Are you looking for a new internet service provider, or did you just hear about the “lightning fast” speeds of AT&T Fiber internet service? Maybe you’re dissatisfied with Comcast or Verizon Fios and want to check out your options– in any case, if you want to see what AT&T Internet is all about, you’ve come to the right place. That’s what we’re here for.
In this review for AT&T’s Internet service offerings, we’re going to dig into both their Broadband and Fiber internet plans. We’ll see if they live up to their hype when it comes to pricing, speed, plans, and more. If you’re interested in knowing whether it is available in your area of the United States first though, then you can scroll to the bottom to see our FAQ that addresses just this issue!
AT&T Internet Plans & Pricing
|Package name||Download speed||Upload speed||Data cap||Price||View plan|
|Internet Basic 5 (Broadband)||5 Mbps||1 Mbps||1 TB||$40/mo.*/ $50/mo.||View plans|
|Internet 10, Internet 25, Internet 50, Internet 75, Internet 100 (Broadband)||10 to 100 Mbps**||1-20 Mbps||1 TB||$50/mo.*/ $60/mo.||View plans|
|Internet 100 (Fiber)||100 Mbps||100 Mbps||1 TB||$50/mo.*/ $60/mo.||View plans|
|Internet 300 (Fiber)||300 Mbps||300 Mbps||1 TB||$50/mo.*/ $80/mo.||View plans|
|Internet 1000 (Fiber)||1000 Mbps||1000 Mbps||999.999 TB||$70/mo.*/ $100/mo.||View plans|
*Starting price for the first 12 months, effective 04/13/19. All offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
**Speed dependent on area.
First, want to know the difference between Fiber and Broadband high-speed internet service? Check out our FAQ at the bottom of the page.
Second, what’s up with all of these different package names with different prices? Who would ever want Internet 10 when Internet 100 is the same price for 10 times the data? Well, it’s simple really: regional availability. You’ll get the fastest speed that’s available in your area – unfortunately, some people will wind up with slower-than-100Mbps. But, most places reach or exceed advertised speeds, according to the FCC.
Anyhow, with AT&T’s internet, you likely won’t know if you’re going to get Broadband or Fiber — that’s dependent on where you’re living. If you live in a larger metro area, like New York or Chicago, you’ll likely have the chance to use Fiber. If you don’t like this uncertainty, though, then check out AT&T’s online Fiber coverage map.
That said, most people are going to have only broadband options available.
But that can be totally fine with the Internet 10, 25, 50, 75 or 100 plan — again, you’ll get the fastest speed available for your area, up to 100 Mbps. If you can get that 100 Mbps speed or close, the price is pretty competitive and the speed solid.
That said, if Fiber is available in your area– get it. Although Verizon Fios’s 940/880 Mbps plan may be a little cheaper than AT&T’s Fiber (if it’s available in your area), Verizon Fios charges you $10/month for a router, and AT&T throws that in free of charge. AT&T’s internet 1000 is also cheaper than Xfinity’s equivalent fiber offer.
Those things end up making AT&T Fiber internet service the better deal.
|AT&T + DirecTV Bundles||Features||Price||View plan|
|AT&T Internet + DIRECTV SELECT||
|AT&T Internet + DIRECTV CHOICE||
|AT&T Internet 100 powered by Fiber + U-verse or DIRECTV||
|AT&T Internet 300 powered by Fiber + U-verse or DIRECTV||
|AT&T Internet 1000 powered by Fiber + U-verse or DIRECTV||
*Price of internet only, for the first 12 months. U-Verse or DIRECTV monthly rate is added on.
A perk you can take advantage of with AT&T to save some money is bundling. You get the choice of bundling your Broadband or fiber internet service plan with either AT&T U-verse or DIRECTV, both of which are TV services that AT&T owns (U-verse for a while now and DIRECTV since the merger a year or two back).
It’s worth noting that AT&T U-verse has its own regional limits, so you might only be able to get DIRECTV. You can also add in home phone service if you like.
But even just pairing your AT&T internet plan with 1 other service can ring in some decent savings, as the table above shows — if you qualify, with Fiber 300 and 1000 you can save at least $10/month — not a bad deal.
AT&T Internet Speed & Data caps
So how does AT&T do with upload and download speeds? What about data caps? Take a look:
|Package name||Download speed||Upload speed||Data cap||View plan|
|Internet Basic 5 (Broadband)||5 Mbps||1 Mbps||1 TB||View plans|
|Internet 10, Internet 25, Internet 50, Internet 75, Internet 100 (Broadband)||10 to 100 Mbps**||1-20 Mbps||1 TB||View plans|
|Internet 100 (Fiber)||100 Mbps||100 Mbps||1 TB||View plans|
|Internet 300 (Fiber)||300 Mbps||300 Mbps||1 TB||View plans|
|Internet 1000 (Fiber)||1000 Mbps||1000 Mbps||999.999 TB||View plans|
**Speed dependent on area.
While broadband has asymmetrical download/upload speeds– faster downloads than uploads, typically– AT&T’s fiber offers the same speeds regardless of whether you’re downloading or uploading. That means streaming a video will be just as fast as uploading one of the same size.
AT&T also offers some seriously generous data caps with 1 terabyte being the limit for all plans except the Internet 1000 plan– the latter most of which gives you unlimited data.
In fact, according to Consumer reports, a family of four would “each need to watch 104 videos per month, or more than five hours of Netflix every day.” Unless you’re a serious “super user”, that’s plenty. You’ll be able to browse, stream, download, and game to your heart’s content.
So yeah – AT&T has high-speed internet. No doubts there.
Fees, Contracts, and Equipment
So what about fees? There are a few things to look at.
Contract - a requirement to use AT&T internet
When you sign up for AT&T internet service, you’ll have to sign a minimum 1-year contract. If you want out of the contract before that time is up, you’ll have to pay an early termination fee of $15 per month left on the contract. Once that 1-year contract is up, your monthly internet access bill will rise by $10/month from what you paid that first year.
Fees - not so great, but DIY scores points
AT&T charges you a one-time fee of $99 to have one of their pros come out and install your internet. But if you feel like doing it yourself, they’ll ship you the Wi-Fi gateway router/modem and you can set it up with just a $35 activation fee– not bad. Of course, not many people will have the technical know-how or the tools to pull this off, so it is more of a novelty than anything else.
If you somehow bypass your data cap, you’ll get charged $10 for every 50GB of data past that cap, up to $100/month.
Equipment - a hassle-free deal
AT&T gives you the Wi-Fi gateway modem/router combo for free*, which is nice– you don’t need to pay for your own router, and you don’t have to purchase or rent theirs. Plus, with AT&T’s self-installation option, you can have it shipped straight to your door, usually in just a few days.
And as a side note, you can also connect your mobile devices to thousands of AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide – just for being an AT&T customer, no cell phone plan necessary.
*AT&T has informed us the Wi-Fi gateway included language will need to be removed on 9/22/2019. So be noted!
While many reviews we found raved poorly about AT&T’s customer service experience, it’s important to note that people are more likely to take to the review boards when they have a negative experience than a positive one.
So, taking those negative reviews with a grain of salt, we can look at other numbers. AT&T Internet service earned the 2018 J.D. Power award above Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox Communications, and more internet providers. AT&T was given 4 power circles in customer service — only one other, Cox Communications, took home 5.
AT&T Internet Reviews from Customers
Below are some reviews and ratings of AT&T Internet’s service we’ve collected during our research.
Recap: Is AT&T Internet Good?
So, how does AT&T Internet stack up against AT&T Fiber? Here’s our recap on that:
- Broadband plans (AT&T Internet) are available across the country, with speeds up to 100 Mbps. That’s dependent on your area, though. If you can get close to or up to 100 Mbps, then the price is right. If not, other competing internet service providers may offer better value. All these plans come with 1 TB caps, which should be enough for most people.
- AT&T Fiber is limited to certain areas for now, but they’re working on expanding it to more suburban and rural areas. If it’s available to you, it’s a great buy that comes in 3 speeds (100, 300, and 1000 Mbps). The 1000 plan has no data cap.
Is AT&T Internet fast?
Your exact speeds will depend on what’s available in your location. That said, broadband plans provide from between 5Mbps to 100Mbps speeds. Fiber-optic plans start at 100Mbps and increase to 300 and 1000Mbps speeds – super fast.
Plus, fiber-optic also provides “symmetrical upload speeds” – i.e., if you upload an image or video, it will do so as fast as if you were to download it. Broadband, however, does not have symmetrical upload speeds, so expect your uploads to take longer than downloading similar files.
What is ‘Fiber’ internet?
Fiber optic, or ‘fiber’, is the fastest type of internet currently available. Fiber optic lines transmit binary transmissions of light through their lines, rather than electrical information (like Broadband and cable). Fiber optic uses minuscule strands of plastic or glass.
This makes fiber internet much faster and more reliable than traditional broadband or cable. One reason all internet connections aren’t fiber (yet) is because they require new infrastructure to be built whereas broadband and Cable internet just utilize existing infrastructure (phone lines and cable lines respectively). That’s why fiber is currently limited to more populous areas — although major ISPs are working on it.
Is AT&T fiber optic better than cable?
Yes. Fiber-optic is faster than cable internet in most cases, but that’s not the only thing that makes it superior. Because of the technology fiber employs, it’s able to transmit data not only faster, but also maintain that speed over longer distances. Plus, fiber is less susceptible to electrical surges, nearby power lines, or lightning strikes.
But, cable is much more widely available than fiber optic internet at this time.
What is ‘Broadband’ internet?
Broadband internet is AT&T’s name for their non-fiber internet speeds. In many cases, it’ll be DSL internet – which uses copper telephone wires to transmit data electronically between your computer and the internet. It’s transmitted at a frequency that’s separate from old landline calls, so even if you have a landline, it won’t affect your internet speeds. It also makes it faster than old-fashioned dial-up.
The most relevant type of DSL internet to consumers is Asymmetric DSL (ADSL). That’s the type of DSL offered by AT&T. The asymmetric part refers to the different upload vs. download speeds, with download usually being faster.
Is AT&T available where I live?
AT&T Internet plans are currently available in 21 states. You can check out the above list to see if yours is one of them here, and if your city is included.