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Best cheap internet providers 2022: Affordable ISPs – ZDNet

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We reviewed the top cheap internet providers in the country based on coverage, price, speed, and customer service. We identified the best cheap internet providers to help you find the fastest speed for the lowest price from the results.

If the last year has taught us anything, it’s just how valuable an internet connection is. No matter how essential an internet connection is, though, no one wants to break the bank just to get online. We’ve taken a close look at the internet providers across the country to find the best options for cheap, fast internet
We let price take priority, but we aren’t interested in cheap internet that doesn’t provide good service — high speed and reliability are also crucial. We looked at data caps, connection type, and other factors to review the best cheap internet providers of 2021.
Score: 4.2 | Starting Price: $35/month | Maximum Download Speed: 940Mbps | ACSI Score: 70 |
AT&T offers nearly nationwide coverage, affordable pricing, and solid download speeds  — though navigating the company’s labyrinth of plans can feel unnecessarily complicated.
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Score: 3.6 | Starting Price: $29.99/month | Maximum Download Speed: 3000Mbps | ACSI Score: 72 |
Comcast XFINITY offers high-speed options for people who need them and affordable fiber internet options on a budget, though the best prices require at least a one-year contract.
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Score: 4.2 | Starting Price: $39.99/month | Maximum Download Speed: 940Mbps | ACSI Score: 77 |
Verizon Fios offers a fast, reliable fiber internet connection for a price that won’t break the bank with no monthly contract. The only downside is that it’s available in only certain parts of the country.
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Score: 3.8 | Starting Price: $39.99/month | Maximum Download Speed: 940Mbps | ACSI Score:  62 |
Frontier Communications provides the best option for unlimited internet data, yet keep an eye out for the hidden fees that are often associated with their plans.
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Score: 3.4 | Starting Price: $50/month | Maximum Download Speed: 940Mbps | ACSI Score: 69 |
CenturyLink offers cheap internet coverage across the Mountain West and locks in your price for life, so you don’t have to worry about surprising charges.
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Score: 3.2 | Starting Price: $49.99/month | Maximum Download Speed: 1000Mbps | ACSI Score: 70 |
Charter Spectrum offers a broad coverage map for cheap internet and will pay your early termination fee if you switch from another provider — but the price increases after the first year.
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200 Mbps: $49.99/mo.
400 Mbps: $69.99/mo.
1,000 Mbps: 109.99/mo.
Score: 3.4 | Starting Price: $29.99/month | Maximum Download Speed: 1000Mbps | ACSI Score: 71 | 
Cox Communications offers solid value for its baseline plans with no contracts and locked price for three years but has data caps and poor service.
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We evaluated internet service providers based on customer satisfaction, data caps, download speed, plans, and customer support to determine our scores and create our best internet service provider reviews. To compare internet service providers with other brands across the board, we calculate each score based on the following:
Low-income households can often feel at a loss when it comes to getting fast, cheap internet provider service. Still, there are programs available that can help make this essential service affordable. The Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program offers qualifying households a $9.25 per month stipend for internet service. If your household income is 135% or less than the federal poverty line, or if you receive other benefits like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), Veterans Pension, and Survivors Benefit, or Tribal Programs benefits, you likely also qualify for cheap internet in your area through Lifeline.
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