Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


The best internet providers in Pheonix: Top local ISPs compared

Cable and DSL are the most common types of internet connection available in the Phoenix area, though fiber has been introduced and is slowly expanding in the less rural locations.
Written by Ashlee Tilford, Contributor
CenturyLink | Best for Coverage Area
Best for Coverage Area
View now View at AllConnect
Cox Communications | Best for Internet Package Options
Cox Communications
Best for Internet Package Options
View now View at AllConnect
Phoenix Internet | Best for Locally-Owned and Operated
Phoenix Internet
Best for Locally-Owned and Operated
View now View at Phoenix Internet

Despite a booming, fast-paced population, the average Phoenix resident has limited options for internet providers. Cable and DSL are the most common types of internet connection available in the area, though fiber has been introduced and is slowly expanding in the less rural locations.

Selecting an internet provider in Phoenix can seem like a task with so few options, but that means making a selection that is right for you is all the more important. We've done a thorough review of the internet providers in Phoenix to help you with your selection.

The 3 Best Internet Providers in Phoenix

The Best Phoenix Internet Providers: Summed Up

CenturyLinkCox CommunicationsPhoenix Internet
Defining traitPrice can be locked for life of planMost affordable pricing optionsLocally-owned and operated in Phoenix
Connection typeDSL and FiberCableCable
Download speeds (Mbps)DSL: 100 Mbps
Fiber: 940 Mbps
10, 30, 150, 300 940 Mbps25 Mbps
Prices starting atDSL: $49/mo.
Fiber: $65/mo.
Contract lengthN/A1-yearN/A
Data cap1 TB1 TBUnlimited

All information accurate as of 02/21/2020.

CenturyLink's origins go all the way back to the 1930s when William Clarke and Marie Williams purchased the Oak Ridge Telephone Company. In 1971, it was renamed Century Telephone Enterprises and became what is known today as CenturyLink. The company currently offers DSL internet to over 95% of Phoenix, Arizona.

Its Fiber Gigabit service is newer, with a much smaller coverage area, but CenturyLink expands its fiber coverage area regularly. Additionally, CenturyLink offers phone and television packages.

CenturyLink's DSL packages start at $49 per month for speeds up to 100 Mbps and Fiber Gigabit packages starting at $65 per month for speeds up to 940 Mbps.

Its user-friendly website includes a tool to help you decide what speeds you truly require for your internet-usage needs. This helps to ensure you do not pay for a package with way more speed than you need or that you do not sign up for a package that doesn't offer the speeds you need.

Unfortunately, CenturyLink does not come out shining in customer reviews. Yelp reviews give them a low one out of five stars, with customers claiming poor speeds and subpar service. Some customers report that the highest speeds are only available within close proximity to CenturyLink and that those a bit farther out struggle to get adequate speeds. It is important to remember that your unique usage will determine your speed needs. This should be assessed before selecting an internet service provider in Phoenix.

Cox Communications is one of two primary internet service providers in Phoenix, Arizona, based on coverage.

Its cable internet packages start at $29 per month for up to 10 Mbps download speeds (the Cox Internet Starter 10), and go all the way to the Gigablast package at $99 per month for up to 940 Mbps download speeds.

Its Panoramic Wifi, offered as an add-on to any package, is an all-in-one modem and router that acts as the hub for your entire home's wifi.

Also offered for all packages, Cox Complete Care is a hassle-free support service to help resolve any of your internet questions, troubleshooting, etc.

Unlimited data gives customers the peace of mind of ever having to worry about their data usage. All Cox Communications' internet packages are based on a 12-month contract.

Much like its main competitor CenturyLink, Cox Communications suffers a bad rap on Yelp. Customers have rated the Cox Communications in Phoenix a one out of five stars. As is the case with competing internet service providers, these reviews include all services provided, including internet, phone, television, and home security. Customers complain of frustrations with customer service and feeling a lack of internet options in their area.

Phoenix Internet is one of the only internet service providers we reviewed that is exclusively located in Phoenix and focuses solely on providing fixed wireless cable internet to Phoenix residents. Fixed wireless allows Phoenix Internet to provide non-satellite coverage to rural areas.

While its website did not include much on the company's history and isn't as user-friendly and informative as its competitors, we were able to find that it offers high-speed internet packages starting at $50 per month and promises coverage to many areas that are not serviced by competitors.

Customers also benefit from unlimited data and speed up to 25 Mbps.

Phoenix Internet fares only slightly better than its competitors on Yelp with a two out of five-star review. Though some complaints are related to customer service, most are related to a lack of speed.

How We Found the Best Internet Providers in Phoenix

  • Coverage. We looked for providers who offer the largest coverage areas in Phoenix. While no single provider seems to offer 100% Phoenix coverage, the providers we've chosen offer the largest percentage coverage.
  • Value. We researched each provider's offerings and the value they offer consumers. We assessed things like range of speeds, contract lengths, data caps, and special offers. The best internet providers in Phoenix typically offer 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 rating. Because reviews are negatively biased on the whole, and because smaller, locally-owned companies like Phoenix Internet have not been rated by ASCI or J.D. Power, we relied heavily on customer review sites and compared providers against one another for a more accurate comparison.

Why do many customers complain that they are not receiving the promised download speeds?

The distinction of a promised speed versus an "up to" speed is a very important one. None of the internet providers reviewed promise certain speeds. Instead, the companies give an "up to" speed that is dependent upon factors like location.

If you assume that because a package offers "up to 1,000 Mbps" that you will definitely get 1,000 Mbps speeds, you may find yourself disappointed if your exact location affects that speed. Speak with internet service provider representatives to discuss your specific speed needs, locations, and what you should expect.

Can I use my own modem and/or router with these internet providers?

Though the internet providers offer their own recommended modem/router combinations, most offer customers the flexibility of using their own. It is important to note that if you use your own equipment, you will likely not receive technical support for the equipment from the internet provider. Additionally, the companies do not provide any warranty on the equipment, if it is your own.

How can I be sure I am getting the right speeds?

The true test of speed is actual usage. Are you able to perform all the tasks you need and desire to perform using your internet? For example, if streaming television is a high-priority need, are you able to do this with your current speed? If so, we consider that a success.

If you would like additional information on the speeds you are receiving at any given time, you can ask your internet provider for usage reports or download any number of speed test apps, like Ookla, to test the speeds yourself.

You may be surprised that you can achieve your internet usage goals with much smaller Mbps than you imagined, which could eliminate your need for higher speeds or a more expensive package.

Editorial standards