In a high-speed city that never stops, it is only fitting that the availability of high-speed internet is imperative to keep things moving. As a result, there are numerous internet service providers in Illinois, many of which are available in Chicago.
Factors to consider include location, type of internet connections available, download, and upload speeds required to fit your needs, reliability, and what you're willing and able to pay for monthly. With a multitude of internet provider options in Chicago, we're here to help narrow down the choices.
We've reviewed more than 20 of the top providers in Chicago, including each company's coverage area, connection types, speeds, and customer service, to help you make your decision.
The four best internet providers in Chicago
|Everywhere Wireless||AT&T Fiber||Xfinity||WebPass|
|Defining trait||Highest speeds; great customer reviews; locally owned||$100 reward card for qualifying internet contract||Large coverage area||No contract requirement|
|Download speeds (Mbps)||20, 100, 600, 1,000 Mbps||100, 300, 1,000 Mbps||25, 200, 300, 600, 1,000 Mbps||100 to 1,000 Mbps|
|Prices starting at||$19/mo.||$50/mo.||$20/mo.||$58.33/mo. w/contract $70/month w/o contract|
|Contract length||No-contract option||Unlimited||1-year||1-year or no-contract option|
|Data cap||N/A||1 TB or unlimited||1 TB||Unlimited|
All information accurate as of 02/24/2020.
With prices for its fiber internet packages starting at $19 per month and its strong Chicago presence, Everywhere Wireless ranks as our best overall internet provider in Chicago.
Everywhere Wireless is one of the only Chicago internet providers that are only available in Chicago. The company is locally-owned and operated with a sole focus on providing high-speed internet to the city's residents. While there are subscription options available, customers enjoy the no-strings-attached, month-to-month options with Everywhere Wireless.
Everywhere Wireless promises a unique Gigabit Internet Network experience, which means faster speeds than any other provider in the Chicago area, some coming in at up to 1,000 Mbps.
It is important to note that the lower cost packages (starting at $19 per month) do not offer speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. Everywhere Wireless will recommend a package option applicable to your specific internet needs.
Its packages include Basic, Turbo, Extreme, and Gigabit, from lowest to highest cost and speed. By earning nearly five-star reviews on Google Reviews, it is abundantly clear that Everywhere Wireless users are generally happy customers.
AT&T is a brand known across the world. Adding fiber internet options to its wide portfolio of services only strengthened its worldwide presence. The company is known for its special introductory offers, like receiving a $100 rewards card when you sign up for the internet or other offers for higher speed packages for the cost of lower speed packages.
AT&T's Chicago Fiber packages start at $50 per month with a 1-year contract, 1TB data, and 100 Mbps speeds, and goes up to $70 per month with a 1-year contract, 1,000 Mbps speeds, and unlimited data. Because of AT&T's wide variety of service options, it also offers customers bundling opportunities for internet, phone, or television packages.
Yelp's customers don't appear to favor AT&T Internet, which includes its fiber and DSL options, indicated by a less than two-star rating. However, because the fiber and DSL reviews are combined, it appears that many of the not-so-stellar reviews are related to slow DSL speeds.
Xfinity offers an impressive coverage area in Chicago. Unlike the other providers we've reviewed, the company enables a broadband cable internet connection. Its package options begin at $20 per month, but like many others, the cost of the package has a direct relationship to the speeds offered.
The $20 per month package offers up to 25 Mbps download speeds, which will be more than sufficient for some customers while other customers will need their $80 per month package with up to 1,000 Mbps download speeds. All packages are based on a 1-year contract.
There are many Xfinity stores in Chicago and the customer reviews on each vary widely. This is because Xfinity, like AT&T, offers a wide variety of services and equipment to customers. Because its high-performing broadband internet is one of many services offered by Xfinity, Yelp reviews are reflective of that, resulting in somewhere around a mid-tier ranking.
WebPass offers fiber internet to Chicago residents, powered by Google Fiber. Its packages are offered with a no-contract price of $70 per month or $58.33 per month for a one year contract with unlimited data. WebPass also offers early-payment options where customers can pay annually.
Setting them apart from any other internet provider we reviewed, WebPass offers one single package with download speeds ranging from 100 to 1,000 Mbps depending on where you're located and your home's infrastructure. The company is currently available in seven U.S. states, including Illinois.
Customers have indicated favorable views of WebPass, resulting in a 4.5 out of five star review on Yelp. The reviews are full of high praise of the excellent customer service, quick and easy installation, and reliable high-speed internet service.
How we found the best internet providers in Chicago
When we reviewed the most popular internet providers in Chicago to make our top four selections, we looked for a variety of factors.
- Coverage: We delved into the providers that offer wide coverage areas in Chicago. While no single provider seems to offer 100% Chicago coverage, the providers we've chosen offer the largest percentage coverage in Chicago.
- Value: We researched each provider's offerings and the value it provides consumers. We assessed aspects like the range of speeds, contract lengths, data caps, and special offers. The best internet providers in Chicago will come with reliable speeds, fair prices, generous data caps, no hidden fees, and concise agreements.
- Customer Satisfaction: We used customer satisfaction ratings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and J.D. Power to use company reputation as a factor in our evaluation. Higher scoring companies in metrics like reliability, billing, communication, and value were viewed more favorably.
Upon assessment of these rankings and reviews, it is clear that internet service providers predominantly face negative customer reviews. This is sometimes a reflection of the company, but it should also be considered that customers who live outside or on the outskirts of coverage areas may not receive the same speeds as others, leaving them unsatisfied.
What types of internet connections are available in Chicago?
Residents of Chicago have a wide variety of internet connection options, including fiber, cable, satellite, and DSL. Each of these options comes with different speeds, costs, and availability. Customers living in more rural areas of Chicago may have fewer options than those living in the heart of the city.
What should I expect to spend on internet in Chicago?
With over many internet service providers in Chicago, residents can find internet options ranging from $20 to more than $100 per month.
It is also important to remember that in most cases, download speeds will be directly proportional to cost. Lower cost packages tend to offer lower download speeds, while higher-cost packages tend to offer better download speeds. However, this is not always the case and should be reviewed on an individual basis, and based on your own internet and pricing needs.
How do I pick the best internet service provider in Chicago?
Remember that what constitutes the "best" for you may be different than what it means for someone else. First, assess your own needs for the internet, price, and customer service, among others. Research customer reviews and ask for referrals from friends in your area. For more information on how to select the best internet service provider, read this guide.