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Does AT&T offer good quality internet service? Find out in our hands-on review.
AT&T U-verse is now known as AT&T Internet. AT&T is aggressively focusing its AT&T fiber network, which opens speeds of up to 1 Gbps to subscribers. However, many AT&T service areas only have access to the company's DSL lines, which have much lower speeds.
AT&T U-verse, now known as AT&T internet, comes in cable and fiber-optic form. You can connect up to 10 devices at a time to your network and receive 99% streaming availability. The included Wi-Fi gateway router can be managed through a user-friendly app that works on your computer or your mobile devices.
The typical speeds that you'll see offered for the cable broadband service go up to 100 Mbps up and down. For the FiOS connection, you can receive up to 1,000 Mbps. The exact speeds offered in your area depends on the bandwidth availability and the infrastructure in place.
Anti-virus software protection is provided through the Internet Security Suite powered by McAfee. This includes a firewall and an anti-virus program to reduce the chances that you end up with malicious software on your system while you browse the Internet.
AT&T has many other services under its wing, including wireless, television and home telephone. Every AT&T Internet customer receives 11 email accounts with included spam guard and POP access.
If you find yourself traveling with your laptop or smartphone and you need broadband internet for streaming videos, AT&T offers access to 30,000 exclusive hotspots throughout the United States.
AT&T has a good reputation for customer support relative to other broadband internet providers. Customers have many ways to reach out and get help with problems. An online self-help portal and community forums give you the opportunity to resolve things quickly without getting AT&T directly involved. Many basic inquiries receive quick resolutions with this approach.
You can call, use live chat and even have in-store appointments. Facebook and Twitter are other support channels. If you need to set up a new service or check for outages, you can do that through your online customer control panel. Diagnostic tools, such as the AT&T troubleshoot and resolve feature, may be able to fix your problems before you need to contact anyone else. AT&T's video walkthroughs are also helpful.
AT&T offers customer support in more than 160 languages, and they also have accessibility solutions for people who need additional assistance with customer support. The company invests a lot in improving its customer experience, which is one reason it stands out in a market that's filled with support complaints. It has its share of detractors, but the overall reputation is much better than that of close competitors like Comcast.
The company also has an interesting initiative called the Service Escalation Program. If employees see that your problem isn't getting resolved through normal means, they have a process in place to proactively escalate your issue through a new service request.
AT&T has a presence in 21 states with DSL and fiber services. Rural areas and those with old infrastructure typically have access to AT&T Internet's DSL internet, while larger cities have the advantage of fiber.
The starting price for AT&T Internet services is $40-$50, and the top tier plan can cost as much as $100, depending on the current promotions and your location. The lowest speed is 5 Mbps, and the highest is 1 Gbps. Most plans, except for the top tier ones, limit you to 1 TB of data each month. The upload and download speeds are the same, and your fastest speed depends on the services available for your town or city.
Even with heavy streaming, it's unlikely that you're going to go near that cap. Nevertheless, it is a point against AT&T Internet. If you go over your limit, you get charged $10 per 50 gigs up to $100 extra per month. If you think that you're going to consistently incur overage charges, AT&T offers unlimited internet for an extra $30 per month. You don't pay extra for unlimited if you bundle your plan with other AT&T services.
AT&T Internet does not charge installation fees for the top fiber plan, but you are responsible for a $35 self-install fee or a $99 professional installation fee with other plans.
AT&T also has a Fixed Wireless Internet service, which is designed for customers living in extremely remote and rural regions that don't have other forms of broadband internet. You receive broadband internet that goes up to 10 Mbps for download speeds and 1 Mbps for uploads. This is a good option if you want to stream videos, but you're limited in your choices or have to deal with painfully slow speeds.
The data caps are much lower with this service, stopping at 170 GB. You pay $70 per month for the base service and then $10 per 50 GB of additional data. You can have overages of up to $200 per month. Unlimited data is not available with this service. You pay up to $99 for the installation of an outdoor antenna.
AT&T Internet runs a credit check when you apply for an internet connection. If your credit is bad, you may need to pay a security deposit before you're able to get service in your home.
A one-year contract is needed for many internet service plans. If you're bundling with television or other AT&T services, you may have a longer commitment.
The promotional price for services usually lasts for the first year. After that, it goes up to the regular amount.
A pro-rated early termination fee of $180 may apply if you cancel your service before the contract term is up. You also need to ensure that you return all AT&T owned equipment, so you're not charged equipment non-return fees.
AT&T's DSL internet services are middle of the road when it comes to speed and pricing, but its fiber services are excellent. However, you will have a challenging time finding AT&T fiber internet anywhere but larger cities, so you may be left out of its best service tier.
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