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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > Computers & Internet > Internet Access

Internet Access Cost


How Much Does Internet Access Cost?

 
low costDialup: $10-$12.50 a monthaverage costDSL: $20-$45 a monthhigh costCable or Fiber Optic Broadband: $25-$145 a month
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These days there are several options when purchasing Internet access at home. For those who prefer lower prices but don't mind slower speeds, dialup options via a telephone and computer modem are still available. But for people who desire faster download and upload speeds to watch streaming video and to surf the web more quickly, DSL (broadband Internet over the telephone line), cable (Internet through the cable television coaxial line) or fiber optic (digital data transmissions of light) offer broadband options for faster home Internet service.

Typical costs:

  • Though not as common as it once was over a decade ago, dialup Internet access does still exist and is a low-cost option for those who are looking for an inexpensive plan and only do not necessarily view multimedia content.
  • NetZero[1] , Juno[2] and EarthLink[3] still offer these unlimited dialup services Internet for $10 to $12.50 per month.
  • DSL service from AT&T[4] currently has three monthly high speed Internet plants at $35 (1.5 Mbps down/ 384 Kbps up), $40 (3.0 Mbps down/ 512 Kbps up) and $45 (6.0 Mbps down/ 768 Kbps up). These plans all assume that one does not have local home phone service from AT&T. Having home phone service and then adding on a new high speed Internet plan from AT&T[5] can add $20-$25 per month for the first year, then runs $20-$40 per month depending on the speed. Not all plans are available in all areas.
  • Cable broadband Internet service from a company such as Comcast[6] require that the customer be a current subscriber to either cable TV or their digital voice service in order to sign up for one of the Internet access plans. Cable broadband speeds tend to be faster than DSL and may cost more in some cases. The "Economy Internet Service" (1 Mbps down/ 384 Kbps up) costs $25/month. The next level "Performance" (12 Mbps down/ 2 Mbps up) is $43/month. Their "Blast!" speed tier (16 Mbps down/ 2 Mbps up) is $53 a month and the "Ultra" option (22 MBPs/ 5 Mbps up) comes in at $63 a month.
  • Fiber optic broadband is another option as the technology is fast becoming more and more prevalent in neighborhoods. These speeds are can be even faster than cable broadband. Verizon[7] offers such a service and does not require home phone service. However, the price is $5 less on the plans if the customer does already have Verizon home phone. Their three plans come in at $55 a month (15 Mbps down/ 5 Mbps up), $70 a month (25 Mbps down/ 25 Mbps up) and $145 a month (50 Mbps down/ 20 Mbps up).
Related articles: Desktop Computer, Laptop Computer, Internet Phone Service, T-1 Internet Connection

What should be included:
  • For faster broadband speeds, a wireless broadband router and a network cable to connect to the home computer may be included in the kit.
  • Often, there is additional packaged software such as antivirus, pop-up blockers or spam protection that have a limited free trial for a few months.
Additional costs:
  • For the broadband services, if the customer is able to do a self-installation, there is usually no charge. Technician installation can range from $50-$80 (Comcast and Verizon) to $200 (AT&T).
  • Having the technician also set up the actual home network or do the computer connection can add $100.
  • For dialup Internet access, an internal PCI modem for the dialup option costs between $8 and $20. An external or USB modem can cost from $25 to up to $70.
Discounts:
  • For broadband services, there are often bundled services (Internet and cable TV, Internet and digital voice or Internet , etc.) that can bring down the total cost if a customer already has one of the services mentioned.
  • TIP: Broadband providers sometimes offer customer retention promotions. If the costs goes up after the promotional pricing is over, it doesn't hurt to call customer service and inquire about extending a promotion for customer loyalty.
Shopping for internet access:
  • Note that not all services and providers may be available in a particular geographical location. Most of the time, there will be at least two or three options available to a home computer user for Internet access. Service quality and speeds may also vary as well.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
very happy with my dsl
Amount: $30.00
Posted by: saul cabrera in yakima, WA.Posted: September 23rd, 2013 09:09AM
Speed: 12 mps
This internet is pretty fast and reliable.
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charter
Amount: $56.00
Posted by: mad in wausau, WI.Posted: January 28th, 2013 09:01AM
Provider: charter internetType of Connection:
Speed: 1.5 to 3
to be told it was so fast during the day it is so slow at night its ok
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Comcast Xfinity + Digital TV = 141
Amount: $141.00
Posted by: Kiyoshi in Maltby, WA.Posted: January 14th, 2013 06:01AM
Provider: comcastType of Connection: cable
Speed: 20 mbps down/6 mbps up
The performance is good, but the bundled cost is expensive. How much do others pay for the same service and performance?

I am submitting on Jan 14, 2013. (The dropdown box doesn't show 2013!)
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Internet fees
Amount: $30.00
Posted by: Campeador in Cleveland, OH.Posted: September 7th, 2012 10:09PM
Provider: At&tType of Connection: DSL High Speed Internet
Speed: 768 Kbps /128 Kbps
Service for internet only. The first year it was $14.95. After the first year is double. It is slow- You cannot watch a full youtube video without pausing to catch up. May have to upgrade to the 1.5Mb/384kbps at $38.
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upgraded internet
Amount: $54.00
Posted by: a user in houston, TX.Posted: August 8th, 2012 08:08PM
Provider: attType of Connection: hi-speed
Speed: 18meg/1.5meg
i used to have 12meg/1.5meg now i have 18meg/1.5meg streaming youtube music movies live streaming on justin.tv and other streaming tv sites email baisc and rich websites and good with hd streaming
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Internet fees
Amount: $56.00
Posted by: a user in Somers, CT.Posted: July 26th, 2012 10:07AM
Provider: CoxType of Connection:
Speed: High Speed w/boost
Prices are getting so high. I see why people are relying on cell phone service
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internet with att
Amount: $48.00
Posted by: a user in texas, TX.Posted: June 3rd, 2012 08:06PM
Provider: attType of Connection: hi-speed
Speed: 12meg/1.5meg
im using att 12meg/1.5meg it's a great connection it works great on streaming youtube music movies live streaming on justin.tv and other streaming tv sites email baisc and rich websites and more cons it's not verry good with hd vids and hd streems hd stuff and other stuff works better with 18 meg and 24 meg but it's great
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PeoplePC internet is HORRIBLE
Amount: $12.95
Posted by: betabot526 in Wausau, WI.Posted: November 20th, 2011 04:11PM
Provider: PeoplePC OnlineType of Connection: dial-up
Speed: 42.6 kbps
PeoplePC has internet speed so terrible, it takes AN HOUR just to load a 3 minute YouTube video! :(
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internet access cost
Amount: $63.00
Posted by: jerry gill in des moines, WA.Posted: August 17th, 2011 10:08PM
Provider: clearwireType of Connection: wireless
Speed: 1.5mbps
$145 was the price they gave me! if I bought the modem! with a price of service to start! and monthly price of $45 so I just told them I would rather lease!so it came out to $55 a month!
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Non-bundled High Speed Cable
Amount: $66.75
Posted by: Rob in CS in College Station, TX.Posted: June 22nd, 2010 06:06AM
Provider: SuddenlinkType of Connection: Cable
Speed: 10Mb/756Kb
I initially was paying $45 per month. In the middle of the monthly basis, the charges of the service jumped to $66.75 per month. They did increase me from 6Mb/512Kb to the 10Mb/756Kb, but I wasn't really asked if I wanted the upgrade. Since there are 3 gamers in the apartment, it seems to be okay until someone decides to download something...
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Non-bundled high-speed
Amount: $65.00
Posted by: Kathryn in Edgewood, MD.Posted: April 18th, 2009 11:04AM
Provider: ComcastType of Connection: high-speed cable
Speed: 6.0 mbps
$65 per month if you don't get a digital cable or phone package (neither of which I need). Price includes modem rental. The first 6 months is 19.95. Speed and service availability aregood, but at a steep price.
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Internet Access Cost
Amount: $10.00
Posted by: treyk in austin, TX.Posted: March 17th, 2009 08:03AM
Provider: at&tType of Connection: dsl basic
Speed: 300
basic dsl service offered by at&t. this is burried in the fine print under terms and conditions...I found this through economist Clark Howard and on his website. Absolutely the best deal by far. It's slow compared to other broadband but 10x better than dial-up. I've been on it for a couple of years now...no problems. Seems as if it was difficult to get AT&T to admit they had this product...I had to find it in the fine print as mentioned.
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Gotta watch A T & T
Amount: $32.99
Posted by: Travlee in Lafayette, LA.Posted: July 22nd, 2008 11:07AM
Provider: A T & TType of Connection: DSL
Speed: fast enough
We've had DSL service with BellSouth/AT&T for about 9 years. Service is okay...but if your internet goes down it will take them sometimes 2-4 days to get service back up and don't expect them to credit you for those days...won't happen. My BIG problem with them happened about a year ago. A friend of ours got DSL service from AT&T at the same speed as ours (they have 3 speeds; we are in the middle)and the cost was about $8 a month cheaper. I called customer service to see why his rate was so much cheaper and was informed that the rates had gone down about six months ago. Asked why OUR rate hadn't gone down and was told that you had to ASK them to do this because they had no way to change all the customers rates. REALLY! I bet if the rate had gone UP they would have somehow FOUND a way to change everyone's rate. Maybe not legally wrong but ethically and morally WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!! Now I check the rates on the website every couple of months in case I need to "ask" again.
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Verizon Fios Internet
Amount: $42.99
Posted by: Josh In Tampa in Tampa, FL.Posted: June 23rd, 2008 06:06PM
Provider: VerizonType of Connection: High Speed Fiber Optic
Speed: 10 Mbps Down / 2 Mbps Up
I've had Verizon's Fios service for a few years and I am very happy with the speed for the cost. This is a far superior speed product when compared to DSL or Road Runner. The Verizon customer service isn't the best, but the speed and reliability of the internet connection make up for it.
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T*Mobile at Starbucks is expensive
Amount: $40.00
Posted by: Coffee Fiend in San Mateo, CA.Posted: July 16th, 2007 06:07PM
Provider: T*Mobile HotspotType of Connection: wifi
Speed: happy with the speed
I occasionally get my work done at cafes, especially when contractors are working on the home and I need to be productive elsewhere. In March, I signed up for the T Mobile because I go to Starbucks a lot and they had a deal where your first month was free. But I was checking my bills over recently, and I realized $40 a month is a lot considering a few months I didn't surf at Starbucks at all. I'm thinking about cancelling my plan and either paying by the hour or subscribing only during months when I think I'll be working there a lot. Also, more and more restaurants offer wifi for free.
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Pretty happy with Comcast Cable Modem
Amount: $46.00
Posted by: PCGuyinCali in San Jose, CA.Posted: December 13th, 2006 04:12PM
Provider: ComcastType of Connection: Cable modem
Speed: 2.3Mbps
Even though DSL was available at our home, I subscribed to the Cable Modem because I wanted the fastest thing possible. Right now, according to CNet's bandwidth test
(http://reviews.cnet.com/7004-7254_7-0.html), I'm getting 2.3Mbps, which is OK, but almost as slow as a good cable modem. We got an introductory rate of $14/month for 2 months, before it went up to $46/month. We also get standard cable from them; I don't know if this gives us a small discount on Internet access.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.netzero.net/
  2.  www.juno.com/
  3.  www.earthlink.net/access/
  4.  www.att.com/dsl/start/index.jsp?_requestid=1830
  5.  www.att.com/dsl/start/index.jsp?_requestid=1833
  6.  /www.comcast.com/localization/localize.cspx?Referer=%2fshop%2fbuyflow2%2fproducts.cspx
  7.  www22.verizon.com/home/fios-fastest-internet/fastest-internet-plans/
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