Best Cable Internet Providers for 2022

Fiber may be on the rise, but cable internet is still fast, available, and (mostly) cheap.

Best overall

Price: $40.00–$80.00/mo.
Max download speeds: 300 Mbps–940 Mbps
Data cap: Unlimited

Fastest

Price: $19.99–$299.95/mo.
Max download speeds: 50–2,000 Mbps
Data cap: 1.2 TB

Best for bundles

Price: $49.99–$89.99/mo.
Max download speeds: 300–1,000 Mbps
Data cap: Unlimited

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Coaxial cable-delivered internet may be two decades old, but it’s still one of the fastest and most readily available ways to get connected to the web. If you’ve outgrown DSL (which is likely) and fiber hasn’t yet reached your neighborhood (even more likely), cable is your best ‘net bet.

We’ve reviewed all of the major cable internet providers based on price, speed, contract length, and US coverage.

Optimum is the best cable provider overall with excellent performance and customer satisfaction, while Xfinity has the fastest cable internet speeds around (if you’re willing to pay a premium). Spectrum combines wide internet availability with stellar cable TV packages. Keep on reading for a full breakdown of our top cable internet providers.

Best cable internet service providers

Can you get cable internet?

Enter your zip code below to see if our top cable internet providers are available in your area.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Compare top cable internet providers

Brand Starting price Download speeds Data cap Plans
Optimum $40.00–$80.00/mo.** 300–940 Mbps Unlimited View Plan

Read Optimum Review
Xfinity $19.99–$299.95/mo.* 50–2,000 Mbps 1.2 TB View Plan

Read Xfinity Review
Spectrum $49.99–$89.99/mo.** 300–1,000 Mbps Unlimited View Plan

Read Spectrum Review

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
**For the first 12 months.

Optimum just widened its service area through a merger with Suddenlink, and this cable internet service provider (ISP) earned our top slot thanks to its high-value plans and features like unlimited data and a generous $500 contract buyout offer.

If you need the fastest cable internet packages, Xfinity is the only ISP with plans that have download speeds of more than 1 Gps. With Spectrum, you’ll get excellent cable internet plans and TV packages that come loaded with premium and basic cable channels.

Pro tip: Before you read any further, you may want to check out our availability map tool to see which services are in your area. Don’t be surprised if there’s only one; we live in an age of overnight acquisitions and consolidations.

Best overall: Optimum

Price:
$40.00–$80.00/mo.
Max download speeds:
300–940 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited

Pros

  • High speeds
  • Low prices

Cons

  • Limited availability
  • Expensive bundles

Optimum provides cable internet service to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, as well as 17 other states across the rest of the US. The company, owned by Altice since 2016, also delivers TV and digital phone services.

Value is Optimum’s biggest selling point: the affordable cable internet plans start at 300 Mbps, maxing out at 940 Mbps. You’ll also get excellent upload speeds of up to 35 Mbps. Those aren’t quite fiber-optic speed numbers, but they’re still higher than most other cable internet providers can claim.

We recommend the Optimum 300 cable internet plan, which delivers a more-than-adequate 300 Mbps of download speed (and 35 Mbps of upload speed) for just $40.00 a month.

Not around New York?

If you’re looking for internet outside of the Tri-state area, don’t sweat it: Optimum recently merged with Suddenlink, expanding its reach to 17 additional US states.

Optimum internet plans

Plan Price* Maximum download speed Maximum upload speed Details
Optimum 300
Our pick
$40.00/mo. 300 Mbps 20 Mbps View Plan
Optimum 500 $60.00/mo. 500 Mbps 20 Mbps View Plan
Optimum 1 Gig $80.00/mo. 940 Mbps 35 Mbps View Plan

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 1 yr. Plus taxes, equip. charges and fees.

Fastest: Xfinity

Price:
$19.99–$299.95/mo.
Max download speeds:
50–2,000 Mbps
Data cap:
1.2 TB

Pros

  • Wide availability
  • Variety of plans

Cons

  • Slow upload speeds
  • Lackluster customer service

Xfinity, part of Comcast, is the o.g. of cable internet and has the widest availability of all the providers reviewed here.

Both East and West Coasts are almost completely wired for Xfinity, as are several pockets of the country in between—like the Rockies in particular. Xfinity offers some high-speed packages at competitive prices, even in areas where there’s no cable internet competition.

Xfinity’s Gigabit package (1,200 Mbps, $94.99/mo.) is faster than most competing internet plans that typically top out at 940 Mbps. You can also get the Gigabit Pro plan, which offers 2,000 Mbps upload and download speeds for $299.95 monthly. Gigabit Pro definitely isn’t the most affordable plan, but it’s useful if you’re regularly downloading and uploading large files for work or school.

We recommend Xfinity’s Fast plan, which delivers 300 Mbps of download speed for $49.99 a month. Combined with Xfinity’s bundle options and xFi extras, it’s one of the best, and fastest, deals in cable internet.

Pro tip: You can use your own modem and router with Xfinity cable internet service, but the provider’s xFi Gateway modem/router is a slick piece of Wi-Fi tech you might want to take advantage of. It can power a full home security system and you can add xFi pods to create a Wi-Fi mesh system that eliminates signal dead spots in your house.

Xfinity internet plans

Plan Price Maximum download speed Maximum upload speed
Connect $19.99/mo.* 50 Mbps 5 Mbps View Plan
Connect More $39.99/mo.* 100 Mbps 5 Mbps View Plan
Fast
Our pick
$49.99/mo.* 300 Mbps 5 Mbps View Plan
Superfast $54.99/mo.* 600 Mbps 10 Mbps View Plan
Ultrafast $64.99/mo.* 900 Mbps 15 Mbps View Plan
Gigabit $94.99/mo.** 1,200 Mbps 35 Mbps View Plan
Gigabit Pro $299.95/mo.** 2,000 Mbps 2,000 Mbps View Plan

*For the first 12 months.
**For the first 24 months with a 2-year agreement.
Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Best for bundles: Spectrum

Price:
$49.99–$89.99/mo.
Max download speeds:
300 Mbps–1 Gbps
Data cap:
Unlimited

Pros

  • Excellent TV packages
  • High speeds

Cons

  • Price increases after a year
  • Expensive internet

In 2015, Charter Communications acquired rivals Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks and moved all residential cable internet operations over to the Spectrum brand. This resulted in a whole lot of cable internet coverage—Spectrum is second only to Xfinity in reach—and a bit of brand-name confusion.

Boring corporate-speak aside, you just want to know where Spectrum is available and if it’s any good, right? Well, it’s available basically everywhere in the eastern, western, and northern US, and the service is speedy and solid.

It’s also ridiculously simple, as Spectrum offers just three cable internet plans—indecisive shoppers rejoice.

The 300 Mbps Spectrum Internet plan goes for $49.99 a month (guaranteed for 12 months). That price includes the modem rental fee, and Wi-Fi connectivity to Spectrum mobile hotspots. Spectrum’s Ultra and Gig internet plans offer faster internet speeds, but they’re also priced higher than competing ISPs.

We’d recommend the Spectrum Internet plan because of its affordability and value. With a 300 Mbps internet plan, you’ll have enough bandwidth to support regular Netflix streaming or online gaming for a whole family.

Besides availability, one of the most convenient aspects of cable internet is being able to bundle it with TV and phone service at a discount—which any provider will hound you about.

We’re big fans of Spectrum’s TV bundles, which offer more channels and premium streaming services like HBO Max compared to other ISPs with TV services. We’d recommend Spectrum if you want cable TV and internet service from the same provider.

Spectrum internet plans

Plan Price* Maximum download speed Maximum upload speed
Spectrum Internet®
Our pick
$49.99/mo. 300 Mbps 10 Mbps View Plan
Spectrum Internet® Ultra $69.99/mo. 500 Mbps 20 Mbps View Plan
Spectrum Internet® Gig $89.99/mo. 1,000 Mbps 35 Mbps View Plan

*For the first 12 months.
Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

What to look for

When you’re shopping for cable internet service, you’ll want to consider your budget and your household’s internet speed needs. Check out our internet speed and data cap guides to learn more about the finer points of your internet plan.

How much speed do you need?

Triple-digit download speeds look impressive, but do they really affect your internet experience? Well, it depends on what you’re doing and how many others are doing it at the same time.

Cable internet performance can be slowed by not only usage in your household, but also the neighborhood—cable shares bandwidth, so peak hours (like when everyone jumps online after work around 5 p.m.) will sometimes be noticeably sluggish.

Here are some basic cable internet download speed guidelines to follow:

  • 25–50 Mbps: One- or two-person household; internet browsing, video streaming.
  • 50–100 Mbps: Four- or five-person household; internet, video streaming, gaming.
  • 100–200 Mbps: Six-or-more-person household; internet, video streaming, gaming, work-from-home activity.
  • 200–500 Mbps: Internet to your heart’s content.

What about upload speed?

If you’re working from home, chances are you’ll be uploading large files and video-conferencing between gaming sessions and YouTube breaks (no judgement here).

If that’s the case, you’ll need to know that cable internet upload speeds, as with DSL, are typically a fraction of its download speeds.

Depending on your baseline cable internet speed, it could take an hour or more to upload the latest episode of your true-crime podcast—can your fans wait that long?

If you need faster upload times, look into fiber internet, which offers equal download/upload speeds.

And what about data caps?

If you’re working from home, chances are you’ll be uploading large files and video-conferencing between gaming sessions and YouTube breaks (no judgement here).

If that’s the case, you’ll need to know that cable internet upload speeds, as with DSL, are typically a fraction of its download speeds.

Depending on your baseline cable internet speed, it could take an hour or more to upload the latest episode of your true-crime podcast—can your fans wait that long?

If you need faster upload times, look into fiber internet, which offers equal download/upload speeds.

Final take

Cable internet is one of the most popular ways to get internet access for a reason: it’s relatively affordable, it’s widely available, and you’ll get fast download speeds.

Optimum is our top pick thanks to its excellent download speeds and introductory prices. But if you’re outside of Optimum’s coverage area, you’ll still have excellent internet options that can fit any household’s needs with Xfinity or Spectrum.

Best cable internet providers FAQ

Which cable provides the best internet speed?

Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan offers the best cable internet speed. The plan has 2,000 Mbps download speeds for $299.95 monthly.

Which cable company has the cheapest internet?

Xfinity’s Connect plan is the cheapest cable internet package on the market. It costs $19.99 per month for the first year and comes with 50 Mbps download speeds.

Check out our cheap internet package guide to learn more about affordable internet options.

Methodology

To find the best cable internet provider, we started by considering companies with nationwide or multi-state coverage areas. We then evaluated the top cable internet providers based on availability, cost, and download speeds. We also drew star ratings from our annual customer satisfaction survey. You can learn more about our process on our “How We Rank” page.

Don't miss an update

Stay updated on the latest products and services anytime anywhere.