Best Internet Providers in Phoenix





Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US, with thousands relocating to the area yearly. Along with decent air conditioning, the Valley of the Sun’s citizens will need a fast, reliable internet connection. If you’re a newly arrived resident — Phoenixite? Phoenician? — or you’ve lived in Phoenix for some time now, it’s worth looking at options in your area to ensure you’re with the best internet provider for your needs.

Whether you’re relocating to Phoenix, moving across town or simply want to explore cheaper or faster internet options at your current address, you’ll find Cox and CenturyLink to be your primary choices for a wired internet connection. Most of the alternatives to Cox and CenturyLink will be wireless, such as 5G home internet from Verizon or T-Mobile, or fixed wireless service from local provider Triad Wireless.

With potentially a few home internet choices available, how do you know which is best for your home? You’ll find my picks for the best Phoenix ISPs below, along with service details and what makes them stand out. Further down the page, you’ll find a list of other, but perhaps less available or desirable, internet providers, followed by a look at the cheapest and fastest internet plans in Phoenix.

Top 3 internet providers in Phoenix

Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Price range: $50-$65 per month
  • Speed range: 200-940Mbps
  • Connection: Fiber
  • Perks: No contracts, unlimited data, free equipment with gig service
  • Why choose it: Excellent value, symmetrical download and upload speeds over a 100% fiber connection

You probably know it better as CenturyLink, but with the company’s rebranding as Lumen Technologies came a name change for the fiber-optic side of the business to Quantum Fiber. Despite the new name, service is relatively the same with two plan options: 200Mbps starting at $50 or gig service (up to 940Mbps) starting at $65 per month. Both plans are a decent value, but the faster plan is one of the best internet deals you’ll find on gig service from just about any major provider in Phoenix or elsewhere.

Quantum Fiber service terms are also favorable as there are no contracts, no data caps — a nice new feature from CenturyLink — and there is no scheduled price increase after 12 months. The equipment fee is a bit high at $15 per month, but that fee is waived for gigabit customers.

The only real drawback to Quantum Fiber in Phoenix is the limited availability. According to the latest FCC data, less than 40% of households in Phoenix are eligible for fiber service. You’ll find the greatest fiber availability around Encanto Village, Central City and Camelback East, but fiber service is also available in random neighborhoods throughout the Phoenix area.

Read our CenturyLink internet review.

 

CenturyLink

Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Price range: $40-$100 per month
  • Speed range: 25-940Mbps
  • Connection: Mostly cable, some fiber
  • Perks: 1.25TB monthly data allowance, lots of plan options
  • Why choose it: Gig speeds are available throughout the city, ideal for bundling internet and TV

Cox is your go-to cable internet provider in Phoenix. Service is available throughout the city from Alhambra past Guadalupe, and you’ll find available speeds and plan pricing pretty much the same wherever you go. Most households will have six internet plans to choose from, with speeds ranging from 25 to 940Mbps. And if you want to add TV, Cox offers a few internet and TV bundle packages as well.

Since Cox primarily uses a coaxial cable network, upload speeds can be significantly slower, from 3 to 35Mbps. Cox has a small fiber presence in Phoenix, which can deliver symmetrical upload and download speeds, but less than 10% of households in the area are eligible. So if you sign up with Cox, be prepared for those slower upload speeds.

Speaking of signing up, you may have to agree to a one-year contract to get the lowest introductory rate on Cox internet plans. That’s no big deal if you plan on staying put and keeping your service for a while, but canceling early could result in hefty fees, possibly up to $240 or more. There’s also a 1.25TB data cap to be mindful of. Most households don’t use anywhere close to that much data in a month, so there is not much to worry about there, but if you do happen to go over, expect an added fee of up to $100 on your next bill.

Read our Cox internet review.

 

Cox Communications

Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Price range: $25-$70 per month
  • Speed range: 300-940Mbps
  • Connection: 5G home internet
  • Perks: No contracts, unlimited data, free equipment, 50% discount for qualifying Verizon mobile customers
  • Why choose it: Low, simple pricing, potentially fast speeds for the price

Verizon 5G home internet — available throughout most of the Phoenix area, according to the provider’s 5G Ultra Wideband coverage map — starts at $50 or $70 per month, depending on which pricing structure you choose (learn more about that here) for speeds ranging from 300 to 940Mbps. The actual speeds you can get will depend on your address and how far you are from a local 5G tower. 

Even if your address is only serviceable for the lowest advertised speed, 300Mbps, that’s faster than $50 will get you with Cox and CenturyLink. If you’re eligible for faster speeds, well, the plan’s value is even higher. To top it off, Verizon is currently running a 50% off promotion for qualifying Verizon mobile customers, meaning you could land a home internet service with speeds 300Mbps or higher starting at just $25 per month. 

It almost sounds too good to be true, and it may be. 5G is still a relatively new way to connect your home, and it’s a bit early to tell if it will stand as a viable alternative to cable or fiber-optic connections. Fortunately, Verizon doesn’t lock you into a contract, so you’re free to try it out, see what kind of speeds and reliability you get, then drop it and return to Cox or CenturyLink if the service isn’t for you.

Read our Verizon 5G home internet overview.

 

Phoenix internet provider details

Top Phoenix internet providers by availability

Provider Starting price Download speed range (Mbps) Equipment cost Approximate availability CNET review score
Cox $30-$100 25-940 $13 (skippable) 98% 6.2
Verizon 5G $50-$70 300-940 None 92% N/A
T-Mobile 5G $50 35-115 None 60% N/A
CenturyLink $50 5-140 $15 (skippable) 58% 6.7
Quantum Fiber $50-$65 200-940 $15 (skippable) 39% 6.7

Phoenix top ISP honorable mentions

The three internet providers listed above aren’t the only ISPs in the Phoenix area. They’re just the ones that, if I were shopping for internet in Montezuma Heights, for example, I would start with first. These providers are also worth a look but may not present the same value or speed potential.

CenturyLink
Technically, I already mentioned CenturyLink with Quantum Fiber, but I’m referring to its DSL service this time. CenturyLink’s DSL service is available to nearly every household in the Phoenix area not eligible for Quantum Fiber. Speeds are largely impressive for DSL service, ranging from 60, 80 or 100Mbps in many neighborhoods. As such, CenturyLink is a solid choice for a basic, low-hassle connection, but if you want faster speeds, you’ll have to turn to Cox or Verizon 5G.

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T-Mobile coverage in Phoenix.


FCC/Mapbox

T-Mobile 5G Home Internet 
While Verizon’s 5G home internet network caters primarily to larger cities, such as Phoenix, T-Mobile focuses more on suburban and rural areas. At $50 per month for speeds ranging from 33 to 182Mbps, T-Mobile is an ideal choice for those living outside the city where satellite or DSL is the only connection available. However, if you’re within Phoenix, you’ll find faster speeds for roughly the same price from other providers.

Triad Wireless
Local fixed wireless provider Triad Wireless beams internet signals all over the Phoenix area for business, education and residential internet service. Max residential internet speeds can reach 300Mbps, which is impressive for a fixed wireless network. Since fixed wireless requires a direct line of sight to a nearby transmitter, you’ll need to have a serviceability check before being able to sign up. Call 602-426-0542 or visit the Triad Wireless residential internet page to inquire about serviceability and pricing at your address.

Satellite internet
HughesNet and Viasat are always options for home internet, so long as you have a clear view of the southern sky. But satellite is often the last resort for internet, and with Cox, CenturyLink, 5G internet and other choices in Phoenix, the high pricing, high latency and low data allowances of satellite internet are easy to pass on.

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Getty Images

Cheap internet in Phoenix

For a cheap, basic internet connection in Phoenix, consider Cox’s Starter 25. The plan starts at $30 per month (when agreeing to a one-year contract) and advertises max speeds that meet broadband qualifications of 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up. If you’re a Verizon mobile customer, you’ll also want to see if you can score the 50% discount on 5G home internet service for speeds of 300Mbps or higher, starting at $25 per month. Otherwise, expect to pay $50 monthly or higher for internet in Phoenix.

Cheapest internet plans in Phoenix

Plan Starting monthly price Equipment fee Max download speeds (Mbps)
Verizon 5G $25 (with 50% discount) None 300-940
Cox Starter $30 $13 (skippable) 25
Quantum Fiber $50 $15 (skippable) 200
CenturyLink Simply Unlimited $50 $15 (skippable) 100
T-Mobile 5G $50 None 33-182

Internet for low-income households in Phoenix

The Affordable Connectivity Program grants qualifying households $30 per month towards home internet service. Those on tribal lands, such as the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community northeast of Phoenix, can receive up to $75 per month. Here’s how to apply for the ACP.

Additionally, Cox offers an affordable internet plan, Connect2Compete, to qualifying households with at least one student enrolled in grades K-12. The plan offers download speeds up to 100Mbps for $10 per month with no contracts or equipment fees. No credit check or social security number is required to apply. For households without children, Cox also offers ConnectAssist, which features 100Mbps download speeds for $30 a month.

High-speed internet in Phoenix

Multigig internet plans are popping up all over the US but haven’t quite reached Phoenix yet. Single gig plans, with download speeds up to 940Mbps, are the fastest you’ll find in the Phoenix area from Quantum Fiber, Cox and possibly Verizon 5G. While perhaps not as exciting as multigig service, that’s still plenty of speed for a virtually unlimited number of connected devices.

Fastest internet plans in Phoenix

Plan Starting monthly price Max download speeds (Mbps) Data cap
Quantum Fiber Gig $65 940 None 
Cox Gigablast $100 940 1.25TB
Verizon 5G Home Internet $50 940 None
CenturyLink Simply Unlimited $50 100 None
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet $50 115 None

With fast speeds and numerous devices for streaming and gaming, it’s easy to use quite a bit of data each month. You won’t have to worry about your data usage with most Phoenix internet providers, but if you’ve got Cox, you may want to keep an eye on it. 

Cox’s 1.25TB monthly data cap is generous, but going over could be costly, to the tune of up to $100 in added fees. I wouldn’t fret too much over the data cap, though. With reasonable internet activity, most households won’t come close to using that much data. For context, the average household used roughly 435MB of data per month during the height of the pandemic.

Phoenix home internet recap

Quantum Fiber, Cox and Verizon 5G are likely your best internet options in terms of speed and overall value. Quantum Fiber would be my first recommendation due to a fiber connection’s reliability and symmetrical download/upload speed capabilities, not to mention CenturyLink’s favorable service terms. 

Cox is a solid choice for cable internet, especially if you plan to bundle internet and TV, but pricing is a bit high compared to other providers, and you’ll have to deal with contracts and a data cap. 

As for Verizon 5G home internet, the value comes down to what speeds are available at your address, but the service is worth checking out if you’re looking for an alternative to CenturyLink or Cox. 

Other providers may be available throughout the Phoenix area, including T-Mobile, Triad Wireless, HughesNet and Viasat. Still, given the other available options throughout the city, I’d consider these your secondary choices for home internet service.

Phoenix internet FAQs

Does Phoenix have fiber internet?

Yes. Approximately 39% of Phoenix households are eligible for fiber service. The largest fiber provider in the Phoenix area is Quantum Fiber, formerly known as CenturyLink Fiber. Cox also has a small fiber presence in Phoenix.

Is CenturyLink or Cox better?

In Phoenix, Cox offers more plan options than CenturyLink and greater high-speed coverage with gig service available throughout the city. However, plans from Quantum Fiber, formerly known as CenturyLink Fiber, will likely come with significantly faster upload speeds and a lower cost per Mbps than comparable Cox plans. For a more in-depth comparison of the two providers, read our breakdown of CenturyLink versus Cox.

Is Xfinity available in Phoenix?

No. Cox Communications is the primary cable internet provider in the Phoenix area. Other major cable internet providers, including Xfinity, do not offer service in Phoenix.




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