When purchasing home internet service, look for plans with sufficient download and upload speeds to meet the online needs of your household. CNET compares speeds, prices and data caps in your region to provide guidance on which are the most appropriate options.

Our top picks offer fast starting speeds and plenty of data at an affordable price, while taking latency into account – an important consideration for gaming and videoconferencing.

1. Cable

High-speed internet access is an absolute necessity in many households today; choosing the appropriate connection type depends on each family’s unique needs and availability. From browsing websites and streaming TV shows, to completing work or school assignments online quickly and reliably – fast internet speeds are critical components of today’s modern life.

Cable internet provides reliable access in many urban areas and offers respectable download speeds. Data transmission uses coaxial cables originally intended for cable TV transmission.

Fiber providers may deliver faster symmetrical speeds, but cable providers still offer good value for the money. Consumer Reports’ top home internet providers include Comcast Xfinity and Spectrum; both earned top customer satisfaction scores in terms of pricing plans, bundle options and overall service quality. Check your zip code to see what options may be available near you.

2. DSL

DSL internet uses copper phone lines to transfer data. It offers various speed tiers suitable for most households; typical packages range from 1Mbps-25Mbps download speeds which should provide enough speed for web browsing and standard video streaming services.

As DSL is a landline service, it’s available in most American homes – making it an excellent option for people living in rural and suburban areas where fiber may not yet be accessible. DSL also tolerates distance well, making it suitable for people who live far from the service provider hub; however, as you move further from them your connection will become slower, causing frustration for gamers looking to play online games.

3. Fiber

Fiber internet offers fast and reliable connections with flexible glass fiber bundles transmitting a broadband signal into your home, where its pulses are converted into electrical output your devices can understand and use. Optimum offers fiber plans across Manhattan and Brooklyn that provide lots of data at lightning-fast speeds.

But you don’t have to live in an affluent neighborhood to access fiber broadband Internet services. Many local and regional providers, like AT&T Fiber and Astound Broadband powered by RCN, provide affordable plans with impressive CR scores in NYC with large fiber footprints that cater specifically to telecommuters and online gamers, or those who frequently download/upload large files – fiber’s symmetrical upload/download speeds can make life simpler than cable which usually only provides maximum speeds with uneven upload/download rates.

4. Wireless

Fast internet connectivity has become essential in our modern society, from work and communication with family and friends, to data-intensive activities like video gaming.

New York City offers many cutting-edge providers that provide fiber and cable internet with impressive speeds, such as Verizon, Spectrum, T-Mobile 5G Home Internet and Astound Broadband powered by RCN. These options tend to be less costly than national providers while providing generous offers and discounts.

Wireless internet uses cell towers to form a network that links all your devices, offering much stronger performance than phone hotspots – with end-to-end network latency times as low as one millisecond! Wireless is often an ideal option for homes that can’t get wired internet but still desire reliable performance.

5. Satellite

If wired connections are unavailable at your home, satellite internet may be your best bet. This internet type sends data directly from satellites orbiting in space to your home at speeds ranging from 25 to 150Mbps depending on your plan; data caps limit high-speed usage. Due to distance limitations, satellite connections typically have higher latency than wired networks – which could result in longer waits between an action taken and its result.

HughesNet, Viasat and Starlink are currently the three primary satellite providers in the US. While performance may differ depending on which service you opt for, all offer decent connectivity to rural households. Unfortunately, however, these services can often be costly and suffer in poor weather.