You may have noticed that none of our top picks had much in the way of fiber networks. Fiber offers the fastest, most reliable speeds available and has the highest potential to improve as internet technology improves. So, where are all the fiber providers?
Much of the growth in fiber-to-the-home has been driven by smaller, local ISPs, as well as newcomers to the scene, like Google Fiber.4 These companies serve small areas, but they offer some of the fastest speeds and have some of the best reviews of any ISP out there. Some larger ISPs like AT&T and Verizon are starting to catch up with their own fiber networks, but many others are falling behind the curve.5
When moving to a new area, it’s a good idea to see if fiber is available in any part of the city. The advantages of a fiber connection are enough that it’s worth considering fiber availability when deciding which neighborhood you move to.
Most major population centers in the US have some form of fixed broadband network, but there are still many rural areas that fall outside their reach. If you’re moving to a rural area without access to fiber, cable, or even DSL internet, you’re still not out of luck.
You can get satellite internet from providers like Viasat and HughesNet anywhere in the US. That makes satellite providers the best internet providers for rural areas simply because they’re the most available. All you need is a place to mount a satellite dish that has a clear view of the southern sky.
Satellite is usually the best option only when it’s the only option. It generally offers lower speeds than even DSL while being much more expensive. It also has low data caps, which means you have to be judicious with your internet use.
Still, if all else fails, you can always fall back on satellite internet. It also means that for those who work online, you can literally work from anywhere in the US—just as long as you’re willing to pay for an expensive (and slower) internet plan.
We want to hear from you
Choosing an ISP can seem like finding a needle in a haystack, but there’s something for everyone. There are fiber and cable plans for those who want pure speed, no-contract plans for those who want flexibility, and satellite plans for those who want to connect from anywhere in the US. If you’ve found an amazing ISP that didn’t make our list, let us know!
Want to know what ISPs are available in your new area? Enter your new zip code below to see the top providers in your future neighborhood.