What is the best internet provider in New York City?

Verizon Fios is the largest fiber internet provider and best internet provider overall in New York City. Along with fast, symmetrical speeds made possible by a 100% fiber-optic network, Verizon Fios is preferred for its competitive pricing, simple service terms, unique signup bonuses and high customer satisfaction. If Verizon Fios isn’t available at your address, Astound Broadband, Spectrum and Starry Internet are solid home internet picks.

We’ve also found the cheapest plan and fastest service in the city to help you find the right fit for your household. The most affordable internet plan in New York City is Astound Broadband’s 300 megabits per second connection for $20 per month. Verizon Fios offers a 2.3 gigabit per second plan for people needing the fastest speeds possible for $120 monthly.

CNET considers speeds, pricing, customer service and overall value to recommend the best internet service in New York City across several categories. Our evaluation includes referencing a proprietary database built over years of reviewing internet services. We validate that against provider information by spot-checking local addresses for service availability. We also do a close read of providers’ terms and conditions and, when needed, will call ISPs to verify the details.

Despite our efforts to find the most recent and accurate information, our process has some limitations you should know about. Pricing and speed data are variable: Certain addresses may qualify for different service tiers, and monthly costs may vary, even within a city. The best way to identify your options is to plug your address into a provider’s website. 

Also, the prices, speed and other information listed above and in the provider cards below may differ from what we found in our research. The cards display the full range of a provider’s pricing and speed across the US, according to our database of plan information provided directly by ISPs. At the same time, the text is specific to what’s available in New York City. The prices referenced within this article’s text come from our research and include applicable discounts for setting up automatic payments each month — a standard industry offering. Discounts and promotions might also be available for signing a term contract or bundling multiple services. 

To learn more about how we review internet providers, visit our full methodology page.

Best internet providers in New York City

null
Speed range

100 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$30- $90 per month

Our take – Spectrum is the primary cable provider in Manhattan. Service is fast and reliable, but cable internet comes with significantly slower upload speeds (Spectrum’s top out at 35Mbps), and your connection will be susceptible to slowed speeds due to network congestion during peak usage times, which could be anytime in a city that never sleeps.

. . . Or call to learn more:

Check with Spectrum

Speed range

100 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$30- $90 per month

null
Speed range

300 – 2,000 Mbps

Price range

$50 – $120 per month

Our take – Verizon Fios has the speeds and pricing you’d expect from a leading ISP, but it goes a step further with unlimited data, no contract requirements, free equipment and some of the best signup bonus offers.

. . . Or call to learn more:

Check with Verizon

Speed range

300 – 2,000 Mbps

Price range

$50 – $120 per month

null
Speed range

100 – 1,500 Mbps

Price range

$20 – $80 per month

Our take – If you’re looking for cheap internet in New York City, Astound has the lowest introductory rates of any major ISP in the area. New customers may also be able to score a free month or two of service, free equipment or other signup bonuses.

. . . Or call to learn more:

Check with Astound

Speed range

100 – 1,500 Mbps

Price range

$20 – $80 per month

null
Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

85 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$50 – $70 per month

Our take – 5G technology is great for our phones, but what about for home internet? With Verizon 5G Home Internet, getting speeds and pricing rivaling a cable or fiber internet connection is possible. 

. . . Or call to learn more:

Check with Verizon

Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

85 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$50 – $70 per month

null
Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

50 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$30 – $80 per month

Our take – Starry Internet service works by beaming wireless internet signals to a fixed location, typically a receiver at the top of a building. The wireless delivery method helps keep operational costs relatively low, especially compared with the high cost of laying fiber lines. Starry passes those savings on to customers with its high-speed, low-cost, low-hassle internet service.

. . . Or call to learn more:

Check with Starry

Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

50 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$30 – $80 per month

New York City internet providers compared

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment cost Contract CNET review score
Astound Broadband Cable $20-$55 300-1,500Mbps None None 7
Consolidated Communications Fiber $35-$70 50-1,000Mbps $12 None N/A
Optimum Cable $40-$80 300-1,000Mbps None None 6.2
Spectrum Cable $50-$90 300-1,000Mbps $5 (optional) None 7.2
Starry Internet Fixed wireless $30-$80 50-1,000Mbps None None 7
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless $60 ($40 with eligible mobile plan) 72-245Mbps None None 7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet Fixed wireless $50-$70 ($35-$45 with eligible mobile plan) 50-1,000Mbps None None 7.2
Verizon Fios Fiber $40-$120 300-2,300Mbps None None 7.6

Show more (4 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Other available internet providers in New York City

  • Consolidated Communications: Largely a DSL-based rural internet provider, Consolidated Communications also offers fiber internet service in select parts of New York City. Availability is spotty in Manhattan, but those in the Bloomingdale and Lincoln Square districts will have the best coverage. Where available, the provider is worth considering for its $70-per-month gig service, but you’ll probably want to pass on lower speed tiers in favor of Spectrum or Verizon Fios.
  • Optimum: The second-largest cable internet provider in the greater New York City area, Optimum is available to much of Brooklyn and the Bronx but not Manhattan. Optimum speeds and pricing are comparable to Astound, including a gigabit plan starting at $80 per month. Optimum also employs a fiber network through much of New York City, with 100% fiber connections available to roughly 1 million residents.
  • T-Mobile 5G Home Internet: Like Verizon’s 5G home internet service, T-Mobile’s coverage area reaches a good portion of New York City, save for the dead zones between and inside tall buildings. Though the two are in a similar price range and share roughly the same service features, T-Mobile isn’t as fast as Verizon 5G, with max speeds ranging from 72 to 245Mbps.
  • Xchange Telecom: Available in Central Park and throughout much of Lower Manhattan, Xchange Telecom primarily uses a fixed wireless network, but fiber or DSL service may also be available at select addresses. Pricing and speeds will vary by location.
  • Satellite internet: To truly cover all your internet options, satellite internet from Hughesnet and Viasat belong here. Technically, they are available, but there are too many other faster, cheaper and all-around better internet options in New York City to seriously consider satellite internet.

Cheap internet options in New York City

The average price for broadband in New York City is around $40, but there are a few cheaper options if you’re looking for more affordable home internet. Astound Broadband offers the cheapest plan: 300Mbps for $25 per month, just over 8 cents per Mbps.

Most providers we’ve mentioned also participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which gives eligible low-income households a $30 monthly discount (or up to $75 for households on tribal lands) for high-speed internet. You can use the ACP toward any internet plan — not just the cheapest ones — from participating providers. 

What’s the cheapest internet plan in New York City?

Show more (4 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

How to find internet deals and promotions in New York City

The best internet deals and top promotions in New York City depend on what discounts are available during that time. Most deals are short-lived, but we look frequently for the latest offers. 

New York City internet providers, such as Astound Broadband, Spectrum and T-Mobile, may offer lower introductory pricing or streaming add-ons for a limited time. Many providers, including Verizon Fios and Starry Internet, run the same standard pricing year-round. 

For a more extensive list of promos, check out our guide on the best internet deals.

gettyimages-1394866067 gettyimages-1394866067

Getty Images

How fast is New York City broadband?

Ookla speed test data reports New York City ranks 52nd for internet speed among the 100 most populous cities in the country. With median download speeds of 225Mbps and upload speeds of 31Mbps, NYC’s broadband is faster than the state’s average speed of 215Mbps.

If you’re looking for the speediest plan in New York City, Verizon Fios offers speeds up to 2.3Gbps in select areas for $120 per month. If you’re unable to get Verizon Fios, Astound Broadband has the second-fastest plan: 1,500Mbps for $150 month.

Fastest internet plans in New York City

Provider Starting price Max download speed Max upload speed Data cap Connection type
Fios 2 Gig $120 2,300Mbps 2,300Mbps None Fiber
Astound Broadband 1500 $55 1,500Mbps 50Mbps None Cable
Consolidated Communications 1Gig $70 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps None Fiber
Starry Gigabit $80 1,000Mbps 500Mbps None Fixed wireless
Spectrum Internet Gig $90 1,000Mbps 35Mbps None Cable
Verizon 5G Home Plus Internet $70 ($45 with eligible mobile plan) 1,000Mbps 75Mbps None Fixed wireless
Astound Broadband Gig $45 940Mbps 10Mbps None Cable
Fios 1 Gig $90 940Mbps 880Mbps None Fiber
Optimum 1 Gig $80 940Mbps 35Mbps None Fixed wireless

Show more (5 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Internet providers in popular cities near NYC

See all results for internet providers in New York state

What’s a good internet speed?

Most internet connection plans can now handle basic productivity and communication tasks. If you’re looking for an internet plan that can accommodate videoconferencing, streaming video or gaming, you’ll have a better experience with a more robust connection. Here’s an overview of the recommended minimum download speeds for various applications, according to the FCC. Note that these are only guidelines and that internet speed, service and performance vary by connection type, provider and address.

For more information, refer to our guide on how much internet speed you really need.

  • 0 to 5Mbps allows you to tackle the basics: browsing the internet, sending and receiving email and streaming low-quality video.
  • 5 to 40Mbps gives you higher-quality video streaming and videoconferencing.
  • 40 to 100Mbps should give one user sufficient bandwidth to satisfy the demands of modern telecommuting, video streaming and online gaming. 
  • 100 to 500Mbps allows one to two users to simultaneously engage in high-bandwidth activities like videoconferencing, streaming and gaming. 
  • 500 to 1,000Mbps allows three or more users to engage in high-bandwidth activities at the same time.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in New York City

Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen tool, it’s impractical to personally test every internet service provider in a given city. What’s our approach? For starters, we tap into a proprietary database of pricing, availability and speed information that draws from our own historical ISP data, partner data and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov. 

It doesn’t end there: We go to the FCC’s website to check our data and ensure we consider every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for residents. We look at sources, including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power, to evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP’s service. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as of publication. 

Once we have this localized information, we ask three main questions: 

  • Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds? 
  • Do customers get decent value for what they’re paying? 
  • Are customers happy with their service? 

While the answer to those questions is often layered and complex, the providers who come closest to “yes” on all three are the ones we recommend. When selecting the cheapest internet service, we look for the plans with the lowest monthly fee, although we also factor in things like price increases, equipment fees and contracts. Choosing the fastest internet service is relatively straightforward. We look at advertised upload and download speeds and consider real-world speed data from sources like Ookla and FCC reports.

To explore our process in more depth, visit our how we test ISPs page.

What’s the final word on internet providers in New York City?

NYC has a few reliable broadband options, but your best bet is any provider that offers fiber connection, like Verizon Fios. If fiber is unavailable in your area, other providers like Astound Broadband, Spectrum and Starry Internet offer fast speeds and decent pricing as well. Local provider Consolidated Communications is also available as an alternative if you’re not happy with your service from the bigger competitors.

Internet providers in New York City FAQ

Does New York City have fiber internet?

Yes. Approximately 59% of Manhattan residences are wired for fiber-optic internet service, according to the FCC. Verizon Fios is the largest fiber internet provider in New York City, although fiber service may also be available from Optimum, Xchange Telecom, Consolidated Communications or other ISPs in the area.

Can I get free Wi-Fi in New York City?

Several public places throughout New York City offer free Wi-Fi service. In addition to cafes, restaurants, hotels and other businesses with complimentary Wi-Fi, all NYC public library branches and several locations in Lower Manhattan, including Fulton Street Plaza, Bowling Green, Trinity Churchyard and Pier 15, have free public Wi-Fi access.

If you’re looking for free home Wi-Fi, you’ll need a wired internet connection to get Wi-Fi in your home. While some NYC internet service providers and plans are cheaper than others, no outright free home internet services are available in the city. Depending on your location and needs, a temporary free internet connection may be available from Spectrum, Optimum or Xfinity. Learn more at nyc.gov.

Is Verizon Fios or Spectrum better?

Verizon Fios has an advantage over Spectrum thanks to its 100% fiber-optic network. Verizon also has a lower starting price than Spectrum ($40 compared with $50). You’ll also get symmetrical or near-symmetrical download and upload speeds with Verizon Fios, whereas Spectrum’s maximum upload speeds fall far short of its download speeds. Spectrum does have lower introductory pricing for gig service and a monthly equipment fee of $10 lower than with Verizon Fios. As a cable internet provider, Spectrum is also a great choice for bundling internet and TV. 

In short, both providers have their pros and cons, but the fiber network that Verizon Fios offers makes it a better choice. In any case, it’s always a good idea to fully evaluate your home internet needs and the available options in your area before committing to a particular internet provider.

By rb8jg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *