For most Chicagoans, your best internet options will be AT&T Internet or one of the three cable internet providers that serve Chicago: Xfinity, RCN and WOW!
To understand which cable provider is available to you, enter your ZIP code at the top of this page. Generally, WOW! covers much of the area around Midway Airport and the South Side. RCN cable covers most of the city east of the Chicago River. Xfinity covers much of the rest.
Fastest Internet Providers in Chicago
Your fastest internet options will generally be AT&T Internet (and fiber, if you can get it) or your cable provider.
Let’s start with AT&T Internet, which is available to more than 98 percent of Chicago residents. AT&T’s standard internet service has download speeds up to 100 Mbps. This is DSL internet, although AT&T refers to it as “IPBB.”
AT&T is also building out its fiber internet network in Chicago, which is available to about 25 percent of Chicago residents. Fiber internet is generally considered to be the fastest and most reliable internet service. AT&T’s coverage map shows that fiber is available to many northsiders and Oak Park residents, although there are pockets of fiber throughout the city. We recommend you call AT&T to see if it’s available.
Earthlink Internet, which uses AT&T’s fiber and DSL networks to deliver home internet, is also available to many Chicagoans. If you’re interested in fixed wireless internet, there are a handful of providers to choose from.
Cheapest Internet in Chicago
If you’re looking for the best deal, slower speed packages (lower than 100 Mbps) start at $30- $50 for both AT&T, and Xfinity and ultra high-speed packages (higher than 100 Mbps) start at $60 and higher. Chicago internet service providers typically have promotional internet plans and pricing, so we recommend you click on the “View Plans and Pricing” buttons at the top of this page, or call the numbers listed above and inquire about the best deals.
Comparing AT&T to Cable Providers (Xfinity, RCN or WOW!)
If you’re looking for ultra-high speed internet, the fastest option will be AT&T Fiber, which is available to about one in four Chicagoans –– primarily on the North Side and Oak Park. That said, they are expanding quickly and it’s worth calling to see if they now service your area. If AT&T Fiber isn’t available, the cable providers will have the fastest internet packages.
Many residents are also choosing their selections based on their preferred TV entertainment. With AT&T, you can add a fully streaming TV service or DIRECTV. Cable providers have many options for TV. Bundling will generally save you $10-$30 per month.
Digital Equity Programs in Chicago
Chicago Connected is a groundbreaking program created in 2020 to provide high-speed internet service to 100,000 Chicago public school students. It’s designed to dramatically improve internet accessibility to low-income students and households and is an excellent example of a program designed for digital equity. If you think you qualify, you can check your eligibility.