We all fight tooth and nail to find good internet options in our area at one time or another. But with use of Ethernet becoming more and more limited in modern homes, and Wi-Fi connectivity the norm, it is no longer about just getting a cheap internet service. It is also about the internet equipment which makes it possible for you to enjoy wireless connectivity around the house.
Gone are the days when you would have one PC connected to the internet via an Ethernet cable, serving the entire family. According to a study published by Statista in January 2021, the average American now has access to 10+ connected devices at home which include 2+ personal computers and 2+ cell phones. Among other connected devices in U.S. homes you find Tabs, Smart TVs, connected TV boxes, smart speakers, and video game consoles.
Quite clearly the present day digital lifestyle can thrive only if you have access to reliable, fast and secure wireless connectivity around the house. Which essentially relies on the internet service you are subscribed to alongside the internet equipment you use for in-home Wi-Fi, third-party or supplied by the provider. And this implies when you are looking for cheap ways to get Wi-Fi at home, you must also take into consideration the internet equipment fee you’ll be charged by the ISP on top of the monthly service charge.
A number of U.S. internet service providers offer customers the chance to bring their own device. Which is frankly speaking a good way of saving money in the long run, but there are considerations which you must take into account.
For instance if you are not tech savvy taking the BYOD route may not be the best thing. Because most ISPs offer tech support only if you are leasing the equipment from them. Also if you are using a gateway device/wireless modem supplied by the ISP, you are eligible for equipment upgrades. In case the provider’s network undergoes a speed upgrade, you would not have to worry about upgrading your internet equipment. But if you are using your own equipment, it’ll be your headache to ensure it supports the speed upgrade. So while it costs you every month to lease equipment from your ISP, it does have its upsides.
In the next section we introduce you to cheap and fast Wi-Fi options available in the U.S. market nationwide. We’ve rounded up a few affordable Wi-Fi packages from top providers, along with a mention of the equipment fee charged every month. You can do your math, and compare to see which one, if available in your area, maybe a good fit for your home.
Don’t we all want fast speeds at low prices? The internet service you have shouldn’t break your bank. While it may appear difficult to keep the bill down with the equipment cost and “other charges” stacked upon the monthly recurring charge, it is not impossible to find affordable Wi-Fi plans in your area. More often than not it is about being in the right market and landing the right offer.
Here, take a look at cheap Wi-Fi plans from 5 top internet service providers in the U.S. markets nationwide.
AT&T is one of the oldest players in the game, making it a top choice for reliable speeds in U.S. households. Currently the AT&T Fiber 300 is one of the cheapest fiber internet plans in the market. For $35 per month, you get 300 Mbps equal upload and download speeds with no data cap! And no annual commitment.
AT&T provides you its own gateway device with the connection. You can use your own router to extend coverage around the house, but you must pay $10 for the Wi-Fi gateway device supplied by AT&T. This is unescapable.
With that said if you’re looking for super-fast fiber internet speeds with reliable, fast and secure whole-home connectivity, this plan is perfect for you. If you are eligible, you may as well get to experience breakthrough Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. The only thing is you must be located in AT&T Fiber footprint, which though limited at this point, is fast expanding across its 21-state footprint.
If you are in one of the Central states, you can subscribe to 100 Mbps download speeds with the Performance plan for $40/month. In the Northeast you get luckier with the Performance plan costing you $29.99/month. And if you are from the West the same download speed gets to you with the Performance Select plan at $34.99/month. The one downside is the low price which comes locked for 1 or 2 years also requires you to sign a 1 or 2 year agreement. But with internet delivered over the largest Gig speed network in the country, you would think there is reason to believe it’d be worth it.
Plus Xfinity provides in-home WiFi via its innovative xFi gateway. For $14/month you get and easy to install gateway which supports multiple devices, and delivers strong in-home WiFi around the house. The connection is made secure by Advanced xFi Security which comes built-in. All in all you receive full worth of your money with xFi WiFi. The good thing is Xfinity lets you BYOD, if that is what you prefer.
With Xfinity Internet plans, you could have the opportunity to use the Xfinity Flex 4K device to stream video content!
Browse Xfinity Internet plans.
Spectrum Internet service begs no introduction. Fast and reliable internet delivered over a widespread hybrid Fiber-Coaxial network across 40+ states is a no-brainer choice if available. The starter plan gets you up to 300 Mbps download speeds at $49.99/month for 12 months with auto pay. There is no data cap and no annual contract. You get free internet modem and anti-virus with the plan.
While the modem Spectrum supplies is free of cost, if you choose to activate its built-in wireless feature you will have to pay $5/month for the service. And also a one-time WiFi activation fee of $9.99. The good thing is Spectrum lets you use compatible third-party equipment if you want to save on the added WiFi cost. Use your own WiFi router if you are sure you can handle the techy side of things, and save!
Cox Communications offers internet plans to meet the budget and digital needs of every household size. The Cox Internet Preferred plan gets you up to 150 Mbps download speeds with a 1-year agreement. The plan is good for small to mid-sized families with moderate consumption of the internet. While the data cap at 1.25 TB and a 1-year service agreement may not sound very agreeable, for all practical purposes the data allowance is virtually unlimited. And by signing the 1-year agreement you do get to earn a good discount for the first 12 months. The cost may vary depending on the Cox market you are in. For instance in the Greater Louisiana region you can get it for $49.99/mo., but in Las Vegas it’d cost you $59.99/month.
For in-home WiFi, Cox offers the Panoramic WiFi Gateway for an additional $12/month. The smart dual-band device is great for fast in-home WiFi that supports multiple devices.
Mediacom delivers fiber-powered cable broadband in 22 states. With the Mediacom Internet 100 plan you can easily empower a small family and take care of all the essential chores like working from home, virtual learning, shopping and banking. The plan comes with 1 TB data allowance, which is not inadequate even if you indulge in some play and fun with online gaming and TV streaming. At $49.99/mo. for 100 Mbps download speeds it may sound a little expensive in comparison to others we’ve discussed. But if Mediacom Cable is the one cable broadband provider serving your neighborhood, then it does cut a decent deal.
As for in-home Wi-Fi, Mediacom charges $12/mo. for the wireless modem, and provides support for the use and configuration of the device. While the equipment may not be as high-end as third-party devices available in the market, it ensures you are able to connect via strong and stable in-home Wi-Fi.
Now that you’re aware of some of the affordable yet quality home Wi-Fi packages offered by 5 top ISPs, let’s talk you through special internet programs for low-income households, also offered by each. AT&T, Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox and Mediacom participate in the FCC’s initiative to help bridge the digital divide by making internet access as cheap and as widely accessible as can be. Each offers low-income families a chance to take advantage of a discounted, reliable and fast internet service if they qualify for the program.
Here is a quick run through:
For $10 per month, the Access program qualifiers can enjoy a reliable and fast internet service with download speeds up to 25 Mbps. The plan includes free installation and in-home Wi-Fi, and does not require an annual contract or deposit. The service is great for everything from education and homework to job searches and connecting with medical resources, and keeping up with family and friends.
If you’re a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), qualify for the National School Lunch and Head Start Programs, or receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in California, you’re eligible for the AT&T Access program!
Xfinity from Comcast gets low-income households more speed with Internet Essentials which now delivers up to 50 Mbps download speeds. Good for working from home, virtual learning, and having some fun as well. The program includes in-home WiFi, xFi Advanced Security, and access to Xfinity out-of-home WiFi hotspots. There are no credit checks term contracts or cancellation fees involved. And you can benefit from all of that for $9.95/month.
U.S. households which qualify for programs like the National School Lunch Program, housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and Federal Pell Grant, may be eligible for Internet Essentials.
Spectrum Internet Assist allows qualified households to benefit from high-speed internet at 30 Mbps with no data caps and no annual contract. Albeit in-home WiFi costs you $5/month, the service it quite discounted so you get to enjoy all the perks at a reduced price.
To qualify one or more members of your household must be a recipient of these assistance programs:
Cox Connect2Compete offers up to 50 Mbps download speeds with 1.25 TB data allowance for $9.95/month. The plan includes a free Wi-Fi modem, access to Cox out-of-home WiFi hotspots, and does not require you to sign an annual contract.
To qualify your household must have a child in a K-12 school and participate in one or more of the following government subsidy programs:
Mediacom Connect2Compete program offers download speeds up to 25 Mbps for $9.95 per month. You are not required to make a deposit or sign an annual contract. Also, installation is free and the Wi-Fi modem is leased at no cost to you.
To be eligible for the program, you must have one K-12 child living at home or at least one child who qualifies for free or subsidized school lunch via the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
As we said earlier, finding cheap home Wi-Fi plans in your area may take some research, but it is not impossible to land one. With major U.S. ISPs like AT&T, Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox and Mediacom serving your area chances are you’ll be able to get a cheap Wi-Fi package which fits your bill without having to compromise on the quality of service.
And if you are looking to lower the price further down, do check out the low-income household programs from the above mentioned providers to see if your household qualifies.
Many major U.S. internet service providers offer special programs to assist qualifying low-income households by delivering high-speed internet for under $10 per month.
A Wi-Fi package includes the monthly service charge for the plan you are subscribed to as well as the Wi-Fi equipment you are leasing from your ISP, unless of course you can use your own. Wi-Fi plans from major U.S. ISPs can cost you anywhere between $45-$75 per month if you are looking to connect with download speeds ranging from 100-300 Mbps that support multiple devices/users.
You can get in touch with experts at 1-855-349-9328 to inquire about ISPs serving your address and compare the cost of suitable service plans inclusive of the Wi-Fi equipment to pick the one that fits your needs the best.
While free internet at home is possible only if you are able to connect to public Wi-Fi in the area, there are other options which can get you high-speed internet inclusive of in-home Wi-Fi. Check out your household’s eligibility for special programs for low-income households such as Internet Essentials from Xfinity, Access from AT&T, Internet Assist from Spectrum, and Connect2Compete from Cox and Mediacom.