Call for the Best Cable, Phone and Internet Deals: 855-349-9328
Call For Best Deals: 855-349-9328

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:

    • Spectrum Internet Standard: Up to 300 Mbps download speeds for $49.99/mo. for 12 months with Auto Pay
    • Spectrum Internet Ultra: Up to 500 Mbps download speeds for $69.99/mo. for 12 months with Auto Pay
    • Spectrum Internet 1 Gig: Up to 1000 Mbps download speeds for $109.99/mo. for 12 months with Auto Pay

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:

    • Equipment rental: No Charge
    • WiFi Fee: $5/mo.
    • Data Overage: No Charge
    • Installation Fee (one-time)
    • Self-installation: $24.99
    • Standard Installation Fee: $59.99
    • Late Payment Fee: Varies by State
    • Early Termination Fee: No contract/no charge

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.

    • AT&T Internet 768 Kbps ? 100 Mbps for $45/mo. for 12 months
    • AT&T Fiber 300: Up to 300 Mbps symmetrical speeds for $35/mo. for 12 months
    • AT&T Fiber 500: Up to 500 Mbps symmetrical speeds for $45/mo. for 12 months
    • AT&T Fiber 1 Gig: Up to 940 Mbps symmetrical speeds for $60/mo. for 12 months

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:

    • Equipment rental for IPBB and Fiber: $10/mo.
      One-time purchase cost for DSL internet equipment?Modem for $75 and Wireless Gateway for $100. Data Overage: $10 per 50 GB data for all capped plans with speeds below 100 Mbps.
    • Installation & Activation Fees (one-time)
    • Internet Activation Fee: $49 (Only for AT&T DSL, may be waived when you use Technician Installation)
    • Self-Install Assistance Fee: $99 (Applies if you don’t select technician assisted installation and then require technician’s assistance)
    • Technician Assisted Installation: $149.99 for AT&T DSL and $99 for AT&T IPBB and Fiber
    • Late Payment Fee: $9.75 for AT&T DSL and $9.99 for AT&T IPBB and Fiber
    • Early Termination Fee: Up to $180?pro-rated based on how many months are left on the Term Agreement.

Optimum Internet

Optimum offers three cable broadband plans:

    • Optimum 300: Up to 300 Mbps download speeds for $45/mo. for 12 months
    • Optimum 500: Up to 500 Mbps download speeds for $65/mo. for 12 months
    • Optimum 1 Gig: Up to 940 Mbps download speeds for $85/mo. for 12 months

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.

    • Equipment rental for DOCSIS Modem or Wireless Gateway: $10/mo.
      Equipment rental for Altice One box: $20
    • Data Overage: No Charge
    • Installation Fee (Maybe waived as part of a promotional offer)
    • Standard installation: $59
    • Premium installation: $99
    • Late Payment Fee: $10
    • Early Termination Fee: No contract/no charge

Mediacom Internet

Mediacom offers three internet plans:

    • Mediacom Internet 100: Up to 100 Mbps download speeds & 1000 GB data for $49.99/mo. for 12 months
    • Mediacom Internet 300: Up to 300 Mbps download speeds & 2000 GB data for $59.99/mo. for 12 months
    • Mediacom Internet 1 Gig: Up to 1 Gbps download speeds & 6000 GB data for $79.99/mo. for 12 months

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.

    • Equipment rental for wireless modem: $10/mo.
    • Data Overage: $10 for every additional 50 GB
    • Installation Fee: $109.99
    • Activation Fee: $10
    • Late Payment Fee: $10
    • Early Termination Fee: $240.00 for 2 and 3-year service agreements and up to $120 for a one-year agreement. The amount you are charged is pro-rated based on the number of months left on the agreement.

Cox Internet

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

    • Internet Starter: Up to 25 Mbps download speeds for $19.99/mo. for 12 months
    • Internet Essential: Up to 50 Mbps download speeds for $29.99/mo. for 12 months
    • Internet Preferred: Up to 150 Mbps download speeds for $49.99/mo. for 12 months
    • Internet Ultimate: Up to 500 Mbps download speeds for $69.99/mo. for 12 months
    • Internet Gigablast: Up to 940 Mbps download speeds for $99.99/mo. for 12 months

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.

    • Equipment rental: Panoramic WiFi gateway for $12/mo.
    • Data Overage: $10 for every additional 50 GB.
    • Installation Fee: Depends on your location and subscribed plan
    • Activation Fee: $20
    • Late Payment Fee: Up to $25
    • Early Termination Fee: Up to $120 for a 1-year svc. agreement.
 
 

Xfinity Internet

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

    • Performance Starter Plus: Up to 50 Mbps download speeds for $19.99/mo.
    • Performance Select: Up to 100 Mbps download speeds for $34.99/mo.
    • Performance Pro Plus: Up to 200 Mbps download speeds for $44.99/mo.
    • Blast!® Pro Plus: Up to 400 Mbps download speeds for $49.99/mo.
    • Extreme Pro Plus: Up to 800 Mbps download speeds for $74.99/mo.
    • Gigabit: Up to 1200 Mbps download speeds for $84.99/mo. for 24 months
    • Gigabit Pro: Up to 2000 Mbps symmetrical speeds for $229.95/mo.

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.

    • Equipment rental: xFi Gateway for $14/mo.
    • Data Overage: $10 for every additional 50 GB, starting from the 2nd consecutive month in a 12-month period.
    • Installation Fee
    • Professional installation: $89.99
    • Self-install kit: $15 for shipping and handling
    • Late Payment Fee: $10
    • Early Termination Fee: For plans with a 1-year service agreement it is up to $110 and for plans with a 2-year agreement up to $230. The amount charged is pro-rated based on the number of months left in the term agreement.

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.

    • Simply Unlimited Internet: Up to 100 Mbps download speeds for $50/mo.
    • Fiber Gigabit: Up to 940/880 Mbps for $65/mo.

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.

    • Equipment rental: $15/mo. for wireless modem
    • Data Overage: No Charge
    • Professional installation: Up to $125
    • Late Payment Fee: Calculated based on the plan you are subscribed to and the region you are in
    • Early Termination Fee: No contract, no charge

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.

    • Suddenlink 200: Up to 200 Mbps download speeds for $35/mo.
    • Suddenlink 400: Up to 400 Mbps download speeds for $55/mo.
    • Suddenlink 1 Gig: Up to 940 Mbps for $75/mo.

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.  

    • Equipment rental for DOCSIS Modem/Wireless Gateway: $10/mo.
      Equipment rental for Altice One box: $20/mo.
    • Data Overage: $15 for every additional 50 GB
    • Installation Fee (Maybe waived as part of a promotional offer)
      Standard installation: $59
      Premium Installation: $99
    • Activation Fee: $40
    • Late Payment Fee: $10
    • Early Termination Fee: No contract, no charge

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.

    • Kinetic Internet 400: 376-451 Mbps download speeds for $37/mo. for 12 months, and $55 thereafter.
    • Kinetic Internet 500: 451-799 Mbps download speeds for $37/mo. for 3 months, $57 for 9 months, and $75 thereafter.
    • Kinetic Gig Internet: 800-1000 Mbps download speeds for $37/mo. for 3 months, $67 for 9 months, and $85 thereafter.

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.

    • Equipment rental: $9.99/mo.
    • Data Overage: No Charge
    • Installation Fee: $35
    • Activation Fee: $50
    • Late Payment Fee: Maybe charged up to the maximum amount permitted by law
    • Early Termination Fee: No contract, no charge

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.

    • HughesNet 10 GB plan: $39.99/mo. for 6 months, and $59.99 thereafter
    • HughesNet 20 GB plan: $49.99/mo. for 6 months, and $69.99 thereafter
    • HughesNet 30 GB plan: $79.99/mo. for 6 months, and $99.99 thereafter
    • HughesNet 50 GB plan: $129.99/mo. for 6 months, and $149.99 thereafter

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:

    • Equipment purchase and standard installation cost: $449.98 (Maybe discounted as part of a promotional offer)
      Equipment rental and lease setup cost $14.99/mo. & one-time Activation fee $99 (Maybe waived as part of a promotional offer)
    • Data Overage: No charge?the data limit is soft. HughesNet throttles the connection in case you exceed the assigned limit but does not suspend your account or disconnect you.
    • Late Payment Fee: No charge
    • Early Termination Fee: $400 if canceled within the first 90 days after service activation. The charged amount decreases by $15/mo. for every month of active use.

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.