Best Internet Providers in Washington

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What is the best Internet provider in Washington?

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Xfinity was selected by CNET as the top Internet service provider in Washington. Because of its wide availability and variety of plan options, Quantum Fiber gets our nod as a top choice for fiber, but we’ve shunned it for the provider’s limited coverage area.

Overall, Washington has many claims to fame: apple varieties, Mount Rainier, Starbucks, the Seahawks and Microsoft, to name a few. Despite its famous tech connections, the Evergreen State doesn’t have the fastest internet in the country. It’s in the bottom half of Ookla’s Speedtest.net ranking of broadband speeds for U.S. states. City dwellers will have more provider options than most rural residents. Big national names like Xfinity, CenturyLink, T-Mobile Home Internet, Verizon 5G Home Internet and Spectrum all have a presence in Washington. The best ISP for your home depends on which providers offer service in your location.

Our choices for the best ISP in Washington won’t be available at every address in the state. For example, Xfinity covers large areas, but you won’t find it in Yakima or Walla Walla. Spectrum covers those places. So, your address matters most in determining which providers you should look into. If you’re in the market for internet service, check out CNET’s reviews for the top ISPs in Washington state.

Best Internet Options in Washington

Rural Internet Options in Washington

the provider connection type price range Speed ​​Limit Data Cap Availability
Advanced High Speed ​​Internet Fixed Wireless $40-$150 3-200Mbps nobody Yakima County
Benton REA PowerNet Fixed Wireless $50-$140 2-40Mbps nobody Mid-Columbia and Lower Yakima Valleys
Nikola Broadband Fixed Wireless $70-$150 10-100Mbps nobody Sequim area
POVN Fixed Wireless/Fibre $75-$130 5-30Mbps nobody Pend Oreille County
Patera Fixed Wireless/Fibre $45-$90 100-1,000 Mbps nobody Inland Northwest
Toledotel Fiber $60-$215 25-1,000 Mbps nobody Toledo area
Washington Broadband Fixed Wireless/Cable/Fibre $39-$250 1.5-900Mbps nobody Yakima Area
wifibar Fixed Wireless/Fibre $45-$160 4-1,000 Mbps nobody Eastern Washington
Ziply Fiber Fiber $20-$300 100-10,000 Mbps nobody Snohomish County

Show more (5 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Internet can be hard to get in rural areas. Some lucky residents can get a fiber connection. Ziply Fiber is expanding its presence in Washington by building its own network and acquiring existing ISPs. For example, Patera, a fiber and fixed wireless provider focused on the Inland Northwest, is a Ziply company.

Don’t have fiber? I recommend checking out wired options for rural internet first. That could mean CenturyLink DSL, which maxes out at 100Mbps for $55 a month (but can be significantly slower depending on your location). Compare that to T-Mobile Home Internet or Verizon 5G Home Internet, if available. Those 5G services are easy to test with a much lower commitment and they may provide a faster internet experience than DSL.

How many members of your household use the Internet?

If wired and 5G internet don’t work for your home, consider fixed wireless. Washington has a plethora of local ISPs that offer fixed wireless service to rural addresses. Most offer speeds of 100Mbps, but your mileage will vary depending on your location. You’ll need a good line of site to the tower. Satellite internet from Starlink, Viasat, or HughesNet is often seen as a last resort. It’s expensive, and speeds can be slow.

The companies listed in our chart are just a few of the many ISPs serving Washington. Run your address on the FCC National Broadband Map to find out which providers can reach your location. You might find a local ISP you didn’t know about.

Internet condition is bad in every city of Washington

It’s hard to cover the entire state’s broadband options and give individual regions the attention they deserve. That’s why we also compile a list of the best internet providers in cities across the US, including Washington. We include details like the type of internet connection, maximum speeds, and the cheapest providers. If you don’t find the city you’re looking for below, check back later. We’re working to add more locations every week.

A Look at Washington Broadband

According to the FCC, broadband internet access is fully available to Washington homes, but the real story is more complicated than that. The FCC considers satellite internet coverage not a great option for most residents. The ISP with the widest reach is cable provider Xfinity, but rival cable provider Spectrum covers parts of the state where Xfinity doesn’t go. CenturyLink’s DSL network is available in more areas than Quantum Fiber.

FCC data shows that fiber reaches about 28% of homes in the state, with the majority in larger metro areas. Some — Ziply Fiber being the biggest name — even offer service in more rural areas. Some smaller local providers also offer limited fiber coverage with fixed wireless service. Quantum Fiber is our top pick for fiber service in Seattle, and it can also be found in parts of Spokane.

How fast is Washington broadband?

The FCC defines broadband as speeds of at least 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up. By this metric, all Washingtonians can access broadband internet. If we start moving up the speed scale, the FCC data tells a different story. About 90% of Washington residents can access speeds of at least 100Mbps down. However, when we get to a gig, only about 28% of residences are covered.

A recent Ookla Speedtest.net ranking put Washington at 36th among U.S. states for average download speeds. The speed in Washington was around 189Mbps. Ookla also tracks the speeds of the country’s 100 most populous cities. Seattle, despite being a tech hub, only ranked 97th. That’s not a great showing. If your internet is feeling slow, there may be some ways to improve it. Try these four steps to speed up your internet connection.

GettyImages-1467103218 GettyImages-1467103218

Kirk Fisher/Getty Images

Internet cost in Washington

A monthly bill of around $50 is a pretty standard entry-level price point for home internet, but there are ways to save. Xfinity’s 150Mbps plan will cost you just $20 per month. This affordable plan price is only good for 12 months with a contract, and you’ll need to lease your equipment for $15 per month or provide your own. Let’s also take a look at pricing. CenturyLink’s 940Mbps fiber plan for $75 (including modem) gives you good bang for the buck.

T-Mobile or Verizon phone customers can investigate bundling a qualified mobile plan with home internet service. This can reduce your monthly internet bill by up to $40 with T-Mobile or $35 with Verizon. Open slots may be limited and speeds may vary depending on your location, but no-contract plans make it easy to test the connection to see if it will work for you.

Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen appliance, it’s impractical to individually test every ISP in a given city. What’s our approach? We start by researching pricing, availability and speed information using our own historical ISP data, provider sites and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov.

It doesn’t end there. We visit the FCC’s website to check our data and make sure we consider every ISP that offers service in an area. We also enter local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for residents. We look at sources including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power to evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP’s service. ISP plans and prices change frequently; all information provided is accurate at the time of publication.

Once we have this localized information, we ask three main questions:

  1. Does the provider offer reasonably fast internet speeds?
  2. Do customers get a fair value for what they pay?
  3. Are customers happy with their service?

While the answers to these questions are often layered and complex, the providers that come closest to “yes” on all three counts are the ones we recommend. When choosing the cheapest internet service, we look for plans with the lowest monthly fees, though we also take into account things like price increases, equipment fees, and contracts. Choosing the fastest internet service is relatively simple. We look at advertised upload and download speeds and consider real-world speed data from sources like Ookla and FCC reports.

For a more in-depth look at our process, visit our ‘How we test ISPs’ page.

The Future of Broadband in Washington

Washington has a great opportunity to improve its internet performance thanks to a $1.2 billion federal investment from the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program. BEAD is designed to expand broadband access across the US. This includes building networks to reach unserved and underserved areas. The state is working on how to use the funds and invites feedback from the public through the Washington State Broadband Office. Data from the office shows that about 264,000 households in the state have not adopted broadband services. Washington hopes to improve access, encourage broadband adoption and make internet service affordable. All of these goals are worthwhile.

Internet FAQs in Washington

Is the Internet good in Washington?

According to Ookla’s state rankings, internet speeds in Washington aren’t great, but “good” is subjective. Fiber customers, such as those subscribing to Quantum Fiber or Ziply Fiber, are generally very happy with their internet due to fast download speeds, equally fast upload speeds, and reliable service. Washington’s most widespread ISP – Xfinity – has fast speed levels available and above-average customer satisfaction scores as well. Overall, Washington has room to improve its broadband access and speeds.

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Is fiber Internet available in Washington?

Yes, although it’s not very widespread. Quantum Fiber and Ziply Fiber are the state’s two largest providers, but FCC data shows less than 30% of Washington homes have fiber access. There are smaller, local ISPs with limited fiber access. See our rural internet chart above for some of those providers.

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Is CenturyLink or Xfinity better for Internet service in Washington?

CenturyLink and Xfinity both have a significant presence in Washington. If both serve your address, it’s time to take a closer look at your options. CenturyLink’s older DSL network typically maxes out at 100Mbps (sometimes much less, depending on your location). If it’s up to DSL or cable, consider Xfinity’s faster top speeds first. However, if CenturyLink’s sibling network, Quantum Fiber, is available, give it some consideration. Fiber is reliable and fast, both up and down. Quantum Fiber’s 940Mbps speed tier (which includes your equipment rental) is also good value for your money.

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