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San Francisco is in a unique position when it comes to internet access. The city is investing $1.5 billion to build a fiber-optic network that provides all homes, apartments and businesses with high-speed 1 Gbps internet service. Once the plans are complete, San Francisco will be the country's largest city to own and operate its own fiber network — and its residents and visitors will be connected to one of the highest speed networks in the country, regardless of where they're located.
If you're new or moving to town, you'll have access to a variety of San Francisco internet providers that offer some of the fastest speeds in the country for affordable prices. The following is our review of the best San Francisco internet providers and what they have to offer.
|Defining trait||Best for City-Wide Coverage||Best for Satellite Internet||Best for Fiber||Best for Speed|
|Connection type||Cable internet||Satellite||Fiber||Fiber|
Copper and Fiber Hybrid
|Download speeds (Mbps)||25 Mbps|
100 – 200 Mbps
|Fiber: 1 Gbps|
Copper and Fiber/Copper Hybrid: 75 Mbps
|Prices starting at||$29.99 per month||$35 per month||$40 per month||$40 per month (May differ by zip code)|
|Contract length||12 months||24 months or a more expensive no-contract plan||12 months||12 months|
|Data cap||1 TB||12 GB for an entry-level plan, higher data caps available for higher-tier plans||1 TB or unlimited||None|
All information accurate as of 02/20/2020.
Xfinity is at the top of the best San Francisco internet providers list for its wide coverage area, ensuring your new residence will have access to internet service wherever in San Francisco it may be located. Packages not only include home internet, but also offer access to Xfinity's WiFi hotspots throughout the county so you can connect all your devices and save on your data usage, while you're on the go.
If you'd rather avoid compromising your data speeds because of the shared internet connection with other users in the neighborhood, or if you'd like to have a plan that isn't wired to your actual geographical location, satellite internet may be the best choice for you. Viasat's satellite internet service is one option available to all of San Francisco.
San Francisco is building an entire fiber-optic network that will be managed by the city. In the meantime, AT&T offers the best fiber optic service in the area. Fiber optic internet is faster than cable because you won't have to share the broadband with your neighbors. AT&T's San Francisco internet packages and solid customer support are other good reasons why you should include the provider on your list of companies to consider.
If you need the highest speeds possible, Sonic may be the answer. According to the provider, users are able to video chat in 4K, perform 70 GB backups in as little as ten minutes, and download 30 GB games in just a few minutes when using their 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) service.
We analyzed a dozen companies to find the best internet providers in San Francisco. Some of the key features we looked for are:
Streaming movies and downloading games can take up a lot of bandwidth. And if you have several household members on multiple devices, the higher the speed you can afford, the better the streaming. Aim for a service plan of 1000 Mbps if you don't want to experience lag while streaming.
If you're moving to San Francisco, you're in luck. You'll have access to several providers offering 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) service.
Yes, fiber is the fastest option of the two. The reason being the wiring that carries the internet into your home. Fiber optic internet is delivered on a dedicated line straight to you. Broadband cable wires are shared with anyone signed up for the service in your area, which can create a slowdown in speeds if several users in the neighborhood are online at the same time.