Cincinnati, the third largest city in Ohio, can claim many notable people as its own, including the first man on the moon Neil Armstrong, director Steven Spielberg, Uncle Tom’s Cabinauthor Harriet Beecher Stowe, actor and alcohol entrepreneur George Clooney, and actress Sarah Jessica Parker. It’s also where both Play-Doh and Pringles were invented. (The latter’s creator had some of his ashes buried in the iconic can.)
But whereas the small and mighty Queen City punches above its weight regarding notable people and products, it can’t say the same about its options for connecting residents to the internet. Most of the city has access to just two wired internet providers, Spectrum and Altafiber (previously known as Cincinnati Bell), 5G home internet from T-Mobile and Verizon, and satellite internet providers.
With limited options, it’s no surprise that Cincinnati’s median download speeds are low compared with other American cities and even those in Ohio. The Queen City places 79th on Ookla’s list of internet speeds in the nation’s 100 most populous cities, with median download speeds of about 175 megabits per second and upload speeds of about 34Mbps. Both Columbus and Cleveland can boast median download speeds of more than 200Mbps.
Best internet providers in the Queen City
Residents of Cincinnati have limited options when it comes to their selection of ISPs. Out of those choices, our pick for the best internet provider in Cincinnati goes to Altafiber, based on its speed and pricing.
Internet providers in Cincinnati overview
|Provider||Internet technology||Monthly price range||Speed range||Monthly equipment costs||Data cap||Contract||CNET review score|
|Altafiber||Fiber||$45-$85||400Mbps-2Gbps||$10 modem (optional)||None||None||N/A|
|HughesNet||Satellite||$50-$175||25Mbps||$15 or $350 one-time purchase||15-200GB||2 years||5.7|
|Spectrum||Cable||$50-$90||300-1000Mbps||Free modem; $5 router||None||None||7.2|
|T-Mobile Home Internet||Fixed wireless||$50 ($30 for eligible mobile customers)||72-245Mbps||None||None||None||7.4|
|Verizon 5G Home Internet||Fixed Wireless||$50-$70 ($25 to $35 for eligible mobile customers)||85-1,000Mbps||None||None||None||7.2|
|Viasat||Satellite||$50-$300||25-100Mbps||$15 or $300 one-time purchase||40-300GB||2 years||6.1|
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All available Cincinnati residential internet providers
The primary choice of ISP in Cincinnati will mainly be Altafiber or Spectrum. However, some city residents can access 5G home internet offerings from Verizon or T-Mobile. Satellite internet is also available from HughesNet and Viasat.
- HughesNet: If you’re in Cincinnati or its immediate suburbs, you probably don’t need satellite internet. It’s only available at speeds of 25Mbps, with prices starting at $50 with a two-year contract and equipment fees.
- T-Mobile Home Internet: Cincinnati residents can access 5G internet from Verizon and T-Mobile. T-Mobile’s home internet service is available for $50 (with autopay) and offers speeds up to 245Mbps.
- Viasat: The other major satellite internet company (until SpaceX’s Starlink launches more widely), Viasat’s monthly prices start at $50 and go up to $300, with speeds ranging from 25 to 100Mbps based on the plan.
Cincinnati internet details at a glance
Well, at least Cincinnati residents can choose their internet service provider. Most of the city can connect through Altafiber or Spectrum or opt for 5G internet from T-Mobile or Verizon if it’s available. Satellite internet is available through HughesNet or Viasat.
Pricing details on Cincinnati home internet service
Not including the pricey satellite internet options, Cincinnati residents can expect to pay just under $50 for internet service. The Queen City’s internet pricing is in the middle of the pack compared with other metropolises, such as Los Angeles’ average of $38 monthly.
Cheap internet options in the Cincinnati metro area
Connecting to the internet in Cincinnati doesn’t necessarily come cheap. The most affordable plan in the city comes from Altafiber, which offers 400Mbps for $45 per month. This price will last for the first 24 months of service, after which the company may raise the rate. Those eligible for the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program may get Altafiber’s 100Mbps service for free.
What’s the cheapest internet plan in Cincinnati?
|Provider||Starting price||Max download speed||Monthly equipment fee||Contract|
|Altafiber||$45||400Mbps||$10 modem (optional)||None|
|T-Mobile Home Internet||$50 ($30 with eligible mobile plans)||245Mbps||None||None|
|Spectrum||$50||300Mbps||Free modem; $5 router||None|
|Verizon 5G Home Internet||$50 ($25 with eligible mobile plans)||300Mbps||None||None|
Here are the internet speeds you can find in Cincinnati
Median download speeds in Cincinnati according to Ookla are about 175Mbps. Not bad, but not great. Thankfully, high-speed internet options are available in the city.
Fastest internet providers in Cincinnati
Need fast download speeds? Look at Altafiber’s 2,000Mbps plan for $85 per month, available at certain addresses. If you don’t have access to that plan, Altafiber also offers 1,000Mbps for $65 monthly. Verizon’s higher tier 5G internet at $80 per month tops out at 1,000Mbps, while Spectrum’s 1,000Mbps plan costs $90. That Altafiber 2 gig plan sure is appealing if it’s available.
What are the fastest internet plans in Cincinnati?
|Provider||Max download speed||Max upload speed||Starting price||Data cap||Contract|
|Verizon 5G Home Plus Internet||1,000Mbps||50Mbps||$70||None||None|
|Spectrum Internet Gig||1,000Mbps||35Mbps||$90||None||None|
What’s the final word on internet providers in Cincinnati?
For most Cincinnati residents, the choice of ISP will come down to either Altafiber or Spectrum, although some city residents also have access to 5G internet from T-Mobile and Verizon. Prices start around $50, and higher speeds are available for those willing to pay up to $85 per month.
Internet providers in Cincinnati FAQs