Best internet providers in Rochester, New York
Frontier is our top pick for internet providers in Rochester, but only if you’re able to get its fiber service. If not, Spectrum offers great cable internet at an affordable price. Greenlight Networks, a local fiber service provider, has the least availability but provides excellent service with competitive rates to those who can get it. The good news is that there are a number of options in the Rochester area, so you get to be picky!
- Plans starting at $50.00 - $200.00
- Download speeds up to 5000 Mbps
- Upload speeds up to 5000 Mbps
Disclaimer: Availability and pricing are subject to location. Conditions apply.
Our top 3 ISP choices in Rochester, NY
Our top recommendations for internet in Rochester are Frontier fiber, Spectrum, and T-Mobile 5G Home Internet.
#1: Frontier internet
We’ve chosen Frontier as our top provider in Rochester because its fiber internet plans are super fast and budget-friendly. Its DSL internet plans, however, are a different story. Frontier’s DSL coverage is much more prevalent in Rochester than fiber coverage, so pay attention to which service is available at your address. If you’re lucky enough to qualify for a fiber plan with Frontier, take the deal and run! If not, consider an alternative provider before you’re stuck with the less-than-ideal DSL service.
Read our full Frontier internet review.
#2: Spectrum internet
Spectrum comes in at the number-two spot for best internet service providers (or ISPs) in Rochester because of its wide availability, reliable service, and reasonably priced plans. Spectrum’s plans range from 30 Mbps on the low end, which is the minimum viable speed for basic internet use, all the way up to 1 Gbps, which is more than enough for even the heaviest of internet users. While Spectrum does typically hike your monthly price after pione year of service, we still think it’s a solid choice.
Read our full Spectrum internet review.
#3: Greenlight internet
Greenlight is ranked third for providers in Rochester because of its fast speeds and no-nonsense pricing but limited availability. Plans range from 500 Mbps to 5 Gbps, which is more speed than any residential home realistically needs… but it’s nice to have the option. Greenlight’s pricing seems to be competitive with Frontier’s fiber packages, but its installation fee is $100— double what Frontier charges. Still, Greenlight is headquartered in Rochester, so it’s likely you’ll get better, more personal service if you run into any concerns.
All internet providers in Rochester
Our top recommendations aside, there aren’t any other options we’d really recommend. T-Mobile and Verizon offer 5G fixed wireless connections, which are fine but less ideal than fiber or cable. Verizon has very spotty fixed wireless availability throughout the Rochester area; even if you’re able to get the service, we recommend you go with T-Mobile anyway.
The only other providers that service the area are satellite internet providers (Hughesnet, Viasat, and Starlink), which we do not recommend unless you have no other options. Satellite internet can be very expensive and extremely slow. We’d even suggest Frontier’s DSL plan over satellite—although Spectrum’s availability suggests you have better options.
Fastest internet providers in Rochester
Frontier and Greenlight are neck and neck for fastest ISP in Rochester considering they offer the exact same download and upload speeds—500 Mbps, and 1, 2, or 5 Gbps. The 500 Mbps and 1 gig plans are great for residential use, but we haven’t found a reason any household should need hyper-gig plans like 2 or 5 Gbps. Spectrum can technically hang with the quick kids because it offers a 1 Gbps plan, but it’s still a cable connection which is slightly less reliable.
How much speed do you need?
Cheapest internet providers in Rochester
Spectrum technically has the most affordable plan at $20 per month, but it’ll get you only 30 Mbps. This is enough speed for a single casual internet user, but starts to get dicey if you do more than scroll social media and check your email. For just $10 more per month, you can get 100 Mbps through Spectrum, which is a much more comfortable speed. Fiber and Greenlight will have cheaper pricing than Spectrum for plans in the 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps realm. If you have a need for speed, shoot for a fiber provider to find the most affordable options.
Learn how to get low-cost or free internet.
Internet options in nearby cities
Spectrum has the widest available throughout the entire state of New York, and it’s no exception with the suburbs of Rochester. In fact, there isn’t much variability city over city in the Rochester area—all suburbs have some access to fiber through Frontier or Greenlight, unlimited access to cable through Spectrum, and unlimited access to satellite through Starlink, Viasat, or HughesNet. The only real variability throughout the greater Rochester area is how much fiber access there is in any given suburb. See what’s available in these cities:
What Rochester residents are saying on Reddit
Social threads about internet service in Rochester mostly suggest Greenlight is the preferred, coveted provider—but the availability is limited. There are some sour sentiments surrounding Spectrum due to its customer service, but many residents note it’s stepped up since Greenlight started expanding. There’s also some concern with Spectrum’s price hikes, but many people say they’ve been able to call and negotiate their bill back down. A common thread regarding Spectrum’s service is that it’s good if you provide your own modem.
I am looking for decent internet for a decent price. I see Rochester gets spectrum but I am curious if there is a lesser known internet provider that is either cheaper or better etc.
In order of best speed / pricing:
In order of availability:
If you go with Spectrum, buy your own modem and router***.*** I cannot stress that enough. The stuff they loan out is horrendously unreliable and the cause of the overwhelming majority of service complaints.
We are interested in moving to Rochester. We still have some research to do, but our biggest concern is home internet, because we both work remotely. What’s the fastest that is offered and who is it through? Thanks so much!
Your biggest concern moving to Rochester is internet speed? You must need some serious bandwidth for that WFH.
I have greenlight but I am pretty sure spectrum goes to 1 Gbps.
I moved to a part of Rochester that, unfortunately, does not have Greenlight. That's who I've had for 5 years and now I have Spectrum. It is so unbelievably unreliable. It's fast... when you have it. Which is, at most, half the time. I know Spectrum sucks, but has anyone had success with talking to them? Is it the equipment? Is there anything that can be done?
I have used my own modem since the beginning and have had largely trouble-free service from them for the past five years. I routinely get more speed than I am actually paying for and I can count the number of non power-related outages on one hand. Additionally, the one time I was having issues they dispatched a tech the same day and he promptly fixed it. Haven’t had trouble since. (Still kind of in awe about that one.)
I do have an appointment to have Frontier Fiber installed in about a week, though - for the same price as Spectrum, the symmetrical upload will be really nice for working from home.
Moving to Henrietta, they say they offer fiber. If that’s true I think it’s worth it. If it is just their basic DSL I think i’ll stick with spectrum.
If you can get fiber and it is under 70 a month take it. Spectrum is sticking it to me right now and I have no other option. It keeps going up and they won't talk to me, I have no other option it is horrible.
I live near downtown and am limited to satellite internet service, which means I’m stuck with Frontier giving me a whopping 20mbps. StarLink seems to be the only alternative, but I’ve come across mixed reviews (daily outages, slow speeds) as it’s intended for more remote areas.
Do you or anyone you know use StarLink in Rochester? Is it a viable alternative at this point in time? I’m willing to splurge on the router and pay $99 for good wifi but don’t want to spend more for less.
Edit: It would cost ~$60,000 to install Spectrum and Greenlight is far off from reaching my area.
Hot damn, where are you at that only allows for satellite? That makes no sense. My fiancée's mom lives out in the boonies in Cattaraugus county and she's got Spectrum.
Internet news and infrastructure in Rochester, NY
While Spectrum continues to be the most prominently available ISP in the Rochester area, a number of developments within the past several years have contributed to diversifying service options for residents.
While Greenlight was established in 2011, its expansion was expedited after a $100 million investment from Tom Golisano in 2019. (1) Greenlight continues this expansion today, but it appears to be facing a new competitor, GoNetspeed. GoNetspeed is a new player in the fiber space and hasn’t quite made it into Rochester proper, but it has availability to areas just 30 miles away with plans to expand throughout Western New York. (2)
Multiple service providers aside, Rochester residents also have access to affordable internet after Governor Cuomo signed an affordable internet law in 2021 requiring all ISPs servicing New York to offer internet access at $15 per month to low-income residents. (3)
Frequently asked internet questions in Rochester
Spectrum has plans with speeds ranging from 30 Mbps download and 4 Mbps upload up to 1 Gbps download and 500 Mbps upload.
Yes, Rochester has fiber internet! While availability can be limited, Frontier and Greenlight both offer fiber plans in Rochester, NY.