Best Internet Service Providers in NYC | List of Highspeed Network Providers

New York City is blessed to be endowed with the best internet connectivity compared to the rest of the United States. This well-established internet infrastructure provides access to 99% of the residents with internet speeds of 250MBPS or higher compared to the national average of about 88%.

Internet Service Providers in NYC

The city boasts of:

  • 12 internet service providers for residential purpose
  • 18 service providers for Businesses
  • 4 mobile internet service providers with coverage ranging from 2% of the geographical area (Starry Internet) to 99% (Verizon) using diverse modes of delivery like Cable, fiber, fixed wireless and even through Satellite.

Internet Service Providers NYC

Before getting into the details of NYC internet providers let us discuss the internet speed requirements. In case of regular browsing and music streaming by one person, speeds of 5 Mbps is considered sufficient. With higher browsing needs the requirement for faster internet speeds is felt.

  • For instance, In case of HD videos viewing and casual gaming, minimum requirement of bandwidth or internet speed rises to 10 Mbps and goes higher and higher.
  • For Ultra HD viewing coupled with frequent gaming, the minimum speed needed is 20 Mbps.
  • For live HD viewing coupled with live gaming, the minimum speed of 40 Mbps is required.

It is therefore advisable to choose a neighborhood service provider who not only has the required infrastructure but the desirable speeds at best possible costs.

I have tabulated the NYC internet providers with aspects such as geographical coverage, download speeds, method of transmission and user ratings.

S.No Internet Provider Coverage Max Download Speeds (Mbps) Mode of Service User Ratings
1 Spectrum 19% 940 Cable 3 star
2 RCN 28% 1000 Cable & Fiber 3.5 Star
3 Optimum 44% 400 Cable 3 Star
4 Verizon 99% 940 Fiber 3.5 Star
5 Earthlink 78% 25 DSL 3.5 Star
6 Atlantic BroadBand 14% 100 Cable 2.5 Star
7 Starry internet 2% 200 Fixed wireless 4.5 Star
8 Viasat 99% 25 Satellite 2 Star
9 Hugest Net 99% 25 Satellite 2 Star
10 Xchange Telecom 41% 100 Fixed Wireless Unrated
11 Barrier Free 29% 25 Fixed Wireless Unrated
12 Consolidated communication 7% 50 Cable & DSL 1.5 Star

As evident from this table, there is multitude of options available across the five boroughs and New Yorkers can get the best bang for their buck if they choose the best internet provider in NYC. To have a better overall appreciation, let’s study the top internet providers in each borough.

1. The Bronx

  • Top internet service providers in the Bronx are Optimum, Verizon and spectrum.
  • The Bronx is situated at the north-most point of New York and the three service providers have the best coverage however other service providers have scarce coverage.
  • The coverage of the top three providers gives 91% of the residents with decent speeds starting at 250 Mbps.
  • More than the residential internet services, the area boasts of very good Wi-Fi hotspots from service providers Optimum and Spectrum.

2. Brooklyn

  • Top internet service providers in the borough of Brooklyn are Spectrum, Verizon, Optimum, BarrierFree, Xchange Telecom and Atlantic Broadband.
  • This borough has 100% coverage with speeds better than 250 Mbps.
  • The residents have a bouquet of service providers at their disposal since each of the top providers individually covering at least 60% of the area.
  • There are decent Wi-Fi hotspots in this area as well.

3. Manhattan

Manhattan borough is the most densely populated area of New York and has the most number of service providers.

  • Top providers in this region are Spectrum, Verizon, BarrierFree, Atlantic Broadband and RCN.
  • Spectrum has the best coverage with Verizon being a close second.
  • Half of the residents have option to choose between three service providers for getting speeds in the range of 250 Mbps and spectrum, RCN and Atlantic Broadband can also offer speeds in the vicinity of 1000 Mbps, of course at a higher price.

4. Queens

  • Despite being the largest Borough of New York, there is good internet coverage in Queens with the top service providers being Spectrum, Verizon, Atlantic Broadband, RCN and BarrierFree.
  • Spectrum and Verizon have the widest coverage while Atlantic Broadband covers about third of the area being restricted to the northwest region.
  • There are a sizable number of Wi-Fi zones across this Borough as well.

5. Staten Island

  • The New Yorkers call Staten Island as the forgotten Borough and it lives up to its reputation in the number of internet service providers.
  • The top providers on Staten Island are Verizon, Spectrum and BarrierFree with the largest coverage being provided by Spectrum and Verizon.
  • Interestingly, as per government data, Staten Island residents has better fiber coverage than any other area of New York and almost all the residents have access to internet speed of 250 Mbps or better.

Coverage Reliability 

Taking a dispassionate view of the coverage and availability of internet either through cable or Fiber; Spectrum, Verizon, Atlantic Broadband, RCN and BarrierFree emerge as the best internet providers in NYC but how about internet reliability and other noteworthy features such as low latency, data caps, etc? Here is a list of special features available in the services offered.

  • Spectrum boasts of no data caps while RCN exhibits low latency, Optimum is adjudged being the most reliable while Verizon boasts of fast upload and download speeds.
  • Atlantic Broadband interestingly doesn’t charge any early termination fees. Most of the providers provide reduced upstream bandwidth than the downstream one.

The fastest plans called the gigabit internet are offered by RCN, Spectrum and Verizon. With about 74% of Brooklyn, 50% of Manhattan, around 10% of Queens and less than 5% of Staten Island and Bronx covered under the gigabit internet, the spread is uneven to say the least.

If you compare the cost to arrive at the cheapest internet NYC, there are no easy answers since the cost is a subset of availability and individual choices.

  • The packages across New York range between $29.99 for 50 Mbps by RCN to $104.99 per month for gigabit speeds.
  • The average packages are $39.99 for 200 Mbps with several freebees thrown along, for speeds in the range of 400 Mbps
  • The packages are around $ 59.99 and Verizon provides gigabit connection at $ 79.99 with a host of freebees including $ 100 vouchers.

So who is the best internet provider in NYC, it is undoubtedly Verizon with the widest coverage, reasonable price, good speeds, all piggybacking on the latest technology.

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