What is the best internet provider in New York City?
Verizon Fios is the best internet provider overall for most households in New York City. In addition to its blazing-fast speeds, Fios offers reasonable pricing and service details. 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 $25 per month. Verizon Fios offers a 2.3 gigabit per second plan for people needing the fastest speeds possible for $120 monthly.
Best internet providers in New York City in 2023
New York City internet providers compared
|Provider||Internet technology||Monthly price range||Speed range||Monthly equipment cost||Contract||CNET review score|
|Starry Internet||Fixed wireless||$30-$80||50-1,000Mbps||None||None||7|
|T-Mobile Home Internet||Fixed wireless||$50 ($30 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|
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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 the same 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 $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.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data.
How to find internet deals and promotions in New York City
The best internet deals and the top promotions in New York City depend on what discounts are available during that time period. Most deals are short-lived, but we look frequently for the latest offers.
New York City internet providers such as Astound Broadband and Spectrum may offer lower introductory pricing or streaming add-ons for a limited time. Many, however, including Verizon Fios, Starry Internet and T-Mobile, run the same standard pricing year-round.
For a more extensive list of deals, check out our guide on the best internet deals.
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||$70||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||$70 ($45 with eligible mobile plan)||1,000Mbps||75Mbps||None||Fixed wireless|
|Astound Broadband Gig||$50||940Mbps||10Mbps||None||Cable|
|Fios 1 Gig||$90||940Mbps||880Mbps||None||Fiber|
|Optimum 1 Gig||$80||940Mbps||35Mbps||None||Fixed wireless|
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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, 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 online gaming.
- 500 to 1,000Mbps allows three or more users to engage in high-bandwidth activities like videoconferencing, streaming and online gaming all 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. 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.
But 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, though 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 a few reliable broadband options, but your best bet is any provider that offers fiber connection, like Verizon Fios. However, 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.