Best Internet Service Providers | 2022 ISP Guide

Popular Internet Service Providers

The internet service provider (ISP) industry has had its ups and downs, but its overall revenue has grown over the past five years. Our reliance on the internet to connect us to technology, remote learning, and telemedicine solidified this growth as internet usage peaked during the pandemic, prompting action from those in government positions.

According to the National Governors Association (NGA), more than 40 governors launched new broadband initiatives and included internet program expansions in their state budget proposals during 2021. Many began working on infrastructure to improve broadband internet access in rural and economically disadvantaged communities, and the federal government recently allocated $65 billion in funding to do the same.

With so many options for service, it may be difficult to decide which ISP is best for you, your family, or your business. Keep reading to see where the country’s top ISPs, such as Xfinity, Verizon, AT&T, Spectrum, and CenturyLink place in our ratings of the Best Internet Service 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


$29.99 and Up Monthly Cost
Fiber, Cable Connection Type
50 Mbps – 940 Mbps Download Speed (Mbps)
See Review »
Learn More

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

Internet, TV, Phone, or Home Security

Xfinity: Xfinity is the Best Overall ISP of 2022 because it places No. 1 in five out of ten of our ratings categories for ISPs. Xfinity has six cable plans and two fiber plans, all with data capped at 1.2 terabytes (TB). Its rates begin at $45 for the lowest cable plan and extend up to $299 for the highest fiber plan. Download speeds range from up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) to 2,000 Mbps or 2 gigabits per second. Xfinity is rated the Fastest Internet Service Provider, Best Cable Internet Service Provider, Best Prepaid Internet Service Provider, and Best Fiber Internet Service Provider for 2022. If you choose Xfinity, there’s an opportunity to bundle cable TV, phone, home security, and your cell phone plan.

See Full Review »

Most Flexible Fiber Plans 

Verizon Internet is best for:

  • Users who need fast uploads as well as downloads

  • Anybody who doesn’t want a data cap

  • People not looking for discounts on bundles of internet, TV, and phone service

Verizon Internet is not recommended for:

  • Shoppers who prioritize getting TV and internet from the same provider

  • Price-minded customers who can get by with a slower connection

  • People who need download speeds above one gigabit per second.

Connection Type

Download Speed
200 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Internet, TV, or Phone

Verizon Fios: Verizon Internet, known as Verizon Fios, offers the most flexible fiber plans in our ratings. Its plans come with unlimited data and there’s no contract required at sign up. Verizon ties with AT&T at No. 2 in our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating and our Best Fiber Internet Service Providers. There are three Fios plans available, with costs ranging from $39.99 to $79.99. Speeds range from 200 to 940 Mbps and data usage is unlimited.

Verizon offers DSL as another internet option to those outside of its Fios areas. Customers joining Verizon can opt for one of its many bundles, which include home phone, TV, and wireless plans. Verizon also offers a prepaid internet plan.

See Full Review »

AT&T Internet is best for:

  • People who need fast upload speeds

  • Shoppers looking for the fastest possible connection

  • Residents of urban areas who can get its fiber service

AT&T Internet is not recommended for:

  • People living in rural areas or planning to move there

  • People looking for bundled deals on internet and TV

  • Shoppers seeking download speeds beyond 1 Gbps

Connection Type

Download Speed
0.8 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Internet, TV

AT&T Internet: AT&T provides fiber and hybrid-fiber internet service. Hybrid-fiber means the wiring used to deliver the internet connection is a combination of fiber and cable. AT&T ties with Verizon at No. 2 in our Best Internet Service Providers rating and places fifth in the Most Affordable ISPs rating. It offers plans ranging from $35 to $60 per month.

AT&T’s fiber plans have unlimited data, but its hybrid-fiber plans (which may be found more often in suburban and rural areas) are capped at 1 terabyte (TB) of data. Its download speeds vary from 10 to 100 Mbps. AT&T doesn’t require a contract, but it does offer bundles with its TV and phone services.

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

Internet, TV, or Phone

Spectrum: Spectrum ties at No. 4 in our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating and places No. 1 in the Best ISPs for Rural Areas of 2022. It’s the second-largest internet service provider and is available in 41 states.

Spectrum offers three hybrid-fiber coaxial (HFC) internet connections with download speeds from 200 to 940 Mbps and upload speeds from 10 to 35 Mbps. Prices begin at $49.99 but may be lower if you decide to bundle your internet with TV. Spectrum doesn’t require a contract, and there’s no fee for your modem.

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

Internet, TV, Phone

RCN: RCN ties for fourth place in our rating of the Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 and lands at No. 2 in our rating of the Most Affordable Internet Service Providers. It offers five plans that are either fiber or cable connections (depending on your location) and has download speeds from 50 to 940 Mbps.

Plans start at $29.99 per month and increase to $49.99 per month for its highest tier, which offers the best value when compared to other plans in our rating. RCN provides a 30-day, money-back guarantee with your service and offers bundles including home phone and cable TV.

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

Internet, TV, Phone, or Automation/Security

Cox: Cox ties for fourth place in our rating of the Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 with fiber and cable options for internet connections. It has six plans costing between $44.99 and $119.99 per month, though prices can increase after the first year. Its speeds range from 25 to 940 Mbps.

There is a 1.25 TB data cap on all plans. However, its service is contract-free for all plans except the lowest tier. Like Xfinity, Cox offers bundles that include internet, phone, and home security.

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

Download Speed
60 Mbps – 1000 Mbps

Internet, TV, or Phone

Mediacom: Mediacom ties for seventh place in our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating and also places as one of the Most Affordable Internet Service Providers of 2022. It offers four cable internet plans with speeds from 60 to 1,000 Mbps. Plans range from $19.99 to $79.99 a month for the first year and increase to between $29.99 and $139.99 per month in year two.

If you’re interested in bundles, Mediacom provides a Triple Play package that includes internet, cable TV, and phone service. It also lets customers upgrade their internet plan to include an eero Pro 6 mesh Wi-Fi router for faster internet speeds throughout their home.

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Best Satellite ISP 

Hughesnet is best for:

  • Those in rural areas with no other options

  • Light internet users with 5 devices or less

  • Customers who don’t need a lot of speed

Hughesnet is not recommended for:

  • Online gamers or people who stream a lot of video

  • People who work from home and use video conferencing

Connection Type

Download Speed
25 Mbps

Internet, Voice Bundle (VOIP)

HughesNet: HughesNet tops our list of the Best Satellite ISPs of 2022. Its satellite plans are more expensive than some cable and fiber options, with prices ranging from $59.99 to $149.99. Service plans with HughesNet require a two-year contract, and speeds range from 25 Mbps up to 100 Mbps.

HughesNet ties at seventh place in our rating of the Best Internet Service Providers of 2022. It offers a Bonus Zone to customers where they can get an additional 50 GB of data per month for use during off-peak internet hours.

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Best ISP for Gaming 

Frontier is best for:

  • Households that need lots of data

Frontier is not recommended for:

  • High-use internet households (if fiber internet isn’t available)

  • Households that need DSL speeds in excess of 115 megabits per second (Mbps)

Connection Type
Fiber, DSL

Download Speed
Up to 940 Mbps

Internet, TV, or Phone

Frontier: Frontier is No. 1 in our Best Internet Service Providers for Gaming in 2022 rating, and it also places No. 1 in our Best DSL Internet Service Providers rating due to its coverage area. It offers fiber and DSL internet services with download speeds of 6 to 940 Mbps.

Its latency score is only 9 milliseconds, which provides extremely responsive gaming. Frontier’s prices begin at $34.99 and increase to $79.99 for its highest tier. All plans offer unlimited data and no contract commitment.

See Full Review »

CenturyLink is best for:

  • Those who want to lock in a plan price

  • People who don’t want to sign a contract

  • Households that use a lot of data

CenturyLink is not recommended for:

  • Customers who want to bundle services

  • People who want excellent customer service

  • Those who live in an area with slower DSL speeds

Connection Type
Fiber, DSL

Download Speed
10 Mbps – 940 Mbps

Internet, TV, or Phone

CenturyLink: CenturyLink rounds out a four-way tie for seventh place in our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating. It provides two fiber and DSL internet plans with speeds from 10 up to 940 Mbps. CenturyLink’s prices begin at $49 for its base plan and $65 for its Fiber Gigabit plan.

It also offers plans such as its Price for Life option, which includes a lifetime guaranteed rate, and prepaid plans that can reduce your monthly fee. There is no contract for its Price for Life plan.

See Full Review »

Viasat is best for:

  • People without access to DSL, fiber, or cable internet

  • People who mostly use the internet to surf the web and check email

  • Those looking to bundle services

Viasat is not recommended for:

  • People who enjoy streaming videos

Connection Type

Download Speed
12 Mbps – 100 Mbps

Internet, TV, or Phone

Viasat: Viasat is No. 2 in our rating of the best satellite-only internet service providers. It also places 11th in our Best Internet Service Providers rating. Viasat’s pricing begins at $39.99 per month and goes up to $149.99.

Download speeds range from 12 to 100 Mbps, and there is no cap on data usage per month. A contract is required for Viasat’s service, but it is available in all U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

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

Internet, TV, or Phone

Suddenlink: Suddenlink rounds out our rating of the Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 at No. 12. It takes first place in our Most Affordable ISPs rating.

This fiber and cable internet company offers five hybrid-fiber plans with costs starting at $20 per month and increasing to $75 per month. Its download speeds range from 20 to 940 Mbps. Its two highest-tiered plans have unlimited data and none of the plans require a contract.

See Full Review »

When shopping for internet service, it’s easy to compare some factors, such as cost. Other things, like customer service, are harder to gauge unless you have direct experience with the company. Below we explain some of the most important factors to think about when searching for a new internet provider:

Cost: Internet providers and connection types vary widely in price. The most affordable plan costs about $20 a month and provides speeds of 10 megabits per second (Mbps). This is adequate for basic web surfing but too slow for streaming high-definition video or engaging in other high-bandwidth tasks. On the other end of the spectrum, an ultra-fast gigabit connection usually costs $100 a month or more.

Overall, internet access in the U.S. remains relatively expensive. “Most ISPs are still falling short of providing good service at an affordable price,” ACSI reports. On the plus side, broadband service providers are building out their networks to make them faster for more people, which costs a lot of money. At the same time, Greenblatt says that performance and reliability have also improved over time, which demonstrates that customers are indeed benefitting from ISPs’ continued technological investments.

Speed: Although you may not need the fastest speeds available, your internet connection should be fast enough for what you do online. If you experience a lot of latency or buffering, you may want to upgrade to a faster plan. For more information, see our What is a Good Internet Speed guide. Changing to a different connection type – such as from DSL to cable – can also help. See our breakdown below on the different types of internet service.

Reliability: It can be incredibly frustrating when you want to do something online – especially something important, like work – only to find that your internet service has gone down. The speed and reliability of an internet service provider are two things that affect customer satisfaction the most, says Ian Greenblatt, leader of the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Intelligence team at J.D. Power. “It simply has to work,” explains Greenblatt. “You have to be there when I need you.”

Billing: Some internet bills are easy to understand, while others can be almost indecipherable. Were you charged more than you expected, with little or no explanation? Choosing an internet provider that provides easy-to-read bills. Also look for an ISP that lets you pay using your preferred method, be it Apple Pay or a paper check.

Because it’s hard to gauge many of these factors before signing up with an ISP, find trustworthy feedback on the company first. Use our Best Internet Service Providers rating to see which companies earn high scores from professional, unbiased sources. In addition, friends and neighbors may be able to recommend (or discourage you from using) their current internet provider.

There are four main residential connection options for broadband internet: cable, fiber optic, satellite, and DSL. Although it’s too slow to be considered broadband, you can also get internet service in your home through dial-up. Some cellphone providers can give you access through a wireless connection or hotspot. However, our ISP guides do not cover these options.

Cable Internet

Cable internet is the most common type of broadband connection in use, mainly because it uses the same infrastructure as your TV. This can help you save money if you haven’t cut the cord yet and made the switch to streaming services. Offers exist that allow you to bundle your internet and cable TV subscription as a package to lower the price on both.

Cable internet is also a popular option because of its cost. Based on plans we rated in Our Best Internet Providers of 2022 guide, you can get a basic broadband connection for under $40 per month. Cable is a favorite because of its speeds as well. Those who choose it can enjoy download speeds from 175-, 275-, and 500-Mbps.

Fiber Internet

If you’re looking for top internet speed, then fiber is the way to go. Although cable internet can deliver excellent download speeds, its upload speeds are much slower. Fiber has matching download and upload speeds. That makes a fiber connection great for people who send large amounts of data, like small businesses with cloud backups, or those who like to share high-definition videos across the web.

Fiber internet is desirable for heavy internet users such as online gamers. It has little packet loss and low latency, which means less disruption during gaming sessions and other usages. Likewise, those who participate in videoconferencing and stream videos should have few connection issues and less chance of frozen screens when connecting over fiber. However, according to FCC data collected in June 2020, fiber is only available to about 44% of the U.S.

Satellite Internet

These days, most people living in metro areas probably don’t consider satellite for high-speed internet, but this is still one of the top choices for much of rural America. Almost every county in the U.S. – including some remote areas of Alaska and Hawaii – have satellite internet as a broadband option, according to the FCC. In comparison, only 55% of rural areas can get high-speed access through a cable provider, and less than 20% have fiber optic internet available. Satellite internet may not be the best choice for gaming, but it still fills a void for internet service in some of the more remote areas.

DSL Internet

DSL is slowly getting replaced by faster, more reliable broadband connections like cable and fiber internet. However, many people have limited high-speed provider options in their areas, especially in rural communities. In these regions, DSL offers much faster speeds than dial-up, and it tends to be faster and more consistent than satellite internet. In our research of the Best Internet Providers, we found that DSL plans tend to cost less than similar plans from satellite internet.

If you’re a mild internet user that mainly surfs the web or streams TV on one device at a time, DSL may work well for you. If you have a busy household with lots of people getting online at the same time – especially if two or more are using data for streaming or online gaming – DSL isn’t going to cut it.

All of the companies that made our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating offer more than just internet service. Several are also cable companies or telecommunications giants that can bundle the cost of internet service with another service they provide. Bundles can save you money because the combined package is normally less than the cost of each service individually. Every company on the list will give you a discount if you select cable TV and an internet plan. Some even offer a landline for your home phone, a cell phone plan, and/or home security bundles with their internet plans.

What Are the Best Internet Service Providers in My Area?

Gaining access to broadband internet can be a challenge for those who live in rural areas with little of the infrastructure needed to provide broadband speeds. With satellite being the most widely available internet provider, it’s an appealing option if you live on a farm or in a less populated area. DSL is often set up in these areas as well. However, if you’re looking for cable or other options that could reach where you are, check out our ratings of the Best Internet Service Providers for Rural Areas. One of these companies may service your area.

In online gaming, if you want to savor victory, then your internet connection needs to be as flawless as your game play. While a fast internet connection can’t guarantee a win, an unstable connection can quickly deliver a loss before you’ve had a chance to compete. That’s because connections prone to lagging and delays can adversely affect your performance during a game. So getting a high-speed internet plan is paramount if you want optimal online gaming.

The FCC recently reported that latency, a measurement of internet delay, improves as the internet speed increases. In order to help you make an informed decision, we’ve used this report to determine which internet providers had the lowest latency. To learn more about latency and to see the top ISPs visit, the Best Internet Providers for Gaming of 2022.

If you’re on a budget or have a fixed income, you may be interested in a prepaid internet service provider. Prepaid providers can offer internet services without many of the overhead costs normally associated with installation and equipment rental. Two companies made our Best Prepaid Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating, however a third of the companies that made our Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 rating offer prepaid services. If you’re looking for an ISP that is contract-free, doesn’t require a credit check, and has potentially lower equipment fees, visit our guide to the Best Prepaid ISPs to learn which ones might work best for you.

Internet access doesn’t have to cost $100 or more each month. We analyzed the internet plans offered by the Best Internet Service Providers of 2022 to find the least expensive options, based on monthly price. Companies that made our rating for the Most Affordable Internet Services Providers are listed below. Follow the links in the companies’ names to read our full reviews. You can also read more about the Most Affordable Internet Service of 2022 here.

If you want the fastest internet speeds possible, fiber optic internet is your premier choice. It has some of the fastest download and upload speeds available. Note that every choice in our rating of the Fastest Internet Plans of 2022 is fiber.

However, do you really need an ultra-fast gigabit connection? Find out how to select the right internet speed level, see what broadband services are available in your area, and get tips on increasing your internet speed in our Fastest Internet Plans guide.

Best Internet Service Providers Coupons and Discount Codes

If you want to save more on some of our top rated internet service providers, check out these ISP deals:

Other Guides from 360 Reviews

Best Local Internet Service Providers

Find the best internet service providers in major metropolitan areas. See a full list of cities here.

Other Products to Consider

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

The following describes our 360 approach to researching and analyzing internet service providers to guide prospective consumers.

1. We researched the companies and products people care most about.

U.S. News analyzed and compared a variety of publicly available data, including internet search data, to determine which internet service providers consumers are most interested in. We found 25 companies that stood out for further evaluation using the volume of searches and consumer research. After conducting a thorough analysis, we were able to condense the initial list to the 12 overall Best Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Taking a step further, out of the top 12 ISPs, we determined which is best by connection type, the best for gaming using latency (provided by the Federal Communications Commission) as a parameter, the best for rural areas, the best prepaid plans, and the cheapest in terms of the lowest regular rate. Fastest ISPs was also another sub-category to consider, but without the proper speed testing platform, this could not be captured appropriately. 360 Reviews instead offered consumers the fastest publicized ISP plans provided by our overall Best Internet Service Providers. With the companies determined, we researched their most important features to create a general layout of what consumers should know to assist with their purchasing decisions.

We compared the various plans, along with the monthly costs and associated fees that each company provided relative to its customers’ needs. The plans highlighted features such as connection type, download/upload speed, and data caps. We also considered the latency, consistency, and packet loss data provided by the Federal Communications Commission in regards to connection type and ISPs for gaming. With these factors in mind, we created a thorough set of guides that provides a 360 overview of what consumers should consider.

2. We created objective 360 Overall Ratings based on an analysis of third-party reviews.

Our scoring methodology is based on a composite analysis of the ratings and reviews published by credible third-party professional and consumer review sources. The ratings are not based on the personal opinions, tests, or experiences of U.S. News. To calculate the ratings:

(a) We compiled two types of third-party ratings and reviews:

Professional Ratings and Reviews: Many independent evaluating sources have published their assessments of internet service providers and products online. We consider several of these third-party reviews to be reputable and well-researched. However, professional reviewers often make recommendations that contradict one another. Rather than relying on a single source, U.S. News believes consumers benefit most when these opinions and recommendations are considered and analyzed collectively with an objective, consensus-based methodology.

Consumer Ratings and Reviews: U.S. News also reviewed published consumer ratings and reviews of internet service providers. Sources with a sufficient number of quality consumer ratings and reviews were included in our scoring model.

Please note that not all professional and consumer rating sources met our criteria for objectivity. Therefore, some sources were excluded from our model.

(b) We standardized the inputs to create a common scale.

The third-party review source data were collected in a variety of forms, including ratings, recommendations, and accolades. Before including each third-party data point in our scoring equation, we standardized it so that it could be compared accurately with data points from other review sources. We used the scoring methodology described below to convert these systems to a comparable scale.

The 360 scoring process first converted each third-party rating into a common 0 to 5 scale. To balance the distribution of scores within each source’s scale, we used a standard deviation (or Z-Score) calculation to determine how each company that a source rated was scored in comparison to the source’s mean score. We then used the Z-Score to create a standardized U.S. News score using the method outlined below:

Calculating the Z-Score: The Z-Score represents a data point’s relation to the mean measurement of the data set. The Z-Score is negative when the data point is below the mean and positive when it’s above the mean; a Z-Score of 0 means it’s equal to the mean. To determine the Z-Score for each third-party rating of a company, we calculated the mean of the ratings across all companies evaluated by that third-party source. We then subtracted the mean from the company’s rating and divided it by the standard deviation to produce the Z-Score.

Calculating the T-Score: We used a T-Score calculation to convert the Z-Score to a 0-100 scale by multiplying the Z-Score by 10. To ensure that the mean was equal across all data points, we added our desired scoring mean (between 0 and 10) to the T-Score to create an adjusted T-Score.

Calculating the common-scale rating: We divided the adjusted T-Score, which is on a 100-point scale, by 20 to convert the third-party rating to a common 0-5 point system.

(c) We calculated the 360 Overall Score based on a weighted average model.

We assigned “source weights” to each source used in the consensus scoring model based on our assessment of how much the source is trusted and recognized by consumers and how much its published review process indicates that it is both comprehensive and editorially independent. The source weights are assigned on a 1-5 scale. Any source with an assigned weight less than 2 was excluded from the consensus scoring model.

Finally, we combined the converted third-party data points using a weighted average formula based on source weight. This formula calculated the consensus score for each product, which we call the 360 Overall Rating.

†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.

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