Best Internet Providers in Seattle

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CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber – Best fiber service among Seattle internet providers

  • Prices from $30 – $70 per month
  • Speeds from 200 – 940Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Xfinity – Best availability among Seattle internet providers

  • Prices from $20 – $300 per month
  • Speeds from 75 – 6,000Mbps
  • Data caps on some plans

T-Mobile Home Internet – Best fixed wireless service for Seattle internet providers

  • Prices from $50 per month
  • Speeds from 72 – 245Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Astound Broadband/Wave – Best internet provider for cheap internet in Seattle

  • Prices from $20 – $80 per month
  • Speeds from 100 – 1,200Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Any city that can say it’s the birthplace of Starbucks and Jimi Hendrix must be doing something right. However, Seattle isn’t exactly in the espresso lane regarding high-speed internet options. Though the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue region is among the country’s top 20 most populous metro areas, it could muster only a 94th-place finish among the fastest cities in the US for broadband.

That’s based on the latest data from the speed-testing company Ookla, which tracks the top 100 cities in the US and categorizes them based on their median download speeds. Per Ookla’s first-quarter report for 2023, Seattle placed in the bottom 10 — just barely above Denver, Dallas and Atlanta — with a median download speed of just over 122 megabits per second. 

The Ookla report also noted that Seattle’s fastest provider, based on median download speed, was Xfinity (Comcast’s cable internet service), whose average speed in the area was approximately 217Mbps. As we’ve written many times in CNET’s broadband coverage, cable internet connections offer fast speeds and decent reliability but aren’t the speediest mode available. That claim belongs to fiber-optic internet service. And while you can get fiber internet in and around Seattle, each provider, including CenturyLink and Ziply Fiber, also supplies internet service via DSL connections, which are far slower than fiber and less dependable than cable. That brings those average speeds back down to earth — and it also means there’s a lot to keep track of if you’re shopping for a new internet plan in Seattle. 

Best internet providers in the Emerald City

Whether you’ve relocated to the area or are a long-time Seattleite, you’ve got some options for getting connected. Let’s dive into your choices and explore Seattle internet providers.

Sarah Tew/CNET

CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber

Best fiber service among Seattle internet providers

Product details


Price range

$30 – $70 per month

Speed range

200 – 940Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included with gigabit tier

To be clear, not all CenturyLink service in Seattle is fiber-optic internet service. According to the Federal Communication Commission’s data, you’ll still find DSL connections in many areas across the city, perhaps as much as 50% in some areas. But if you can get CenturyLink’s fiber service, you’ll find a quality offering that’s also called Quantum Fiber in some, but not all, areas — don’t ask, it’s just rebranding. 

Availability: Most of CenturyLink’s fiber service will be in and around Seattle, but some people will find availability as far south as Bonney Lake, Gig Harbor and Orting. You can also find it east of Seattle in Issaquah or west of the city in Poulsbo, just off Liberty Bay.

Plans and pricing: Expect especially good value with the gigabit plan, which offers matching download and upload speeds of up to 940Mbps for $70 per month. That’s an excellent value of just over 7 cents per Mbps, which is strong even by fiber standards. By comparison, cable plans typically run between 20 and 50 cents per Mbps, which goes even higher once the promo price wears off after a year. 

Fees and service details: CenturyLink fiber service features unlimited data and doesn’t ask you to sign a term agreement to get the lowest price. On top of that, your modem rental, which costs an additional $15 monthly if you choose the 200Mbps option, is included with CenturyLink’s gigabit plan.

Read our CenturyLink home internet review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Xfinity

Best availability among Seattle internet providers

Product details


Price range

$20 – $300 per month

Speed range

75 – 6,000Mbps

Connection

Cable

Highlights

Data caps on some plans, lots of plan options, solid customer satisfaction numbers

You’ll have to look far and wide before finding a provider that offers as many options as Comcast’s cable internet service, Xfinity. 

Availability: According to the FCC’s National Broadband Map, Xfinity is available to over 94% of the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area.

Plans and pricing: Seven different tiers help you find the right fit for your household, from one of the area’s cheapest internet plans (75Mbps for $20 a month) to the region’s fastest residential offering (6,000Mbps for $300 per month). Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro is notable not just for its superior speed but also because it’s Xfinity’s only fiber-to-the-home product. That means you’ll get symmetrical download and upload speed, whereas all other Xfinity plans will have a max upload speed of 10 to 35Mbps. That said, Gigabit Pro is limited to select addresses, so there’s a good chance it isn’t available at yours. It isn’t cheap, either — it’s one of the most expensive broadband plans out there. You’ll get a lot but pay a lot, too.

Fees and service details: Xfinity also does well in customer satisfaction surveys. It scored two points above the industry average in the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index report and finished above average in three of four regions in the J.D. Power study for 2022.

So why isn’t it the best overall? Cable, contracts and caps. Cable internet, while reliable, doesn’t perform as well as fiber internet, with upload speeds limited to 35Mbps. Also, to get the best promo rates with Xfinity, you must sign a contract (usually one year, but Gigabit Pro requires a two-year commitment). Finally, some Xfinity plans have a monthly data cap of 1.2 terabytes. You can sign up for unlimited data, but that’ll add extra fees to your monthly bill. 

Read our Xfinity home internet review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

T-Mobile Home Internet

Best fixed wireless service for Seattle internet providers

Product details


Price range

$50 per month ($30 for eligible T-Mobile Magenta Max customers)

Speed range

72 – 245Mbps

Connection

Fixed wireless

Highlights

Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees

T-Mobile has been aggressively campaigning for its home internet product. Exhibit A: Its “Internet Freedom” push included the tagline, “Free yourself from internet BS.” Customers seem to respond well, too: T-Mobile Home Internet was second only to Verizon Fios in the ACSI survey of Americans’ satisfaction with their ISPs.

Availability: The biggest catch with T-Mobile Home Internet is that it still isn’t uniformly available. While the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue market is among the 50 million households that can get it (and technically, about 95% of people in the area should be able to get it), you’ll still need to determine if it’s available at your address. For example, I can get T-Mobile 5G cell service at home, but my address still isn’t eligible for T-Mobile Home Internet. To follow up on your household’s availability, plug in your address (T-Mobile customers can also use their mobile phone number) on the T-Mobile Home Internet site.

Plans and pricing: T-Mobile Home Internet is appealingly simple — there’s one plan, costing $50 per month. That one plan will get you speeds ranging from 72 to 245Mbps. Additionally, T-Mobile offers a $20 discount for eligible Go5G, Go5G Plus and Magenta Max customers. 

Fees and service details: That one monthly fee covers all your equipment needs, and you won’t have to worry about term agreements, data caps or added fees. All new customers, no matter if they’re also wireless customers or not, can try the service for 15 days without penalty and with a full money-back guarantee.

Read our T-Mobile Home Internet overview.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Astound Broadband/Wave

Best internet provider for cheap internet in Seattle

Product details


Price range

$20 – $80 per month

Speed range

100 – 1,200Mbps

Connection

Cable

Highlights

Unlimited data, low promo prices, no contracts

This cable internet provider is tough to beat for competitive starting rates. 

Availability: You can find Astound Broadband coverage in just over 10% of the Seattle metro area, including Bellevue, Bremerton and downtown Seattle. 

Plans and pricing: Its cheapest plan is $5 more than Xfinity’s and Ziply Fiber’s cheapest offerings at $20, but it is notably faster. Ziply Fiber’s plan features 50Mbps download speed and Xfinity’s is at 75Mbps download speed, while Astound gets your speeds up to 100Mbps. That means you’re getting a decent value of 25 cents per Mbps compared to Xfinity’s higher cost per Mbps of 27 cents (and Ziply’s at 40 cents).

You can further emphasize that value when you look at Astound’s fastest plan, which offers 1,200Mbps for $80 monthly. That comes out to just under 7 cents per Mbps. 

Fees and service details: But (and you had to feel it was coming), there’s a caveat: Astound Broadband features some of the highest rate increases among ISPs. Per the company’s rate card, that $25 plan could jump as high as $70 monthly. While a spokesperson for the company told CNET that most customers would not see a full increase to the standard retail rate, I think you need to be aware of what might await you after the rosy returns of the first 24 months.

Read our Astound Broadband review.

Overview of Seattle internet providers

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
Astound Broadband/Wave Cable $25-$65 100-1,200Mbps $12 (optional) 400GB-Unlimited None 7
CenturyLink DSL/fiber $49-$65 20-940Mbps $15 (optional) None None 6.7
Google Fiber Webpass Fixed wireless $63-$70 1,000Mbps None None None 7.4
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless $50 ($30 with eligible phone plan) 72-245Mbps None None None 7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet Fixed wireless $50-$70 (50% off with eligible phone plan) 85-1,000Mbps None None None 7.2
Xfinity Cable $20-$300 75-6,000Mbps $15 (optional) 1.2TB 1-2 years for some plans 7
Ziply Fiber DSL/fiber $20-$300 50-10,000Mbps $10 (optional) None None 7.2

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Other available Seattle residential internet providers

The city set on Puget Sound has more ISPs seeking your business than the four we highlighted above. Here are some of the other internet providers in Seattle. 

  • Google Fiber Webpass: Don’t be confused by the fiber in the name. This is a fixed-wireless option from Google Fiber that’s focused solely on apartment buildings. Even though it’s not fiber internet, it’s still plenty zippy: It offers symmetrical gigabit speeds for $70 a month (or an average of $63 a month if you sign up for the yearly plan via a full, $750 upfront payment). Webpass also features free installation, unlimited data and no equipment fees. If your building cannot support the full gig speeds, Webpass will reduce the pricing. You can find Google Fiber Webpass within Seattle city limits, including the Belltown, Capitol Hill, First Hill, Fremont, Queen Anne and Uptown neighborhoods.
  • Satellite internet: This always feels like cheating, but it must be said that no matter the city or area in which you live in the US, this mode of internet connectivity is always an option. Is it a great option for Seattle residents? If you live in the city, no. You’ll have much faster and cheaper choices available to you. Even areas south of Tacoma or north of Everett should have some viable alternatives, but if you find yourself in a rural town with limited options, you might consider it. HughesNet and Viasat will be your top picks, although both require you to commit to a two-year contract. A more intriguing possibility is Starlink, which just became available in the area in 2023. It features faster download speeds and no term agreement.
  • Verizon 5G Home Internet: Why choose Verizon’s fixed wireless home internet product over T-Mobile Home Internet? On the plus side, it has a much faster average download speed (300Mbps) than T-Mobile, and if you’re among eligible Verizon Wireless subscribers, it’s cheaper, too, with the same “all-in” approach where equipment, installation and fees are all covered in your flat, monthly rate. Where it falls short of T-Mobile is availability. Its heavy reliance on its 5G network — T-Mobile uses its 4G LTE network more aggressively, in addition to 5G, to boost its coverage territory — means it doesn’t quite hit the same reach. 
  • Ziply Fiber: Despite being relatively new to the game — it launched services in the middle of 2020 — Ziply Fiber is a viable option if you’re eligible for its fiber internet, which boasts unlimited data and no long-term contract requirements. However, despite its name, some of its footprint includes the much slower DSL type. A Ziply spokesperson tells CNET that the company is actively building a fiber alternative for those communities, including over 80 projects in Seattle and the greater Northwest. Also, Ziply Fiber is rolling out several multi-gigabit plans, including a zippy 10Gbps option. Confirmed cities around Seattle where multi-gig plans are currently available include Bellevue, Bothell, Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Kenmore, Kirkland, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Redmond, Shoreline, Snohomish and Woodinville.

The Space Needle and the Seattle skyline with Mount Rainier in the distance.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Seattle internet details at a glance

As any good shopper knows, you must look beyond the brand name to know if you’re getting a good deal. The same is true when evaluating internet providers in Seattle. You need to go beyond our overview to get more specific details about the available internet plans in the Emerald City. So let’s dive deeper into the cheapest internet plans in the area and the fastest internet plans you can get in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue region.

Average pricing for Seattle internet providers 

When you consider the starting prices of all ISPs (the promo prices, not the regular rates that take hold after the introductory rate), the average price for internet service in Seattle is just under $42 per month. That’s about the middle of the pack among the cities CNET has examined to this point. That includes Brooklyn ($36 a month), Los Angeles ($38 monthly), Denver ($39 per month), San Francisco ($40 a month), New York ($41 per month), AustinDallas and Philadelphia ($43 a month), Houston ($45 per month), Phoenix ($46 monthly), Atlanta ($47 a month), Orlando and San Antonio ($48 per month) and, all at $50 a month, Charlotte, Chicago, Las VegasSan Diego and St. Louis

But digging in a bit on specific options, you’ll find the lowest starting price of $20 a month shared by two providers: Xfinity and Ziply Fiber. Ziply Fiber features 50Mbps download speeds at that price point, while Xfinity starts at 75Mbps. However, Xfinity’s faster plan has a data cap (1.2TB). Ziply Fiber, on the other hand, features unlimited data. So, depending on your household’s usage and needs, you have a few elements to consider. 

Cheap internet options in Seattle

Also, whenever talking about cheap internet, we should always mention there are additional, low-income internet options. Such is the case in Seattle. All providers we’ve mentioned participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which gives eligible low-income households a $30 monthly discount for high-speed internet. You can use the ACP towards any internet plan (not just the cheapest ones) from participating providers. Additionally, multiple providers joined forces with the White House on its plans to address the digital divide. They will make available plans of at least 100Mbps that customers get for free once they join the ACP discount. 

Cheapest internet plans in Seattle

Provider Starting monthly price Standard monthly price Max download speed Monthly equipment fee Data cap
Ziply Fiber 50/50 $20 $40 50Mbps $10 None
Xfinity Connect $20 $50 75Mbps $15 (optional) 1.2TB
Astound Broadband/Wave $25 $70 100Mbps $12 (optional) 400GB
HughesNet $50 $65 25Mbps $15 or $350 one-time purchase 2 years
CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber $49 $49 200Mbps $15 (optional) None
T-Mobile Home Internet $50 ($30 with mobile plan discount) $50 245Mbps None None
Verizon 5G Home Internet $50 ($25 with mobile plan discount) $50 300Mbps None None
Viasat $70 $100 12Mbps $15 or $300 one-time purchase 2 years
Google Fiber Webpass $70 ($63 with year commitment) $70 ($63 with year commitment) 1,000Mbps None None

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Internet speeds in Seattle

As I mentioned near the start of this article, Seattle isn’t exactly lighting things up regarding average download speeds. That said, you can find plenty of options if you feel the need for extreme speed. The main caveat is that some of the fastest plans in the area aren’t widely available throughout the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue region. But some of our friends in the Bellevue area, for example, should have access to Ziply Fiber’s fastest, multi-gig plans. Select addresses throughout Seattle may be able to access Comcast’s Gigabit Pro plan, with symmetrical speeds of 6,000Mbps. 


*Data sourced from M-LAB speed tests taken by real users in Seattle.

Fastest internet providers in Seattle

Provider Max download speed Max upload speed Starting monthly price Data cap Contract
Ziply Fiber 10 Gig 10,000Mbps 10,000Mbps $300 None None
Xfinity Gigabit Pro 6,000Mbps 6,000Mbps $300 None 2 years
Ziply Fiber 5 Gig 5,000Mbps 5,000Mbps $120 None None
Ziply Fiber 2 Gig 2,000Mbps 2,000Mbps $80 None None
Astound Broadband/Wave 1,200Mbps 50Mbps $80 None None
Xfinity Gigabit Extra 1,200Mbps 35Mbps $80 None None
Ziply Fiber Gig 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps $60 None None
Google Fiber Webpass 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps $70 ($63 with year commitment) None None
Xfinity Gigabit 1,000Mbps 20Mbps $75 None None
CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber 940Mbps 940Mbps $70 None None
Astound Broadband/Wave 940Mbps 20Mbps $65 None None

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What’s the bottom line on Seattle internet providers?

If you’ve been keeping up with CNET’s coverage of the best internet providers across the country — and I certainly hope you have — you may have noticed fewer options in Seattle than in other big US cities. On the other hand, Seattle can brag that it has cheaper internet options than most towns and more multi-gig providers. They’re spread out throughout the area, but they’re there. Xfinity’s seven different cable internet plans are the most widely available in Seattle, but Astound Broadband’s four cable internet tiers are cheaper and don’t require you to sign a contract to get the lowest price. But as we always say, if you’re serviceable for fiber internet — and in Seattle, that includes CenturyLink, Ziply Fiber or, in rarer cases, Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan — that should be your top option. 

Best internet providers in Seattle FAQ

What’s the cheapest internet in Seattle?

On the surface, it’s a close race between Astound Broadband, Xfinity and Ziply Fiber. Each provider offers a cheap internet plan from $20 to $25 monthly. However, each provider’s cheapest plan features a different speed. Ziply Fiber features a plan with a maximum download speed of 50Mbps for $20, so that’s technically the cheapest. Xfinity offers 75Mbps for a $20-per-month fee. Astound Broadband, however, beats them both, with a download speed of 100Mbps for $25 per month. In terms of value, the Astound option may not be the cheapest, but it’s got a lower cost per Mbps of 25 cents compared to 40 cents for Ziply Fiber and 27 cents for Xfinity.

Can you get fiber internet in Seattle?

Yes. CenturyLink and Ziply Fiber offer 100% fiber-optic internet plans featuring symmetrical download and upload speeds. However, neither provider exclusively offers fiber plans. Each also includes DSL connections within their networks, so you must ensure your address is serviceable for higher-quality fiber internet, not just DSL.

Which provider offers the fastest internet plan in Seattle?

The fastest residential internet plan you can find in Seattle city limits is currently Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan, which features 6,000Mbps of symmetrical speed. However, since most of Xfinity’s network is a hybrid fiber-cable connection, you’ll need to reach out to Comcast Xfinity (and schedule a site survey) to determine if your address is eligible for the plan. For most residents in the greater Seattle area, the more accessible multi-gig plan may be Ziply Fiber’s 2-gig, 5-gig or 10-gig tier (which is currently the fastest plan available in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue region).

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise