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If you're a resident of El Paso, you're in luck: as the 20th largest city in the U.S., El Paso has multiple internet service providers (ISPs) competing for your business. Finding the best one for your own particular needs requires some research -- starting with this review.
You can choose from DSL, cable, satellite, and fiber options for your service, depending on where you live and how you use the internet. We've selected the best options for each type of connection to help you choose from a range of service plans.
AT&T fiber-optics is only available in about 25% of households in El Paso. You'll need to talk to a customer service rep to see if fiber is available at your home. But never fear: AT&T's DSL coverage goes anywhere there is a phone line, and unless you are a hard-core gamer, most will be satisfied with the download speeds. In an industry not known for stellar customer service, AT&T ranks high. It's number two on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) list, just one point behind Verizon Fios (which is not available in El Paso), so chances are your interactions with reps will be good ones. AT&T offers some very attractive packages: bundling TV with your internet will actually cost you less than the stand-alone internet for your first year.
Price: $40-$70, plus equipment and installation fees
Speed and Data: download speed 25 -1000Mbps -- 1TB data
Plans/Packages: add TV for a total cost of $39.99 - $54.99 for one year
Unless you're one of the few who can access a fiber-optic connection through AT&T, it's worth looking at Spectrum for the speed and reliability of its cable network. Spectrum advertises speeds of up to 940Mbps, more than enough for a multiple-device household or hard-core gamer, and according to the FCC, it meets that goal nearly 75% of the time. Spectrum's prices are comparable to others in this market, and it offers a few nice perks you don't often see: no data caps, meaning your connection won't get throttled with heavy use.
The company also stands out with its loose contract requirements: price guarantee and no contract. Even better, if you're stuck in a contract with another ISP, it will supply up to $500 to help you get out of it. The only issue we could find was some mediocre rankings for customer service. J.D. Power ranks Spectrum near the bottom of its list, and ACSI gives it 59 points, below the industry average of 62.
Speed and Data: download speed 100 - 940Mbps -- no data cap
Plans/Packages: Bundle internet with 125+ TV channels and unlimited nationwide calling for $99.97/month for 12 months
Contract Options: no contract, but prices are good for one year
Although satellite internet technology can't give you the speed of, say, fiber-optic cable, there are times when it's your best option. For those living on the outskirts of El Paso or in pockets where cable, DSL, and fiber don't reach, Viasat offers plans that can give you reliable internet access -- but at a price.
Viasat's four monthly plans are not priced as competitively as AT&T or Spectrum, but the company offers reliable internet with top speeds comparable to DSL and cable. Viasat plans should be more than enough speed and data for most internet users. You can also find TV and phone bundling options.
Price: $50 - $200/month
Speed and Data: 12 - 100Mbps; after reaching monthly data allowance, you will experience slowdowns
Plans/Packages: Add DIRECTV for $35/monthp & phone for $19.99/month
Contract Options: 24 months, unless you choose a no-contract option, which requires a $300 non-refundable payment
How we found the best internet providers in El Paso
When looking for the best internet service providers in El Paso, we assessed several things. Of course, we looked at the speed and reliability of the connections. We also compared plan prices to see if there were any hidden gems to unearth. Lastly, we reviewed online customer reviews and customer service rankings to see which ISPs were doing the best job there.
Coverage: All our winning choices offer nearly universal coverage in the El Paso region, except for AT&T's fiber network. Although only a quarter of El Paso's homes are currently wired for fiber, you can have comparable speeds with extensive coverage with non-fiber options. Our top choices offer coverage that extends well into the El Paso suburbs and beyond.
Value: In considering value, there are several things to keep in mind: range of speeds, package perks, contract lengths, and data caps. AT&T has a slight edge over the competition for value in our ranking, especially if you bundle additional services with your internet. It's worth noting, however, those tempting introductory prices usually go away after the first year, and probably don't provide a complete picture of what you'll be paying when you factor in taxes, equipment rentals, and installation fees.
Customer Satisfaction: The ISP industry historically has not excelled in customer satisfaction reporting. Consumer Reports, in its Customer Service rankings of 22 leading industries, placed internet providers fourth from the bottom. We looked at customer satisfaction ratings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), J.D. Power, and assessed our choices against industry averages.
Who has the cheapest internet in El Paso?
We found AT&T to offer the best options, price-wise, but only by a hair. Since your circumstances and needs are unique, you may find another ISP has plans better suited to your situation.
What is the best type of connection: DSL, cable, satellite, or fiber-optic?
It depends on what you're looking for. Fiber-optic, the newest technology, has the potential for the highest speeds. If cost is your biggest concern, DSL and cable are your best choices for reasonably-priced plans.
If you're worried about serviceability and left without options due to where you live, satellite offers the ability to connect even if you're in a rural area or out of the reach of most networks.
Is it better to buy or lease my modem and router?
Most providers offer monthly leasing fees in the $10 range -- and that can add up, especially considering you can purchase both from Best Buy or Amazon for under $100. But keep in mind if anything goes wrong with your router or modem and you're leasing, your provider will replace the defective item. If you bought it, you're out of luck.