Are you looking for a new ISP, or did you just hear about the “lightning fast” speeds of AT&T Fiber? Maybe you’re dissatisfied with Comcast or Verizon Fios and want to check out your options– in any case, if you want to see what AT&T Internet is all about, you’ve come to the right place. That’s what we’re here for.
In this review for AT&T’s Internet offerings, we’re going to dig into both their DSL and Fiber internet plans. We’ll see if they live up to their hype when it comes to pricing, speed, plans, and more. If you’re interested in knowing whether it is available in your area first though, then you can scroll to the bottom to see our FAQ that addresses just this issue!
AT&T Internet Plans & Pricing
|Package name||Download speed up to||Upload speed||Data cap||Price (First 12 months/ after)||View plan|
|Internet Basic 5 (DSL)||5 Mbps||1 Mbps||1 TB||$40/mo.*/ $50/mo.||View plans|
|Internet 10, Internet 25, Internet 50, Internet 75, Internet 100 (DSL)||10 to 100 Mbps**||1-20 Mbps||1 TB||$50/mo.*/ $60/mo.||View plans|
|Internet 100 (Fiber)||100 Mbps||100 Mbps||1 TB||$50/mo.*/ $60/mo.||View plans|
|Internet 300 (Fiber)||300 Mbps||300 Mbps||1 TB||$70/mo.*/ $80/mo.||View plans|
|Internet 1000 (Fiber)||1000 Mbps||1000 Mbps||999.999 TB||$90/mo.*/ $100/mo.||View plans|
*Starting price for the first 12 months, effective 04/13/19. All offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
**Speed dependent on area.
First, want to know the difference between Fiber and DSL? Check out our FAQ at the bottom of the page.
Second, what’s up with all of these different package names with different prices? Who would ever want Internet 10 when Internet 100 is the same price for 10 times the data? Well, it’s simple really: regional availability. Yes, that means you can easily end up getting stuck paying the same price for a vastly inferior service depending on where you live. And this gets much worse in rural communities. I’m sorry.
Anyhow, with AT&T’s internet, you likely won’t know if you’re going to get DSL or Fiber — that’s dependent on where you’re living. If you live in a larger metro area, like New York or Chicago, you’ll likely have the chance to use Fiber. If you don’t like this uncertainty, though, then check out AT&T’s online Fiber coverage map.
Honestly, though, unless you live in one a handful of the most populated cities in the country, or a particular region in that city, you are probably going to be left high and dry; needless to say, if you live in a rural area, you’re going to be stuck with DSL.
And that can actually be fine with the Internet 10, 25, 50, 75 or 100 plan — you’ll get the fastest speed available for your area, up to 100 Mbps. If you can get that 100 Mbps speed or close, the price is pretty competitive and the speed solid. If not, you might have better luck with competitors Spectrum or Frontier.
That said, if Fiber is available in your area– get it. Although Verizon Fios’s 940/880 Mbps plan may be a little cheaper than AT&T’s Fiber (if it’s available in your area), Verizon Fios charges you $10/month for a router, and AT&T throws that in free of charge. AT&T’s internet 1000 is also cheaper than Xfinity’s equivalent fiber offer.
Those things end up making AT&T Fiber the better deal.
Depending on availability in your area, your download and upload speeds with AT&T internet can reach triple digits. It’s high-speed internet with the emphasis on speed.
A perk you can take advantage of with AT&T to save some money is bundling. You get the choice of bundling your DSL or fiber internet plan with either U-Verse or DirecTV, both of which are cable services that AT&T owns (U-Verse for a while now and DirecTV since the merger a year or two back). It’s worth noting that U-Verse has its own regional limits, so you might only be able to get DirecTV. You can also add in phone service if you like.
But even just pairing your AT&T internet plan with 1 other service can ring in some decent savings, as the pic above shows — if you qualify, with Fiber 300 and 1000 you can save at least $10/month — not a bad deal.
Of course, all of this is assuming you are interested in subpar phone service or overpriced cable offerings.
AT&T Internet Speed & Data caps
So how does AT&T do with upload and download speeds? What about data caps? Take a look:
|Package name||Download speed up to||Upload speed||Data cap||View plan|
|Internet Basic 5 (DSL)||5 Mbps||1 Mbps||1 TB||View plans|
|Internet 10, Internet 25, Internet 50, Internet 75, Internet 100 (DSL)||10 to 100 Mbps**||1-20 Mbps||1 TB||View plans|
|Internet 100 (Fiber)||100 Mbps||100 Mbps||1 TB||View plans|
|Internet 300 (Fiber)||300 Mbps||300 Mbps||1 TB||View plans|
|Internet 1000 (Fiber)||1000 Mbps||1000 Mbps||999.999 TB||View plans|
**Speed dependent on area.
While DSL has asymmetrical download/upload speeds– faster downloads than uploads, typically– AT&T’s fiber offers the same speeds regardless of whether you’re downloading or uploading. That means streaming a video will be just as fast as uploading one of the same size.
That’s a pretty true statement for all fiber providers, though, including Verizon Fios and Frontier alongside AT&T.
AT&T also offers some seriously generous data caps with 1 terabyte being the limit for all plans except the Internet 1000 plan– the latter most of which gives you unlimited data. But 1TB (1,000 GB) is plenty for most internet users, and you probably won’t come close to it.
In fact, according to Consumer reports, a family of four would “each need to watch 104 videos per month, or more than five hours of Netflix every day.” Unless you’re a serious “super user”, that’s plenty. You’ll be able to browse, stream, download, and game to your heart’s content.
Fees, Contracts, and Equipment
So what about fees? There are a few things to look at.
Contract - a requirement to use AT&T internet
When you sign up for AT&T internet, you’ll have to sign a minimum 1-year contract. If you want out of the contract before that time is up, you’ll have to pay $15 per month left on the contract. Once that 1-year contract is up, your monthly internet bill will rise by $10/month from what you paid that first year.
Fees - not so great, but DIY scores points
AT&T charges you $99 to have one of their pros come out and install your internet. But if you feel like doing it yourself, they’ll ship you the router/modem and you can set it up with just a $35 activation fee– not bad. Of course, not many people will have the technical know-how or the tools to pull this off, so it is more of a novelty than anything else.
If you somehow bypass your data cap, you’ll get charged $10 for every 50GB of data past that cap, up to $100/month.
Equipment - a hassle-free deal
AT&T gives you the W-Fi gateway modem/router combo for free, which is nice– you don’t need to pay for your own router, and you don’t have to purchase or rent theirs. Plus, with AT&T’s self-installation option, you can have it shipped straight to your door, usually in just a few days.
While many reviews we found raved poorly about AT&T’s customer service experience, it’s important to note that people are more likely to take to the review boards when they have a negative experience than a positive one.
So, taking those negative reviews with a grain of salt, we can look at other numbers. AT&T Internet earned the 2018 J.D. Power award above Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox Communications, and more. AT&T was given 4 power circles in customer service — only one other, Cox Communications, took home 5.
AT&T Internet Reviews from Customers
Below are some reviews and ratings of AT&T Internet’s service we’ve collected during our research.
Recap: So how good is AT&T Internet?
For a quick recap:
- DSL plans are available across the country, with speeds up to 100 Mbps. That’s dependent on your area, though. If you can get close to or up to 100 Mbps, then the price is right. If not, other competitors may offer better value. All these plans come with 1 TB caps, which should be enough for most people.
- AT&T fiber is limited to certain areas for now, but they’re working on expanding it to more suburban and rural areas. If it’s available to you, it’s a great buy that comes in 3 speeds (100, 300, and 1000 Mbps). The 1000 plan has no data cap.
What is ‘Fiber’ internet?
Fiber optic, or ‘fiber’, is the fastest type of internet currently available. Fiber optic lines transmit binary transmissions of light through their lines, rather than electrical information (like DSL and cable). Fiber optic uses minuscule strands of plastic or glass.
This makes fiber internet much faster and more reliable than traditional DSL or cable. One reason all internet connections aren’t fiber (yet) is because they require new infrastructure to be built whereas DSL and Cable internet just utilize existing infrastructure (phone lines and cable lines respectively). That’s why fiber is currently limited to more populous areas — although major ISPs are working on it.
What is ‘DSL’ internet?
Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL, internet uses copper telephone wires to transmit data electronically between your computer and the internet. It’s transmitted at a frequency that’s separate from old landline calls, so even if you have a landline, it won’t affect your internet speeds. It also makes it faster than old-fashioned dial-up.
The most relevant type of DSL to consumers is Asymmetric DSL (ADSL). That’s the type of DSL offered by AT&T. The asymmetric part refers to the different upload vs. download speeds, with download usually being faster.
Is AT&T available where I live?
AT&T Internet plans are currently available in 21 states. You can check out the above list to see if yours is one of them here, and if your city is included.