October 4, 2023


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Best Internet Providers in Charleston, South Carolina

12 min read

AT&T – Best fiber internet service in Charleston

  • Prices: $55 – $180 per month
  • Speeds: 300 – 5,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included

Xfinity – Best for availability in Charleston

  • Prices: $20 – $300 per month
  • Speeds: 75 – 6,000Mbps
  • Key Info: Data caps on some plans, lots of plan options, solid customer satisfaction numbers

T-Mobile Home Internet – Best alternative to traditional wired internet service in Charleston

  • Prices: $50 per month
  • Speeds: 72 – 245Mbps
  • Key Info: Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees

WOW Internet – Best option for cheap internet in Charleston

  • Prices: $20 – $95 per month
  • Speeds: 100 – 1,200Mbps
  • Key Info: Good promo prices, no contracts, unlimited data on some plans

I live just under 200 miles from Charleston, South Carolina, and let me be transparent: The last thing on my mind when I visit is my broadband options. I’m usually focused on fluffy biscuits, sandy beaches and bustling markets. But Charleston residents have a solid lineup of cable and fiber internet service choices offered by a wide variety of providers, according to a CNET analysis.

One hundred percent of Charleston households have access to a broadband connection (defined as 25 megabits per second download and 3Mbps upload speeds), according to the Federal Communications Commission, and 98% are eligible for plans that offer download speeds up to 250Mbps. That’s unusual. In South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia, for example, 92% have access to internet plans that fast, which would allow a household of four to comfortably stream shows, work from home and game simultaneously, per FCC guidelines.

Residents of The Holy City have lots of choices, including fiber plans from AT&T and local provider Home Telecom and cable connections from Xfinity or Spectrum. There’s also 5G home internet from T-Mobile Home Internet or Verizon 5G Home Internet. 

CNET considers speeds, pricing, customer service and overall value to recommend the best internet service in Charleston across a number of categories. Our evaluation includes referencing a proprietary database built over years of reviewing internet services. We validate that against provider information by spot-checking local addresses for service availability. We also do a close read of providers’ terms and conditions and, when needed, will call ISPs to verify the details.

Despite our efforts to find the most recent and accurate information, our process has some limitations you need to know. Pricing and speed data are variable: Certain addresses may qualify for different tiers of service and monthly costs may vary, even within a single city. The best way to identify your particular options is to plug your address into a provider’s website. 

Also, the prices, speed and other information listed above and in the provider cards below may differ from what we found in our research. The cards display the full range of a provider’s pricing and speed across the US, according to our database of plan information provided directly by ISPs, while the text is specific to what’s available in Charleston. The prices referenced within this article’s text come from our research and include applicable discounts for setting up automatic payments each month — a standard industry offering. Other discounts and promotions might be available as well, for things like signing a term contract or bundling with multiple services. 

To learn more about how we review internet providers, visit our full methodology page.

Best internet options in Charleston

Price range

$55 – $180 per month

Speed range

300 – 5,000Mbps



Key Info

Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included

Show more details

Price range

$20 – $300 per month

Speed range

75 – 6,000Mbps



Key Info

Data caps on some plans, lots of plan options, solid customer satisfaction numbers

Show more details

Price range

$50 per month
($30 for eligible mobile customers)

Speed range

72 – 245Mbps


Fixed wireless

Key Info

Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees

Show more details

Price range

$20 – $95 per month

Speed range

100 – 1,200Mbps



Key Info

Good promo prices, no contracts, unlimited data on some plans

Show more details

Overview of internet providers in Charleston

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
AT&T Internet  DSL $55 10-100Mbps None 1.5TB (none for 100Mbps plan) None 7.4
AT&T Fiber Fiber $55-$180 300-5,000Mbps None None None 7.4
Home Telecom Fiber $70-$100 300-1,000Mbps None None None N/A
Spectrum Cable $50-$90 300-1,000Mbps Free modem; $5 for router (optional) None None 7.2
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless $50 ($30 with eligible mobile plans) 72-245Mbps None None None 7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet Fixed wireless $50-$70 (50% off with eligible phone plan) 85-1,000Mbps None None None 7.2
WOW Cable $20-$95 100-1,200Mbps $10 (optional) 1.5TB-3TB (unlimited for 1.2 Gigs) None 7.2
Xfinity Cable $30-$80 75-1,200Mbps $15 (optional) 1.2TB 1-2 years, depending on plan 7

Show more (4 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Other available Charleston residential internet providers

Charleston has more ISPs than many other cities in the US, providing a rather extraordinary range of options. Here are some other providers worth considering.

  • Home Telecom: This company covers about 7% of Charleston, with availability mostly in the Daniel Island area. Its fiber-optic plans offer 300Mbps, 500Mbps or 1 gig for $70, $80 or $100 monthly — which is a bit more expensive than AT&T’s Fiber plans. But it’s a local outfit, equipment is included, and there are no data caps or contracts.
  • Satellite internet: We recommend avoiding satellite internet in Charleston, given that cheaper and faster options are widely available. Satellite internet is best for rural areas that cable and fiber don’t reach. If that’s where you live, HughesNet and Viasat are the most prominent providers, though each requires a two-year contract. Elon Musk’s Starlink, which offers higher download speeds and lower latency, may soon be a more viable option: The company’s availability map says it will expand to Charleston in 2023. 
  • Spectrum Internet: Charter Communications’ home internet service is available to about 5% of the area, mostly north of the city in Ladson and Summerville. There are three different cable internet plans: 300Mbps for $50 per month, 500Mbps for $70 monthly and a gigabit offering for $90 per month. There are no data caps or contracts. Prices increase by $30 monthly after the first year.
  • Verizon 5G Home Internet: Like T-Mobile, Verizon uses its cellular network to wirelessly provide home broadband connections. It offers higher maximum download speeds than T-Mobile (1,000Mbps vs. 245), but it’s only available to about 12% of Charleston households.

Scenic view of the St. Michaels Church from Broad St. in Charleston, SC.

Susanne Neumann/Getty Images

Pricing info on Charleston home internet service

The average starting price for internet in Charleston is around $43 per month — on par with other cities, including Austin, Dallas and Philadelphia. 

What are the cheapest internet plans in Charleston?

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Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Charleston broadband speeds

According to the FCC, 100% of Charleston residents have access to broadband internet and, even more impressively, more than 30% are eligible for gig speed connections (940-1,000Mbps) from either AT&T Fiber, Home Telecom, Spectrum or Xfinity. AT&T also offers multigigabit plans up to 5 gigs (5,000Mbps). 

What are the fastest internet plans in Charleston?

Provider Max download speed Max upload speed Starting price Data cap Contract
AT&T Fiber Internet 5000 5,000Mbps 5,000Mbps $180 None None
AT&T Fiber Internet 2000 2,000Mbps 2,000Mbps $110 None None
WOW Internet 1.2 Gigs 1,200Mbps 50Mbps $95 None None
AT&T Fiber Internet 1000 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps $80 None None
WOW Internet 1 Gig 1,000Mbps 50Mbps $50 3TB None
Xfinity Gigabit Extra 1,200Mbps 35Mbps $80 1.2TB 2 years
Home Telecom 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps $100 None None
Verizon 5G Home Internet 1,000Mbps 50Mbps $70 ($35 with qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plans) None None
Spectrum Internet Gig 1,000Mbps 35Mbps $90 None None
Xfinity Gigabit 1,000Mbps 20Mbps $75 1.2TB 2 years

Show more (6 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

What’s the bottom line on Charleston internet providers?

Residents of Charleston have a variety of options when it comes to choosing a broadband provider. Xfinity covers nearly every address in the city, and some households can get faster upload speeds through fiber connections from AT&T and local provider Home Telecom. And If it’s cheap internet you’re after, look no further than WOW — it has some of the lowest starting prices you’ll find anywhere in the US.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Charleston

Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen tool, it’s impractical to personally test every ISP in a given city. So what’s our approach? For starters, we tap into a proprietary database of pricing, availability and speed information that draws from our own historical ISP data, partner data and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov. 

This guide leverages an in-house artificial intelligence tool called RAMP, which is trained on our own writing and uses our database to generate content about specific internet service providers that our writers can use in determining and presenting our picks for a given guide. Check CNET’s AI policy for more information about how our teams use (and don’t use) AI tools.

Because our database is not exhaustive, we go to the FCC’s website to check the primary data for ourselves and make sure we’re considering every ISP that provides service in an area. Plans and prices also vary by location, so we input local addresses on provider websites to find the specific options available to residents. We look at sources, including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power, to evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP’s service. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as of our prepublication fact-check.

Once we have this localized information, we ask three main questions: 

  1. Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds? 
  2. Do customers get decent value for what they’re paying? 
  3. Are customers happy with their service? 

While the answer to those questions is often layered and complex, the providers who come closest to “yes” on all three are the ones we recommend. To explore our process in more depth, visit our how we test ISPs page.

Internet providers in Charleston FAQs

Which is the best internet service provider in Charleston?

Which is the cheapest internet provider in Charleston?

Which Charleston internet provider offers the fastest plan?

Is fiber internet available in Charleston?

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