With the Internet having an ever-growing presence in our lives, it only makes sense to try to find the fastest Internet provider available. But there are so many options, it may be confusing as to which provider not only offers the fastest speeds, but also the most convenient price and customer service.
Choosing a good ISP is not only an important decision from a speed standpoint, but also due to the fact that many providers require a two-year commitment, so it is important to look around and thoroughly investigate each service before making a decision (there are numerous online tools which can help with this process.)
In choosing High Speed Internet, you have many options, from higher-end services like Verizion FiOS, to more affordable ones like Comcast. In fact, when it comes to finding the service provider right for you, sometimes the cheaper service can be better than its higher priced alternatives.
Google Fiber -The Fastest Internet Provider
Google Fiber is the most impressive option out there, although not currently accessible to most people due to location restrictions. Google Fiber boasts an incredible download speed of 1 Gbps, with no download caps whatsoever, so you can use the high download speed to its full capability, whenever you need to, making it the fastest Internet provider available.
Google Fiber also has a TV service that can be used as part of a package, with a DVR box that sports a 2 TB hard drive with the capability to record up to eight shows at the same time, and over 200 channels included with the service. If you are not into watching television, people who subscribe to the Internet-only version of Fiber instead have access to 1 TB of (cloud) storage on Google Drive.
However, there are some drawbacks to the service, the main one being is its availability. It is currently only being offered in Kansas City and Provo, with Austin being added to the list of cities to receive Google Fiber soon. And while the download speed and add-ons are great, Google Fiber is good news for people who choose to stick with other ISPs as well, since these will now have to improve their products in order to compete with the growing Fiber service.
Verizon’s fiber optic service, FiOS, is one of the fastest internet providers on the market, with plans ranging from 15 Mbps download speed, and 5 Mbps upload speed, to an impressive 500 Mbps download speed, with a 100 Mbps upload speed.
While these speeds might seem sweet, the price for that 500 Mbps FiOS plan is about three times more expensive than the Google Fiber plan, with half the download speed, and it is only available in select locations. With that in mind, it may be a wise move to wait for Google Fiber to be available in your city, instead of signing a contract and committing to FiOS.
Comcast is currently the largest cable provider in the U.S., with over 17 million subscribers. Comcast’s main service plan features a respectable 25 Mbps download speed, and 5 Mbps upload speed, but the company also has plans that range all the way up to 105 Mbps and 10 Mbps in download and upload speeds respectively.
Many of their plans come with Constant Guard online protection, and XFINITY Connect (with 7 email accounts, each with 10 GB of storage.) Comcast also offers an add-on to its plans, called Streampix, which provides access to thousands of TV shows and movies to connected devices.
A word of warning: Comcast limits bandwith for BitTorrent and accounts which download too much data, which can be a big hassle for users who frequently download large files — one of the main reasons to opt for High Speed Internet in the first place.
Charter Communications, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009, has since rebounded and has been ranked one of the fastest ISPs in the United States by PC Mag with download speeds of up to 30 Mbps. Charter’s plan also comes with a free Internet modem, as well as Charter Security Suite, which automatically detects viruses, hackers, and spam.
Like Comcast, Charter also throttles download speeds, limiting bandwidth for customers using “too much” data. However, as Google Fiber ramps up and Verizon FiOS spreads to more areas, services are likely to remove this throttling measure in order to compete with these faster services.
We rely on the Internet for so many things, whether it be for social media, email, games, or websites for our businesses. If you are online a lot or need to stream or download bandwidth-heavy media, it is worth taking the time to research the ISPs with not only the fastest speeds and price, but the best reliability as well.