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Best internet providers in Seattle: Top local ISPs compared

We dive into one of the nation's fastest-growing cities, Seattle, and pick out the best internet provider.

There are few places in the country changing at the speed of Seattle. According to The Seattle Times, its population grew 18.7% from 2010 - 2018, making it the fastest-growing city in the U.S. over that time. Along with the growth, the city wants to ensure that technology and infrastructure can keep up.

Several internet providers serve the Seattle area to provide connectivity to everyone. The city of Seattle wants to make technology accessible to all as well, offering programs that provide discounted smartphones and free computer access. And residents who cannot afford home broadband service may qualify for low-cost internet access for as little as $10 per month through a city program. Take a closer look at the best Seattle internet providers.

Let's see how the top contenders in Seattle compare:


CenturyLink

Frontier Fiber

Wave Broadband

Xfinity

Defining trait

Best Long-Term Deal

Best Speed Options

Best Local Provider

Best Bundles

Connection type

Fiber and DSL

Fiber

Fiber

Broadband Cable

Download speeds (Mbps)

  • 100Mbps
  • 940Mbps
  • 50Mbps
  • 500Mbps
  • 940Mbps
  • 100Mbps
  • 1000Mbps (1GB)
  • 25Mbps
  • 300Mbps
  • 600Mbps
  • 1000Mbps (1GB)

Prices starting at

$49 per month for life

$29.99 per month

$69.95 per month*

$29.99 per month

Contract length

None

24 months

None

12 months

Data cap

None

None

  • 100Mbps plan, limited to 400GB data cap
  • 1000Mbps plan, unlimited data, although speed is throttled after 2TB

1TB per month to unlimited, depending on the internet service plan

See at Centurylink

CenturyLink

Best long-term deal

CenturyLink
CenturyLink Internet

CenturyLink offers unique internet services to Seattle customers. When you sign up for a plan, they'll guarantee the same price "for life." The Price For Life plan locks in your monthly price as long as you keep your plan current. Here's more of what CenturyLink has to offer in Seattle.


Features:

  • Price: Two high-speed internet plans of $49 and $65 per month are available. Either are guaranteed for as long as you keep the plan through the Price For Life offer.
  • Speed and data: CenturyLink's $49 internet service plan provides speeds of up to 100Mbps. Or you can opt for 940Mbps download and upload speeds in the higher-priced plan.
  • Plans/ packages: Add unlimited local and nationwide calling to the 100Mbps internet plan for $85 per month.
  • Contract options: CenturyLink won't require you to sign a long-term contract, but they do guarantee the price of your service plan as long as you keep it.

See at Frontier

Frontier Fiber

Best speed options

Frontier Fiber
Frontier Communications

Frontier Fiber is available in downtown Seattle and Bellevue, Edmonds, Kirkland, Bothell, Lynnwood, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, and Redmond.


Features:

  • Price: Frontier has three pricing tiers of $29.99, $39.99 and $74.99 per month.
  • Speed and data: Frontier doesn't cap data in any of its three internet plans, which come with 50Mbps for the $29.99 per month plan, followed by 500Mbps and 1000Mbps (1GB) speeds.
  • Plans/ packages: The Double Plan includes 500/500Mbps Internet and FiOS TV (Basic) for $64.98 per month and the Triple Plan with Voice, Gig Connection internet and FiOS TV (Basic) for $109.98 per month.
  • Contract options: To lock in the best price, Frontier FiOS requires a 24-month contract.

Wave Broadband

Best local provider

Wave Broadband
Wave Broadband

For an internet provider that knows all about the Seattle neighborhood you live in, Wave Broadband is a great choice. Wave offers local customer support 24/7 to provide help anytime you need. 

Wave also has a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you're not happy, you can cancel the service and receive a refund within the 30-day limit with no obligations.


Features:

  • Price: Wave offers two service plans -- High Speed 100 Internet is regularly $69.95 per month, and GigaBit Internet is $99.95 per month. The internet provider has specials as low as $19.95 per month for the first six months for new subscribers.
  • Speed and data: Expect speeds of 100 Mbps when you sign up for the High Speed 100 Internet plan and 1000Mbps with the GigaBit Internet plan.
  • Plans/ packages: You can create a TV bundle starting at $19.95/mo for six months besides the two internet plans. Add equipment, such as TiVo Streaming DVR to personalize your TV bundle.
  • Contract options: Wave doesn't lock customers into contracts. You can cancel at any time.

See at Xfinity

Xfinity

Best options

Xfinity
Shutterstock

Xfinity Comcast delivers cable internet to much of the Greater Seattle area, including downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Renton, Vashon and Kent.


Features:

  • Price: Internet prices start at $29.99 per month for the Performance Starter Plus plan. You'll get 25Mbps download speeds and can add a Flex 4K streaming device for free.
  • Speed and data: Xfinity claims the Performance Starter Plus plan's 25Mbps is enough for one to two individuals online at once. Data is capped to 1TB per month.
  • Plans/ packages: Xfinity bundles high-speed Internet at various speeds from 25Mbps to 1000Mbps with phone service and cable TV for $34.99 to $159.99 per month, depending on the cable channels.
  • Contract options: Internet service comes with a 12-month contract, while cable TV requires a 24-month commitment.

How we found the best internet provider in Seattle

We analyzed several companies to find the best internet companies in Seattle. 

Some of the key features we examined are:

  • Coverage: Seattle and its suburbs are growing every day. We focused on internet providers with a wide coverage area to ensure that the plans and offers reviewed are available to most Seattle residents.
  • Value: We weighed features such as speeds, data caps, bundles available and contract lengths to determine which internet providers in Seattle provide customers with the most value for the monthly price.
  • Customer Satisfaction. Consumer satisfaction ratings from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and J.D. Power are an important part of the decision-making process on which services and products are the best. While internet service provider ratings are mediocre across the board, we analyzed each internet provider individually by comparing the company to industry averages.

Seattle Internet FAQ

How much download speed do I need to stream music and movies?

The speed you need for streaming depends on how many people will be streaming at once in your household. A service plan of 1000Mbps would be ideal to avoid lag times, although 100Mbps could work if more than one device isn't streaming high-definition movies.

How fast is internet service in Seattle?

Seattle residents are in luck -- fiber is available in most neighborhoods. Many in the area are likely to have access to high-speed internet service as fast as 1000 Mbps (1Gbps).

Is fiber internet faster than broadband cable?

Yes, fiber is faster than broadband cable. Fiber-optic cable can carry more data faster and straight to your home. Broadband cable is shared with your neighbors -- the more neighbors online, the slower your speed is likely to be.

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