Mon. May 20th, 2024

Wi-Fi is no longer a luxury for many people; it has become a necessity. Most businesses and households depend on internet access just as much as they do on other utilities. Every business uses the internet to communicate with their customers (email, VOIP, etc.) and process credit cards. Some businesses cannot even operate without it. In addition to business needs, home users are increasingly using the internet to access entertainment. 

It can take a lot of time and effort to find an internet service provider (ISP) that is reliable and robust at the same time. What should you look for when choosing an ISP?

When searching for “internet service providers near me” on Google, you need to consider several factors. First and foremost, a reliable ISP must be able to provide a network connection with little downtime, causing the user no inconvenience. And, the list of considerations does not stop here. There are more!

Do not worry if you do not know the answer to any of these questions because we have got it all covered in this post. 

We will give you the names of the fastest ISPs in North America. We will also enlist you some of the factors that you must consider while choosing an ISP in the end, in case you want to make the right choice yourself.

Top 5 ISPs in North America

Below is a list of large Internet service providers in North America. They offer internet service through copper, DSL, fiber, fixed wireless, and cable. The availability and prices differ by location.

Spectrum

It is a consumer brand owned by Charter Communications, based in Connecticut, that acquired TWC and Bright House Networks in 2016. Spectrum became the second-largest internet provider in the U.S. after the merger. As of 2020, Charter Spectrum has servedserves over 41 states and 27 million residential broadband subscribers.

Almost all Spectrum customers connect to its cable network, which is fast at uploads but much slower at downloading than other cable providers. Spectrum has no data cap, which makes it a top choice.

In general, Spectrum’s download speeds range from 200 to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds from 10 to 35 Mbps. Unlike most cable providers, Spectrum provides you with a free modem instead of charging you to rent one. 

2. Xfinity

With 26.9 million residential customers by the end of 2020, Comcast’s Xfinity brand is the largest cable internet provider in the country and the most used broadband provider outright. Ten years ago, its total broadband customer base was almost 10 million fewer.

In many markets, Xfinity Internet is the only provider of high-speed service at a given address. Xfinity uses the same type of coaxial cable that it has long used for TV service across most of its service areas. This technology allows for a faster download speed, but upload speed is considerably slower.

The download speeds are almost as fast as the upload speeds for some Xfinity customers who have fiber optic cable services. A data cap of 1.2 terabytes per month is imposed by Xfinity in most of its service areas.

3. AT&T

The company is the largest telecommunications company in the world, as well as the third-largest ISP. A combination of fiber and hybrid fiber is used by the company to deliver broadband internet service. It has 15.4 million subscribers in the U.S. as of 2020.

It currently offers internet service in 21 states, with the majority of them in the South and Midwest, as well as California and Nevada. AT&T’s fiber network reaches 14 million of its 53 million subscribers.

Those living outside fiber-optic areas can take advantage of AT&T’s hybrid service, which uses fiber to get to the majority of homes. With AT&T Internet, formerly known as U-verse, you can get download speeds of up to 100 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 1 Mbps.

Plans with less than 100 Mbps speed are restricted to a 1 TB data cap. You can escape this cap by compensating $30-35 extra or by signing up for DirecTV Stream AT&T’s DIRECTV services. AT&T offers discounts when you bundle internet and streaming services.

4. Cox

The company’s services include high-speed internet, broadband, and entertainment. Along with digital video and home phone subscriptions, Cox customers can also take advantage of home automation and security services. The company serves around six million residential and business customers in 19 states, making it the nation’s largest private telecom company.

Some Cox customers are able to access fiber optic internet, but its primary service is cable internet. It currently has 30,000 miles of Metro Fiber in place.

Cox offers reliable internet service with fast speeds. With its advertised 30 Mbps plan, Cox actually offered 34.9 Mbps. Speeds are around 296.67 Mbps (about 99% of the advertised speed) for its 300 Mbps plan.

5. Frontier

The parent company of Frontier Internet is Frontier Communications Corporation. Frontier offers a variety of services, including high-speed Internet, TV, and phone service, over its fiber optic and copper networks for both residential and business customers.

The company was founded in 1935 and operates in 25 states. It gained a lot of its growth in 2016 when it acquired Verizon’s broadband and voice connections in Texas, Florida, and California. The Frontier Communications Company filed for bankruptcy in 2020 to pay off its debt and restructure the company to focus on long-term growth, though this will not affect current or future customers. 

 

How to Choose an ISP?

It is important to choose an ISP that offers fast speeds and fair pricing when choosing an internet service provider (ISP). Additionally, make sure the ISP is well-known for excellent customer service, and it helps if the company offers free installation, no-contract options, and unlimited data.

You may need to select between two or three providers depending on where you live.

Three considerations are extremely important for choosing an ISP. These are:

  • Connection Type

Providers offer a variety of internet connections. If you wish to enjoy better performance and higher speeds, you should choose an ISP that offers fiber broadband, rather than copper or cable.

You can also receive internet wirelessly by installing a receiver unit at your premises, which eliminates the need to lay down lines in a new location. Wireless internet, however, may not be able to match its fiber counterpart because of physical limitations.

  • Speed

The second thing we look for when getting a broadband connection is the upload and download speeds offered by the provider. With expensive plans, you usually get a faster download speed.

Nevertheless, even the most basic internet plans provide enough download speed to carry out daily tasks. Finding an ISP with the desired internet speed while staying within your budget is the goal here.

  • Fair Usage Policy

Internet users might be familiar with Fair Usage Policy (FUP). The majority of ISPs provide unlimited internet plans but throttle your network speed after you consume a certain amount of data.

You might receive 100Mbps speed with a 100GB data limit from an ISP. Once the 100GB has been consumed, the speed might be reduced to 10Mbps, for example.

The reason for this is that the ISP only offers limited bandwidth. As a result, if heavy downloaders consume all the speed, other users will suffer. This is why they put a cap on usage; however, the FUP is mostly implemented in a way that hardly affects the everyday usage of users.

Wrapping it Up

Choosing the right internet service provider might seem easy, but it is not. There is tons of research required about the reliability, availability, and pricing. The aforementioned ISPs are some of the best ones in North America to consider. You can get the one that best fits your budget, needs, and expectations. Also, if you have questions, please leave a comment in the section below.

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