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This home internet provider has the best broadband — and this is the worst

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If there is one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that nobody feels satisfied with their internet performance. Well, okay, maybe not everyone, but many people often feel that they are not getting enough speed from their home internet or mobile network provider. 

Fortunately, Ookla (opens in new tab) runs quarterly reports to take a look at which providers have the fastest speeds so that you can make an informed decision. We took a look at their Q2 numbers to see which home internet broadband provider is currently the best, and which one needs to be avoided.

WiFi symbol

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A couple of notes regarding this report are worth mentioning. One, there are some internet providers that are left off this list that have gained popularity in recent years, including Google Fiber. Also, 5G home internet solutions from providers such as T-Mobile or Verizon (Verizon is included in this report, but only as Fios) are left off, as they are not considered broadband.

Finally, where you are located does matter when it comes to home internet and mobile network speeds. For someone living in San Antonio, they may wish to sign up for Google Fiber if they can, as it has the fastest median download speed of any provider in that region. Meanwhile, someone in Norfolk, Virginia may simply be limited to slower speeds due to the existing infrastructure in that region. For this analysis though, we are going to focus on the nationwide metrics only.

Median download speed (Mbps)Median upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ms)
AT&T146.64112.2712
CenturyLink41.2912.0215
Cox196.7310.611
Frontier136.99113.218
Spectrum183.7411.716
Verizon171.01112.368
Xfinity184.0818.8814

Best home internet broadband performance 

A happy family using devices connected to the internet

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When it comes to which broadband provider has the best home internet quality, Ookla does not have a clear winner. Cox had the fastest median download speeds but struggled with upload speeds. Frontier had impressive median upload speeds and latency but struggled when it came to consistency.

If I had to pick a winner for best quality broadband though, it would be Verizon. Based on the Q2 data that Ookla provided they were towards the top in every category, had impressive upload speeds and low latency and while their median download speed was relatively low compared to Cox, it was only 25 Mbps slower and still was over 170 Mbps. That is still plenty of bandwidth for most home internet consumers.

Worst home internet broadband performance 

A man looking at his computer in disbelief due to internet issues

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The clear provider consumers should avoid was CenturyLink. They were at the bottom or towards the bottom in every category that Ookla measured. However, there are two caveats that need to be addressed. One, Ookla was unable to provide a video performance score for CenturyLink. Two, the median download speed was skewed so low, that it may indicate a significant number of its customers simply choose a lower download speed plan. Still, with poor consistency and latency scores, I feel confident recommending against it. 

Malcolm McMillan
Malcolm McMillan

Malcolm McMillan is a News Writer for Tom's Guide. Before writing for Tom's Guide, he worked many retail jobs and many Black Fridays, including a stint for Microsoft. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. In his spare time, Malcolm is a fantasy football analyst. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.