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6 / 10  Review Rating

Frontier Internet in a Nutshell

Offers Service in: California, Florida, Connecticut, Texas, New York, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, South Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee, Nevada, Nebraska, Iowa, Alabama, Georgia, Utah, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Washington

Major Cities Covered: Los Angeles, CA, Lakeland, FL, Tampa, FL, Akron, OH, Dayton, OH, Durham, NC, Fort Wayne, IN, Fontana, CA, Long Beach, CA, Corona, CA, Sacramento, CA, San Bernardino, CA, Kissimmee, FL, Saint Petersburg, FL, Sarasota, FL, Saint Paul, MN, Rochester, NY, Toledo, OH, Garland, TX, and Plano, TX

Starting Price: $49.99 per month (with Auto Pay)

Frontier

I’ve been a customer of Frontier for more than two years now, and a chief reason is that they are one of the most affordable internet providers around. With internet service, though, price isn’t everything. How much patience do you have for random moments when your internet won’t connect even when your modem lights are “green”? As you’ll see below, despite the occasional hiccup my connection generally withstands most of what my bandwidth-hungry household throws its way.

If you live in an area served by Frontier, you’ll find that they have a good balance of price and speeds, making them worth trying for any type of user. In this year’s review, I’ll show you all of Frontier’s plans (including the one I have at home, and the actual speeds I receive). I’ll also show you their equipment, discuss my experiences with customer service (much better than you might expect), and go through the fine print of signing up with Frontier.

How Good is Frontier Internet?

Ever since Frontier bought parts of Verizon Fios’ fiber internet network in 2014, they’ve become the fifth largest fiber and DSL internet provider and well known in the western and east north-central parts of the US. With fiber being the most sought-after internet connection, Frontier put itself in direct competition with major providers like Spectrum.

Frontier Fiber is the branding name for Frontier’s fiber internet service, and according to the FCC, Frontier Fiber is reliable — most Frontier Fiber customers receive speeds more than 90 percent of what’s advertised during peak hours. Although my internet service is generally reliable, I don’t receive those speeds consistently.

Based on my speed tests, my Frontier plan is not typically reaching its advertised speeds. That being said, there is minimal latency, and as I write this my son is watching Netflix while my husband is playing “Call of Duty.” Also, while I’m on a Zoom or Slack call with my team during the workday, things are typically just fine with the occasional blip or “freeze.”

It's worth noting that not all customers will have the same experience. I live in a more sparsely populated area. Densely packed cities generally report faster overall speeds.

Frontier’s internet deals give them an advantage over their competition — they offer some of the cheapest fiber and DSL internet plans where they’re available. Frontier's $49.99 (with auto-pay) pricing is something that only AT&T Fiber or a Verizon Fios deal can match.

Here are some of the top pros and cons of Frontier Internet.

Pros Cons
  • Three-year price lock
  • No data caps
  • No-contract options
  • Limited fiber internet availability
  • Low customer satisfaction rating

Frontier Plans & Speed

Frontier’s range of speeds across their plans are suitable for any household, but binge streamers and gamers will want their fiber internet plans. Frontier’s DSL plans and prices offer decent value, but DSL can't match fiber's speeds.

Frontier Plans, Pricing, and Speeds

* For 12 mos. One-time charges apply. Subject to availability. Cannot be combined with other offers. Other restrictions, Frontier policies, and service terms apply
Plan Connection Type Data Cap Starting Price *
Frontier Internet DSL No data cap $49.99 per month w/ Auto Pay
Fiber 500 Fiber No data cap $49.99 per month w/ Auto Pay
Fiber 1 Gig Fiber No data cap $74.99 per month w/ Auto Pay
Fiber 2 Gig Fiber No data cap $149.99 per month w/ Auto Pay

If available, Frontier's Fiber plans are the best value for your money. Frontier does offer DSL in many areas, but the speeds can vary widely. We recommend going with the Frontier Fiber Gig Service plan if you have it nearby.

Frontier Internet Data Caps – Does Frontier Fiber Have a Data Cap?

I hate data caps, and a truly great thing we like about Frontier is that all DSL and fiber plans are data cap free. This nuance is a big win for Frontier considering how often I’ve seen fiber internet providers only offer one data cap free plan which is always their most expensive, fastest option.

Additional Fees

Frontier internet comes with minimal fees and most of them are avoidable depending on where you live. Good thing, because these fees can add up with other providers!

Fees Cost Avoidable? Type
Installation $75 No One-time
Early Termination fee Up to $400 Yes One-time

Installation

The internet won’t turn on magically with Frontier. It will need to be installed. In our case, with fiber, it took a technician roughly 45 minutes to an hour to get us up and running and required drilling a hole through the wall from outside (like a cable installation). You’ll need to pay for this (typically $75) but the professional installation fee is cheaper than what I’ve seen from most providers.

There are two ways you can avoid Frontier’s installation fee: sign up during a promotional period or opt for self-installation. If you’re inclined to DIY, Frontier gives in-depth videos on how to self-install which helps make the process easier. Before you “try this at home,” make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Contracts

First, let me tell you about my contract experience. I originally signed up for a one-year contract with free installation. My price was guaranteed for three years, and I didn’t have to re-sign or call Frontier when my first contract ended to keep my service going. Now, I have another one-year contract since I upgraded. Frontier did let me know that I’m able to upgrade my speeds during my contract without having it extended — something I plan on taking advantage of here soon. I was assured I’d still pay the promotional price since I’m within contract, and that was great to hear.

Frontier advertises their plans as if they’re contract-free when really, you’d have to pay a higher monthly rate than what they advertise for their contract-free plans. Frontier’s promotional pricing requires a 1-2 year contract that has an early termination fee (ETF) that can cost up to $400. If Spectrum or Verizon Fios offer service in your area, don’t sweat ETFs—both providers offer to pay ETFs up to $500 for new customers. Plus, Frontier’s contracts are worth signing for the two-year price lock. Most internet providers I’ve analyzed only offer discounted rates for the first 12 months, then increase their prices by 10-20 dollars afterward.

Equipment

As for equipment, you’ll need to make a decision on whether to use Frontier’s router or use your own. Honestly, I’d stick with Frontier’s router unless you’re knowledgeable about network issues and troubleshooting internet connection. It’s about the size of a small book which makes it easy to fit anywhere. I know there’s a problem if the globe turns red or I’m missing a green light. Anytime I’ve had network issues I couldn’t fix on my own, Frontier was able to diagnose and repair my router in less than 10 minutes. Frontier’s equipment fee is worth paying for as it comes with fast technical support.

Frontier Router
Frontier Router

Getting a router from Frontier comes with a few perks:

  • Free upgrades
  • The router is optimized for Frontier’s network.
  • Frontier’s technical support can only troubleshoot their own equipment.

If you decide to get your own modem, you’ll save money in the long run.

Frontier Customer Service

Frontier has a low customer satisfaction rating among internet providers, but that score isn’t the best portrayal of their customer service. Instead, it’s more reflective of customer complaints about slow download speeds. Frontier’s technical support is quick to resolve issues when they can. My last call was one of those situations where the modem said “green” but nothing worked. Customer service reset the router on their end, and I was back online. The whole process took about 10 minutes from the time I dialed customer service.

There isn’t much that customer service can do about my slower than advertised speeds, but they’ve always been able to get my network back up and running while I’m on the phone. Frontier takes its customer service a step further by creating their own technical support guides and resources that are available on its website. And for the phone-shy, there’s an online chat feature and mobile app. I usually prefer online chat but I have trouble logging into my account on occasion, so I’ve started calling them to get my connection fixed faster.

Verdict

Frontier Internet doesn’t always deliver the speeds they advertise, but Frontier Fiber offers plans fast enough for heavy users like my family. Being budget-conscious, I feel that Frontier Fiber internet pricing is good.

6 thoughts on “Frontier Internet Review

  1. EdH says:

    Frontier continues to violate the new California Privacy law by providing, (selling) your IP address to their customers, without your express permission, which is a clear violation of the law. Because they are bankrupt, (Chapter 11 Bankruptcy) I guess they feel that they can sell your internet information, (IP address) to prospects so that they can continue to try and make money during their Bankruptcy.

    1. actually very mad says:

      Frontier is garbage. They are sued in so many states because of bad service. They use useless technical subcontractors without skills or capabilities to frustrate customers seeking remedy. CEO bonuses and bankruptcy amongst lost lawsuits is not the hallmarks of an adequate company.

  2. Mike Kelly says:

    I never get more then 700KBps when I DL anything, but the frontier speed test
    says I get 3 Mega BITS per second ( Small b not B ).

  3. Pissed off customer says:

    Frontier is a dam joke

  4. Josephine Tankersley says:

    I just want to know if you have sports channels for wrestling.

  5. Sam Ramirez says:

    I wish they would have sales people with literature and show up during the day ,not 8
    o’clock at night .

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