Your Internet service provider is the gatekeeper to the Internet. They control how fast you can surf the Web, how much you pay and can even deny access, if they think you’re doing something wrong or downloading too much data.
Choosing a provider for Internet access can be a daunting choice. Customers should consider how ISPs deal with download limits, upload and download speeds, price, downtime, availability and customer service.
Out of all of the factors, the following five companies have become the most popular ISPs available in the U.S.
Propelled by its popular U-Verse package delivering digital TV, phone, and Internet, AT&T provides access to 17 million customers. Their highest tier, Max Turbo, boasts Internet speeds up to 24 Mbps.
Combine quick speeds with access to over 30,000 hotspots on its national WiFi network, security software suite and extra email accounts, and it’s easy to see why AT&T is so popular. Last year the company edged out Verizon as the largest ISP for businesses.
Comcast is the largest cable provider in the country, and provides Internet to over 14 million customers in 39 states. According to PC Magazine they are also one of the fastest ISPs in the country, giving customers an average 18 Mbps connection.
For the speed freaks, the Extreme 105 plan offers download speeds of 105 Mbps. They also offer free security software and access to ESPN3.
Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable has roughly 10.7 million data subscribers across the country. The standard Internet package lets users surf the Web up to 10 Mbps and the premium level, Ultimate Internet, gets “super-ridiculous-crazy fast” speeds around 50 Mbps. They also offer free security software and allow customers to connect to public hotspots available around the country, through the TWC WiFi network.
Verizon FiOS is very popular with customers, and has won the PC Magazine Readers’ Choice Award for seven years for a good reason: Their fiber optic service delivers consistent fast speeds.
They claim up to 300 Mbps download speeds and 65 Mbps upload speeds through the nation’s largest all-fiber network, and have 8.8 million total broadband connections and 5.1 million FiOS Internet customers.
Charter is the fourth-largest cable operator in the country. They have over five million customers in 25 states getting Internet, phone and TV. PC Magazine recently listed them at the #1 ISP in the country.
They offer a variety of Internet packages, with speeds ranging from 3 Mbps all the way up to 100 Mbps. Combine fast speeds with extras like security software, access to ESPN3 and a cloud drive for automatic backup, and there’s a reason they are one of the most popular ISPs