Generally, internet access can get expensive, especially when you join a monthly plan cost with equipment fees and data overages. Besides, the rate increases often occur after the introductory rate expires. However, cable and fiber internet are likely to be your best cheap internet services for home. Although plans can become a bit more expensive than dial-up or DSL service, the internet speeds and connection quality delivered is well worth the extra cost.
Moreover, cable internet providers like Mediacom, Cox, and Xfinity typically provide the cheapest internet plans for home. On the other hand, fiber options such as Frontier, AT&T, and Verizon are excellent for low-cost, high-speed plans. The discussed internet providers, and many others that provide unlimited prepaid internet for homes, offer broadband internet plans for less than $50/month. Ideally, saving money on your internet services would only necessitate trading slower speeds for low prices.
Furthermore, the cheapest internet options at major providers also generally require considering data limits. In this case, the basic internet plan’s data caps can get limited. However, many plans feature a significant rate increase after the first year or two, as introductory plan prices expire. Mediacom packs the gentlest second-year increases, adding just $10 on the starting internet plan rates.
How Do You Get Cheap Internet for Home?
i) Select an Internet Provider
Narrow down your search by identifying which providers from the list provided below offer service in your area. You can use your favorite internet provider’s coverage map to find which other providers cover your location.
ii) Choose Your Ideal Plan
Select a plan within your budget that offers enough download speed for your most common online task. You can also consider a plan that does not impose a data cap that will be difficult to stay below.
iii) Buy and Install
If your provider of choice allows it, purchase the modem or gateway instead of renting the provider’s equipment. As a result, you will free yourself from the installation fees.
iv) Explore Free Internet Options
If paying for home internet services from $20 to $35 is not your budget, you can see what free internet services are available. Interestingly, you can get free internet at home without paying if you are under budget constraints.
Who Provides Cheap Internet Services for Home?
1) Cox Communications
Cox is the best-prepaid internet service. However, Cox’s best cheap internet costs $50 per month, the Cox StraightUp Internet feature up to 50Mbps, free installation, a free router/modem device, and a three-year price guarantee. Besides, the plan is ideal for users who want a pay-as-you-go service.
Optimum offers the best cheapest gigabit plan. however, the plan is ideal for users opting for a low-cost internet plan. Optimum’s gig service enables you to enjoy decent speed starting at just $50 per month.
Besides, Optimum offers the cheapest gig plan with speeds up to 940Mbps compared to any prominent provider. A $10 equipment fee applies, making the all-in cost for gig service $60 per month. Interestingly, you can avoid that fee by utilizing your own equipment.
On the other hand, if you don’t require the gig service, Optimum provides a few other cheap internet plans with download speeds from 100 to 500Mbps, beginning at $30 to $40 per month for the first year. Ensure to track your bill after that first year, as a price increase may affect the value of your plan.
3) Comcast Xfinity
Xfinity is the best cheap cable internet service, provider with plans costing from $20 to $25 per month for up to 50Mbps. Xfinity’s Performance Starter is not the best internet deal you’re likely to get, but it is one of the cheapest internet options available throughout the US. Xfinity provides two additional plans in the $50 per month range in select areas if you want a little more speed.
However, performance Select offers speeds up to 100Mbps starting at $35 per month, while Performance Pro delivers up to 200Mbps starting at $50 per month. Additionally, you may have to sign a one-year contract to obtain the lowest introductory pricing on these Xfinity plans. Besides, opting for no contract could increase your bill by $10 per month for the first year.
Mediacom is one of the best and cheapest internet options rural areas. Besides, it’s the fifth-largest cable operator in the United States, providing video, home security, high-speed data, phone, and automation.
Subscribers of rural areas throughout the Midwest and South and parts of Arizona and California can depend on Mediacom for cheap broadband service beginning at around $20 per month for speeds up to 60Mbps. On the downside, Mediacom’s cheapest Wi-Fi internet plan is the 200GB monthly data cap, which many households may surpass.
Moreover, Mediacom provides service in 22 states. For its low prices and fast speeds, Mediacom’s plans start at $19.99 per month for the first year. There are many extra charges, and the introductory prices may go up steeply every year. Also, fees include a $12 monthly equipment rental fee, installation starting at $99, and $10 for every 50 GB of data you utilize over your data allowance.
The most affordable AT&T plan begins at $35 for the first 12 months. AT&T also provides plans with speeds starting from 5Mbps for users who want to spend a bit less. Besides, the company offers reliable internet to 15.7 million subscribers with its broadband service and 3.1 million subscribers with its fiber service.
Interestingly, you can also combine your plan with AT&T TV, DirecTV, and AT&T wireless service for more savings on your internet bill. If you connect DirecTV or AT&T TV right now, AT&T will reward you with a $100 gift card to seal the deal.
6) Charter Spectrum
Spectrum features the highest-priced internet plan with fast download speeds up to 200Mbps and cheap Wi-Fi equipment fees. However, Spectrum internet service packs a free modem, and the router rental fee costs only $5 per month.
Additionally, an all-in monthly price starts from $55, with download speeds up to 200Mbps, unlimited data, and no contracts. Spectrum offers various services, including mobile plans, high-speed internet up to 1 gigabit, and digital TV and voice.
Does The Government Offer Cheap Internet to Low-Income Households?
The US Federal Communication Commission provides a Lifeline program that offers a monthly credit of up to $9.25 that eligible consumer can apply on their broadband bill. To be eligible, applicants must possess a household income equal to or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Alternatively, you can qualify for other government-sponsored programs, such as the Federal Public Housing Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, or the Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit. Many internet service providers, including Cox, AT&T, and Xfinity, provide free internet for low-income families.
Additionally, some ISPs participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to offer broadband services to specific households. Low-income households can get a $50 monthly discount on their monthly internet bill through the program. Most importantly, ACP is among the several programs designed to make the internet service cheap for every US resident.
How Do You Find the Cheapest Internet Plan for Home?
If you’re looking for a cheap internet plan for your home, you might get tempted to consider the price only. However, you should consider a few more factors, such as additional fees, internet speed, price hikes, and contracts.
What To Consider When Shopping for Cheap Internet for Home?
i) Promotional prices
Most internet service providers offer you a low price, but after the introductory price, the price typically goes up after 12 to 24 months.
ii) Internet speed
A cheap internet plan for the home isn’t worth it if you can’t browse the internet. Consider speeds of at least 50 Mbps for decent speeds.
iii) Data caps
If you go beyond your data allowance, a data cap can quickly become a challenge. Most internet service providers charge more for extra data. Thus, ensure that your cheap internet plan packs enough data to have you going for a month.
iv) Equipment fees
If you want to rent equipment from your service provider, factor in the monthly rental fee. Notably, you’ll save money if you use your own equipment.
v) Installation fees
When looking for cheap internet for your home, don’t forget about installation. Such fees start anywhere from $50 to $100. However, some internet service providers now provide self-installation kits at no additional cost so that you can save more.
vi) Contracts and early termination fees
If your cheap internet plan for home feature a contract, be keen about the hefty early termination fee (ETF). If you terminate your contract early, you could pay up to $500 as termination fees.
Several internet service providers offer cheap internet service at home for users struggling with monthly bills. However, you can choose from the above providers depending on the price, data needs you want, and service availability within your area. Alternatively, you can get free internet services from the government to meet the eligibility requirements.