Best internet providers in Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham has some solid choices for internet, including our favorite internet provider, AT&T fiber. You’ll also be able to get cable internet, DSL, fixed wireless, or satellite internet.
Our top 3 ISP choices in Birmingham, AL
AT&T fiber is the best internet in Birmingham, but it’s not right for everyone and not available everywhere. So check our Spectrum and T-Mobile Home Internet too.
#1: AT&T fiber internet
AT&T is our top fiber internet company for a reason. You get fast, reliable, inexpensive internet. You get freedom from contracts, equipment rental fees, and data caps. The downside is that you can’t get this service in parts of Norwood, Magnolia Heights, Smithfield Historic District, and Ward Park. If that’s the case, check out Spectrum or T-Mobile instead.
#2: Spectrum internet
Spectrum offers a huge footprint of mostly cable internet in the Birmingham area, which is the next-best thing to fiber. Spectrum has a wide variety of speeds at a decent price, even after you factor in hidden fees, but be ready for annual price hikes and mediocre customer service. Or check out T-Mobile instead.
#3: T-Mobile Home Internet
T-Mobile covers more area than AT&T fiber and Spectrum, but you might be missing this option in some of the same places these other providers don’t cover either. Still, T-Mobile delivers average download speeds of 182 Mbps without a contract or hidden fees, which makes it a good alternative to Spectrum. You may have less reliability, and the signal could be poor where you live, but it’s worth trying for a month.
All internet providers in Birmingham
Birmingham residents have access to up to eight internet providers in the city. In addition to our top picks, a very small percentage of residents can get CenturyLink DSL, but if you can’t, you’re not missing much.
Verizon offers fixed wireless internet to about a third of the city. T-Mobile is a slightly better bargain, but if you’re already a Verizon cell phone customer and you can get a great fixed wireless signal at your home, you could get up to 300 Mbps for super cheap.
Finally, you have three satellite internet options: HughesNet, Viasat, and Starlink. Generally, satellite is only the best option if you have no other options because this type of internet is notoriously slow, unreliable, and expensive. Starlink is a cut above the rest, but it’s waitlisted in Birmingham so there’s no telling when you’ll actually be able to get hooked up.
Fastest internet providers in Birmingham
AT&T fiber has the fastest plan in Birmingham at a breakneck 5 gigs, but no one needs that much speed. Nearly all households would feel speedy with 1 gig, which Spectrum also offers. However, AT&T’s 1 gig plan has faster upload speeds, so it still comes out on top.
How much speed do you need?
Cheapest internet providers in Birmingham
The cheapest internet provider in Birmingham is Spectrum with 30 Mbps for around $20—plus hidden fees. However, if you're a T-Mobile or Verizon cell phone customer, you’ll get a hefty discount with these providers that give Spectrum a run for your money.
Internet options in nearby cities
Almost all the providers that serve Birmingham can be found throughout the surrounding areas—except CenturyLink’s DSL, and we’re not crying about that. Surprisingly, most surrounding cities have 1 gig plans available in at least 50% of households, compared to Birmingham’s 32%.
In several nearby cities, C Spire provides a good fiber option, but availability is highly limited. Still, if you can’t get AT&T fiber where you live, it’s worth checking out.
Check out internet in these cities outside Birmingham, AL:
What Birmingham residents are saying on Reddit
Locals have more complaints about AT&T than we’ve seen in a lot of other cities, mostly about the company’s lack of transparency at sign-up. Some residents recommend vigilance rather than using a different provider because—shady practices aside—the service itself seems good. Many of the negative comments about AT&T refer to its legacy DSL or Uverse service, which new customers can’t get anymore.
The reliability of other providers seems highly location-dependent. We’d expect that from fixed wireless providers like T-Mobile and Verizon, but it seems Spectrum outages vary highly by location too.
We’re moving to the Hoover area
If you get fiber, AT&T. I had a horrible time with spectrum outtages. I’ve only had a couple with AT&T in several years.
This might be highly area dependent.
I have spectrum and it's unreliable as hell. I'm in Crestwood North and UVerse has just become available. Anyone have any experience with it in the area?
I'm in Crestwood North too and have AT&T fiber and it's been great. Just make sure it's fiber and not DSL (have a coworker with the latter and it's horrible).
I am considering switching from Spectrum to T-mobile internet. Has anyone here switched over? How has your experience been so far? We do stream our tv and both frequently use WiFi at the same time.
I would check to see if you get full 5G service from t-mobile at your home. I live in hoover, but ina weird pocket where T-mobile 5G is weak, and my phone is typically on LTE.
I tested out t-mobile internet and when it worked it was great. DL speeds near 500mb/s. Unfortunately it would at times dip below 5 mb/s and with so many streaming devices it wrecked whatever we were doing. I wanted it to work, but unfortunately had to cancel.
They told me to keep the gateway tower, or whatever they called it, so I may try it again sometime in the next year. It was a little over a year ago that I tried it.
Moving to Vestavia Hills and curious which internet service is best. I thought AT&T fiber may be an option but seems that is not the case. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Spectrum is prominent and AT&T is slowly moving equipment in. Not sure on their time frame though
I am from out of town but have been asked by my grandparents who live in Hoover to figure out the best cable/internet providers in the area. What are your thoughts and experiences?
AT&T Fiber if available.
Internet news and infrastructure in Birmingham, AL
A third of Birmingham residents can get 1 gig speeds, and nearly all can get 250 Mbps. (1) Those are great numbers, but there are a few areas left in the city where only satellite internet is available. That puts Birmingham behind the curve compared to other major cities.
Relatively new to the Birmingham area, C Spire is building out a fiber optic network, starting in the suburb of Homewood and fanning out from there. (2) That means you could see even more 1 gig availability in Birmingham in the next few years.
Frequently asked internet questions in Birmingham
That depends. AT&T fiber is better than Spectrum. It has faster plans, better upload speeds, and more value packed into each plan. However, AT&T DSL is a different story. DSL is slower and less consistent than fiber. New customers can’t get AT&T DSL anymore, and we say good riddance. If you happen to still have AT&T DSL, try to switch to its fiber service or check out Spectrum instead. Compare them both.
Yes! The largest fiber provider in Birmingham is AT&T fiber. All plans have symmetrical speeds, and you can get from 300 Mbps to 5,000 Mbps—though almost no one needs more than 1,000 Mbps.
Birmingham also has a small local provider called C Spire that offers fiber in the area. It’s not in our top picks because of its low availability, but if you can get it, it could be better than Spectrum or T-Mobile.
No, Xfinity isn’t available in Birmingham or most of its suburbs. Lake View and Tuscaloosa to the west have some Xfinity fiber service, but both are pretty far outside Birmingham.
If you’re looking for a cable internet provider in Birmingham, the city is Spectrum territory. But you can also find AT&T fiber, and both T-Mobile and Verizon fixed wireless in Birmingham.