In the year of the pandemic, with many Americans stuck at home for work and school, the importance of fast Internet is more important than ever.
One of the companies that offers that, Verizon, can boast something that many of its rivals can’t: Its speeds are reliably fast both for uploads and downloads. Most cable companies, for instance, may be able to offer fast download speeds, but can’t say the same about uploads.
“Fios has higher upload speeds than most Internet providers thanks to their fiber-optic network technology,” Broadband Now said in its most recent speed test analysis. “While cable and DSL prioritize download speeds above all else, the increased bandwidth of Fios fiber allows them to deliver upload speeds in the same range as their download speeds.”
“Fiber Internet is preferred by most customers since it provides gigabit download and upload speeds in the 200–1,000 Mbps range, which is several times higher than the maximums offered by legacy technologies like coaxial cable and DSL,” Broadband Now said in its “expert overview.”
US News, in its ranking of the Best Internet Service providers of 2021, ranks Verizon second, behind Comcast’s Xfinity Internet, although it places Verizon ahead of AT&T, Spectrum, Cox, RCN, CenturyLink, and other cable and satellite rivals.
While the various companies in the rankings offer different download speeds, Verizon offers the fastest minimum upload speeds, with a range of 200 Mbps - 880 Mbps, per the US News chart. Comcast, by contrast, offers 1 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps, while AT&T offers 0.4 Mbps to 940 Mbps. Cox does offer 1 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps, but it includes a data cap, while Verizon’s plan does not, even if it does cost slightly more than most cable offerings.
reviews.org recommends going with Fios for Internet, if it’s between that and Comcast.
“Verizon Fios might seem expensive, but its prices are actually some of the best when it comes to the speeds you get. To top that off, you’ll get stunning fiber internet with no annual contract at all. Now that’s a win-win.”
The drawback for Fios? It’s only available in some parts of the country.
Fios, like most companies of its kind, lost pay-TV customers this year, while gaining Internet subscribers, as the pandemic has caused cord-cutting trends to accelerate. In the third quarter, the most recent for which it has released numbers, the company lost 61,000 video subscribers, after dropping more than 80,000 in each of the year’s first two quarters. But the company did add 139,000 Internet subscribers in the third quarter, which it called the most Internet subscribers it has added in a quarter since the end of 2014.
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. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.