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When it comes to internet plans, nothing is ever as it seems, especially the cost. You may think you’re getting the best value for your buck only to find that you’ve been duped?well kind of. Knowing the price of a plan is simply not enough, you must also take into account all the additional expenses before deciding. Comparing packages is not easy when there are a ton of hidden costs involved, however, we’ve compiled all the “miscellaneous costs” that are sure to pop up on your bill, in an easy-to-read format. Just read on, and you’ll find the information you may be seeking.

Hidden Costs by Provider

Apart from the internet plan price, you are likely to see a variety of additional costs on your bill?usually, these extras are rooted in taxes, equipment rental, data overage fee, a late payment charge, etc., while one-time upfront costs include service installation and activation. The infamous Early Termination Fee (ETF) is also something you must take into account before signing up?if you choose to go for a plan with an annual contract.  

As far as taxes go, your best bet would be to ask your provider before signing up. For all other hidden costs, we’ve got you covered!

Spectrum Internet®

Charter Spectrum™ offers contract-free plans with unlimited data which is simply great. You won’t ever have to worry about being charged an overage or the Early Termination Fee ever again. And that’s not all, Spectrum Internet offers quite a bargain.

For starters, take a look at their internet packages:

It is worth noting these prices are applicable to the promotional period of one year after which standard rates kick in and the monthly service charge may increase by up to 25%. With that said, here are all the additional charges you should look out for:

As you can see, Spectrum does not burden you with unnecessary charges. In fact, you can even opt to install the internet yourself and save on installation. Sure, the monthly Wi-Fi fee of $5 is rather unique, but you can avoid paying that by using your own equipment if you so want.

AT&T Internet

AT&T offers a variety of home internet plans via its IPBB and Fiber services. Availability of service type varies by region, and so does speed availability, which is dependent on network capabilities in any given vicinity.

ATT Internet pricing is quite unique as you can see. If you’re lucky to be located in an area where they offer Fiber Internet, you’ll be able to get faster speeds at cheap rates. It must be noted however, the price includes AutoPay & Paperless Billing discount of $5/mo. With that said though, let look into hidden charges you may have to pay:

Optimum Internet

Optimum offers three cable broadband plans:

Optimum Internet prices are competitive to say the least?and if available in your area, you should definitely look into these offerings. Sure, the price is only applicable for the 12-month promo term, but if you sign up for AutoPay & Paperless Billing you can save an additional $5 during this period which is great.

Mediacom Internet

Mediacom offers three internet plans:

Mediacom Internet offers a reliable high-speed internet connection for sure and is one of the most generous providers when it comes to capped data plans. With plan-prices set as competitively, if Mediacom service is available in your neighborhood, you must consider it.

Cox Internet

Cox has a total of five internet speed packages?so you’ll easily be able to find one that fits your needs:

With these prices, Cox Internet is a strong contender. What’s more, while all plans are capped, the data allowance is 1.25 TB (1280 GB), which means you don’t really have to worry about the overage charge. With that said, let’s see how it fairs in regards to hidden costs.


Xfinity Internet

Xfinity offers a great range of internet speed tiers and plans:

All prices stated above are applicable for 12 months, after which you see a hike in the monthly fee for Xfinity Internet plans. This pricing includes a $10 discount for AutoPay and Paperless Billing discount and is based on a 1-year service agreement. Xfinity however gives you the option to pay rack rate from the get-go without a service agreement?you pay a higher price per month but it is on a month-to-month basis.

CenturyLink Internet

CenturyLink offers 2 types of service plans?for high-speed DSL and Fiber broadband. However, given the competitive pricing, you won’t feel the need for more.

It is important to note these prices only apply when you opt for AutoPay and Paperless Billing. With that said, let’s take a look at all the hidden costs for CenturyLink Internet.

Suddenlink Internet

Suddenlink offers 2 types of service plans. Where Fiber is available you get symmetrical speeds, and in cable broadband areas the download and upload speeds differ.

This is promo pricing and is applicable for a 12-month term after which the price hikes to the standard rate. But, during the first year, you get to save considerably?especially if you also sign up for AutoPay and Paperless Billing which saves you another $5.  

Windstream Internet

Windstream offers a variety of speeds, and service types?however which type of connection and what speed is available where depends on the Windstream network infrastructure in the area.

Confused? Well, don’t be. Windstream offers promotional prices like every other internet provider, but with a twist. Like so, you get a really low price for the first 3 months of the promo term, because Windstream does not charge you for the speed upgrade to 400 or 500 Mbps. For the remaining 9 months, however, you must pay for the higher speed tier. After the completion of the 12-month promo term, the price hikes up to the standard rate prevalent at the time.

With that said, let’s take a look at the hidden costs for Windstream Internet.

HughesNet Internet

HughesNet is unique relative to the ISPs we have so far talked about?it is a satellite internet service designed to reach remote areas inaccessible by wired infrastructures.

HughesNet service plans are based on a single-speed offering ?25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. What makes each plan different is the allocated data allowance.

The pricing listed above is based on a 24-month commitment?the first 6 months of this period get you the service for $20 less, and you start paying the rack rate thereafter. Each HughesNet plan comes with an extra 50 GB Bonus Zone data to be used during off-peak hours.

Here are the details of additional costs you may incur with HughesNet Internet plans:

Final Words

Whoa! That is a lot to go through.

But, before you go about comparing providers, plans, and hidden costs, we suggest you figure out speed and data needs in your household and give a thought to what type of internet connection maybe better. Then, check which providers offer services in your area, and take your time browsing their plans. You can also contact experts at 1-855-349-9328 to determine provider-offer availability in your neighborhood, and get pro help as you shortlist options. Once you are done with all the math, you’ll be ready to subscribe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to pay the installation costs?

Internet service providers may waive off the installation cost as part of a promotional offer on standalone and bundled services. So, when looking for a new provider plan do check for FREE Installation offers.   

How to escape paying an early termination fee?

Some ISPs like Spectrum and Optimum offer a contract buyout to help you switch from your current provider as the new one picks up the tab for any penalty you may incur. Both Spectrum and Optimum offer up to $500 in contract buyout with select packages on their menu.

Should I buy a modem or lease it?

Buying a modem can save you money in the long run. But if you are not planning to stick to the ISP, you may as well get the equipment on rental. If you are not tech savvy, and the extra dollars do not pinch you, it is better to avoid the hassle of having to maintain and troubleshoot the equipment on your own. When you BYOD, most ISPs do not cover you with tech support, and you also lose out on free-of-cost upgrades or replacements.