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The 8 Best Internet Providers in Austin, Texas

As residents in the city of Austin want to “Keep Austin Weird” (their official slogan), they still need decent internet to do so! Luckily, the capital city offers a large number of broadband and fiber-optic providers to meet connectivity needs.

This guide will compare the top internet service providers available in the Austin area. We’ll overview speeds, pricing, contract requirements, and more to help you determine the best fit based on your budget, household size, and how you use the internet.

Overview of Major Austin Internet Providers

The most popular home internet providers servicing Austin are:

  • Google Fiber: Offers symmetrical gigabit speeds up to 2Gbps over 100% fiber-optic lines. Limited availability focused in central and east Austin.
  • AT&T: Provides fiber, DSL, and fixed wireless plans with speeds from 25Mbps up to 5Gbps. AT&T Fiber has widespread coverage.
  • Spectrum: Cable internet with speeds up to 940Mbps. Spectrum has broad availability throughout Austin and the surrounding suburbs.
  • HughesNet: Satellite internet provider focused on rural areas unreached by cable or fiber. Speeds max out at 25Mbps.
  • EarthLink: Resells DSL and fiber internet over other provider’s networks like AT&T and CenturyLink. Offers speeds from 25Mbps to 100Mbps.
  • T-Mobile Home Internet: New 5G home internet service with average speeds of 115Mbps. Expanding availability using T-Mobile‘s cellular network.
  • Optimum: Recently launched 2Gbps and 5Gbps fiber internet options providing super fast speeds. However, optimal fiber coverage is still limited.
  • Verizon 5G Home Internet: Fixed wireless home internet powered by 5G. Max speeds up to 1Gbps depending on plan. Still building out 5G coverage.

Below we’ll explore the internet plans, pricing, speeds, and pros and cons of each major provider in more detail.

Google Fiber

Google Fiber is one of the best internet providers in Austin, if not our top choice overall, for those lucky enough to have service in their area.

The company only offers two straightforward plans:

  • 1 Gig – $70/month – 1,000 Mbps download & upload
  • 2 Gig – $100/month – 2,000 Mbps download & upload

Both plans offer symmetrical, fiber-optic connectivity with equal upload and download speeds ideal for video calls, gaming, 4K streaming, and operating a home business.

Other benefits provided by Google Fiber include:

  • No data caps or speed throttling
  • No annual contracts or early termination fees
  • No extra equipment rental fees – WiFi router included
  • Clear, consistent pricing with optional TV bundle packages

The biggest downside of Google Fiber is that availability is still limited even within Austin. Fiber lines tend to be concentrated in neighborhoods across south and east Austin. Residents in north Austin likely cannot yet get Google Fiber service.

So while Google Fiber isn’t an option city-wide, it offers the fastest and highest quality internet connectivity from any Austin provider. For high data needs and low latency activities like online gaming, Google Fiber is worth checking if service is available at your address.


AT&T operates not only a large fiber internet network but also slower DSL and fixed wireless internet offerings. We’ll focus on their fiber plans as the best option providing a good balance of fast speeds and affordability.

AT&T fiber stands out for its wider availability compared to other providers in Austin. Even if their gigabit or multi-gig plans are not offered in your neighborhood, they likely provide a 300Mbps or 500Mbps fiber option.

Some benefits of AT&T Fiber include:

  • Broad service areas with over 1 million Austin residences eligible
  • Speeds ranging from 300Mbps up to 5Gbps
  • Unlimited data on all fiber plans
  • No annual contracts

Pricing starts at $55/month for 300Mbps and goes up to $180/month for 5Gbps symmetrical download and upload.

While AT&T can’t match Google Fiber on raw speeds, their fiber network still enables low latency, reliable connectivity for gaming, video calls, 4K streaming, and operating a home network.

Just beware that some addresses may only qualify for slower DSL internet from AT&T. DSL offers maximum download speeds of just 75-100Mbps. Before signing up, use AT&T’s address lookup tool to confirm if fiber is available rather than defaulting to slower DSL service.


Spectrum relies on traditional cable lines to provide internet service to over 2.2 million residences in the Austin metro.

With Spectrum, you’ll typically have a choice between:

  • Spectrum Internet – $49.99/month for 300 Mbps
  • Spectrum Internet Ultra – $69.99/month for 500 Mbps
  • Spectrum Internet Gig – $89.99/month for 940 Mbps

While download speeds look solid, upload speeds peak at just 35 Mbps across all plans. Spectrum’s network prioritizes download bandwidth over upload.

Some benefits provided by Spectrum include:

  • Wide availability with easy self-setup
  • No data caps or overage fees
  • Standard pricing guaranteed for 12 months
  • Includes internet modem at no extra cost
  • Access to 500,000+ nationwide WiFi hotspots

Just note that Spectrum advertises “starting at” prices that can increase after the 1-year intro period. Monthly equipment fees, equipment rental fees, taxes, and other charges may also push your actual monthly cost for Spectrum higher than advertised rates.

Overall, Spectrum Cable provides affordable and fairly reliable internet particularly for casual browsing, streaming movies, and handling typical household usage. But the slower upload speeds and potential for hidden fees keep Spectrum out of our top internet recommendations.


HughesNet specializes in satellite internet access for rural areas unreached by cable or fiber lines. With satellite, you can get internet service as long as you have a clear view of the southern sky.

Because data has to travel to/from an orbiting satellite rather than directly through fiber or cable, satellite internet tends to offer slower speeds than wired connections.

All HughesNet plans include:

  • 25 Mbps download speeds
  • 3 Mbps upload speeds

You then pick a data allowance between:

  • 15 GB per month
  • 30 GB per month
  • 50 GB per month
  • 100 GB per month

Packages are priced from $64.99 up to $174.99 based on how much priority data is allotted.

While 25/3 Mbps speeds sound slow compared to multi-gig fiber, it’s enough bandwidth for web browsing, video calls, standard definition streaming, and typical household internet use.

HughesNet also provides a “Bonus Zone” from 2AM-8AM allowing 50GB of extra data usage that doesn’t count against your monthly allowance. This is great for system updates and downloading large files without impacting your remaining high-speed data.

The main downside beyond slower speeds is dealing with restrictive data allowances and speed throttling. Exceeding your plan‘s data threshold will lead to very slow speeds until your next billing cycle resets the cap.

Overall, HughesNet makes satellite internet fully viable for rural areas. The speeds accommodate most household connectivity needs even if you can‘t stream 4K video all month long. For rural Austin residences too far from even DSL lines, HughesNet delivers accessible and affordable internet access.


EarthLink is an alternative internet provider operating on existing DSL, fiber, and fixed wireless networks built out by other ISPs like AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon, and more.

By essentially reselling access over infrastructure installed by legacy providers, EarthLink can deploy internet service without needing to run last-mile wires to individual houses.

However, this resale model also leads to inconsistent speeds and pricing depending on exactly which network EarthLink taps into. We’ll outline the most common speed and data plans available:

  • 50 GB Plan – 25-100 Mbps speeds – $64.95/month
  • 75 GB Plan – 25-100 Mbps speeds – $79.95/month
  • 100 GB Plan – 25-100 Mbps speeds – $99.95/month
  • 150 GB Plan – 25-100 Mbps speeds – $149.95/month

All EarthLink plans come with a 1-year contract and $200 early termination fee. A $13/month equipment rental fee and $40-$80 installation are charged as well.

When shopping for EarthLink service, be sure to check availability and guaranteed speeds for your specific address. Connection quality and value can shift significantly block by block.

While EarthLink doesn’t have its own infrastructure, the partnerships forged do enable reliable internet access for many households left out of traditional provider coverage areas. Just confirm your exact offers before signing that 1-year contract.

T-Mobile Home Internet

T-Mobile is aiming to leverage their robust nationwide 5G network to deliver home internet. This gives the mobile carrier another way to reach customers outside of selling phone plans and devices.

T-Mobile Home Internet packages a straightforward value proposition:

  • $50/month with no annual contract
  • 115 Mbps average download speeds
  • No data cap

Rather than fiber lines or cable networks bringing service to houses, T-Mobile beams 5G signals wirelessly from nearby cell towers.

This cuts down infrastructure costs substantially. But it also means service quality and availability depends heavily on proximity to cell towers broadcasting reliable 5G signals.

As T-Mobile continues improving 5G coverage, particularly mid-band 5G deployments, their home internet service should become viable for even more consumers. Between cost savings and reception capabilities, some urban and suburban households may find T-Mobile Home Internet meets their connectivity needs.

Just bear in mind that average speeds in the 50-115 Mbps range may not suffice for very data-intensive tasks like handling multiple 4K video streams. Relying on mobile 5G also comes with potential reliability concerns if network traffic or weather disrupts tower communication.

Still, with no data caps or contracts, T-Mobile Home Internet presents an affordable and fairly flexible new home internet option worth considering. Those needing consistently fast speeds for gaming or video editing may want to evaluate other alternatives. But for general web access T-Mobile already brings a solid value.


Optimum, owned by Altice, stands out for newly launched 2 Gbps and 5 Gbps residential fiber internet plans. Optimum fiber brings symmetrical, extremely low latency connectivity on par with Google Fiber.

Optimum fiber expansion has passed over 1.6 million homes to date. If fiber lines are buried in your neighborhood, Optimum delivers future-proof internet capable of 8K video streaming, VR gaming, video editing, and any other high bandwidth tasks you throw at it.

  • Fiber Internet 1 Gig – $80/month for 1,000 Mbps
  • Fiber Internet 2 Gig – $100/month for 2,000 Mbps
  • Fiber Internet 5 Gig – $180/month for 5,000 Mbps

Many Optimum regions still lack fiber availability and offer legacy cable internet plans instead:

  • Optimum 300 – $45/month for 300 Mbps
  • Optimum 500 – $65/month for 500 Mbps
  • Optimum 1 Gig Coax – $85/month for 940 Mbps

Optimum wins on speed and pricing compared to other cable internet providers. We just wish their fiber network reached more Austin households to make full use of the now available multi-gig plans.

Verizon 5G Home Internet

Verizon 5G Home Internet stands out as an alternative high-speed option for select areas utilizing 5G for fixed wireless connectivity instead of fiber.

Max download speeds reach 300 Mbps on the entry-level plan and 1 Gbps with the 5G Home Plus upgrade.

  • 5G Home – $50/month for 300 Mbps
  • 5G Home Plus – $70/month for 1,000 Mbps

Verizon 5G Home Internet allows fast WiFi throughout your house without running wires. Everything connects wirelessly to a 5G receiver installed inside your home.

However, Verizon 5G coverage is still limited even in Austin. Use Verizon’s address checker to confirm 5G Home Internet eligibility for your location.

If you fall within a strong 5G coverage zone, it’s tough to beat Verizon’s no-contract pricing for 300 Mbps and 1 Gbps download speeds. Existing Verizon Wireless customers can save 50% off retail pricing as well making 5G Home Internet just $25 or $35 per month depending on the plan selected.

Key Factors In Choosing an Austin Internet Provider

We’ve covered a lot of ground comparing the top internet providers available in the Austin area. Let’s summarize a few key factors to weigh as you evaluate ISPs and determine the right fit.

1. Internet Speeds – Consider both the download and upload rates that will fulfill your household needs. Google Fiber and AT&T Fiber offer the fastest gigabit and multi-gig options in Austin.

2. Data Caps – All major Austin providers offer unlimited data on faster cable, fiber, and 5G plans. Satellite provider HughesNet imposes restrictive data limits as low as 15GB per month.

3. Price – Shop for discounted intro pricing in the $50 to $100 per month range. Watch for fees that can drive costs higher over time.

4. Contract Terms – Many ISPs lock you into a 1 to 2-year agreement. But no annual contract offers more flexibility to change providers.

5. Connection Reliability – Fiber and wired cable offer the most consistent performance. Mobile 5G and satellite may suffer weather or traffic-related issues.

Recommendations for the Best Austin Internet Providers

Here are our top recommendations across four common usage scenarios and budget ranges:

For Gaming and 4K Streaming

Google Fiber offers the fastest 2 Gbps fiber speeds with ultra low latency. AT&T Fiber also provides high bandwidth options up to 5Gbps.

For Reliability on a Budget

The $50 T-Mobile 5G Home Internet plan brings good connectivity with no contract. Spectrum 300 plan runs just $45/month as well.

For Large Households and Multiple Devices

Optimum’s 5Gbps fiber plan supports the highest simultaneous usage. Spectrum Gig and Verizon 5G Home Plus also allow 30+ devices.

For Rural Areas

HughesNet satellite internet starts at just $65 per month. Speeds reach 25Mbps with select high usage plans offering up to 100GB of priority data.

Bottom Line

Austin, Texas offers multiple high speed internet providers to handle household connectivity. AT&T, Spectrum, Optimum, and Google Fiber give urban residents access to fast and fairly affordable internet. Meanwhile HughesNet and new 5G options from T-Mobile bring usable internet to rural areas as well. Weigh factors like required download speeds, data usage, price, and contract terms to determine the best Austin internet provider for your home.