Best High-Speed Internet Providers for Small Businesses of 2019


Nearly 30% of businesses say they need internet faster than 50 Mbps.1 With download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, these are your best business broadband bets for high-speed internet.

  • Best Overall

    Fios by Verizon

    4.5 out of 5 overall
    Symmetric fiber speeds
    Affordable near-gigabit plan
    View PlansRead Review
  • Best for Budgets

    Frontier Business

    4 out of 5 overall
    Affordable high-speed options
    36-month price guarantee
    View PlansRead Review
  • Best for Pure Speed

    AT&T Business

    4 out of 5 overall
    Downloads up to 1,000 Mbps
    Superior customer service
    View PlansRead Review
  • Most Reliable

    Comcast Business

    3.5 out of 5 overall
    Reliable connections
    Competitive pricing
    View PlansRead Review
  • Most Rural-Friendly

    Viasat Business

    3 out of 5 overall
    Fast satellite internet
    Large ranges of speeds
    View PlansRead Review
Our Approach
8 Brands considered
40 Hours of research
100 Spreadsheet cells analyzed
20 Cups of coffee drunk
Last Updated: 2 months ago
We’ve updated this page to reflect the most recent plans and pricing from our top picks, and based on new research, we continue to stand by our top five. While we still include Charter Spectrum as our runner-up, recent customer service tanks and legal action in New York have it on our watchlist. While Spectrum still offers affordable, contract-free plans, its customer-service situation could cause it to fall in our rankings, so keep an eye on this page for updates.

The fastest animal is the peregrine falcon. The fastest car is the Hennessey Venom F5. The fastest business internet provider is . . . well, that’s what we set out to uncover.

Speed is a top concern for businesses that frequently need to download files, run sales software, or stream video and audio. But you may be considering more factors—like price or reliability guarantees—to help you choose a business internet service provider.

We researched the top providers of high-speed business internet services to find out how they compare. From maximum download speeds to costs and more, find out which internet cheetah can carry your business the furthest.

Hint

“Broadband” and “high-speed internet” are somewhat murky terms that not everyone defines equally. But here’s what we use: in 2015, the FCC defined broadband service as any connection that provides customers with download speeds of at least 25 Mbps.

Best high-speed internet providers for small businesses

ProviderDownload speedsMonthly price rangeLearn more
Verizon Fios Business75 to 940 Mbps$79.99 to $214.99View Plans
Frontier Business30 to 150 Mbps$49.99 to $174.99View Plans
AT&T Small Business50 to 1,000 Mbps$60 to $650View Plans
Comcast Business Internet25 to 1,000 Mbps$49.95 to $499.95View Plans
Viasat Business35 to 100 Mbps$175 to $500View Plans
Spectrum Business60 to 400 Mbps$59.99 to $109.99View Plans

Data effective 05/08/2019. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Here’s how we arrived at the list above. We only included plans with download speeds of 25 Mbps or more to match FCC guidelines for broadband internet. We also left out any plans that were extraordinarily expensive for the download speeds they provide—they’re just not worth the money.

In the end, our list of best broadband service providers includes several major companies with cable, digital subscriber line (DSL), and fiber-optic plans.

Find the best internet providers in your area.

Overall best for high-speed business internet: Verizon

Strengths
  • Symmetric download/upload speeds up to 500 Mbps
  • Reliable near-gigabit fiber connection
  • Excellent customer service for business customers
Weaknesses
  • No true 1,000 Mbps plan
  • 24-month contract with auto-renewal

Verizon serves up the best combination of business internet speeds, reliability, and support.

Although Verizon sells a few business DSL plans, none have speeds at 25 Mbps or more. For truly fast speeds, fiber is hard to beat. Verizon’s fiber plans, branded Fios, offer you a chance at near-gigabit connections.

What do we mean by “near gigabit”? Verizon’s fastest plan—Fios Gigabit Connection—gives you maximum download speeds of 940 Mbps with upload speeds up to 880 Mbps. That’s lightning fast by today’s standards, but it doesn’t quite reach 1,000 Mbps, the true definition of gigabit speed. Yet with fiber plans that consistently meet the speeds Verizon advertises, and then some,2 we’ll let that bit of fudging slide.

Another feather in Verizon’s cap is its customer service. We understand that most internet providers have poor reputations. But the fact that industry-rating juggernaut J.D. Power gave Verizon first or second place for customer satisfaction among small to medium-sized businesses should give you warmer feelings.³

Verizon high-speed internet plans

PlanStarting monthly priceDownload speedUpload speedLearn more
Verizon Business Internet 75$79.9975 Mbps75 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Business Internet 150$109.99150 Mbps150 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Business Internet 300$184.99300 Mbps300 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Business Internet 500$214.99500 Mbps500 MbpsView Plans
Verizon Business Gigabit Connection$214.99940 Mbps880 MbpsView Plans

Data effective 05/08/2019. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Verizon’s fastest plan is priced at about $215 per month. That may be a bit expensive for some very small businesses, but it’s far better than the nearly $500 that Comcast charges for gigabit speeds.

Many Verizon plans offer symmetric speeds, which means you get the same speed for downloads and uploads. Fast upload speeds can significantly improve activities that require sending data from your device, including video conferencing in real time and uploading large files to cloud storage.

One gripe: contracts. While some ISPs—like Spectrum and AT&T—offer contract-free plans, Verizon uses a 24-month agreement that renews automatically. If you need more freedom than a long contract allows, you can pay an extra $5 to $15 for a no-contract plan with Verizon. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s something you should know in advance.

The bottom line: Verizon Fios offers an impressive array of high-speed internet plans to fit businesses of just about any size.

Best budget-friendly option: Frontier

Strengths
  • Affordable high-speed plans
  • Fiber plans with symmetric speeds
  • 3-year price guarantee
Weaknesses
  • Poor customer service reputation
  • Limited access to fiber plans

If you saw the plan prices for our picks above, you may be worried that an affordable high-speed internet connection is beyond reach. With plans priced at the hundreds of dollars per month, budget-conscious businesses need an alternative.

Enter Frontier Communications. Frontier offers a suite of business internet plans that are fast but won’t break the bank. And thanks to its recent purchase of certain Verizon Fios networks, Frontier now offers high-speed, symmetric-speed fiber plans throughout the country. Plus, there’s one DSL plan that makes the cut too.

What’s more, the Frontier AnyWhere VoIP service offers a comprehensive, integrated voice system solution for businesses that want to avoid telephone landline connections.

Frontier high-speed internet plans

PlanStarting monthly priceDownload speedUpload speedLearn more
Frontier Business FiOS 30/30$49.9930 Mbps30 MbpsView Plans
Frontier Business FiOS 50/50$59.9950 Mbps50 MbpsView Plans
Frontier Business FiOS 75/75$84.9975 Mbps75 MbpsView Plans
Frontier Business “Extreme” DSL$139.9940 Mbps40 MbpsView Plans
Frontier Business FiOS 150/150$174.99150 Mbps150 MbpsView Plans

Data effective 05/08/2019. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

All of Frontier’s high-speed internet plans come in under $200 per month. And each fiber plan includes free installation, which can save you a bit of up-front cash. We also love that most Frontier business plans are price guaranteed for 36 months, so you don’t have to worry about surprise cost spikes in your bill.

Now for Frontier’s major shortcomings. Frontier’s customers lodge a lot of complaints against the internet service provider. One common grievance is high latency. Latency, which refers to data transfer delay time, can cause serious headaches for businesses that require fast and reliable connections. Activities like video streaming are at risk of disruption from high latency.

Despite customer service and reliability concerns, you should consider Frontier if getting a low price for high-speed plans is your number-one priority.

Best for pure speed: AT&T

Strengths
  • Symmetric-speed gigabit connection
  • Contract-free fiber plans
  • Wide range of high-speed fiber and DSL plans
Weaknesses
  • Too pricey for some businesses
  • Limited fiber availability

If you’re focused on finding the fastest business internet plans possible, we recommend AT&T. Business plans from AT&T soar all the way up to 1,000 Mbps download and upload speeds, offering you true gigabit connection potential.

But it’s not just its fiber plans that are fast—AT&T has some seriously speedy DSL plans too. Small businesses can get DSL plans with up to 500 Mbps download speeds. So if fiber isn’t available in your area, you may still have a chance at some of AT&T’s top-speed plans.

AT&T fiber plans come contract-free, while DSL plans require a 12-month agreement. Several fiber plans give you the option of symmetric speeds—but at a lofty price. If your business is a frequent user of upload-heavy applications and real-time communication software, you should consider one of these plans with symmetric speeds.

AT&T high-speed internet plans

PlanStarting monthly priceDownload speedUpload speedLearn more
AT&T Business DSL 50$6050 Mbps3 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Business Fiber 50$8550 Mbps10 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Business DSL 100$115100 Mbps6 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Business Fiber 100$140100 Mbps20 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Business DSL 500$250500 Mbps8 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Business Fiber 500$300500 Mbps100 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Business Fiber 500s$450500 Mbps500 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Business Fiber 1000$5001,000 Mbps200 MbpsView Plans
AT&T Business Fiber 1000s$6501,000 Mbps1,000 MbpsView Plans

Data effective 05/08/2019. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Pure, unadulterated internet speeds do come at a cost: AT&T charges a premium for its fastest plans. Prices for symmetric fiber plans can run you upward of $650 per month—out of range for many budget-sensitive businesses.

However, AT&T partially makes up for its high pricing in great customer service rankings. AT&T is currently our top pick for great internet service, and J.D. Power agrees: in 2018, AT&T ranked first for customer satisfaction in both the large enterprise and very small business categories and second in the small/medium business category.4

Most reliable high-speed internet ISP: Comcast

Strengths
  • Supremely reliable connections
  • Symmetric fiber speeds
  • Competitive business plan pricing
Weaknesses
  • Limited fiber plan access
  • Mixed customer reviews

Comcast business internet is undeniably reliable. The company offers the strongest uptime guarantee—99.998%—of any business ISP we surveyed.*

But why should you care? High uptime translates to low downtime. In other words, you can expect your internet to be up and running year-round nearly 100% of the time. Small and medium-sized businesses that rely on constant, data-heavy connections should consider Comcast’s top-of-the-class uptime guarantee a potential lifesaver.

There’s more to like about Comcast, including fiber plans with symmetric speeds up to 1 Gbps. And its pricing, while not the cheapest, is competitively matched against other providers like Verizon and AT&T.

Plus, Comcast plans come with zero-cost installation, a 30-day trial period, and access to tons of extra apps, software, and tools for Wi-Fi, security, and more.

Comcast high-speed internet plans

PlanStarting monthly priceDownload speedUpload speedLearn more
Business Internet 1 Gig$499.951,000 Mbps1,000 MbpsView Plans
Deluxe 250 Internet$199.95*250 Mbps250 MbpsView Plans
Deluxe Internet 150$139.95*150 Mbps150 MbpsView Plans
Deluxe Internet 75$99.95*75 Mbps75 MbpsView Plans
Deluxe Internet 25$49.9525 Mbps25 MbpsView Plans

Data effective 05/08/2019. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

*For the first 24 months

But we couldn’t talk about Comcast without mentioning its dreadful reputation with residential customers. However, Comcast business customers don’t rate their ISP nearly as harshly as their home-based counterparts.

We breathed a bit easier when we realized that Comcast truly does offer a solid internet option that’s super reliable and super fast.

Best for rural businesses: Viasat

Strengths
  • High satellite speeds
  • Large range of speeds
  • No hard caps on data usage
Weaknesses
  • Low upload speeds typical of satellite
  • Speed throttling once

As the only satellite internet provider on this list, Viasat’s widespread availability makes it the best for rural businesses. Even if you operate out of locations that other ISPs don’t touch, you can almost certainly get Viasat’s satellite internet service.

Unlike the satellite internet providers of the past, Viasat offers both availability and speed. Its business internet plans, with download speeds ranging from 35 Mbps to 100 Mbps, can compete with most other broadband providers.

Plus, Viasat’s state-of-the-art satellite technology minimizes other rural internet issues, such as latency, so you can keep your business up and running—no matter where you operate.

Viasat high-speed internet plans

PlanStarting monthly priceDownload speedUpload speedLearn more
Unlimited 35 Mbps$17535 Mbps1 to 4 MbpsView Plans
Unlimited 60 Mbps$30060 Mbps1 to 4 MbpsView Plans
Unlimited 100 Mbps$500100 Mbps1 to 4 MbpsView Plans

Data effective 05/08/2019. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Note that Viasat advertises a starting price of $50 on their website. However, the website is unclear about which plans start at $50, and you have to enter your location to find more detailed pricing information. We suspect $50 is an intro offer; depending on the plan, the cost will likely increase to the typical prices listed above after a few months.

Even with its improved technology, Viasat does still have data limits. It doesn’t use hard data caps—that is, Viasat won’t simply switch off your internet after you use all your data—but it will throttle (slow) your internet if you use more than your allotted daily data. If this poses a problem, you can always upgrade to a plan with more data.

Now, we still don’t recommend satellite internet for everyone. If you have other ISPs in your area, you can probably get the same speeds for a lower cost from a different provider. But if you’ve got a business high in the mountains or out on the plains, then Viasat provides a solid option (even if it’s the only one).

Not sure which option will help you grow? Transform your business with a free assessment, and get a tailored recommendation for services that will drive better results. Call 855-983-1267

Honorable mention for no-contract cable: Spectrum

Strengths
  • No monthly contracts
  • Low-priced high-speed plans
  • Bar and restaurant special bundles
Weaknesses
  • Hard-to-get fiber access
  • Sluggish uploads
  • Low business customer satisfaction

Want high-speed internet for your office but feel squeamish about signing a long-term contract? Spectrum will connect you to cable internet speeds up to 400 Mbps totally contract-free.

Spectrum, a Charter Communications brand, provides cable internet to US businesses. The upside to cable internet is that you access it through the same cable modems used to deliver cable TV, which makes this internet widely available. Spectrum provides fiber connections in some areas, but the service is so limited that we haven’t included the plans here.

Spectrum offers five high-speed cable options to business customers: 60, 100, 200, 300, and 400. Each plan denotes the download speed you can expect from your connection in megabits per second.

The fastest plan—Spectrum Business 400—is also pretty affordable. At $109.99 per month, it delivers four times the download speed of AT&T’s 100 Mbps fiber plan at a lower price.

Spectrum high-speed internet plans

PlanStarting monthly priceDownload speedUpload speedLearn more
Spectrum Business 400$109.99400 Mbps20 MbpsView Plans
Spectrum Business 300$109.99300 Mbps7 to 20 MbpsView Plans
Spectrum Business 200$89.99200 Mbps7 to 10 MbpsView Plans
Spectrum Business 100$59.99100 Mbps7 to 10 MbpsView Plans
Spectrum Business 60$59.9960 Mbps20 MbpsView Plans

Data effective 05/08/2019. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Where Spectrum falters is its upload speeds. Cable technology limits how much upstream heft you can get, and Spectrum’s plans can get you up to only 20 Mbps upstream.

Another trouble spot is customer service. Spectrum has been embroiled in legal troubles for the last few years, especially in the state of New York, where they failed to follow through on service promises made with their acquisition of Time Warner Cable. We’re keeping an eye on the situation—poor customer satisfaction could knock Spectrum down in our books.5

But if you’re outside of New York or less bothered by poor customer service ratings, Spectrum cable internet appears as a rosy alternative to expensive DSL and fiber providers that lock you into lengthy contracts.

High-speed internet FAQs

What is high-speed internet?

There’s no indisputable definition of high-speed internet. In fact, internet service providers attach the term to just about any plan, regardless of speed.

What’s more, the terms broadband internet and high-speed internet are often used interchangeably, further confusing things.

Best High-Speed Business Internet
Verizon
Best overall
Frontier
Best budget option
AT&T
Best for pure speed
Comcast
Most reliable
Viasat
Best rural option

But why the confusion? Well, consider how the technology has evolved. Even the slowest plans featured in this article would have been considered blazingly fast in 2008—and much more so in 1998. So even if everyone did sit down and agree to a singular definition of high-speed internet, that definition would have to change every few years.

With that in mind, look for internet that’s fast enough for your needs rather than just high-speed internet. We’ll look at speeds in-depth in a minute.

High-speed internet vs. broadband internet: How do they differ?

Broadband more appropriately refers to any internet type that isn’t a dial-up connection. Essentially, broadband’s debut marks the age at which most of us moved on from the days of modems that tied up our phone lines to dial into internet provider companies like AOL. And what an age that was (we still hear the screeching modem sounds in our dreams).

Today, broadband internet generally includes any “always on” cable, DSL, fiber-optic, and even high-speed satellite internet connection. But not every plan operates at truly high speeds. So to compare internet providers, we decided to use the FCC’s 2015 guidelines on broadband internet speeds, which set the minimum at a 25 Mbps downstream.6

Most small to midsize businesses can operate well at 25 Mbps or more. Of course, as speeds get faster, even this current definition will start to seem slow. And the FCC may change its mind on minimum broadband standards. We’ll update you as necessary.

What types of high-speed internet are available?

High-speed broadband internet connections encompass plans from a variety of service providers and connection types. Depending on your area, you may have access to several of these or just one.

  • Cable: This connection uses the same modems and coaxial cables that deliver cable TV, so cable internet is widely available in most well-populated areas.
  • Digital subscriber line (DSL): These may be sent via phone lines, but DSL connections are faster and more reliable than the phone-based dial-up internet of yesteryear.
  • Fiber: Fiber-optic networks beam light through glass or plastic bundles of wires—each wire the size of a human hair— and these connections offer some of the fastest internet speeds on the planet.
  • Satellite: For rural businesses without access to land-based broadband, satellite internet is like an internet angel sent to earth by planet-orbiting stations.
  • Wireless: Whether through hotspots, cellular signals, or fixed radio towers, wireless internet provides options for remote and traveling businesses.

Learn more about the difference between internet types with our detailed comparison.

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Speed and bandwidth: How much do you need?

Speed and bandwidth are another two more ambiguously used terms in internet parlance. But we can define them a bit clearer than broadband internet and high-speed internet.

  • Speed is the rate at which an internet connection transmits data from one end to the other. Measured in bits per second, most modern high-speed internet speeds range between 25 megabits (about 1 million bits) and 1 gigabit (about 1,000 megabits) per second.
  • Bandwidth refers to the maximum capacity of a connection to carry internet data. Although ISPs often use speed to market their plans, they’re actually selling bandwidth. For example, a 100 Mbps plan has the capacity to deliver data at 100 megabits per second. But beware—you may not actually experience the advertised speed all the time.

Now back to the question: How much speed or bandwidth do you actually need? The answer depends on the type and frequency of internet activity your business engages in on a day-to-day basis.

While guidelines on speed use vary, here’s our recommendation for the speed you’ll need to run your business smoothly.

Internet speed capabilities

Internet speed (download)Number of connected users/devicesWhat you can do
25 Mbps3 to 5Large-file downloading, basic Wi-Fi, business communication
75 Mbps5 to 10Video streaming, frequent file sharing, numerous POS transactions
150 Mbps10 to 15Frequent cloud computing, video conferencing, and online backups
250 Mbps15 to 20Server hosting, seamless streaming and conferencing
500 Mbps20 to 30Multiple-server hosting, constant cloud-based computing, heavy online backups
1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps)30+Extreme-speed operating for enterprise-ready offices with near-zero interruptions

What else should you consider when choosing business internet providers?

Price and speed. That’s what matters when it comes to choosing a business internet provider, right?

Well, not entirely. The truth is that unless you have an unlimited budget (who does?) or run a supremely data-heavy business (not likely), you’ll have other factors to consider. Here are the ones we focus on.

  • Connection type: Depending on your business’s location, connection type may be a key consideration. Some areas may have only a few internet connection choices—or even just one.
  • Customer and industry ratings: Customer reviews of internet providers tend toward the hellish. But remember that businesses often have different experiences than residential customers. Make sure you understand how a potential ISP handles business customer complaints and concerns.
  • Fees: Your customers hate hidden fees, and so should you. Check to see if you’ll be paying your provider extra for things like installation, static IPs, or early termination.
  • Bundles: Most internet providers offer special deals for packaging more than one service under the same roof. Whether phone or VoIP or TV, consider bundles as a way to shave off some extra cost when you need several services.
  • Data caps: You’ll run into limits on the amount of data you can use most often with satellite and wireless providers. It can be costly or disruptive to exceed these caps, so ensure you pick an internet plan that can accommodate your data needs.
  • Cloud, security, and software services: From backing up your precious business data to running email, accounting, and e-commerce applications, many ISPs include or offer special rates on software and cloud-based services.
  • Hardware: Each internet type requires a unique set of equipment to get up and running. Some setups are simple—just a modem connected to an office cable line. But others, like satellite internet, may require hefty hardware—and hefty costs too.

But others, like satellite internet, may require hefty hardware—and hefty costs too.

The takeaway

Verizon
Best overall
Best overall
The right combination of fast internet, reliable connections, and solid customer support makes Verizon Fios a worthy choice for nearly any small business.

Verizon is our pick for the best overall high-speed business internet provider. But just because the ISP is our number one choice doesn’t mean it’s the right one for your business. Consider the factors important to you—cost, contracts, customer service—and then choose the one that best fits your business’s demands.

Now tell us your own opinion. In the comments below, tell us which ISP has provided your businesses the best high-speed internet service.

  • Edward Sanchez

    Very detailed and extensively researched article, Joshua. Thank you for listing down the pros and cons and all the features provided. I was going through other articles of similar kind as i am trying to figure out what will work best for me in budget. A bit skeptical to conclude anything as this is written in 2018 and the prices may have been changed.

    • Jason Hemsworth

      The prices shouldn’t change much since this article is about four months old. You can check this website for updated prices and deals – http://www.localcabledeals.com