Best Internet Service Providers | 2022 ISP Guide


Popular Internet Service Providers

Our rating of the Best Internet Service Providers (ISPs) of 2022 consists of companies offering fiber, cable, digital subscriber line (DSL), satellite, and fixed internet services across the U.S.

If you’re located near a metro area, top-rated providers like AT&T, Verizon, and Xfinity cover your address, while those in suburban and rural areas might choose HughesNet or Viasat for satellite internet. If speed is a concern, Spectrum, Frontier, and CenturyLink may be more viable options.

Our guides include some cheap ISPs like Suddenlink, Mediacom, and Astound Broadband. Cox and Optimum make our Best ISPs for Gaming of 2022 rating.

No matter your location and number of devices in your household, there’s bound to be an internet provider that meets your needs. Keep reading to learn more about the Best ISPs of 2022.

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The Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 receive accolades across many different subratings including fiber, cable, digital subscriber line (DSL), and satellite. If you’re looking for a new ISP, these companies are top-rated.

Spectrum Internet promotion price is $49.99/mo for 12 months. Wireless speeds may vary.

Xfinity Logo

Monthly Cost

$45.00 and Up

Connection Type

Fiber, Cable

Download Speed (Mbps)

50 Mbps – 2,000 Mbps

AT&T Internet

Best Overall 

AT&T Internet is best for:

  • People who need fast upload speeds

  • Shoppers looking for the fastest possible connection

  • Residents of urban areas who can get its fiber service

AT&T Internet is not recommended for:

  • People living in rural areas or planning to move there

  • People looking for bundled deals on internet and TV

Connection Type
Fiber

Download Speed
0.8 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV

AT&T Internet: AT&T offers fiber, DSL, and fixed internet services mostly to the Southeastern U.S., some of the Great Lake states, as well as California and Nevada. AT&T is our Best Overall ISP and places first in our Best Fiber ISPs of 2022 rating. Its fiber plans start at $55 per month for download speeds up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps). Those in metro areas have access to the best options from AT&T, whereas other locations outside of cities might access its DSL or fixed internet services. Bundles, including DirecTV, are available if you’re looking for savings. AT&T no longer requires a contract and offers unlimited data for its fiber plans.

See Full Review »

Verizon Internet

Best Gigabit Fiber Plan 

Verizon Internet is best for:

  • Users who need fast uploads as well as downloads

  • Anybody who doesn’t want a data cap

  • People looking for discounts on bundles of internet, streaming services, and cell phone service

Verizon Internet is not recommended for:

  • Price-minded customers who can get by with a slower connection

  • People who need download speeds above one gigabit per second

Connection Type
Fiber

Download Speed
300 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Verizon Internet: Verizon offers fiber and DSL plans to its customers. If you live in or near a major metro area in the Northeast U.S., you’ll have three fiber internet plans to choose from, while those in more rural areas may access DSL high-speed internet. Its fiber plans are among the best. Pricing starts at $39.99 for Verizon’s 300 Mbps plan, $64.99 for the 500 Mbps plan, and $89.99 for the Gigabit Connection. The plans are not subject to a contract and data is unlimited. Verizon offers the Best Gigabit Fiber plan due to its nearly matching upload and download internet speeds, free router, and price.

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Xfinity Internet

Best Cable ISP 

Xfinity is best for:

  • Shoppers who want to bundle internet, TV, phone, and home-security service into a single bill

  • People who prioritize fast downloads

  • Users who consistently stay at or under a terabyte of data a month

Xfinity is not recommended for:

  • Users looking for fast uploads

  • People who will use a great deal of data

  • Buyers not in the market for a TV bundle

Connection Type
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed
50 Mbps – 2,000 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, Phone or Home Security

Xfinity: Xfinity places No. 1 in our Best Cable ISPs of 2022, Fastest High-Speed ISPs, and Best Prepaid ISPs ratings. It offers mostly cable plans and two fiber plan options. Pricing is competitive, with rates starting at $45 for its prepaid option, and $29.99 per month to $299.95 for its fastest speeds. Xfinity imposes a 1.2 TB data cap on its plans, although some states in the Northeast are not subject to those terms. Best pricing is achieved through Xfinity’s 12 or 24-month contracts, or through optional bundles with TV, streaming services, and home security.

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Cox Internet

Cox Internet is best for:

  • Included mesh Wi-Fi router

Cox Internet is not recommended for:

  • Those who want to pay month-to-month

  • Customers who don’t want a data cap

Connection Type
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed
25 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, Phone or Automation/Security

Cox: Cox places fourth in our rating of the Best Internet Service Providers and Best Fiber Internet Service Providers of 2022. It is a versatile ISP that offers prepaid plans, cable, and fiber connections. If you sign up for a 12-month contract with Cox, you can get introductory rates that may save on your internet costs. Rates start at $29.99 per month for download speeds up to 25 Mbps download and increase to $99.99 per month for its fastest plan, the Gigablast, which offers download speeds up to 940 Mbps. Cox caps data at 1 terabyte (TB) per month. However, it offers bundled services with streaming services, technical support, and home security systems.

See Full Review »

Spectrum Internet

Spectrum is best for:

  • People who don’t want to worry about a data cap

  • Customers looking for a traditional bundle of internet and TV service

  • Shoppers looking for a provider with some of the widest possible coverage

Spectrum is not recommended for:

  • Users who require fast upload speeds

  • Budget-minded shoppers who don’t need especially fast downloads

Connection Type
Hybrid-Fiber Coax

Download Speed
10 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Spectrum: Spectrum offers cable internet plans to the majority of the U.S. except for several Midwestern states, Hawaii, and Alaska. Plans start at $49.99 per month for download speeds up to 200 Mbps and increase in price for download speeds up to 940 Mbps. Its upload speeds top at 35 Mbps, which is common for cable connections. Data is unlimited, and no contract is required when you sign up with Spectrum. If you want additional services, you can save more money by bundling them together. Spectrum offers TV, internet, and phone if you’re looking for packages.

See Full Review »

Spectrum Internet promotion price is $49.99/mo for 12 months. Wireless speeds may vary.

Mediacom Internet

Mediacom is best for:

  • Those who want consistently fast speeds

  • Households that want mesh Wi-Fi

Mediacom is not recommended for:

  • Those who don’t want a data cap

  • Customers who don’t want to pay higher prices after a year

Connection Type
Cable

Download Speed
60 Mbps – 1000 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Mediacom: Mediacom offers internet plans at a reasonable price and it ties for first in our Best Cheap ISPs of 2022 rating. This cable provider offers three plans. The lowest-tiered plan costs $29.99 per month ($19.99 for the first year) and includes download speeds up to 60 Mbps. Mediacom’s upload speeds won’t match its download speeds, as its connections are via cable. However, the 1 Gig plan has download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps and upload speeds up to 50 Mbps. These speeds place Mediacom among the Best Cable ISPs and Best ISPs for Gaming of 2022. Its data caps for plans go from 200 to 6,000 gigabytes, and no contract is required.

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Astound Broadband
Monthly Cost

$25.99 and Up

Astound Broadband is best for:

  • Customers interested in the latest technology

  • People who want to use their own equipment

Astound Broadband is not recommended for:

  • Consumers who need true gigabit speeds

Connection Type
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed
250 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Astound Broadband: Formerly RCN, Astound Broadband offers affordable cable and fiber internet plans to customers in the Northeast U.S. and Washington, D.C. Its plans start at $25.99 and include download speeds up to 250 Mbps. The middle tier plan is $44.99 for download speeds up to 500 Mbps, and the fastest plan gives you download speeds up to 940 Mbps for $54.99 per month. There are no data caps and no contracts to lock you in to service. If you try Astound and are dissatisfied with its service or internet quality, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Bundles and savings are available on many services including TV, phone, internet security, and smart home security systems.

See Full Review »

CenturyLink Internet

CenturyLink is best for:

  • Those who want to lock in a plan price

  • People who don’t want to sign a contract

  • Households that use a lot of data

CenturyLink is not recommended for:

  • Customers who want to bundle services

  • People who want excellent customer service

  • Those who live in an area with slower DSL speeds

Connection Type
Fiber, DSL

Download Speed
100 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

CenturyLink: CenturyLink offers two plans that include DSL or fiber internet connections across 36 states and 19 cities. There is no contract to get its service and if you’re a budget-conscious shopper, CenturyLink offers “Price for Life.” Its Price for Life program keeps your monthly cost the same for the duration of your service with CenturyLink. Its fiber costs $65 monthly and includes download speeds up to 940 Mbps. That compares to its DSL plan, which offers much slower download speeds up to 100 Mbps and costs $50 per month. CenturyLink’s fiber plan includes unlimited data, whereas its DSL plan is capped at 1 TB per month. Bundles including internet and phone are available for both plans. Its modem includes parental controls and the ability to create groups or pause devices.

See Full Review »

Frontier Internet

Best ISP for Gaming 

Frontier is best for:

  • Households that need lots of data

Frontier is not recommended for:

  • High-use internet households (if fiber internet isn’t available)

  • Households that need DSL speeds in excess of 115 megabits per second (Mbps)

Connection Type
Fiber, DSL

Download Speed
Up to 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Frontier: Frontier places No. 1 in the Best ISPs for Gaming of 2022 due to its low latency (amount of time it takes to relay data from one point to another). It ties at No. 8 overall and offers fiber and DSL internet connections across 25 states. Monthly pricing starts at $34.99 per month and increases to $79.99 for its fastest plan, with download speeds from 50 to 940 Mbps and upload speeds from 50 to 880 Mbps. All plans include unlimited data and no contract is required at sign up.

See Full Review »

HughesNet Internet

Best ISP for Rural Areas 

Hughesnet is best for:

  • Those in rural areas with no other options

  • Light internet users with 5 devices or less

  • Customers who don’t need a lot of speed

Hughesnet is not recommended for:

  • Online gamers or people who stream large amounts of video

  • People who work from home and use video conferencing

Connection Type
Satellite

Download Speed
25 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, Voice Bundle (VOIP)

HughesNet: HughesNet maintains its place as the No. 1 Satellite Internet Service Provider of 2022. It also places No. 1 in the Best ISPs for Rural Areas due to its accessibility across the country. When land-based connections such as DSL, cable, or fiber can’t reach your home, HughesNet provides another potential source for getting online. If your property has a clear line of vision to the southern sky, you will most likely be able to use satellite service for your internet connection. However, due to its high latency, satellite is not the best option for gaming. HughesNet’s starting price is higher than average for ISPs in our ratings. For all plans, download speeds go up to 25 Mbps and upload speeds go up to 3 Mbps. Hughesnet does have data limits, but the company lets you purchase data tokens as needed for an additional cost.

See Full Review »

Optimum Internet

Best for:

  • Residents of the greater New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area

Not recommended for:

  • People who want straightforward, simple plans and pricing

  • Users who live outside of New York and a few other select locations

Connection Type
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed
10 mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Optimum: Optimum places No. 11 in the Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 and offers a variety of internet plans. However, its service area is limited. Optimum is only available in three Northeastern states. It offers hybrid-fiber coaxial plans that start at $24.95 per month for download speeds up to 10 Mbps and upload speeds up to 1 Mbps. As you move through the tiers, its pricing increases up to $75 per month for gigabit-speed downloads and symmetrical uploads. Data is unlimited and no contracts are required for service. The company offers bundles including streaming services, internet security, and device protection plans.

See Full Review »

Viasat Internet

Viasat is best for:

  • People without access to DSL, fiber, or cable internet

  • People who mostly use the internet to surf the web and check email

  • Those looking to bundle services

Viasat is not recommended for:

  • People who enjoy streaming videos

Connection Type
Satellite

Download Speed
12 Mbps – 100 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Viasat: Viasat places No. 2 in our Best Satellite Internet Service Providers, No. 5 in Best ISPs for Rural Areas, and ties for 12th place overall. If you’re off the beaten path but looking for affordable internet options, Viasat starts at $39.99 per month for its Basic 12 plan. Though you do need a contract with this ISP, plans come with unlimited data. Download speeds range from 12 Mbps up to 100 Mbps. Upload speeds go up to 3 Mbps. Viasat’s plans can cost up to $149.99 per month, but savings can potentially be found through bundles of Viasat Voice, Viasat Shield (internet protection), and EasyCare, which is upgraded customer service. You can also get dish satellite TV with your internet plan.

See Full Review »

Suddenlink Internet

Suddenlink is best for:

  • Budget-conscious shoppers

  • Those looking to customize their internet plan

Suddenlink is not recommended for:

  • People looking for consistent pricing

  • Those who want a lower-priced plan without data caps

Connection Type
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed
20 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Suddenlink: Suddenlink is the Most Affordable ISP of 2022 as it offers low-cost plans without a contract. It places in our Best Fiber and Best Cable ratings and covers 17 states across the South, Midwest, and West Coast. Suddenlink participates in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program, which can provide a discount between $30 to $75 per month if your household qualifies for assistance. Suddenlink offers hybrid-fiber coaxial connections that range in price from $20 per month up to $75 per month. At this top tier, you get download speeds up to 940 Mbps and uploads up to 50 Mbps. However, only the top two plans include unlimited data. The ISP offers several bundled packages including mobile phone plans, TV, and streaming options.

See Full Review »

When shopping for internet service, it’s easy to compare some factors, such as cost. Other things, like customer service, are harder to gauge unless you have direct experience with the company. Below we explain some of the most important factors to think about when searching for a new internet provider:

Cost

Internet providers and connection types vary widely in price. The most affordable plan costs about $15 a month and provides download speeds of 30 megabits per second (Mbps). However, some eligibility restrictions may apply. This is adequate for basic web surfing, streaming high-definition video, or engaging in other high-bandwidth tasks. On the other end of the spectrum, an ultra-fast gigabit connection usually starts at $65 to $80 a month or more.

For those who can’t afford internet access, the FCC has put in place an Emergency Broadband Benefit to help even more households connect to the internet. The program assists low-income families that are struggling to access the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic. An eligible family can receive a monthly discount for internet service and a one-time discount towards the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.

Overall, internet access in the U.S. remains relatively expensive. “Most ISPs are still falling short of providing good service at an affordable price,” the American Customer Satisfaction Index noted in its 2019 telecommunications report. On the plus side, broadband service providers are building out their networks to make them faster for more people, which costs a lot of money. Further, Ian Greenblatt, leader of the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Intelligence team at J.D. Power, says that performance and reliability have also improved over time. This demonstrates that customers are indeed benefitting from ISPs’ continued technological investments.

Speed

Although you may not need the fastest speeds available, your internet connection should be fast enough for what you do online. If you experience a lot of latency or buffering, you may want to upgrade to a faster plan. For more information, see our What is a Good Internet Speed guide. Changing to a different connection type – such as from DSL to cable – can also help. See our breakdown below on the different types of internet service.

Reliability

It can be incredibly frustrating when you want to do something online, especially something important, only to find that your internet service has gone down. Greenblatt also notes that the speed and reliability of an internet service provider are two things that affect customer satisfaction the most. “It simply has to work,” explains Greenblatt. “You have to be there when I need you.”

Billing

Some internet bills are easy to understand, while others can be almost indecipherable. Were you charged more than you expected, with little or no explanation? Choosing an internet provider that provides easy-to-read bills. Also look for an ISP that lets you pay using your preferred method, be it Apple Pay or a paper check.

Because it’s hard to gauge many of these factors before signing up with an ISP, find trustworthy feedback on the company first. Use our Best Internet Service Providers rating to see which companies earn high scores from professional, unbiased sources. In addition, friends and neighbors may be able to recommend (or discourage you from using) their current internet provider.

There are four main residential connection options for broadband internet: cable, fiber optic, satellite, and DSL. Although it’s too slow to be considered broadband, you can also get internet service in your home through dial-up. Some cellphone providers can give you access through a wireless connection or hotspot. However, our ISP guides do not cover these options.

Cable Internet

Cable internet is the most common type of broadband connection in use, mainly because it uses the same infrastructure as your TV. This can help you save money if you haven’t cut the cord yet and made the switch to streaming services. Offers exist that allow you to bundle your internet and cable TV subscription as a package to lower the price on both.

Cable internet is also a popular option because of its cost. Based on plans we rated in Our Best Internet Providers of 2022 guide, you can get a basic broadband connection for under $40 per month. Cable is a favorite because of its speeds as well. Those who choose it can enjoy download speeds from 175-, 275-, and 500-Mbps.

Fiber Internet

If you’re looking for top internet speed, then fiber is the way to go. Although cable internet can deliver excellent download speeds, its upload speeds are much slower. Fiber has matching download and upload speeds. That makes a fiber connection great for people who send large amounts of data, like small businesses with cloud backups, or those who like to share high-definition videos across the web.

Fiber internet is desirable for heavy internet users such as online gamers. It has little packet loss and low latency, which means less disruption during gaming sessions and other usages. Likewise, those who participate in videoconferencing and stream videos should have few connection issues and less chance of frozen screens when connecting over fiber. However, according to FCC data collected in June 2020, fiber is only available to about 44% of the U.S.

Satellite Internet

These days, most people living in metro areas probably don’t consider satellite for high-speed internet, but this is still one of the top choices for much of rural America. Almost every county in the U.S. – including some remote areas of Alaska and Hawaii – have satellite internet as a broadband option, according to the FCC. In comparison, only 55% of rural areas can get high-speed access through a cable provider, and less than 20% have fiber optic internet available. Satellite internet may not be the best choice for gaming, but it still fills a void for internet service in some of the more remote areas.

DSL Internet

DSL is slowly getting replaced by faster, more reliable broadband connections like cable and fiber internet. However, many people have limited high-speed provider options in their areas, especially in rural communities. In these regions, DSL offers much faster speeds than dial-up, and it tends to be faster and more consistent than satellite internet. In our research of the Best Internet Providers, we found that DSL plans tend to cost less than similar plans from satellite internet.

If you’re a mild internet user that mainly surfs the web or streams TV on one device at a time, DSL may work well for you. If you have a busy household with lots of people getting online at the same time – especially if two or more are using data for streaming or online gaming – DSL isn’t going to cut it.

Fixed Wireless Internet

Fixed wireless internet is a type of internet service that uses radio waves to connect rural and underserved areas to the internet. Many rural or underserved areas may be without the infrastructure that would allow ground internet options, such as fiber, cable, or DSL. Instead, this type of broadband connection uses an antenna to communicate with a tower within 10 miles of your home.

Fixed internet can still be somewhat affected by weather. However, it has lower latency (length of time to relay data) than satellite internet, making it another option for some rural areas.

All of the companies that made our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating offer more than just internet service. Several are also cable companies or telecommunications giants that can bundle the cost of internet service with another service they provide. Bundles can save you money because the combined package is normally less than the cost of each service individually. Most companies on the list will give you a discount if you select cable TV and an internet plan. Some even offer a landline for your home phone, a cell phone plan, and/or home security bundles with their internet plans.

What Are the Best Internet Service Providers in My Area?

Gaining access to broadband internet can be a challenge for those who live in rural areas with little of the infrastructure needed to provide broadband speeds. With satellite being the most widely available internet provider, it’s an appealing option if you live on a farm or in a less populated area. DSL is often set up in these areas as well. However, if you’re looking for cable or other options that could reach where you are, check out our ratings of the Best Internet Service Providers for Rural Areas. One of these companies may service your area.

In online gaming, if you want to savor victory, then your internet connection needs to be as flawless as your game play. While a fast internet connection can’t guarantee a win, an unstable connection can quickly deliver a loss before you’ve had a chance to compete. That’s because connections prone to lagging and delays can adversely affect your performance during a game. So getting a high-speed internet plan is paramount if you want optimal online gaming.

The FCC recently reported that latency, a measurement of internet delay, improves as the internet speed increases. In order to help you make an informed decision, we’ve used this report to determine which internet providers had the lowest latency. To learn more about latency and to see the top ISPs visit, the Best Internet Providers for Gaming of 2022.

If you’re on a budget or have a fixed income, you may be interested in a prepaid internet service provider. Prepaid providers can offer internet services without many of the overhead costs normally associated with installation and equipment rental. Two companies made our Best Prepaid Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating.

If you’re looking for an ISP that is contract-free, doesn’t require a credit check, and has potentially lower equipment fees, visit our guide to the Best Prepaid ISPs to learn which ones might work best for you.

Internet access doesn’t have to cost $100 or more each month. We analyzed the internet plans offered by the Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 to find the least expensive options, based on monthly price. Companies that made our rating for the Most Affordable Internet Services Providers are listed below. Follow the links in the companies’ names to read our full reviews. You can also read more about the Cheap Internet Service of 2022 here.

If you find the cheap internet companies in our ratings too expensive, visit the FCC to learn about its Affordable Connectivity Program. The program offers discounts between $30 to $75 per month to qualifying households that need internet access.

If you want the fastest internet speeds possible, fiber optic internet is your premier choice. It has some of the fastest download and upload speeds available. Note that every choice in our rating of the Fastest Internet Plans of 2022 is fiber.

However, do you really need an ultra-fast gigabit connection? Find out how to select the right internet speed level, see what broadband services are available in your area, and get tips on increasing your internet speed in our Fastest Internet Plans guide.

If you want to save more on some of our top rated internet service providers, check out these ISP deals:

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Best Local Internet Service Providers

Find the best internet service providers in major metropolitan areas. See a full list of cities here.

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Related 360 Reviews

You may also be interested in the following reviews of related services:

Why You Can Trust Us: 25 Internet Service Providers Researched

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Hospitals, Best Colleges, and Best Cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. Our 360 Reviews team draws on this same unbiased approach to rate the products that you use every day. To build our ratings, we researched more than 25 internet service providers and analyzed 13 reviews. Our 360 Reviews team does not take samples, gifts, or loans of products or services we review. All sample products provided for review are donated after review. In addition, we maintain a separate business team that has no influence over our methodology or recommendations.

The following describes our 360 approach to researching and analyzing internet service providers to guide prospective consumers.

1. We researched the companies and products people care most about.

U.S. News analyzed and compared a variety of publicly available data, including internet search data, to determine which internet service providers consumers are most interested in. We found 25 companies that stood out for further evaluation using the volume of searches and consumer research. After conducting a thorough analysis, we were able to condense the initial list to the 12 overall Best Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Taking a step further, out of the top 12 ISPs, we determined which is best by connection type, the best for gaming using latency (provided by the Federal Communications Commission) as a parameter, the best for rural areas, the best prepaid plans, and the cheapest in terms of the lowest regular rate. Fastest ISPs was also another sub-category to consider, but without the proper speed testing platform, this could not be captured appropriately. 360 Reviews instead offered consumers the fastest publicized ISP plans provided by our overall Best Internet Service Providers. With the companies determined, we researched their most important features to create a general layout of what consumers should know to assist with their purchasing decisions.

We compared the various plans, along with the monthly costs and associated fees that each company provided relative to its customers’ needs. The plans highlighted features such as connection type, download/upload speed, and data caps. We also considered the latency, consistency, and packet loss data provided by the Federal Communications Commission in regards to connection type and ISPs for gaming. With these factors in mind, we created a thorough set of guides that provides a 360 overview of what consumers should consider.

2. We created an objective 360 Overall Ratings based on an analysis of third-party reviews.

Our scoring methodology is based on a composite analysis of the ratings and reviews published by credible third-party professional and consumer review sources. The ratings are not based on the personal opinions, tests, or experiences of U.S. News. To calculate the ratings:

(a) We compiled two types of third-party ratings and reviews:

Professional Ratings and Reviews: Many independent evaluating sources have published their assessments of internet service providers and products online. We consider several of these third-party reviews to be reputable and well-researched. However, professional reviewers often make recommendations that contradict one another. Rather than relying on a single source, U.S. News believes consumers benefit most when these opinions and recommendations are considered and analyzed collectively with an objective, consensus-based methodology.

Consumer Ratings and Reviews: U.S. News also reviewed published consumer ratings and reviews of internet service providers. Sources with a sufficient number of quality consumer ratings and reviews were included in our scoring model.

Please note that not all professional and consumer rating sources met our criteria for objectivity. Therefore, some sources were excluded from our model.

(b) We standardized the inputs to create a common scale.

The third-party review source data were collected in a variety of forms, including ratings, recommendations, and accolades. Before including each third-party data point in our scoring equation, we standardized it so that it could be compared accurately with data points from other review sources. We used the scoring methodology described below to convert these systems to a comparable scale.

The 360 scoring process first converted each third-party rating into a common 0 to 5 scale. To balance the distribution of scores within each source’s scale, we used a standard deviation (or Z-Score) calculation to determine how each company that a source rated was scored in comparison to the source’s mean score. We then used the Z-Score to create a standardized U.S. News score using the method outlined below:

Calculating the Z-Score: The Z-Score represents a data point’s relation to the mean measurement of the data set. The Z-Score is negative when the data point is below the mean and positive when it’s above the mean; a Z-Score of 0 means it’s equal to the mean. To determine the Z-Score for each third-party rating of a company, we calculated the mean of the ratings across all companies evaluated by that third-party source. We then subtracted the mean from the company’s rating and divided it by the standard deviation to produce the Z-Score.

Calculating the T-Score: We used a T-Score calculation to convert the Z-Score to a 0-100 scale by multiplying the Z-Score by 10. To ensure that the mean was equal across all data points, we added our desired scoring mean (between 0 and 10) to the T-Score to create an adjusted T-Score.

Calculating the common-scale rating: We divided the adjusted T-Score, which is on a 100-point scale, by 20 to convert the third-party rating to a common 0-5 point system.

(c) We calculated the 360 Overall Score based on a weighted average model.

We assigned “source weights” to each source used in the consensus scoring model based on our assessment of how much the source is trusted and recognized by consumers and how much its published review process indicates that it is both comprehensive and editorially independent. The source weights are assigned on a 1-5 scale. Any source with an assigned weight less than 2 was excluded from the consensus scoring model.

Finally, we combined the converted third-party data points using a weighted average formula based on source weight. This formula calculated the consensus score for each product, which we call the 360 Overall Rating.

Cheap internet service providers should be affordable to most people. For this subrating, we gathered the lowest monthly cost plans of each company and compared them to each other to determine the cheapest internet service providers.

The Fastest High-Speed internet service providers should also be able to provide fast service. For this subrating, we looked at the highest plan from each company and compared their speeds.

Internet service providers have different types of internet such as fiber internet. We gathered companies that have fiber internet and scored them by their overall ranking.

Internet service providers also have prepaid option plans. We included companies that have prepaid plans and scored them by their overall ranking.

Internet service providers have different types of internet such as DSL. We included companies that have DSL internet service and scored them by their overall ranking.

Internet service providers have different types of internet such as satellite. We included companies that have satellite internet and scored them by their overall ranking.

Internet service providers have different types of internet such as cable. We included companies with cable internet and scored them by their overall ranking.

Gaming with the internet is highly dependent on latency. The lower the latency is, the better the internet plan is for gaming. We scored the best internet providers for gaming based on how low their latency is.

Internet service providers are found in various areas. For rural areas, we scored the companies based on how far they provide services to, specifically rural areas.

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.



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