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Cable also lags behind fiber when it comes to upload speeds. But coaxial cable connections are far more widely available than fiber nationwide, and cable internet providers have made technological leaps over the past several years to streamline performance.

Of all the providers we looked at, only two were flat or slowed down over the past four years— HughesNet and Viasat. Both of them are satellite internet providers, suggesting that internet speeds in rural areas lag behind national upward trends. Want to learn more about how internet speed works and what kinds of speeds you can get? Take a look at our internet speed guide for the full rundown.

Cox , Mediacom , Frontier , and Optimum also showed major gains during this period. As the company laid more fiber-optic cabling across 21 states, it made fiber service more affordable with a variety of pricing tiers.

It also vastly boosted advertised speeds to record levels. Before the pandemic, it was typical for fiber internet providers to offer a single internet plan with 1, Mbps speeds. It remains to be seen whether customers are more interested in — Mbps speeds at a lower price or a 1—5 Gbps plan at a higher price. But the number of gigabit customers is steadily growing each year. Looking to improve your own internet speeds?

Not surprisingly, the biggest spike in internet speed among major providers happened during the first year of the pandemic. The spike in speeds reflects increased demand for internet bandwidth after lockdown and shelter-in-place orders sent Americans indoors. CenturyLink showed the biggest jump.

Its average download speed was just 25 Mbps in July and then leaped to 56 Mbps in July HughesNet and Viasat are both satellite providers, mostly serving customers in rural areas. But satellite internet has limited bandwidth capacity to up its speeds, since technical limitations mean it can support only so many people at a time.

Each satellite provider has a limited number of satellites, and expanding satellite infrastructure for more bandwidth requires a ton more investment and bureaucracy than there is for the average cable or fiber provider. As the table shows below, both providers experienced particularly stark decreases in speed between July and July Satellite speeds have likely taken a hit due to the sudden increased needs of individual internet users, schools, and other institutions in the wake of the pandemic.

In , demand surged as rural users turned to the internet for work, school, healthcare, and more. Schools in rural towns and Indian reservations also increasingly relied on internet connections for teaching and administrative purposes. Rural internet customers will get faster speeds when LEO satellite providers like Starlink and 4G LTE internet —a novel, cellular-based technology geared towards rural customers—gain wider availability.

Average download speeds were even faster in , clocking in at 55 Mbps. These speeds represent a huge leap compared to the sub—20 Mbps speeds of the other two satellite providers. Speeds for 4G internet range from 25 to Mbps.

But this does suggest that faster speeds may be attainable soon for rural web surfers. While major providers like Verizon Fios and Xfinity bubbled to the top of the list of fastest nationwide providers, several regional providers—which serve customers in five states or less—also stood out for their fast speeds. The fastest regional provider over the past 12 months is Ting Fiber. Allo Communications , which serves small parts of Nebraska, Colorado, and Arizona, came in with the second-fastest integrated speed score ISS.

The other three providers also have service in relatively contained service areas, usually clustered around suburban areas and cities. It just goes to show that local and regional internet providers are often worth signing up with.

Though a small provider can be easily overlooked when you have bigger names to choose from, a local company can sometimes get you faster speeds and more personalized customer service as well. An internet provider can make a customer happy not just by delivering fast speeds, but by simply delivering on the speeds the provider promised. In our survey, EarthLink swooped to the lead in the internet speed category with a score of 4.

Verizon comes in second place with 3. EarthLink offers both fiber and DSL service. Millions of internet users take our test each year, and we recalculate the results every three months to generate an integrated speed score ISS for the top-performing internet providers. Most internet providers advertise only download speed as the standard-bearer for internet speed as a whole. For this edition of our report, we also pulled data from 16 major internet service providers going back to in order to analyze internet speed trends over time.

We looked at average annual download speeds for each provider in , , , , and the first months of And we studied average monthly download speeds for each provider from July through to February The tables below offer a sampling of some of the raw data we used to calculate the fastest internet providers. There are a lot of ways to look at the fastest internet providers—and we chose these data points to show an accurate picture of how speed works, rather than simply relying on advertised numbers from providers.

We used these average download speeds to help generate the integrated speed scores for the above sections on the fastest internet providers of the past 12 months and the fastest regional internet providers.

As we explain in our section on the recent race among ISPs to increase internet speeds , Xfinity was the first major internet provider to offer a residential internet plan with multigigabit speeds—it introduced the 2, Mbps Gigabit Pro plan way back in But the biggest run towards higher speeds has happened over the past two years. Google Fiber announced a trial run for its 2, Mbps speed tier in September Xfinity upped its Gigabit Pro plan to 3, Mbps in November As you look at the numbers, you may be startled to see the huge differences between the average tested speeds that most people get and the max speeds these internet providers are capable of delivering.

For example, Google Fiber advertises internet plans with gigabit speeds of either 1, Mbps or 2, Mbps, and our speed test results show that some customers get very close to that mythical 2 Gbps peak. You can opt for faster speeds from any of these providers, so long as they offer internet in your service area. Want to get the fastest internet possible? Author – Peter Holslin. Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist.

At HighSpeedInternet. Editor – Rebecca Lee Armstrong. Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing.

She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet. Jump to: Fastest internet providers in the US Fastest speeds — Most improved internet providers — Pre- and post-pandemic speeds Satellite internet speeds Fastest regional internet providers Customer satisfaction with speed Methodology Jump to: Fastest internet providers in the US Fastest speeds — Most improved internet providers — Pre- and post-pandemic speeds Satellite internet speeds Fastest regional internet providers Customer satisfaction with speed Methodology.

Key findings and trends. Internet speeds get faster across the board. All the major fiber, cable, and DSL digital subscriber line internet providers we looked into have shown a steady increase in speeds from to Providers compete to offer the fastest multigigabit speeds. As part of a growing trend to claim the fastest speeds possible, several internet providers now offer multigigabit speeds on residential internet plans. Average speeds have tripled for some providers.

Fiber providers showed the biggest gains. These huge speed increases were driven mostly by customers upgrading to faster plans during the pandemic, internet providers offering faster speeds, and fiber providers expanding and diversifying their services.

The biggest speed spike happened between and Between July and July alone, several major providers broke the Mbps mark in average download speeds for the first time—meeting rising speed needs during the onset of the COVID pandemic for remote work, Zoom classes, and Netflix binges. DSL declined, fiber expanded, and cable accelerated.

Some internet providers saw huge gains as they pivoted away from DSL services to expand affordable fiber-optic offerings. Many cable providers also upped their speeds without raising prices. Google Fiber is the fastest internet provider, followed by Verizon and MetroNet. Search by zip code Search Providers. Fastest internet providers in Unavailable in Zip Check New Zip. Check Availability Available in Zip. Check Availability Zip code. Vivint Smart Home Security Review.

Disclaimer : The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing. This is not a guarantee. All information is subject to change. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative.

Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase. Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products. Go to Reviews. Watch our video reviews on. Home Security. Home Security Reviews. SimpliSafe Google Nest Secure vs. What is Home Security Monitoring? Verizon Fios Spectrum vs. Verizon T-Mobile vs. What Carriers Use Verizon’s Network? What Carriers Use Sprint’s Network?

VPN Reviews. By Catherine McNally. January 21, Share Article. Need a refresher on Mbps? Zoom internet speed requirements. Zoom data usage for a meeting. Your internet bandwidth has to allocate internet to all of your devices at once. If you’re still in the dark, here’s an easy guide on how much internet speed you need for different household sizes and activities. Zoom data usage for a group call.

Data usage for common activities. Want the latest internet reviews, top picks, and deals? Sign Up. Not enough internet for Zoom calls? Xfinity Internet. Download speeds. Starting from. View Plans. Read Review. Best Fiber Internet Provider. Worried about data caps?

Find better internet service in your area. Now that you know what internet speeds you need for Zoom, here are your next steps:. Potentially use less data with a different video conferencing platform. See Best Zoom Alternatives. How does Zoom rank among the best video conferencing platforms? See Best Video Conferencing Apps.

Additional contributors. Tyler Abbot.


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