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Best Internet Service for Seniors in 2023

Our experts have researched 7 internet providers and recommend 5 of the best options for seniors.

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SeniorLiving.org is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews.

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Did you know that 75 percent of adults aged 65 and over used the internet in 2021?1 Whether you want to virtually connect with family and friends, start a hobby, or watch your favorite movie, the internet is truly an amazing resource. If you’re feeling flustered about choosing the best internet service for your needs and budget, we have you covered.

Learn more about our top internet providers and essential questions to consider when shopping for internet service. We know living on a fixed income can be challenging, so we’ll also offer plenty of tips for finding the best low-cost internet for seniors and veterans.

How We Chose Our Top List

There are a lot of internet carriers out there! We selected seven of the top internet providers on the market and compared costs, customer satisfaction, internet speed, and plan options. From there, we narrowed our list down to the best of the best. Read on for the top five providers that offer the best internet service for seniors.

  • 1. Xfinity

    Love a good bundle? Our research team found that Xfinity by Comcast offers the best bundling options that give seniors access to high-speed internet, hundreds of HDTV channels, and a home phone line. These bundles offer significant discounts with longer-term contracts compared to purchasing each service separately. Certain bundles come with perks like faster internet, premium channels, and free movies and shows on demand. With Xfinity bundles, you can enjoy endless entertainment right at your fingertips.

    While the company doesn’t currently provide senior-specific discounts, internet rates start around $30 per month with a one-year term agreement. Xfinity offers prepaid contract-free bundling and internet options, so you won’t have to commit for a long term if you don’t want to. However, you’ll receive the best rates with a long-term contract, so if you plan on staying put for at least a year, we’d recommend it. You also get a $20 discount off your plan for up to 24 months if you sign up for Xfinity Mobile.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Average Above Average Average Average
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    Pros
    • Variety of internet and entertainment bundles available
    • Household internet speeds up to 1,200 Mbps
    • Perks and discounts with bundles
    • Contract-free options
    Cons
    • The best rates require long-term contracts.
    • Promotional prices increase after 12 months.
    • There’s no senior-specific discount.

    From the experts: Xfinity is a one-stop shop for your technology needs! For an in-depth look at Xfinity’s offerings, including budget-friendly bundles, read our review of Xfinity’s internet plans or our Xfinity cable TV review.

  • 2. AT&T

    AT&T Communications has been changing the way people live, work, and play for more than 140 years and provides mobile and broadband service to more than 100 million U.S. consumers.2 AT&T earned our accolade for the best variety of internet plans for seniors thanks to their stellar plan options, reliability, pricing, and perks. Their internet services are top-notch, delivering a high-speed, secure internet connection with 99 percent reliability. Every AT&T internet plan includes the AT&T Internet Security Suite powered by McAfee, a robust security software for protecting your computer from dangerous viruses, hackers, and spyware.

    We love perks, and AT&T doesn’t disappoint! You can earn rewards, discounts, and special offers through the AT&T Thanks program just for being a customer. AT&T plans start at $55 per month, and if you’re tech savvy, you can save $50 or more on installation by using their free self-install kit.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
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    Pros
    • No annual contract
    • Free self-installation kit
    • AT&T Smart Home Manager app for your Wi-Fi network and connected devices
    • Over 30,000 Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide
    • Discount for autopay and paperless billing
    • AT&T THANKS rewards program
    • Fixed wireless option for rural areas
    Cons
    • Fiber internet only available in 21 states
    • Installation and equipment fees

    Find out more: Learn more about AT&T internet in our AT&T internet for seniors review.

  • 3. Spectrum InternetⓇ

    Several companies offer internet for low-income seniors (more on this later!), but Spectrum (a subsidiary of Charter Communications) earned our choice for best low-cost internet for seniors thanks to their Spectrum Internet Assist plan. To qualify for Spectrum Internet Assist, one or more members of your household must currently receive assistance under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for applicants 65 or older, the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), or the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

    Spectrum’s Internet Assist program is quite robust, offering high-speed internet, a free internet modem, and the option to add WiFi for only $5 more per month. It’s simple to apply online, or you can print the application and mail it in if you prefer.

    It’s important to note that if you owe any debt to Charter Communications (up to one year prior to your application) or have been a customer of Charter Communications within the past 30 days, you will not qualify for the Spectrum Internet Assist program.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
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    Pros
    • No data caps on most plans or contracts
    • Free internet modem
    • High-speed internet up to 1 Gbps
    • Optional in-home WiFi device for $5 per month
    • Participation in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program
    Cons
    • Recipients of Social Security Disability (SSD), SSD Insurance, and Social Security Retirement and Survivor Benefits do not meet eligibility requirements for the Internet Assist plan.
    • Equipment, activation, and installation fees may apply.

    Inside tip: Learn more about Spectrum’s low-cost and traditional internet plans in our Spectrum Internet review.

  • 5. Cox

    If you’re looking for top-notch customer technical support, look no further than Cox Communications! This Atlanta-based company provides internet, cable TV, and telephone services to over 6.5 million homes and businesses across 18 states.

    Cox’s 30-day money-back guarantee lets you change your plan with no pressure. With Cox, you won’t wait weeks to get your internet up and running. Orders placed before 1 p.m. Monday through Friday receive free next-day delivery. If you are tech savvy and would prefer to set things up yourself, just use Cox Easy Connect, a convenient self-installation kit.

    Cox offers several internet plans to choose from. Plans range from $49.99 per month for Cox’s entry level plan (Internet Essential 100) up to $69.99 per month for their top-of-the-line Gigablast plan with a 12-month contract. Don’t want to lock into a contract? For customers who want greater flexibility, Cox’s month-to-month prepaid internet plans come without a term agreement.

    Ease of use Equipment Service & Response Features & Tech Pricing
    Above Average Above Average Above Average Above Average
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    Pros
    • 24/7 technical support
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • Free next-day delivery for orders placed Monday through Friday before 1 p.m.
    • Free Cox Security Suite-Plus included in all plans
    • Four million Cox Wi-Fi hotspots
    • Bundles for internet, home security, and phone service
    Cons
    • One-year contract for best internet prices
    • Early cancellation fee
    • Price increase after contract term ends
    • Only available in 18 states

    From the pros: Head over to our Cox internet review to find out how Cox compares to other top internet providers.

What Can Seniors Do With Internet Access?

According to research by Pew Research Center, 96 percent of people ages 50 to 64 are internet users, and 65 percent of people over 65 report the same.3 There are virtually unlimited options for what older adults can do with internet access.

The internet makes it so much easier to connect with family and friends, no matter where you are. It’s also an excellent resource to connect with like-minded seniors who engage in the same hobbies that you enjoy, or to branch out and make new friends via social media.

As the famous saying goes, we never stop learning. Whether you’re taking free or discounted education classes online, trying out a new recipe, watching a video tutorial on crafting, or simply staying up to date on the news and local events, the internet is an excellent resource!

Also, if you’ve been bitten by the travel bug, it’s easy to take care of all the details online. You can research and plan your trip, book your transportation and hotel, and arrange for sightseeing tours, all from the comfort of your home!

Which Is the Best Type of Internet Plan for Seniors?

There are a variety of internet plans available to older adults. From basic plans with lower speeds to full internet, TV, and home phone bundles, you’re sure to find an option that fits your needs and budget. Below, we break down our recommendations for the different types of internet plans for seniors.

Type of internet plan for seniors Who it’s best for
Free or low-cost internet for seniors Older adults participating in Medicaid, public housing assistance, Veterans Pension, SNAP, SSI, the Affordable Connectivity Program, or other assistance programs
Basic internet plans Casual internet usage such as light surfing, checking emails, and accessing social media
Unlimited internet data plans Tech-heavy households using numerous devices at once, HD streaming, downloading large files, and integrating smart home devices
Bundled plans Customers who want to purchase all of their tech and entertainment needs from the same provider

Pro Tip: Using the internet doesn’t have to be intimidating! Our technology for seniors guide provides in-depth information on making the most of your connection to the world!

Is There Free Internet for Seniors?

It’s common for local senior centers and public libraries to offer no-cost access to computers and the internet. If you’re out and about with your smartphone or laptop, you’ll find free Wi-Fi hotspots in shops, restaurants, airports, cafes, and more.

As for senior internet plans, the cost varies greatly by provider, your lifestyle and needs, and even location. We’d recommend calling local providers to find out if they offer free internet for seniors in your area. If the provider doesn’t offer free internet or a senior discount, they may have current deals and discounts that you’re eligible for. You can also negotiate with the provider to get the best rates possible.

Learn more about free internet for seniors in our video hosted by Jeff Hoyt, editor-in-chief of SeniorLiving.org.

Inside tip: Discounted internet is just one way to save money! Head over to our senior discounts and savings guide for over 100 senior discounts to cash in on.

Internet for Low-Income Seniors

On a tight budget? Check out our top picks for low-cost internet plans from the nation’s leading internet providers.

Low-cost internet plan Requirements
AT&T Access Program You must participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), or Head Start program.
The program is also open to California residents receiving SSI.
Comcast Xfinity Internet Essentials You must participate in Medicaid, public housing assistance, Veterans Pension, SNAP, SSI, or other assistance programs.
Cox Connect2Compete You must have at least one K-12 student in your household and participate in a government assistance program.
Spectrum Internet Assist You must participate in one of the following programs: SSI (for applicants age 65+ only), NSLP, or the Community Eligibility Provision of the NSLP.

Not all internet companies offer dedicated plans for low-cost internet. Don’t be discouraged! If you’re on a limited income, you may qualify for one of these government programs, or others.

  • Lifeline: This program is designed to help qualifying low-income consumers afford internet service. Lifeline provides up to a $9.25 monthly discount on service for eligible low-income subscribers and a discount of up to $34.25 per month for those on tribal lands.4
  • Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP): The ACP replaced the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program at the end of 2021. It offers a discount up to $30 on the internet for eligible households and up to $75 per month for homes on qualifying tribal lands.5

Money-saving tip: Our research team selected the five best companies offering cheap internet for seniors. Head over to our list of the best cheap internet for seniors for the best wallet-friendly deals!

Affordable Internet Services for Senior Veterans

Are you a senior and a veteran of the U.S. military? Thank you for your service! You may qualify for an affordable internet plan or internet discount specifically for veterans.

AT&T

Veterans, active-duty military personnel and their spouses, and reservists may be eligible for exclusive AT&T discounts. The company offers several discounts on services such as internet, unlimited data plans, and DirecTV.

Xfinity by Comcast

Comcast is dedicated to providing low-cost, high-speed internet to low-income veterans. Through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, qualifying veterans can obtain internet service for just $9.95 a month plus tax (no activation or equipment rental fees). Eligible veterans have the opportunity to purchase a low-cost computer, complete with Microsoft Office, Norton Security Suite, and a 90-day warranty.

Verizon

Verizon offers military and veterans special discounts on internet and wireless services. Use the ID.me verification system to confirm your eligibility.

Inside tip: Maximize your savings by choosing internet service from a company that offers other discounts for eligible seniors, such as waived installation fees and no required deposits. For more tips on affordable and free internet, head to our internet for seniors guide.

10 Questions to Consider When Searching for the Best Internet Service for Seniors

Ready to find an internet service plan that fits your lifestyle and budget? Research plays a key role! Sure, those television commercials and internet service advertisements that you receive in the mail seem like great options. However, as advertisements, they don’t always provide the full picture of pricing and fees. As you research internet plans for seniors, consider these 10 important questions.

  1. Which carriers offer service in your area? The internet providers you have access to depends on where you live. An easy way to find out your service options is to ask your neighbors, family, and friends what internet providers they use.
  2. Are there senior internet plans? Ask your prospective provider if they offer any discounts on their internet plans for seniors. One budget-friendly perk of being a senior is special internet plans for adults aged 55 and over.
  3. Are there opportunities to save? Go on and ask about additional savings! From paperless billing and autopay to bundling your internet and cell phone service, you may discover ways to trim down your monthly bill.
  4. What will your “all in” monthly statement be? Is that $9.95-per-month internet plan truly affordable, or are there hidden fees? Avoid unpleasant surprises by asking what the grand monthly total will be. The grand total they quote you here should include internet service, taxes, rental fees, and any other costs you’ll see on your monthly bill.
  5. Do you have to purchase or rent equipment? Some internet providers, such as Spectrum, provide a free internet modem and give you the option to use your own router. Other carriers may require you to buy or rent their equipment, which is an additional cost.
  6. Is a contract required? Many companies are doing away with contracts, as they understand their customers want the freedom to change plans. Before signing up with a new internet service provider, ask if the plan is based on a contract and how long you are locked into it.
  7. Are security options included? Each year, millions of older Americans fall victim to some type of fraud or scheme.6 A major part of identity protection is a secure internet connection. Ask your carrier if your plan includes an internet security program to ensure safe web browsing. You can also visit our guide to scams that target seniors to learn how you can avoid falling victim to a cybercrime.
  8. What customer and tech support services are offered? It’s important to know that your internet provider has your back, even on a Friday night when your internet goes kaput. Be sure to ask if 24/7 support is available.
  9. What does the fine print say? Companies may offer promotional internet plans for seniors. Keep in mind that these plans are for a limited time. At the end of the promo period, they may offer new plan options at a higher price. If you sign up for a promotional plan, ask what the new monthly internet cost will be after your contract expires.
  10. Is there an early cancellation fee? Life happens! For example, if you are aging in place and decide to relocate to a retirement community, you may need to cancel your current internet plan. Some internet carriers offer no-contract plans, while others charge an early termination fee.

Did You Know: You can snag some serious savings on technology and wireless services by becoming an AARP member! Check out our AARP membership guide for the inside scoop.

Where to Find Internet Service for Seniors

Most communities have several internet providers to choose from, which means seniors often have no issues finding an internet plan that is ideal for their needs and suits their budget.

Talk with trusted family members or friends about their experience with internet service providers. It’s also a good idea to ask how reliable their internet connection is, as no one wants to sign up for spotty internet!

If you’ve recently moved to another residence, you may now live in the service area of a preferred internet provider that offers the best internet for seniors. For older adults living in a senior apartment or senior facility, the residence manager can provide guidance on prospective internet providers. Your options may be limited if your senior living community has a specific contracted provider.

How Can Seniors Use the Internet on Their Phones?

An internet-capable phone is perfect for active older adults who need access to emails on the go, want to video-chat with family and friends, or enjoy surfing the web throughout the day.

Tech tip: Considering connecting a smartphone to your internet? Check out our top five smartphones for seniors!

Of course, not all cell phones are “smart,” so as you shop for the best senior-friendly cell phone for your needs, be sure to ask the provider if the phone has internet access.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Internet for Seniors

Written By

Maureen Stanley

Writer & Editor

Maureen joined SeniorLiving.org with more than 10 years of experience writing in health, lifestyle, and nutrition for premium brands like General Mills, Westinghouse, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Her passion for empowering older adults is evident in coverage of topics like retirement, health… Learn More About Maureen Stanley