Chicago, IL

Best Internet Plans & Providers in Chicago, IL

A maximum of locations in the greater Chicago area is covered by two leading internet companies, EarthLink and AT&T and other smaller providers can be accessed in coastal regions. Some of them could be more economical or provide lower speeds of around 25 Mbps download speeds and a minimum of 3 Mbps upload speeds.
8.8/10

Plans from $49.99

Download Speed

Upto 1000 Mbps

Bandwidth

1 Gbps

Upload Speed

10 – 35 mbps

Connection

Cable

Spectrum Internet subscribers get free access to Spectrum’s out-of-home WiFi nationwide, which includes WiFi internet networks at local businesses. The access point network is available across 41 states in cities including San Francisco, Denver, and New York City.
8.3/10

Starting at $34.99/month

Download Speed

80 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles

Internet, TV

Bandwidth

Unlimited

Connection

Cable, DSL, Fibre

AT&T, the single biggest wireline phone-based company in the U.S. and the third-biggest internet provider in the country, offers broadband via a mix of fiber and hybrid-fiber connections. As of 2020, it has almost 14 million subscribers nationwide.
8.8/10
Best Overall

Starting at $49.99/month

Download Speed

50 Mbps – 2000 Mbps

Bundles

Internet, TV, Phone, Home Security

Bandwidth

Unlimited

Connection

Cable, Fibre

Xfinity Internet Plans offer enough variety for everyone to find one that is suitable. They start at $19.99 per month and go all the way to $299 per month. Plan pricing could vary by location. Xfinity is a full-service provider and can be trusted to get the job done.

Popular ISP's in Chicago, IL

8.3/10

Starting at $39.99/month

Download Speed

Upto 1000Mbps

Bandwidth

Upto 6000GB

Upload Speed

Upto 50Mbps

Connection

Cable

Mediacom has 5 different internet plans that various speeds so you can customize your internet service to your budget and speed requirements.

Vonage 

8.3/10

Starting at $9.99/month

Monthly Cost

Upto $29.99/mo

Subscriptions

Monthly

Trial Period

6 months

Customer Support

24/7 support

Vonage is a company that offers solutions for businesses and their cloud communications. They offer services that are based on Voice Over Internet Protocol. They offer 3 different levels of phone service for businesses. These are available to companies no matter the size, with 1 or over 1,000 employees.

8.3/10

Starting at $50.00/month

Download Speed

Upto 200Mbps

Bandwidth

Unlimited

Upload Speed

Upto 200Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Starry is an internet service provider that offers up to 200mbps, unlimited data, Wi-Fi router, expert installation, and all with no long-term contracts. They have no hidden fees, and you can pause or cancel your service at any time.

8.3/10

Starting at $29.95/month

Download Speed

Upto 50Mbps

Bandwidth

Upto Unlimited

Upload Speed

Connection

Wireless

Rise Broadband helps keep people connected whether they live in rural or suburban areas. They provide high speed internet services and digital phone services in 16 states.

MCTV 

8.3/10

Starting at $46.95/month

Download Speed

Upto 100Mbps

Bandwidth

Upto Unlimited

Upload Speed

Upto 10Mbps

Connection

Fiber

MCTV offers both residential and commercial broadband services.

8.3/10

Starting at $44.99/month

Download Speed

Upto 1 Gbps

Bandwidth

Upto Unlimited

Upload Speed

Upto 20Mbps

Connection

Cable

Bend Broadband is a high-speed Internet provider for the area of Central Oregon. They offer reliable services in home mesh Wi-Fi with fast speeds. These plans always include every day, all day access to technical support. They even offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

8.3/10

Starting at $34.95/month

Download Speed

Upto 500Mbps

Bandwidth

Upto Unlimited

Upload Speed

Upto 20Mbps

Connection

Cable

The Armstrong Group is a company that offers a wide variety of services. It is a very diverse family owned and operated business with beginnings in a construction business in Armstrong County Pennsylvania.

8.3/10

Starting at $41.00/month

Download Speed

50 – 1000Mbps

Bandwidth

1280GB

Upload Speed

Upto 1000Mbps

Connection

VDSL, Fibre

Sonic operates in a limited geographical area. Though rankings vary, it is generally within the 10 largest cable and 25 largest fiber internet provider in the country, Sonic has been successful in providing a credible and reliable service in a competitive market.

8.3/10

Starting at $29.99/month

Download Speed

25 – 940Mbps

Bandwidth

1280GB

Upload Speed

3 – 35Mbps

Connection

DSL, Fibre

Cox Communications is an Atlanta-based communication services provider. It offers home internet in the United States. Other products include TV, phone, and home security services.

8.3/10

Starting at $50.00/month

Download Speed

100 – 940Mbps

Bandwidth

Unlimited

Upload Speed

35 – 940Mbps

Connection

DSL, Fibre

CenturyLink is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the US. It offers high-speed internet, fiber, voice, phone, and TV services for both residential and small business customers.

8.3/10

Starting at $45.00/month

Download Speed

300 – 940Mbps

Bandwidth

Unlimited

Upload Speed

35 – 50Mbps

Connection

Cable

Available in the New York tri-state area, Optimum provides comprehensive internet-based services to homes that include high-speed broadband, voice and digital TV, supplemented by Optimum Wi-Fi, which is laimed to be the most robust Wi-Fi solution. Optimum also partners with multiple providers to ensure that all needs of the discerning consumer are met, including enhanced service options.

8.3/10

Starting at $27.00/month

Download Speed

1000 Mbps

Bandwidth

Unlimited

Upload Speed

Connection

Fibre, DSL

Kinetic by Windstream is a regional internet provider that specializes in delivery through DSL, with fiber service limited to select areas. Windstream offers high-speed internet, digital TV and home phone service. Its Kinetic internet service makes it easier to access internet services. Its fiber network extends to about 170,000 miles at present and is growing.

Our Top Picks for the Best Internet Providers in Chicago, IL

9.1/10

EarthLink

Customers in Chicago have rated EarthLink as one of the best providers in the city. It ranks well in all aspects, including reliable high speeds of up to 1000 Mbps and the availability of different service types to choose from. The company also offers excellent customer service, high-grade equipment with efficient installation, and an interactive app that makes connecting with the help desk extremely convenient. Not only are there no limits on the data you can use, but you can be confident that the company is not likely to raise pricing a few months down the line.

8.3/10

AT&T

As in most other cities in the US, AT&T has a popular rating in Chicago, with many residents preferring to subscribe to the service. AT&T is notable for its high speeds of up to 1000 Mbps, great value for money, and attractive promotional offers. Do a bit of research, and you’ll find a selection of plans and packages with different features. You can pick out the one that suits your needs, like, for instance, a bundled deal at a fixed, long-term price of $40.00 per month. While you can rely on the company’s installation services, you could save on the setting up costs by taking care of it on your own. AT&T provides you a step-by-step installation guide with excellent tech support.

8.8/10

Xfinity

With speeds of 1000 Mbps, Xfinity is another great ISP in Chicago. The company has a widespread network in the city, offering various plans with impressive speeds at reasonable prices. You could get plans starting at $30.00 per month, though this is a promotional rate, and you can expect the cost to go up after 12 months. If you absolutely need high-speed internet and the service is available in your area, you can expect to pay $100.00 per month.

Xfinity is known for providing some of the best speed to price ratios in Chicago, but pay close attention to the fine print in the terms and conditions. You might find that the pricing is only valid for the initial 12 months and can get raised later. If you need to get entertainment bundles, consider the X1 TV and Xfinity Flex, which is a great choice.

Other Providers

Chicago has several other ISPs, and you can check their comparative pricing structure and features to find the best options for your needs. Spectrum provides internet with no limits on data usage, while RCN is known for low latency and high speeds of up to 1000 Mbps. Satellite internet network, Viasat, and Atlantic Broadband with no penalties for early termination are also available. HughesNet and WOW! are other options on your list. 

Internet Service Providers in Chicago, IL

An internet service that delivers a download speed of 25 MBPS or more and an upload speed of 3 MBPS or more, is classified as a ‘broadband’ service by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Here is a high-level overview of the key broadband service providers in the Greater Chicago area based on key parameters households look for in a provider, like speed, or cost, etc. Wherever you are in the Greater Chicago area, this should help you get off to a quick start in your search for an internet service provider to your home. It must be said, however, that not all providers will cover all areas. Plans might also vary. Hence, you will need to check for available services at your address.

Based on speed in Chicago, IL

If download speed is your primary consideration, the AT&T, Xfinity, RCN and EarthLink should be the shortlist you should begin with. All of them have networks that deliver up to 1000 MBPS in download speed, with some, especially the fiber networks, delivering the same on upload speeds too. Xfinity has a wide variety of high-speed plans and is widely available.

Based on customer ratings in Chicago, IL

In recent customer satisfaction surveys tat have been carried out, Earthlink has emerged as the Internet Service Provider (ISP) with the best ratings, topping out in multiple rating categories. Its efforts at a customer-focused approach, in an industry notorious for poor CSAT scores, seems to be helping. It ensures its policies are transparent and there are no shocks down the line for users.

Close on the heels of Earthlink are AT&T, Xfinity and Spectrum, each of them generally standing out at the top in at least one category, such as Xfinity for internet speeds and AT&T for setup and installation.

Based on bundling in Chicago, IL

AT&T has some great bundling options that offer long-term value. AT&T’s internet becomes available for $40 per month when bundled, and fixed for life. However, you will need to make sure that the added price of the other services like TV or phone or mobile work for you.

Xfinity also offers a great TV and internet bundle, which gives you X1 TV as well as Xfinity Flex. RCN also provides great bundling options.

Based on pricing in Chicago, IL

At $30 per month, Xfinity offers great pricing for a large player. However, bear in mind that this is a promotional price that will increase after a defined period of one year. Xfinity’s gigabit plan also turns out the best if you are more inclined towards the best ‘dollars per unit of speed’ parameter. It is available at $100 per month for the first year.

Best overall in Chicago, IL

It will depend on what you are looking for from an ISP. AT&T is known for great introductory prices as well as long-term value. Xfinity has a wide range of plans with the best speed, and enjoys customer confidence. As does Earthlink which tope out CSAT surveys. Spectrum provides great value through their TV and internet bundle. No data cap and no contract options are also offered by several providers like Spectrum and Atlantic. And if you are off the grid, Viasat and HughesNet are great options.

With some providers, like AT&T, you have the option of saving some money by doing a self-installation with the help of their guides. The RCN network is known for its low latency while Earthlink offers internet through multiple service types.

Setting up internet in an apartment

Arrangements can vary by area and even by landlord preferences. In many cases, the internet bill can be a part of the monthly rental. But, it depends on the location and landlord.

The apartment management being involved in sourcing an internet service could be beneficial as they may be in apposition to negotiate better rates on account of the bulk market they can offer.

The downside to the management involvement could be that since it knows it is dealing with another intermediary, it may not be as responsive to customer issues as it might be if dealing directly with them. Besides, the landlord may insist on a particular provider, thus limiting your options. However, this is best worked out on an individual basis.

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