will show you a list of providers, plans, speeds, and prices including Fiber, Cable, DSL, Copper, Satellite, Wireless, and Mobile providers. We'll even throw in the nearby public places with free Wi-Fi for you to access the internet while you wait for your service to be installed.

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Who are we?

InMyArea.com is a home services comparison website built by a team of designers, programmers, developers, data scientists, and military veterans passionate about connecting people. Our team is comprised of individuals with decades of aggregate involvement with Internet Service Providers and a desire to provide users with the best possible online experience. In 2014, we reorganized our efforts, analyzed 10 million broadband records and greatly improved the accuracy of our results. Since then, our data has grown to over 100 million records and we continue to make advancements in data analysis by expanding our real-time system. We built InMyArea.com to help our family, friends and neighbors find the providers in their area when they move, need to save money, or just feel like changing providers.

We help educate our users and explain the options everyday. Here are the latest reviews from people we have helped this week:

Can I look around my house for signs of who my ISP is?

Yes, your home may already be connected to an ISP by a previous owner or tenant, but other providers may still be available to service your address, possibly with faster speeds, even though their equipment has not yet been installed. Look inside your home, in the closets or laundry room for a smart panel, on the exterior walls of your home near the main electrical panel for cable or telephone panels, and in the front yards of your neighborhood for telecommunications boxes. The telecommunication and broadband equipment can vary in design, but you will likely find the provider's name or logo on any of these items.

Look for equipment similar to these examples to figure out which companies have already connected your home:

Smart panel in home

Smart Panel

This smart panel is located in a laundry room with coaxial (cable) and telephone wires inside, but no company name anywhere.

House exterior wall panels

Exterior Panel

These service panels are located on the exterior of the home adjacent to the main electrical panel, both units have a company name.

Underground wiring boxes

Wiring Boxes

These boxes can be found in neighborhoods with underground wiring. Stickers clearly show which provider uses this box for service.

How much does internet cost?

Based on data we have collected, the monthly cost of Internet Service generally ranges from $30 to $70. On average, it costs about $32 per month for 10 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload, about $41 for 50 Mbps download and 15 Mbps upload, roughly $65 for 65 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload. The cost per month for broadband, speed at least 25 Mbps, can range from $0.25 to $3.00 per megabit per second.

What is broadband?

Broadband includes DSL, Cable, Fiber-Optic, Wireless, and Satellite connection types. According to the FCC, broadband is a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps and 3 Mbps upload. Netflix recommends 25 Mbps (Megabits per second) download speed for playing movies and TV shows at Ultra HD quality. If you have four simultaneous users sharing the connection, you need at least 100 Mbps to give each user 25 Mbps to stream, play online games, or download files. The fastest internet speeds are available from Fiber-Optic connections, up to 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps), and up to 300 Mbps from Cable. Fast internet speeds, those over 25 Mbps, are usually rare in the country, rural areas, and small towns.

What can I get at my address?

Type in your address and we will tell you. InMyArea.com searches through hundreds of millions of data points and shows which providers are available plus their availability percentage (how much they cover your surrounding area). The provider with the highest coverage percent is the most likely to be available at your address, but they may not be the fastest internet option in your area.

Check Availability By Address

Who is the best internet provider?

The best internet provider in each area depends on your individual needs. Best could mean you want the cheapest, no commitment and a month-to-month contract, or more likely, the fastest download and upload speeds, and your final choice will vary based on your goal. Let's assume that by best you mean the fastest internet provider with service to your home, here are some tips to remember for choosing the best type of internet connection:

  1. Fiber-Optic connections are the best, in terms of fastest attainable broadband speeds, compared to all other types of internet connections.
  2. If fiber to the home (FTTH) or fiber to the premises (FTTP) is not available to you, then Cable is the best.
  3. If neither Fiber nor Cable are available, then DSL is best.
  4. If you can't get DSL, or if the DSL speed available to you is too slow for your needs, Wireless and Satellite may be available. These wireless ISPs are best for when your home is too far off the grid for a wired connection.

What is Mbps?

Mbps is the abbreviation for megabits per second, and is the same as Mbits/sec. Megabits (Mb) are commonly used for measuring speed by internet service providers. Megabytes (MB) are used for measuring file sizes and commonly used for determining data usage. MBps or MB/ps is megabytes per second (note the uppercase MB). To convert bits to bytes, divide the bits by 8. To convert bytes to bits, multiply the bytes by 8.

  • 8 bits = 1 byte
  • 1 kilobit (Kb) = 1000 bits (b) = 125 bytes (B)
  • 1 megabit (Mb) = 1000 kilobits (Kb) = 125 kilobytes (KB)
  • 1 gigabit (Gb) = 1000 megabits (Mb) = 125 megabytes (MB)

Can I get Fiber-Optic internet?

Fiber-Optic Service (FiOS) is the fastest type of connection with max speeds ranging from 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps (1000 Mbps). However, fiber is expensive for ISPs to install and deploy, and as a result, it is the least available type of internet connection. You can consider yourself lucky if you live in an area with a fiber connection, however, based on our analysis and press releases, providers will continue to deploy and expand their fiber infrastructures to connect more consumers. These are the Fiber optic providers with the most coverage throughout the United States:

Verizon Communications Inc.
Verizon has fiber coverage in 10 states, available to an estimated 13,282,650 homes, 10.09% of the US population.
Frontier Communications Corporation
Frontier has fiber coverage in 8 states, available to an estimated 4,355,710 homes, 3.31% of the US population.
CenturyLink, Inc.
CenturyLink has fiber coverage in 34 states, available to an estimated 1,652,593 homes.
AT&T Inc.
AT&T has fiber coverage in 21 states, available to an estimated 1,538,716 homes.
WideOpenWest
WOW! has fiber coverage in 6 states, available to an estimated 1,059,132 homes.
Pencor Services, Inc.
PenTeleData has fiber coverage in 2 states, available to an estimated 882,249 homes.
Google Fiber Inc.
Google Fiber has fiber coverage in 7 states, available to an estimated 636,924 homes.
Cincinnati Bell Inc.
Cincinnati Bell has fiber coverage in 4 states, available to an estimated 546,219 homes.

Is Cable internet available?

More areas are covered by Cable than Fiber. Although download and upload speeds aren't as fast as Fiber. Cable internet speeds are generally faster than DSL, with lower latency, and more data is included in plans. The largest Cable companies in the United States are:

Comcast Corporation
Xfinity by Comcast has cable coverage in 41 states, available to an estimated 46,082,713 homes, 34.99% of the US population.
Charter Communications
Charter has cable coverage in 43 states, available to an estimated 42,500,181 homes, 32.27% of the US population.
Cox Communications, Inc.
Cox has cable coverage in 18 states, available to an estimated 8,738,645 homes, 6.64% of the US population.
Altice
Optimum has cable coverage in 20 states, available to an estimated 7,324,154 homes, 5.56% of the US population.
WideOpenWest
WOW! has cable coverage in 10 states, available to an estimated 3,139,304 homes.
Mediacom Communications Corp.
Mediacom has cable coverage in 21 states, available to an estimated 2,922,388 homes.
Cequel Communications, LLC
Suddenlink has cable coverage in 16 states, available to an estimated 2,702,274 homes.
ABRY Partners
RCN has cable coverage in 7 states, available to an estimated 1,808,041 homes.
Cable One, Inc.
Cable ONE has cable coverage in 19 states, available to an estimated 1,390,174 homes.
Pencor Services, Inc.
PenTeleData has cable coverage in 2 states, available to an estimated 882,249 homes.
WaveDivision Holdings, LLC
Wave Broadband has cable coverage in 3 states, available to an estimated 741,176 homes.
Acquisitions Cogeco Cable Holdings II Inc.
Atlantic Broadband has cable coverage in 20 states, available to an estimated 568,618 homes.

Is DSL available?

xDSL has been around since the late 1980s and early 1990s when it was demonstrated that broadband signals could be transmitted alongside voice on phone lines. Since then, DSL speeds have increased and support for HDTV has been added to the latest VDSL technology. Because DSL can run on existing copper phone lines, it is the most commonly available type of internet connection. The largest DSL providers in the United States are:

AT&T Inc.
AT&T has DSL coverage in 21 states, available to an estimated 52,980,876 homes, 40.23% of the US population.
CenturyLink, Inc.
CenturyLink has DSL coverage in 39 states, available to an estimated 21,513,984 homes, 16.34% of the US population.
Verizon Communications Inc.
Verizon has DSL coverage in 11 states, available to an estimated 21,124,722 homes, 16.04% of the US population.
Frontier Communications Corporation
Frontier has DSL coverage in 38 states, available to an estimated 13,757,557 homes, 10.45% of the US population.
Windstream Holdings, Inc.
Windstream has DSL coverage in 19 states, available to an estimated 3,660,543 homes.
FairPoint Communications, Inc.
FairPoint has DSL coverage in 21 states, available to an estimated 1,759,757 homes.
Sonic Telecom, LLC
Sonic has DSL coverage in 1 states, available to an estimated 1,699,412 homes.
Telephone and Data Systems, Inc.
TDS has DSL coverage in 27 states, available to an estimated 1,483,303 homes.
Cincinnati Bell Inc.
Cincinnati Bell has DSL coverage in 9 states, available to an estimated 741,188 homes.
ECSIS.NET, LLC
ECS Internet Services has DSL coverage in 2 states, available to an estimated 548,605 homes.

Which providers are available?

Enter your Zip Code to see what is available in your area.

How do I choose the best internet provider?

Choosing the right provider for your needs depends on your normal internet usage and what is available in your area. If you are constantly streaming data, then Fiber, Cable, or DSL plans would work best for you (in that order) since speeds are fastest. Your home's location plays a huge role in choosing the right provider since most internet providers differ in availability, whereas Wireless and Satellite internet providers have the most coverage, but have data caps on usage and limits on streaming. We recommend starting with the top 2 most available providers in your area and compare their speed and price. You may have specific speed requirements and one provider will stand out to you, or if you are on a fixed income you may want to choose the cheaper option.

What do I need to be able to stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu?

Depending on the type of connection available to you, you may have data caps that restrict how much you can stream. Here are the requirements for streaming:

  • The FCC states you need a minimum download speed of 0.7 Mbps for standard streaming videos, 1.5 Mbps for streaming feature movies, and 4 Mbps for HD-quality.
  • Amazon Prime Video requires 900 Kbps for Standard Definition (SD) and 3.5 Mbps for High Definition (HD) videos.
  • Netflix recommends 3 Mbps for SD quality, 5 Mbps for HD, and 25 Mbps for Ultra HD.
  • Hulu's minimum SD and HD internet speed requirements are 1.5 Mbps for SD, 3 Mbps for 720p HD, 6 Mbps for 1080p HD, and 13 Mbps for 4k Ultra HD.

To summarize, we would recommend the following minimum download speeds for streaming on one device at a time:

  • SD quality - 3 Mbps
  • HD quality - 6 Mbps
  • 4K Ultra HD quality - 25 Mbps

What's the difference between Cable, DSL, Fiber, and Satellite?

  • Cable internet is a service that offers high-speed internet through the same coaxial cable as cable television. The maximum download speeds can vary from 50 to 300 Mbps.
  • DSL, or Digital Subscriber Line, is a type of internet connection that delivers transmits over a wired telephone line, which offers faster speeds than traditional copper lines. Download speeds vary from 3 to 12 to 75 Mbps depending on the type of DSL and distance to the telephone companies central office (CO).
  • Fiber-optic connections are the fastest type of internet available to residents with download speeds up to 1 Gbps (1000 Mbps). Data is transmitted through optical fibers allowing for data to be carried through longer distances without losing any speed.
  • Satellite internet is received via a small satellite dish on the roof that usually faces the direction of the provider's satellite in space. It is typical for satellite internet providers to enforce a data cap for their plans and download speeds range from 10 to 25 Mbps.

How to get internet service in your home

  1. Check availability - Use your ZIP Code to determine which internet providers service your surrounding area. This will give you a general list of companies available nearby, but keep in mind some providers will not offer service to all addresses within a ZIP Code, then use your address to narrow the results even further.
  2. Choose the best provider - The best internet provider depends on the distance of wires run from the company's infrastructure to your home and the type of technology they use for the connection: Fiber, Cable, DSL, Copper, Wireless or Satellite. Fiber and Cable are the best and fastest internet connections with the highest download and upload speeds and lowest latency - the time in milliseconds it takes for packets of data to reach their destination on the internet.
  3. Compare plans - If you play multi-player games or stream Ultra HD videos, you will need a minimum of 25 Mbps or more depending on how many people in your household are sharing your internet connection. If you are on a budget, fixed income, or only use your internet connection for news, weather, and email, consider picking the cheapest, most affordable plan to save money each month.

Some providers may provide internet service in your area, even on your street, but your home may not be able to get connected because of distance limitations. In the rare event that your first choice is unable to provide access to your home, have a backup provider in mind such as a DSL, Wireless or Satellite connection which are much more likely to be available. Homes in rural areas have an especially difficult time getting fast internet connections from providers because the speeds degrade as you get further away from their infrastructure. They generally only install expensive Fiber-Optic backbones to fix the distance limitations in densely populated cities where there are far more potential customers.

Internet Data & Statistics in the US

Hover over states to see the average download speed.

 

Internet Providers By State

Additional Internet Resources

Broadband Data Sources

Published:
Last Updated: 5/23/2017 by
https://www.inmyarea.com/internet