Best Internet Providers in Texas – CNET

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What is the best internet provider in Texas?

The best internet service provider for your home will depend on what’s available in your area, but AT&T Fiber is CNET’s pick for the best internet provider in Texas for most households in the state. AT&T Fiber has the best selection of competitively priced high-speed plans — not to mention the highest customer satisfaction — of any major Texas internet provider. 

AT&T Fiber also reigns alongside Frontier Fiber and Google Fiber as the fastest internet providers in Texas, with maximum download speeds of 5,000 megabits per second. For those who prioritize cost over speed, Xfinity has the absolute cheapest plan, starting at $20 per month for 150Mbps, but you’ll have to sign a one-year contract. Astound is the better choice for cheap internet in Texas as it offers 300Mbps, starting at $25 per month and has no contract.

Where AT&T Fiber is unavailable, Spectrum and Astound are decent choices for cable internet, or you can look to Verizon’s 5G home internet for an alternative to the traditional wired service. Wireless home internet like that of T-Mobile is also ideal for residents of rural areas who’d rather avoid committing to satellite internet, if possible.

Our methodology

CNET considers speeds, pricing, customer service and overall value to recommend the best internet service in Texas across a number 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 are 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. 

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, while the text is specific to what’s available in Texas. 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 signing a term contract or bundling with multiple services. 

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


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Best internet providers in Texas in 2024

5 Internet providers


SORT BY

Product image
Connection

Fiber

Speed range

300 – 5,000 Mbps

Price range

$55 – $250 per month

Our take – Availability and overall value are among the most important factors CNET considers when evaluating the best internet providers. AT&T is a leader in both when it comes to home internet in Texas.

...

Check with AT&T

Connection

Fiber

Speed range

300 – 5,000 Mbps

Price range

$55 – $250 per month

Product image
Connection

Cable

Speed range

100 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$30- $90 per month

Our take – Fiber-optic lines reach far fewer homes than coaxial cables, unfortunately. If your home isn’t serviceable for fiber internet, Spectrum’s cable internet service would be my next recommendation.

...

Check with Spectrum

Connection

Cable

Speed range

100 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$30- $90 per month

Product image
Connection

Cable

Speed range

100 – 1,500 Mbps

Price range

$20 – $80 per month

Our take – Cable isn’t a bad option for home internet when it comes to speed and value. Astound excels at both, offering some of the fastest download speeds and the lowest introductory rates of any internet provider in Texas.

...

Check with Astound

Connection

Cable

Speed range

100 – 1,500 Mbps

Price range

$20 – $80 per month

Product image
Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

85 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$50 – $70 per month

Our take – Many households in some of Texas’ larger cities will have one, maybe two cable providers to choose from and possibly one fiber provider. Verizon brings some much-needed broadband competition to these areas with its wireless 5G home internet plans. 

...

Check with Verizon

Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

85 – 1,000 Mbps

Price range

$50 – $70 per month

Product image
Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

72 – 245 Mbps

Price range

$60 per month

Our take – Where Verizon excels at wireless home internet speeds, T-Mobile has the availability advantage. Nearly 75% of US households are eligible for T-Mobile, according to the most recent data from the Federal Communications Commission. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can get 5G internet at your home, even if you can get it on your phone, but it may still be the most practical option for broadband in rural areas. 

...

Check with T-Mobile

Connection

Fixed wireless

Speed range

72 – 245 Mbps

Price range

$60 per month

Texas internet providers compared

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range (Mbps) Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
Astound  Cable $25-$60 300-1,500 $12 (optional) None None 7
AT&T
Read full review
DSL, fiber $55-$225 10-100 DSL, 300-5,000 fiber None 1.5TB (DSL), none fiber None 7.4
Brightspeed DSL, fiber $50-$59 20-100 DSL, up to 940 fiber $15 None None N/A
Frontier  DSL, fiber $50-$155 Varies DSL, 500-5,000 fiber None None None 6.3
Google Fiber
Read full review
Fiber $70-$125 1,000-5,000 None None None 7.5
Kinetic DSL, fiber $40-$180 15-100 DSL, 500-2,000 fiber $10 (optional) None None 6.7
Nextlink Fixed wireless $50-$140 25-500 $9 None 1-2 years N/A
Optimum Cable $40-$70 300-940 None None None 6.2
Rise Broadband
Read full review
Fixed wireless $45-$55 25-50 $10 250GB (none optional) None 6.2
Spectrum
Read full review
Cable $50-$90 300-940 None None None 7.2
T-Mobile Home Internet
Read full review
Fixed wireless $60 ($40 with eligible mobile plans) 72-245Mbps $5 (optional) None None 7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet
Read full review
Fixed wireless $50-$70 ($35-$45 for eligible Verizon Wireless customers) 85-1,000Mbps None None None 7.2
Xfinity
Read full review
Cable $20-$80 150-1,200 $15 (optional) 1.25TB Not required 7

Show more (9 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Brightspeed: After recently taking over Texas operations from Lumen Technologies (CenturyLink, Quantum Fiber), Brightspeed is a new DSL and fiber ISP serving the Denton, Killeen, Kingwood and San Marcos areas. Pricing starts at $50 to $59 per month, depending on the available service type at your home.

Frontier Communications: I’d consider Frontier Fiber to be one of the best internet providers in Texas if it had just a little wider availability. Its 500Mbps, entry-level plan is available for just $50 per month in select areas and is one of the best internet deals around. Faster speeds are also available and similarly priced better than much of the competition. 

Google Fiber: Gigabit speed enthusiasts in Austin and San Antonio will appreciate Google Fiber’s plan selection: 1 or 2Gbps starting at $70 and $100, respectively. Austin residents will also have a 5Gbps option starting at $125 per month. All plans are free of equipment fees, data caps and contracts. 

Kinetic by Windstream: As a fiber internet provider, Kinetic has the speed and pricing to rival any other. As a DSL provider, the speed potential and service terms are tough to beat. Expect to pay between $40 to $70 per month for either service type unless you opt for the 2-gig fiber plan for $180 per month.

Optimum: Texas residents may have known this cable provider better as Suddenlink, but parent company Altice recently united its home internet services under the Optimum brand. Look for three plan options (300, 500 and 940Mbps for $40 to $80 per month), but beware a poor reputation for customer satisfaction. 

Xfinity: The nation’s largest cable internet provider doesn’t have a huge presence in Texas, but it is the primary cable ISP in the Houston area and on the Texas side of Shreveport. Expect five to six plan options starting at $20 to $80 monthly for speeds of 150 to 1,200Mbps.

Rural internet options in Texas

From Alpine to Zephyr, Texas has more than its share of small towns and rural areas. Reliable broadband in such areas can be tough to come by, but non-satellite connections are available to roughly 90% of Texas households, according to the FCC

In some rural areas, that equates to cable, DSL and possibly even fiber connections. In others, fixed wireless is the primary connection type. The remaining 10% may have to rely on satellite internet. Here’s a look at possible internet options — aside from T-Mobile, our pick for the best rural ISP listed above — found in rural parts of Texas.

Nextlink: Fixed wireless service covers much of the Texas Triangle, although those to the west, as far as San Angelo and Sweetwater, may be eligible for service. Speeds and pricing vary by the network (Standard or Enhanced), ranging from 25 to 100Mbps for $50 to $90 per month to 50 to 500Mbps starting at $70 to $140 per month.

Rise Broadband: Rise also covers much of the Texas Triangle via fixed wireless service, plus areas as far south as Victoria and Lake Jackson, and as far northwest as Lubbock and Pampa. With typical speeds of 25, 50 and 100Mbps, it’s not the fastest service, but the pricing ($45 to $55 per month) and data cap (250GB per month with unlimited options available) are a clear winner over satellite.

Satellite internet: Texas is such a big state, running internet connections to every home is simply not possible or practical. For those situations, satellite internet from Hughesnet or Viasat may be your best bet for broadband. Service isn’t cheap (starting at $50 to $90 for Hughesnet and $70 to $300 for Viasat) or particularly fast, but it will get you online. Satellite newcomer Starlink may be a solution for faster speeds and lower latency, but don’t expect much relief by way of pricing. 

Image of Texas capitol building and flags

Getty Images

Internet breakdown by city in Texas

It’s hard to cover the internet options of an entire state, especially one the size of Texas, while giving individual cities the in-depth attention they deserve. That’s why we’ve also put together lists of the best internet providers in cities across the US, including many in Texas. If you don’t find your hometown below, check back later. We’re working to add more every day.

Cheap internet options in Texas

The cost of internet in Texas will depend on the available providers in your area and the plan you choose, plus extra fees for equipment and possibly data. That said, most Texas residents can anticipate paying at least $50 per month for home internet, and costs can easily reach $100 or more on higher speed tiers.

Xfinity has the cheapest plan outright, starting at $20 per month for speeds up to 150Mbps, but again, I’d recommend Astound and its 300Mbps, $25 per month plan if it’s available. Here’s a look at those plans and other cheap internet plans in Texas.

Cheapest internet plans in Texas

Show more (7 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

How to find internet deals and promotions in Texas

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

Texas internet providers, such as Astound and Frontier, may offer lower introductory pricing or other perks for a limited time. Many providers, including AT&T, Optimum and Spectrum, run the same standard pricing year-round.

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

How fast is Texas broadband?

Recent Ookla speed test data places Texas as the 13th fastest state with median speeds of around 209Mbps down and 28Mbps up. Spectrum had the fastest median speed in the state at 257Mbps, although it’s worth noting that many factors can affect speed test results, such as technology type and testing over Wi-Fi.

AT&T Fiber, Frontier Fiber and Google Fiber offer the fastest speed tier with symmetrical speeds up to 5,000Mbps. Kinetic is close behind with a 2,000Mbps plan while max speeds from cable providers Astound, Xfinity and Spectrum range from 940 to 1,500Mbps.

Fastest internet plans in Texas

Provider Starting monthly price Max download speed (Mbps) Max upload speed (Mbps) Data cap Connection type
Google Fiber 5 Gig
Read full review
$125 5,000 5,000 None Fiber
Frontier Fiber 5 Gig
Read full review
$155 5,000 5,000 None Fiber
AT&T Fiber 5000
Read full review
$225 5,000 5,000 None Fiber
Kinetic 2 Gig $180 2,000 2,000 None Fiber
Brightspeed Fiber $59 1,000 1,000 None Fiber
Astound 1500
Read full review
$60 1,500 20 None Cable
Xfinity Gigabit Extra
Read full review
$80 1,200 35 1.25TB or none Cable
Optimum 1 Gig $80 940 35 None Cable
Verizon 5G Home Plus Internet
Read full review
$70 ($45 with qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plans) 85-1,000 75 None Fixed wireless

Show more (5 items)

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 engage in high-bandwidth activities like videoconferencing, streaming and online gaming simultaneously. 
  • 500 to 1,000Mbps allows three or more users to engage in high-bandwidth activities simultaneously.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Texas

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’re considering every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for 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 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 answers to those questions are often layered and complex, the providers that 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 speeds and take into account real-world speed data from sources like Ookla and FCC reports.

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

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

Fiber internet, from AT&T — our pick for the best ISP in Texas — or others like Frontier, Google Fiber or Kinetic, is often going to be the top choice for high-speed internet in the Lone Star State thanks to the fast, reliable speeds, competitive pricing and favorable service terms that often come with it. 

That said, cable providers Xfinity and Astound offer the cheapest internet plans in Texas, while Spectrum has the best coverage and pricing transparency of any of the state’s major cable ISPs. If you’re looking for an alternative to the big cable or fiber internet providers, consider Verizon’s 5G home internet service.

Residents of Texas’ more rural areas should consider fixed wireless internet, like that of T-Mobile, Nextlink and Rise Broadband. If no practical options are available, there’s always satellite. 

Texas internet provider FAQs

What’s the best internet service provider in Texas?

AT&T Fiber is the best internet provider in Texas due to its broad fiber coverage and great plan selection, including a 5,000Mbps speed tier — the fastest currently available from any major provider in the state. 

Spectrum is another solid choice for competitively priced high-speed internet and is available to nearly half of all Texas households. 

The best internet provider for your home will depend on what’s available in your area and what you’re looking for. Any of the providers mentioned above (even the satellite ISPs) may fully suit your needs, so it’s important to explore all available options when choosing the best provider for your home.

Is fiber internet available in Texas?

Yes, more than 40% of Texas households are eligible for fiber internet service, according to the FCC. AT&T Fiber is the state’s largest fiber ISP, but Brightspeed, Frontier Fiber, Google Fiber, Kinetic and others also contribute to fiber availability in Texas.

Residents of larger cities in Texas are most likely to be eligible for fiber internet, although Brightspeed, Kinetic and regional providers operate fiber-optic networks in many suburban and rural areas.

What is the cheapest internet provider in Texas?

Xfinity Connect starts at just $20 per month for download speeds up to 75Mbps. That’s the cheapest plan from any major ISP in Texas. It’s worth noting that Xfinity is primarily only available in Houston and customers are required to sign a one-year contract to get the lowest price.

Astound is the overall cheapest provider in Texas, with a 300Mbps plan starting at $25 per month. Other Astound plans are all priced under $60, even its fastest speed tier of 1,500Mbps.

Which internet provider in Texas offers the fastest plan?

AT&T Fiber, Frontier Fiber and Google Fiber offer a 5,000Mbps speed tier, which is the fastest of any major provider in Texas. Google Fiber and Frontier’s 5 Gig plans are better deals, starting at $125 and $155, respectively, compared to $225 with AT&T, but AT&T Fiber is available to many more people in Texas.

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