A study published by the Pew Research Center in 2017 showed that the average US household has more than 4 internet connected devices. With higher consumption of video from social media sites like YouTube, demand for streaming movies, online gaming and video conferencing, households are consuming data than ever before. As of 2016, Speedtest had reported that average US download speeds were 54.97 Mbps and upload speeds of 18.88 Mbps.
Internet speeds in the US vary greatly with the lower end being as slow as 2 Mbps while the highest speeds see 2 Gbps (2,000 Mbps). Data caps still apply to many internet providers but you can get unlimited connections for as low as $19. Some providers will require subscribers to commit to a time contract while others will allow consumers to buy in as they choose.
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Here are the fastest internet providers you can work with:
AT&T offers U-verse Internet in 21 states: IL, IN, OH, MI, WI, AR, KS, MO, OK, TX, CA, NV, AL, MS, LA, KY, TN, GA, FL, NC, and SC. AT&T U-verse offers speed up to 1 Gbps in some metro cities. Subscribers can choose from 3 options: Up to 50 Mbps, Up to 100 Mbps, and Up to 1 Gbps Internet connection.
Comcast offers the widest range of options and perhaps has the widest coverage among internet providers. The top speed is 2 Gbps with offers of bundling internet and TV. Capping is at 1 terabyte. Subscribers can opt for lower-priced time contracts (1-3 years) or pay higher for a no contract option. Comcast is in 41 states.
Verizon offers 300 Mbps top speed and no data capping. Internet users have praised Verizon as having symmetrical upload and download speeds enabling faster uploading of video as well as smoother video conferencing on Skype and other apps.
This is satellite link internet with speeds up to 50 Mbps and a capping rate of 100GB. This is suitable if you live in a rural area or other areas not served by DSL or fiber optic cable. Viasat announced they will be rolling out 100 Mbps speeds soon.
With speeds ranging from 5 Mbps to 1 Gbps. CenturyLink has some of the friendliest packages on the market. All bundles come with DIRECTV. But CenturyLink speeds will vary greatly, depending on where you are located.
This internet provider has a unique business model. Subscribers can connect at any of the 1.5 million hotspots. The top speeds are at 400 Mbps which is higher than the advertised speeds by up to 105%. This is an ideal internet provider for laptop use while traveling. This comes with a no-contract plan.
Picking an internet provider largely depends on your needs. Do you need internet for TV, phone, gaming, home office in a bundle or separately? If you want to bundle go for higher speeds.
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