June 22, 2024

CloudsBigData

Epicurean Science & Tech

Best Internet Providers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

9 min read

You need to ask one question when shopping for internet in Pittsburgh: Is Verizon Fios available at my address? If it is, you’re in luck. Verizon Fios is CNET’s pick for the best overall internet provider in Pittsburgh. If you can’t get Verizon, Xfinity and T-Mobile Home Internet are solid backup options, but they have drawbacks like price increases and slower speeds. 

CNET considers speeds, pricing, customer service and overall value when recommending the best internet service in Pittsburgh across various categories. Our evaluation includes 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.

Our process has some limitations, though. Pricing and speed data are variable: Certain addresses may qualify for different service tiers, and monthly costs may vary, even within a city. The best way to identify your options is to plug your address into a provider’s website. 

Note that 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 speeds across the US, according to our database of plan information provided directly by ISPs. At the same time, the text is specific to what’s available in Pittsburgh. 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 also be available for things like committing to a contract or bundling with a cellphone plan. 

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

Top internet providers in Pittsburgh

There are three main options when it comes to internet in Pittsburgh: Verizon Fios, Xfinity or T-Mobile Home Internet. The only other ISPs available in the city are Verizon 5G Home Internet (not very widely available) and satellite providers (not very good). 

Verizon Fios

Best overall internet provider in Pittsburgh


Price range

$50 – $120 per month

Speed range

300 – 2,000Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Key Info

Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment with gig service

When Verizon Fios is operating in your city, the choice for internet is an easy one. Verizon’s fiber network gives you symmetrical upload and download speeds — ideal for households with people gaming online or videoconferencing — and it doesn’t have any data caps or equipment fees. All of that adds up to happy customers: Verizon ranked number one in Pittsburgh’s region in J.D. Power’s provider satisfaction survey.

Availability: 81% of Pittsburgh residents have access to Verizon Fios. 

Plans and pricing: There are three Verizon Fios internet plans in Pittsburgh. You can get 300Mbps upload and download speeds for $50 per month, 500/500Mbps for $70 or 940/880Mbps for $90. Verizon even locks in your price for two to four years, depending on the plan you choose. 

Fees and service details: There are no hidden fees or caveats with Verizon Fios. Equipment is included in the monthly price, data is unlimited and you don’t have to commit to a contract. You can also save up to $25 each month if you’re a Verizon Wireless customer.

Read our Verizon Fios home internet review.

Xfinity

Cheapest internet plans in Pittsburgh


Price range

$20 – $300 per month

Speed range

75 – 6,000Mbps

Connection

Cable

Key Info

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

If you’re one of the 20% of Pittsburgh households that can’t get Verizon Fios, Xfinity is a good consolation prize. It’s available virtually everywhere in the city, and its speeds actually go higher than Verizon’s — at least when it comes to download speeds. As with all cable internet providers, Xfinity’s upload speeds are much slower than download. It also has some of the most confusing pricing of any ISP, with increases after one to three years depending on the plan.

Availability: Xfinity is available to 99.6% of households in Pittsburgh, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Plans and pricing: There are five Xfinity plans available in Pittsburgh. You can get 200/10Mbps for $25 per month (increases to $77 after one year), 400/10Mbps for $35 ($92 after two years), 800/20Mbps for $60 ($97 after two or three years), 1,000/20Mbps for $70 ($102 after two or three years) and 1,200/35Mbps for $80 ($107 after two or three years). 

Fees and service details: Renting a modem and router through Xfinity will add $15 to your monthly bill, but you have the option of using your own equipment. Some plans also require you to commit to a one-year contract to lock in the price for three years. All Xfinity plans in Pittsburgh include unlimited data.

Read our Xfinity Internet review.

T-Mobile Home Internet

Best alternative to wired home internet in Pittsburgh


Price range

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

Speed range

72 – 245Mbps

Connection

Fixed wireless

Key Info

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

Unlike Verizon Fios and Xfinity, T-Mobile sends internet to your home wirelessly through its cellular network. In Pittsburgh, that means you’ll get 5G speeds — plenty for households with one or two people, but probably not enough for any more than that. Wireless internet is also more prone to network congestion than cable or fiber. But even with those drawbacks, T-Mobile still has the highest approval rating of any nonfiber provider in the country, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

Availability: T-Mobile Home Internet is available to 84% of Pittsburgh residents. 

Plans and pricing: T-Mobile offers only one internet plan. For $50 a month, you’ll get average download speeds between 72 and 245Mbps and upload speeds between 15 and 31Mbps.

Fees and service details: There are no hidden fees with T-Mobile. Equipment and installation is included at no extra cost, and you can save an additional $20 each month by bundling with an eligible T-Mobile cellphone plan.

Read our T-Mobile Home Internet review.

Overview of Pittsburgh internet providers

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
Xfinity Cable $25-$80 200-1,200Mbps $15 (optional) None Optional 7
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless $50 ($30 with eligible mobile plans) 72-245Mbps None None None 7.4
Verizon Fios Fiber $50-$90 300-940Mbps None None None 7.6
Verizon 5G Home Internet Fixed wireless $50-$70 ($35-$45 with eligible phone plan) 85-1,000Mbps None None None 7.2

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

Other available Pittsburgh residential internet providers

There aren’t a lot of other options for internet in Pittsburgh aside from the three providers highlighted above. Here are all the other ISPs that operate in the city:

  • Satellite internet: No matter where you live in the country, satellite internet is always an option — it’s just not a very good one. HughesNet and Viasat have slow speeds, stingy data caps and high costs, but they’re available everywhere in Pittsburgh. Starlink will get you faster speeds and lower latency, but it’s even more expensive: You’ll have to shell out $599 for equipment, and plans start at $120 per month. 
  • Verizon 5G Home Internet: Like T-Mobile Home Internet, Verizon utilizes its vast 5G network to offer wireless internet plans. It isn’t very widely available in Pittsburgh, but it’s worth a look if you’re hitting dead ends elsewhere.

pittsburgh-skyline

Mike Kline

Pricing info on Pittsburgh home internet service

Pittsburgh has five internet plans starting at $50 or less, which is on par with nearby Cleveland, Columbus and Philadelphia. Xfinity’s $25 per month plan is one of the cheapest you’ll find anywhere in the country, but it’s only temporary — the price jumps to $77 after a year. T-Mobile’s and Verizon’s introductory plans aren’t quite as affordable at $50 a month, but the price is locked in with both for at least two years.

Cheapest internet plans in Pittsburgh

Show more (1 item)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

How fast is Pittsburgh broadband?

Four gig-speed plans are available in Pittsburgh, which is comparable to other cities of its size. According to Ookla speed test data, Pittsburgh ranks 69th out of the 100 most populated cities in the US in terms of average internet speed. Residents receive 198Mbps download and 41Mbps upload speeds on average, compared with 207/23Mbps for the country as a whole. Verizon Fios is the fastest provider in the city, with average download speeds of 226Mbps.

Fastest internet plans in Pittsburgh

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

What’s the final word on internet providers in Pittsburgh?

No matter where you live in Pittsburgh, you should have access to a few good internet providers. Verizon Fios is the best of the bunch. It gives you symmetrical upload and download speeds, doesn’t charge extra for equipment, and you won’t have to worry about your price increasing after one year. Xfinity provides fast download speeds, but upload speeds are extremely low, and the price increases dramatically after one to three years on all plans. T-Mobile is an affordable backup option, but homes with more than a few people might need more bandwidth. 

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Pittsburgh

Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike with 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 customers 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.

Internet providers in Pittsburgh FAQ

What is the best internet service provider in Pittsburgh?

Is fiber internet available in Pittsburgh?

Who is the cheapest internet provider in Pittsburgh?

Which internet provider in Pittsburgh offers the fastest plan?

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