Best Internet Providers in Seattle


Any city that can claim to be the birthplace of Starbucks and Jimi Hendrix must be doing something right. However, Seattle isn’t exactly in the espresso lane regarding high-speed internet options. While the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue region is among the country’s top 20 most populous metro areas, it could only muster a 98th-place finish among the fastest cities in the US for broadband.

That’s based on the latest data from the speed-testing company Ookla, which tracks the top 100 cities in the US and categorizes them based on their median download speeds. According to Ookla’s fourth-quarter report for 2022, Seattle placed in the bottom five, three spots below Dallas and just barely above Denver, with a median download speed of just over 109 megabits per second. 

The Ookla report also noted that Seattle’s fastest provider, based on median download speed, was Astound Broadband (also known as Wave), a cable internet provider whose average speed was approximately 168Mbps. As we’ve written many times in CNET’s broadband coverage, cable internet connections — though offering fast speeds and decent reliability — aren’t the speediest mode available. That claim belongs to fiber internet. And while you can get fiber internet service in and around Seattle, each provider, including CenturyLink and Ziply Fiber, also supplies internet service via DSL connections, which are far slower than fiber and less dependable than cable. That brings those average speeds back down to earth — and it also means that there’s a lot to keep track of if you’re shopping for a new internet plan in Seattle. 

Best internet providers in the Emerald City

Whether you’ve relocated to the area or are a long-time Seattleite, you’ve got some options for getting connected. Let’s dive into your choices and explore Seattle internet providers.

CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber: Best internet provider in Seattle for fiber service

Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Price range: $49 to $65 a month
  • Speed range: 200 to 940Mbps
  • Highlights: No contracts, no data caps, and no equipment rental fee (gigabit plan only) 

To be clear, not all CenturyLink service in Seattle is fiber-optic internet service. According to the Federal Communication Commission’s data, you’ll still find DSL connections in many areas across the city, perhaps as much as 75% (though, admittedly, those June 2021 numbers aren’t exactly current). But if you can get CenturyLink’s fiber service, you’ll find a quality offering that features unlimited data and doesn’t ask you to sign a term agreement to get the lowest price. It’s also called Quantum Fiber in some, but not all, areas — don’t ask, it’s just rebranding. 

Expect especially good value with the gigabit plan, which offers matching download and upload speeds of up to 940Mbps for $65 per month. That’s an excellent value that comes to 7 cents per Mbps, which is strong even by fiber standards. By comparison, cable plans typically run between 20 and 50 cents per Mbps, which goes even higher once the promo price wears off after a year. On top of that, your modem rental is included with CenturyLink’s gigabit plan, which costs an additional $15 monthly if you choose the 200Mbps option.

Most of CenturyLink’s fiber service will be in and around Seattle, but some people will find availability as far south as Bonney Lake, Gig Harbor and Orting. You can also find it east of Seattle in Issaquah or west of the city in Poulsbo, just off Liberty Bay.

Read our CenturyLink home internet review.


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Xfinity: Best internet provider in Seattle for availability

Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Price range: $25 to $300 a month
  • Speed range: 75 to 6,000Mbps
  • Highlights: A wide range of plans to help you customize for your needs, good customer satisfaction numbers
  • Special offers: Bundle discounts with Xfinity Mobile

You’ll have to look far and wide before finding a provider that offers as many options as Comcast’s cable internet service, Xfinity. Seven different tiers help you find the right fit for your household, from one of the area’s cheapest internet plans (75Mbps for $25 a month) to the region’s fastest residential offering (6,000Mbps for $300 per month). 

Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro is notable not just for its superior speed but also because it’s Xfinity’s only fiber-to-the-home product. That means you’ll get symmetrical download and upload speed, whereas all other Xfinity plans will have a max upload speed of 10 to 35Mbps. That said, Gigabit Pro is limited to select addresses, so there’s a good chance it isn’t available at yours. It isn’t exactly cheap, either — it’s one of the most expensive broadband plans out there. You’ll get a lot, but you’ll pay a lot, too.

Xfinity also does well in customer satisfaction surveys. It scored two points above the industry average in the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index report and finished above average in three of four regions in the J.D. Power study for 2022.

So why isn’t it the best overall? Cable, contracts and caps. Cable internet, while reliable, doesn’t perform as well as fiber internet, with upload speeds limited to 35Mbps. Also, to get the best promo rates with Xfinity, you’ll have to sign a contract (usually one year, but Gigabit Pro requires a two-year commitment). Finally, some Xfinity plans have a monthly data cap of 1.2 terabytes. You can sign up for unlimited data, but that’ll add extra fees to your monthly bill. 

Read our Xfinity home internet review.


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T-Mobile Home Internet: Best internet provider in Seattle for home cellular service

Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Price range: $50 a month ($30 for eligible T-Mobile Magenta Max customers)
  • Speed range: 33 to 182Mbps
  • Highlights: Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees
  • Special offers: Price Lock guarantee, 15-day Test Drive, free Paramount Plus for 12 months, $10 off per month on Philo TV for a year 

T-Mobile has been aggressively campaigning for its home internet product. Exhibit A: Its recent “Internet Freedom” push included the tagline, “Free yourself from internet BS.” T-Mobile Home Internet is appealingly simple, as one monthly fee covers all your equipment needs, and you won’t have to worry about term agreements, data caps or added fees. Customers seem to respond well, too: T-Mobile Home Internet was second only to Verizon Fios in the ACSI survey of Americans’ satisfaction with their ISPs.

Additionally, T-Mobile offers a $20 discount for eligible Magenta Max customers. All new customers, no matter if they’re also wireless customers or not, can try the service for 15 days without penalty and with a full money-back guarantee.

The biggest catch with T-Mobile Home Internet is that it still isn’t widely available. While the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue market is among the 40 million households that can get it, you’ll still need to determine if it’s available at your address. For example, I can get T-Mobile 5G cell service at home, but my address still isn’t eligible for T-Mobile Home Internet. To follow up on your household’s availability, plug in your address (T-Mobile customers can also use their mobile phone number) on the T-Mobile Home Internet site.

Read our T-Mobile Home Internet overview.


Astound Broadband/Wave: Best internet provider in Seattle for cheap internet

Sarah Tew/CNET

  • Price range: $25 to $65 a month 
  • Speed range: 100 to 1,200Mbps
  • Highlights: Ultracompetitive promo rates, no contract requirements

This cable internet provider is tough to beat for competitive starting rates. Case in point: Its cheapest plan matches the most affordable Xfinity tier at $25 but is notably faster (Xfinity’s $25 plan features 75Mbps download speed, while Astound gets your speeds up to 100Mbps). That means you’re getting a decent value of 25 cents per Mbps compared to Xfinity’s higher cost per Mbps of 27 cents.

You can emphasize that value further when you look at Astound’s fastest plan, which offers 1,200Mbps for $65 per month. That comes out to a stellar 5 cents per Mbps. That’s the best value you’ll find from any plan, no matter the provider, throughout the Seattle area.

But (and you had to feel it coming), there’s a caveat: Astound Broadband features some of the highest rate increases among ISPs. Per the company’s rate card, that $25 plan could jump up as high as $70 monthly. While a spokesperson for the company told CNET that most customers would not see a full increase to the standard retail rate, I think you need to be aware of what might await you after the rosy returns of the first 24 months.

Read our Astound Broadband review.


Overview of Seattle internet providers

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
Astound Broadband/Wave Cable $25-$65 100-1,200Mbps $12 (skippable) 400GB-Unlimited None 7
CenturyLink DSL/fiber $49-$65 20-940Mbps $15 (skippable) None None 6.7
Google Fiber Webpass Fixed wireless $63-$70 1,000Mbps None None None 7.4
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless $50 33-182Mbps None None None 7.4
Xfinity Cable $25-$300 75-6,000Mbps $14 (skippable) 1.2TB 1-2 years for some plans 7

*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 10/12/22.

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Other available Seattle residential internet providers

The city set on Puget Sound has more ISPs seeking your business than the four we highlighted above. Here are some of the other internet providers in Seattle. 

  • Google Fiber Webpass: Don’t be confused by the fiber in the name. This is a fixed-wireless option from Google Fiber that’s focused solely on apartment buildings. Even though it’s not fiber internet, it’s still plenty zippy: It offers symmetrical gigabit speeds for $70 a month (or an average of $63 a month if you sign up for the yearly plan via a full, $750 upfront payment). Webpass also features free installation, unlimited data and no equipment fees. If your building cannot support the full gig speeds, Webpass will reduce the pricing. You can find Google Fiber Webpass within Seattle city limits, including the neighborhoods of Belltown, Capitol Hill, First Hill, Fremont, Queen Anne and Uptown.
  • Satellite internet: This always feels like cheating, but it must be said that no matter the city or area in which you live in the US, this mode of internet connectivity is always an option. Is it a great option for Seattle residents? If you live in the city, no. You’ll have much faster and cheaper choices available to you. Even areas south of Tacoma or north of Everett should have some viable alternatives, but if you find yourself in a rural town with limited options, you might consider it. HughesNet and Viasat will be your top picks, although both require you to commit to a two-year contract. A more intriguing possibility is Starlink, which is not a viable option at the moment — the Starlink availability map notes the Seattle area is on the waitlist until later in 2023. Once it arrives, it promises faster download speeds and no term agreement.
  • Verizon 5G Home Internet: Why choose Verizon’s fixed wireless home internet product over T-Mobile Home Internet? On the plus side, it has a much faster average download speed (300Mbps) than T-Mobile and, if you’re among eligible Verizon Wireless subscribers, it’s cheaper too, with the same “all-in” approach where equipment, installation and fees are all covered in your flat, monthly rate. Where it falls short of T-Mobile is availability. Its heavy reliance on its 5G network — T-Mobile uses its 4G LTE network more aggressively, in addition to 5G, to boost its coverage territory — means it doesn’t quite hit the same reach. 
  • Ziply Fiber: Despite being relatively new to the game — it launched services in the middle of 2020 — Ziply Fiber is a viable option if you’re eligible for its fiber internet, which boasts unlimited data and no long-term contract requirements. However, despite its name, some of its footprint includes the much slower DSL type. A Ziply spokesperson tells CNET that the company is actively building a fiber alternative for those communities, including over 80 projects in Seattle and the greater Northwest. Also of note, Ziply Fiber is also rolling out several multigigabit plans. Confirmed cities around Seattle where multigig plans are currently available include Bellevue, Bothell, Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Kenmore, Kirkland, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Redmond, Shoreline, Snohomish and Woodinville.
The Space Needle and the Seattle skyline with Mount Rainier in the distance.

Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Seattle internet details at a glance

As any good shopper knows, you must look beyond the brand name to know if you’re getting a good deal. The same is true when evaluating internet providers in Seattle. You need to go beyond our overview to get more specific details about the available internet plans in the Emerald City. So let’s dive deeper into the cheapest internet plans in the area and the fastest internet plans you can get in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue region.

Average pricing for Seattle internet providers 

When you consider the starting prices of all ISPs (meaning, the promo prices, not the regular rates that take hold after the introductory rate), the average price for internet service in Seattle is just under $42 per month. That’s about the middle of the pack among the cities CNET has examined up to this point. That includes Brooklyn ($36 a month), Los Angeles ($38 monthly), Denver ($39 per month), San Francisco ($40 a month), New York ($41 per month), AustinDallas and Philadelphia ($43 a month), Houston ($45 per month), Phoenix ($46 monthly), Atlanta ($47 a month), Orlando and San Antonio ($48 per month) and, all at $50 a month, Charlotte, Chicago, Las VegasSan Diego and St. Louis

But digging in a bit on specific options, you’ll find the lowest starting price of $20 a month shared by three providers: Astound Broadband, Xfinity and Ziply Fiber. Ziply Fiber features 50Mbps download speeds at that price point, while Xfinity starts at 75Mbps. Astound Broadband beats them both by offering 100Mbps. However, it does have a data cap (400GB) that is less than half of Xfinity’s data cap (1.2TB). Ziply Fiber, on the other hand, features unlimited data. So, depending on your household’s usage and needs, you have a few elements to consider. 

Cheap internet options in Seattle

Also, whenever talking about cheap internet, we should always mention there are additional, low-income internet options. Such is the case in Seattle. All providers we’ve mentioned participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which gives eligible low-income households a $30 monthly discount for high-speed internet. You can use the ACP towards any internet plan (not just the cheapest ones) from participating providers. Additionally, multiple providers joined forces with the White House on its plans to address the digital divide. They will make available plans of at least 100Mbps that customers get for free once they join the ACP discount. 

Cheapest internet plans in Seattle

Provider Starting monthly price Standard monthly price Max download speed Monthly equipment fee Data cap
Ziply Fiber 50/50 $20 $40 50Mbps $10 None
Xfinity Connect $25 $50 75Mbps $14 (skippable) 1.2TB
Astound Broadband/Wave $25 $70 100Mbps $12 (skippable) 400GB
HughesNet $45 $65 25Mbps $15 or $450 one-time purchase 2 years
CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber $49 $49 200Mbps $15 (skippable) None
T-Mobile Home Internet $50 $50 182Mbps None None
Verizon 5G Home Internet $50 $50 300Mbps None None
Viasat $50 $70 12Mbps $13 or $299 one-time purchase 2 years
Google Fiber Webpass $70 ($63 with year commitment) $70 ($63 with year commitment) 1,000Mbps None None

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*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 10/12/22.

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Internet speeds in Seattle

As I mentioned near the start of this article, Seattle isn’t exactly lighting things up regarding average download speeds. That said, you can find plenty of options if you feel the need for extreme speed. The main caveat is that some of the fastest plans in the area aren’t widely available throughout the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue region. But some of our friends in the Bellevue area, for example, should have access to Ziply Fiber’s fastest, multi-gig plans. Select addresses throughout Seattle may be able to access Comcast’s Gigabit Pro plan, which is the absolute fastest in the area (at least for the moment), with symmetrical speeds of 6,000Mbps. 

Download speeds

Seattle – 93 Mbps

WA – 125 Mbps

US – 133 Mbps

Upload speeds

Seattle – 36 Mbps

WA – 38 Mbps

US – 46 Mbps

*Data sourced from M-LAB speed tests taken by real users in Seattle.

Fastest internet providers in Seattle

Provider Max download speed Max upload speed Starting monthly price Data cap Contract
Xfinity Gigabit Pro 6,000Mbps 6,000Mbps $300 1.2TB 2 years
Ziply Fiber 5 Gig 5,000Mbps 5,000Mbps $300 None None
Ziply Fiber 2 Gig 2,000Mbps 2,000Mbps $120 None None
Astound Broadband/Wave 1,200Mbps 50Mbps $65 None None
Xfinity Gigabit Extra 1,200Mbps 35Mbps $80 None None
Ziply Fiber Gig 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps $60 None None
Google Fiber Webpass 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps $70 ($63 with year commitment) None None
Xfinity Ultrafast 1,000Mbps 20Mbps $75 None None
CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber 940Mbps 940Mbps $65 None None
Astound Broadband/Wave 940Mbps 20Mbps $55 None None

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*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 10/12/22.

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What’s the bottom line on Seattle internet providers?

If you’ve been keeping up with CNET’s coverage of the best internet providers across the country — and I certainly hope you have — you may have noticed there are fewer options in Seattle than you find in other big US cities. On the other hand, Seattle can brag that it’s got both cheaper internet options than most towns and more multigig providers. They’re spread out throughout the area, but they’re there. Xfinity’s seven different cable internet plans are the most widely available in Seattle but Astound Broadband’s four cable internet tiers are cheaper and don’t require you to sign a contract to get the lowest price. But as we always say, if you’re serviceable for fiber internet — and in Seattle, that includes CenturyLink, Ziply Fiber or, in rarer cases, Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan — that should be your top option. 

Best internet providers in Seattle FAQs

What’s the cheapest internet in Seattle?

On the surface, it’s a close race between Astound Broadband, Xfinity and Ziply Fiber. Each provider offers a cheap internet plan from $20 to $25 monthly. However, each provider’s cheapest plan features a different speed. Ziply Fiber features a plan with a maximum download speed of 50Mbps for $20, so that’s technically the cheapest. Xfinity offers 75Mbps for a $25-per-month fee. Astound Broadband, however, beats them both, with a download speed of 100Mbps for $25 per month. In terms of value, the Astound option may not be the cheapest, but it’s got a lower cost per Mbps of 25 cents compared to 40 cents for Ziply Fiber and 33 cents for Xfinity.

Can you get fiber internet in Seattle?

Yes. Both CenturyLink and Ziply Fiber offer 100% fiber-optic internet plans featuring symmetrical download and upload speeds. However, neither provider exclusively offers fiber plans. Each also includes DSL connections within their networks, so you must ensure your address is serviceable for the higher-quality fiber internet, not just DSL.

Which provider offers the fastest internet plan in Seattle?

The fastest residential internet plan you can find in Seattle is currently Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan, which features 6,000Mbps of symmetrical speed. However, since most of Xfinity’s network is a hybrid fiber-cable connection, you will need to reach out to Comcast Xfinity (and schedule a site survey) to determine if your address is eligible for the plan. For most residents in the Seattle area, the more accessible multi-gig plan may be Ziply Fiber’s 2-gig or 5-gig tiers.

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