The Cost of Connectivity: How Much Is Internet Per Month?

Fezile Biyela
Internet Provider Comparisons

Since you want to find out “how much is internet per month,” chances are that you’re either moving or looking to see if your current provider is giving you the best deal. Only 7% of U.S. adults report they don’t currently use the internet. And around 22.5% of households don’t yet have home internet due to budget constraints or location. (People in rural and low-income areas often have the most difficult time finding affordable and reliable internet access.) Yet this is a good question to ask even if you currently have internet service to ensure you are getting a good deal. 

How Much Is Internet Per Month?

In the U.S., the cost of internet service varies depending on the type of connection, the provider, and the specific plan you choose. That said, on average, internet service costs are typically about $80 per month. The median price is ~$75 per month (i.e., half of consumers pay less than this amount, and half pay more). 

Location is often the biggest factor in how much is internet per month, as it has a significant impact on the types of internet service available. You may have every type of internet service available. Or you may have only one or two options. 

Pricing varies widely depending on the type. Fiber optic services offer some of the highest speeds—from 100 Mbps to as much as 10,000 Mbps. And you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to over $300 a month. Cable internet is typically less costly at $20 to $140 per month; however, you usually have slower speeds. The same is true of DSL, with prices falling between $50 and $65 per month in most areas. 

If you are considering a fixed wireless service, prices range between $15 and $75 per month. Satellite internet tends to be the most expensive option, ranging from $50 on the low end to up to $500 a month. Worse, speeds can be significantly slower than with fiber or cable. But sometimes, you take what you can get, and if you live in a remote location, satellite internet may be your only option. 

There is variation within the same type of internet service as costs can be impacted by download and upload speeds, data caps, and additional fees, such as for installation, equipment rentals, or overage charges. 

Often, you’ll find providers offer an enticing introductory price. Unfortunately, once the promotion period is over, prices can skyrocket, leaving you looking at service options to get a better deal. 

What Can You Expect with the Average Internet Service

Now that you have $80 in mind for how much is internet service per month, the next question is often, what can I expect for those prices? 

Again, upload and download speeds can vary dramatically depending on the type of connection and provider. However, for an average-priced plan, most customers see download speeds of around 100 to 500 Mbps. These speeds are usually adequate for most households and will support multiple devices streaming videos, playing games online, and even taking classes or working from home. 

You can also expect that to include a modem and router. However, if you have to purchase it up front or if you’ll be renting the necessary equipment, some providers add those fees on top of your monthly service fee. Rentals can cost ~$10 to $15 per month, so you may be able to save money in the long run by purchasing the equipment upfront, especially if you intend to stay in the same location.

You’ll also want to watch for data caps. Many internet providers allocate each user to only a certain amount of data per month (e.g., 1TB). If you exceed those limits, you may incur additional charges unless you’ve signed up for unlimited data.

If you are new to the service, you may also have to pay an installation fee, often around $100. However, many providers offer to waive this service if you sign up during a certain period or with a certain code. Other plans waive this fee if you sign a contract, typically for 12 to 24 months. This can help save monthly and upfront costs. However, you will be bound to the service for that period, with a penalty if you need to cancel early. Fortunately, many providers also offer no-contract options. 

Why Do Prices for Internet Service Differ So Much?

In a free-market society, there are many reasons prices vary. For how much is internet per month, it often comes down to:

  • Infrastructure—areas with more established or advanced telecommunications, such as urban centers, have already invested in the infrastructure, and multiple providers in the area may be competing, which can drive down costs while improving services. In contrast, in rural areas, there may be less availability, which often leads to higher costs as there is a need to extend infrastructure to harder-to-reach locations.
  • Connection types can also impact the cost. For instance, fiber-optic internet is often faster and more reliable. However, it can be more expensive to install and maintain than other types, such as DSL or cable. While satellite internet rarely offers the highest speeds, it’s often the most costly as it’s the only option available if you live in some remote areas. The premium costs also reflect the higher costs of the technology and maintenance for the service.
  • The regulatory environment in your city, county, and state can also impact pricing. For instance, there may be higher taxes or fees on telecommunication services, which are then passed on to customers in their monthly bills.
  • If you are living in or moving to an area with a higher cost of living, you may also find that service prices for things like internet are higher as there are higher costs due to wages, rents, and taxes for providers in those areas. 

Each provider in your area will offer different packages and services. So, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare. As internet options extend into more rural and lower-income areas, you may find you’ll have more options, so it’s a good idea to check regularly to ensure you are still getting the best deal. 

Don’t be afraid to shop around and compare not only the prices but the speed and data to find a solution that works for you. Then, check provider websites and user reviews to gain more insights into the service quality, customer satisfaction, and plans and deals available. A greater understanding of what’s available, by asking the right questions (including how much is internet per month), can help you find the best, most cost-effective internet service for your needs.

Written by:
Fezile Biyela
Digital Writer

Hi, I’m Fez. A chai-drinking, worship-singing, and words-loving copywriter. I’m a digital native obsessed with staying connected with the world around me. That’s why you’re seeing me here – helping you stay connected. Happy reading!

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