Best Internet Providers in Scottsdale, Arizona – CNET

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CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber – Best overall internet provider in Scottsdale

  • Prices: $30 – $70 per month
  • Speeds: 200 – 940Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Cox – Best availability in Scottsdale

  • Prices: $40 – $100 per month
  • Speeds: 25 – 2,000Mbps
  • 1.25TB monthly data allowance

T-Mobile Home Internet – Best alternative to wired home internet in Scottsdale

  • Prices: $50 per month
  • Speeds: 72 – 245Mbps
  • Unlimited data

There’s a clear decision tree when it comes to picking an internet provider in Scottsdale. If your household can get a fiber connection from CenturyLink (now known as Quantum Fiber), that’s a slam dunk. Otherwise, you’re best off with Cox, which offers cable internet to just about every address in the area. 

That noted, Cox is unpopular with some residents. In 2015, Scottsdale’s city council delayed a decision to allow Google Fiber to open up shop in the area after Cox filed a lawsuit against the city of Tempe over a similar deal. 

That has stunted the fiber rollout in Scottsdale. Cox refers to some area plans as “fiber,” but with much lower upload speeds than download speeds, they’re a lesser variant that’s closer to a cable connection. True fiber internet offers symmetrical upload and download speeds. 

Our team considers speeds, pricing, customer service and overall value to recommend the best internet service in Scottsdale across a variety of 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 is variable: Certain addresses may qualify for different tiers of service and monthly costs may vary, even within a city. The best way to identify your particular options is to plug your address into a provider’s website. 

Note that 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, while the text is specific to what’s available in Scottsdale. 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 be available as well, for things like committing to a contract or bundling with a cellphone plan. 

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

Best internet options in Scottsdale

Scottsdale residents have three main options when it comes to internet: CenturyLink (now known as Quantum Fiber), Cox and T-Mobile Home Internet. We’ve also outlined some other providers below, but they’re only worth considering if you can’t get one of the top three.

CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber

Best overall internet provider in Scottsdale

Product details


Price range

$30 – $70 per month

Speed range

200 – 940Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included with gigabit tier

Scottsdale residents looking for reliable and fast fiber internet need look no further than CenturyLink (now known as Quantum Fiber). Offering speeds up to 940 megabits per second, no long-term contract requirements, unlimited data and symmetrical download and upload speeds, CenturyLink’s fiber internet provides the best of both worlds: a reliable connection at a reasonable price, which is part of the reason it ranks second among all US providers in the 2023 American Customer Satisfaction Index’s evaluation. That noted, CenturyLink’s slower DSL plans are more widely available than its fiber service and we would only recommend them if you can’t get fiber service or a cable connection from Cox, T-Mobile or Verizon. 

Availability: CenturyLink offers broadband to 62% of Scottsdale households, according to Federal Communications Commission mapping data, with fiber-optic connections clustered around the Arcadia, Papago Parkway and Vista Del Camino neighborhoods. 

Plans and pricing: Two fiber plans are available in Scottsdale from CenturyLink: 200Mbps upload and download speed for $30 per month and 940Mbps for $70. 

Fees and service details: CenturyLink offers installation and a CenturyLink modem for free to new customers. A mesh Wi-Fi system is included with the $70 plan, but costs an extra $15 each month on the $30 plan. You can use your own router to skip that $15 charge.

Read our CenturyLink review.

Cox

Best availability in Scottsdale

Product details


Price range

$40 – $100 per month

Speed range

25 – 2,000Mbps

Connection

Mostly cable, some fiber

Highlights

1.25TB monthly data allowance, lots of plan options, unique gaming add-on

Though Cox has been the default option for internet in the Scottsdale area for a long time, we think CenturyLink’s fiber plans offer a better value. Still, Cox is a worthy backup, with both cable and fiber plans. It’s worth noting that the company’s cable service is more widely available, and what Cox calls “fiber” is a bit misleading; the upload speeds are significantly slower than the download speeds. Most pure fiber service features “symmetrical” or equal upload and download speeds, which is optimal for HD videoconferencing and online gaming. 

Availability: You can get Cox almost anywhere in Scottsdale, with coverage reaching over 99% of the city’s households. 

Plans and pricing: Cox’s cable or fiber plans cost about the same: You can get 100Mbps download/5Mbps upload speeds for $50 a month, 250/10Mbps for $70, 500/10Mbps for $90 ($70 in first year on Cox’s cable plans) and 1,000/35Mbps for $110 ($100 with a one-year contract). 

Fees and service details: Cox’s internet plans don’t require an annual contract, and its router is included at no extra cost. All plans include a 1.25TB monthly data cap, but it’s currently waived on all plans for the first two years.

Read our Cox Communications internet review.

T-Mobile Home Internet

Best alternative to wired home internet in Scottsdale

Product details


Price range

$50 per month ($30 for eligible T-Mobile Magenta Max customers)

Speed range

72 – 245Mbps

Connection

Fixed wireless

Highlights

Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees

T-Mobile uses its cellular network to offer home internet service throughout much of the US. It’s a simple and straightforward plan, with no additional fees, data caps or long-term contract requirements. That model has produced a lot of happy customers: T-Mobile was the top nonfiber provider in the most recent ACSI survey.

Availability: T-Mobile Home Internet is available to 74% of Scottsdale residents, according to the FCC. You’ll need to plug in your address to verify eligibility. 

Plans and pricing: T-Mobile’s home internet plan costs $50 per month, and delivers download speeds between 72-245Mbps and upload speeds up to 31Mbps. One of the main advantages of T-Mobile’s 5G home internet service is its “Price Lock” guarantee that keeps your monthly price locked in for as long as you remain a customer. 

Fees and service details: T-Mobile’s monthly $50 price includes all equipment and fees, and you can save an additional $20 per month by bundling an eligible T-Mobile cellphone plan. You can also try the service for 15 days with the “Worry-free Test Drive” promotion that features a money-back guarantee.

Read our T-Mobile Home Internet review.

Top Scottsdale internet providers

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
CenturyLink DSL $50 5-100Mbps $15 (optional) None None 6.7
CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber Fiber $30-$70 200-940Mbps $15 (optional); included with 940Mbps plan None None 6.7
Cox Cable $50-$110 100-1,000Mbps None 1.25TB on some plans None 6.2
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless $50 ($30 with eligible mobile plans) 72-245Mbps None None None 7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet Fixed wireless $50-$70 (50% off with eligible phone plan) 85-1,000Mbps None None None 7.2

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Other available Scottsdale residential internet providers

While we think CenturyLink, Cox and T-Mobile are your best bets for internet in Scottsdale, there are a few other options worth considering:

  • Desert iNet: Available only to 8% of Scottsdale residents, Desert iNet offers fixed wireless plans in the northern suburbs of Scottsdale. In most areas, plans top out at 100Mbps, but the company says it offers speeds up to 1,000Mbps in some areas.
  • Phoenix Internet: Available to around 10% of Scottsdale households, Phoenix Internet offers fixed wireless connections. Plans start at $50 per month for just 7Mbps and go up to $90 for 50Mbps. It’s only worth considering if your only other options are satellite or DSL.
  • Satellite internet: Satellite internet should only be a last resort. The list of downsides is long, including lengthy contracts, slow speeds, low data caps and high latency. HughesNet and Viasat are the longest-running satellite providers in the country, while Starlink has offered another option in recent years. All of them come with high upfront costs for equipment.
  • Verizon 5G Home Internet: Like T-Mobile, Verizon uses its extensive cellular network to provide home internet in the Scottsdale area. Though it’s only available to about half of households in the city, some homes may be eligible for gig speed plans (1,000Mbps or higher).

scottsdale-aerial-view

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Pricing info on Scottsdale home internet service

The starting price for internet in Scottsdale averages around $45 per month — on par with nearby cities like Mesa and Phoenix. CenturyLink’s fiber plan is by far the cheapest option, starting at $30 per month, though availability may be limited. You can get a comparable monthly price from T-Mobile and Verizon, however, if you bundle home internet service with an eligible cellphone plan.

Cheapest internet plans in Scottsdale

Provider Starting price Max download speed Monthly equipment fee Contract
CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber $30 200Mbps $15 (optional) None
Cox $50 100Mbps None None
T-Mobile Home Internet $50 ($30 with eligible mobile plans) 245Mbps None None
Verizon 5G Home Internet $50 ($25 with eligible mobile plans) 300Mbps None None

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Scottsdale broadband speeds

Three providers in Scottsdale offer gig speeds. 1,000Mbps is more than enough download speed for most households, but people who do a lot of online gaming or work from home might run into issues with the lower upload speeds from Cox and Verizon.

Fastest internet plans in Scottsdale

Provider Max download speed Max upload speed Starting price Data cap Contract
Cox 1 Gig 1,000Mbps 35Mbps $110 1.25TB None
Verizon 5G Home Internet 1,000Mbps 50Mbps $70 ($35 with qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plans) None None
CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber 940Mbps 940Mbps $70 None None

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

What’s the final word on internet providers in Scottsdale?

Scottsdale has fewer options for high-speed internet than many other cities of its size. Cox is available virtually everywhere — more or less guaranteeing you’ll be able to get a solid internet connection — but it’s the only choice in many parts of the city. Fiber internet remains relatively sparse in Scottsdale, with CenturyLink being the only provider that offers symmetrical speeds.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Scottsdale

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? 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. 

This guide leverages an in-house artificial intelligence tool called RAMP, which is trained on our own writing and uses our database to generate content about specific internet service providers that our writers can use in determining and presenting our picks for a given guide. Check CNET’s AI policy for more information about how our teams use (and don’t use) AI tools.

Because our database is not exhaustive, we go to the FCC’s website to check the primary data for ourselves and make sure we’re considering every ISP that provides service in an area. Plans and prices also vary by location, so we input local addresses on provider websites to find the specific options available to residents. To evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP’s service, we look at sources including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as of the time of our prepublication fact-check.

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

Scottsdale internet FAQs

Which is the best internet service provider in Scottsdale?

Is fiber internet available in Scottsdale?

Who is the cheapest internet provider in Scottsdale?

Which internet provider in Scottsdale offers the fastest plan?

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