New York City is known for having everything you could ever want, and multiples of it. After all, we have eight major pro sports teams! So, it makes sense there would be a plethora of internet options here, too. But, which are the best internet providers in NYC? Here’s everything you need to know. 

Manhattan Rentals Under $3K on StreetEasy Article continues below

What Internet Providers Are Available in NYC?

Before understanding the best internet providers in NYC, you need to know which ones are even available. And, as you might imagine, the city is incredibly well-connected. We’ve got fiber, cable, DSL, satellite, and fixed wireless options. 

Optimum, Verizon, Spectrum, and RCN are the most common internet providers in the city. Satellite options include HughesNet and Viasat. There are several smaller providers too, like BarrierFree, Xchange Telecom, Xfinity, Nuvisions, and Atlantic Broadband. And fiber-optic providers include Verizon Fios, Starry Internet, and Honest Networks.

Most residential buildings are already wired for cable, and fiber-optic connections are becoming more readily available. Plus, in the majority of NYC homes, residents have access to more than one provider. Many apartment buildings are wired for both Verizon Fios and Spectrum. In fact, you can even specify this using StreetEasy search filters: under BUILDING AMENITIES, click “Verizon Fios Enabled”. 

In addition, there are many websites out there to help. For example, you can input your zip code or address on sites like All Connect to find out which options are available to you. (In your area, or even your specific building.)

Brooklyn Rentals Under $3K on StreetEasy Article continues below

What’s the Cheapest Internet Provider in NYC?

For plenty of New Yorkers, the best internet provider in NYC is whichever is the cheapest one. As of September 2021, RCN is certainly one of the most inexpensive options out there. Its basic package of up to 500 Mbps costs $34.99 a month. However, most providers require you to input an exact address to get a quote. And advertised deals for NYC may or may not be available in your specific building. You might not find the cheapest deals for your apartment until you do a little digging. So it’s best to shop around before making a decision.

Also, it’s important to remember that quoted prices don’t always include the cost of the equipment. Or taxes and fees. And if you want to add cable or a phone line, the price can vary greatly. So ask what that total cost will be after setup to understand exactly what your monthly bill will come to. 

Which One Is Most Reliable?

The pandemic changed people’s way of life, including spending way more time at home. So, not surprisingly, solid WiFi has become an important amenity. For many, especially those who now work remotely from their homes, reliability is crucial. 

“I often hear from clients that the internet is so important now,” says agent Karen Kostiw of Warburg Realty. “Particularly if they’re coming from an area that has poor service. It’s very frustrating to have Zoom calls or conduct research with spotty internet service.”

According to one report, the average internet speed in NYC is 534.43 Mbps. That’s pretty solid, considering a high-speed plan is considered 200 Mbps or more. But, speed and reliability boil down to how the internet is being used — and by how many devices. 

What Type of Household Are You?

  • Multiple-Device Households: Even for people who live alone, using multiple devices at once is common. In this kind of household, the best internet providers in NYC would be fiber or cable services like Verizon Fios and Spectrum. They tend to be better than satellite or DSL at handling online meetings and sharing large files. 
  • Streaming Households: Between Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc., there’s no shortage of binge-worthy TV options. But the last thing you want to see mid-episode is a buffering notification. Don’t worry, you don’t need a super-expensive plan for smooth streaming. According to Netflix, all you need is 25 Mbps for Ultra HD streaming. Even just 5 Mbps is enough for HD streaming on one device, while 100 Mbps is capable of handling a couple of devices at once.
  • Gaming Households: For New Yorkers who like getting competitive via a device, the best internet provider in NYC will have fast download and upload speeds and low latency to prevent lag. That means opting for one with fast, fiber-optic internet, like Verizon Fios or Xfinity. 

Queens Rentals Under $2,500 on StreetEasy Article continues below

Which One Is Biggest?

In terms of coverage, Spectrum covers the entire city and is its biggest internet service provider. This is the same company formerly known as Time Warner Cable, which many New Yorkers found problematic. But Spectrum’s reviews and ratings are some of the highest in NYC. Satellite internet service providers HughesNet and Viasat Internet also offer 100% coverage, but they have slower download speeds for the same cost as Verizon Fios and Spectrum, respectively. 

Verizon Fios currently has the highest ratings in NYC. But it only covers about 83% of the city. “Fios is the gold standard,” says Warburg agent Christopher Totaro. “Not all buildings are wired for Fios, though. I’ve had clients who wouldn’t consider purchasing or renting in a non-Fios building.”  

Bronx Rentals Under $2,500 on StreetEasy Article continues below

What’s the Fastest Internet Provider in NYC?

While there are many criteria to determine the best internet provider in NYC, speed is certainly on the top of the list. Xfinity is one of the fastest in the city, with download speeds up to 1,200 Mbps for $79.99 per month. Spectrum is close behind with 1,000 Mbps for $109.99 a month. and Verizon Fios fiber internet is close too, with up to 940 Mbps for $89.99 a month. 

Here’s a hot tip if you’re looking for super-duper speed (and can afford super-duper prices): Consider 100 Barclay in Tribeca. This pricey condo tower, also known as the Verizon Building or 140 West Street, contains Verizon’s offices on its first 11 floors. According to Kostiw, that gives its residents the fastest internet around. It’s a perk that’s popular with New Yorkers for whom high-tech speed is everything — especially traders.

Keep in mind that, even with high-speed internet, equipment could slow things down. A router, for example, could cause delays that result in lag or connectivity issues. If that’s the case for you, you’ll want to look into how to improve your WiFi signal, rather than your internet service provider.

Ultimately, Verizon Fios and Spectrum seem to reign supreme as the best internet providers in NYC for a combination of high speeds, reliability, and access. RCN ranks highly too, thanks to its lower-price and high-speed options. Satellite internet providers HughesNet and Viasat offer similar coverage and pricing as the top two giants, but you’ll sacrifice download speed. To decide which one is right for you, spend a little time determining your budget and priorities. Happy surfing!