How much internet speed do you need? That depends on how you plan on using your internet connection.
< 25 Mbps basic internet for checking e-mail, google searches 25-99 Mbps will handle streaming Netflix, FaceTime, Zoom calls 100-499 Mbps fast downloads, gaming online, streaming UHD on multiple screens 500-1,000 Mbps blazing fast for just about anything
Internet Providers in San Francisco, California
Most Popular Internet Providers in San Francisco, California:
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Internet Buyer's Guide for San Francisco, California
If you’re looking for an internet provider in San Francisco, California, then you’re in luck as this Internet Buyer’s Guide encompasses information regarding internet plans, prices, deals, speeds, and extra fees. Currently, there are 20 residential providers and 43 business providers for San Franciscans to choose from. No matter if you’re a local looking to switch services, a prospective resident, or a business owner, you’ll find answers to your internet shopping questions from the details outlined below.
Residential Internet Providers in San Francisco, CA
|Provider||Starting Price||Speed Range||Type Of Internet||Coverage Availability|
|AT&T Internet||$35/mo.||100-940 Mbps||IPBB and Fiber||99% IPBB and Fiber|
|XFINITY from Comcast||$19.99/mo.||50-1200 Mbps||Cable||99% Cable|
|EarthLink||$49.95/mo.||12-1000 Mbps||DSL and Fiber||99% DSL and Fiber|
|Raw Bandwidth Communications||$29.95/mo.||3-100 Mbps||DSL||75% DSL|
The table above summarizes San Francisco internet providers with the greatest coverage locally.
Fastest Internet Providers in San Francisco, CA
|Provider||Maximum Speed||Price Range|
|XFINITY from Comcast||1200 Mbps||$19.99-84.99/mo.|
|Wave Broadband||1000 Mbps||$19.95-50/mo.|
The providers above offer the fastest download speeds currently available to San Francisco residents.
What type of internet is available in San Francisco?
Internet types available in San Francisco are DSL, cable, fiber-optic, copper, fixed wireless, and satellite.
- DSL: One of the top choices for internet in San Francisco, DSL is the cheapest option with widespread coverage. Data is transmitted through twisted copper telephone lines for connectivity.
- Cable: Another popular option among San Franciscans, cable internet uses coaxial cables from TV networks to deliver data at faster speeds than DSL.
- Fiber-Optic: San Francisco is a “Fiber-Friendly” certified city, and because of its large fiber infrastructure in which glass strands deliver data at lightning speeds, internet speeds are much higher than other major cities in California.
- Copper: Copper internet refers to telephone carrier lines to transfer digital data. Businesses commonly use this type of internet.
- Fixed Wireless: An alternative choice and also widely available, fixed wireless internet provides a connection through data transfer between two fixed locations such as a radio and some other wireless link.
- Satellite: Though not always the most affordable option, satellite internet has a 100 percent coverage in San Francisco. To form a reliable internet connection, a technician will usually install a dish on your roof or balcony.
Not all internet types are available in various pockets of San Francisco—always check with the internet provider about availability in your area.
How do I find the cheapest internet option in San Francisco?
Among the 63 internet providers in San Francisco, Wave Broadband, XFINITY from Comcast and Raw Bandwidth Communications provide some of the cheapest internet plans in San Francisco at different speeds and prices.
Cheapest internet in San Francisco
- Wave Broadband—$19.95/mo. for up to 100 Mbps *
- XFINITY from Comcast—$19.99/mo. for up to 50 Mbps *
- AT&T Internet—$35/mo. for up to 300 Mbps *
- Raw Bandwidth Communications—$39.95/mo. for up to 12 Mbps *
- HughesNet—$39.99/mo. for up to 25 Mbps *
How Much Internet Speed Do I Need In San Francisco?
Known as the second-most densely populated city in the U.S., San Francisco is also the center for all things cultural, commercial, and financial. Due to the competitive nature of San Francisco’s job market and therefore household income, it’s important for residents to find an affordable internet plan that boasts high download and upload speeds in a tech-driven neighborhood. Internet speed requirements vary depending on the type of internet activity and the size of your household or business.
For small households with light internet users, a minimum download speed of 25 Mbps allows for comfortable web browsing and streaming videos on one device. Larger households with moderate internet users would need at least 100 Mbps. If you’re looking for gigabit performance and 4K resolution when streaming on multiple devices, download speeds of at least 1000 Mbps are ideal.
Below are the recommended download speeds based on frequent internet activities and the residential providers in San Francisco that offer these speeds.
|Recommended Speeds||Type of Internet Activities||Internet Providers in San Francisco|
How do I find the fastest internet in San Francisco?
There are a handful of providers that offer some of the fastest internet in San Francisco—such as XFINITY from Comcast, EarthLink Fiber, and Sonic—with speeds that can go up to 1200 Mbps.
Should I bundle TV or phone service in San Francisco?
A number of San Francisco providers offer bundles that include TV and/or phone services with the internet. AT&T Internet and AT&T Fiber provide various bundles and triple play options at different price points, benefits, and speeds. When browsing for bundles, you may find that benefits include waived installation fees, lower prices for new customers, and unlimited data. Before you decide, check with the internet provider to see how their bundles may benefit you.
Bundled Cable Plans and Pricing in San Francisco
|Internet Providers in San Francisco||Services||Price Range of Bundles|
|AT&T Internet||Internet + TV||$109.99-129.99/mo.|
How can I compare the major internet providers in San Francisco?
Several factors come into play when you ponder over which internet provider works best for you. Below are some major points to consider:
- Price: Living in San Francisco means a higher household income. When shopping for an internet provider, decide how much you’re willing to pay per month for the service. Quality of life is crucial when living in a densely populated, global city where different markets are always competing with each other, hence, higher expenses.
- Speed: As the tech hub of the Bay Area, San Francisco residents and business owners aim for the highest speeds. Depending on your household size and how frequently each person uses the internet, note how much internet speed is needed for comfortable use.
- Data Caps: Many of San Francisco’s internet providers offer generous data caps or no data caps at all. Keep track of how much data your household uses before deciding on a plan with a data cap or unlimited data.
- Contracts: A vast majority of internet providers in San Francisco do not require contracts for their plans, such as AT&T Internet and XFINITY from Comcast. However, the handful that do generally have a contract term of 1-2 years.
What do I need to keep in mind when moving to San Francisco?
Whether you’re attending San Francisco State University as an incoming freshman or starting a new job at one of the five major banking institutions, several broadband considerations should come to mind before you move. Transferring or switching your internet provider is one of them.
Before switching your internet provider, check with your current one to see if your plan is transferable. If so, and you’re happy with their services, you won’t have to worry about searching for a different provider. Should you decide to switch providers or your plan isn’t transferable, beware of early termination fees.
You will encounter early termination fees when you decide to opt-out of a contract with your current provider. It’s a good rule of thumb to always read the fine print of your contract to ensure that you’ll avoid early termination fees, which in San Francisco, can cost anywhere between $0-400. Research prospective internet providers to see which ones have early termination fees.
Contract lengths for internet providers in San Francisco range from 1-2 years. If you’re looking for contract-free options, AT&T Internet and XFINITY from Comcast are some providers that offer contract-free plans. Coverage may be limited with the aforementioned providers. Additionally, you’ll want to determine whether you’ll be a short or long-term resident if you’re thinking about signing a contract. This will prevent any sudden fees that will hinder your transition to your new home or business in San Francisco.
Installation Fees in San Francisco
There are two options for internet installation: self-installation or professional installation. For some providers, professional installation is required in addition to equipment and handling fees. In San Francisco, professional installation fees range from $0 to $99. Select bundles will waive installation fees—check with the internet provider if the bundle that you’re planning to purchase waives these fees.
How much data do you need for your home or business internet in San Francisco?
Depending on your household size and how often everyone uses the internet, data cap requirements will vary. For business owners, you may want to opt for unlimited data to accommodate employees’ and customers’ everyday internet use. In San Francisco, internet providers who offer plans with no data caps are Viasat Internet and EarthLink.
What are the most-connected neighborhoods in San Francisco?
In San Francisco’s ethnically diverse and populated neighborhoods, an average of 5-6 internet providers are available to each household. The most connected neighborhoods are The Sunset, Financial District, and Mission District.
Internet Providers in Nearby Cities
Internet Statistics for San Francisco, California
As a technologically-driven city and home to major corporations such as Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter, San Francisco is a primary location for career growth. It is the 5th most connected city in California, ahead of South San Francisco, Brisbane, Sausalito, Daly City, and Emeryville. The average download speed in San Francisco is around 187.7 Mbps. Despite Etheric Networks, AT&T Internet and XFINITY from Comcast offering some of the greatest coverage in the city, approximately 4,000 people either have minimal broadband connections or still do not have access to any wired internet. However, given San Francisco’s ever-growing economy, internet providers are readily available in many neighborhoods, keeping everyone connected in some shape or form.
Internet Statistics 2021
0.5% of consumers in San Francisco4,000 People Only have access to 1 or fewer wired internet providers available at their address.
This data is calculated from FCC datasets which providers are legally required to supply twice a year. We further validate this data for accuracy.
The “Connected” metric is a citywide average based on FCC data showing the density of broadband options at the census block level.
Fiber coverage data is sourced from FCC Form 477 filings and cross-validated through BroadbandNow with private datasets and direct provider reporting.
This coverage statistic is based on a mix of FCC and private provider reporting in the past two quarters.
Zip-based speed averages are calculated from M-Labs consumer speed tests run by IP addresses in the area.
25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload is the minimum speed for an Internet connection to be classified as “Broadband” by the FCC.
Frequently Asked Questions About Internet in San Francisco, California
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