There are currently 7,000 internet service providers in the US. That is the largest number of ISPs worldwide and the US ranks first in that list. Reports from 2019 state that about 90% of American adults use the internet, either regularly or irregularly. However, internet usage varies from state to state since some internet service providers are widely available in most cities in the US. For instance, Comcast’s Xfinity is available in 39 states, the largest of all ISPs. Along with having a phone and TV cable services, their Xfinity internet packages will give you reliable downloading/uploading speeds at a reasonable rate.
ISPs and their internet services
If you don’t already know what an ISP is, here is a brief description: An Internet service provider is a company that maintains and provides an internet connection for its consumers. There are many different kinds of internet connections and each ISP can provide them all or is just limited to one only. However, when you are looking to buy an internet service, you should have an idea about the kind of internet that you need.
- DSL is the slowest type of internet connection after the dial-up connection of the 90s, yet it is the most affordable one. It is available in urban cities and rural areas, though it is prone to interference in remote areas. Their downloading speed ranges from 5Mbps to 25Mbps, with an upload speed of 3Mbps. It is ideal for online activities that do not take up too much data such as sending/receiving an email, internet browsing, and streaming movies and music.
- Cable internet can be obtained through your cable TV connection with the help of coaxial wires. Its minimum download speed is 25Mbps and uploading speed is 5Mbps. The uploading speed of cable internet will work for video conferencing since Skype claimed that video calls on their apps need only a minimum of 2.5Mbps upload speed. The data transmission speed of cable internet can reach up to 500Mbps or more, however, one drawback of having cable internet runs on a shared network. In some cases, cable internet is shared among 500 neighbors and this can potentially slow down the internet connection.
- Fiber optic internet connection has a downloading speed of 200Mbps and it can go as high as 2000Mbps, the most fiber-efficient one being GPON. Fiber internet uses fiber-optic wiring and uses a beam of light to transmit data in binary form, which makes it the fastest method of data transmission. It has limited availability in the US because it requires special infrastructure and resources. Hence, with no competition in the market, it is regarded as quite pricey. However, its impressive transmission speed makes other types of internet connections appear obsolete.
- Satellite internet is considered as the top choice for internet users in rural areas since the infrastructure of other internet services hardly reaches there. It provides high-speed internet connection for such areas but there is always some sort of interference to the connection such as weather or physical interference. This type of internet connection might not be the best choice for online gaming or other heavy internet usages but it can still work to provide basic internet service to internet users in remote areas.
Internet Service Providers in the US
When you have decided on what type of internet connection will be suitable for your home or business base on speed, pricing, reliability, and billing procedure, it is time for you to go through a list of internet service providers that will do the best job by providing you access to it.
- Xfinity internet Internet has a bundle for both DSL and fiber internet users. Downloading speed ranges from 200Mbps to 2000Mbps, although it may not be ideal for internet users who are looking for a larger upload speed.
- Verizon’s Fios offers the most flexible plans with no contact. Their data usage is unlimited and the transmission speed ranges from 200Mbps to 940Mbps. It offers DSL and fiber internet connections.
- AT&T offers a hybrid-fiber connection meaning that wires connected to your homes are a combination of copper and fiber wiring. The highest speed that can be maintained through their fiber connection is 940Mbps and there are no data caps with this service.
- Spectrum is available in 41 states in the US, providing cable and fiber internet connection to its consumers. The internet speed of cable internet ranges from 10Mbps to 35Mbps and for fiber, it is around 200Mbps to 940Mbps. The best part about Spectrum is that there are no data caps in any of their internet services.
- HughesNet is best for consumers who are looking to have a satellite internet connection in remote areas. Their plans require a two-year contract from internet users and transmission speeds range from 25Mbps to 100Mbps. This service is more expensive than some cable or fiber internet connections but they offer other benefits to their consumers such as an additional 50GB of data per month during off-peak internet hours.
- Cox has internet services for both cable and fiber internet connections. With downloading speed starting at 25Mbps for cable internet, Cox has a reasonable upload speed and a contract agreement for signing up. However, for fiber internet, downloading/uploading speed is at 940Mbps. Cox has a data cap at 1.2Tb which is more than enough for a home internet with multiple devices.
Above is the complete list of some of the major internet service providers in the US and since it is hard to choose the best one from so many options, research is needed to explore these options. Plus recommendations from friends, family, and loved ones could also help to narrow down the best internet option.
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