- New York has a wide range of Internet options for both residential and business service. Verizon, Spectrum, and RCN are the most widely available wired options.
- Fios is slowly expanding within New York and offers the most popular and affordable fiber service.
- The average broadband download speed in NYC is 81.5 Mbps.
Best Residential Internet Providers
Here are our top picks for reliable and reasonably priced Internet in NYC.
Verizon Fios - Top Pick
- Pricing: $3999 - $7999
- Max Down: 940 Mbps
- Max Up: 880 Mbps
Verizon’s Fiber “Fios” service is one of the better options for Internet access in the US, combining best-in-class speed and performance with reasonable pricing comparable to basic cable. They’re our top pick for techies, home offices, and other users who appreciate premium service quality.
Charter Spectrum - Runner Up
- Pricing: $4499 - $13997
- Max Down: 940 Mbps
- Max Up: 35 Mbps
Spectrum earns our recommendation in the area for their rock-solid hybrid fiber-coaxial network, which delivers impressive download and upload speeds and reliable low latency. This makes it a good choice for intensive uses like streaming, gaming, and video conferencing.
Residential Internet Providers Available in New York
While Fios and Spectrum are the names your hear most often when asking for local advice, there are plenty of smaller brands servicing New York addresses. See the table below for a complete listing of residential options.
|$4499+|| 100% |
|$5999+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 100% |
|$3499+|| 99% |
|$3999+|| 80% |
|$9900+|| 60% |
|$2999+|| 34% |
|$2600+|| 16% |
|$2195+|| 7% |
|$5500+|| 5% |
Best Business Internet Providers
Here’s our recommended source for business service in NYC, especially for enterprise businesses that need dedicated advanced features and 24/7 on-call in-person support.
Stealth Communications - Business Pick
- Max Down: 100,000 Mbps
- Max Up: 100,000 Mbps
Stealth Communications offers some of the fastest and most scalable business connectivity in Manhattan, with speeds over fiber several times what the competition offers. It’s the premium option for enterprise and large, complex businesses.
Business Internet Providers Available in New York
New York has a huge variety of business services. Some smaller businesses just need decent cable speeds and a dedicated IP. Larger businesses might have to dig deeper for point-to-point setups, fiber loops, and other top-shelf customized services.
|$5999+|| 96% |
|$25000+|| 100% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|$2999+|| 96% |
|$8999+|| 67% |
|$23700+|| 93% |
|$11000+|| 64% |
|$50000+|| 86% |
|N/A|| 85% |
|$5999+|| 34% |
|N/A|| 27% |
|N/A|| 46% |
|N/A|| 38% |
|N/A|| 34% |
|N/A|| 29% |
|N/A|| 5% |
|$10999+|| 28% |
|N/A|| 18% |
|N/A|| 12% |
|N/A|| 4% |
Map of Broadband Internet Competition in New York
New York is highly competitive so far as broadband, thanks to the high population density and high-dollar industries centered in the big apple. However, the situation isn’t perfect, as you can see in the competition “heat map” below.
Provider Competition Map
New York Internet Speed Overview
We found the 90th percentile average speed in NYC to be 164 Mbps. The average speed accounting for all results was closer to 81.5 Mbps. These figures are based on local speed test data.
|Average Speed||90th Percentile Speed|
|81.5 Mbps||164 Mbps|
Average Residential download speeds within New York
Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in New York
Fortunately for New Yorkers, Fios and Spectrum are both data-cap-free. Service may not be perfect at all buildings, but at least you can stream to your heart’s content without running into overage fees. Regardless, there are a few things worth watching out for among NYC providers: namely, variable pricing and equipment costs.
If you’re considering a 1–2 year contract that offers any form of “promo pricing,” triple-check the fine print to make sure that price is locked in for the full term. Chances are, you’re actually signing up for a limited-time offer, with the price jumping up significantly after the first 6 months, year, or whatever the details of the latest Internet/TV bundle deal happen to be.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sign — just be sure to figure out the average cost you’ll pay over the life of the contract. Finally, be aware of the early termination fee and switch within the first 30 days if you aren’t happy with the service.
Regardless of whether you’re on Fios or Spectrum or any other NYC Internet option, the provider is almost certainly going to offer a modem, router, or gateway device with your plan.
While the $5–10/month isn’t bad considering the convenience, it’s probably worth buying your own if you see yourself sticking around for more than a year. Buying your own router will pay for itself within the year, and after that you’ll bank around a hundred annually for your trouble. (Not to mention it opens up customizability options and enhanced security for your home network.)
This can be tricky for Fios service in NYC since the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) box is often located far away from your apartment, making it tricky to run ethernet to work around their branded gateway setup. However, they make it pretty easy to buy the equipment from them directly if you prefer to own rather than rent.
Fios vs NYC legal issues
Fios picked up some heat in recent years for missing some deadlines on their agreement with the city to roll out universal fiber coverage, even in areas where cable offered high-quality service. The long-term goal on the city’s part is to increase competition and support the local economy.
Regardless of which side you take on the issue, the process of installing fiber within buildings around NYC has long been a slow, sticky process. Figuring out if Fios serves your specific address means calling up and asking them directly, for the time being, although their web signup tool is reasonably accurate as well.
Broadband Roadblocks in New York
Public broadband options like municipal broadband have been getting plenty of attention in recent years, largely thanks to the economic growth they’ve driven for “smart grid” cities like Chattanooga. Will New York get their own?
Probably not, as the costs associated are very high and can be tricky to justify even in states like New York where regulations are not so strict as some other areas. (Such as Texas, where it’s directly outlawed.)
In general, large cities like New York are holding out for private market competition rather than investing in public-owned solutions which could theoretically stifle innovation by private companies down the road.
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.
Questions & Answers
1 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
When will Starry Internet come to Brooklyn?
Starry is expanding on a building-by-building basis. If you want Starry service, they wait until they have enough requests from a building before working to make service available. Generally, they are not available to single family homes or duplexes.