According to OpenVault’s latest U.S. broadband usage report, gigabit adoption has increased by more than 11% in the country, double the figure of the previous year. Last year, the Fiber Broadband Association said a four-person household will need over 2,100 megabits per second (or just over 2 gigabits) in download speed by the end of this decade.
Admittedly, it’s not 2030 yet, and for most of us, making such a big upgrade is probably overkill at this point. Corn internet service providers don’t wait to offer multi-gigabit packages to their customers. Already, in the first two months of 2022, we have discovered new multi-gig levels of AT&T, Frontier, Verizon and Ziply fiber. Other names, including Comcast Xfinity and Google fiber already have their own multi-concert offerings.
For this list, we’ll focus on the major ISPs, but it’s worth noting that smaller regional providers also have quite competitive plans. For example, Midco offers 2Gbps and 5Gbps plans to its customers in South Dakota. Citizens of Chattanooga, Tennessee have access to the nation’s fastest residential plan, a 10 Gbps level from fixed broadband owned by the city of EPB. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best multi-gigabit plans currently available from national providers.
AT&T Fiber – Internet 5000
Best overall value for a multi-gigabit plan
AT&T has planted an impressive flag in the ground with its leading fiber optic internet offering. At $180 per month for symmetrical 5 Gbps speeds, Internet 5000 comes in at an incredibly low cost of less than 4 cents per Mbps. That’s the lowest we’ve seen for any plan from any domestic provider we’ve covered so far at GameSpot. By contrast, a similar level of speed from Ziply Fiber will cost you $300 per month.
In addition to excellent value per Mbps, customers experience no price increases after 12 months, no data caps, no annual contracts, and no monthly equipment fees. Additionally, AT&T includes its internet security plan, AT&T ActiveArmor, and an HBO Max subscription—a $15 per month value—for free as long as you keep the Internet 5000 plan. $99 setup when you sign up, but AT&T offers many online promotions, including a current $200 gift card reward, that more than offsets that initial cost.
Google Fiber – 2 GB
Best 2Gbps plan
If you want to get into the multi-gig-verse, this is your best, most affordable option. Google Fiber’s 2 Gig plan includes 2 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload speed for $100 per month. This comes at a cost of 5 cents per Mbps and is cheaper than any other provider’s 2 Gbps offering. There is no additional cost for the provided Wi-Fi 6 equipment and you get unlimited data with no contract required.
The only downside here is that Google Fiber is still only available in 12 markets across the country. The company aims to continue expanding in 2022, but that matters little to those outside of its service windows in Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri , North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
AT&T Fiber – Internet 2000
Best Multi-Gigabit Plan for Benefits
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While the best overall value goes to AT&T’s Internet 5000 plan, you can get all the same benefits for $70 less per month with the carrier’s 2 Gbps option. Specifically, you get AT&T ActiveArmor (free internet security) and a free subscription to HBO Max, worth $180 per year. Many competitors offer a subscription to the streaming service, but most end after a year. You keep this free HBO Max subscription as long as you are an Internet 2000 customer. Finally, you also receive the current promotion from AT&T, which is currently a $200 gift card.
Other multi-gigabit plans to consider
Although the three options we listed above are at the top of our list, they are not available in all markets. There are additional fast plans, offered by other ISPs, that might catch your eye, but also come with a caveat or two that took them away from our winner’s circle.
- Frontier Fiber 2 GB: Impressive, Frontier has rolled it out to every fiber home in its footprint, which means 4 million customers in 19 states. Although AT&T’s multi-gigabit plans are available to more people (5 million), this is not yet the case in all of AT&T’s markets. Frontier’s offering also includes free Wi-Fi 6E equipment rental, unlimited data, no contracts, no activation fees, and free multi-device security. What’s the downside? At $150 per month, it’s the most expensive 2 Gbps tier of all the providers included here.
- Verizon Fios 2 Gigabit Connection: Verizon Fios is often near the top of the heap when it comes to customer satisfaction numbers. Its 2Gbps tier is competitively priced at $120 per month and includes free whole-home Wi-Fi, 2TB of Verizon Cloud storage, and one year of AMC Plus and Disney Plus. However, it didn’t make it to the top of our list because it’s currently only available in New York.
- Xfinity Gigabit Pro: To its credit, Xfinity has been offering its multi-gigabit tier for longer than any of the other national providers. That said, at $300 per month, it’s also the most expensive. While the 3 Gbps plan is technically available in all cities in Xfinity’s footprint, it does require a site survey to first confirm availability at your address. Once you add the two-year contract requirement (with looming early termination fees if you bail out early), $20-per-month equipment rental fees, and hefty activation and setup fees (potentially totaling $1,000), these top speeds seem very expensive.
- Ziply Fiber 2GB and 5GB: Like AT&T, Ziply Fiber offers two multi-gigabit options. The 2 Gbps plan is $120 per month and the 5 Gbps tier is $300 per month. Both include unlimited data and require no contract. However, not all households in Ziply Fiber’s footprint are eligible – availability is currently limited to 60 Northwest cities (approximately 170,000 households in Idaho, Oregon and Washington).
Multi-Gigabit Internet FAQ
How do I get a multi-gigabit Internet connection?
In most cases, especially if you already have fiber optic Internet service, you won’t have to do anything other than contact your provider to upgrade to multi-gigabit. There may be a setup fee (often waived if you order online), but generally any additional equipment you need (a modem/router capable of multi-gig speeds) will be included.
However, to take advantage of Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan, you must first contact Xfinity and schedule a site survey. Even if you are a current Xfinity customer or know you are in an Xfinity service area, Comcast will still need to inspect to see if your home is within the minimum distance of a fiber node. If all goes well, it may take several weeks for your household to fully install Gigabit Pro.
How much does multi-gigabit internet cost?
Generally speaking, multi-gigabit speeds are more affordable if you have a fiber internet connection. Not only does fiber generally offer the best performance – with symmetrical or nearly equal download and upload speeds – but it has the cheapest plans. For example, Google Fiber’s 2Gbps plan, which includes all equipment costs and fees in its monthly rate, registers at 5 cents per Mbps and AT&T’s 5Gbps tier, the cheapest we have seen, rings at 4 cents per Mbps. Neither requires a contract.
On the other hand, Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro is one of the most expensive broadband plans you’ll find. It costs $300 per month and you can only get it if you sign up for a two-year contract. The cost per Mbps, at 10 cents, is reasonable, corn there is a $20 monthly rental fee for equipment. There’s also a pretty significant additional expense up front: Households have to pay an activation fee of up to $500 and an additional installation fee of an additional $500. That’s a total of $1,000 before you even get to the regular monthly fee.
Is it worth having multi-gigabit internet?
May be. Even if you go with the most expensive plan, the monthly cost per Mbps of multi-gigabit internet is actually quite competitive. Plus, the nearly symmetrical upload and download speeds of these plans certainly provide your household with plenty of opportunities to use a multitude of connected devices, now and in the future.
However, most households currently don’t need all that speed. If you go down a notch and go with a provider’s gigabit plan, for example, you can get a lot of speed for anywhere between 5 and 10 cents per Mbps and often the equipment costs of your modem/ router are also included. It might not be as flashy as having the fastest residential plan currently available, but it will get you blazing speeds at a more affordable price.