AT&T is among the largest internet providers in the US. They not only offer broadband DSL and fiber internet connectivity through their extensive internet packages, but also a broad range of other services including satellite and digital TV as well as wireless (mobile phone) and telephone (landline) services.
Whether you want to check your emails and pay your bills online, or you’re a hardcore gamer who needs ongoing stability, AT&T offer a broad scope of packages to meet many requirements.
Depending on your location depends on the packages AT&T make available to you. Their fiber internet, for example, is still limited, but availability is growing fast.
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Packages and Pricing
Note: DSL broadband packages are available to most AT&T customers, and fiber packages are limited to predominantly metropolitan areas.
The price range of AT&T Internet packages varies between $40 and $90, with download speeds going from 5 Mbps in the Basic plan up to 1000 Mbps in their fastest Fiber plan.
Their most basic Internet plan has download speeds of up to 5 Mbps and is a good starter option which will allow for:
- Essential browsing
- Social networking
- Online shopping
It’s best suited for users who have a limited number of devices (up to two). But, the cost of the plan is somewhat steep at $40 per month, especially as the price goes up to $50 after the initial twelve months.
DSL Broadband Packages
If you live in an area where their DSL options are supported, you can choose DSL broadband packages with download speeds from 10 Mbps, 18 Mbps, 25 Mbps, 50 Mbps, or 100 Mbps.
These plans are the same price when ordered as a standalone package: $50 per month for the first 12 months and $60 after that. To be eligible for the $50 per month price plan, you will have to sign a 12-month agreement.
For those living in areas where the AT&T Fiber is supported, you can choose packages with download speeds of 100 Mbps, 300 Mbps, and 1000 Mbps, with monthly costs of $50, $70, and $90 respectively.
The 100 Mbps and 300 Mbps plans have a 1TB data cap, while the 1000 Mbps has a truly unlimited data use. All plans will also support a minimum of 10 devices.
There’s also a $35 activation fee for self-installation or a $99 fee for a professional tech installation on all packages.
Unlimited Data Extras
For $30 per month, users can remove the data cap on their AT&T Internet plan. Alternatively, they can also remove it by bundling their internet with AT&T TV services (see below.)
AT&T also offers bundle packages, where users can connect their internet service with DIRECTV, U-Verse, AT&T unlimited wireless plans, or home phone service. Ultimately, this brings the price of each service in the package down and gets you more for your money.
One thing to keep in mind is that actual speeds vary, for example, even though the Fiber Internet 1000 Mbps states it supports up to 1000 Mbps, this is not a guaranteed speed; the download speeds are usually around 940 Mbps at most. Something you’ll need to think about when opting for a lower speed – to check if the realistic speed will be fast enough!
Another point to note about both their fiber and DSL options is that you’ll need to sign a 12-month contract. AT&T doesn’t offer a ‘no-contract’ option, which is a different approach to providers like Xfinity and Frontier who don’t require any type of contract for their services.
AT&T Modem & Router Review
One great thing about AT&T is that you don’t have to pay for the network equipment unlike other providers. So, you get a dual modem and router with every AT&T Internet plan at no additional cost.
Customers who have download speeds of 12 Mbps or higher are eligible for the AT&T Smart Wi-Fi solution. With this solution, users will get the latest Wi-Fi router that has the ability to automatically choose the best connection for each device on the network. However, in order to use it, installation of a BGW219, 5268aC, or NVG599 Wi-Fi gateway is required. Luckily, these gateways come as standard equipment with most of their plans above speeds of 12 Mbps.
In addition to this, the Smart Home Manager app lets users monitor their home network from anywhere, manage all devices on the network, and grant access to guests without revealing a password, which is a truly great way to keep your network safe! Plus, eligible users can also buy the AT&T Wi-Fi extender that helps eliminate any low signal or dead zones in your home.
Customers are free to use their own routers if they wish, but AT&T support will not troubleshoot Wi-Fi issues and you can only get support for them through ConnectTech which is subject to additional charges (depending on the nature of the issue.)
As the equipment for AT&T is free, it makes sense to use theirs and get the support that comes with it!
Features and Benefits
AT&T offers several additional benefits internet plan users:
AT&T McAfee Internet Security Suite
Each Internet plan comes with an AT&T Internet Security Suite by McAfee. this includes parental controls that can easily filter unwanted websites and content, as well as set up web access timers.
AT&T customers with connection speeds equal or higher than 3Mbps also receive their McAfee powered Internet Security Suite (anti-virus, anti-spyware, and pop-up blocker).
For those who have lower speeds (1.5 Mbps or below), access to these options are only available if you’re willing to pay a monthly fee of $5 per month.
Access to Wi-Fi Hotspots
All AT&T Internet plans give users the ability to connect to AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots in any state where they have coverage.
AT&T Email Account
An email account with ten additional accounts is included with each plan too, and comes equipped with SpamGuard, a spam filter that ensures spam messages don’t reach your inbox.
Another great option that comes with each plan is AddressGuard that helps users create disposable email addresses so that your main email doesn’t end up on suspicious mailing lists.
For its fiber packages, AT&T guarantees ‘99% reliability’ when it comes to internet speed and connectivity. DSL packages are excluded but it does give fiber users more peace of mind.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) for 2018, AT&T has a very good grade and is among the best internet service providers (ISPs) when it comes to customer service. Considering customer service is often a pain point for many, this is definitely a big plus for anyone considering AT&T.
There’s a 24/7 online support available that can be accessed through their website. Plus, you can sign in on their website and get personalized support or use their onsite diagnostic tools to fix service and equipment quickly. Their customer service can be reached through social media too:
- On Facebook – @ATT (Their Facebook hours are 6 AM to 1 AM CST)
- On Twitter – @ATTCares
The AT&T website has a self-service section as well, where users can browse through the support article divided into four categories:
- Internet connections, web browsing, and security
- Installation and order status
- Troubleshooting and repair
- Wi-Fi gateways and equipment
AT&T also hosts a Community Forum where existing users can talk about issues and work together to solve them. The Latest Activity section makes it easy to browse through the latest threads, while the search functions can help you see if someone has already posted a similar topic.
Being at the top of ASCI, however, doesn’t mean that there aren’t any issues. According to reviews, the thing that users complain the most is sales reps who aren’t knowledgeable about bundling options, which can result in customers receiving the wrong package. Keep this in mind when discussing your bundles! And if in doubt, check.
Ways to Save on AT&T Internet
AT&T offers a $10 per month discount for all their Internet plans if you choose to bundle them with their DIRECTV (satellite TV), U-Verse (digital TV), Wireless, or Phone plans. You can choose from the most popular bundles or build your own bundle.
See Which Plans Are Available in Your Area
You will save considerably if you can get the AT&T Fiber plans, as they offer the most reliable option when it comes to speed and connectivity and come with the 99% guarantee.
If you’re limited to the DSL plans, try getting as close to the 100Mbps speed as possible and regardless of the speed you choose, always check the minimum guaranteed speed to make sure it’s going to be enough.
Remove Data Caps with Bundles
Almost all plans come with a 1TB data cap. This cap can be removed if you decide to bundle your internet service with their TV services. But, the only other way to remove the data cap is to pay a monthly fee of $30.
Inform Yourself About Additional Fees
Unfortunately, AT&T is still charging a substantial fee when it comes to installation. You will have to pay a $35 activation fee if you want to do the installation yourself or a staggering $99 if you want their tech team to do this for you. To save here, choose a DIY installation option. If you aren’t tech savvy, find someone who is.
Installation fees aren’t the only type of fees to be wary of. AT&T contracts state that users will have to pay an early termination fee of $15 for each month left on the contract. The maximum early termination fee goes up to a total of $180 if you want to cancel.
Our Recommendation – AT&T Internet
AT&T offers internet packages that have a good price-to-speed ratio on Fiber packages, and they are taking bold strides with competitive pricing. However, the availability for different areas is still limited.
Their DSL package pricing is on par with other competitors, except for the lower speeds that are a bit higher! So for those who can’t support 100 Mpbs you might want to look elsewhere. But their data cap of 1TB, additional fees and 12-month contracts can put you off, particularly for households with many devices, users, or high internet needs.
Ultimately, AT&T’s Fiber plans have earned them a high spot on the Netflix ISP leaderboard with no data caps and high speed making them an excellent Fiber choice. But, if you’re still stuck on DSL, there are better, and cheaper, providers out there to choose from!
Is AT&T Right For You?