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Best cable internet providers of 2022


Headshot of Brittany McGhee
Researched by
Brittany McGheeContributing Writer
Headshot of Bri Field
Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 2/2/23

Xfinity is our choice for the best cable internet provider. It offers impressive speeds up to 1 Gbps and great value. Plus, it has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any cable internet provider, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). If you're looking to bundle services, check out our lineup of best cable TV providers.

Top cable internet providers

Editor's choice
Xfinity
Xfinity brand
Staff rating
3.8
Customer rating
4.2
  • Plans starting at $19.99 - $299.95
  • Download speeds up to 6000 Mbps
  • Upload speeds up to 6000 Mbps

Offer details: Availability and pricing are subject to location. Conditions apply. For offer details, visit the provider's website.

Runner-up
Spectrum
Charter Spectrum brand logo
Staff rating
3.3
Customer rating
4.0
  • Plans starting at $19.99 - $169.97
  • Download speeds up to 1 Gbps
  • Upload speeds up to 500 Mbps

Offer details: Availability and pricing are subject to location. Conditions apply. For offer details, view disclaimers

Runner-up
Optimum
Optimum brand
Staff rating
4.0
Customer rating
3.7
  • Plans starting at $2.15 - $195.00
  • Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
  • Upload speeds up to n/a

Offer details: Availability and pricing are subject to location. Conditions apply. For offer details, view disclaimers

Runner-up
Cox Communications
Cox
Staff rating
3.3
Customer rating
4.2
  • Plans starting at $0.00 - $205.00
  • Download speeds up to 2 Gbps
  • Upload speeds up to 2 Gbps

Offer details: Availability and pricing are subject to location. Conditions apply. For offer details, view disclaimers

How we chose the top cable internet providers in the US

Cable internet service uses the same copper coaxial cables as cable TV and offers great speed, value, and reliability. Download speeds with cable internet can reach around 1 Gbps. You’re likely to have plenty of speed tier choices, as well as either unlimited data or a high data cap of over 1 TB. Learn how much internet speed you need to help pick the right plan for you.

Unlike fiber, cable upload speeds are much slower than the download speeds, typically between 3 Mbps and 35 Mbps. Cable isn’t as fast as fiber, but some cable providers have hybrid networks that take advantage of both fiber-optic and coaxial cables for better performance. See our full explanation on cable vs fiber internet.

We’ve ranked the best cable internet providers according to their performance, value, and overall customer experience. Xfinity is the clear winner in this comparison, but our other three top choices are neck-and-neck with each other in our staff ratings. You’re sure to find the right provider for your needs whether you prioritize speed, affordability, or customer service.

Our top picks for cable internet

Internet providers standing on a pedestal after being ranked

#1: Ultra-fast speeds and true budget plans with Xfinity

What we like

  • Availability across the country
  • Competitive intro pricing
  • Improving customer service
What we dislike

  • Additional fees for unlimited data
  • Inconsistent pricing and availability

Xfinity is our pick for the best cable internet provider. It has ultra-fast download speeds up to 1,000 Mbps (and even 1,200 Mbps in some areas) (1). All of Xfinity’s plans are a great value, though prices vary by region. Plans start at just $20 per month, the cheapest starting tier of the providers ranked here. Equipment costs are average.

Contracts are sometimes required. But even when they’re not, it may be worth choosing a one-year contract to take advantage of lower promo pricing or deals for bundling with TV or mobile phone service. Xfinity has a data cap of 1.2 TB, which should be plenty of data for most and is standard for cable providers that have data caps. Xfinity has remarkably good customer service and reliability, and it’s the highest-rated cable internet provider by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) (2).

Editor's choice
Xfinity
Xfinity brand
Staff rating
3.8
Customer rating
4.2
  • Plans starting at $19.99 - $299.95
  • Download speeds up to 6000 Mbps
  • Upload speeds up to 6000 Mbps

Offer details: Availability and pricing are subject to location. Conditions apply. For offer details, visit the provider's website.

Runners-up

#2: Spectrum offers fast upload speeds and truly unlimited data

What we like

  • No contracts
  • Unlimited data
  • High-value budget plan
What we dislike

  • High number of fees
  • Higher tier plans lose value
  • Customer reports of unreliable service

Spectrum is our number-two choice. It offers excellent download speeds, and its upload speeds start at 10 Mbps, which is faster than most. Monthly plan prices are about average, but Spectrum’s value really stands out because it offers unlimited data, requires no contracts, and has a superlow router rental fee of $5 per month. You can often take advantage of limited-time deals with Spectrum and save money by bundling TV service. Spectrum offers a great customer experience and places just behind Xfinity for cable providers in the ASCI ratings (2).

Runner-up
Spectrum
Charter Spectrum brand logo
Staff rating
3.3
Customer rating
4.0
  • Plans starting at $19.99 - $169.97
  • Download speeds up to 1 Gbps
  • Upload speeds up to 500 Mbps

Offer details: Availability and pricing are subject to location. Conditions apply. For offer details, view disclaimers

#3: Optimum offers gig speeds and doesn't require contracts

What we like

  • Unlimited data
  • High value
  • No contracts
What we dislike

  • Limited availability
  • Poor experiences with customer service reps
  • No budget plans

Optimum offers cable internet service primarily in the New York tri-state area where its fiber service doesn’t reach. Its plans are all an excellent value, and Optimum has the cheapest gig speed plan of any of our top cable provider picks. Data is unlimited, no contracts are required, and equipment fees are very low. Despite delivering reliable performance and great value, Optimum doesn’t fare as well as our other top choices in terms of customer service, and its ACSI score is on the low end.

Runner-up
Optimum
Optimum brand
Staff rating
4.0
Customer rating
3.7
  • Plans starting at $2.15 - $195.00
  • Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
  • Upload speeds up to n/a

Offer details: Availability and pricing are subject to location. Conditions apply. For offer details, view disclaimers

#4: Cox internet offers fast speeds, but you'll pay more for equipment

What we like

  • Great customer service
  • Good reliability
  • Good value plans at lower speed tiers
What we dislike

  • Data overage charges
  • Expensive high speed plans
  • Limited data

Cox internet has great performance, and its pricing is about average. In terms of value, Cox falls a bit behind Optimum because of its higher plan and equipment prices and its 1.25 TB data cap. That said, the company does offer a better customer experience, and its ACSI rating isn’t too far behind our number-two pick, Spectrum. To get the lowest price with Cox, you may need to sign a one-year contract.

Runner-up
Cox Communications
Cox
Staff rating
3.3
Customer rating
4.2
  • Plans starting at $0.00 - $205.00
  • Download speeds up to 2 Gbps
  • Upload speeds up to 2 Gbps

Offer details: Availability and pricing are subject to location. Conditions apply. For offer details, view disclaimers

What to consider when choosing cable internet providers

The best internet providers offer reliable, high speeds, good value, and a positive customer experience. We’ve chosen our top four cable internet providers with these factors in mind.

Three screens showing the three factors to consider when choosing cable internet

Performance

In terms of performance, we’ve selected cable providers that have a wide range of speeds, solid reliability, and either unlimited data or high enough data caps that most people won’t have to worry about overages.

Value

Cable plans tend to be well-priced for the speeds you get, but you’ve got to look out for data caps, contracts, and equipment fees when assessing value.

The providers we’ve chosen have average-to-low monthly pricing and equipment fees. They typically don’t require contracts, so you can avoid cancellation fees. Some providers give you the option of choosing a year-long contract for the lowest pricing. You can also save by taking advantage of promo pricing or bundling cable TV with your internet service.

Beware of price jumps with cable internet. With or without a contract, cable providers tend to increase prices after the first year. It’s worth reading the fine print to know exactly what to expect when you sign up. You may be able to avoid price jumps by switching providers at the right time.

Customer experience

Cable internet tends to be reliable, but customer service can vary between providers. When ranking providers, we’ve considered both customer reviews and consumer satisfaction ratings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

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The people behind our research
We believe the best information comes from first-hand customer experience and methodical research by subject-matter experts. We never source information from "content farms," and we don’t generate content using artificial intelligence (AI). You can trust that our recommendations are fact-checked meticulously and sourced appropriately by authentic, industry-recognized people.
Contributing researcher
Headshot of Brittany McGhee
Researched by
Brittany McGheeContributing Writer

Brittany is a Contributing Writer for Switchful with over five years of experience writing about technology in the US and Europe. Her primary focus is on mobile and internet topics. She is passionate about helping people choose the right tech for their needs at the right price.

Contributing reviewer
Headshot of Bri Field
Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor

Bri Field has a background in academia, research writing, and brand marketing. She has edited scientific publications, conference papers, digital content, and technical communications. As Assigning Editor, she enjoys ensuring all content is accurate, clear, and helpful. In her free time, you can find her in the kitchen trying a new recipe, out on a hike, or working through her massive TBR list.