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Columbus, Ohio is home to many internet providers, but not all of them serve the city equally. There are numerous rural areas that are prone to spotty service and lack of coverage, so it's important to know your options when selecting a new internet service provider.
In addition to national powerhouse companies like AT&T and Spectrum, Bresco Broadland is a local company that provides Ohio internet service. Because Bresco Broadland has a unique knowledge of the area and the cheapest rates, it could be a great option for you.
Based on our research, these are our top three picks for the best internet providers in Columbus, Ohio.
Spectrum is one of the country's largest and most reliable internet companies, and it's no different in Columbus, Ohio. Spectrum offers DSL internet service for all the city. As an additional perk, all plans include Time Warner WiFi hotspots.
You can choose from three plans, including the Standard, Ultra, and Gig Internet Plans, with 10 free Security Suite licenses and 24/7 customer support. Plans also come with a free internet modem and no data caps. Spectrum also offers up to $500 in contract buyout support.
Price: $49.99 per month
Speed and Data: 100Mbps, 400 or 940Mbps; unlimited data
Plans/Packages: Spectrum Standard, Ultra Internet, or Gig Internet
Contract Options: 12 months
AT&T is available throughout most of Columbus, Ohio, although fiber-optic may be limited in some areas. Because of the extent of coverage in Ohio, AT&T is a popular choice for internet service.
AT&T does not require activation fees when you order service online, and you may even be able to take advantage of speed upgrades, with maximum download speeds reaching up to 1000Mbps. With AT&T's national WiFi HotSpot Network, you also have internet wherever you go.
For additional savings, you can bundle your internet service with DirecTV through AT&T. Home phone service is also offered in the bundling options.
Price: $50 to $70/mo., plus $10/mo. equipment fee and no activation fee when purchased online
Speed and data: 100, 300, or 1000Mbps; 1TB per month for Internet 100 and 300 plans with overage charges; unlimited data for Internet 1000
Bresco Broadland is a local internet service provider exclusively servicing Ohio, covering 64 zip codes in total. It offers fixed wireless internet service, which unlike DSL or fiber-optic technology can perform up to 30 times faster, according to the company.
Installation is free with a contract, but you will incur a regular $10 monthly fee for your managed wireless router service. Download speeds range from 6 to 50 Mbps, while upload speeds vary from 2 to 5 Mbps. Bresco Broadland also offers television services for extra savings, when you choose an internet and television bundle.
· Price: $39 to $89/mo.
· Speed and Data: 6, 15, 25, 35, and 50 Mbps with unlimited data
· Plans/Packages: Basic, Standard, Super, Extreme, or Ultra Speed
How we found the best internet providers in Columbus
With multiple providers to pick from, this is how we determined the best internet providers for residents in Columbus, Ohio.
Coverage. Even larger, well-known companies don't always service all parts of major cities so it was important that we pick providers with the greatest range of coverage for Columbus residents.
Value. To find the best value internet service provider, we considered factors such as download speeds, data overages, sign-up bonuses or perks, and contract terms.
Customer Satisfaction. J.D. Power's 2019 Internet Provider Satisfaction Study awarded AT&T second-place honors with perfect scores across the board except in performance and reliability. Spectrum received a three out of five rating, while Bresco Broadland was unranked, likely due to the fact that it is a small, local provider. AT&T also receives top marks from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), while Spectrum falls a few spots further down.
Bresco Broadland is also unrated here.
What is the best internet provider for me?
Columbus, Ohio, the best internet provider depends on your location, internet usage needs, and budget considerations. These and other factors are what we considered when selecting our top three providers.
Should I choose DSL or fiber-optic internet?
DSL and fiber-optic are significantly different forms of internet service. DSL uses a phone wall jack to power internet service to your home. Fiber-optic internet uses light to transmit data through fibers, which typically translates into faster, more reliable speeds. However, not only is Fiber service somewhat limited in coverage, but it's generally more expensive.
If you are a casual or light internet user, the excessive performance speeds may not matter as much compared to the savings of a DSL plan.
How do I purchase internet service?
Once you have reviewed and selected an internet service provider that fits your needs and is offered in your area, most providers offer options to sign up for a plan on their websites.
Alternatively, you can also call the service provider directly for a quote and to discuss setup and installation.