How to find the fastest internet provider near you

Two levitating business men on road using laptop with fast internet

High-speed internet is quickly becoming the norm. If your household has multiple users who stream high-quality 4K video, attend Zoom meetings or play games online — sometimes all at the same time — you likely already know the value of fast internet.

Fast home internet makes it possible for multiple users to access internet and streaming services with less lag, latency or choppy video. You can watch Netflix while your teenager plays online games or improve video and sound clarity during your video conference call for work while your kids are attending online school.

If your household members compete for bandwidth and everyone groans any time someone downloads a large file, it might be time to upgrade to a more optimal/faster internet plan. This article will cover the ins and outs of fast internet plans and help you pick one of the fastest internet providers in your area.

How internet speeds work

Most internet service providers offer several options for the speed of your internet plan. Generally, internet speeds are measured in megabits per second (Mbps). A higher Mbps service means faster internet. These speeds depend not just on your ISP but can also be affected by your choice of router or modem and the number of your connected devices.

Mbps explained

As mentioned, Mbps means “megabits per second.” Mbps tells you how many megabits — or how many millions of bits — of information you can download or upload each second over your internet connection. It’s the speed at which data flows in or out of your home network.

“Bps” means bits per second. “Kbps” means kilobits per second, “Gbps” means gigabits per second, where “giga” means 1 billion. People often abbreviate these terms even more, referring to how many “megs” or “gigs” of internet they have.

Speed, bandwidth and broadband

Internet speed is often also called internet bandwidth, although they don’t always refer to the same thing. In general, when an ISP says their bandwidth or speed is 50 Mbps, they are telling you that you may receive 50 megabits of data each second (depending on your equipment, network and other factors). The higher the Mbps, the more data you can receive each second, which means you can use more internet at one time. Your current internet speed can be determined by performing an internet speed test, which will tell you your Mbps download and upload speeds and the time it takes to ping or reach an internet host.

The term “broadband” refers to high bandwidth internet connections. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has even created a broadband map to help people find high-speed internet in their area.

Speed refers to how fast data travels while bandwidth refers to how much data moves through the connection each second. If you think of data flowing through wires as water flowing through pipes, the speed is how fast the water is flowing (or how many water molecules move past a given point per unit time). In this analogy, the bandwidth is a measure of the width of the pipe and indicates the total number of water molecules that flow past a cross-section of the pipe per unit of time.

How much internet speed do you need?

When determining how fast your internet access should be, you need to know the actual speeds needed to support your typical usage. The following is a rough indication of ideal internet speeds for various activities:

  • 5 to 10 Mbps: This is sufficient for checking email, searching the internet or streaming music on one device at a time.
  • 15 to 50 Mbps: This works for streaming video, video conferencing or online gaming for one or two devices at a time.
  • 50 to 100 Mbps: In this range, you can stream HD video on a few devices, participate in multiplayer online gaming and download files fairly rapidly.
  • 100 to 500 Mbps: These fast speeds enable multiple internet users to stream UHD videos, download and upload quickly and participate in online gaming.
  • >500 Mbps: At the highest speeds, you can do almost anything with multiple users on your network without experiencing reduced quality.

0–10 Mbps
  • Good for:
  •  Checking email
  •  Browsing websites
  •  Browsing social media
10–50 Mbps
  • Good for:
  •  Connecting multiple devices
  •  Streaming videos
  •  Online gaming for one player
50+ Mbps
  • Good for:
  •  Streaming videos in HD
  •  Online gaming for multiple users
  •  Video chat with friends

What is fiber-optic internet?

There are many types of internet connections available. The list includes dial-up, DSL, cable internet, wireless internet or Wi-Fi, satellite internet and cellular. The fastest internet speeds, however, are typically found with fiber-optic internet connections. This type of connection is the best internet service for those who want the fastest internet possible.

With a fiber-optic connection, data travels as light through thin, flexible glass wires. it can travel extremely fast (not quite the speed of light in a vacuum but close). Fiber-optic cables also enable greater bandwidth and better signal reliability over long distances.

The connection speeds possible with fiber-optic internet can be extremely high. Moreover, many fiber-optic connections have upload speeds that match download speeds. (In most other connection types, upload speeds are significantly slower than download speeds.) Many providers, including Frontier, offer fiber-optic internet to select service areas.

Fiber-optic Mbps speeds

Fiber-optic connections can be considerably higher than DSL connections. DSL stands for “digital subscriber line” and refers to the internet transmitted over dedicated phone lines, with signals traveling through copper wire.

While DSL speeds often max out at around 100 Mbps, fiber internet enables speeds as much as 10 times higher.

How to find the fastest internet providers in your area

Different internet service providers offer varying levels of coverage and advertised speeds will vary by area. Even within areas where a provider offers coverage, though, they may not offer fiber-optic connections to that area yet. You will need to do your research to see which providers service your area and what plans they have available.

Find fast DSL providers near you

You can often find a list of local providers by doing a quick internet search. Frontier offers DSL internet to 25 states across the United States, including many rural areas. You can use our website to check if Frontier offers service in your area and what plans and packages are available. Frontier generally offers three tiers of DSL service, [with the highest DSL speeds capping out at around 115 Mbps with unlimited data].

Find fast fiber-optic internet providers near you

The availability of fiber-optic internet depends on where you live. Even if a provider like Frontier is in your area, they may not offer fiber to the area yet. This is changing rapidly, with plans to offer fiber service to more Americans in the near future.

Find which of the fastest ISPs are available near you


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An internet provider to meet your need for speed

If you’re looking for one of the best internet providers offering high-speed broadband internet in your area, consider Frontier Communications. Frontier is a leading provider of fast internet options for both DSL and fiber-optic customers. For pricing information and to learn more about Frontier’s high-speed internet options in your area, browse our site and learn how lightning-fast internet service can improve your internet experience.