What is the best internet provider in Connecticut?
Frontier Fiber is the top choice for internet in Connecticut. Along with an extensive fiber-optic network covering much of the state, Frontier Fiber offers low, stable pricing on fast, symmetrical speeds and simple service terms that include equipment rental and unlimited data at no extra cost.
The fiber internet provider is also the fastest ISP in Connecticut, offering speeds up to 5,000 megabits per second (5 gigabits per second) starting at $155 per month. With a cost per Mbps of around three cents, the plan is one of the better internet deals in Connecticut, even if it isn’t the cheapest plan you’ll find.
Xfinity is the best source of cheap internet in Connecticut with service starting at $25 per month for speeds up to 200Mbps. Optimum and Cox have slightly more expensive, slightly faster plans starting at $40 per month for speeds up to 300Mbps with Optimum and 250Mbps with Cox.
Whether you’re looking for the cheapest internet in Connecticut, the fastest plans or simply a good mix of speed and value, you’ll find everything you need to know about the state’s leading internet providers below.
Best internet in Connecticut
Connecticut internet providers compared
|Provider||Internet technology||Monthly price range||Speed range||Monthly equipment costs||Data cap||Contract||CNET review score|
|Frontier||DSL, fiber||$50-$155||Varies DSL, 500-5,000Mbps fiber||None||None||None||6.3|
|HughesNet||Satellite||$50-$150||15-50Mbps||$15 monthly or $450 purchase fee||Varies, 15-100GB||2 years||5.7|
|Starlink||Low orbit satellite||$90-$120||20-220Mbps||$599 purchase fee||None||None||N/A|
|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 ($35-$45 for eligible Verizon Wireless customers)||50-1,000Mbps||None||None||None||7.2|
|Viasat||Satellite||$70-$300||12-100Mbps||$13 monthly or $299 upfront||Varies, 40-300GB||2 years||6.1|
|Xfinity||Cable||$25-$100||200-1,000Mbps||$15 (optional)||1.25TB or unlimited||1 or 2 years (optional)||7|
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Source: CNET analysis of provider data.
Top Connecticut internet provider honorable mentions
- Cox: The third-largest cable internet provider in Connecticut, Cox serves parts of Hartford and surrounding suburbs to the north, south and east. Plans start at $40 to $110 per month (or lower in select areas) for speeds of 100Mbps to 1,000Mbps. All plans come with a monthly data cap of 1.25TB, and a one-year contract may be required to get the lowest pricing on select plans.
- Frontier: As mentioned above, Frontier covers much of Connecticut, but not all service areas are fiber-eligible. The remaining areas must rely on Frontier’s slower, less reliable DSL network. Speeds vary, but don’t expect anything close to what you would get with fiber service.
- GoNetspeed: Local fiber ISP GoNetspeed offers 500, 750 and 1,000Mbps plans starting at $50, $60 and $70 per month, respectively. That’s a good deal regardless of your chosen plan, but service may be tough to come by. Only around 13% of Connecticut households are currently eligible for GoNetspeed, according to the FCC.
- Optimum: Altice brand Optimum primarily operates in the greater NYC area, but that coverage extends into western Connecticut. Speeds and pricing are as good as any cable provider, as are the service terms — no equipment fees, data caps or contracts — but the low customer satisfaction scores may be cause for concern.
- Verizon 5G Home Internet: Select areas, including much of Bridgeport, Hartford and Stamford, are serviceable for wireless home internet via Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network. Service starts at $50 per month for speeds ranging from 50 to 300Mbps, or you can upgrade to 85 to 1,000Mbps at $70 monthly. There are no equipment fees, data caps or contracts. Qualifying Verizon mobile customers can receive an additional discount on Verizon home internet service.
- Satellite internet: Nearly 98% of Connecticut households are serviceable for cable and/or fiber internet service, so chances are you won’t have to rely on satellite internet. If, however, no other internet service is available, there’s always HughesNet or Viasat, provided you have a clear view of the southern sky. Starlink may be another satellite option, with a faster speed potential, more data (unlimited) and lower latency than HughesNet or Viasat.
Cheap internet options in Connecticut
Cable internet is often the go-to for cheap internet, and that’s the case in Connecticut as Xfinity, Optimum and Cox have the cheapest internet plans of any major ISP in the state.
Xfinity internet service costs $25 per month for download speeds up to 200Mbps. Cox and Optimum have a starting price of $40 per month, but Optimum advertises a bit more speed (300Mbps compared to 250Mbps with Cox). If you plan on renting Wi-Fi equipment, Optimum’s plan is the better deal than Xfinity or Cox since there’s no rental fee.
Starting prices from many other Connecticut ISPs begin at $50 per month. That’s double Xfinity’s lowest price, but when you consider equipment costs (or lack thereof), plus the max speeds (up to 500Mbps with Frontier Fiber and GoNetspeed), the extra cost may be well worth it.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data.
How to find internet deals and promotions in Connecticut
The best internet deals and the top promotions in Connecticut depend on what discounts are available during that time period. Most deals are short-lived, but we look frequently for the latest offers.
Connecticut internet providers, such as Optimum and Xfinity, may offer lower introductory pricing or special offers for a limited time. Many, however, including Frontier, Cox and GoNetspeed, 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 Connecticut broadband?
Ookla speed test data from Q3 2023 ranked Connecticut third-fastest among all US states and Washington, DC, with a median download speed of 229Mbps. That’s faster than the national average (213Mbps) and below only Rhode Island (230Mbps) and Florida (240Mbps).
Frontier had the fastest median download speed in the state at 271Mbps, but plenty of other providers, including Cox, Optimum, GoNetspeed and even Verizon 5G Home Internet, offer plans with faster speeds than the state average.
Fastest internet plans in Connecticut
|Provider||Starting price||Max download speed||Max upload speed||Data cap||Connection type|
|Frontier Fiber 5000||$155||5,000Mbps||5,000Mbps||None||Fiber|
|Xfinity Gigabit x2||$100||2,000Mbps||200Mbps||1.25TB or unlimited||Cable|
|Cox Go Super Fast||$110 ($60 in select areas)||1,000Mbps||35Mbps||1.25TB||Cable|
|Optimum 1 Gig||$70 ($60 in select areas)||1,000Mbps||35Mbps||None||Cable|
|Verizon 5G Home Plus Internet||$70 ($45 with qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plans)||85-1,000Mbps||75Mbps||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 at the same time.
How CNET chose the best internet providers in Connecticut
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.
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.
What’s the final word on internet providers in Connecticut?
Frontier Fiber is the top choice for home internet in Connecticut thanks to its fast speeds (the fastest of any major ISP in the state, up to 5,000Mbps), competitive pricing and favorable service terms.
While many Connecticut households are serviceable for Frontier Fiber, not all are. Xfinity also boasts high availability in Connecticut and has the cheapest internet plan in the state, starting at $25 per month for speeds up to 200Mbps. Cox and Optimum, though less widely available in Connecticut than Xfinity, also offer low-cost plans up to 250Mbps and 300Mbps, respectively, starting at $40 per month.
With plans starting at $50 per month, wireless home internet from T-Mobile or Verizon may also be a practical broadband option. Still, the overall value will depend on the available speeds at your address.
Internet providers in Connecticut FAQs