Best Internet Providers in Hawaii – CNET

Spectrum – Best internet provider in Hawaii overall

  • Prices from $50 – $90 per month
  • Speeds from 300 – 940Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Hawaiian Telcom – Best fiber internet provider in Hawaii

  • Prices from $40 – $70 per month
  • Speeds from 300 – 1,000Mbps
  • No data caps

T-Mobile Home Internet – Best wireless internet provider in Hawaii

  • Prices from $50 per month
  • Speeds from 33 – 182Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Viasat – Best satellite internet provider in Hawaii

  • Prices from $70 – $300 per month
  • Speeds from 12 – 150Mbps
  • No hard data cap

Living in Hawaii involves sacrificing some things you’d find on the mainland — snakes, daylight saving time, billboards — but fortunately, high-speed internet isn’t one of them. Gig speeds from Spectrum, our pick for the best internet provider in Hawaii overall, are available throughout much of Hawaii from the Big Island to Kauai. 

There’s also Hawaiian Telcom, which uses a fiber-optic network to deliver speeds as fast as or faster than Spectrum, possibly even for a lower monthly price. Speaking of low pricing, T-Mobile’s $50-per-month 5G home internet service is a decent broadband alternative, and its wireless delivery may help fill in the gaps that other internet service providers don’t reach.

Best internet providers in Hawaii

Which ISP is best for your Hawaiian home? That’ll depend on what you’re looking for and what’s available in your area. You can use the serviceability check tool at the top of this page to find providers in your area. See the list below for more details on what sets each provider apart.

Spectrum logo on a phone
<span class="g-color-text-meta u-inline-block g-text-xxxsmall">Sarah Tew/CNET</span>

Spectrum

Best internet provider in Hawaii overall

Product details

Price range $50 – $90 per month Speed range 300 – 940Mbps Connection Cable Highlights Unlimited data, simple pricing, no contracts, modem included, free access to nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots

Spectrum is among our top picks for best internet providers anywhere and one of our favorite cable ISPs thanks to its simple pricing, fast speeds and favorable service terms. As a cable TV provider, Spectrum is also a great choice for bundling internet and TV together.

Availability: You’ll find Spectrum just about everywhere in Hawaii outside of the many forest reserves and national parks. Honolulu has the greatest serviceability, but most households on Hawaii’s six main inhabited islands are wired for Spectrum Internet.

Plans and pricing: Many goods and services in Hawaii are more expensive than elsewhere in the US, but Spectrum internet is as cheap in the Aloha State as anywhere. Most customers will have three plans to choose from: 300Mbps, 500Mbps or 940Mbps, starting at $50, $70 and $90 per month, respectively. That’s the same pricing I can get at home in South Carolina.

Fees and service details: Spectrum internet has unlimited data and requires no contracts. Your cable modem is free, but a $5 rental fee applies if you rent a Wi-Fi router from Spectrum.

<span class="g-color-text-meta u-inline-block g-text-xxxsmall">Hawaiian Telcom</span>

Hawaiian Telcom

Best fiber internet provider in Hawaii

Product details

Price range $40 – $70 per month Speed range 300 – 1,000Mbps Connection Fiber Highlights No data caps, no contracts

Spectrum’s cable internet service is a great choice for broadband, but I’d prefer a fiber-optic connection if I can get it. Cincinnati Bell-owned Hawaiian Telcom is the primary fiber internet provider in Hawaii.

Availability: You’ll find Hawaiian Telcom in many of the same places as Spectrum, but not all. Coverage is greatest on the island of Oahu and the capital city of Honolulu. Still, residents of the Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai and Maui may also be eligible for service.

Plans and pricing: Hawaiian Telcom also offers 300Mbps, 500Mbps and single gig speeds and a 750Mbps plan. Starting pricing is lower than Spectrum on comparable speed tiers, and the fiber-optic service comes with the added advantage of fast upload speeds, up to 500Mbps.

Where fiber internet is unavailable, Hawaiian Telcom may offer DSL service. Speeds and pricing vary by location but won’t come close to the speed potential of Spectrum. If your options come down to Spectrum or DSL service, I’d recommend Spectrum every time.

Fees and service details: Renting an Eero Pro 6E Galaxy Gateway router from Hawaiian Telcom will add $10 to your monthly bill. Mesh Wi-Fi extenders are available for an additional $5 per month each. There are no data caps or contracts required.

5G wireless T Mobile
<span class="g-color-text-meta u-inline-block g-text-xxxsmall">Sarah Tew/CNET</span>

T-Mobile Home Internet

Best wireless internet provider in Hawaii

Product details

Price range $50 per month ($30 for eligible T-Mobile Magenta Max customers) Speed range 33 – 182Mbps Connection Fixed wireless Highlights Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees

T-Mobile is leading the US’ 5G home internet coverage race, and Hawaii is no exception. Speeds are admittedly slower than what’s available from Spectrum or Hawaiian Telcom, but the low pricing and simple setup are worth giving T-Mobile Home Internet a look.

Availability:  T-Mobile Home Internet is available to 94% of Hawaiian households, according to the FCC. Those around the airport may have the toughest time getting T-Mobile’s home internet service, but other options, including Spectrum and Hawaiian Telcom, are available in the area.

Plans and pricing: T-Mobile’s single home internet plan starts at $50 per month for the fastest speeds available, typically somewhere between 33 and 182Mbps. Qualifying T-Mobile Magenta Max customers can receive an additional $20 off their monthly 5G home internet bill.

Fees and service details: There are no contracts, data caps or equipment fees with T-Mobile Home Internet. 

Viasat logo
<span class="g-color-text-meta u-inline-block g-text-xxxsmall">Sarah Tew/CNET</span>

Viasat

Best satellite internet provider in Hawaii

Product details

Price range $70 – $300 per month Speed range 12 – 150Mbps Connection Satellite Highlights No hard data cap, nationwide availability

For the few places where cable, fiber-optic or 5G internet connections do not reach in Hawaii, there’s satellite internet. Viasat is Hawaii’s primary satellite provider as HughesNet is unavailable in the Aloha State.

Availability: Viasat is available everywhere in Hawaii, but you’ll need a clear view of the sky to get it. 

Plans and pricing: Starting prices for Viasat internet range from $70 to $300 and increase by $30 to $100 after just three months of service. There isn’t much speed variety with Viasat in Hawaii (12-30Mbps), so your monthly data allowance — somewhere between 40GB and 300GB — will be the main difference between plans. 

Going over your data allowance won’t result in any added fees, but Viasat may throttle your speeds for the remainder of the billing cycle once you’ve reached your data limit.

Fees and service details: Unless you want to purchase your equipment up front for $300, go ahead and add $13 in rental fees to the monthly cost. A two-year contract is required for service.

All internet providers in Hawaii

Unfortunately, there aren’t many internet options in Hawaii other than those listed above. Verizon 5G Home Internet is available to about 10% of Hawaii households, but the provider’s Ultra Wideband 5G service isn’t yet offered in the Aloha State. Here’s a quick comparison of Hawaii internet providers, followed by a look at the cheapest and fastest plans available in the state.

Compare top Hawaii internet providers

Provider Connection type Monthly price range Speed range (Mbps) Monthly data cap Contract
Hawaiian Telcom Fiber $40-$70 300-1,000 None None
Spectrum Cable $50-$90 300-940 None None
T-Mobile 5G Home Internet 5G wireless $50 ($30 for qualifying Magenta Max customers) 33-182 None None
Verizon 5G Home Internet 5G wireless $50 ($25 for qualifying Verizon mobile customers) 85-300 None None
Viasat Satellite $70-$300 12-150 40GB-300GB 2 years

Hawaii internet details at a glance

Provider options are somewhat limited in Hawaii, but overall connectivity is still better than in most states. The FCC reports 100% of households in Hawaii are eligible for broadband speeds (that’s speeds of at least 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up), and the most recent Ookla speed test data ranks Hawaii’s average download speeds 13th among all states (and Washington, DC) at 199Mbps.

Aerial view of Diamond Head Crater with Honolulu cityscape in the distance.

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Internet pricing in Hawaii

Unless you qualify for the T-Mobile or Verizon 5G discounts, Hawaiian Telcom has the cheapest starting price for internet in Hawaii at around $40 per month for speeds up to 300Mbps. Spectrum is $10 more monthly for the same download speed potential but has a lower equipment rental fee than Hawaiian Telcom.

Cheapest internet plans in Hawaii

Plan Starting price Max download speeds (Mbps) Equipment fee
Verizon 5G Home Internet $25 (with qualifying discount) 300 None
T-Mobile Home Internet $30 (with qualifying discount) 182 None
Hawaiian Telcom Fioptics 300 $40 300 $10
Spectrum Internet $50 300 $5 (skippable)
Viasat Bronze 12 $70 12 $13

Internet service for low-income households in Hawaii

The Affordable Connectivity Program grants eligible households up to $30 per month (potentially $75 on Hawaiian Home Lands) to apply toward home broadband service. Spectrum and Hawaiian Telcom also offer a unique plan designed to make high-speed internet more accessible to low-income households.

Spectrum’s Internet Assist and the Internet for All plan from Hawaiian Telcom are available for a net cost of $0 when applied with the ACP credit. You’ll get unlimited data and free equipment with both, but Hawaiian Telcom is the better deal, with symmetrical speeds up to 100Mbps, compared to the 30Mbps down and 4Mbps up you’d get with Spectrum.

Internet speeds in Hawaii

FCC data shows around 90% of Hawaiian residences are eligible for download speeds up to 250Mbps and upload speeds of 25Mbps or higher. Spectrum and Hawaiian Telcom (and possibly Verizon 5G Home) will be your best bets for those speeds and higher.

Regarding speed potential and reliability, I’d prefer a fiber-optic connection like the one you get with Hawaiian Telcom over a cable one from Spectrum. Fiber internet is equipped to support much faster upload speeds and is less susceptible to speed fluctuations during peak usage times.

Fastest internet plans in Hawaii

Plan Max download speeds (Mbps) Starting price Data cap
Hawaiian Telcom Fioptic 1Gig 1,000 $70 None
Spectrum Internet Gig 940 $90 None
Verizon 5G Home Internet 300 $50 None
T-Mobile Home Internet 182 $50 None

Final thoughts on internet in Hawaii

Though some amenities are less accessible or affordable in Hawaii than other parts of the US, broadband connectivity and pricing are as good in Hawaii as anywhere. Spectrum is the best high-speed internet source throughout much of Hawaii, but Hawaiian Telcom’s fiber service could be the better value if available at your address. 

If neither offers service where you live, T-Mobile’s 5G home internet solution is a decent option for low-cost, low-hassle broadband. And as a last resort, satellite provider Viasat is available throughout the Aloha State.

Internet in Hawaii FAQs

Does Hawaii have fiber internet?

Yes. Hawaiian Telcom is the largest fiber-optic provider in Hawaii, with service available to approximately 36% of residences. 

Is Spectrum or Hawaiian Telcom better?

Like many fiber versus cable versus DSL provider comparisons, the answer will come down to which connection type is available at your address. If your address is only wired for cable internet from Spectrum or DSL from Hawaiian Telcom, Spectrum will be the better choice for speeds and overall value. 

However, if your address is serviceable for fiber internet from Hawaiian Telcom, you’ll likely find the local provider to have better pricing and speed consistency than Spectrum.

Is Xfinity available in Hawaii?

Xfinity does not offer home internet service in Hawaii, but the provider does have hotspots in many places throughout the state. So, if you are visiting Hawaii and have Xfinity at home, you may be able to connect to Xfinity’s Wi-Fi hotspot network during your stay.

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