High speed internet is not cheap. Sorry. You pay for the privilege of not wanting to go on a murderous rampage every time you try to watch videos on YouTube. I guess the word “cheap” is relative, though, so other people may feel differently. Regardless, everyone wants to know where the bargains are and where you can get the cheapest high speed internet.
There are some dial-up internet services that, when performing at their optimum rate, can actually be considered high speed. NetZero and PeoplePC are two internet service providers (ISP) that offer “high speed” dial-up services. Keep in mind, though, that whenever you are shown the speed of the service, that is the highest possible speed. It will not always run that fast.
For non-dial-up services, the cheapest form of high speed internet is DSL, which is less expensive than cable. The main reason DSL is cheaper, though, is because cable is faster. So again, you get what you pay for. If all you want to do is check your email and surf the web without doing a large amount of downloading or online gaming, then DSL should be good enough to suit your means.
DSL prices vary depending on your ISP and the speed of your connection. Most ISPs offer different plans for your internet and you pay more for the faster connections. In general, though, DSL costs from $20 to $40 per month. Cable, in comparison, averages $40 to $55 per month.
When choosing an ISP and the particular plan you want, it is important to remember that many companies have a deceptive practice of listing a starting price and hiding the real price. For example, it may say that you can get high speed internet for $19.99 for 6 months. Beyond that, there doesn't seem to be any more information. Upon searching the plan details, however, it is revealed that after the 6-month period, the same plan will cost $35. Always read over the terms of the deal before agreeing to anything. Be weary of asterisks and fine print.
Cheapest Dial-Up Providers
NetZero: Though originally launched as a free dial-up ISP, NetZero later changed their business model. They now offer NetZero Platinum for $9.99 per month and the faster NetZero HiSpeed 3G, also for $9.99. Both come with anti-virus software, email and more.
Juno: Juno offers the Juno Platinum for $9.95 per month and Juno Turbo, which is probably the fastest dial-up service on any ISP, for $14.95. Like NetZero, Juno offers free anti-virus software and email, among other extras.
PeoplePC: PeoplePC is a little cheaper than Juno, but is not as fast and does not have as many extras. You can get PeoplePC Unlimited for $10.95 per month and PeoplePC Accelerated for $9.95 per month.
EarthLink: For $9.99 per month, EarthLink offers dial-up service with an accelerator that allows you to surf the web seven times faster. It also comes with anti-virus and email software.
Cheapest DSL Providers
Qwest: Qwest offers 3 different DSL speeds, again costing more the faster it is. Qwest Connect (1.5 Mbps) costs $14.99. Qwest Silver (7 Mbps) costs $25. Qwest Platinum (12 Mbps) costs $35. Customers get a free modem by signing up with Qwest.
BellSouth: BellSouth has 4 different DSL speeds from which to choose. FastAccess DSL Lite (13x dial-up) costs $14.95. FastAccess DSL Ultra (25x dial-up) costs $32.95. FastAccess DSL Extreme (50x dial-up) runs $37.95. Their fastest option, FastAccess DSL Extreme 6.0 (100x dial-up) costs $42.95.
Cheapest Cable Providers
Comcast: Comcast offers cable internet service that is 6 Mbps (100x dial-up), costing $19.99 for the first 6 months. After that initial 6-month period, the price jumps to around $40. You can save money by getting a package deal for Comcast to provide your cable TV and phone service. Comcast is available in 47 states.
Time Warner: Time Warner cable (or Bright House Networks) offers 3 speeds for their cable internet service. Road Runner Lite (14x dial-up) is $19.99. Road Runner Basic (25x dial-up) costs $26.99. Road Runner High Speed (100x dial-up) costs $34.95, but comes with a free modem.
Cheapest Satellite Providers
Wild Blue: Wild Blue offers 2 different high-speed plans for their satellite internet. The Select Pak (1 Mbps) costs $69.95 per month and the Pro Pak (1.5 Mbps) costs $79.95 per month. Both plans come with free installation and a $50-off voucher for equipment costs.
HughesNet: HughesNet offers 2 different high-speed plans for their internet. The Pro plan (1 Mbps) costs $69.95 and the Pro Plus plan (1.5 Mbps) costs $79.95 per month.