How to Get Affordable Home Wi-Fi

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What is Wi-Fi? Wi-Fi is the technology that allows your computer, tablet, cellphone, and other devices to connect wirelessly to the internet.

Thanks to Wi-Fi, you can use the internet without plugging in an Ethernet cord to your devices.

Pros and cons of Wi-Fi

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Pros of Wi-Fi

  • Provides a convenient connection
  • Saves your home from loose cords

Cons of Wi-Fi

  • Requires expensive equipment
  • Runs into interference from walls

Since Wi-Fi allows you to connect wirelessly to the internet from anywhere in your home, you don’t have to worry about tripping over cords. Wi-Fi also makes it a lot easier to hook up smart home devices that rely on internet access, like Google Home and Nest.

But Wi-Fi isn’t perfect. Wireless routers, which broadcast the internet as Wi-Fi in your home, can cost hundreds of dollars to lease or buy. And Wi-Fi speeds aren’t as fast as wired connections — walls, furniture, and even other Wi-Fi signals can interrupt your home Wi-Fi.

Check out our article “Why Is My Internet so Slow?” if you’re having trouble with slow Wi-Fi speeds.

How do I get Wi-Fi to my house?

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To get Wi-Fi, you’ll first need to sign up with an internet service provider. With access to its internet network, you can then set up a router in your home.

In your quest for great Wi-Fi, we recommend you check out these providers:

  • Verizon Fios — Editor’s choice
  • AT&T — Fastest
  • Xfinity — Best for performance
  • Spectrum — Best no-contract internet
  • CenturyLink — Cheapest

But since Wi-Fi providers vary by area, you’ll want to check the options available to you.

Which is the best Wi-Fi router for home?

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Our current favorite router is the TP-Link Archer AX90, but we have plenty of other recommendations in the guides below. Most providers will lease you the equipment you need, but buying your own can save you cash in the long run.

Buying a router costs more outright but less than renting in the long run. But if you’re interested in saving cash by buying your router, there are so many models that you might be overwhelmed by the number of options.

We’ve got your best solutions covered in the articles below — including specialized routers, like gigabit and mesh Wi-Fi.

Unfortunately, fiber internet from providers like AT&T Fiber, Frontier Fiber, and Verizon Fios needs specialized equipment, so you’re better off leasing your equipment in that case.

Will my provider include Wi-Fi with my internet service?

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Almost all internet providers offer a router to provide Wi-Fi service, but very few include that equipment cost in their pricing. Check the following list to see how much major providers charge for service and internet equipment, like modems and wireless routers.

Here are Wi-Fi providers with price, equipment costs (including Wi-Fi), download speeds, and data caps.

  • AT&T: $55.00–$225.00/mo., Included, 75–5,000 Mbps, 1,024 GB–unlimited
  • CenturyLink: $50.00–$75.00/mo., Included, $15.00/mo. or $200 one time, 100–940 Mbps, Unlimited
  • Cox: $49.99–$149.99/mo., $10.99/mo., 100–2,000 Mbps, 1,024 GB–unlimited
  • Frontier: $44.99–$154.99/mo., $10.00/mo., 500–5,000 Mbps ,Unlimited
  • Mediacom: $34.99–$54.99/mo., $11.50/mo., 100–1,000 Mbps, 150–3,000 GB
  • Optimum: $40.00–$180.00/mo., Included, 300–5,000 Mbps, Unlimited
  • Spectrum: $49.99–$89.99/mo., Included or $5.00/mo.*, Up to 300–1,000 Mbps, Unlimited
  • Verizon: $49.99–$89.99/mo., Included or $15.00/mo.*, 300–2,300 Mbps, Unlimited
  • Xfinity: $19.99–$85.00/mo., Included or $14.00/mo.*, 75–6,000 Mbps, 1,200 GB–unlimited

*Varies by plan. Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

If you’re not sure which download speeds you should sign up for, check out our article “What Is a Good Internet Speed.” We recommend about 100 Mbps for most homes.

Is home Wi-Fi unlimited?

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When you’re at home, you might connect your smartphone to your home Wi-Fi network to save on cellular data. But while most internet plans have bigger data allowances than cellphone plans, they’re not always unlimited.

We recommend you choose an internet plan with a data cap of at least 1,024 GB. If the folks at home all use the internet normally, you’ll probably be safe from crummy overage fees with that amount.

Don’t stress too much about home Wi-Fi data — if you still have questions, we can help you with our in-depth data caps article.

Is it possible to get internet service without a service provider?

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While you don’t have to lease a router from your internet provider, you still need internet access for a router to work and give you home Wi-Fi — which means you need an internet provider.

Most modern smartphones can work as internet hotspots if you need a temporary solution to your Wi-Fi needs. Or, if you’re merely wary of signing an annual contract, check out our article on no-contract internet.

What is difference between Wi-Fi and internet?

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The internet is the global computer network that keeps us all connected. It’s where your favorite websites — like Netflix and Instagram — live. Wi-Fi is simply the technology that allows you to connect wireless to the internet.


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Our experts have spent thousands of hours researching internet service providers to help you turn your home into an internet oasis. For more on our process, head over to How We Rank.

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