With most of us home these days, the reliability of the home Internet is more important than ever. So who offers the fastest Internet speeds among U.S. providers?
It depends on who you ask.
HighSpeedInternet.com, which uses a "weighted speed score" methodology, ranks Google Fiber the fastest Internet provider in its latest national rankings, followed by Verizon, RCN and Hotwire. Xfinity ranked fifth. The site's latest rating is dated April 21.
"The main thing you need to know as you read this report is that the score represents the provider’s internet speed performance, but it isn’t actually an internet speed," the site said. HighSpeedInternet's rankings also omit providers that are only available "in small areas" from their overall rankings, but it offers separate rankings for regional ISPs.
In the regional rankings, Verizon ranked tops in the Northeast (followed by RCN and Xfinity), while Allo was #1 in the Midwest, followed by Metronet, RCN and Xfinity. In the South, Google Fiber is first, followed by EPB, Verizon and Xfinity, while Google Fiber was also tops in the western United States, followed by Sonic, Xfinity and Frontier.
In HighSpeed Internet's ranking of the fastest advertised speeds, Xfinity is first, followed by Spectrum, Frontier, Verizon and Optimum.
BroadbandNow also offers similar rankings of the fastest Internet service providers in the U.S., and the rankings are dominated by little-known regional providers. New York-based fiber provider Stealth Communications is #1, followed by Nebraska-based BWTelcom. Illinois' CTI Fiber is third, followed by Central New York's Clarity Connect and Tennessee's Ben Lomand Connect. That ranking was last updated in early April.
Meanwhile, Reviews.org offers its own rankings of Internet speeds. It places AT&T Fiber as "Fastest overall," with Verizon Fios listed as "also fast fiber." Xfinity is ranked "fastest cable Internet, AT&T "fastest DSL" and Viasat "fastest satellite Internet."
According to a report by WebFX, Taiwan has the fastest Internet speeds in the world, followed by Singapore, Jersey (the island in the English channel), Sweden and Denmark, with the U.S. ranked 15th. New Jersey had the fastest Internet of any state as of 2018, followed by Maryland, Virginia, Texas and Rhode Island.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons.