Internet Access Service Providers Comparison

Internet Service Providers are not all equal.


Compare internet providers

There are a lot of home internet service providers out there, but these are the most popular options. Not every provider will be available where you live, though, so be sure to search with your ZIP code to find out what your choices are.

  • AT&T: ($50–$70/mo.) Excellent customer service
  • Buckeye Broadband: ($9.99–$60/mo.) Download speeds up to 200 Mbps
  • CenturyLink: ($49–$65/mo.) Price for Life guarantee
  • Cox: ($29.99–$99.99/mo.) Affordable packages
  • Frontier: ($29.99–$74.99/mo.) Plans with matched download and upload speeds
  • Mediacom: ($39.99–$79.99/mo.) Multi-room Wi-Fi system
  • Optimum: ($39.99–$64.99) No annual contracts
  • RCN: ($24.99–$59.99/mo.) Internet plans with no data caps
  • Sparklight (Cable ONE): ($30–$125/mo.) Plans designed for different types of users
  • Spectrum: ($49.99–$105.00/mo.) Contract-free internet plans
  • Verizon: ($39.99–$79.99/mo.) Internet speeds up to 940 Mbps
  • Viasat: ($30–$150/mo.) Satellite internet available in remote rural areas
  • Windstream: ($19.99–$85.00/mo.) Availability in some rural areas
  • WOW!: ($39.99–74.99/mo.) Upload speeds up to 50 Mbps
  • Xfinity: ($29.99–$299.95/mo.) Download speeds up to 2 Gbps
  • ( Free -$20.00/mo.)We offer speeds up to 50 mbps up and 25 mbps down*.* Speed/time examples are estimates and based on wired connection to gateway. Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capability speeds and based on wired connection to gateway. Actual customer speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on several factors.

Summary of low-cost internet for low-income homes

Provider low-income initiative Max download speed Introductory price Qualifying programs
AT&T Access* 10 Mbps $10.00/mo. SNAP Apply
Cox Connect2Compete* 25 Mbps $9.95/mo. NSLP
Mediacom Connect-2-Compete* 25 Mbps $9.95/mo. NSLP Apply
Spectrum Internet Assist 30 Mbps $14.99/mo. NSLP
Verizon Lifeline 200 Mbps–940/880 Mbps $19.99–$59.99/mo. Lifeline Apply
Internet Essentials from Comcast (Xfinity) 25 Mbps $9.95/mo. NSLP
Veteran government assistance
Senior government assistance
Pell Grant

Data effective 10/29/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Taxes and fees may apply.
*Home must have a student in K-12 to qualify.

Recently, many of these assistance programs raised their internet speeds to meet the 25 Mbps download standard for broadband (high-speed) internet. This means your webpages will load faster than they would have before and streaming video won’t have so many hiccups.

Data effective 10/29/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Taxes and fees may apply.

You’ve probably noticed the final prices after Lifeline assistance are higher than those from ISP low-income programs. But don’t write Lifeline off—it’s a big help when providers in your area don’t offer their own initiatives. Lifeline makes internet accessible across the country, so it’s always an option if you qualify.

Get free or low-cost internet today

The internet access plays a huge role in our daily life—from news to education to keeping in touch with your loved ones. With help from Lifeline and ISP initiatives, we can all stay connected. Take advantage of these programs to get high-speed internet service at a price that works for your family.

Free and low-income internet service FAQ

How do I get internet with a low income?

There are a ton of ways to get free or affordable internet if your income is considered low. The US government offers discounted internet through its Lifeline program (read more below), and pretty much every internet company has an affordable starter plan that will allow you to surf the web and answer your DMs for under $20 per month.

How do I get internet for $10 a month?

AT&T, Cox, Mediacom, and Xfinity from Comcast all offer low-income internet for about $10 per month. You’ll need to qualify for your internet provider’s specified government assistance programs to get these deals. Follow the links below to apply:

Can I get internet with food stamps?

If you participate in SNAP (what folks commonly call “food stamps”), you may also qualify for low-cost internet. Internet companies, like AT&T and Cox, require that at least one person in your home qualifies for SNAP to get low-cost internet. But low-cost internet is not “included” with SNAP because you have to apply for it separately.

How do I get internet with SNAP benefits?

If you have SNAP benefits, you can sign up for Lifeline. Though Lifeline won’t give you completely free government internet service, you’ll get a discount on your internet service.

Also, many providers offer special low-income internet plans if you receive SNAP benefits. Check out our comparison chart in the article above to find the best deal for you.

Does the government offer free internet?

The US government offers heavily discounted internet for folks who qualify for its Lifeline program. Though you won’t get internet for free, it’s a pretty good deal.

To qualify for Lifeline, you must already participate in one of these government programs:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefits
  • Tribal Programs for Native Americans

How do low-income families get computers?

Non-profit companies like Connect All and PCs for People offer deals on computers for low-income families and individuals.

Some internet provider initiatives also offer deals on low-cost computers. For example, Internet Essentials from Comcast gives customers the option to buy a computer for $149.99 (plus tax). And Cox Connect2Compete partners with PCs for People to offer a variety of low-cost computers.

Can college students get free internet?

Usually, college students can’t get free internet through the government or an internet provider. That said, currently, because of coronavirus quarantine, Spectrum is offering free internet for 60 days to college students who are new customers.

Is Xfinity free for college students?

Xfinity isn’t free for college students, but Xfinity does currently offer deals for college students, like a $150 Visa Prepaid Card and free Amazon Music Unlimited for six months.

Does Spectrum offer discounts for college students?

Usually, Spectrum doesn’t offer discounts specifically for college students. Because of the new coronavirus pandemic, however, Spectrum is currently offering free internet service for 60 days to college students who are new customers.

Call 1-844-488-8395 for details.

Does CenturyLink offer student discounts?

CenturyLink doesn’t offer discounts specifically for college students, but check out these options.


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