- The primary wired broadband providers in Boston are Verizon, Xfinity, and RCN.
- Webpass gigabit service through Google Fiber is also available to some buildings in Boston.
- The average broadband speed in Boston is 51.55 Mbps.
- Business broadband providers are numerous throughout the Boston metro area.
Best Residential Internet Providers
Here are the best options for the average Internet user in Boston, according to our comparison of plans, pricing, local reviews, and coverage area.
XFINITY from Comcast - Top Pick
- Pricing: $3499 - $14999
- Max Down: 987 Mbps
- Max Up: 35 Mbps
Comcast Xfinity is the biggest name in cable in the US, and while the customer service gets mixed reviews we find it to generally be the best option for fast, reliable Internet access that “just works.” Their network includes access to public hotspots, and bundles well with their TV, wireless, and digital voice offerings.
Verizon High Speed Internet - Runner Up
- Pricing: $3499 - $5499
- Max Down: 940 Mbps
- Max Up: 880 Mbps
Gigabit speeds and unlimited data makes Verizon Fios our top pick in almost all areas where they offer service. While the prices can be slightly higher, they’re overall comparable to cable. Customers switching from a double-play cable plan will likely save money “cutting the cord” with one of Fios’ unlimited Internet-only plans.
Residential Internet Providers Available in Boston
Boston has surprisingly decent residential Internet service compared to other cities in New England. Fiber and wireless gigabit service compete side by side, in addition to several cable and DSL options. See the table below for a full rundown on companies with local service.
|$3999+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 100% |
|$3499+|| 99% |
|$3499+|| 96% |
|$3995+|| 91% |
|$3499+|| 23% |
|$2600+|| 14% |
|N/A|| 4% |
|$3999+|| 2% |
|$5500+|| 1% |
Best Business Internet Providers
Business broadband is an arena where Boston excels, with a wide range of options from small business cable up to enterprise-level plans. Among all the contenders, we found the strongest value from this company:
XFINITY from Comcast - Business Pick
- Max Down: 987 Mbps
- Max Up: 35 Mbps
Scalable features and budget-friendly pricing are the key values offered by Comcast Business in the metro area. It’s a good pick for small and medium businesses that need support through rapid growth cycles. VoIP solutions, business TV, and cloud services are among their offerings.
Business Internet Providers Available in Boston
Point-to-point, dedicated IP, and everything else you would expect from a business-class service can be found for those willing to pay the higher price of business services.
|N/A|| 81% |
|N/A|| 81% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|$2999+|| 71% |
|$6995+|| 70% |
|$9995+|| 97% |
|N/A|| 37% |
|$4500+|| 16% |
|$11000+|| 23% |
|N/A|| 42% |
|N/A|| 29% |
|N/A|| 5% |
|N/A|| 15% |
|$8999+|| 6% |
|N/A|| 13% |
|N/A|| 10% |
|$10999+|| 11% |
Map of Broadband Internet Competition in Boston
Thanks to the arrival of upstarts like Google Fiber, Boston is getting more competitive every year so far as Internet options. Traditional cable and DSL services are surprisingly good in the area, as providers scramble to compete with cutting-edge competition. Consumers win overall in areas where providers compete head-to-head, regardless of their plan tier.
Provider Competition Map
Boston Internet Speed Overview
We’ve crunched the numbers on speed test results in Boston and found the 90th percentile average to be 139.34 Mbps. The average speed accounting for all providers and coverage areas, calculated from verified speed test data, is 51.55 Mbps.
|Average Speed||90th Percentile Speed|
|51.55 Mbps||139.34 Mbps|
Average Residential download speeds within Boston
Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in Boston
Data caps are a frequent pain point for Boston cord cutters, gamers, and “power users.” If you identify as a techie, you’re likely to find difficulty with plans that place limits and fees on heavy usage — particularly if you’re considering upgrading to a 4k screen in the near future.
Equipment rental fees are also a common issue in Boston, for customers who aren’t savvy on how to work around them and save money.
Boston Data Caps
Data caps have been stirring up customer complaints in the broadband market for years now. Essentially, data caps mean that when you use more data than the provider allows, you’ll wind up getting stuck with a fee, or paying high prices for “a la carte” data add-ons.
Data caps are mostly a problem for Boston residents who identify as “techies” or “cord cutters.” Streaming video content in particular can use up data pretty quickly, at a rate of 1–3GB/hour depending on resolution.
If you watch TV for multiple hours on a daily basis, consider getting a dedicated TV plan to offset some of the data usage. (Or, if possible, select a provider or plan with unlimited data.)
Modem Rental Fees
The modem or router needed to connect your home network to the Internet can be rented directly from your provider for $5–10 per month. While this is standard among Internet providers in Boston, customers can save money by buying and installing their own hardware. The price of a new modem and router from a third party like Amazon is comparatively low, and pays for itself within a year. It also allows you to gain more control of your router settings and unlock advanced features not possible with leased routers.
Low-Income Internet Plans
Boston may not have much competition between internet providers in low-income neighborhoods, but they do have some interesting programs and plans for residents in need of home Internet access. Plans can be had for as low as $10 monthly including equipment for locals who meet certain income and housing criteria. Information on Louisville plans, programs, and digital literacy resources are available at EveryoneOn.
We’ve reached out to local broadband groups and government offices for commentary on what the future holds for Boston Internet access. This page will be updated when we have that information ready to share.
References and Footnotes
Ana De Castro
Ana De Castro cut her teeth as a SAP consultant for Deloitte during the original tech boom, and now works in a communications role in the telecom industry. When she isn’t explaining technical concepts to confused consumers, she enjoys traveling with her husband and two rambunctious kids.
James Webb is a tech and gadgets expert with a focus on educational content development. He draws on his background in the startup world to make complicated technologies and topics easy to understand for normal folks.