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Best Internet Providers in Denver


CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber – Best fiber internet provider in Denver

  • Prices from $30 – $70 per month
  • Speeds from 200 – 940Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Xfinity – Best availability among internet providers in Denver

  • Prices from $20 – $300 per month
  • Speeds from 75 – 6,000Mbps
  • Data caps on some plans

Starry Internet – Best fixed wireless internet provider in Denver

  • Prices from $30 – $80 per month
  • Speeds from 50 – 1,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Denver is one of my favorite cities. Full disclosure: I was born there and am a lifelong Broncos fan. But besides that, it’s a beautiful part of the country. However, while it ranks near the top of the best cities in my heart, its internet speed is… not so good. Yes, the 19th most populous US metro area places among the bottom 10 of the country’s fastest cities for broadband. Even I have to admit, that’s a bummer.

Ookla, known for its Speedtest, keeps tabs on the top 100 cities in the US and ranks them for median download speeds based on data gleaned from the countless speed tests run by the site’s users. Based on Ookla’s first-quarter 2023 report, Denver limped into 95th place with a median download speed of approximately 120 megabits per second. That’s one of the slowest median speeds among all the cities CNET has covered thus far, including the smaller cities of Austin (236Mbps), Charlotte (223Mbps), Orlando (217Mbps) and St. Louis (178Mbps).

One major reason for Denver’s lower median speeds is the lack of faster fiber connections throughout the metro area. Yes, you can get fiber service in Colorado’s capital city. But, one of the main providers, CenturyLink, is just as likely to have only DSL service at many addresses as its Quantum Fiber offering. That said, decent speeds are also available from Comcast’s cable internet service, Xfinity, which also has a wide footprint in the area.

Best internet providers in the Mile High City

Denver also has a variety of fixed wireless solutions, including 5G home internet options, to help connect Coloradans. To help you sort out your choices in the Mile High City, here’s what you need to know about the best internet providers in Denver.

CenturyLink logo on a phone screen
Sarah Tew/CNET

CenturyLink/Quantum Fiber

Best fiber internet provider in Denver

Product details


Price range

$30 – $70 per month

Speed range

200 – 940Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included with gigabit tier

CenturyLink’s fiber service, which has been branded Quantum Fiber in some areas (but not all, which is confusing, I know), is one of the few fiber providers in the greater Denver area. Buyer beware, though: Just because your address is serviceable for CenturyLink doesn’t ensure you’re serviceable for the company’s fiber service. Per the Federal Communication Commission’s most recent figures, its DSL service still makes up more than half of its coverage map.

Availability: Eligibility for CenturyLink’s fiber service includes the Denver metro area, but predominantly Aurora, just to the east, and the northern suburbs of Commerce City and Thornton.

Plans and pricing: You can expect one of the most affordable internet plans in the area. For example, at $70 per month, the fiber gigabit plan offers very good value at just over 7 cents per megabit-per-second, plus your gateway device is included (which is an additional $15 per month for customers of the 200Mbps plan).

Fees and service details: You don’t get the diversity of options you might see from other providers. There are only two plans from which to choose, the high-value gigabit plan or the 200Mbps tier, which is $30. That plan rings in at 15 cents per Mbps, which isn’t bad, but you’ll need to add $15 monthly for your equipment rental. CenturyLink still scores points here because fiber service is scarce in Denver. It’s tough to beat the symmetrical download and upload speeds it provides, and CenturyLink additionally boasts no contracts and unlimited data.

Read our CenturyLink home internet review.

A phone displays the Xfinity Logo
Sarah Tew/CNET

Xfinity

Best availability among internet providers in Denver

Product details


Price range

$20 – $300 per month

Speed range

75 – 6,000Mbps

Connection

Cable

Highlights

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

While CenturyLink’s fiber offerings are confined to two flavors (200Mbps and 1 gig), Comcast’s cable internet service, Xfinity, gives customers a wider range of options, including seven different plans.

Availability: While CenturyLink can be found throughout the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area, you might be rolling the dice on whether you’re looking at DSL service or the more desirable fiber connection. On the other hand, Xfinity features all plan offerings in all locations throughout Broncos Country. That means you can get connected with Xfinity if you’re as far north as Broomfield and Boulder, or ranging south of the city from Centennial to Castle Rock.

Plans and pricing: You can get a cheap internet plan for $25 a month (75Mbps), or you can go bold with a 6,000Mbps plan, though that’ll cost you a pretty penny — $300 per month, one of the most expensive home internet plans we’ve seen at CNET. Xfinity’s Gigabit Extra plan (at 1,200Mbps) is faster than CenturyLink’s top option (940Mbps), but it’s also more expensive, and as a cable connection, doesn’t feature symmetrical upload speeds.

Fees and service details: The biggest caveats here are the contracts and caps. You’ll be required to sign a term agreement (typically for 12 months, but the Gigabit Pro plan requires a full two-year contract) to get the best monthly rates on your home internet plan. Also, Xfinity places a monthly data cap of 1.2 terabytes on some plans. While that’s more than double the 496 gigabytes the average US household used in 2022 (per Open Vault’s quarterly findings), it might be a bit of a squeeze on those with a home full of connected devices.

Read our Xfinity home internet review.

Starry logo on a phone
Sarah Tew/CNET

Starry Internet

Best fixed wireless internet provider in Denver

Product details


Price range

$30 – $80 per month

Speed range

50 – 1,000Mbps

Connection

Fixed wireless

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, no equipment fees, simple setup

Starry garnered some buzz and headlines in 2022. Starry became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in March of that year. Shortly after, it was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Companies of 2022. However, Starry also ended the year on the outs with the NYSE, delisted. Nevertheless, Starry uses a millimeter-wave, fixed wireless technology, similar to 5G, to deliver broadband internet service to households (especially, but not exclusively, apartment complexes).

Availability: Starry is available throughout the Denver metro area, including Alamo Placita, Cherry Hills, Englewood, Glendale, Highlands Square and Holly Hills neighborhoods.

Plans and pricing: Most customers will be eligible for the 200Mbps plan for $50 a month, though some might also have access to Starry Gigabit, an $80-a-month plan that features 1,000Mbps download speeds and 500Mbps upload. 

Fees and service details: Starry’s broadband service features unlimited data and no contracts or equipment fees. It also has a low-cost internet program called Starry Connect, which gives broadband access to residents in public and affordable housing (a $15-a-month plan for 30Mbps symmetrical speeds). Starry Connect has local partnerships with the Denver Housing Authority, Englewood Housing Authority and Aurora Public Schools.

Read our Starry Internet review.

Internet providers in Denver overview

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
CenturyLink DSL/fiber $30-$70 20-940Mbps $15 (optional) None None 6.7
Google Fiber Webpass Fixed wireless $63-$70 1,000Mbps None None None 7.4
Rise Broadband Fixed wireless $25-$75 25-50Mbps $10 modem; $5-$15 router (optional) 250GB or unlimited None, but required for some promotions 6.2
Starry Fixed wireless $15-$80 30-1,000Mbps None None None 7
Xfinity Cable $20-$300 75-6,000Mbps $15 (optional) 1.2TB 1-2 years for some plans 7

All available Denver residential internet providers

The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area has other internet service providers beyond our top three picks. Here are your other ISP options.

  • Google Fiber Webpass: This fixed wireless solution from Google Fiber is similar to Starry Internet. It’s focused on apartment buildings and offers a high-speed service that’s one plan only: symmetrical gigabit speeds for $70 a month (or $63 a month with a yearly plan). Like its Google Fiber offering, Webpass features free installation and requires no contracts and equipment fees. Not as widely available in the Mile High City as Starry Internet, Webpass can be found at select addresses in the Highland, River North Art District and West Colfax areas.
  • Rise Broadband: Though you can find some availability within city limits for this fixed wireless provider, it’s a likelier solution for the more suburban and rural areas of the Denver metro area, including Evergreen to the west and Parker to the south. You can expect to see speeds as high as 50Mbps and some unlimited data options too, so Rise Broadband is a viable option in rural areas where satellite may be the main competition.
  • Satellite internet: No matter where you live in the US, satellite internet is an option. Is it your best option? Probably not, especially if you live within Denver city limits. There are going to be cheaper and faster plans available. But if you’re in the more rural outskirts of the Mile High City (I’m thinking Highlands Ranch, Roxborough Park, Sedalia and the like), you might seriously consider this mode as a way of being connected. HughesNet and Viasat, which both require two-year contract commitments, are your two most likely choices. Starlink, which currently has portions of the Denver area on a waitlist (per the Starlink availability map), might be an attractive alternative later in 2023. 
  • T-Mobile Home Internet: T-Mobile’s fixed wireless solution uses the carrier’s 4G LTE and 5G networks to provide cellular internet coverage for your home. The mobile carrier has been aggressively pushing its $50-per-month service, including such perks as a price-lock guarantee and a $20 discount for eligible Magenta Max customers. It’s appealingly straightforward — no contracts, equipment or setup fees and no data caps. While T-Mobile Home Internet is available throughout the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area, you’ll need to check your address on the T-Mobile site to determine if you’re eligible for home internet service. 
  • Ting Internet: This fiber internet provider is local to the south Denver suburb of Centennial. It caters to those looking for superfast and reliable internet service, featuring a symmetrical 1,000Mbps plan for $89 a month. There’s also an affordable option at $19 per month for symmetrical 5Mbps speeds. Equipment rental is $9 monthly or a one-time fee of $199. Suppose you’re interested in preordering service because Ting is not yet available in your neighborhood. In that case, the company requires a $9 deposit, which will be credited back to your first month’s bill (or refunded if Ting does not ultimately come to your area).
  • Verizon 5G Home Internet: Verizon’s 5G fixed wireless home internet product has a higher average download speed (300Mbps) than T-Mobile Home Internet and subscribes to a similar “everything’s included in one price” approach — installation, equipment and fees for $50 a month. On top of that, eligible Verizon Wireless customers can get a 50% discount to boot.

Denver skyline with the Rocky Mountains deep in the background

Getty Images

Denver internet details at a glance

Beyond an overview of the internet providers in Denver, there are more specific details about the types of internet plans you can get in the Mile High City. Let’s take a look at the cheapest internet in Denver, as well as the fastest internet plans you can find. 

Internet pricing in Denver 

If you look at the promo prices for all providers (and not the regular rates that kick in after the introductory period), the average starting price for internet service in Denver is approximately $39 per month. That’s pretty good. It puts Coloradans’ beloved “Cow Town” near the front of the line of other cities CNET has covered thus far, including Brooklyn ($36 a month), Los Angeles ($38 a month), San Francisco ($40 a month), New York City ($41 per month), Seattle ($42 a month), Austin, Dallas and Philadelphia (all around $43 per month), Houston ($45 a month), Phoenix ($46 per month), Atlanta ($47 a month), Orlando and San Antonio ($48 per month) and, all at $50 monthly — Charlotte, Chicago, Las VegasSan Diego and St. Louis

Cheap internet options in the Mile High City

Regarding specific plans, the lowest starting price belongs to Starry Connect, which offers a low-income internet plan of 30Mbps for only $15 a month. However, that’s only available to eligible public and affordable housing complexes. For everyone else, the cheapest internet plan you can find in Denver is Xfinity’s Connect plan, which features 75Mbps download speeds for $20 per month. Granted, that price jumps to $50 after your promo period, but at that point, you can consider other options (or negotiate with your provider) before committing to that plan at the higher price. 

Speaking of cheap internet, particularly low-income internet options, you should be aware that all the providers we’ve listed also participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program. It provides eligible low-income households a $30 monthly discount for affordable, high-speed internet. The ACP can go towards any internet plan (not just lower-tiered offerings) from participating providers. In May 2022, 20 providers partnered with the White House on its digital divide initiatives and vowed to offer plans of at least 100Mbps that customers could ultimately get for free when paired with the ACP. 

What are the cheapest internet plans in Denver?

Provider Starting monthly price Standard monthly price Max download speed Monthly equipment fee Contract
Starry $15 $15 30Mbps None None
Ting Internet $20 5Mbps 5Mbps $9 or $199 one-time purchase None
Xfinity $20 $50 75Mbps $15 (optional) 1 year
Rise Broadband $25 $35 25Mbps $10 modem; $5-$15 router (optional) None, but required for some promotions
CenturyLink $30 $30 200Mbps $15 (optional) None
HughesNet $50 $75 25Mbps $15 or $450 one-time purchase 2 years
T-Mobile Home Internet $50 $50 182Mbps None None
Verizon 5G Home Internet $50 $50 300Mbps None None
Viasat $70 $100 25Mbps $15 or $300 one-time purchase 2 years
Google Fiber Webpass $70 ($63 with year commitment) $70 ($63 with year commitment) 1,000Mbps None None

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Internet speeds in Denver

Regarding internet speeds, “Cow Town” is almost too appropriate. As mentioned earlier, Denver didn’t fare well on its median download internet speeds compared to other top US cities. Ookla’s speed test data shows Xfinity as Denver’s fastest provider, with a median download speed of approximately 232Mbps in the area. 


*Data sourced from M-LAB speed tests taken by real users in Denver.

Fastest internet providers in Denver

There’s only one major multi-gigabit provider within the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area — Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan, which is not widely available. That should soon change as Quantum Fiber (CenturyLink) plans to bring multi-gig plans to the Denver area. But until then, let’s say that Denver’s not exactly Chattanooga fast regarding internet speed.

What are the fastest internet plans in Denver?

Provider Max download speed Max upload speed Starting monthly price Data cap Contract
Xfinity Gigabit Pro 6,000Mbps 6,000Mbps $300 None 2 years
Xfinity Gigabit X2 2,000Mbps 35Mbps $120 1.2TB None
Xfinity Gigabit Extra 1,200Mbps 35Mbps $80 None None
Ting Internet 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps $90 $9 or $199 one-time purchase None
Starry Gigabit 1,000Mbps 500Mbps $80 None None
Google Fiber Webpass 1,000Mbps 1,000Mbps 70 ($63 with year commitment) None None
Xfinity Gigabit 1,000Mbps 35Mbps $75 None None
CenturyLink 940Mbps 940Mbps $70 None None

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The final word on Denver internet providers

While you can certainly find ways to connect in Denver, there aren’t the same number of options available here as you might find in some other big cities across the country. Xfinity’s cable internet — and the seven different plans it offers — will probably be your top option, but if your address is serviceable for CenturyLink’s fiber offering (and make sure it’s fiber, not the DSL service), make that your first choice. 

Best internet providers in Denver FAQs

Which provider has the best internet service in Denver?

We say it all the time, but it’s true — the best internet service for you depends on what’s available at your address. When you consider the whole of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area, you might lean towards Xfinity, since it’s the most widely available and offers the greatest variety of plan options. But for residents who are serviceable for CenturyLink’s fiber internet (particularly its very affordable gigabit plan), that provider will likely win your vote as “Denver’s best.”

Are there fiber internet providers in Denver?

Yes. CenturyLink provides the area’s majority of fiber coverage, though, somewhat confusingly, some areas will see “Quantum Fiber,” which is still CenturyLink. Muddying the waters even further, not all CenturyLink service in the Denver metro area is fiber — a majority is still the much slower and less reliable DSL. Xfinity’s Gigabit Pro plan is a 100% fiber option but has very limited availability. Although Google Fiber has a presence in the city, it’s not the company’s fiber-optic service, but a fixed-wireless option called Google Fiber Webpass. Finally, Ting Internet has a fiber internet offering, but it’s not available within city limits, only in Centennial, just south of the city. 

How much does cheap internet service cost in Denver?

Denver’s average starting price for internet service is approximately $39 a month. The cheapest internet plan in Denver is Starry Connect, a low-income, 30Mbps internet plan available in public and affordable housing for $15 per month. Next is Xfinity’s Connect plan, which provides 75Mbps for $20 monthly. If you consider value, CenturyLink’s fiber gigabit plan ($70 a month) offers solid affordability at just over 7 cents per Mbps. While other providers might have cheaper plans, none in the Denver metro area offers a better value. 



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