Best Internet Service Providers in Chicago

chicago-top-internet-service-providers

As everything today is one or the other way being driven by the internet, the demand for a reliable high-speed internet has increased manifold. Be it your car, home, TV, speaker, or even some home appliances, almost everything is being made convenient through the internet. This increased in the demand of the internet has allowed many Internet Service Providers to leverage the opportunity and provide service as per the need of the users. Chicago is one city which has more than numerous Internet service providers offering different internet packages with different speed. If you are in this one of the most populous cities of the US and looking for the best internet service providers in Chicago, you would want to go through the information provided below.

So whether you have some online businesses, carry out internet banking, do social networking, browse online marketing, or get online education, you can easily find an internet service provider in Chicago matching your requirement. Here is the list of some of the best internet providers that you can consider choosing in Chicago depending on your requirement.

List of Internet Service Providers in Chicago

Internet Service Provider City Coverage Fastest Speed
AT&T Internet 97% 100 Mbps
AT&T Fiber 20.8% 1000 Mbps
Xfinity 98.6% 987 Mbps
EarthLink (DSL) 97% 100 Mbps
EarthLink (Fiber) 20.8% 1000 Mbps
WOW! 17.1% 50 Mbps
Viasat | Exede 100% 35 Mbps
HughesNet. 100% 25 Mbps
RCN 21.1% 1000 Mbps
Everywhere Wireless 85.7% 1000 Mbps

 

Access to the Internet in Chicago

Around 4 to 5 Internet Service Providers are serviceable for the average address of Chicago. This much availability of ISPs has resulted in better pricing, allowing customers to have hands-on multiple internet packages to choose from. Taking into consideration the network tech provided throughout the area, it can be seen that most of the physical wire internet connection options are Fiber and IPBB, with 20.83% and 96.97% respectively. The Fiber-based internet is designed on the latest fiber-optical lines that are made of hair-liked glass strands that provide digital data as light. Fiber-based internet results in better performance and speed, however, it sometimes gets switched to slower copper wiring in the “last mile” near subscriber. Consequently, some fiber connections may not provide a true “gigabit” performance.

Comparing to the primary Internet Service Providers (Viasat and HughesNet) Xfinity from Comcast is a common second choice, considering that it serves 98% of the Chicago with a maximum speed of 987 Mbps. This doesn’t mean that wired broadband is the only way to use internet service in Chicago. There are fixed wireless brands such as Everywhere Wireless are capable of providing 1000 Mbps through direct wireless links. A total of 33 ISPs are known for offering business products and services like SD-WAN in city limits. Apart from these 33 ISPs, there are some home ISPs also that provide unlisted business plans.

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While generally, you will find Viasat Internet (earlier Exede) and HughesNet most commonly available Internet providers in Chicago, considering their coverage, there are more common internet providers available at a location in different neighborhoods around Chicago. A total of 50 Internet Service Providers are available in Chicago, out of which 18 are known for offering services for residents. Below you can find the list of internet service providers in Chicago with the best coverage as well as the fastest internet service providers in Chicago.

List of Internet Service Providers in Chicago with Best Coverage

INTERNET PROVIDERS IN CHICAGO TYPE OF INTERNET COVERAGE AVAILABILITY
XFINITY from Comcast Cable 98.6%
AT&T Internet IPBB and Fiber IPBB: 97%
Fiber: 20.8%
EarthLink DSL and Fiber DSL: 97%
Fiber: 20.8%
Everywhere Wireless Fixed Wireless 85.7%
Viasat Internet (formerly Exede) Satellite 100%
HughesNet Satellite 100%

 

List of Fastest Internet Service Providers in Chicago

Internet Providers Internet Type Speed Time Required to Download 1 GB
AT&T Internet DSL and Fiber 1,000 Mbps 8s
EarthLink DSL and Fiber 1,000 Mbps 8s
RCN Cable 1,000 Mbps 8s
XFINITY from Comcast Cable 987 Mbps 8s
AccessMedia3 Cable and DSL 150 Mbps 54s
Mediacom Cable Cable 100 Mbps 1m 21s
Illinois Electric Cooperative Fiber 100 Mbps 1m 21s
WOW! Cable 50 Mbps 2m 43s
Viasat Internet (Earlier Exede) Satellite 35 Mbps 3m 54s
HughesNet Satellite 25 Mbps 5m 27s
Consolidated Communications (Earlier Fairpoint Communications) DSL 25 Mbps 5m 27s

 

In Chicago, you can find almost all types of the internet such as DSL, fiber, cable, fixed wireless, and satellite internet residents. If you don’t know what these different internet type

  • DSL: Also known as Digital Subscriber Line, DSL is a type of internet that transfers data using the telephone lines. This connection available widely and can be also be considered as an affordable option. However, you may have to compromise a bit with the speed for some plans.
  • Cable: Cable internet is a popular internet type. This internet type connection is known for using coaxial cables like the one on cable TV to deliver data. It is known for providing fast download speeds of up to 1000 Mbps.
  • Fiber-Optic: Fiber-Optic is a type of internet that transfers data completely or partially through fiber optic cables. Here, “Fiber” refers to the thin glass wires used inside the larger protective cable, and “Optic” refers to the way the type of data transferred – through light signals.
  • Fixed Wireless: Fixed wireless internet is a type of connection which is known for using the radio waves to provide an address with broadband internet access without any use of cables or a satellite connection
  • Satellite: Satellite internet is a type of wireless connection that usually involves 3 satellite dishes; one located at the internet service provider’s hub, second in space, and the third one attached to your property.

Highlights of Internet Service Provider Availability in Chicago

  • AT&T Internet: 97% Availability in Chicago with a speed of up to 1,000 Mbps
  • EarthLink:0% Availability in Chicago with a speed of up to 1,000 Mbps
  • Xfinity:6% Availability in Chicago with a speed of up to 987 Mbps
  • RCN:1% Availability in Chicago with a speed of up to 1,000 Mbps
  • WOW:1% Availability in Chicago with speed up to 50 Mbps
  • AccessMedia3:2% Availability in Chicago with a speed of up to 150 Mbps
  • Mediacom:0% Availability in Chicago but offers speed of up to 100 Mbps
  • Illinois Electric Cooperative:0% Availability in Chicago but offers Speeds up to 100 Mbps
  • Consolidated:0% Availability in Chicago but offers speed of up to 25 Mbps
  • Viasat:0% Availability in Chicago with a speed of up to 35 Mbps
  • HughesNet:0% Availability in Chicago with a speed of up to 25 Mbps
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Finding the Cheapest Internet Service Provider in Chicago

Whether you are looking for a high-end blazing fast internet package or a basic internet plan to send emails, you would always want to go for a package which is the cheapest among your choice. However, when looking for the cheapest internet service providers in Chicago, you should always be ensured about the reliability. This is important because having an internet plan with frequent issues is a complete waste of your money. Therefore, you should always look for an internet plan which not only is affordable but also reliable. Below, you can find the list of some internet service providers offering different plans at different speeds.

Top Internet Service Providers in Chicago With Price

Internet Service Provider Download Speeds Up To Availability Service Offered Price
AT&T 1 Gbps 88.94% DSL Internet, Fiber Internet, Television, and Phone $35
WOW! 600 Mbps 17.1% Cable Internet, Television, and Phone $40
RCN 1 Gbps 8.93% Cable Internet, Television, and Phone $40
Xfinity 1 Gbps 72.04% Cable Internet, Television, and Phone $40
HughesNet 25 Mbps 100% Satellite Internet and Phone $59.99
Viasat 30 Mbps 100% Satellite Internet and Phone $50

 

Internet Speed Sufficient for Your Requirement

Like any other US city, Chicago is also full of families, students, business organizations, and working individuals. Almost all these sections of Chicago need the internet for carrying out different activities such as streaming videos, taking online tutorials, social networking, sending emails, conducting meetings and conferences, and much more. As there are so many usages of the internet, it is important to know the speed required at your home or business to carry out these different activities.

To determine the speed of the internet required at your home, you should first consider the size of your household or business. If there are just a couple of internet users in your home (for example, you and your wife), an internet plan with 25 Mbps should be sufficient, provided you use it for streaming videos on one device and sending a couple of emails. However, if you are a big family with members having different preferences such as online gaming, HD video streaming on multiple devices, and large data sharing, a 100 Mbps internet package will be ideal to carry out these activities.

Therefore, the speed of your internet plan mainly depends on the consumption and the number of members that are going to use it. The information below will help you ascertain the download speed required for different internet activities.

Recommended Internet Speed for Different Online Activities

Internet Activities Ideal Speed (Recommended)
  • Basic web browsing
  • Streaming video on a single device.
  • Low lag online gaming
  • Ideal for 1-2 person home with average internet usage.
 

25+ Mbps

  • High-end online gaming
  • HD video streaming
  • High-resolution video chat
  • Lag-free gaming online
  • Smart homes compatible
  • Sufficient for 4+ users household
 

 

100+ Mbps

  • 4K video streaming on multiple smart devices
  • Excellent Gigabit performance
  • Ideal for home and small office use.
  • Ideal for 4+ user households with large internet usage.
 

 

1000+ Mbps

 

Which Internet Service Provider Offers the Fastest Internet Speed?

There are three reliable internet service providers in Chicago that are known for offering the fastest internet plans with a speed up to 1000 Mbps. These ISPs include AT&T, RCN, and Xfinity.

Comparing the Best Internet Service Providers in Chicago

To determine the best internet service provider in Chicago for your home or business, you would want to consider the following factors.

  • Price: The first thing you would want to consider when choosing an internet plan is the price. The price of an internet plan mainly depends on the speed of the package you are looking to buy. Make sure to choose a package with an internet speed sufficient for your requirements. This will help you keep the price within your budget.
  • Speed: The speed required for your internet plan depends on the number of users and the activities that are going to be carried if you are one or two-person household with normal internet usage like streaming video on a single device, using social networking sites, sending emails or small size files, an internet plan with 25 space Mbps should be sufficient for a family with more internet usage like online gaming, 4k video streaming, and sharing large size files, an internet package with 100 Mbps speed is recommended.
  • Data Caps: While some ISPs put a capping on the data, some ISPs are known for offering internet plans without any data capping. So, make sure to go for an internet plan with unlimited data instead of a package offering limited data for the same or a negligible price difference.
  • Contracts: If you are not sure about the duration of your stay in Chicago it is recommended to avoid contract-based plans and opt for a contract-free internet plan however if your stay is going to be more than a year, it is best to go for a contractual internet package.

Installation Charges in Chicago

For the first time use, you will need to set up your internet either with the help of a professional or with a self-installation guide. Some of the Internet Service Providers in Chicago offer both types of options. If you have the experience and knowledge of setting up an internet connection on your own, it suggested to opt for the self-installation package. This is because a self-installation plan will help you save a lot compared to the installation process by professional assistance which incurs hefty charges.

Things to Consider When Moving to Chicago

If you are moving to Chicago and your current internet provider’s package is sufficient, it is best to check whether the provider also offers its services at your new address in Chicago. If the provider is available in your new location, you can request your ISP to transfer your current package to your new address and avoid early cancellation charges. However, if your current ISP is not available for your new location or if you want to go for a new provider, make sure to have a budget for early cancellation charges.

In addition, if you will not be staying in Chicago for long, it is recommended to look for an internet package that offers contractual internet plans on a monthly basis.

Now, as you have ample information about the best internet service providers available in Chicago along with the information to choose the best one for your requirement, you can easily find the most suitable ISP in Chicago as per your need.

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