Best Cable Internet Providers | 2022 ISP Guide

Popular Internet Service Providers

Cable internet is high-speed internet delivered over copper coaxial cables. It uses the same infrastructure as cable TV, which is why it is widely available and why most of the internet service providers who offer cable internet also have cable TV packages.

Cable internet is generally considered to be faster and more reliable than DSL or satellite but not as fast as fiber. This is because fiber optic cables can carry more bandwidth and are less susceptible to interference or slowdowns than cable, which also makes it more reliable. However, because it’s more widely available, cable is more popular than fiber, with 78 million subscribers in the U.S.

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Best Cable Internet Providers of 2022

RCN Internet »

3.8 out of 5

Monthly Cost $29.99 and Up
Connection Type Fiber, Cable
Download Speed (Mbps) 50 Mbps – 940 Mbps
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RCN Internet »

3.8 out of 5

Company

$29.99 and Up Monthly Cost
Fiber, Cable Connection Type
50 Mbps – 940 Mbps Download Speed (Mbps)
See Review »
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Spectrum Internet promotion price is $49.99/mo for 12 months. Wireless speeds may vary.

Best Overall 

Xfinity is best for:

  • Existing Xfinity customers who are eligible for discounts for bundled services

  • Customers looking for a system that uses equipment from one company for maximum compatibility

  • Customers who want a single bill for their home security, cable TV, and internet services

Xfinity is not recommended for:

  • Those who want a video doorbell, which is not yet available

  • People who are not Xfinity customers and thus won’t benefit from Xfinity Home’s discounts and integration with other services

Connection Type
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed
50 Mbps – 2,000 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, Phone, or Home Security

Xfinity: Xfinity ranks No. 1 in our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 with a score of 4.3 out of 5. It also takes the top spot among Best Cable ISPs of 2022 and is the Best ISP Overall in our ratings. With the most coverage of any cable provider in our ratings and some of the fastest speeds, Xfinity has five standard plans starting at $80.95 per month for download speeds of up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and $105.95 per month for up to 800 Mbps. Upload speeds range from 3 Mbps to 20 Mbps. Xfinity also has a prepaid plan for $45 getting you 30 days of service, plus a modem. Xfinity caps data usage at 1.2 TB regardless of which plan you’re on and requires a 12-month contract.

See Full Review »

Best ISP for Rural Areas 

Spectrum is best for:

  • People who don’t want to worry about a data cap

  • Customers looking for a traditional bundle of internet and TV service

  • Shoppers looking for a provider with some of the widest possible coverage

Spectrum is not recommended for:

  • Users who require fast upload speeds

  • Budget-minded shoppers who don’t need especially fast downloads

Connection Type
Hybrid-Fiber Coax

Download Speed
100 Mbps – 1,000 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Spectrum: In a three-way tie for the second spot in our Best Cable ISPs of 2022 ratings, Spectrum also ranks No. 4 overall in our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating, with a score of 3.8 out of 5. It also tops our ratings for Best Internet Service Providers for Rural Areas. Spectrum has three plans ranging in price from $50 a month for up to 200 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload speeds to $105 a month for 940 Mbps down and 35 Mbps up. Spectrum offers unlimited data and no-contract options. It’s available in 38 states.

See Full Review »

Spectrum Internet promotion price is $49.99/mo for 12 months. Wireless speeds may vary.

Monthly Cost

$29.99 and Up

Most Affordable 940 Mbps Plan 

RCN is best for:

  • Customers interested in the latest technology

  • People who want to use their own equipment

RCN is not recommended for:

  • Consumers who need true gigabit speeds

Connection Type
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed
50 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, Phone

RCN: RCN ties for No. 2 in our Best Cable ISPs of 2022 ratings and is fourth in our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating, up one spot from last year. It’s one of the most affordable options with 5 plans ranging from 50 Mbps to 940 Mbps speeds starting at $30 a month and going up to $50 a month. There are no contracts and no data caps, but RCN has limited coverage and is only available in select metro areas in the Northeast and Illinois.

See Full Review »

Cox Internet is best for:

  • Included mesh Wi-Fi router

Cox Internet is not recommended for:

  • Those who want to pay month-to-month

  • Customers who don’t want a data cap

Connection Type
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed
25 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, Phone, or Automation/Security

Cox: Cox takes second place in our Best Cable ISPs of 2022 and fourth in our Best Internet Service Provider ratings. The cable operator is also fourth in our Most Affordable Internet Service Providers rating. Offering service in 19 states, Cox has four standard plans starting at $44.99 a month for 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up, going up to $99.99 a month for 500 Mbps speeds with 10 Mbps up. Cox also has a prepaid plan for $50 with 30 days of service at 25 Mbps speeds, plus a modem. All its plans have 1.25 TB data caps and most require a 12-month contract for that discounted pricing.

See Full Review »

Mediacom is best for:

  • Those who want consistently fast speeds

  • Households that want mesh Wi-Fi

Mediacom is not recommended for:

  • Those who don’t want a data cap

  • Customers who don’t want to pay higher prices after a year

  • People who expect top customer service

Connection Type
Cable

Download Speed
60 Mbps – 1000 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Mediacom: Mediacom places fifth in our Best Cable ISPs of 2022 rating with a score of 3.7 out of 5 and seventh in our Best Internet Service Provider rating. Mediacom offers service in 22 states, with four plans starting at $30 and going up to $140 a month (there are substantially discounted rates for the first year). Speeds start at up to 60 Mbps and go up to 1,000 Mbps, the fastest cable speeds in our ratings. Data caps also start at 200 gigabits per second (GB) and go up to 6,000 GB depending on your plan. You’ll be charged $10 per 50 GB you use above your allotted amount of data.

See Full Review »

Most Affordable ISP 

Suddenlink is best for:

  • Budget-conscious shoppers

  • Those looking to customize their internet plan

Suddenlink is not recommended for:

  • People looking for consistent pricing

  • Those who want a lower-priced plan without data caps

Connection Type
Fiber, Cable

Download Speed
20 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Bundles
Internet, TV, or Phone

Suddenlink: Suddenlink is the most affordable ISP in our ratings, but only makes an Honorable Mention spot on our Best Cable ISPs of 2022 list. It ranks in last place in our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating with a score of 3.2 out of 5. The company has four plans, two with data caps from $20 to $35 per month for 20 Mbps up to 100 Mbps and two with unlimited data for $55 and $75 a month for 400 Mbps and 940 Mbps upload speeds. There are no required contracts and service is available in 17 states.

See Full Review »

Available in:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District Of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District Of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

See all

Find the cable internet service near you by exploring our cable ISP availability map above. You also can enter your address on the FCC’s Fixed Broadband Deployment website. A third option is to plug your address into the ISP’s website to see if service is offered in your zip code.

Our Best Cable Internet Providers of 2022 offer varying degrees of coverage in the U.S. RCN is available in six major metropolitan areas: Chicago, Boston, Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Xfinity provides service to 39 states and Washington, D.C. Spectrum operates in 38 states; Cox in 19. Mediacom is available in 22 states around the U.S.

According to the FCC, nearly 89% of the U.S. population has access to one or more cable internet providers, but only 55% of people living in rural areas can make this same claim.

If cable internet is limited where you live, consider other services like DSL, satellite, or fiber optic internet. Learn about your high-speed internet options in our Internet Providers Guide.

Internet Speed of Cable vs DSL vs Cable vs Satellite

Features Fiber DSL Cable Satellite
Download Speed 0.2 Mbps – 2,000 Mbps 0.20 Mbps – 940 Mbps 10 Mbps – 2,000 Mbps 12 Mbps – 100 Mbps
Upload Speed 0.128 Mbps – 1,000 Mbps 0.128 Mbps – 940 Mbps 1 Mbps – 1,000 Mbps 3 Mbps
Latency 12 ms – 33 ms 19.5 ms – 51 ms 22 ms – 28 ms 610 ms
Packet Loss 0% – 1% 0% – 1% 0% – 1% >1%

Speed usage data from FCC website.

Cable internet typically provides speeds of between 10 to 500 Mbps, and in some cases reaches as fast as 2 gigabits (2,000 Mbps). It is among the fastest internet connections available and has been getting faster, with an overall increase in speed of 83% since 2017, according to an FCC report measuring fixed broadband. Cable also delivers consistently fast speeds, often providing more than the advertised speeds to over 80% of users for 80% of the time. Additionally, cable has much lower latency than DSL and only slightly higher latency than fiber, with a range of 13 to 27 milliseconds (ms). Latency affects how smooth any real-time online activities are, such as multiplayer online gaming and video-conferencing.

Cable internet speeds can be slowed down due to congestion. Cable internet is very widely available, almost 90% of the country has access to it because it uses the same infrastructure as cable TV service. This means you most likely share your cable bandwidth with your whole neighborhood, so at peak times – say around 8 p.m. when many people turn on their streaming service of choice – your internet will slow down.

Cable internet costs vary widely, from as low as $20 a month to as high as $140 a month depending on speeds and connection type (some companies offer a fiber hybrid connection that can achieve higher speeds than just cable alone). In general, you can expect to pay between $50 and $80 a month for 300 to 500 Mbps download speeds.

Cable is one of the most affordable forms of internet service, especially considering the speeds it offers. It can cost more than DSL but has higher speeds and it’s normally less than fiber-optic internet and substantially less expensive than satellite internet. Additionally, because most cable ISPs also supply cable TV service and home phone service, you can save money by bundling services.

The most affordable cable internet plan in our ratings comes from Suddenlink at $20 for 20 Mbps. RCN’s $29.99 a month plan for 50 Mbps is a better value, however, if you have more than one person in your household or want to connect a few devices. Mediacom also has a $20 plan that gets you 60 Mbps speeds but it jumps to $30 a month after the first year and has a much lower data cap at 200 GB.

If you are looking for higher speeds because you have a multi-person household, use multiple devices, or work from home, most companies in our ratings offer plans for 400 or 500 Mbps. Xfinity’s Performance Pro plan starts at $95.95 for up to 400 Mbps plus 10 Mbps upload speeds, whereas Spectrum’s similar plan starts at $65 and adds 20 Mbps upload speeds. With Cox, you’ll pay $99.99 a month for the first year for speeds up to 500 Mbps, and if you live in one of the six metro areas served by RCN you can get 500 Mbps speeds for just $40 a month.

For super-users looking for gigabit internet, RCN has the best prices in our ratings starting at $50 a month, but it’s limited in availability. Suddenlink is the next most affordable at $75 a month for up to 940 Mbps download speeds and 50 Mbps upload with unlimited data. Mediacom starts at $80 a month but jumps to $140 after the first year and has a 6,000 GB data cap. Xfinity doesn’t offer gigabit speeds over cable, only over its fiber network. If you don’t have access to fiber, you can get up to 800 Mbps via cable starting at $105.95, which will be enough speed for most people.

Bundles are designed to save you money when you buy two or more services from the same company. The more services you add, the larger the discount is. Bundles can include internet service, TV, home phone, and home automation/security packages.

Beyond saving money, bundles are useful because you have only one bill to pay, one company to deal with, and one place to go for technical support. The disadvantages are that you may not be getting the best deal on individual services than you would if you shopped around with different companies, and you will probably have to sign up for at least a one-year term.

Bear in mind that while it may seem attractive to sign up for a service you hadn’t planned to purchase – such as home phone – because you get a better deal, some services add a significant amount of required fees, taxes, and equipment charges to your bill, which can reduce any savings.

Bundle pricing and availability usually vary by location and don’t include those taxes, surcharges, fees, and equipment costs.

Xfinity bundles combine internet service with cable TV and home phone service, plus you can add home security with professional monitoring. Bundles cost $40 to $160 per month.

Cox offers internet, cable TV, phone, and Homelife (a smart home security package) as options for its bundles. Pricing starts at $57 a month and goes up to $150 a month. If you want to add professional monitoring to a home security package, that will cost extra. A one-year term agreement is required with all bundles.

RCN has cable TV and home phone products it can bundle with your internet plan. Options include basic cable and premium channels and your price is guaranteed for the first 12 months, with no contracts or data caps. Pricing varies by location, but as an example, a bundle for internet, TV, and a home phone in Philadelphia costs $34 to $92 a month depending on speeds and TV packages selected.

Mediacom also has three services on offer for bundling, including internet, cable TV, and phone service starting at $39.99 a month for one year and going up to $109.99 a month depending on the TV package and internet speed you choose. All TV packages come with a TiVo DVR and voice remote, and each internet option has a different data cap. There are no contracts required but pricing goes up after the first year.

Suddenlink has three services you can bundle: internet, TV, and phone. Internet service is required for all bundles. Its most affordable option is 100 Mbps download speed with phone for $50 a month and its premier package gets you gigabit internet, over 340 channels, and home phone for $145 a month. However, prices vary depending on location. There are no contracts required and the monthly price is guaranteed for the first year.

  1. Identify Internet Providers:Find local providers in your market. See which of our Best Internet Services are in your area by checking out our map.
  2. Choose Your Speed: The number of internet users in your household and the activities they undertake (email, web browsing, gaming, HD video streaming) will determine the plan speed you need.
  3. Get Informed: Before signing up for service, scrutinize offer details and ask about other factors, like data caps, taxes, fees, and surcharges so you’re not surprised later on.
  4. Get Equipment: You’ll need a cable modem and a Wi-Fi router. Learn more here in our What Do I Need for Cable Internet Service? section. Then read our Should I Buy or Rent Equipment for Cable Internet Service? section.
  5. Set Up: Install and set up the equipment yourself or have a professional do it. We help you decide the best route in our How Do I Install Equipment for Cable Internet Service? section below.
  6. Connect Devices: Plug your computer into the modem and connect wireless devices like smartphones, virtual assistants, and thermostats to the home Wi-Fi network.
  7. Download the apps: Many internet providers offer apps to easily control your home modem, though this typically requires renting the company’s equipment. Other apps grant access to a network of Wi-Fi hotspots to use when away from home, if available with your plan.

What Do I Need for Cable Internet Service?

  • DOCSIS Modem: A modem communicates with the internet. Document Over Cable Service Interface Specification, or DOCSIS, is the technology standard that permits high-bandwidth data transfer. Match modem capabilities to your plan speed. If bundling home phone service, you need a modem with a voice or telephony port.
  • Wi-Fi Router: A router uses radio waves to create a wireless network in the home, so you can use smartphones, tablets, laptop computers, and other devices on the internet.
  • Wiring: Ethernet cables connect the modem to your router or computer. They should meet Cat6E standards or higher. Cat5E ethernet cable may hinder internet speeds over 100 Mbps.
  • Adapters: An ethernet adapter may be needed to plug your laptop directly into the modem. Older laptops may need a wireless adapter to connect to Wi-Fi.
  • Other Equipment: If you bundle internet with cable TV, you’ll need a TV receiver (a cable set-top box) or DVR for on-demand video and a digital remote. Home automation and security services require internet-connected devices, like thermostats, video cameras, and appliances.

Should I Buy or Rent Equipment for Cable Internet Service?

Buying Equipment – Cable Internet Service

Renting Equipment – Cable Internet Service

  • You pay less in the long run

  • It’s easier to change ISPs

  • You can buy higher-quality equipment

  • You get the most compatible technology

  • If it doesn’t work, you have to replace it

  • Rental fees could increase

  • You’ll be charged a fee for not returning equipment

  • You pay more in the long run

Buying Equipment – Cable Internet Service

  • You pay less in the long run

  • It’s easier to change ISPs

  • You can buy higher-quality equipment

  • If it doesn’t work, you have to replace it


Renting Equipment – Cable Internet Service

  • You get the most compatible technology

  • Rental fees could increase

  • You’ll be charged a fee for not returning equipment

  • You pay more in the long run

You should buy equipment for cable internet service if you want to save money over time, buy different or better equipment than what the ISP offers, and for ease of switching providers. But technical support is limited and if equipment breaks, no longer supports your internet speed, or is no longer compatible with your provider, you have to buy new.

You should rent equipment for cable internet service if you want convenience, free technical support, and the most up-to-date, compatible technology. The company steps in if the device breaks or needs updating to accommodate a faster internet speed. Of course, you’ll spend more long term paying the monthly rental fee, which could increase. If you terminate service and don’t turn in rented equipment, you will be charged for it.

Mark Lubow, a veteran cable and telecom expert, recommends renting equipment. “Carriers often reward customer longevity with free equipment upgrades to make sure you’re getting the best experience they have to offer, although you usually need to ask for it,” he says.

How Do I Install Equipment for Cable Internet Service?

Self-installing cable internet equipment is best for:

  • People who have some technical knowledge

  • People who want to save money on installation

  • Homes already wired for cable

  • Homes that have recently had cable service

Hiring a professional to install cable internet equipment is best for:

  • People who have little technical experience

  • Complex installation projects involving multiple pieces of equipment

  • People who’ve had issues getting optimal internet speed

  • Homes not wired for cable or that haven’t had cable service in a year

Self-installing equipment for cable internet can be an easy process if you have some technical know-how, your residence is wired for cable, and you or the previous residents had service in the recent past. Internet providers have step-by-step instructions on how to connect and activate the modem, Wi-Fi router, and your mobile devices. Some provide a self-install kit containing all the equipment, cables, and cords needed for setup.

Another bonus: Self-install is free. By comparison, we found the cost of professional installation ranges from free to $100 or more.

Professional installation is a good idea for people who have little technical experience or for complex projects involving bundled services or multiple pieces of equipment. You may need a pro if your address has never had cable service before, as you’ll need to run coaxial cable to the property and possibly in your walls, or if additional wall outlets for cable are needed. Professional installation is necessary to ensure the cable line is working properly after being inactive for one year or if you’ve experienced poor signal strength and need the line tested.

Cable internet is widely available in most areas of the U.S. Today, there are 78 million cable broadband subscribers, according to industry organization the NCTA. You don’t have to get cable TV in order to get cable internet. If you want both, however, you may save money by bundling these services together.

For high-speed internet access, cable is only one of several broadband technologies. Other types of broadband connections are DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), which transmits data over copper telephone lines; satellite, which transmits data wirelessly from space; and fiber, which transmits data via fiber optic cable made of super-thin strands of glass.

If cable is not available in your service area or you just don’t want cable internet, you have other options. Learn more about the different types of internet service in our Internet Providers Guide.

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Cable is good for:

  • Households with multiple, simultaneous internet users and connected devices

  • Streaming HD video, file sharing, online gaming, and telecommuting

DSL is good for:

  • Light to moderate internet use

  • Households with fewer people using the internet at the same time.

  • Web browsing, emailing, online gaming, and watching video

  • Areas where cable internet isn’t available.

For most, cable is a better choice than DSL. It has faster download and upload speeds, higher service consistency, and lower latency (delay). It supports households with multiple active internet users who simultaneously stream high-definition video, play real-time multiplayer games, and have numerous connected devices, from smartphones to home security cameras.

DSL is slower, less consistent, and has higher latency. It is best for light to moderate internet use and for households with fewer internet users who don’t use high-demand applications at the same time. Because DSL is a dedicated connection, it does not slow down during peak use times like cable internet, which uses a shared connection. DSL is also available in a higher percentage of rural areas, according to the FCC.

Cable is good for:

  • Multiple internet users and connected devices

  • People who don’t have fiber internet available

Fiber is good for:

  • Multiple internet users and connected devices

  • Online gaming and videoconferencing

  • Users that upload lots of data

Cable and fiber internet are fast, reliable, and can handle multiple people who simultaneously use high-demand applications. But fiber internet has the edge when it comes to faster upload speeds. These are important for sending the large data files used in videoconferencing and video chatting. Fiber also has lower latency, which means real-time first-person games are more responsive and have less “ping.”

Fiber is a dedicated connection, and unlike a shared cable connection, it doesn’t slow down during peak use times. Cable, however, is more widely available than fiber internet.

Best Cable Internet Providers Coupons and Discount Codes

If you’re in search of savings from some of our top-rated cable internet providers, check out these deals:

Other Internet Service Providers

Other Guides from 360 Reviews

Other Products to Consider

In addition to the companies in our rating of the Best Internet Service Providers, here are some others to consider:

We explain what matters when it comes to internet service by sourcing experts and professional reviewers. Then we provide an unbiased evaluation of internet service providers. Our goal is to empower consumers with the information and tools they need to make informed decisions. More information about our 360 Reviews methodology for evaluating internet service providers is here.

†Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet® promotion price is $49.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra. General Terms: INTERNET: Speed based on wired connection and may vary by address. Wireless speeds may vary. Services subject to all applicable service terms and conditions, subject to change. Services not available in all areas. Restrictions apply.

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.

https://www.usnews.com/360-reviews/services/internet-providers/cable-internet

About: Bunga Citra