In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc in the world. Overnight, our lives came to a standstill. Governments imposed lockdowns and we were instructed to quarantine in our homes. It was during these moments of chaos that for the first time since their launch, streaming services saw the number of global subscribers surpass 1 billion. Those who had fast-speed internet connections were able to relish the enriching experience of glitch-free, multi-device streaming in the safety and comfort of their homes. 

Let’s look at some of the best internet providers for streaming in 2022. 

Best Internet Service Providers for Streaming 

The best internet providers for streaming are usually the ones that offer internet speeds of at least 100 Mbps, have affordable monthly internet plans, do not have any data caps on internet usage, and have reliable coverage throughout the country.

We have listed the seven best internet providers for streaming, ranging from slow-speed DSL internet carriers to ultrafast fiber optic internet providers. 

Internet ProviderType of InternetPrice RangeSpeed RangeContact Provider
AT&T FiberFiber Optic$55.00 – $180.00/mo25- 5000 MbpsCall Now
SpectrumHybrid fiber-coaxial$49.99 – $89.99/mo300- 1000 MbpsCall Now
Kinetic Fiber and DSL$45.00- $75.00/mo200 – 1000 MbpsCall Now
EarthLinkFiber and DSL$69.95- $189.95/mo50- 5000 MbpsCall Now
Frontier Fiber and DSL$32.99- $149.99/mo6- 2000 MbpsCall Now
HughesNetSatellite$59.99- $149.99/mo0- 25 MbpsCall Now
ViasatSatellite$69.99 – $199.99/mo12- 100 MbpsCall Now

AT&T

AT&T is the world’s largest telecommunications company in terms of total revenue. More than 281 million Americans are subscribed to AT&T’s 5G and fiber internet services.

AT&T’s contribution has been monumental in developing and using fiber-optic cables for superfast internet transmission. In 1972, researchers from Corning Inc. and AT&T Bell Labs collaborated to invent fiber optic cables. Hence, AT&T was one of the first internet service providers to adopt fiber optic connectivity and offer multi-gigabit internet speeds to its fiber internet customers.

AT&T’s fiber internet plans are available in 21 states across the USA. The cheapest internet plans start at $55 per month. AT&T is one of the fastest internet providers for streaming. Its fiber internet plans are presented in the table below:

Plans PriceSpeedBenefitsContact AT&T
1$55.00/mo300 Mbps$150 rewards cardCall 877-209-3574 Now
2$65.00/mo500 Mbps$150 rewards cardCall 877-209-3574 Now
3$80.00/mo1 Gbps$200 rewards cardCall 877-209-3574 Now
4$110.00/mo2 Gbps$200 rewards cardCall 877-209-3574 Now
5$180.00/mo5 Gbps$200 rewards cardCall 877-209-3574 Now

AT&T’s bundle deals allow you to combine DirecTV Stream with its internet service for as low as $124.99 per month. 

Spectrum

Spectrum is the fifth-best internet provider in the USA. Its coverage area spans over 41 states of the USA and currently, nearly 31 million residential users are subscribed to Spectrum internet. Spectrum uses a hybrid model for internet transmission to bypass the lack of fiber-optic networks around the country. Its high-speed internet plans start at just $49.99 per month and customers can enjoy a multitude of perks on the service. 

Just recently, Spectrum received the Ookla verification for delivering the fastest internet and Wi-Fi speeds in the country. According to the consumer-initiated internet speed tests taken on Ookla, Spectrum is the fastest internet provider for streaming and pro-gaming.

Spectrum internet plans are shown in the table below:

PlanPrice SpeedContact Spectrum
Internet $49.99/mo300 MbpsCall 877-395-5851 Now
Internet Ultra$69.99/mo500 MbpsCall 877-395-5851 Now
Internet Gig$89.99/mo1000 MbpsCall 877-395-5851 Now

Kinetic by Windstream

Kinetic internet by Windstream offers dial-up, cable, DSL, and fiber internet services to its residential customers in 18 states across the country. The service provider has become a household name in the nation’s rural community. Kinetic has one of the largest DSL internet coverage in the country. Its 25 Mbps DSL internet speeds are available to 86 percent of the customers and the plans start at $30 per month, making it one of the most affordable internet providers for streaming.  

Kinetic’s fiber internet plans offer download speeds of up to 2 Gigs. Kinetic’s fiber internet customers living in the metro areas across its 18-state footprint can experience 1 gig and 2 gig speeds.

The Kinetic internet plans are as follows:

Type of Internet PriceSpeedBenefitsContact Windstream
DSL$30.00/mo50 MbpsBuffer-free streamingCall 877-412-0760 Now
Fiber$45.00/mo200 MbpsGitch-free HD streamingCall 877-412-0760 Now
Fiber$65.00/mo500 MbpsMulti-device. HD streamingCall 877-412-0760 Now
Fiber$75.00/mo1 GbpsSmooth 4K streamingCall 877-412-0760 Now
Fiber$185.00/mo2 GbpsMulti-device. 4K streamingCall 877-412-0760 Now

Frontier

Frontier Communications was founded in 2009 as the result of an acquisition deal between Citizens Communications and Verizon. Today, the company’s internet service is available in more than half of the country, and it offers the basic DSL as well as lightning-fast fiber internet plans with speeds up to 2 Gigs. The cheapest Frontier internet plan costs $32.99 per month. Frontier’s low-cost fiber optic internet plans make it one of the best internet providers for streaming in HD quality. 

Frontier internet plans are presented in the table below. 

Type of Internet PriceSpeedStreaming QualityContact Frontier
DSL$32.99/mo6 Mbps Restricted to one device and SDCall 877-412-0748 Now
DSL$39.99/mo25 Mbps2 devices. SD to HD qualityCall 877-412-0748 Now
DSL$49.99/mo115 Mbps3 devices or more. SD to HD qualityCall 877-412-0748 Now
Fiber$49.99/mo500 MbpsMulti-device streaming. HD qualityCall 877-412-0748 Now
Fiber$74.99/mo1000 MbpsHD to Ultra HD Streaming (4K res.)Call 877-412-0748 Now
Fiber$149.99/mo2000 Mbps4K streaming on 5 or more devicesCall 877-412-0748 Now

EarthLink

EarthLink is one of the most widely available internet providers for streaming in the country. Its DSL, fixed wireless, and fiber optic internet services are offered in 48 states of the USA and currently, 5 million consumers are subscribed to its superfast internet plans. EarthLink is one of the few internet providers for streaming that deliver multi-gigabit speeds up to 5 Gigs.

On average, EarthLink internet plans are $20 more expensive than its competitors, but if it comes with the promise of zero speed throttling, then it’s worth the price. EarthLink’s DSL and fiber internet plans are as follows. 

Type of Internet PriceSpeedStreaming QualityContact EarthLink
DSL$49.95/mo12 MbpsSD and HD streaming on 1 deviceCall 877-209-2467 Now
DSL$59.95/mo25 MbpsSD and HD streaming on 2 devicesCall 877-209-2467 Now
Fiber$69.95/mo50 MbpsSD and HD streaming on 3 devicesCall 877-209-2467 Now
Fiber$79.95/mo100 MbpsHD streaming on 5 devicesCall 877-209-2467 Now
Fiber$89.95/mo200 MbpsMulti-device streaming. HD qualityCall 877-209-2467 Now
Fiber$99.95/mo1000 MbpsHD to Ultra HD Streaming (4K res.)Call 877-209-2467 Now
Fiber$189.95/mo5000 Mbps8K streaming on 5 or more devicesCall 877-209-2467 Now

HughesNet 

Based in Germantown, Maryland, HughesNet is one of two satellite internet providers in the country that provides coverage in all 50 states. The company has more than 1.3 million active customers, and its internet plan starts at $59.99 per month.

HughesNet is the best satellite internet provider for streaming for late-night binge watchers. It offers bonus data between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. without any additional charges. HughesNet internet plans are presented in the table below. 

PlansPriceUpload SpeedDownload SpeedData CapContact HughesNet
1$59.99/mo3 Mbps25 Mbps10 GBCall 877-209-2459 Now
2$69.99/mo3 Mbps25 Mbps20 GBCall 877-209-2459 Now
3$99.99/mo3 Mbps25 Mbps30 GBCall 877-209-2459 Now
4$149.99/mo3 Mbps25 Mbps50 GBCall 877-209-2459 Now

Viasat

Viasat is the fastest satellite internet provider for streaming with nationwide availability and around 600,000 residential subscribers. The company operates from its headquarters in Carlsbad, California, and offers satellite internet and phone services to its customers.

Viasat’s wireless, high-speed internet plans start at $49.99 per month. Viasat internet plans are presented in the table below.

PlanPriceSpeedStreaming QualityContact Viasat
Unlimited Bronze 12 $49.99/mo12 Mbps360pCall 877-412-0759 Now
Unlimited Silver 25$69.99/mo25 Mbps480pCall 877-412-0759 Now
Unlimited Gold 50$99.99/mo30 Mbps720pCall 877-412-0759 Now
Unlimited Platinum 100$149.99/mo100 Mbps1080pCall 877-412-0759 Now

Best Streaming Services

In the USA, there are close to 50 streaming services that offer on-demand content to their viewers. Statistics reveal that 85 percent of the households in the country are subscribed to at least one video streaming service and around 60 percent of American families have at least one paid subscription to a music streaming platform.

Here are the nation’s top ten streaming platforms that together, have an annual worth of nearly $300 billion. 

Streaming ServiceRecommended Speed for StreamingMonthly Subscription Fee
Apple TV Plus3 Mbps – 25 Mbps$6.99/ month
Amazon Prime Video1 Mbps – 5 Mbps$8.99/ month | Free Trial
DirecTV Stream8 Mbps/ streaming service$69.99/ month
Disney Plus5 Mbps- 25 Mbps$7.99/ month
ESPN Plus2 Mbps and higher$9.99/ month
HBO Max5 Mbps – 50 Mbps$14.99/ month
Hulu 3 Mbps – 16 Mbps$7.99/ month
Netflix5 Mbps and higher$9.99/ month
Spotify1 Mbps$9.99/ month
YouTube TV3 Mbps – 25 Mbps$64.99/ month

How to Choose the Best Internet Provider for Streaming?

There are several factors that you must consider before settling on the most suitable internet provider for streaming services in your home. Generally speaking, fast-speed residential internet services will be good for multi-device streaming, and the availability and monthly subscription fee of the internet provider will determine your final pick. However, you must familiarize yourself with the different types of internet providers for streaming and their effect on streaming quality and performance. 

Types of Internet Providers for Streaming

We often classify internet services into two broad categories; terrestrial and extraterrestrial internet. Both wired and wireless internet connections like cable, DSL, fiber-optic, and 4G/5G LTE networks are a part of terrestrial internet services. Whereas, extraterrestrial internet services mainly consist of satellite internet services and the newly conceived notion of interplanetary internet.

Internet technology has evolved with time. From the earliest and slowest dial-up connections to the modern-day, lightning-fast capabilities of fiber-optic internet, we saw the bandwidths increase from 0.056 Mbps to 5000 Mbps. Let’s take a deeper look at the structure and transmission channel of each type of internet to understand why some are faster than the rest. 

Fiber Internet Providers for Streaming

The minimum speed of fiber internet for homes is 25 Mbps. When compared with cable and DSL internet connections, fiber-optic internet services are twice as fast, and most residential users get an average download speed of 100 Mbps.

The earliest form of Fiber optic cable, for internet transmission, was created in the 1970s. Fused silica was used to make hair-like filaments with a high melting point and low refractive index to transfer data signals in the form of light waves. It was noted that 65,000 times more information could be carried inside a fiber optic cable as compared to copper wires. 

Today, fiber optic cables can transfer information at the speed of 10 gigabits per second and in some laboratories around the world, test results show that the fiber optic cables can support hyperfast speeds of up to 1-2 petabits per second (1000 to 2000 terabits, or 1 to 2 million gigabits per second).

In the USA, there are a total of 1,610 fiber internet providers that are offering superfast broadband services to residential and commercial customers.

It is a unanimously held belief that fiber internet is the best type of internet for streaming. The maximum recommended download speed for most streaming services in the US is 25 Mbps. We know that the minimum download speed for fiber internet in the country is 25 Mbps so it means that if you select a fiber internet provider for streaming, you will always get speeds that are faster than the recommended speed for streaming. 

But here is the catch. Fiber internet availability around the country is only 43 percent. So, unless you live in a metropolis in one of the most developed states of the USA, chances are that fiber internet providers for streaming may not offer services in your area.

Cable Internet Providers for Streaming

Cable internet is the next best alternative to fiber internet in terms of high-speed internet connections. A cable internet service provider uses the existing copper coaxial wires that deliver cable TV service to homes across the country.

Inside a copper coaxial cable, the data flows in the form of electrical signals or binary codes. In some cases, the copper coaxial cables can carry a bandwidth of up to 1000 Mbps. However, the speed becomes slower over long distances and as more users are added to the same network, customers can experience speed throttling.

In the USA, there are many cable internet providers for streaming that can guarantee fast download speeds between 50 Mbps and 500 Mbps. Another advantage of picking cable internet for your streaming services is that 90 percent of the households in the USA have access to cable internet. So, unless you live off the grid, there is a high chance that the best cable internet providers for streaming are offering connections in your zip code.  

DSL Internet Providers for Streaming

The Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet is often called the successor of dial-up connections because the mode of transmission is through telephone cables. The major difference between obsolete dial-up connections and DSL internet is that the dial-up connections would block your telephone service to allow you to surf the web. Whereas, the DSL connection is always “on” and you can use your landline phone while being online.

America’s biggest telecommunications companies and internet service providers are using DSL cables to deliver reliable internet connections in the absence of a fiber-optic network. And DSL internet is widely popular in small towns, suburbs, and rural communities. The only downside of using a DSL internet provider for streaming is that the download speeds of DSL internet range between 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps. In many cases, these speeds are good for multi-device streamings, but if your family frequently uses the internet for activities like; pro-gaming, high-res downloads, and smart home connectivity, apart from streaming then, 100 Mbps will not be sufficient for your home. 

In the USA, 90 percent of residential internet users have access to DSL internet services, including 70 percent of the households in the rural areas of the country.  

Wireless Internet Providers for Streaming

You must have seen the 4G and 5G network towers atop buildings or erected on fields while on the road. Typically, a 4G and 5G internet service is referred to as fixed wireless internet and the service provider uses radio signals to transmit data to individual homes within its coverage area. To ensure wide reach, the LTE towers are between 50 and 200 feet tall and can cover a radius of up to 1,500 feet without obstructions.

Unfortunately, there are very few wireless internet providers for streaming that can deliver gigabit speeds as most 5G home network providers can guarantee internet speeds between 100 Mbps to 300 Mbps. Although 90 percent of the country has access to fixed wireless internet services, due to the underlying problem of data caps and pricey monthly plans, many Americans prefer to use wired broadband services like cable, DSL, and fiber internet. 

Satellite Internet Providers for Streaming

Currently, there are only two satellite internet providers in the USA that offer nationwide internet service. HughesNet and Viasat are the only two satellite internet providers for streaming that have coverage in all 50 states of the USA.

Telecommunications companies that offer satellite internet send the data signals from the data centers into space. The satellites intercept these signals and in turn, direct them back to the users who are subscribed to the service. Satellite internet users have dishes installed on their rooftops, backyards, or balconies which capture the signals that are sent from the satellite and send them to the internet modem. The modem sends internet signals to the users’ devices. 

Satellite internet is the best choice of internet for Rvers or digital nomads and those who are living in remote areas of the country. However, the maximum download of a satellite internet can be as fast as 200 Mbps, and only Starlink (which provides service in 33 states) is capable of delivering such speeds. Moreover, the data caps that accompany the connection can be a real discouraging factor for using satellite internet providers for streaming. 

Download Speeds Required for Streaming

The type of broadband service will decide the maximum download speed of your internet connection, but you must also be aware that even within the same type of internet, the maximum download speeds will vary depending on the internet provider that you have shortlisted for your home. 

For example, AT&T fiber, Google Fiber, Verizon Fios, and EarthLink are all fiber internet carriers but while AT&T and EarthLink promise maximum download speeds up to 5 Gigs (5000 Mbps), Google Fiber and Verizon Fios can only deliver maximum download speeds up to 2 Gigs (2000 Mbps) and that too in a few selected areas around the country.

So, regardless of whichever type of internet service you decide to go with, you must first confirm that the carrier has the potential of delivering the download speeds you need in your area.

Note: Based on the large variations in internet infrastructure throughout the country, the internet speeds provided by the same network carrier may fluctuate from region to region.    

Network Coverage and Reliability

Staying loyal to one internet provider for streaming may not serve you well, especially if they have limited to nil network coverage in your area and you frequently experience service interruptions. As a rule of thumb, you should first shortlist the internet providers that are known to have nationwide coverage such as Spectrum, AT&T, Verizon, HughesNet, and Viasat. Then you should individually call and check if the internet service provider offers coverage on your postal code and if yes, then what is the maximum speed that you will receive for your connection?

In most cases, the best internet providers for streaming will promise 99 percent consistency throughout their footprint, meaning that the download speeds remain the same regardless of the location you are at, but it will be wise to run speed tests to ascertain if these claims hold true or not. 

No. of Streaming Devices 

Your family may be using Netflix Household to stream personalized content from 4 to 5 different devices at once for a price of just $19.99 per month. But while it is a lot easier to keep the monthly subscription fee to a bare minimum and enjoy streaming from 4 different devices, it is not that simple when it comes to overall internet usage and speeds. 

Streaming content from multiple devices at once, will result in speed reductions and lagging. You will experience buffering while streaming your favorite movies, shows, and podcasts and it might take a few seconds to a minute for the website to load. Most often streaming services will recommend internet speeds faster than 50 Mbps to ensure that all family members can enjoy uninterrupted streaming from their devices. 

Let’s say that you live in a single-person household or your family has already worked out a schedule whereby all of you have your binge-watch sessions on different nights. In such a case, download speeds up to 25 Mbps should be more than enough to stream content in HD quality. 

Data Caps Requirement for Streaming

The word ‘unlimited’ has an incredible amount of freedom attached to it. It denotes the fact that you can do something, in this case, use the internet to stream your favorite on-demand content, without having to worry about restrictions.

You must be mindful of the data caps of internet providers for streaming because on average, streaming services use around 1 to 1.5 GB of data per hour. If you select internet providers that have data caps on their internet plans, as in the case of CenturyLink (data cap of 1024 GB), you will notice that the streaming services will quickly drain your data. Either, you will have to pay extra to purchase more data from your service provider, or you will have to make it through the next billing cycle with speeds so slow that even sending a WhatsApp message might take a few minutes.

Fortunately, all the best internet providers for streaming come with unlimited data or data caps on 1 TB data usage, which is more than enough to stream all the services in high resolution for a month. 

Resolution of the Content Being Streamed 

Most of the content available on streaming services is uploaded in the following 3 preferred resolutions.

●     Standard Definition (SD): 720 x 480 pixels (480p)

    High Definition (HD): 720 x 1080 pixels (720p)

●      Full HD: 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p)

●      Ultra HD (4K Resolution): 3840 × 2160 pixels

While internet speeds of up to 3 Mbps are sufficient for streaming content in SD quality, you will need a minimum speed of 25 Mbps to stream glitch-free content in 4K resolution. So, if you like to view your favorite shows and movies in HD and 4K resolution, you will need high-speed internet providers for streaming.

Conclusion

This holiday season, cozy up and gather around your loved ones for nightly movie marathons on your favorite streaming services. Thanks to the superfast download speeds of the best internet providers for streaming, you can now view all the content in HD and ultra HD quality without buffering.