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Memphis has a lot going for it. Blues. Beale Street. Elvis. Barbecue. The largest Bass Pro Shop in the world. What it doesn’t have is a lot of home internet service providers. It’s mostly a two-horse race between AT&T and Xfinity. The lack of ISP competition is reflected in the city’s 90th-place showing in Speedtest.net’s ranking of internet speeds in the 100 most populous cities in the US. But don’t let that get you down. There are ways to navigate the Memphis ISP scene and find a plan that works for you.
AT&T, our pick for best ISP in Memphis, has rolled out fast fiber to some parts of town while Xfinity offers a variety of cable plans with affordable options and reasonable speeds, including a 2,000 megabits per second tier. Fixed wireless providers Verizon and T-Mobile are alternatives that could work well if an open slot is available for your address.
CNET examines customer service, speed, pricing and overall value before recommending the best broadband in your area. All prices listed on this page reflect available discounts for setting up paperless billing. If you decide not to go with automatic monthly payments, your price will be higher. Let’s explore the best ways to get online in Memphis.
Best internet providers in the Home of the Blues
Choosing an ISP in Memphis comes down to what’s available at your address. AT&T Fiber is a top choice for fast speeds and simple pricing, but it may not run to your home. Xfinity is a solid runner-up thanks to reasonably fast cable speeds and a variety of plans. If neither of those work for you, then check into fixed wireless for affordable internet when bundled with an eligible phone plan.
Note: The prices, speeds and features detailed in the article text may differ from those listed in the product detail cards, which represent providers’ national offerings. Your particular internet service options — including prices and speeds — depend on your address and may differ from those detailed here.
Internet providers in Memphis overview
|Provider||Internet technology||Monthly price range||Speed range||Monthly equipment costs||Data cap||Contract||CNET review score|
|AT&T Internet||DSL||$55||768Kbps-100Mbps||None||1.5TB (no data cap for 100Mbps plan)||None||7.4|
|T-Mobile Home Internet||Fixed wireless||$50||72-245Mbps||None||None||None||7.4|
|Verizon 5G Home Internet||Fixed wireless||$50-$70||85-1,000Mbps||None||None||None||7.2|
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Source: CNET analysis of provider data
All available Memphis residential internet providers
AT&T Fiber, Xfinity and Verizon 5G Home Internet are our top choices for ISPs in Memphis, but there are other options. It’s tough to recommend AT&T Internet and its slow DSL service, but T-Mobile’s fixed wireless internet can be a usable alternative for budget-minded households that are only serviced by DSL or cable.
- AT&T Internet: AT&T Fiber is superior to the company’s older AT&T Internet DSL option. Speeds typically top out at 100Mbps, but many locations will only be able to get much slower service, sometimes as pokey as a mere 768Kbps. No matter what speed is available, you’ll be looking at a $55-a-month price tag, a data cap with most speed tiers, and pricing that can rise after a year. If it’s down to extremely slow AT&T DSL or Xfinity’s cable offerings at your address, go with Xfinity.
- T-Mobile Home Internet: T-Mobile is a solid alternative to slow DSL or pricier cable internet plans. For $50 per month, you can expect speeds of 72 to 245Mbps with no contract, data cap or equipment cost. The company typically charges a $35 service fee when you get started but it’s offered a $50 reward card to make that more palatable. Bundle it with an eligible phone plan to get your home internet for $30 a month.
- Satellite internet: With few ISPs to choose from in Memphis, you may be tempted to investigate satellite internet from Starlink, Viasat or HughesNet. Satellite internet can be pricey and may not wow you with its speed, but it’s a useful option for rural locations. Starlink’s on-the-go plan is tempting for seasoned travelers and anyone who needs to work on the road or from remote areas.
Memphis broadband at a glance
Xfinity and AT&T Fiber are both worthy competitors for your internet dollars, with Xfinity leading the charge with low-cost plans (though watch out for future price hikes). Verizon and T-Mobile make a strong argument with simple plans and pricing and excellent deals when you bundle with phone service.
Pricing info on Memphis home internet service
Memphis’s average starting price for home internet is just under $50. If you have room for $50 or $55 in your budget, then you can shop comfortably with any area ISPs. You can, of course, go to the other extreme if needed. AT&T Fiber’s 5,000Mbps plan costs $180 monthly but also gets you some of the fastest residential internet speeds in the immediate area.
Cheap internet options in the Memphis metro area
Several plans compete to be the cheapest internet offering in Memphis. Xfinity’s 75Mbps level costs $30 a month for the first year, but compare that with the ISP’s other offerings. You may spot a deal for the 200Mbps plan for $25 a month with a promotional discount. The closest price competitors are T-Mobile and Verizon when you bundle with an eligible phone plan. AT&T Fiber’s $55 plan for 300Mbps service is the cheapest fiber offering. That’s a reasonable entry point for fiber, and it’s worth a look for budget buyers who need fast uploads.
Low-income households should check for eligibility for the federal Affordable Connectivity Program. Qualified residents can get at least $30 monthly off their internet bill, netting you free or cheap internet. Most ISPs participate in this program. With almost any ISP, sign up for the autopay option. Most will charge you more if you skip it.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data
How fast is broadband in Memphis?
Memphis doesn’t rank highly on Ookla’s list of internet speeds for the biggest cities in the US. Recent stats from Speedtest.net show a median fixed download speed of about 177Mbps. To be fair, that’s workable for most internet users. The good news comes from Xfinity’s Gigabit X2 plan and AT&T Fiber’s 1,000Mbps, 2,000Mbps and 5,0000Mbps offerings. Those are speeds worth celebrating. Check out our guide to the best multi-gigabit internet plans.
Fastest internet providers in Memphis
AT&T is the top dog in Memphis with its 5,000Mbps fiber plan for $180 a month. If it’s available at your address and you need that kind of speed, then you’re in luck. Xfinity is the next closest competitor with its Gigabit X2, a 2,000Mbps plan for $100 monthly for the first 24 months. It’s been offering unlimited data and no contract to go along with the palatable price tag. That puts Gigabit X2 in close contention with AT&T’s 2,000Mbps speed tier for $110. Xfinity has a leg up regarding availability in Memphis, but AT&T Fiber takes the crown for the fastest upload speeds.
Source: CNET analysis of provider data
What’s the final word on internet providers in Memphis?
I’m a proponent of fiber if you can get it. Fast downloads. Fast uploads. What’s not to like? If you’re in luck and AT&T Fiber services your address, I recommend prioritizing that as your first option. Xfinity, however, is there to pick up where AT&T leaves off. It’s been a stalwart of the American ISP scene, and its relatively new Gigabit X2 plan makes it a solid option for power users who need multi-gigabit speeds. If you’re stuck with few options or don’t like the options you have, then check into Verizon or T-Mobile for fixed wireless internet. You may find it works just fine for your needs and is easy on your pocketbook.
How CNET chose the best internet providers in Memphis
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? We start by researching the pricing, availability and speed information drawing on our own historical ISP data, the provider sites and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov.
But it doesn’t end there. We go to the FCC’s website to check our data and ensure we’re considering every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for residents. To evaluate how happy people are with an ISP’s service, we look at sources including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as of the time of publication.
Once we have this localized information, we ask three main questions:
- Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds?
- Do customers get decent value for what they’re paying?
- 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.