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Best internet provider in Portland 2021: Top ISPs

The city of Portland ranks among the best when it comes to providing high-speed internet. Here, we break down our top three picks for internet providers in Portland.

Portland is a digital powerhouse, with some of the fastest available download speeds. There are many internet service providers, but there are only three that offer strong coverage throughout the city. Xfinity and CenturyLink are available to the vast majority of Portland residents, while Earthlink serves less than half the city with just a 45% service area.

With nearly 90% of Oregon's residents connected to broadband internet, the state ranks among the highest in the US when it comes to providing high-speed internet.

Using the latest data available, we have found the cheapest and best internet service providers for your needs, all of which offer great value, affordability, and reliability in the Portland area.

The three best internet providers in Portland

The best Portland internet providers: summed up


XfinityEarthLinkCenturyLink
Defining traitBest for heavy streamingBest dataBest value
Connection typeCable, FiberDSL, FiberDSL, Fiber
Download speeds (Mbps)Up to 2,000 MbpsUp to 1,000 MbpsUp to 1,000 Mbps
Prices starting at$39.99$49.95$45
Contract length12 or 25 months12 months12 months
Data cap1 TBUnlimited1 TB

Xfinity

Best for heavy streaming

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With speeds of up to 2Gbps, Xfinity is excellent for gamers or those who do a lot of video uploads. Many plans require money upfront, although special offers could discount your entire installation cost. Data is capped at a reasonable 1 TB of data  each month.

  • Price: $39.99, $49.99, $54.99, $64.99, $69.99, $70, $79.99, or $299.95 per month
  • Speed and Data: 25, 100, 200, 250, 300, 600, 1,000, or 2,000 Mbps 
  • Plans/Packages
    • Performance Plus 60 Contract – $39.99/month 
    • Performance Starter – $39.99/month 
    • Performance Plus 60 – $49.99/month 
    • Performance Pro 150 Contract – $54.99/month 
    • Performance Pro 150 – $64.99/month
    • Blast! 250 Contract – $69.99/month 
    • Blast! 250 – $79.99/month
    • Gigabit – $70/month 
    • Gigabit Pro – $299.95/month
  • Contract Options: 12 months; 25 months for Gigabit and Gigabit Pro

Earthlink

Best for data

earthlink-internet-review.jpg
Shutterstock

Earthlink offers fiber and DSL internet service to Portland, with plans reaching speeds of up to 1Gbps and contract terms that last 12 months. There are no data caps, which means that you will never be charged for pricey data overages. There is also 24/7 support and a free resource center with anti-spyware and anti-virus tools that are included with your service. Norton 360 and file backup services are also available at an additional cost.

  • Price: $49.95, $59.95, $69.95, $79.95, $89.95, or $99.95 monthly
  • Speed and Data: 15, 30, 80, 100, 200, or 1,000 Mbps
  • Plans/Packages
    • HyperLink 15Mbps – $49.95/month
    • HyperLink 30Mbps – $59.95/month
    • HyperLink 80Mbps – $69.95/month
    • HyperLink 100Mbps – $79.95/month
    • HyperLink 200Mbps – $89.95/month
    • HyperLink 1Gbps – $99.95/month
  • Contract Options: 12 months

CenturyLink

Best overall value

centurylink-phone-screen.jpg
Shutterstock

CenturyLink offers fiber or DSL with home phone services. Coverage is flexible, with speeds up to 100 Mbps for DSL or up to 940 Mbps for fiber internet. Residential plans come with 1TB of data for the monthly data limit. There are no contracts, but you must sign up for paperless billing to benefit from CenturyLink perks. 

  • Price: $49 or $65
  • Speed and Data: 20, 40, 80, 100, 940 Mbps; all plans come with 1TB of data each month
  • Plans/Packages
    • CenturyLink Internet with Price for Life 20 Mbps – $49/month
    • CenturyLink Internet with Price for Life 40 Mbps – $49/month
    • CenturyLink Internet with Price for Life 80 Mbps – $49/month
    • CenturyLink Internet with Price for Life 100 Mbps – $49/month
    • Fiber Gigabit $65/month
  • Contract Options: None

How we found the best internet providers in Portland

In order to determine the best internet providers in Portland, we considered a number of key factors that impact a company's internet service, which include:

  • Coverage: Internet providers can vary from state to state, so we look for the best companies that service Portland, Oregon, with low cost and reliable internet service. Xfinity is known as a national leader for internet, but CenturyLink and EarthLink are also prevalent in Oregon.
  • Value: Reliability and coverage are important, but so is value. With flexible plans, these three providers offer reliable service for everyone from the occasional web browser to the competitive gamer. We also consider things like contract terms, data limits, and extra perks to create a well-rounded portrait of Portland's best internet providers. Some companies like Xfinity offer standard 12-month contract terms, but Earthlink leads the pack with unlimited data on its plans.
  • Customer satisfaction: Internet providers do not typically rate high on the customer satisfaction scale. However, in J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study, Xfinity earns an overall ranking of four out of five stars, with its highest scores in overall satisfaction as well as performance and reliability. CenturyLink holds a three out of five with its lowest scores in performance and reliability, although it maintained average scores in other areas. Earthlink is unrated, but the Better Business Bureau (BBB) awards Earthlink an A rating. CenturyLink has a D and Xfinity's parent company Comcast Corporation has a C because both companies have formal complaints filed against them.

Portland internet FAQ

Who is the best internet provider in Portland?

Xfinity offers the best speeds, but its top tier plans are more expensive than the industry average. Ultimately, the best internet provider for you will depend on what companies service your specific neighborhood and what kinds of plans are available.

How much internet speed do I need?

How much internet you need depends on how many devices are in your home and how you use them. When considering your internet speed needs, consider the following recommendations from CenturyLink:

  • Web browsing: 1 Mbps
  • Online gaming: 1 to 5 Mbps
  • HD video streaming: 5 to 8 Mbps
  • Downloading large files:  50+ Mbps

What are Mbps?

Mbps is the abbreviation for megabits per second. This measures how quickly data is transferred over the internet. The higher Mbps offered in a package, the faster and more reliable the internet connection speed will be.