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Is AT&T the Worst Internet Provider? Maybe, Maybe Not

Last Updated Nov 9, 2021

Finding a good internet provider can be difficult. You want to make sure you have a fast speed as well as a good price. If you’ve been looking into using AT&T, you have probably seen mixed reviews about their services and internet reliability. Let’s look at if AT&T might be a good fit for you or not. 

AT&T might be the worst internet provider if you live in a rural area or if you want bundled deals for internet and TV. They would be an excellent choice though if you are looking for fast upload speeds and you live in an urban area where fiber service is available. 

You might be wondering if the area you live in has good access to AT&T services or not. Don’t worry. We will go over all of it in this article. We will also discuss the different package options and what it means to have fiber service. 

Is AT&T Internet Worth It? 

Before first determining if AT&T might be a good internet provider for you, let’s look at the internet company’s history and the services they offer. 

They are the third-largest internet service provider in the world. They use a combination of fiber and hybrid fiber connections. Fiber is the fastest option and is a great option if you need reliable internet speed for downloading and streaming. If fiber is available in your area, choosing AT&T is probably a good idea. 

Hybrid fiber is available in less urban areas and is not as fast as the regular fiber option. In the states where AT&T internet is available there are currently 53 million households that use the services, but only 14 million have access to the full fiber network. That’s only a little more than 25%. 

If you live in an extremely rural area, you might only have access to the digital subscriber line service or DSL. This is an older type of internet that uses telephone wires rather than using current internet technology. It’s extremely outdated. If you’re in an area where only DSL is offered, AT&T is not the best internet option. 

AT&T Pros

In general, AT&T is a good option if:

  • You need fast internet and live in a fiber connection area
  • You only use the internet sometimes and live in a hybrid-connection area
  • You want affordable and reliable internet 
  • You’re okay with signing a 12-month contract 
  • You want the ability to choose your download speed and data usage 

Now, let’s take a look at the cons.

AT&T Cons

It’s not a good option if:

  • You live in a rural area 
  • You want bundling options 
  • You can’t afford the price jumps after the first year 

Since AT&T has many different plans available, you have the freedom to choose what you want and what you don’t want. This all depends on where you live though. So, before we dive into the internet plans, let’s see if you can use AT&T internet in your home. 

IS AT&T Available in My Area?

Before choosing to work with AT&T or not, you need to determine if it’s available in your area. Having a spotty connection will make it hard for you to use your WIFI for work or other activities. It can also make using streaming services, such as Netflix, extremely hard. 

AT&T only offers internet services in 21 different states including:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan 
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina 
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina 
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin 

Just because you live in one of these areas though doesn’t mean you can expect full fiber coverage. If you live in a rural area in one of the above states, you might still only have access to AT&T’s slower hybrid service. Extremely rural areas only get the DSL service, which is even slower. 

DSL service is not available to every new subscriber though. So, you might not even have the option of choosing it unless you meet certain requirements. 

The best way to tell if you will get coverage in your area is to plug in your address to AT&T’s internet page. Use your full address, not just your zip code. You can also ask neighbors or other people around your area if they use AT&T and what their experience has been. 

If you would like to see another article on AT&T, check out ours here.

Is AT&T Internet Affordable?

This depends on your monthly budget and the plan and speed of the internet you choose. Plans cost from $35 to $60 monthly for the first year. Prices go up monthly each year by $10 to $20 depending on the plan you choose. All contracts are 12 months long and you can’t switch plans once you’ve signed up for one. 

They currently have 7 different internet plans as outlined in the table below:

PlanMonthly CostConnection TypeDownload SpeedUpload SpeedData Cap
Internet 10$45.00Part fiber10 Mbps1 Mbps1 TB
Internet 18$45.00Part fiber18 Mbps1 Mbps1 TB
Internet 25$45.00Part fiber25 Mbps5 Mbps1 TB
Internet 50$45.00Part fiber50 Mbps10 Mbps1 TB
Internet 100$45.00Part fiber100 Mbps20 MbpsUnlimited
Internet 300$45.00Fiber300 Mbps300 MbpsUnlimited
Internet 1000$60.00Fiber940 Mbps940 MbpsUnlimited 

Keep in mind that even if you are in a fiber area and you choose a part fiber plan, you will only have access to the hybrid fiber network. You also have to pay a $10 monthly fee to rent the router. Most people install the router themselves, but you can also pay someone to set it up for you if you aren’t sure how to do it. 

Choosing a plan depends on how much you want to pay every month, the download and upload speeds you need, and how much data you need. If you live in a home with many people or roommates who will all be using the internet to stream and study, you might need to go with an unlimited plan. 

The most used plans from customers are the Internet 100 and the Internet 1000. These plans have the most subscribers throughout the states where the internet is offered, so let’s look at them more in-depth. 

Internet 100 

Most home users can use this plan. It offers unlimited data on the part fiber network. If you stream, use your computer for work or have just a few devices, this plan should be enough for you. 

However, if you and your partner or roommate both work from home at the same time, you might find that the download and upload speeds are not efficient. If you have several screens trying to stream at the same time, it might also be slow. For large families all with the device, it could also prove too slow. 

Internet 1000 

This is the plan you need to go with if you need maximum speed. If you work remotely and have to download and share large files, you will also need the higher speed that comes with this plan. 

If all your TVs and streaming devices are 4k, you should also consider using the internet 1000 plan. It does have a higher monthly cost though, so you will need to factor this into your monthly budget. 

Bundling your Internet and TV 

AT&T has expensive bundling compared to other internet providers. They offer internet, TV, and phone bundles. They only offer DirecTV Stream for TV though and the smallest package is $69.99. 

If you need cheap bundling and want more access to TV, you shouldn’t use AT&T. 

In Summary 

Is AT&T the worst internet provider? For some, yes. If you only have access to DSL or part fiber network, it might not be efficient for your work and activities. The bundling is also expensive and limited. 

If you live in a populated area though and can afford the high-speed internet packages, it could be a good option. The fast speeds are more than enough for remote working and streaming.

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