Best internet providers in Racine, Wisconsin
The three best internet providers in Racine are AT&T, Spectrum, and T-Mobile, according to our team of expert reviewers. Each offers a different internet technology type that comes with its own pros and cons.
If you need very fast speeds for both upload and download plus rock-solid reliability, AT&T is a great choice. It will cost you at least $55 per month, though. With Spectrum, you can get much cheaper plans, and some very fast plans, but the upload speeds can’t compete. T-Mobile is a nice option if you’re bundling or can’t get hardwired, but you may face slowdowns at certain times of day.
Our top 3 ISP choices in Racine, WI
If you’re in Racine, there’s a good chance you can choose between fiber, cable, and fixed wireless internet.
#1: AT&T internet
AT&T fiber internet is our top pick nationwide for its fast and reliable speeds, excellent customer service, and nationwide network of hotspots. Its plans start at 300 Mbps, which is plenty fast for almost any home, but its prices are higher than you’ll pay with some competitors. There are no hidden fees or contracts to worry about, but you may be on the hook for $50 if you set up your equipment yourself or up to $100 if you need a pro to help. Either way, the Wi-Fi equipment is included with the monthly price—and it looks nice on a desk.
AT&T has been busy replacing its DSL network with fiber, but some areas of Racine may still be stuck with DSL—particularly neighborhoods around Sturtevant, Wind Point, and Union Grove. That means much slower connections and worse pricing. The good news is that AT&T isn’t building out its DSL network at all anymore, so anywhere you can get a new AT&T plan, you’ll be getting fiber.
Read our full AT&T internet review.
#2: Spectrum internet
Cable internet from Spectrum is available to about 9 in 10 homes in Racine, and there’s a wide range of plans to choose from. (1) If you live alone or don’t use the internet heavily, the $29.99 monthly plan is a good deal. For bigger families or people working from home, we usually recommend the 300 Mbps or 500 Mbps plans. If you have multiple gamers or streamers and need to ensure your home network is up to the challenge, you can get speeds of 1 Gbps, but you’ll have to pay a lot more for that speed with Spectrum than you would with AT&T. If you use your own router, you can avoid the monthly $5 equipment fee.
Read our full Spectrum internet review.
#3: T-Mobile internet
If paying just one bill for both your mobile phone and home internet sounds nice, you’re in luck! T-mobile’s fastest offering, 5G Ultra Capacity, is available throughout the Racine area. (2) That means home internet speeds of between 30 and 182 Mbps, with variation depending on how far you are from a 5G tower and how busy the network is at any given time. We love that T-Mobile offers a 15-day free trial so you can see for yourself how fast the network is where you live. Just be aware shipping time is included in that trial period, so be sure to plug in your gear and try it out as soon as it arrives. There are no equipment costs to worry about, and bundled plans are available for as little as $25.
Read our full T-Mobile 5G home internet review.
All internet providers in Racine
Our top picks for internet cover nearly every home in the city and are your best bet for cost and reliability, but other providers are also available. If you want to bundle your home phone with Verizon, you can get plans for about the same price as what T-Mobile offers, but you’ll be limited to 4G LTE in most of Racine. (3) If you go with US Cellular for your mobile phone and home internet, you’ll get fairly reliable 5G coverage downtown, but may have to deal with 4G LTE or even 3G North of State Street or southwest of Washington Avenue. (4)
Satellite internet is also available in Racine from each of the top three satellite companies, but we rarely recommend it. Speeds are slower than either DSL or 3G, and plans are usually a lot more expensive than cable or fiber internet. Plus, who wants to drill a hole in the roof for a receiver dish?
Fastest internet providers in Racine
AT&T is the fastest internet provider in Racine and throughout the Milwaukee metro area. The fastest plan we usually recommend for home internet is 1 Gbps, but you can pay for speeds of up to 5 Gbps in some places. Since AT&T is a fiber-to-the-home provider, its upload speeds are as fast as its download speeds, making AT&T a great choice for live streaming gameplay or posting to YouTube or TikTok.
How much speed do you need?
Cheapest internet providers in Racine
The cheapest way to get wired internet in Racine is through Spectrum, which costs roughly $30 per month for 100 Mbps cable plans. If you don't already have a compatible router you can use, you'll end up paying an extra $5 per month. If you use T-Mobile for cell phone service, you might be able to get even cheaper internet, at $25 per month.
Fortunately, all the providers we recommend here participate in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program, a taxpayer-funded initiative that provides $30 per month toward internet bills for certain seniors and families with students. Providers sometimes throw in laptops or tablets as well. Learn more about how to get free or cheap internet in Racine.
Internet options in nearby cities
Racine is similar to nearby cities when it comes to home internet availability. AT&T, Spectrum, and T-Mobile are our top providers throughout the region. However, additional fiber providers are laying cable in some areas. TDS Telecom has announced a buildout in New Berlin (5), for example, and in Kenosha, the city is building a $100 million open-access fiber network. It is being privately funded but will be available to any internet provider who wants to use it to sell its services. (6)
Learn more about internet options in cities near Racine:
What Racine residents are saying on Reddit
People in and around Racine love their fiber internet, and they recommend AT&T or another fiber provider to anyone who’s eligible. Spectrum doesn’t have a great reputation, but the service has gotten more reliable in recent years, Wisconsinites report. Many people also have nice things to say about fixed wireless internet from companies like T-Mobile, Verizon, and US Cellular, and they recommend DIRECTV for TV (especially if you don’t use Spectrum for internet).
Looking for very good internet speed 300+, no land line, with TV that covers premium TV and Bally
What combination of providers is best? The ATT/DirectTV, Spectrum, YouTubeTV, etc.... sites too confusing for me.
I need strong internet and most TV networks but not high on Spectrum, my current provider. I feel I'm paying way too much for the service referenced above. Thanks to all who help!
I had Spectrum for about 10 years and my most recent promotions had expired except for a $10 off a month promo. I called and they wouldn’t give me a new rate while that $10 promo existed on my account so I cancelled and switched to AT&T Fiber. I get 1 gig up and down for $80/mon.
Unfortunately if you want Ballys I think your only option is Spectrum, Directv stream, or buy the new Ballys streaming package direct from Ballys. YouTube TV and Hulu don’t have Ballys. Sling TV may have Ballys.
I went with Hulu live tv for $75 (no ads version). I didn’t care about Ballys. It comes with no ads Hulu, ESPN+ (for NHL) and Disney+. So far been really happy with it and don’t regret leaving Spectrum behind.
Hello fellow Milwaukeeans! I recently moved back into the area and I currently have Spectrum which has been absolutely terrible. What internet providers have you had the best experience with?
Switched to ATT fiber over the summer and it’s great. Faster and way more reliable than spectrum. Good luck canceling spectrum though, it will likely take hours and that’s not an exaggeration.
Just got an alert from ATT that I had used 65% of my data cap, I had specifically negotiated out of a data cap 2 years ago, and our service has been horrible the last 6 months.
What's everybody using/paying for internet, and do you like it?
Are you in the city? Can you point to a cell phone tower from your house? If so, get t-mobile internet.
I'm currently at about 63.99 for internet only on a "promotion" from Spectrum. My equipment.
I really hate calling to haggle for a new deal because they put up such a fight and I'm terrible at it.
What's everyone's rates look like? Suggestions?
Just had AT&T fiber installed, $30 for 300/300. Unlimited data and equipment included, no extra fees. Best internet quality I've ever had.
People who’ve switched from Spectrum to AT&T fiber for internet and TV, what are your thoughts? Fiber just became available in my area and it’s cheaper and faster than Spectrum, but I’ve heard some people say that AT&T is worse than spectrum (if that’s even possible!). I have a feeling that the people who say this are comparing spectrum to AT&T when it was DSL/dish and not now that it’s fiber. Please help me make an informed decision here. Thanks!
EDIT: It sounds like fiber is the clear winner for internet. Now please forgive me but I still enjoy cable TV too. Would you say that AT&T’s TV service is better than Spectrum’s as well? I have to assume AT&T’s TV service is also being piped in via the fiber and is no longer the DSL or dish BS?
EDIT 2: Thanks again for all the input and info. But, I’m not giving up cable or whatever the AT&T version of it is. I enjoy just flipping and seeing what’s on. I find so much interesting stuff that way. For example, I fell in love with Gunsmoke this way and can guarantee I never would have picked up Paramount + to stream it intentionally. Im very fortunate in that I have a well paying job that allows me to get basically all the streaming services I want and still enjoy the randomness of cable. Plus the DVR is nice.
Just one data point but I’ve had ATT fiber for a couple years and it’s been outstanding as far as lack of outages.
On the other hand I’m also an ATT mobile service user and their customer service is awful. In the event that my fiber is down I’m fully mentally prepared for the frustration.
Haven’t used Spectrum or ATT’s TV services so can’t add my $0.02 on those features but for broadband I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
Internet news and infrastructure in Racine, WI
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that Racine is a well-connected city, with speeds of up to 100 Mbps available to 97% of households. Almost as many can get speeds of up to 250 Mbps, which is fast enough for most modern internet use at home.
Unfortunately, 1,200 households in the area lack internet access, according to figures from the county government. Public hotspots have been installed to help bridge the gap. (7) To access them, you’ll have to register with the Digital County Racine Wi-Fi network, but the service is free. (8)
Racine Public Library Director Angela Zimmerman is also on the case. She told the Racine Local Eye in 2022 that households in east Caledonia and inner Racine may be in “technology deserts,” meaning they don’t have access to high-speed internet. (9) That’s why the public library operates a Techmobile—a custom-built truck that offers laptops, programmable robots, and books about technology. It makes scheduled stops throughout the week.
Meanwhile, AT&T has been building out its fiber network to reach more homes and the federal government has pledged nearly $6 million to help the state’s residents get better connected. (10) Some of that funding is slated for outreach, so we have high hopes that many of the families that aren’t connected now will soon learn about the benefits available to them through the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Frequently asked internet questions in Racine
Many parts of Wisconsin have access to fiber internet that reaches all the way to their front doors. In the Racine area, AT&T is the biggest fiber-to-the-premises provider. In New Berlin, TDS Telecom is building out a fiber network (11) as well, while in Kenosha, a citywide open-access fiber network is in the works. (12) Other providers use a lot of fiber-optic cabling in their infrastructure but use other technologies (either coax cable or wireless signals) to reach homes.
AT&T fiber internet is our top pick for gaming in Racine for its fast speeds, reasonable prices, and very fast ping. We also like that you don’t have to pay for home internet equipment with AT&T. If you can’t get fiber from AT&T, though, Spectrum is a nice choice. In fact, it’s one of our top picks for internet for gamers nationwide.
Spectrum’s benefits for gamers include zero data caps and ping that almost as good as what you would get with fiber. (13) Prices go up in year three though, so that might be a good time to check whether you can get wired for fiber.
Compare plans from Spectrum and AT&T using Switchful’s nifty side-by-side tool.
The best things about Spectrum internet in Racine are its widespread availability and wide range of plans for home internet. We also love that there are no data limits on any plan, and you can save $5 per month if you use your own router. The worst parts of Spectrum are due to its cable internet technology. You may face slowdowns if a lot of your neighbors are trying to get online at the same time, and upload speeds are much slower than they would be with fiber. Customer service hasn’t historically been great, either, but some customers say it’s improving. (14)
- “FCC Broadband Map,” Federal Communications Commission. Accessed 11 March 2023.
- “Check 5g & 4g LTE Coverage Near You,” T-Mobile. Accessed 11 March 2023.
- “Explore Verizon 5G and 4G LTE network coverage in your area,” Verizon. Accessed 11 March 2023.
- "Coverage Map,” US Cellular. Accessed 7 March 2023.
- “New Berlin will soon get an all-new fiber-optic service,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Accessed 11 March 2023.
- “Kenosha launches construction of $100M citywide all-fiber Internet network,” WTMJ-TV Milwaukee. Accessed 11 March, 2023
- “New Internet Access Points Added Throughout County,” Racine County. Accessed 14 March 2023.
- “Racine County adds community internet hotspots to help bridge digital divide,” TMJ4. Accessed 14 March 2023.
- “Local technology deserts: Racine Public Library’s Techmobile helping to bridge the gap,” Racine County Eye. Accessed 14 March 2023.
- “Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $5.9 Million to Wisconsin in ‘Internet for All’ Planning Grants,” Broadband USA: National telecommunications and Information Administration.” Accessed 11 March 2023.
- “New Berlin will soon get an all-new fiber-optic service,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Accessed 11 March 2023.
- “Kenosha launches construction of $100M citywide all-fiber Internet network,” WTMJ-TV Milwaukee. Accessed 11 March, 2023.
- "Measuring Fixed Broadband," FCC. Accessed 11 March 2023.
- “Satisfaction Benchmarks by Company,” The American Customer Satisfaction Index. Accessed 11 March 2023.