Internet Provider Awards 2021
Best Local Provider | Best National Provider | Best for Gaming | Best for Streaming | Best Rural Provider | Most Affordable Provider | Best Customer Service | Fastest Top Speed | Best for Businesses | Best Fiber Internet | Best Cable Internet | Best Satellite Internet | Best DSL Internet | Best Fixed Wireless Internet | Best Mobile Broadband Internet | Best Overall Internet Provider
Service Reviews is proud to introduce our first annual Internet Provider Awards, highlighting provider excellence for internet service in the U.S. across different areas like speed, national service, fiber optic or rural coverage. For each category, we’ve selected from the providers we’ve covered this year and listed out the five that we believe best fulfill each one.
Best Local Provider
Providing internet to dedicated, statewide areas instead of the national coverage of larger companies, the providers on this list have supplied solid service for specific regions. Offering solid network access that’s often free from data caps and sometimes even contracts, these local providers are excellent alternatives to mainstream national providers.
Best National Provider
Excelling as a nationwide provider has a unique set of challenges, needing to provide consistently reliable internet connections across the country for millions of people in a variety of locations, from urban customers to those who live remotely. We’ve looked at the biggest nationwide internet providers serving the U.S., and found these five to have the best combined speeds, pricing and customer service across the nation.
Best for Gaming
For a provider to be a strong choice for a gaming-heavy household, their internet service needs to be reliable and fast, but also maintain fast ping speeds and higher bandwidth to accommodate rapid twitch-based games and heavier data use. The choices on this list provide that, with most offering fiber optic connections for the fastest speeds as well.
Best for Streaming
As streaming becomes the dominant way people watch shows and movies, internet connections need to be increasingly fast and stable, with the bandwidth to support high fidelity 4K HDR video offered by services like Netflix and Disney+. We’ve chosen providers that excel in offering a smooth and satisfying daily streaming experience.
Best Rural Provider
With the huge amount of people living outside of cities or even suburbs across the country, rural internet access continues to be an important essential service. Many areas don’t have the same network infrastructure in place, and the following providers often utilize methods outside of common cable or fiber connections to supply good internet access to rural residents.
Most Affordable Provider
As internet access has become a somewhat essential utility in 2020, it’s more important than ever for companies to provide price-conscious plans to suit a variety of customers. So we wanted to recognize the companies that offer some of the more affordable, flexible or consumer-friendly plans for their customers.
Best Customer Service
The customer support offered by any company is a major factor to consumer experience, and it’s even more important for internet providers. A communicative and helpful support process can make or break someone’s opinion of a company, and the companies on this list have risen above the rest in extending critical support for customers in need.
Fastest Top Speed
Speed is among the most important factors people considering when considering an internet provider. It’s what determines how easily they stream, download, game and communicate, and it’s essential for a company to not only advertise a high speed, but to also maintain those high speeds for users down the road, and these companies have done the most in meeting that need for customers this year.
Best for Businesses
The companies represented for this category have done the most in supplying solid service and extra measures in internet for businesses. Whether it be specialty small business plans or software support for combating malware, the providers here stand as the best choices in great internet for businesses.
Best Fiber Internet
A fiber optic internet connection is often the very fastest option available to customers. Somewhat limited in coverage and more premium than cable or satellite, fiber optic is still a sought-after form of internet access, giving users low lag and blazingly fast speeds (about 70% the speed of light!). We’ve chosen the companies best suited to give you the best offers on a fiber connection!
Best Cable Internet
Reliable and very common, cable internet fulfills the home network needs for millions of Americans. We’ve picked the best companies who continue to provide fast, stable cable internet connections for the best prices and in the most areas.
Best Satellite Internet
A growing alternative to cable or fiber optic, satellite internet is a form of network access that uses sky-bound signals to beam data down to users, often reaching remote or rural customers with ease. Whether it’s the satellite internet mainstays like HughesNet or newer methods like SpaceX’s Starlink, these providers are the best satellite providers for the coming year.
Best DSL Internet
A widespread alternative form of access and an appealing choice for rural customers, DSL utilizes phone lines to provide a connection that isn’t as fast as some other forms, but is very widely available and often reaches customers other services like cable doesn’t. The companies are the best choices we’ve considered for DSL internet access.
Best Fixed Wireless Internet
Utilizing fixed transmitters to build a signal network for users, fixed wireless internet can be a great option for fast speeds at cheaper cost that isn’t as affected by weather as other forms of internet. If you’re considering fixed wireless internet, these providers are your best choice!
Best Mobile Broadband Internet
Another great solution for users who are remote, rural or frequently traveling, mobile broadband internet gives users 4G or LTE internet access with good speeds and great coverage and with minimal equipment burden. These companies represent the best options we’ve reviewed for affordable and reliable mobile broadband internet in the U.S.
Best Overall Internet Provider
There are clearly many factors to weigh when considering the very best internet provider of the year. While personal opinion can change considerations from person to person, we believe that the choices here support the widest variety of connection options, the most consumer-friendly models, the best customer service and the most affordable prices – the best overall internet providers of the year.