Best internet providers in Austin, Texas
Despite its status as a major metro area, Austin has a jumble of internet service providers and connection types with relatively limited availability. Austin has access to a couple of fiber internet providers, but coverage throughout the city is inconsistent. Austin also has multiple cable internet providers, but they have somewhat limited coverage compared to other major US cities.
Double-check what’s available at your address before you decide on a particular internet provider in Austin.
Our top 3 ISP choices in Austin, TX
Our top internet recommendations for Austin are AT&T fiber, Astound Broadband, and Spectrum internet. Spectrum is our third pick but has the widest availability.
#1: AT&T fiber internet
AT&T fiber is one of a handful of fiber internet providers in Austin, and it’s our top pick for its reliability and high-speed connections. AT&T fiber isn’t reliably available in Austin—some areas have more access than others and coverage can be unpredictable. Make sure to check availability at your address before you start dreaming about optic cables.
Read our full AT&T internet review.
#2: Astound Broadband powered by Grande
Astound Broadband offers both cable and fiber internet plans in the Austin area, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find fiber access. Most of Astound’s Austin availability is for cable connections, and even that is a bit iffy as Astound covers less than half of the city. If you can get access to Astound, then it offers fast internet speeds of up to 1 gig.
Read our full Astound Broadband review.
#3: Spectrum internet
Spectrum technically offers both cable and fiber internet in Austin, and its cable plans are much more widely available than either AT&T fiber or Astound. But Spectrum has extremely limited fiber coverage. You’ll likely have access to only a cable internet plan, but that should still work well for you considering Spectrum offers speeds up to 1 gig.
Read our full Spectrum internet review.
All internet providers in Austin
Austin has a few different fiber internet providers, which is more than a lot of cities can say. The only problem is that fiber internet is still difficult to get in Austin and all of its fiber providers have patchwork coverage at best.
You’ll have the best chance of getting access to either AT&T fiber or Google Fiber. Astound and Spectrum offer fiber internet as well, and Astound has wider fiber availability than Spectrum, but both are relatively tiny. You’re much better off trying for Astound or Spectrum’s cable internet plans.
Aside from fiber and cable, Austinites can choose from satellite internet or fixed wireless internet providers. We recommend fixed wireless providers like T-Mobile 5G Home Internet and Verizon Home Internet over satellite providers like Starlink and Viasat. The reason is that satellite internet has high latency and can be frustrating to use even when it says its plans are high speed.
Fastest internet providers in Austin
Google Fiber and AT&T fiber are the fastest internet providers in Austin. AT&T offers speeds as high as 5,000 Mbps, or 5 gigs. Google Fiber has speeds up to 2,000 Mbps, which is 2 gigs. Both of those speeds are way higher than anything a typical internet user could possibly need.
Astound Broadband and Spectrum both offer plans with speeds up to 1 gig (1,000 Mbps). That’s still more speed than you need, but it might be a more accessible way to get gig internet if that’s what you want.
How much speed do you need?
Cheapest internet providers in Austin
Of our top three internet providers in Austin, Astound Broadband has the cheapest plans. Spectrum has a slightly more expensive plan for slightly lower speeds. Keep in mind with both Astound and Spectrum that you may face extra fees for things like installation and equipment, and prices will increase after the first year or two.
If you want to try out a fixed wireless internet provider, then T-Mobile 5G Home Internet is an excellent budget option. It doesn’t charge installation or equipment fees. You can install the gateway device all by yourself.
Internet options in nearby cities
Most of Austin’s neighboring cities have similar inconsistent access to fiber internet. Some nearby cities have options Austin doesn’t—namely Optimum internet and CenturyLink internet. But internet speeds in many Austin suburbs are roughly the same as in the city.
To see more details, check out what’s available in these cities:
What Austin residents are saying on Reddit
Austin residents on social media have talked a lot about which internet service provider has the best service and whether or not Google Fiber outages are increasing. Some Austinites have asked people in nearby cities if Optimum is better than Spectrum internet.
The overall theme among the chatter is that fiber internet tends to be better than cable internet, and that AT&T fiber seems to work well for most people. (At least those who can access it.)
So I'm in North Austin kinda by the Arboretum area and for the better part of the last two years, we've been enjoying Google fiber and happy to not be on Spectrum or whatever instability piece of garbage infrastructure internet was provided in this area. That was until, RECENTLY
I don't know if this is the result of the downed limbs from the last major ice storm and people are still trying to play catch up, but it's getting strange now. Our "super reliable and dependable internet" is now down without warning and the only info we get is an address checker with a generic message and a time estimate of service restoration which has literally never been accurate in the 4 or 5 times it's been down.
Some part of me that doesn't really know anything about this stuff wonders how outages can affect us in the middle of the day when you want to assume that fail-safes are in place and that the service could just get rerouted... Guess that's a boomeresque pipedream.
I just want to live in the future already :(
Edit: so if I may retract a bit of my earlier "Karen" mode I would also like to mention that I have a new found respect for the construction companies around town right now. You're all out there busting you're ass, and I'm admittedly in the wrong and a bit spoiled with access to the internet. I understand and appreciate how dangerous the work you're doing is to bring us safer roads. I have never seen so much roadwork going on in Austin.
Thank you for the risks you take to reduce accidents. Today I got to appreciate the sunlight and much needed R&R from the hustle and bustle of internetspeak, zoom call -___-, and just take things a bit slower. Thank you!
I fix fiber cables. Generally when you see an outage that lasts a few days it’s going to be something like a cut cable. Depending on what and where it got cut sometimes these can be easy to fix or very difficult.
Google does a lot of street work so if it’s cut underground they can potentially need to cut the street, repair the conduit, pull new fiber in from handhole to handhole and resplice the new piece in.
If you have materials on hand that can take all night sometimes. If you have to wait on things (contractors, cable) it can stretch out into days.
Generally with aerial work (pole to pole) you can get most stuff at least temporarily working within 8 hours.
In regards to failsafes and rerouting, that is generally reserved for services with a service agreement. I don’t think that’s something google would offer as it’s generally reserved for businesses and costs thousands of dollars per month. In those situations fiber is fed from 2 directions so if one gets cut they don’t go out of service.
We have spectrum and the speeds drive me crazy. Piss poor upload speeds (25mbps), and the speed fluctuates during the day. Unfortunately, AT&T fiber isn't available at my address, do we can't go with them, but I'm hoping there's a better alternative to Spectrum.
Literally bought this house because fiber was available from AT&T I love it.
I feel bad for spectrum users it’s pretty terrible. And the new routers they give you are some of the worst. And a lot of the houses that are older don’t have coax capable of handling the newer bandwidth speeds.
My cousin in FL is having a hell of a time because their apartment basically needs all new wires run and spectrum said they would do it and now they won’t.
Wish you luck OP.
I’m moving near the Lakeline Mall area and those are my only two options.
AT&T seems to be mostly reliable, from what I’ve read on here and from friends, but I’ve never heard anything from Astound
I hate AT&T as a company, but AT&T fiber ain't bad at all. I usually get close to the 1gbps advertised speed. Never had any outages with them to date in the past ~6 years of service. I pay $80/month, no promos or contracts.
The last post I saw on this topic was 3 yrs ago so wanted to see if anything changed.
I'm getting jerked around by Spectrum support, want to see if there are any recommended alternatives. I'm willing to pay a little more for better service.
Google fiber... I don't regret it
(I’m sorry in advance if this isn’t allowed)
Austinites - who do you get the internet from? After 48 hours without internet from AT&T (this is the Gilligan’s Island of outages, customer service promised it was a 2 hour outage, then it would be better by midnight, then by morning, and now they’ve been saying “24 hours” for the last 24 hours - not to mention prior shenanigans with coverage in previous years) I am ready to run into the arms of another provider.
I live in that pocket of North Austin that cannot get Google Fiber. Is Spectrum or Xfinity etc all about the same?
Anyone have polarizing feeling about any other companies?
Thanks in advance!
I have Astound which was formerly branded as Grande. My roommate and I are terminally online and for the year and a half we've had it we have only noticed about 2 minutes of downtime.
Internet news and infrastructure in Austin, TX
Despite its somewhat limited fiber options, most of Austin has high-speed internet coverage. About 97% of the city can theoretically get internet speeds of at least 100 Mbps and only slightly less of the city has access to 200 Mbps internet speeds.
A little more than half of Austin has access to gig-level internet speeds. But that doesn’t really matter since gig internet is faster than the grand majority of people need. 100 to 250 Mbps should serve you well.
As for the Austinites without internet access, the Austin American-Statesman reported in 2022 that Austin has a “digital divide.” Residents who face language barriers or can’t afford the cost of high-speed internet plans experience “digital inequity,” which can significantly impact education and opportunity. (1) Affordable access to reliable internet would be one step in the direction of digital equality.
Frequently asked internet questions in Austin
Spectrum internet has high-speed plans and relatively affordable pricing in Austin, Texas. It offers mainly cable connection types, which aren’t as reliable as fiber internet, and some people have complained about Spectrum-issued routers or modems. But on the whole, Spectrum is a solid internet provider that’s widely available to Austin residents.
Internet speeds in Austin go as high as 5,000 Mbps, or 5 gigs, through AT&T fiber. No residential household needs speeds that high, and AT&T fiber is not yet widely available throughout Austin. But if you have a true need for speed, then you can check out AT&T fiber availability in your area.
Yes, Google has said that it plans to expand its operations in existing locations, including Austin. (2)