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Best Internet Providers for Gaming

We’ve analyzed which internet providers offer the best performance for Twitch streams and League of Legends matches.

Best fiber ISP for gaming
Price:
$49.99–$89.99/mo.
Download speed:
300–2,300 Mbps
Data cap:
None
Price:
$49.99–$89.99/mo.
Download speed:
300–2,300 Mbps
Data cap:
None
Best cable ISP for gaming
Price:
$40.00–$180.00/mo.
Download speed:
300–5,000 Mbps
Data cap:
None
Price:
$40.00–$180.00/mo.
Download speed:
300–5,000 Mbps
Data cap:
None
Fastest
Price:
$19.99–$85.00/mo.
Download speed:
75–6,000 Mbps
Data cap:
1.2 TB
Price:
$19.99–$85.00/mo.
Download speed:
75–6,000 Mbps
Data cap:
1.2 TB
Best value
Price:
$44.99–$129.99/mo.
Download speed:
500–5,000 Mbps
Data cap:
None
Price:
$44.99–$129.99/mo.
Download speed:
500–5,000 Mbps
Data cap:
None

When you’re gaming online, you’ll need an internet connection that’s fast and reliable. Verizon Fios and Optimum are our top gaming internet service provider (ISP) picks because both offer fast download speeds and low latency.

Verizon Fios takes the edge over Optimum because it offers fiber internet performance and the lowest possible latency. But if Verizon Fios isn’t available in your area, you’ll still get great internet plans and gaming performance from Optimum.

Jump to:

How to get the best internet speed for gaming

Fiber and cable internet providers like Verizon Fios and Optimum offer the best internet speeds for gaming and streaming. Type in your zip code below to see if fiber ISPs are available in your area.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Best internet providers for gaming

Compare top gaming internet providers

Provider Price Download speeds Data cap Internet type
Verizon $49.99–$89.99/mo. 300–2,300 Mbps None Fiber
Read Verizon Review
Optimum $40.00–$180.00/mo. 300–5,000 Mbps None Cable/Fiber
Read Optimum Review
Xfinity $19.99–$85.00/mo. 75–6,000 Mbps 1.2 TB Cable
Read Xfinity Review
Frontier Fiber $44.99–$129.99/mo. 500–5,000 Mbps None Fiber
Read Frontier Review

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

Verizon Fios is our pick for the best gaming ISP, because you’ll get low latency and excellent transfer speeds. Frontier’s fiber internet is our next-best fiber internet option for gaming.

Optimum is our top cable ISP for gaming because of its great service reliability, affordable high-speed internet plans, and low latency. We’d also recommend Optimum fiber internet coverage if it’s available in your neighborhood because you’ll get excellent download and upload speeds.

Xfinity’s latency and internet reliability scores were a slight step behind Optimum, but the ISP still offers decent performance and wide availability. Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro package is also the fastest internet plan on the market, but with its high price tag, it’s definitely not as budget-friendly as Optimum.

Best fiber internet provider for gaming: Verizon Fios

Price:
$49.99–$89.99/mo.
Internet speed:
300–2,300 Mbps
Data cap:
None

Pros

  • Low latency
  • Excellent internet reliability
  • Fast fiber internet connection

Cons

  • Limited availability

Verizon Fios’ past awards have included earning our top fiber internet ISP ranking and being a two-time winner for best customer satisfaction. Now, the ISP can add being our top ISP for gaming, too.

We always recommend getting fiber internet whenever you can because you’ll have the fastest download and upload speeds, along with the lowest possible latency, compared to cable or DSL internet. For gamers, low latency and fast transfer speeds ensure that you’ll have a smooth online gaming experience and quick download times.

This fiber internet ISP has an average latency of 12.5 ms, which was the third-best time among our evaluated ISPs. No subscribers reported having serious download consistency or packet loss issues, which was best-in-class among our evaluated fiber ISPs.

Verizon Fios offers three affordable fiber internet plans: 200 Mbps, 400 Mbps, and 940 Mbps download speeds for between $49.99–$89.99/mo..

Verizon Fios’ only downside is its limited availability. The ISP is primarily based in the northeast US, so if you don’t live in certain areas of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, or Washington, DC, you’ll have to look elsewhere for fiber internet coverage. AT&T Fiber is one option, and even has faster speeds, although it can be a bit pricier.

Benchmark scores

Benchmark Score
Average latency 12.5 ms
Download consistency 0%
Packet loss 0%

Best cable internet provider for gaming: Optimum

Price:
$40.00–$180.00/mo.
Internet speed:
300–5,000 Mbps
Data cap:
None

Pros

  • Excellent internet reliability for a cable internet provider
  • High internet speed consistency
  • Low latency

Cons

  • Unimpressive customer satisfaction scores

Cable internet has traditionally been the middle child, sandwiched between DSL and fiber internet, but Optimum’s excellent cable internet network provides fiber internet-level reliability.

The ISP’s 11.9 ms average latency is in line with fiber ISPs like Verizon Fios and first among evaluated cable ISPs, which average latency times of around 16 ms. Like most cable ISPs, Optimum has also been investing in its fiber internet network. If your neighborhood gets Optimum fiber coverage, you’ll get faster upload and download speeds compared to Optimum’s cable internet plans. You’ll benefit from faster upload speeds if you’re frequently broadcasting your games on Twitch or uploading large files.

Looking for Optimum fiber or cable internet service?

Enter your zip code below to see if Optimum is available in your area.

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Optimum’s biggest fly in the ointment is its middling customer satisfaction scores. On our 2023 survey, Optimum landed in the bottom tier of our surveyed ISPs, and the provider earned similarly lackluster customer satisfaction and monthly billing scores.

Benchmark scores

Benchmark Score
Average latency 11.9 ms
Download consistency 5.7%
Packet loss 2.3%

Fastest advertised speeds: Xfinity

Price:
$19.99–$85.00/mo.
Internet speed:
75–6,000 Mbps
Data cap:
1.2 TB

Pros

  • Wide availability
  • Decent internet performance

Cons

  • Contract pricing that increases your bill after a year

Although it’s a step behind Optimum, Xfinity still offers solid internet performance for gamers. Xfinity has an average latency of 15.7 ms, which places it ahead of competitors like Mediacom and Spectrum. Meanwhile, Xfinity’s download consistency and packet loss percentage marks are respectable among other cable internet providers.

Xfinity’s wide availability and numerous internet packages mean that you’ll likely be able to find a plan that fits your budget and needs. Xfinity’s Superfast ($60.00 monthly for 800 Mbps) and Gigabit ($65.00 monthly for 1 Gbps) offers better value for regular gamers. Xfinity still relies on promotional pricing setups that’ll make you pay more or hop to another ISP once your discount ends. Xfinity also has a 1.2 TB data cap on its plans, but you can get unlimited data by paying an extra $30 per month or upgrading to the Gigabit Pro internet plan.

Benchmark scores

Benchmark Score
Average latency 15.7 ms
Download consistency 2.6%
Packet loss 1.4%

Best value: Frontier Fiber

Price:
$44.99–$129.99/mo.
Internet speed:
500–5,000 Mbps
Data cap:
None

Pros

  • Exceptionally low latency on fiber internet plans

Cons

  • Limited fiber internet availability

Frontier can be a great ISP for gamers—if you get a fiber internet connection.

Frontier’s fiber internet network had low packet loss ratings and an excellent latency mark of 7.2 ms, which was the fastest time among our evaluated ISPs. Frontier also landed sub-1% marks for download consistency and packet loss, which was phenomenal for a fiber ISP.

However, Frontier’s fiber internet also comes with a sizable asterisk. Frontier fiber internet is available only in certain parts of the US, including California, Texas, Indiana, and Florida. If you aren’t in the right city, your other Frontier option will be the ISP’s DSL network. In general, we don’t recommend it.

Thinking about Frontier fiber internet service?

Enter your zip code below to see if your area gets Frontier fiber or DSL internet.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Benchmark scores

Benchmark Score
Average latency 7.2 ms
Download consistency 0.96%
Packet loss 0.96%

What to look for in a gaming internet service provider

Gaming ISP shopping is just like normal ISP shopping, but you’ll want to be more selective about the types of ISPs you’re looking at. We got the basics below, but we get even more into the nitty gritty details of gaming internet in our article “How to Get the Best Internet for Gaming,” if you want to check that out.

Stay away from DSL internet

Gaming on DSL internet isn’t impossible, but because of the higher prices, longer latency times, and slower download speeds, you won’t be getting the best-possible internet connection for easy, fun gameplay.

Get unlimited data (preferably for free)

ISP data caps have gotten larger over time, but game file sizes have safely kept pace with this trend. If you’re regularly downloading large games, it’s still easy to blow through a standard 1 TB data cap.

Look for ISPs that include free unlimited data with internet plans. If your local ISPs don’t offer free unlimited data, and you anticipate regularly using more than 1 TB of data, see if they offer unlimited data for an additional fee.

While extra fees are never great, they’ll be better than dealing with more expensive overage charges.

Get a fast connection (but don’t overpay)

To get some conventional wisdom out of the way—do you need a super fast internet connection for online gaming? Nope! Online multiplayer gaming doesn’t require the fastest internet connection, and even games like Battlefield V require only a 512 Kbps internet connection.

But obviously, your download speed is still important for gaming and general use (good luck downloading all 150 GB of Red Dead Redemption 2 on a 512 Kbps connection).

If you’re getting internet for yourself, a 100–200 Mbps plan will work fine. If you’re a heavy gamer and your household has more than three regular internet users, consider upgrading to a 400 Mbps or faster plan.

Head to our internet speed guide if you need help determining the best internet for gaming.

Stick with fiber or cable ISPs

We always recommend signing up for fiber internet whenever it’s available since you’ll get the best download and upload speeds along with stellar reliability. If fiber internet isn’t in your area, cable internet will be your next-best option. Satellite internet isn’t a great choice for gaming because of its long latency times.

Are internet providers for gaming worth it?

Our top gaming ISP picks show that download speeds aren’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to online gaming. As our top picks Verizon Fios and Optimum show, gamers should look for a fiber or cable ISP with low latency, low packet loss, and fast download speeds.

Enter your zip code below to see if Verizon Fios, Optimum, and other top gaming ISPs are available in your area.

Please enter a valid zip code.

Best internet provider for gaming FAQ

Who is the best internet provider for gaming?

Verizon Fios and Optimum are our picks for the best gaming internet providers. Both ISPs offer relatively affordable plans and excellent download speeds along with low latency and packet loss.

What is the best internet speed for gaming?

You don’t need super fast download speeds for gaming, but you’ll still need a plan that supports your household’s internet usage and your online gaming. If you’re getting internet for yourself, look for at least a 100 Mbps internet plan. For a larger family with multiple heavy internet users, you’ll need at least a 300 Mbps plan.

Check out our internet speed guide to learn more about internet speeds and gaming.

How do I get high-speed internet for gaming?

You can get high-speed internet for gaming if an ISP offers fast cable or fiber internet in your area. Look for a cable or fiber internet provider that offers plans with a download speed of at least 100 Mbps.

Is T-Mobile Home Internet good for gaming?

T-Mobile will be fine for basic online gaming, but it may not be a great fit if you’re gaming competitively. T-Mobile’s performance heavily depends on T-Mobile’s coverage in your area—ping and latency can be heavily affected by high T-Mobile network traffic.

Is AT&T internet good for gaming?

AT&T Fiber has excellent download and upload speeds, so it’s a solid option for gaming if it’s available in your area.

Is Xfinity good for gaming?

The majority of Xfinity’s plans (anything over 100 Mbps, as per our gaming speed recommendations) are perfect for your online gaming needs. However, depending on your location, its performance and price tags may fall behind its cable internet competitor, Optimum.

What is the best internet for gaming?

The best internet for gaming and streaming is fiber internet, which offers the best internet speeds and reliability. If fiber internet isn’t available in your area, cable internet offers good performance and average pricing.

Methodology

To determine the best ISPs for gaming, we researched sources including our annual customer satisfaction survey, Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index, and the FCC’s annual Measuring Broadband America report. From the FCC report, we evaluated ISP data including average latency, packet loss percentages, and download speed consistency to find out which provided a superior experience.

How we evaluated gaming ISPs

Download speed consistency, latency, and packet loss help determine your internet’s quality and reliability when you’re gaming online. Here’s what you’ll need to know about all three benchmarks:

  • Latency is the time it takes for data to go from your computer to its destination. Shorter latency times are better for gaming.
  • Packet loss is when data gets lost on its way to its destination. Your internet performance will get worse when packet loss exceeds 1%. Packet loss causes issues like choppy in-game movement and connection drops.
  • Download speed consistency refers to the percentage of subscribers who had download speeds that were less than 80% of their internet plan’s advertised speed. The best ISPs have a low percentage of users who reported download problems. Fast download speeds enable you to quickly download new games and updates.

For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

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