Best Internet Providers in Washington, DC – CNET

Verizon Fios – Best overall among internet providers in Washington, DC

  • Prices from $50 – $120 per month
  • Speeds from 300 – 2,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Astound Broadband – Best introductory rates among internet providers in Washington, DC

  • Prices from $20 – $80 per month
  • Speeds from 100 – 1,200Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Xfinity – Best availability among internet providers in Washington, DC

  • Prices from $20 – $300 per month
  • Speeds from 75 – 6,000Mbps
  • Data caps on some plans

Why does President Joe Biden spend much time working from his home state of Delaware? Perhaps it’s because the internet speeds are much faster than in Washington, DC.

Delaware boasts one of the fastest median download speeds in the country, at nearly 227 megabits per second, according to Ookla’s ranking for internet speeds by region. Conversely, DC ranks 32nd out of 51, with median download speeds of about 173Mbps. As Biden might say, “C’mon, man!”

It’s not all bad news for residents of our nation’s capital, as they have access to three major internet service providers — Astound, Xfinity and Verizon Fios — along with T-Mobile’s 5G offering, regional providers Starry Internet and DC Access and satellite internet providers Viasat and HughesNet. Although the larger ISPs are available in much of the city, run your address by each company to ensure they service your home.

Best internet providers in the Federal City

With many options on the east side of the Potomac River, let’s compare DC’s internet service providers in terms of pricing, speeds, connection types and service terms.

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Verizon Fios

Best overall among internet providers in Washington, DC

Product details

Price range $50 – $120 per month Speed range 300 – 2,000Mbps Connection Fiber Highlights Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment with gig service

Verizon Fios often tops customer satisfaction studies for its symmetrical download and upload speeds and reliability. What sets it apart from the other major ISPs in DC is its clear pricing, which should remain the same even after its competitors raise your monthly rate significantly.

Availability: Fios is only available in eight states and, fortunately for DC residents, in the nation’s capital. The service is available throughout most of the city, including Adams Morgan, Brightwood, Capitol Hill, Cleveland Park, Downtown DC, Dupont Circle, Fort Totten, Georgetown, Glover Park, Trinidad, University Heights and Woodley Park.

Plans and pricing: Hooray for clarity! Fios is available in three speeds: 300Mbps at $50 monthly, 500Mbps at $70 and 940Mbps (gigabit) at $90. These prices should remain the same throughout your service, although the company reserves the right to adjust them at any point.

Fees and service details: Verizon Fios has no equipment fees or data caps and doesn’t require a contract.

Read our Verizon home internet review.

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

Astound Broadband

Best introductory rates among internet providers in Washington, DC

Product details

Price range $20 – $80 per month Speed range 100 – 1,200Mbps Connection Cable Highlights Unlimited data, low promo prices, no contracts

Astound, a brand name for the merging of five regional internet providers, looks fantastic upon initial glance. DC residents can access a 1,200Mbps plan for only $60 per month for the first two years of service. After that, however, prices could go up by more than three times.

Availability: Fewer DC residents have access to Astound than Fios. The former is available in parts of Adams Morgan, American University Park, Anacostia, Brookland, Cleveland Park, Lincoln Heights, Shepherd Park, Takoma, University Heights and Woodridge.

Plans and pricing: As mentioned, Astound puts on a great first impression. Plans start at $20 a month for 300Mbps, $35 for 600Mbps, $50 for 940Mbps and $60 for 1,200Mbps. However, these prices only last two years. After the promotion period, the prices for these plans increase significantly. For example, that 1,200Mbps plan has a regular rate of $172 per month compared to the $60 monthly promo price. 

Fees and service details: Astound has a one-time activation fee of $10, but no data caps or contracts. The company offers a free modem with service.

Read our Astound Broadband review.

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

Xfinity

Best availability among internet providers in Washington, DC

Product details

Price range $20 – $300 per month Speed range 75 – 6,000Mbps Connection Cable Highlights Data caps on some plans, lots of plan options, solid customer satisfaction numbers

If you don’t have access to either Verizon or Astound’s internet offerings, there’s a good chance you can get your internet through Xfinity.

Availability: Most of DC has access to Xfinity’s service. The company serves the neighborhoods of Adams Morgan, Brightwood, Capitol Hill, Chinatown, parts of Chevy Chase, Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Lincoln Park, Logan Circle and parts of Rock Creek Park and Woodley Park.

Plans and pricing: Xfinity offers eight plans in DC: 200Mbps for $25 a month (up to five devices), 400Mbps for $35 (up to eight devices), 800Mbps for $60 (up to 11 devices), 1,000Mbps for $70 (over 12 devices), 1,200Mbps for $80 (unlimited devices) and 2,000Mbps for $120 (also unlimited devices). With the exemption of the 2,000Mbps plan, these prices are only good for the first 24 months and with a $10 discount for autopay and paperless billing. After that, they get bumped up to $77, $92, $97, $102 and $107, respectively, with the same discount for autopay and paperless. Xfinity also offers a 50Mbps plan for $10 per month and a 100Mbps plan for $30 for those eligible for its Internet Essentials program.

Fees and service details: All of Xfinity’s plans allow for unlimited data. There’s a $15 fee for a router and modem, or you could use your own. These plans do not have contracts.

Read our Xfinity home internet review.

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

Starry Internet

Best alternative among internet providers in Washington, DC

Product details

Price range $30 – $80 per month Speed range 50 – 1,000Mbps Connection Fixed wireless Highlights Unlimited data, no contracts, no equipment fees, simple setup

Starry, available only in buildings in certain DC neighborhoods, offers high-speed, low-latency internet connectivity using millimeter-wave bands capable of sending large amounts of data over short distances. Its plans are fairly affordable compared to others in DC, and Starry has no promotional pricing, so what you pay initially is what you’ll pay later.

Availability: Starry has availability in buildings in these neighborhoods: Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights, Brightwood/Fort Totten, Petworth, Capitol Hill, Navy Yard, Waterfront, Mount Vernon Triangle, Downtown DC, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, NoMa/Brentwood, Alexandria, Arlington, Clarendon, Ballston, Silver Spring and Chevy Chase.

Plans and pricing: Starry offers these tiers of service: Starry Plus for $50 a month with speeds up to 200Mbps, Starry Ultra for $60 for 300Mbps, Starry Pro for $65 for up to 500Mbps and Starry Gig for $80 for up to 1 gig (1,000Mbps). The company also offers the 100Mbps Starry Select for $30 monthly for people who qualify for the Federal Communication Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program

Fees and service details: Starry Internet has no equipment fees, data caps or contracts.

Read our Starry Internet review.

Internet providers in Washington, DC overview

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
Astound Broadband Cable $20-$60  300-1,200Mbps Free modem; $5 for Whole-home Wi-Fi (skippable) None None 7
DC Access Fixed wireless $40-$100 10-75Mbps $99 installation fee None None N/A
HughesNet Satellite $65-$175 25Mbps $15 a month or $450 one-time purchase 15-200GB Two years 5.7
Starry Internet Fixed wireless $30-$80 100-1000Mbps None None None 7
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless $50 ($30 for eligible Magenta Max mobile customers) 72-245Mbps None None None 7.4
Verizon Fios Fiber $50-$90 300-940Mbps None None None 7.6
Viasat Satellite $70-$300 25-100Mbps $13 a month or $299 one-time purchase 40-300GB Two years 6.1
Xfinity Cable $25-$120  200-2,000Mbps $15 gateway rental (skippable) None None 7

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All available Washington, DC, residential internet providers

Many DC residents will choose between Verizon Fios, Xfinity and Astound, while some building dwellers can also subscribe to Starry Internet. But there are also smaller internet players in the city, including a more than 20-year-old local provider, satellite internet companies and T-Mobile’s 5G service.

  • DC Access: This local internet provider, founded in 1999, serves the Capitol Hill and Adams Morgan neighborhoods. Its plans are pricier and slower than its larger competitors and have a $99 installation fee, but they don’t require a contract.
  • HughesNet: DC residents have access to this satellite internet service, which is only available at speeds of 25Mbps at a fairly high price, with the cheapest option available for $65 with a two-year contract and equipment fees.
  • T-Mobile Home Internet: Some DC residents may have access to T-Mobile’s home broadband option. There’s only one plan, and it’s available for $50 (with autopay) and offers speeds from 72 to 245Mbps.
  • Viasat: Another satellite internet company, Viasat’s monthly prices start at $70 and go up to $300, with speeds ranging from 25 to 100Mbps based on the plan.

Summer sunrise over Washington, DC.

<!----> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">John Baggaley/Getty Images</span>

Washington, DC, internet details at a glance

Many DC residents will have choices when it comes to their internet provider. Major players like Verizon Fios, Xfinity and Astound are available in many of the capital’s neighborhoods. Some residents also have access to Starry Internet, DC Access and T-Mobile’s 5G internet service, while those who want satellite can pay for HughesNet or Viasat.

Pricing details on Washington, DC, home internet service

On average, DC residents can expect to pay around $35 for basic internet plans in the city (with promotional pricing). This beats out Brooklyn ($36 per month) and Los Angeles ($38 monthly) for the lowest average starting price of any major markets CNET has covered to date.

Cheap internet options in the Washington, DC, metro area

Look no further than Astound’s 300Mbps plan for $20 monthly for the most affordable internet service in the nation’s capital. This promotional price will last 24 months, but it offers incredible savings. Astound also provides the best value overall with its $60, 1,200Mbps plan, but the same caveats apply. If you’re eligible for the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, you’ll have access to Starry Internet’s 100Mbps Starry Select for $30 per month.

What’s the cheapest internet plan in Washington, DC?

Provider Starting price Max download speed Monthly equipment fee Contract
Astound Broadband $20 300Mbps Free modem; $5 for Whole-home Wi-Fi (skippable) None
Xfinity $25 200Mbps $15 gateway rental (skippable) None
Starry Internet $30 (Affordable Connectivity Program) 100Mbps None None
DC Access $40 10Mbps $99 installation fee None
Verizon Fios $50 300Mbps None None
T-Mobile Home Internet $50 ($30 for eligible mobile customers) 72-245Mbps None None
HughesNet $65 25Mbps $15 a month or $450 one-time purchase Two years
Viasat $70 25Mbps $15 a month or $300 one-time purchase Two years

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Washington, DC internet speed details

Federal City sits in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the country regarding download speeds, with a median of about 173Mbps. However, a few higher-speed plans are available for under $100 with promotional pricing.

Download speeds

Washington – 141 Mbps
DC – 137 Mbps
US – 133 Mbps

Upload speeds

Washington – 73 Mbps
DC – 70 Mbps
US – 46 Mbps

Fastest internet providers in the Washington, DC area

The fastest download speeds you’ll find in the capital are through Xfinity, which offers a 2,000Mbps plan for $120 per month. For high speeds at a lower price, both Astound and Xfinity offer plans with 1,200Mbps download speeds at $60 and $80 for the first 24 months, respectively. Curious about what superfast plans are available in other areas of the country? Check out CNET’s best multi-gigabit plans page.

What are the fastest internet plans in Washington, DC?

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What’s the final word on internet providers in Washington, DC?

The District of Columbia offers a handful of options for choosing your internet provider, including many with fairly affordable pricing. For most city residents, the choice will come down to Verizon Fios, Astound or Xfinity, which are all competitive in price and speed.

Internet providers in Washington, DC, FAQs

Which is the best internet service provider in Washington, DC?

Verizon Fios is our choice for the best internet service provider in Washington, DC. It’s available in most of the city and offers three service tiers at $50, $70 and $90 monthly. Best of all, there’s no price trickery here: These rates will be what you pay over the long term.

Is fiber internet available in Washington, DC?

Fiber internet is available in the nation’s capital. It’s provided by Verizon Fios, which happens to be our pick for the best ISP in the city. Rates start at $50 and go up to $90.

Who is the cheapest internet provider in Washington, DC?

The cheapest internet in the District of Columbia can be had at a mere $20 per month for Astound’s 300Mbps plan. The caveat with this plan is that the low price will only last for your first 24 months, with the rate possibly going up by three to five times after. Fortunately, you can cancel the service before the jump or try to negotiate with the company for a better price.

Is Verizon Fios or Xfinity better?

According to CNET’s article comparing both services, “Xfinity has a slight advantage over Verizon Fios regarding promotional pricing and gigabit download speeds, but Verizon Fios can be the better long-term internet deal. Stable pricing, not to mention the speed and reliability of a 100% fiber connection, have helped Verizon Fios land the top spot for customer satisfaction in recent years.”

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