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Check out current AT&T internet service deals and promotions.
The backbone to any streamer’s setup is their internet connection. Streaming services may not require the fastest speeds to stream in HD, but it wouldn’t be possible to stream without a broadband internet connection. In general, I’ve found AT&T’s internet deals to be a good match for nearly any streamer. Best of all, you won’t be forced to bundle to get a good deal: AT&T has internet-only service with competitive prices and speeds.
If you’re considering AT&T, now may be the right time to sign up. New customers can get AT&T’s Internet 1000 fiber plan for $49.99 per month for the first 12 months. That’s $20 off each month for their fastest plan, and one of the lowest prices you’ll find for a gigabit fiber connection.
AT&T sweetens the deal by including an HBO Max subscription at no extra costs for its Internet 1000 customers. HBO Max is the successor to HBO Now, and it made the cut in our list of the best streaming services thanks to its smooth streaming and great original series.
Unfortunately, existing customers aren’t offered as steep of a discount. If you’re an existing AT&T customer, you’ll need to bundle services to receive a deal, but the caveat here is that you have to be an existing AT&T wireless customer. If you are, you can add either internet or TV to your list of AT&T services and receive a $10-a-month bill credit.
AT&T’s internet offerings used to be a little complicated, but they have slimmed down to just three plans:
Technically, there’s a fourth option: AT&T DSL plans, but they’re a rare sight. AT&T’s Internet 100 and Internet 1000 are mostly available in suburban and urban areas. You may find AT&T IPBB plans available in rural and more remote areas, but the speeds normally vary between 10-100 Mbps.
Each AT&T internet plan has enough speed for streaming, but deciding which plan is best for you should come down to how many people and devices you expect to have on your network. No provider can guarantee the speed they advertise, but AT&T’s Internet 1000 plan is the better choice if you have five or more people and devices online at the same time. It’s only a few dollars more than the 100 Mbps plan. Those few extra dollars give you a lot of extra speed, which means your connection will be up to the task of streaming on multiple devices at once.
All internet providers preface their plan speeds with “up to,” including AT&T. But unlike most other providers, AT&T internet can deliver speeds faster than what they advertised, even (surprisingly) during peak hours.
You could almost say AT&T is a company of their word—except that their Internet 1000 plan doesn’t provide up to 1000 Mbps, nor does it offer symmetrical upload/download speeds in the way that I usually expect from fiber internet. Instead, AT&T’s Internet 1000 plan offers up to 940 and 880 Mbps in download and upload speeds, respectively. That’s still a major improvement over the Internet 100 plan, which has up to 100/20 Mbps download/upload, but at least the Internet 100 plan is more upfront about your maximum download speed.
Amount of time calculated by dividing the data cap by the average data usage for streaming in HD (3 GB/hour) and SD (1 GB/hour).
Currently, the only AT&T internet plans to include a data cap are their DSL and fixed wireless plans, which have 150 and 250 GB data caps, respectively. As of March 12, 2020, AT&T suspended data caps on all their internet plans. The suspension expired on June 30 for fixed wireless customers but will last until September 30 for AT&T Fiber and Internet customers.
The only unlimited plans AT&T offers are its fiber internet plans, but you can get unlimited data on other plans for an additional $30 per month. Otherwise, AT&T Internet (the company’s IPBB plans) have a 1,024 GB, or 1 terabyte (TB) data cap. As we explained in our review of AT&T Internet, this is a pretty high cap that you're unlikely to reach — but you should still be mindful of it, especially if you do a lot of live or 4K UHD video streaming.
Each AT&T internet plan has a minimum 1-year contract with an early termination fee (ETF) up to $180 if you want their promotional pricing. You can opt for no-contract plans, but you will have to pay the regular monthly price starting your first month. A contract may give you a better deal if you aren’t able to get the Internet 1000 plan. Luckily, ETFs aren’t as intimidating as they once were — some internet providers offer to pay your ETF in exchange for you becoming a subscriber. It’s worth looking into competing providers nearby to see if they offer a similar deal. That way, if you’re unsatisfied, you can switch without worrying about the hefty fees involved.
On top of the monthly internet rate, AT&T charges an activation or professional installation fee to set up a new service and an equipment fee. The activation fee, $35 upfront, applies if you opt for self-installation. Professional installation, usually reserved for AT&T Fiber customers and those without the self-installation option, costs $99 upfront.
While AT&T’s 100 Mbps is similar to most of the major providers, you won’t find another gigabit fiber internet plan for a lesser price.
The AT&T THANKS benefits program sweetens whichever deal you choose. With it, AT&T customers with eligible plans can receive weekly discounts on movies, sports, and major event tickets as well as discounts on dining out at restaurants partnered with AT&T. AT&T Internet-only customers won’t have as many benefits available to them as bundle customers, who can also receive access to priority services, top-tier technical support (though this should be offered to all customers), and surprise offers exclusive to AT&T customers.
You can save the most money with AT&T, or get more discounts from their benefits program, by getting a bundle deal. AT&T still offers home phone and internet bundles for a few more dollars than their internet-only plans, but is it really worth it? If you can get past the minimum 1-year contract, AT&T Internet offers plans with optimal speeds for households of any size and deals to compete with any major provider. Head over to this year’s review of AT&T Internet to learn more about the pros and cons and overall service.