The Average Monthly Cost of Internet Service in 2023
How much does Internet service cost each month? It depends on your location, your provider, and the plan you choose. See the average prices.
How much is Internet per month? According to a 2022 Consumer Reports analysis on broadband pricing, the average cost of high-speed Internet service was $74.99/month with nearly half of the households paying between $60 and $90 each month. However, your exact monthly bill will depend on where you live (e.g. New York vs Michigan), the type of high-speed Internet service you choose (e.g. DSL, cable Internet, satellite internet, fiber optic Internet, etc.), and your desired Internet speed.
For example, a heavy gamer living in a big city will likely have much higher Internet costs than a casual Internet surfer living in a smaller town. However, Internet costs are generally higher in smaller cities where there is less competition. In other words, figuring out the monthly price of Internet requires a bit of research and calculation around data usage, connection type, number of users, and more.
Below, we’ve provided an overview of average monthly Internet service costs, how to calculate your monthly Internet usage needs, and how to set your Internet cost expectations.
How to Calculate Your Internet Costs and NeedsYou should have a clear understanding of your Internet usage needs before establishing a budget. When determining monthly Internet costs, consider the following:
- How many people live in your home
- Why do they need Internet access? (i.e., gaming, work, video conferencing, online education, social media, etc.)
- When does everyone use the Internet? Is it at the same time?
- How would a slower Internet speed affect your business, leisure time, etc.?
Understanding your monthly Internet usage needs can help you identify plans that offer the best balance of price and effectiveness.
How Much is Internet Per Month?Most Internet service providers (ISPs) offer various tiers of Internet data packages. Each tier offers different Internet data speeds — typically between 200 Mbps and 1 or 2 Gbps. The good news is that you don’t typically have to worry about data caps- this is rarely a concern for the average user.
Monthly Internet service costs vary widely depending on where you live and the Internet packages offered in your area. Let’s explore some of the common tiers of Internet service and the average price to expect for each of those tiers.
Note: Average prices are based on offerings from SmartMove partner ISPs as of September 2023.
Tier 3— Basic Internet (100-300 Mbps)A basic Internet plan generally works best for:
- 1-4 people (depending on usage) Internet searches and checking emails
- Basic Internet browsing and email use
- Streaming music or videos on multiple devices
- Video calling
- Online gaming for one player
- Streaming HD videos on multiple devices and UHD on one device
Average Monthly Cost: $50 per month
Tier 2 — Faster Internet (400-500 Mbps)This tier offers a middle ground between hardcore Internet usage and more casual usage. In addition to the benefits of the basic service plan, this level of service is great for:
- 2-5 people (depending on usage)
- Households with multiple people who have moderate-to-heavy Internet usage
- Multiple online gaming sessions at the same time
- Streaming UHD video on multiple devices
- Downloading large files quickly
- Online multiplayer gaming
Tier 1 — Fastest Internet (1+ Gbps)Top tier Internet service plans offer the most bandwidth and fastest speeds on the market — sometimes more than one gigabit for upload and download speeds. This tier of service is best for:
- Five or more people
- Multi-person homes with many connected smart home devices
- Creative professionals and remote workers
- Streaming multiple UHD videos at the same time
- Lightning-fast download time
- Almost anything you need to do online
- Elite online gaming
Average Monthly Cost: $90 per month.
How Much Does Internet Cost Per Month in an Apartment vs. a House?Generally, monthly Internet plans cost the same per month for apartments and houses. However, in some apartment buildings, bandwidth is shared. That means that your Internet is more likely to be slower at peak times if you live in an apartment complex.
If you’re concerned about the exact Internet speeds in your apartment community, it’s best to check with your ISP to get a clearer picture of the speeds you can expect. Your ISP can troubleshoot issues with slow Internet over the phone or via online chat in many cases.
How to Choose Home Internet Service Providers That Fit Your NeedsHome Internet service providers, including Cox, Spectrum, Verizon, Optimum, AT&T, and Xfinity, offer different benefits. Choosing the ISP that works best for you requires an understanding of your household’s needs.
When comparing monthly Internet service plans, be sure to ask potential providers the following questions:
- Are there data limits? Will you slow down my Internet speed if I surpass the limit?
- Do you have unlisted speed options?
- Is my Internet speed guaranteed?
- Are there additional fees that I should be aware of?
If you’re moving to a new area, it’s not always a guarantee that your previous Internet provider can offer the same quality, or even the same Internet connection type, at your new location.
There are, of course, other pricing considerations: equipment rental fees for modems and routers, data overage fees, autopay discounts, activation fees, bundling specials, installation fees, early termination fees, new customer discounts, etc. For the most part, your Internet bill will always be a reflection of where you live, what type of Internet connection you have, and how much Internet you use.
Curious about the best Internet options and Internet prices where you are? Find monthly Internet plans and pricing in your area.
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