Best Cable Internet Providers of 2021

Paula Novo
Paula Novo October 20, 2021

What is Cable Internet?

Similar to DSL, cable internet is a network that uses electrical signals to create a connection from an internet service provider to the home. But, instead of passing that signal through copper phone lines, cable internet runs on the same coaxial cables as your TV service. Coaxial cables are made of a sturdy outer material that allows the signal to travel faster and offers greater bandwidth for things like streaming movies or playing video games online. Today, 3 in 5 Americans subscribe to cable internet due to its wide availability and high speeds.

Top Cable Providers



  • Speeds up to 1000 Mbps
  • Cheap introductory pricing


  • Speeds up to 1,000 Mbps
  • 18+ million free WiFi hotspots


  • Speeds up to 940 Mbps
  • No contracts or ETFs


  • Speeds up to 940 Mbps
  • Elite Gamer service

How Cable Providers Stack Up

ProviderMax Download SpeedStarting PriceData Caps
AT&T100-1000 Mbps$35-$45/moYes
Cox1000 Mbps$29.99/mo*Yes
Optimum1000 Mbps$35/mo*No
Spectrum200-1000 Mbps$44.99-$104.99/moNo
Suddenlink940 Mbps$30/mo*Yes
Xfinity200-3000 Mbps$39.99-$49.99/moYes
Max Download Speed100-1000 Mbps
Starting Price$35-$45/mo
Data CapsYes
Max Download Speed1000 Mbps
Starting Price$29.99/mo*
Data CapsYes
Max Download Speed1000 Mbps
Starting Price$35/mo*
Data CapsNo
Max Download Speed200-1000 Mbps
Starting Price$44.99-$104.99/mo
Data CapsNo
Max Download Speed940 Mbps
Starting Price$30/mo*
Data CapsYes
Max Download Speed200-3000 Mbps
Starting Price$39.99-$49.99/mo
Data CapsYes

Not all internet speeds available in all areas. Availability based on service address. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. Additional fees and terms may apply. As of 7/31/21.

Is Cable Internet Right for Me?

Cable internet has a lot to offer if you’re looking for reliable internet at a reasonable price. Making up 3 out of 5 internet subscribers today, cable is widely available, moderately affordable, and offers speeds most households need to stay connected. Still, for some families, cable internet doesn’t match the overall performance of fiber internet. So, it’s best to compare all your options before selecting a provider.

Typically, cable internet is a great option for families with multiple connected devices. It’s also ideal for homes with smart security installed and users who frequently stream movies. However, one area where this connection lacks is upload speeds. Cable tends to cap out around 100 Mbps for upload speeds. This means people who require faster upload speeds – like remote workers or content creators – may want to consider looking at fiber internet for service.


  • check_circleIdeal for gaming and HD video streaming
  • check_circle3x more available than fiber


  • cancelSlower connection during peak hours
  • cancelHigher prices than DSL and satellite

How Cable Compares to Other Connection Types

spectrum of internet connection types and speed

Cable Internet FAQs

What kind of wire is used for cable internet?


Cable internet runs along a coaxial cable, the same cable used for cable TV service. There is a copper or copper-plated steel line inside the coaxial cable that carries internet signals from an ISP to your home. Other wires used to transmit internet signals include telephone lines (for dial-up and DSL) and fiber-optic cables (for fiber).

Is cable internet available in remote areas?


Cable internet is available to 90% of the U.S. population, primarily in urban and suburban communities. If you live in a rural location, you may not be able to get cable internet. However, DSL is slightly more available than cable, and satellites are available in most remote areas.

Is cable or DSL faster?


Plans and speeds vary depending on location and which internet service provider you choose. However, cable internet does support higher bandwidth and overall faster speeds than DSL internet. With cable, you can experience more than 10x the speeds of DSL in select areas.

What is a good cable internet speed?


Cable internet is capable of delivering speeds ranging from 25 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps, though average speeds hover around 250 Mbps. Most homes opt for internet speeds of 100 Mbps or higher, but a good speed really depends on your lifestyle.

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