6 Worst Internet Providers to Avoid + 2 Reliable ISPs

Searching for a reliable internet provider can feel like an impossible task. Far too often, the big cable companies overpromise and under-deliver.

But did you know that a poor internet experience can also be attributed to using the worst wifi routers?

I’ve had my fair share of frustrations dealing with slow speeds, frequent outages, restrictive data caps, and abysmal customer service.

After much-wasted money and headaches, I’ve compiled this list of the worst internet providers based on my unfortunate first-hand experiences.

These are the bad internet service providers (ISPs) to avoid if you want to have stable, fast internet without breaking the bank or losing your sanity trying to get decent customer support.

And while we’re discussing brands to avoid, be sure to check out these bad power supply brands that could impact your tech experience, too.

I’ll also share the top reliable internet-providing companies for you to consider. So, let’s get started.

Worst Internet Providers to Avoid

Based on performance, reliability, speed, and customer reviews, the worst internet providers include Spectrum, Xfinity, HughesNet, Cox, Starlink, and AT&T.

Worst Internet Providers

1. Spectrum: A Wide Net with Many Holes

Having used Spectrum, it’s clear why many deem it one of the worst. Despite its massive presence across 41 states, its customer service is often found wanting.

Sure, they claim high-speed offerings and generous data plans. But delve into user experiences, and a different story unfolds.

Complaints of deceptive pricing, challenges in canceling, and less-than-stellar customer service are all too common.

Spectrum is a perfect example of poor value, slow performance, and frustration for customers. I advise avoiding them if you have any other options in your area.

2. Xfinity: A Name Change Can’t Hide The Past

Xfinity, previously known as Comcast, underwent a name shift, but many customers recall its history.

Over the years, Xfinity has indeed taken strides to enhance its service, especially with its increasingly robust fiber network.

Yet, past episodes of unfavorable customer service and not-so-transparent practices still overshadow these improvements.

Remember those exasperating procedures just to cancel a service? Or those unexpected and often hefty fines?

These factors still influence the opinions of many when looking at the worst ISP in the USA.

As the saying goes, “old habits die hard,” and for many, the ghost of Comcast’s past still haunts the halls of Xfinity. It is now among the worst ISPs to avoid.

3. HughesNet: Limited in Every Sense

Worst ISPs

Advertised as a savior for the expansive rural stretches of the USA, HughesNet appears to be a glowing beacon for many. Yet, its limitations are glaring.

Recounting my time with HughesNet, the most pronounced challenges were the data speed caps and frustratingly limited data packages.

While technology has advanced leaps and bounds, paying top dollar for what frequently felt like a poor internet service was irritating.

The issues extend beyond mere speed – stability, reliability, and value-for-money all come into question.

The common sentiment is clear: with the myriad technological breakthroughs, it’s high time HughesNet elevates its offerings.

4. Cox Communications: High Price, Limited Value

Size isn’t necessarily indicative of quality, a point proven by Cox Communications.

Their reach might be extensive, geographically speaking, but the breadth of their service quality often falls short.

It’s not uncommon to get lured in with enticing introductory offers, only to find these promotions give way to disproportionately high prices.

The binding, long-term contracts add another layer of discontentment.

When you compare these factors with their consistently below-average customer satisfaction scores, it’s easy to see why many internet users call them bad internet providers.

5. Starlink: A Star Not So Bright

Heralded as a revolutionary venture by SpaceX, Starlink burst onto the scene with its innovative low Earth orbit satellite network. The promise of minimal latency was alluring.

However, reality painted a slightly different picture. Using Starlink laid bare some significant inconsistencies.

Initial setup costs were astoundingly high, and the speeds, while commendable at times, weren’t always up to par with the advertised figures.

And while it boasts coverage across vast terrains, the consistency and reliability of the network felt like rolling dice.

Bad Internet Service Providers

6. AT&T: A Mixed Bag of Services

Navigating through AT&T’s offerings often felt akin to playing a game of Russian roulette.

Geographical location played a huge role in the kind of service one could expect.

Some were fortunate to bask in the blazing speeds of their fiber network, while others found themselves trapped in the sluggish grasp of DSL.

Their massive customer base is a double-edged sword. While it speaks volumes about their reach and trust, it also highlights the inconsistency in user experiences.

Digging deeper into user reviews, it’s evident that a sizable chunk of AT&T’s clientele grapples with poor download speeds and limited data caps.

Top Internet Service Providers

Now that you know the worst internet providers to skip, it’s only flare that we talk about the top ISPs in the USA.

These companies have proven their worth with optimum performance and excellent customer satisfaction.

But remember, the reliability of your internet also greatly depends on your devices. Avoid the bad computer brands to ensure that your hardware doesn’t let you down.

Top Internet Service Providers

1. Google Fiber: Speed As You’ve Never Experienced

In today’s digital age, speed is everything, and Google Fiber is a clear front-runner. When I switched to Google Fiber, the difference was like night and day.

Offering up to 1 Gbps, it’s not just about numbers. It’s about streaming 4K movies without buffering, gaming without lag, and multitasking without a hiccup.

Moreover, their pricing structure is transparent and straightforward. You know exactly what you’re getting without any hidden surprises.

Considering the maze of offers and conditions one often encounters elsewhere, it’s refreshing.

Google Fiber should be on your radar if you’re searching for a reliable ISP.

2. Verizon Fios: Consistency Meets Innovation

Few telecommunications companies have as much clout as Verizon, and their Fios service doesn’t disappoint. My first interaction with Verizon Fios was seamless.

I remember thinking, “So this is what top-tier internet feels like!”

Fiber-optic technology ensures you receive a consistent and lightning-fast connection, something not all providers can promise.

It’s not just about the speed, though. The customer service experience, at least in my journey, has been commendable.

Responsive, knowledgeable, and efficient are words that come to mind.Plus, they continually roll out features and updates to enhance user experience.

Verizon Fios stands tall for anyone wanting a blend of reliability and cutting-edge technology.


Understanding the terrain is crucial in your quest for the ideal internet service.Navigating the digital realm is similar to a double-edged sword.

While there are giants that promise the world and underwhelm, there are also those that consistently deliver on their commitments.

By sidestepping the worst internet providers and aligning with those who provide premium experience and performance, you can ensure an online journey that’s smooth and efficient.

Choose wisely, and empower your digital life.

Chris Evan - WorstBrands
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Christopher Evans is a Mechanical Engineer and is a distinguished expert in tire and electronic appliance testing with over 15 years of experience. Holding certifications like Automotive Tire Service (TIA) and Certified Appliance Professional (CAP). He is also a member of the the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and has significantly contributed to safety standards and testing protocols in both industries. Evans is a respected speaker and award recipient.

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