Our top 3 ISP choices in Cary, NC
#1: AT&T internet
Almost every neighborhood in Cary has AT&T fiber access. We rated AT&T number one among all national internet providers, and it received high scores for both value and reliability. Legacy DSL customers should know that AT&T no longer sells DSL service, and fiber will be much faster with way fewer outages and headaches.
Read our full AT&T internet review.
#2: Google Fiber internet
Local reviews rave about Google Fiber service. Google is one of the easiest ISPs to deal with, and it has fast, consistent service. We slotted it in at number two because it’s not available everywhere yet, but if you live at an address with service, it’s a fantastic choice.
Read our full Google Fiber internet review.
#3: Spectrum internet
If you can’t get AT&T or Google Fiber, chances are pretty high that you can get Spectrum. Spectrum’s cable service covers over 90% of Cary. Some customers are frustrated by areas of aging infrastructure and second-year price hikes, but its 1 Gbps download speeds are comparable to what you’ll get with fiber, and Spectrum offers budget plans that might be easier on the wallet than its fiber competitors.
Read our full Spectrum internet review.
All internet providers in Cary
Aside from our recommendations, most internet options in Cary fall into two buckets: fixed wireless and satellite. Fixed wireless uses the same technology that you use for cell service to get home internet. It’s slower and less reliable than either cable or fiber, but if you already have cell phone plans from T-Mobile, Verizon, or US Cellular, bundling could be a frugal choice.
Starlink satellite internet might have a lot of buzz in the news, but satellite in general is going to be slower and more expensive than other internet types, and you should have better choices nearly everywhere. Skip Starlink, Viasat, or HughesNet unless they’re the only option at your address.
A very small percentage of Cary households can get Frontier fiber, which comes close to both Google and AT&T in terms of speed and performance.
Fastest internet providers in Cary
AT&T has the fastest speeds by far in Cary. AT&T advertises symmetrical upload and download speeds up to 5,000 Mbps (5 Gbps). Google Fiber comes in second with an also-superfast 2 Gbps download speed. Realistically, these plans aren’t worth the cost for most households. AT&T, Google Fiber, and Spectrum all offer a 1 gig choice that should more than cover what even large households need.
How much speed do you need?
Cheapest internet providers in Cary
Spectrum offers the cheapest plans in Cary, with a 100 Mbps option for around $30 per month. This should be enough speed for smaller households.
If you want to save by bundling with cell service, T-Mobile and Verizon both offer steep discounts if you have qualifying cell plans, and you can tack on home internet for around $25 per month. Out of the fiber providers, Google Fiber has the cheapest plans, starting at around $70 per month.
Learn more about free and low-cost internet options.
Internet options in nearby cities
If you’re in the Triangle, you can get Spectrum pretty much everywhere. Most places have AT&T fiber access as well, though if you travel to Holly Springs, you’ll find that it’s a gap in AT&T coverage. Google Fiber is slowly spreading its footprint in the area, and you might be able to find small local providers like Ting as well. See what your internet options are in these cities.
What Cary residents are saying on Reddit
We reviewed recent social media threads from Cary and the broader area. The overwhelming consensus seems to be that locals love Google Fiber, and if they can’t get Google, they prefer AT&T to Spectrum. The T-Mobile subreddit had a positive, in-depth review of T-Mobile fixed wireless from a Cary resident that could give insight to anyone considering fixed wireless for the first time.
What has people's experience been with Google Fiber in Cary lately. I heard there were a lot of customer service issues at first when it launched, but the speed and the mesh wifi offer they keep sending me is tempting.
Is the service good? How is the customer service now? Are the speeds as advertised? And has anyone used their mesh system and how was it?
I don't even think you need to ask this question. Google Fiber is far and away the best internet provider in the area in all metrics. Customer service is phenomenal. Internet speeds can't be beat. And the free mesh is a huge bonus.
How’s your experience been like with Google Fiber in Cary? Is it reliable?
I currently have AT&T fiber, which has its pros and cons. It’s reliable, but the included wifi router kinda sucks. So I’m considering trying Google.
Ironically, the only times that my internet went out was when Google was installing fiber in my neighborhood. They cut the AT&T fiber twice. So, what little experience I have with Google Fiber is pretty bad, haha :)
I live in West Cary near Wegmans off Davis drive. Service has been great. I haven't had any issues with reliability. I signed up for the two gigabit service and I use my own modem. You can't beat it for the cost and reliability.
Setup was so simple; with the Home Internet app the process only took me around 10 minutes…mostly just waiting for the app connecting to the gateway and me myself actually setting it up. The speeds are out of this world: Sometimes I get 700 MB/s down and 100 MB/s up but 90% of the time it’s somewhere between 150-300 MB/s down and 80~ MB/s up with 40-70ms ping and 1.5-3ms of jitter. You can also check your advanced gateway performance settings and the numbers have looked very good. And considering how all of this was for $50/month (it’ll $25/month for me due to me being a Magenta Max customer…which is absolute steal if you ask me) - 7 devices connected, and so far works like an absolute charm.
T-Mobile and Mangenta Max have been awesome. I moved my accounts from AT&T last month and I have been so impressed with what T-Mobile offers (from free AAA for a year, or no premium data cap - or freaking $10 off your YouTube TV bill if you use Home Internet, which I currently can say are all legit), you simply can’t go the other way around. These guys know their stuff, and they actually INCLUDE taxes and fees when you actually see the different post paid plan fees most of the time, and care for their customers by giving out these cool deals. AT&T never did that for me and even with their $75 a month plan I got deprioritised after 50GBs, and only got free HBO Max as a perk. Well, T-Mobile is $75 too for me and I’m getting 10x more back than before (I’m using the military rate for T-Mobile like I did on AT&T)
Great job T-Mobile. This has been so promising so far.
Screw AT&T - and screw Verizon too..with their unhelpful customer service - T-Mobile isn’t perfect but they’re heading in that direction, which should be a wake up call for the competitors.
it’ll $25/month for me due to me being a Magenta Max customer…
Good deal. Just a minor point of clarification in case someone is trying to get the same deal. The Magenta Max discount on internet brings the price to $30 ($35 without autopay discount).
The current promo (which I think you got) is better and open to other account plans, not just Max. That price is $25 ($30 without autopay).
Moving here and don’t want crappy internet. Can someone help a brother out?
Spectrum is the waffle house of providers. They are almost always an option no matter what but experience can vary greatly based on location.
I am grateful for their coverage but wish they would make an effort to replace last mile coax with fiber where the coax loops clearly have persistent issues. I would be happy to pay 2x what TWC charged if they did more proactive upgrades on the last mile.
AT&T on the other hand is the gas station bodega of providers. Sometimes you get a gleaming Sheetz palace at 3am with full food service. If you are out in the middle of nowhere you get a Stop-n-Sip with day old tuna fish and egg sandwiches in a lukewarm cooler if you are lucky.
Looking to hear about your experience In the north Raleigh area, which of the two would be better? I see they are close in rates but which would suck less?
I work from home for the time being so a consistent and strong connection is important.
Southwest Raleigh here but I hate Spectrum with a passion they suck, customer service is a joke if anything goes wrong
Internet news and infrastructure in Cary, NC
Cary residents are in an excellent position when it comes to internet access. A high 80% of the city has access to gig speeds or higher (1), and that number is only going to grow with time. Google Fiber has confirmed that it plans to continue expansion in North Carolina, including Cary. (2)
It’s a little less clear whether AT&T will grow its large fiber network. A Bloomberg report indicated that AT&T may roll back its fiber expansion plans by as much as 39% in 2023 in response to fears of an economic downturn. (3)
Frequently asked internet questions in Cary
AT&T is the better internet provider in Cary overall. Because it’s a fiber provider, it has more reliable infrastructure and symmetrical download and upload speeds. That being said, Spectrum has more varied pricing tiers than AT&T does, so it can be a better choice for budget shoppers. Spectrum also covers some areas of Cary that AT&T doesn’t. Compare AT&T and Spectrum internet side by side.
When it comes to internet service, sometimes the best ability is availability. AT&T and Google have comparable internet in a lot of areas—similar speeds, fiber technology—but AT&T is available to significantly more households in Cary, at least for now. If you have both as options, Google charges less per month for its gig plan, but AT&T has more choices for speeds and prices. See how they stack up against each other.
Yes, Cary has excellent fiber coverage from multiple providers. AT&T offers fiber to almost all of Cary, and Google Fiber is expanding its fiber service in the area. AT&T’s fiber speeds reach 5 Gbps upload and download, while Google maxes out at 2 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload.
- “FCC national broadband map,” Federal Communications Commission. Accessed 20 March 2023.
- “Google Fiber expanding in NC, too, spokesperson says,” WRAL Tech Wire. Accessed 22 March 2023.
- “Verizon, AT&T scale back fiber rollout for fast internet amidst slowing economy,” Bloomberg. Accessed 20 March 2023.