Best Internet Providers in Anchorage, Alaska – CNET

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What is the best internet provider in Anchorage?

GCI is the best internet provider in Anchorage, with the city’s fastest speeds and broadest coverage. It’s the only wired connection available in Anchorage, making it less susceptible to weather disruptions and network congestion than other providers.

If you want to pay the lowest price, the cheapest internet in Anchorage is Borealis Broadband. The fixed wireless provider offers plans starting at $40 per month for 3 megabits per second download and upload speeds, and all plans come with a 1 terabyte data cap. Starlink is the best satellite internet provider in Anchorage, but you’ll have to purchase the equipment upfront for $599. 

Our methodology

CNET considers speeds, pricing, customer service and overall value to recommend the best internet service providers in Anchorage 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 Anchorage. 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. Other discounts and promotions might also be available for things like signing a term contract or bundling with multiple services. 

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

Best internet in Anchorage, Alaska

While GCI is expensive, it’s also the only widely available option for high-speed internet in Anchorage. As one commenter on the Anchorage sub-Reddit put it, “GCI internet is the best…This is coming from someone who hates GCI.” GCI’s cable internet is the fastest in the area by a long shot and is less prone to weather disruptions than the satellite and wireless providers.

. . .

Check with GCI

There’s a significant gap between GCI and our second pick, Starlink. Satellite internet is almost always expensive and slow, and while Starlink is faster than other satellite ISPs, you’ll still pay a premium for it. It provides download speeds up to 250Mbps, and although data is technically unlimited, your traffic may be deprioritized to make room for Priority Data subscribers. Starlink also requires you to purchase its satellite dish for $599 upfront, but that’s on par with equipment fees from other satellite providers.

. . .

Check with Starlink

Cheap internet is hard to come by in Anchorage — Borealis Broadband’s fixed wireless internet is the only option in the area with plans under $50 a month. You’ll get significantly slower speeds for those lower prices, but if all you need to do is check your email or browse social media, Borealis should be adequate. All plans come with 1TB of data, which is more generous than most of GCI’s data caps.

. . .

Check with Borealis

Anchorage internet providers compared

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
Alaska Communications DSL $85-$95 10-40Mbps None None None N/A
Borealis Broadband Fixed wireless $40-$170 3-30Mbps None 1TB None N/A
GCI Cable $85-$185 250-2,500Mbps None 250GB-Unlimited None N/A
HughesNet Satellite $50-$150 15-50Mbps $14 15-200GB Two years 5.7
Starlink Satellite $90 25-220Mbps $599 upfront None None N/A
Viasat Satellite $70-$300 25-50Mbps $15 60-500GB Two years 6.1

Show more (2 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Other available internet providers in Anchorage

  • Alaska Communications: While it offers fiber internet at a handful of addresses in Anchorage, Alaska Communications is primarily a DSL provider, with coverage available to 74% of Anchorage households. Prices are the same as GCI for much slower speeds, but you’ll get unlimited data with both of the Alaska Communication plans. 
  • Satellite internet: Besides Starlink, HughesNet and Viasat offer satellite internet service in Anchorage. (HughesNet contracts satellite service out to local retailers in Alaska.) Neither are great options, with high prices, slow speeds and limited data caps that make things like streaming or videoconferencing impractical. If you’re going with satellite, you’re probably better off swallowing the high equipment cost of Starlink.

Cheap internet options in Anchorage

Anchorage has very few cheap internet options. Borealis Broadband is the only provider that offers plans below $50 — and you’ll have to deal with extremely slow speeds for that price. That’s better than the choices available in Juneau, which has no internet plans for under $50.

What’s the cheapest internet plan in Anchorage?

Provider Starting price Max download speed Monthly equipment fee
Borealis Broadband Bronze $40 3Mbps None
HughesNet 15 GB $50 15Mbps $14
HughesNet 50 GB $50 ($75 after one year) 25Mbps $14
Borealis Broadband
Iron
$55 5Mbps None
Viasat $70 25Mbps $15

Show more (1 item)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

anchorage-alaska

Blue Poppy / Getty Images

How to find internet deals and promotions in Anchorage

The best internet deals and the top promotions in Anchorage depend on what discounts are available at the time you’re searching. Most deals are short-lived, but we look frequently for the latest offers. 

Anchorage internet providers, such as Viasat, may offer lower introductory pricing or streaming add-ons for a limited time. Many providers, including GCI, Borealis Broadband and Starlink, run the same standard pricing year-round. 

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

How fast is Anchorage broadband?

Out of the top 100 most populated cities in the US, Anchorage has the 90th fastest speeds, according to Ookla’s speed test data. Residents receive a median of 172Mbps download and 27Mbps upload speeds. The fastest internet provider in Anchorage is GCI, delivering median download speeds of 252Mbps.

Fastest internet plans in Anchorage

Provider Starting price Max download speed Max upload speed Data cap Connection type
GCI Red Unlimited $185 2,500Mbps 75Mbps None Cable
GCI Fastest $160 1,000Mbps 40Mbps 1,000GB Cable
GCI Faster $110 500Mbps 20Mbps 600GB Cable
GCI Fast $85 250Mbps 10Mbps 250GB Cable
Starlink $90 220Mbps 20Mbps None Satellite

Show more (1 item)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

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, such as videoconferencing, streaming and online 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 Anchorage

Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen tool, it’s impractical to personally test every ISP in a given city. So what’s our approach? We start by researching the pricing, availability and speed information drawing on our own historical ISP data, the provider sites and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov.

In addition, 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 evaluate sources like 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 the time of publication.

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

  1. Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds?
  2. Do customers get decent value for what they’re paying?
  3. 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 it comes to 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 speed as well as accounting for 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 Anchorage?

There are many wonderful things about living in Anchorage, but good internet is not one of them. The best provider we found is GCI, the only wired connection widely available in the city. After that, there’s a significant dropoff. Starlink provides decent speeds but requires a $599 satellite dish purchase, and the monthly price is still expensive at $90. Borealis Broadband offers the cheapest internet plans in Anchorage but is too slow for streaming or videoconferencing. 

Internet providers in Anchorage FAQs

What is the best internet service provider in Anchorage?

GCI is the best internet service provider in Anchorage, with the fastest speeds by a mile. Prices start at $85 a month, and most plans include data caps, but it’s still the best option in the area. 

Is fiber internet available in Anchorage?

Fiber internet is available to 1% of households in Anchorage, according to FCC data.

Who is the cheapest internet provider in Anchorage?

Borealis Broadband is the cheapest internet provider in Anchorage, with plans starting at $40 per month for 3Mbps download and upload speeds.

Which internet provider in Anchorage offers the fastest plan?

GCI offers the fastest internet plan in Anchorage, with download speeds up to 2,500Mbps for $185 monthly.

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