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Updated Jun 10, 2024

The Best Business Internet Service Providers of 2024

Keep your business running fast and customer Wi-Fi strong with leading internet service providers (ISP) like Spectrum and AT&T.

Mark Fairlie
Mark Fairlie, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
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A editor verified this analysis to ensure it meets our standards for accuracy, expertise and integrity.
Best for Symmetrical Speeds
AT&T Business
  • From $30 per month (wireless)
  • Dedicated, fiber and wireless
  • Max download speed 5 Gbps
USALinks to AT&T Business
Visit Site
  • From $30 per month (wireless)
  • Dedicated, fiber and wireless
  • Max download speed 5 Gbps
Best for Enterprise Businesses
Comcast Business ISP
  • From $49.99 per month (fiber)
  • Dedicated, fiber and wireless
  • Max download speed 1.25 Gbps
USALinks to Comcast Business ISP
Visit Site
  • From $49.99 per month (fiber)
  • Dedicated, fiber and wireless
  • Max download speed 1.25 Gbps
Best for Month-to-Month Contracts
Spectrum Business
  • From $49.99 per month (fiber)
  • Fiber and wireless backup
  • Max download speed 1 Gbps
USALinks to Spectrum Business
Visit Site
  • From $49.99 per month (fiber)
  • Fiber and wireless backup
  • Max download speed 1 Gbps
Best for Rural Businesses
Viasat logo
  • From $50 per month
  • Satellite internet only
  • Max download speed 150 Mbps
USALinks to Viasat
Visit Site
  • From $50 per month
  • Satellite internet only
  • Max download speed 150 Mbps
Best for Wireless Services
Verizon High-Speed Internet
  • From $59 per month (fiber)
  • Dedicated, fiber and wireless
  • Max download speed 2 Gbps
  • From $59 per month (fiber)
  • Dedicated, fiber and wireless
  • Max download speed 2 Gbps

Table of Contents

Open row combines comprehensive research, rigorous product testing and firsthand experiences to determine the best business tools and services. We independently analyze and rate each solution on broad factors, such as pricing, and industry-specific criteria, like internet speed in the case of internet service providers. Every evaluation is reviewed by a editor to ensure it is bias- and error-free.

As we investigated internet service providers, we compared and contrasted plan prices and contract terms, geographic availability, download and upload speeds, and service types (such as fiber, cable, wireless, satellite, etc.). We examined equipment requirements, analyzed installation processes and tested troubleshooting and customer support options. The opportunity to add on or bundle services also factored into our assessments. Learn more about our methodology and editorial process.

Today’s businesses need an internet service that offers high-speed and reliable connectivity to operate efficiently and profitably. They also need the certainty that, as they grow, their internet service can scale with them to support more users and their devices. With so many providers on the market and limited availability depending on your location, choosing the right service can be challenging.

We reviewed 24 of the country’s leading business internet service providers to help you select the right provider for your company. We evaluated each based on speed, reliability, contract length, customer support and cost-effectiveness. Then, we selected our best picks based on which business needs we think each solves most effectively.

Viasat speed test

Businesses now rely more than ever on fast, stable internet connections. Source: Viasat

Tip Bulb

How We Decided

Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.







Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.







Compare Our Best Picks

BDC Ribbon
Our Top Picks for 2024
AT&T Business
Comcast Business ISP
Spectrum Business
Verizon High-Speed Internet
Rating (Out of 10)
Use Case

Symmetrical speeds

Enterprise Businesses

Month-to-month contracts

Rural Businesses

Wireless Service


Base Price

$40 per month (fiber), $30 per month (wireless)

$49.99 per month

$49.99 per month

$50 per month

$59 per month (fiber), $69 per month (wireless)

$65 per month


Varies by service

2-year commitment for most plans

No annual commitment

Month-to-month service

Varies by service

No contract required

Max Download Speed

5 Gbps

1.25 Gbps

1 Gbps

150 Mbps (satellite)

2 Gbps

1 Gbps

Service Type

Dedicated, fiber and wireless

Dedicated, fiber and wireless

Fiber and wireless backup


Dedicated, fiber and wireless

Fiber and wireless

Customer Service




7 days a week




Wireless backup, voice and security

Wireless backup, guest WiFi and security

Wireless backup, business WiFi and security

Backup internet

Wireless backup, security, video conferencing and voice

VOIP telephony, business trunking, hosted voice

Fiber Data




Unlimited with soft data caps (satellite)



Install Charge

Free (online orders only)

Included in subscription

Included in subscription

Varies by location

Free in certain circumstances

Free (online orders only)

Review Link
Scroll Table


  • Base Price: $40 per month (fiber); $30 per month (wireless)
  • Top Features: 5 Gbps maximum speed, 24/7 customer service, free installation on online orders, wireless back-up, voice, security.
  • Minimum subscription: Varies by service
Editor's Rating: 8.8/10
Visit Site

Why AT&T Business is Best for Symmetrical Speeds

E-commerce businesses and marketing agencies are prime examples of businesses that need quick upload speeds to upload large product images and videos and transfer large files to clients and team members. The problem many companies in this position face is that traditional high-speed internet offers much slower upload speeds than download speeds. This can create bottlenecks in companies, impacting their productivity and increasing the chances that they’ll miss important deadlines.

If your business is experiencing these challenges, AT&T’s service proposition is compelling. Businesses on the top subscription package benefit from a 5Gb upload and download speed and a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, making it the fastest and most reliable business internet provider in our review. We also really appreciate that fiber connections require no annual contract, unlike many competitors we reviewed, which gives companies a great degree of flexibility. For businesses wanting the most reliable connections, AT&T Business also offers a dedicated internet service.

AT&T Internet Air for Business

AT&T has just introduced the Internet Air for Business, a new plug-and-play route for commercial customers. Source: AT&T Business

AT&T Business Pricing and Services

You can choose an AT&T business internet plan based on the levels of speed you need. For ecommerce businesses and others that rely heavily on their internet connection, we recommend selecting a higher priced plan. Businesses that don’t do much more online than send emails and use basic business software can save some money by selecting a lower priced plan.

Speed Price
300 Mbps speed $70
500 Mbps speed $100
Up to 1 Gbps $170
2 Gbps speed $185
5 Gbps speed $285

All plans currently include AT&T Active Armor (a mobile security app), a Wi-Fi gateway, a free business line, and free installation on online orders.

AT&T offers two wireless internet plans at $30 per month and $70 per month. The only difference between the two subscription levels is that the $70 service offers high priority on the first 250 GB of data in the month.

The company also offers a dedicated internet service with speeds up to 1 Tbps. You need to approach the sales team for a personalized quote for this plan, though.

AT&T Business Advantages

  • AT&T’s symmetrical upload and download speeds are much faster than their competition and offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • For smaller businesses reliant on the internet but not requiring speeds of up to 5 Gbps, the vendor offers a range of fiber plans starting from a low $70 per month.
  • For businesses not in a fiber zone, AT&T Business’s 5G and LTE services offer a high allocation of priority data on the higher plan.

AT&T Business Disadvantages

  • Although there is wide 5G and LTE coverage, fiber optic broadband may not have reached your area yet.
  • AT&T Business plans are often more expensive than similar services offered by competitors.
  • Heavy data users on the 5G and LTE plans may experience slower service during periods of high demand.

AT&T Business Customer Reviews

Although there are some customers expressing frustration online with parts of the AT&T Business service, the majority of feedback is positive. The company scores 4.2 out of 5 on Gartner with one user commenting that they liked the “high bandwidth and reliable fiber Internet connectivity. Support process is easy to use.”

Click here for our full AT&T Business review

  • Base Price: $49.99 per month
  • Top Features: 1.25 GB maximum speed, 24/7 customer service, free installation, wireless backup, guest Wi-Fi and security
  • Minimum subscription: 2 years for most plans
Editor's Rating: 8.4/10
Visit Site

Why Comcast Business ISP is Best for Enterprise Businesses

Enterprise businesses require a flexible and scalable internet service capable of managing everything from international communications to keeping remote workers connected. The issue is that many ISPs don’t have the infrastructure to be able to maintain high performance levels across a number of often challenging use cases.

Comcast is the largest ISP in the U.S. and we found its advanced and robust high-speed, high-capacity 1.25 Gbps network very capable for handling the complex and substantial data needs of larger companies. Their recent purchase of Masergy now means that Comcast has a footprint in over 100 countries.

We also liked that Comcast employs a series of technologies like SD-WAN to improve security, a key factor for many enterprises, often entrusted with highly sensitive personal and financial data. The firm offers a strong service-level agreement to clients protecting them against downtimes and slower speeds. In the event of a network failure, you have the peace of mind knowing that their automatic internet backup service will tide you over.

Comcast bundles

Comcast Business ISP bundles in SecurityEdge, leading cybersecurity software with each of its business internet plans Source: Comcast Business ISP

Comcast Business ISP Pricing and Services

Comcast offers two plans on each of their four internet speeds, one of which includes a business phone line in the price. We obtained quotes for the Comcast service using the FL 34744 zip code however prices may vary across the country.

Speed Speed + Security Offer Price Speed + Phone + Security Offer Price
300 Mbps $69 per month $80 per month
500 Mbps $90 per month $100 per month plus a $200 Visa® Prepaid Card
800 Mbps $120 per month $130 per month plus a $300 Visa® Prepaid Card
1.25 Gbps $160 per month $170 per month plus a $400 Visa® Prepaid Card

All plans bundled Comcast Security Business Edge. “Speed + Phone + Security” include one phone line and a $20 per month saving for 12 months if you add mobile coverage to your account. All plans charge an extra $10 per month if you don’t sign up for paperless billing and Auto Pay.

Comcast Business ISP Advantages

  • Enterprise businesses benefit from Comcast’s high-speed internet capacity and extensive national and international infrastructure and thanks to its position as a leading global telecom company.
  • Businesses handling sensitive personal and financial data access the network’s advanced cybersecurity features on all plans.
  • Comcast offers robust internet backup service to clients in the rare event that their main network suffers an outage or interruption.

Comcast Business ISP Disadvantages

  • Although 1.25 Gbps will be enough for most businesses, the maximum speed on Comcast is significantly slower than the fastest speed AT&T Business offers.
  • Plans requiring less than a two-year commitment are available, however you will likely pay a premium for this.
  • The maximum upload speed on the Comcast network is 35 Mbps, which may be far too slow for some businesses.

Comcast Business ISP Customer Reviews

Comcast Business ISP generally scores well in online customer reviews although some clients have expressed concern about internet speeds in parts of the country and their customer service team. Overall however, the company scores 3.9 out of 5 on Gartner with an impressive 63% of reviewers recommending the service. Reviewers on Featured Customer rate the service as 4.7 out of 5.

Click here for our full Comcast Business ISP review

  • Base Price: $49.99 per month
  • Top Features: 1 Gbps maximum speed, 24/7 customer support, installation charge include in subscription, wireless backup, business Wi-Fi, security.
  • Minimum subscription: No contract required
Editor's Rating: 8.8/10
Visit Site

Why Spectrum Business is Best for Month-to-Month Contracts

Some businesses grow so rapidly that they have to find new premises on a regular basis. Other firms are seasonal and may only occupy an office or shop for a month or two at a time. For these types of companies, long-term internet contracts are restrictive and impractical. The problem has been that, traditionally, many providers want a commitment of between one and five years when signing up for a service. While they can leave early, this often results in significant termination fees.

We love the flexibility that Spectrum provides its customers with its month-to-month contract option. Another draw for their service is the unlimited data they offer and free business email addresses, important for companies reliant on the internet to do business. We also appreciate how their RingCentral-powered Business Connect app keeps teams connected and productive thanks to the support it offers for phone calls, messages, videos and file transfers. [Read Related: RingCentral Review]

Woman having a video chat with multiple people

Spectrum’s internet speeds can support multiple simultaneous tasks including bandwidth-hungry tasks like video conferencing. Source: Spectrum Business

Spectrum Business Pricing and Services

Spectrum Business offers three speeds to clients on their internet service:

Speed Price
Up to 300 Mbps speed $49.99
Up to 600 Mbps speed $89.99
Up to 1 Gbps $164.99

The prices shown require you to sign up for a 12-month contract. With your contract, you also receive free advanced Wi-Fi with Security Shield and 1 free unlimited mobile line. After the first year of service, fees are payable on both of these if you choose to continue.

The company does not proactively advertise its “no contract prices”, however it’s still very much on offer across their website. You’ll need to speak to a rep to find out the latest offer but you should expect it to be higher than the 12-month contract fees.

If you don’t settle your bill by Auto Pay, you’ll pay an additional $5 per month.

Spectrum Business Advantages

  • In addition to their standard 12-month contracts, Spectrum also offers month-to-month options for companies wanting greater flexibility.
  • Spectrum’s partnership with RingCentral means that you can make calls, send messages, transfer videos and transfer files from your cell phone
  • The company’s 1 Gbps is great value. Although not the cheapest on the market, it is up to 30 percent less than many of its main competitors.

Spectrum Business Disadvantages

  • While the month-to-month deals are a welcome option, you have to contact the company to find out how much they cost.
  • This vendor’s upload speeds are capped at 35 Mbps, which may not be fast enough for some types of businesses.
  • The Advanced Wi-Fi box costs an extra $10 per month. Bundling the box as part of the subscription charges would have been better for customers.

Spectrum Business Customer Review

Spectrum Business does not fare as well in online reviews as some of the competitors we feature on this page. They score 3.6 out of 5 on G2 despite the fact that 76% of clients rate the service as 4 or 5. While some customers have expressed concerns on service team availability, others comment that the internet service is “fast and efficient, and hardly produces any lag or buffering”.

Click here for our full Spectrum Business review

Viasat logo
  • Base Price: $50 per month
  • Top Features: 150 Mbps maximum speed (satellite service), 7 day a week customer service, free installation in some cases, back-up internet.
  • Minimum subscription: Month-to-month service
Editor's Rating: 8.2/10
Visit Site

Why Viasat is Best for Rural Businesses

Wired internet infrastructure is incredibly expensive causing many ISPs and telco only to focus on building out networks in urban areas, leaving rural parts of the country behind. For the most rural, getting 5G- or LTE-based internet is possible but it’s unreliable and too slow. If this describes your business, Viasat may be a suitable option.

We liked that Viasat provides satellite internet to 96% of the U.S. population with speeds of up to 35 Mbps. This helps rural firms stay competitive, allowing them to video conference and transfer large data files. Handily, they also offer a three- to five-day turnaround on installation and provide back-up wireless internet in case of downtime. We also liked that they provide persistent IPs, important for ensuring secure and uninterrupted remote internet access. We appreciate the company’s involved in the Connect America Fund, which claims to make high-quality internet for rural businesses affordable and reliable.

Viasat gateway

The Viasat WiFi Gateway support voice services and provides two ethernet ports for wired connections to devices Source: Viasat

Viasat Pricing and Services

Pricing, speed, and plan availability vary according to where you are. For the quotes below, we used a FL 34744 zip code:

Speed Service Fees Speeds Provided with Plans
50 Mbps
  • $49.99 per month
  • $1.23 Admin Fee
  • $15 Lease Fee
  • 92 Mbps download
  • 4 Mbps upload
  • 642 ms latency
  • 50 GB data
150 Mbps
  • $159.99 per month
  • $1.23 Admin Fee
  • $15 Lease Fee
  • 123 Mbps download
  • 5 Mbps upload
  • 636 ms latency
  • Unlimited data

There are other fees to consider too in this Florida location, again which may vary according to where you are located and may not apply to you. This includes an installation fee of $500 as well as an activation fee for the same amount, which the company may discount partly or fully. There is also an early termination fee of $20 per month for each month remaining in the contract.

Viasat Advantages

  • Viasat brings high speed internet services now to parts of the country that will not be connected to fiber internet services for years to come, if ever.
  • Persistent IPs allow employees to securely connect to company networks and resources without frequent interruptions or the need to reconfigure settings.
  • Most plans now offer unlimited data meaning that internet costs are predictable from month to month.

Viasat Disadvantages

  • Upload speeds are very slow compared to cable, wireless and fiber broadband, maxing out at 5 Mbps on Viasat.
  • Viasat, like all satellite providers, struggles with latency issues meaning real-time applications like video conferencing can experience delays
  • Some users reported a prolonged loss of service during adverse weather conditions.

Click here for our full Viasat review

  • Base Price: $59 per month (fiber), $69 per month (wireless)
  • Top Features: 2 Gbps maximum speed, 24/7 customer service, free installation for online orders, VOIP telephony, business trunking, hosted voice
  • Minimum subscription: Varies by service
Editor's Rating: 8.6/10

Why Verizon High-Speed Internet is Best for Wireless Services

Remote work and out-of-office working is more prevalent than ever before. While fixed line internet direct to an office is still important, so is providing high-quality connectivity to members of your team who don’t work in your office. For this use case, we were impressed by Verizon High-Speed Internet.

Verizon’s 5G Business Internet plan offers up to 400 Mbps in speed and the peace of mind of a 10-year fixed rate. Their LTE service delivers speeds of up to 50 Mbps with limited priority network access during the month. We loved that you could cancel your contract within 30 days of sign-up too with no penalty if you decide the service is not for you. Better still, the firm offers up to $1,500 to help you pay to switch to their account. If you want super-fast broadband to your office premises, you can stick with the same supplier as Verizon’s FIOS fiber service provides 2 Mbps of speed with up to a 5-year price fix.

Verizon routes

Verizon’s newest routes support Wi-Fi 6E and also operate on the newer 6 GHz channel for increased Wi-Fi speeds. Source: Verizon High-Speed Internet

Verizon High-Speed Internet Pricing and Services

Pricing for Verizon’s 5G wireless service are as follows.

Speed Service Fees
100 Mbps $69 per month
200 Mbps $99 per month
400 Mbps $199 per month

Monthly charges are subject to taxes, fees and an economic adjustment charge. All plans require self set-up and offer a 10 year price guarantee, a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and select router (monthly payment plan needed for 100 and 200 Mbps service). Verizon is also offering up to $1,500 to cover the cost of switching and a $30 per month discount if you pair the service with a Business Unlimited smartphone plan.

Pricing for Verizon’s LTE wireless service are as follows.

Speed Service Fees Premium network access Price guarantee
10 Mbps $69 per month 25 GB 1 year
25 Mbps $99 per month 50 GB 2 years
50 Mbps $199 per month 150 GB 3 years

Monthly charges are subject to taxes, fees and an economic adjustment charge. Each plan offers a 300 GB monthly data allowance, no annual service contracts, no early termination fee and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee As with the 5G plan, Verizon is offering up to $1,500 to cover the cost of switching and a $30 per month discount if you pair the service with a Business Unlimited smartphone plan.

The current charges for Verizon’s FIOS fiber service are as follows.

Speed Service Fees Speeds Provided with Plans
200 Mbps $59 per month
  • 1-year price guarantee
  • Save $20 per month for one Business Digital Voice line
500 Mbps $79 per month
  • 2-year price guarantee
  • 30-day money-back guarantee on 2-year term
  • $100 Visa® Prepaid Card when you switch
1 Gbps $99 per month
  • 3-year price guarantee
  • No activation fee
  • Router rental fee included
  • Save $20 per month for one Business Digital Voice line
  • $200 Visa® Prepaid Card when you switch
2 Gbps $129 per month
  • 5-year price guarantee
  • No activation fee
  • Router rental fee included
  • Save $20 per month for one Business Digital Voice line
  • $200 Visa® Prepaid Card when you switch

Monthly charges are subject to taxes, fees and equipment charges. All plans offer unlimited data and a 30-day money-back guarantee if you sign up for two years.

You’ll need to contact Verizon directly to inquire about the dedicated line service.

Verizon High-Speed Internet Advantages

  • Verizon offers high-speed broadband across a variety of different business types including fiber, 5G and LTE, providing customers with impressive coverage across the U.S.
  • For smaller businesses on the move, the discount on business lines for making calls and sending and receiving messages offers real savings.
  • If your business needs extremely fast upload speeds, the performance of Verizon’s FIOS fiber broadband service is superior compared to most of its competitors.

Verizon High-Speed Internet Disadvantages

  • Although quicker than many fiber networks, Verizon has a much lower top speed than AT&T Business.
  • While the price guarantees on plans are welcome, it is unclear when you sign up just how much your subscription will rise once the guarantee elapses.
  • You may be charged a router rental fee on lower speed fiber connections, adding further to the cost.

Verizon High-Speed Internet Customer Review

Verizon receives a generally favorable reception from its customers, scoring 4.2 out of 5 across over 450 reviews on Best Company. The company receives praise for the quality of its connection and customer services team.

Click here for our full Verizon High-Speed Internet review

Optimum logo
  • Base Price: $59 per month (fiber), $69 per month (wireless)
  • Top Features: 1 Gbps maximum speed, 24/7 customer service, free installation on online orders, hosted voice, business trunking, retail and leisure TV channel provision.
  • Minimum subscription: Varies by service
Editor's Rating: 7.5/10

Why Optimum is Best for SMBs

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) seeking out a new internet service provider face two major issues – pricing and suitability. Many vendors charge a premium for connectivity and their services are more geared towards larger firms. We really appreciate the package Optimum has built out to address these concerns. There is no minimum contract length, giving you the flexibility to move suppliers if your needs change without being hit by early termination fees – important for managing your fixed costs. The 24/7 customer support is also impressive as the company aims to resolve all issues same-day, even if this involves an on-site visit. We also like the 60-day money-back guarantee the firm provides allowing you to try their service risk-free.

Optimum internet store

Optimum have over 100 local stores across the areas they serve. Source: Optimum

Optimum Pricing and Services

Optimum serves different markets across parts of the U.S. and the internet service offered to businesses varies depending on region. We obtained the pricing below using a FL 34744 zip code.

Product Price Download Speed Upload Speed
1 Gbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $349.95 1000 Mbps 50 Mbps
500 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $244.95 500 Mbps 20-50 Mbps
400 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet (400 Mbps market) $244.95 400 Mbps 20 Mbps
300 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $204.95 300 Mbps 20-50 Mbps
200 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $204.95 ($154.95) 200 Mbps 20-35 Mbps
150 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $244.95 150 Mbps 10 Mbps
100 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet ($204.95 in non-Gigabit Mbps) $154.95 100 Mbps 10 Mbps
50 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet ($210.90 in Internet Service markets at 5 Mbps upload speed) $154.95 50 Mbps 8 Mbps
30 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $145.90 30 Mbps 3 Mbps
25 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $104.95 25 Mbps 5 Mbps
20 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $135.95 20 Mbps 2 Mbps
15 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $85.95 15 Mbps 2 Mbps
6 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $79.95 6 Mbps 768 kbps
3 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $70.95 3 Mbps 512 kbps
1 Mbps Optimum Business Secure Internet $65.95 1 Mbps 384 kbps

Where there are two upload speeds next to a plan, the higher upload speed refers to Optimum’s Gigabit markets. When same-speed services are offered at different prices and with differing upload speeds in different markets, this is indicated next to the product name. All subscription levels come with cyber security protection.

Optimum Advantages

  • For companies not wanting to enter into a long term contract for internet provision, Optimum offers a very flexible, easy-come-easy-go approach.
  • There are over 100 retail outlets that can provide support to customers in addition to the 24/7 phone and email support.
  • Optimum supplies customers with robust cybersecurity protection, blocking access to malicious sites and preventing DDoS attacks.

Optimum Disadvantages

  • Compared to other providers, Optimum is very expensive with 1 Gbps plans costing more than twice as much as some other providers.
  • Upload speeds on most plans compare poorly to other competitors outside the company’s Gigabit market area.
  • The company appears to be in the middle of a reputational crisis with high volumes of poor reviews from users.

Internet Service Provider Pricing

Although pricing is structured differently for each provider, it is typically determined by a few factors. Because there are so many speed and service options, it is a good idea to talk with a service provider representative about your options so you have a thorough understanding of the plan, the exact speeds and features you will receive, and the costs of add-ons. Hidden costs can be detrimental, especially to a small business, and no business should be cost-burdened by the need to function online. Upstanding internet service providers will be candid and explicit about their prices.


Although month-to-month plans may appear less intimidating, the monthly costs are often higher than the costs associated with a two-year contract. Your service provider representative can help you assess the benefit of bundling services such as phone and internet, which often helps to lower the overall costs.

Before you sign any contracts, it is important to note any cancellation fees, whether the provider offers a price lock to guarantee a solid rate, installation fees, and the costs to upgrade or add features to your plan. Ask yourself if the provider throws in free features because it values its customers or if the provider demands a fee for every change or addition to your plan.

FYIDid you know

Depending on the service provider you choose, starting costs typically range from $50 to $90 per month.

Internet Service Provider Features

Internet service involves more than the ability to get online. Here are some additional features you may want to consider when choosing a service provider.


Add-ons — such as wireless backup, security tools and guest Wi-Fi — can be extremely beneficial to a growing business with evolving needs, but they can be misleading. When you’re shopping for an internet service provider, it is important to assess the features included with a plan and the features that require an additional fee. If the price of a plan is low but your business needs an array of additional features, the fees to attain those features may not be affordable.

Plan Options

While some internet service providers offer just a few service plans, others feature a large variety of plans with numerous unique features and categories. Depending on your business’s needs, a few plan options with set pricing and features may suffice. Other businesses with more complex needs may benefit from an internet service provider with plans that support things like large-scale data backup, wireless backup internet options and even television services (for businesses such as restaurants and bars).

Speed Capabilities

Because your business’s needs may change, it is important to assess the internet speed options that different ISPs provide, which range from low to extremely fast. If your business is expanding, expecting to move locations or changing its customer interaction levels, the option to upgrade or purchase a higher-speed plan can be a key to success.

One area to pay close attention to is the download and upload speeds. If you see only one speed listed, usually in Mbps or Gbps, it’s likely the download speed. AT&T is one of the few providers to offer symmetrical upload and download speeds with all dedicated and fiber plans, while Verizon offers the same with nearly all of its dedicated and fiber plans.

FYIDid you know

While many ISPs offer business customers unlimited data, businesses that cross monthly data thresholds will experience slower internet speeds.

AT&T ethernet

Connect devices close to a Wi-Fi router with an ethernet cable for a more stable connection. Source: AT&T

Provider Type

If your business operates in a nontraditional industry setting, like a remote location or strictly mobile, the type of internet service provider you choose can change the way your business operates online. Rural businesses may opt for a satellite-based provider or a provider with strong backup capabilities in the case of an internet outage. Businesses that rely heavily on mobile communications may opt for a provider that specializes in wireless communication and uses 5G for high-speed internet connections.

Customer Service

Regardless of your business needs, your internet service provider should demonstrate quality customer service. Troubleshooting is an inevitable part of online business; the internet is never a sure thing, and technical difficulties are common. Providers with 24/7 business-class support can help your business get the assistance it needs in a timely manner so you can continue operating smoothly. Before you choose a provider, it is important to ensure you will have the help you need to set up your service and handle any technical problems that arise. Most of the providers we’ve reviewed offer 24/7 customer support and uptimes above 99 percent.

Comcast store

Like Optimum, Comcast operates a network of stores across America under the Xfinity brand. Source: Comcast

How to Choose an Internet Service Provider

When you’re choosing a business internet service provider, it’s helpful to follow these steps:

1. Understand your specific business needs.

Before you research internet service providers, it is important to have a clear vision of your business needs. Clearly define your business’s size, how you use the internet most frequently, how your needs may change, where your business operates, the level of security you need and whether you need flexibility in your plan.

Did You Know?Did you know

Satellite internet providers often cover areas where DSL and fiber-optic cables can’t reach.

2. Identify the providers that work to accommodate businesses like yours.

After you assess your business needs, research different internet providers and compare their service plans. It can be useful to compare different plan tiers within one provider as well as similar plans from different providers. Note whether certain plans require add-ons for the service to function the way you need it to, which plans offer scalable options, and the comparative prices of each plan.

3. Talk with different providers to learn about their plans.

Speaking directly with a representative can help clarify the ISP’s ability to provide you with the service you need. Oftentimes, website information can be confusing, and representatives can help you assess which plan makes the most sense for your unique business needs. Speaking with a provider can also give you a better idea of how the company treats its customers.

If you don’t see free installation as part of a promotion when you make your purchase, call a representative to ask if you can have the installation fee waived.

4. Assess your plan options in the context of your present and future needs.

While a lower-tier plan may appear enticing because of its cheaper prices, a lot can change in a year. Because many internet service providers require customers to enter a two-year contract, it is wise to consider the future of your business. You may find it more sensible to purchase a plan with faster internet speeds or additional features. If the future is too uncertain, you may want to opt for a provider that offers a no-contract or month-by-month plan.

5. Choose a plan that is affordable and scalable.

After extensive consideration and research, the best-suited plan will be clear to you.

It’s essential to choose a plan that is affordable for your business, but it is also important to select a plan that can be scaled appropriately in the future. Before you make your final decision, make sure your provider has the capability to support your needs, the flexibility to grow and change along with your business, and the drive to continue providing the best internet connection feasible.

Benefits of Internet Service Providers

These are some of the many benefits of working with a top internet service provider:

  • Improves mobility: Access to wireless communication is key to business success, as many teams need to communicate through mobile phones and tablets.
  • Increases remote access: Wherever a business is, it needs high-speed broadband internet to function appropriately and efficiently.
  • Enables reliable communication: Profitable business requires effective communication both internally and externally, as well as online, to function properly.
  • Offers professional support: Internet service providers help your business troubleshoot quickly to allow your business to run smoothly.
  • Enhances brand reputability: A powerful and reliable internet connection enables seamless communication that demonstrates the integrity of your business.

Internet Service Provider FAQs

If you run a business, you need internet service. Having business internet is a must for your employees and customers. While the technology and service providers may be the same for business and residential internet, business internet customers typically get priority customer service and network priority over residential customers. If the network is slow, businesses will be allocated better speeds. If the network goes down, businesses will enjoy a faster response time.

No, advertised download and upload speeds are provided under perfect conditions, which are not realistic for most business users sharing a network in real time, often over a Wi-Fi connection. You should expect your actual speed, when tested, to be well below the advertised speed on your plan.

When you’re measuring speed against cost, fiber is usually the best option for business. If you want the fastest possible upload and download speeds, a dedicated (non-shared) internet option is your best choice. However, in many cases, your location will dictate the types of service available. With limited options at your disposal, the fastest speed is usually the best speed for business applications.

What to Expect in 2024

While different internet service providers are tailored to specific types of businesses, they are still highly competitive. The best providers continuously work to improve their services by increasing the speed and strength of their internet connections and the breadth of their plans’ features. Choosing an internet provider with a commitment to improving its services can be pivotal, especially when many providers require their customers to enter a two-year contract.

Before choosing a provider, you may want to inquire about upcoming improvements. Some companies may not currently offer service in all the areas you need, but they might be expanding their reach to provide higher-quality, broader service in the near future. Many providers have committed to spending billions to expand their fiber networks across the country. Viasat is already available almost everywhere in the United States, and the company plans to be a global provider within the next two years after it adds more satellites. Other companies are continuously working to strengthen their dedicated, wireless and fiber-optic connections. The potential for improved access to high-speed internet service in the next few years may influence the success of businesses across all industries.

Integrations, partnerships and acquisitions are also important to consider. Spectrum’s recent partnership with RingCentral has significantly improved its mobile communication capabilities and allows businesses to more effectively operate with mobility. Online communication is complex, and providers that demonstrate their ability to integrate helpful technologies into their services should be recognized by business customers.

Mark Fairlie
Mark Fairlie, Senior Analyst & Expert on Business Ownership
Mark Fairlie brings decades of expertise in telecommunications and telemarketing to the forefront as the former business owner of a direct marketing company. Also well-versed in a variety of other B2B topics, such as taxation, investments and cybersecurity, he now advises fellow entrepreneurs on the best business practices. With a background in advertising and sales, Fairlie made his mark as the former co-owner of Meridian Delta, which saw a successful transition of ownership in 2015. Through this journey, Fairlie gained invaluable hands-on experience in everything from founding a business to expanding and selling it. Since then, Fairlie has embarked on new ventures, launching a second marketing company and establishing a thriving sole proprietorship.
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