Wherever you live in the Big Apple, you’re likely to have at least two, possibly three or four practical options for home internet service. It’s important to know your options, because not all New York internet providers are all the same. The one you choose could have an impact on your internet speeds, reliability and what you pay each month. We’ll help with narrowing down the best NYC internet provider for your home.
CNET considers speed, customer service, pricing and overall value to recommend the best broadband in a city. I’ve landed on Verizon Fios as the best internet provider in New York City, but your speed needs and location will determine which ISP makes the most sense for your home.
By the way, when I say New York City, I’m mostly referring to New York County — that is, Manhattan. Still, most of the top providers listed below are available throughout much of the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island as well. If you’re looking for internet providers specifically in Brooklyn, you might want to skip over to our page covering the best internet providers in Brooklyn.
Best internet providers in New York City
These internet providers serve Manhattan and the greater New York area with fast speeds, competitive introductory rates and favorable service terms such as contract-free service and unlimited data. All prices listed consider available discounts for setting up automatic monthly payments. Here are our picks for the best internet providers in New York.
Note: The prices, speeds and features detailed in the article text may differ from those listed in the product detail cards, which represent providers’ national offerings. Your particular internet service options — including prices and speeds — depend on your address and may differ from those detailed here.
All available New York City residential internet providers
The providers listed above aren’t the only ones that may be available at your New York address, just the ones we’d recommend most. Check out the full list of providers and service details below.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data.
Other internet providers in New York City
These internet providers may also be available at your New York City address.
Consolidated Communications: Largely a DSL-based rural internet provider, Consolidated Communications also offers fiber internet service in select parts of New York City. Availability is spotty in Manhattan, but those in the Bloomingdale and Lincoln Square districts will have the best coverage. Where available, the provider is worth considering for its $70-per-month gig service, but you’ll probably want to pass on lower speed tiers in favor of Spectrum or Verizon Fios.
Optimum: The second-largest cable internet provider in the greater New York City area, Optimum is available to much of Brooklyn and the Bronx, but not Manhattan. Optimum speeds and pricing are comparable to Astound, including a gigabit plan starting at $60 per month. Optimum also employs a fiber network through much of New York City with 100% fiber connections available to roughly 1 million residents.
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet: Like Verizon’s 5G home internet service, T-Mobile’s coverage area reaches a good portion of New York City, save for the dead zones between and inside tall buildings. Though the two are in the same price range and share roughly the same service features, T-Mobile is not as fast as Verizon 5G, with max speeds ranging from 72 to 245Mbps.
Verizon Internet: Verizon’s DSL service fills in the gaps where Verizon Fios isn’t yet available. Speeds are slow for the price, so you’d be better off checking out other internet options — possibly Verizon 5G if you want to stick with Verizon, or cable internet from Spectrum or Astound.
Xchange Telecom: Available in Central Park and throughout much of Lower Manhattan, Xchange Telecom primarily uses a fixed wireless network, but fiber or DSL service may also be available at select addresses. Pricing and speeds will vary by location.
Satellite internet: For the sake of truly covering all your internet options, I’m mentioning satellite internet from HughesNet and Viasat here. Technically, they are available, but there are too many other faster, cheaper and all-around better internet options in New York City to even consider satellite internet.
How fast are New York City internet providers?
For faster-than-average speeds, consider a provider with gigabit or multigig speeds. Multigigabit internet plans are popping up in cities across the US, including New York City, where Verizon Fios offers up to 2.3Gbps in select areas. That said, aside from Verizon Fios, no major internet provider in the greater NYC area offers anything higher than a single gig.
High-speed internet plans in NYC
|Plan||Max speeds||Starting price||Data cap|
|Verizon 2Gig||2.3Gbps down, 2.3Gbps up||$120||None|
|Astound 1,200||1.2Gbps down, 20Mbps up||$60||None|
|Consolidated Communications 1Gig||1,000Mbps down, 1,000Mbps up||$70||None|
|Starry Gigabit||1,000Mbps down, 500Mbps up||$80||None|
|Spectrum Gig||940Mbps down, 35Mbps up||$80||None|
|T-Mobile Home Internet||245Mbps down, 31Mbps up||$50||None|
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Source: CNET analysis of provider data.
How to get faster internet in New York City
If your New York City internet speeds aren’t quite up to what you want or what you think they should be, there are a few ways you can try to improve them.
- Reset your equipment: The first and easiest thing to do is reset your router. To do so, simply unplug it for a few seconds, then plug it back in and let it reboot. Note that some devices have a battery backup, so you may also have to also remove the battery for a full reboot.
- Upgrade your equipment: It’s possible your router simply isn’t capable of handling the speeds you get, due to the square footage of your residence or number of connected devices. If you rent equipment, consider asking your provider for an upgrade, or you may want to purchase your own new mesh router system.
- Check for unauthorized users or devices: You can see the devices connected to your network by accessing your router’s settings online or via an app. If you don’t recognize all of the connected devices, restrict any that are unknown and change your Wi-Fi password.
- Switch ISPs: Fiber internet, like Verizon Fios, is often more reliable and gives more consistent speeds than other internet types, including cable. If your cable connection is frequently slow, upgrading to a fiber ISP may deliver better speed results, even if the max speed tiers between the two are the same.
- Upgrade to a faster plan: Upgrading to a faster plan should provide a significant speed boost. Check out CNET’s guide to finding the right internet speed for your home.
- Use a wired connection when possible: No matter how good your Wi-Fi router is, using a Wi-Fi connection will just about always result in slower speeds than what your internet provider is sending to the modem or ONT device. Try connecting your computer, smart TV, gaming console or other devices directly to the router or Wi-Fi extender using an Ethernet cord for a faster connection and free up some Wi-Fi bandwidth for other devices.
New York City internet pricing
Do Manhattan residents pay higher internet bills than in the surrounding boroughs or across the Hudson? Not necessarily. As I mentioned above, many of the top ISPs in Manhattan are also available in surrounding areas, so pricing tends to be about the same throughout New York City. Jersey City does have access to Xfinity, which has slightly cheaper pricing than Spectrum, but Astound and Optimum are generally cheaper than Xfinity, at least for the first year.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data.
Low-income internet options in New York City
Along with the Affordable Connectivity Program, which grants qualifying households up to $30 per month to spend on internet service, there are a number of affordable internet programs available in New York City.
Starry has perhaps the best, and easiest to qualify for, affordable internet plan in the area. Starry Connect is available to any residents within a building that has been approved for the low-income internet service. The plan features symmetrical download and upload speeds up to 30Mbps starting at $15 per month with no equipment fees, data caps or contract requirements.
Other New York City internet providers, including Astound, Spectrum and Verizon Fios, offer their own affordable internet plans. Here’s where you can find more information about each provider’s low-income internet service:
How CNET chose the best internet providers in New York City
Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen tool, it’s impractical to personally test every ISP in a given city. So what’s our approach? We start by researching the pricing, availability and speed information drawing on our own historical ISP data, the provider sites and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov.
But it doesn’t end there. We go to the FCC’s website to check our data and ensure we’re considering every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for residents. To evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP’s service, we look at sources including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as of the time of publication.
Once we have this localized information, we ask three main questions:
- Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds?
- Do customers get decent value for what they’re paying?
- Are customers happy with their service?
While the answer to those questions is often layered and complex, the providers who come closest to “yes” on all three are the ones we recommend.
To explore our process in more depth, visit our page on how we test ISPs.